Dumbledore's Letter to the Dursleys

I heart Sirius
September 26th, 2002, 4:47 am
I've just been wondering *exactly* what did Dumbledore write in the note to the Dursleys that he dropped off to them along w/ Harry?
I think maybe even they way Harry is treated (to an extent) by the Dursleys might have something to do w/ that letter.
Why is it so important for Harry to be there?
He could have just gone w/ Sirius, and surely if they Harry did go w/ Sirius, obviously he wouldn't have gone after Peter, b/c he only did that b/c he wasn't getting Harry.
And what are we going to find out about the Durselys later on?

Fuchsia
September 26th, 2002, 4:51 am
It has to be to teach Harry life lessons much like having Snape, Trelawney and Lockhart around though they are really not the best teachers.
Us American students wouldn't have Snape as a teacher.
The parents would have cried him right out of a job. I am soo glad the books are British or I wouldn't have my Snape.

Filius Flitwick
September 26th, 2002, 5:07 am
I'm guessing Dumbledore didn't give Harry to Sirius because he "thought" that Sirius was James' secret keeper. As such, Dumbledore probably thought that Harry shouldn't be left with Sirius at all.

As for the letter, I'm guessing the Dursley's probably threw it away without even finishing it. It probably just stated what happened to Harry's parents and what would happen to Harry when he came of age.

Fuchsia
September 26th, 2002, 5:09 am
What do they care for particulars? The magic is going to be stamped out.

Filius Flitwick
September 26th, 2002, 5:28 am
They're probably big fans of Voldemort. Lousy good for nothing Dursley's. They think that just because....:grumble:

Cho Chang
September 26th, 2002, 5:31 am
First everyone thought Black betrayed Lily and James! Then everyone thought Peter died. Lupin is unfit to take care of young harry!!
And I guess Dumbledore remembers how Tom Riddle turn out from an muggle orphanage! So he has no choice but to put poor harry at Dursleys!! But I don't understand why .. he should know better .. he is the smartest wizard at the time!! He should know Dursleys LOATH on wizarding world!!! I wonder what's he's up to? Maybe there's a certain type of charm only works on BLOOD related people! So they have to be Harry's secret protector or something! That's the only reason I could think of!! :??:

Fuchsia
September 26th, 2002, 5:41 am
The Dursleys are the man. They are there to keep Harry DOWN.

Filius Flitwick
September 26th, 2002, 5:44 am
Originally posted by Fuchsia
The Dursleys are the man. They are there to keep Harry DOWN.

I was wondering why Harry called Uncle Vernon "Whitey" in that one clip I saw. ;D

Fuchsia
September 26th, 2002, 5:46 am
And he said that Dudders couldn't jump. What was that?
And did I see his underwear peeking out of his robes?

kgonekrazy
September 26th, 2002, 7:56 am
I don't think that DD wanted Harry growing up in the magic world because DD was afraid that the fame would go to Harry's head. He wanted to give Harry a normal childhood. If you can consider his childhood with the Dursleys normal.

I think that the letter probably told the Dursleys the whole story, they just didnít care. No one who lived in their house would be aloud to have anything magical about them, end of story.

Emilia
September 26th, 2002, 3:11 pm
But your forgetting one thing! Dumbledore must have said something to the Dursley's in that letter to stop them from dumping Harry in an orpahange, there is something we don't know about the Dursley's and what the letter said, because if it was just an explanaition and a plea from some wierd wizard Harry would be out of aunt Petunia's clean house before you could say knife.

They don't want harry there, imagine all the strange things he can do, what if the neigbours find out? Not to mention how they feel about anything "abnormal".

But for reasons of harry's protection (that hint that voldemort drops in GoF, "i could not touch him when he was in the care of his relations, for he has been better protected then even he[harry] knows")
Not to mention what harry's ego would have been like if he'd grown up around wizards, everything points to the best solution being the Dursley's. But how did Dumbledore make them see reason?

I heart Sirius
September 26th, 2002, 4:02 pm
Originally posted by Emilia
But your forgetting one thing! Dumbledore must have said something to the Dursley's in that letter to stop them from dumping Harry in an orpahange, there is something we don't know about the Dursley's and what the letter said, because if it was just an explanaition and a plea from some wierd wizard Harry would be out of aunt Petunia's clean house before you could say knife.

They don't want harry there, imagine all the strange things he can do, what if the neigbours find out? Not to mention how they feel about anything "abnormal".

But for reasons of harry's protection (that hint that voldemort drops in GoF, "i could not touch him when he was in the care of his relations, for he has been better protected then even he[harry] knows")


Thank you! That's what Iwas getting at. I'm all too aware of why DD didn't leave him w/ Siriues, that's not my concern, I'm just rying to get at why leaving Harry w/ the Dursleys is so important. Like, how is it protected and such.

Sinistra
September 26th, 2002, 5:10 pm
Yes, the old magic is only in effect when Harry is with his blood relations, that's Petunia and Dudley. Sirius is a godfather, not a blood relation.

As to the letter, I imagine it told of what became of Lily and James, and warned the Dursleys that Harry--and they--were in danger from evil wizards if they did not all live together. It probably also mentioned Hogwarts when Harry was 11, and other things, about accidental magic etc. That may be why Vernon was so keen to make sure nothing "funny" happened around Harry.

The Dursleys probably destroyed the letter, because they wouldn't want Harry or Dudley finding it when they were older. They probably didn't want the reminder either.

Jennifer
September 26th, 2002, 6:17 pm
I posted a thread yesterday about the fact that I think Petunia has always been magic, but because she wasn't like Lily, she had to live in her shadow. Not that Dumbledore would threaten the Dursleys, but what if he mentioned somethng to that effect, and it made the Dursleys see reason.

I would think that because the magical world kinda keeps to itself,the Dursleys home would be a relatively safe place for Harry to grow up. Who would think that a child that is a wizard--from a wizarding family--would grow up with muggles. The books have showed us exactly how everyone feels about muggles. Besides the fact, he wanted Harry to grow up without living with the adoration that came with what happened to Voldemort. He might have turned out like Lockhart. I also agree about the magic protecting him there. It probably has something to do with him being blood related to the Dursleys.

kgonekrazy
September 26th, 2002, 7:28 pm
Even though the Dursleys are pretty nasty I don't think they are completely heartless. Yes, they don't want Harry but he is family. Ok, maybe not. Maybe they were afraid, they thought if they got rid of him then DD would come after them. Plus, how would it look if anyone found out they took there only nephew to live at an orphanage. Even in the muggle world that would be more then frowned on. Ok what I am getting at is that I donít think that DD said anything in the letter besides the facts. Somewhere in between the fear of the magical world and what people in the muggle would say if they found out that the Dursleys had turn their back on their family they decide it would be best to keep Harry.

Fleurt
September 26th, 2002, 7:51 pm
I've always wondered why the Dursleys are so scared of magic?

I know they despise anything out of the norm, but why should they fear it? Maybe its the one thing that they feel like they have no control over. They tried to "stomp" the magic out of Harry early maybe b/c they knew that they couldn't control him later when he was older.

kgonekrazy
September 26th, 2002, 8:00 pm
It is human nature to fear what we do not understand. It is also a classic theme in writing "fear of the unknown". The Dursleys don't understand about magic and the magical world thus they fear it. It shows in the way that fear what Harry is capable of.

Kneazle
September 26th, 2002, 9:02 pm
Protection is the whole point of Harry staying with the Dursleys. The ancient magic's protection, and protection from the fame. He's the safest with them, even if they do mistreat him. I believe the letter explained everything about Lily & James' situation with Voldemort, it contained all the information about the magic that was protecting Harry with them and why it was mandatory that they kept him; also, about accidental magic and Hogwarts, etc. I wonder if he mentioned Mrs. Figg.

I agree that their fear of magic comes from their despisement of all things odd and their lack of knowledge of it. It's very powerful and mysterious. . . quite scary, really, when you have no control or understanding.

Jennifer
September 27th, 2002, 4:16 am
What if their fear is not of the "unknown" but fear of what power Petunia does posess? If she has been living with this secret--maybe even one that Vernon knows about--then her fear is out of it being found out. They have been trying to "stomp" it out of Harry for years. What if they also stomped it out of Petunia? Maybe that is another reason they hate Harry so much, because he is an everyday reminder of something she has been trying to conquer since childhood. Just a possibility.

One last thing...Vernon would never leave her because questions would be asked and he would look bad.

Amy
September 27th, 2002, 11:58 pm
There were two groups of people who had the right to raise Harry, Sirius Black and the Dursleys.
As far as Dumbledore knew, Sirius had been the Secret Keeper, and had betrayed Harry's parents to someone who obviously wanted Harry dead as well. Scratch him off the list.
The Dursleys were the only other real option. As someone already said, thre may be some blood connected magic that would only protect Harry while he was with them. At the time the Dursleys came across them, Mrs. Dursley had just found out that her sister was dead, and here in front of her was her sister's child. She may have sworn to protect him and then later have been terrified that the wizards would get her if she went back on her word.
Also, given what happened to Riddle, I don't think Dumbledore would send him to an orphanage.
I have absolutely no clue what was in that letter Dumbledore left the Dursleys. 'You're sister died at the hand of a Dark Lord. He tried to kill Harry, but failed. I have placed special magic around your house so that you will never be at risk from an attack. Please look after him untill he is eleven.'
As McGonagall said, 'Can you really explain everything in a letter?'

Jennifer
September 28th, 2002, 12:40 am
I don't believe Petunia was compelled to help Harry because she hated Lily. She said Lily was a freak, and she was the only one who saw the truth all along. Second, I don't believe Dumbledore ever thought that Sirius was a murderer because he was one of the first ones to take up his cause in the fourth book. He even included him in his plot to get the old crew together. That is a lot of trust for someone you always believed a murderer. I think he bribed the Dursleys in a way, because I don't see them being comfortable and happy knowing that they have ancient magic protecting them. I bet it terrifies them.:idea:

dorcasderr
September 28th, 2002, 1:26 am
The magic protecting them probably scares the Dursleys even more if they have realized the significance of the fact that Harry was the boy who lived. Why didn't they get a note about HIS death too? What does this child have in him that He lived...how dangerously powerful will he become? Especially if Petunia has any magical tendencies at all or, if not, any knowledge learned from Lily when she was alive...much as she would not have wished to know anything...this fact, that Harry survived an attack from the most powerful dark wizard would be enough to scare her silly.

G-Thugg
September 28th, 2002, 6:23 am
Originally posted by Amy
There were two groups of people who had the right to raise Harry, Sirius Black and the Dursleys.
As far as Dumbledore knew, Sirius had been the Secret Keeper, and had betrayed Harry's parents to someone who obviously wanted Harry dead as well. Scratch him off the list.


Except, at the time of the Potter's death, I don't think anyone knew/thought that Sirius betrayed them. I think this because Sirius gave Hagrid his motorcycle to transport Sirius. So they must have trusted him somewhat at the time.

mrs_fawkes
October 23rd, 2002, 3:02 am
i was watching harry potter again and just realized that harry doesn't even realize that a letter was left for him by dumbledore.
i know it was to explain the circumstance for harry being left with them, but hagrid had implied in the book that the letter would have explained things to harry.


so what happened to it??????????:??: :??:

samwitch
October 23rd, 2002, 3:08 am
the letter was for the dursley's and harry. and once the dursley's had read it, i'm sure they got rid of it once they realized what harry was. they also wanted to keep harry from knowing he was a wizard, for as long as possible... the only thing that got in their way, was hagrid.

Knight
October 23rd, 2002, 3:27 am
Yeah the Dursley's probably burned it. Perhaps they only read a small part of it and didn't even finish the rest. If Dumbeldore put the truth behind Harry's situation in the letter perhaps the Dursley's never even got that far. This could explain why they've never had much empathy (or knowledge for that matter) for Harry's plight.

Qeomash
October 23rd, 2002, 3:57 am
No, I think they read the whole thing. For one, they probably read it hoping for something "Keep Harry untill I can find a suitable location for him." Unfortunatly, there wasn't one.

And, they did know about the circumstances... "And then she went and go herself
blown up. And we got landed with you." -Petunia

cbjedi
October 23rd, 2002, 4:52 am
Yeah, it seems to me they most likely read it, then threw it out hoping to forget that there ever was anything magical about Harry.

HogwartsChaplain
October 23rd, 2002, 5:00 am
I bet they read the whole letter, but burned it at some point. They wouldn't have wanted to take the chance that anyone else might read that letter-- not Harry, not Dudleykins, not even the garbage collector. Anyone else knowing would have upset their applecart.

kgonekrazy
October 23rd, 2002, 6:59 am
Hmmm... i think that there is another thread like this but whatever...
Dursleys don't want Harry to know the truth. They think if they ignore it, it will go away. They burned the letter!!!

SiriusBlack
October 23rd, 2002, 12:08 pm
They were scared out of their wits, Mr. Dursley threw it into the fire, and they were thinking of an orphange when they showed a little sympathy, or maybe, in the letter, they were warned.

owl post 1992
October 23rd, 2002, 2:53 pm
i think the Dursley's kept it maybe on the outside they hate Harry and all wizards but on the inside they care a little for Harry because they haven't dropped him in the cloest orphanage yet so maybe the letter would have some kind of warning of kicking Harry out or estroying the letter which i reckon is locked in Grunnings safe

Sinistra
October 23rd, 2002, 3:01 pm
Vernon can't keep something like that around, even in a safe. Because if anyone read it they would know he wasn't normal, and that's the whole point of their existence, to be quite normal, thank you very much. So they probably read it, maybe even kept it for a while, but probably burned it the first time Harry showed any magical ability at all. Either that or when the boys (Harry) was starting to be able to read. It was just too dangerous to leave around, for many reasons.

owl post 1992
October 23rd, 2002, 3:11 pm
a safe can only be acessed by those at the top plus it can have a secret compactment at the back where he keeps it without anyone knowing and is he the owner of Grunnings :??:

Sinistra
October 23rd, 2002, 3:12 pm
But if something happened to him, a car crash or being sacked, they would have to go into the safe. It just is too dangerous to keep this long.

MakTB
October 23rd, 2002, 3:18 pm
I reckon the Dursleys destroyed the letter, the reason they didn't throw Harry out was that they were scared of what would happen to them.

Kneazle
October 23rd, 2002, 8:42 pm
Originally posted by Sinistra
Vernon can't keep something like that around, even in a safe. Because if anyone read it they would know he wasn't normal, and that's the whole point of their existence, to be quite normal, thank you very much. So they probably read it, maybe even kept it for a while, but probably burned it the first time Harry showed any magical ability at all. Either that or when the boys (Harry) was starting to be able to read. It was just too dangerous to leave around, for many reasons.
:yup: I agree completely.

owl post 1992
October 24th, 2002, 12:57 am
well what if by some magical reason it couldn't be burnt a safety charm because Wizards have no real need for a repair man cos they say a few words and bobs ur uncle its fixed

mrs_fawkes
October 25th, 2002, 12:24 am
i was wondering the same thing.............
what if for some reason the letter survived burning (if they tried to burn it).........mcganagal(spelling?) told dumbledore that 'they are the worst sort of muggles imaginable'. maybe dumbledore did something to the letter that would preserve it (how do all those books in the library survive, they must be hundreds of years old; some of them anyway).
i would like to think that harry will come across it at some point. hagrid did tell harry (was it only in the movie or in the book, too) that he wasn't the one for harry to go to for answers.

owl post 1992
October 25th, 2002, 12:54 am
i would like to think that harry will come across it at some point. hagrid did tell harry (was it only in the movie or in the book, too) that he wasn't the one for harry to go to for answers.

Hagrid tries to explain in the book to Harry his life story before the Dursleys'. i wonder what's so important in the letter that Vernon needed to destroy it immediately or for DD to protect it with a safety charm and why has Harry never asked about the letter. i'm going of topic now so i'll stop

cathairetic
October 26th, 2002, 4:51 am
There is another thread on this subject, Dumbledore's Letter to the Dursleys. I'll merge this thread with it.

dumbleedore
October 26th, 2002, 1:38 pm
I have a feeling that this letter is going to become very important. JK wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise. It also could have to do with the very elusive Mrs Figg...

dantares
October 27th, 2002, 3:17 am
I don't think the Dursleys know anything about Mrs. Figgs. If not, they would not even want to associate themselves with her. I think that the Petunia really loves Lily (she is just jealous of her) and so she took care of her son. They never starve Harry, sent him to school etc. So they can't hate him that much. They could just make him a servant.

Fuchsia
October 27th, 2002, 3:25 am
Sending him to school is the law in England too right?

cathairetic
October 27th, 2002, 5:17 am
I think there must have been something in the letter that made the Dursleys decide to keep Harry, otherwise they would have just sent him to an orphanage. They seem to be very ashamed of and embarrassed by the 'witch in the family.' They don't like Harry at all, as far as I can see, but just tolerate him. It's kind of a Cinderella situation. There must be some reason, told to them by Dumbledore, that would make them keep Harry. They don't want him.

mrs_fawkes
October 27th, 2002, 9:03 pm
It is definately clear that the dursleys don't want harry. (this is another thread, but) it is very amazing that harry turned out as well as he did living with them.
if there are charms and spells protecting the letter (and this is just speculation; something we do so well here) then it has survived and hidden somewhere very well: so well that maybe the dursleys don't even remember where it is.

Qeomash
October 27th, 2002, 10:16 pm
I really doubt that the letter is still around. Nor do I think that there was a threat. (Dumbles doesn't see to be a man to threaten anyone unnessiarily.) The Dursleys kept Harry simply because of the possibility of the unknown.

Hederic
October 27th, 2002, 10:40 pm
Well, what else can make the pride of all muggles take in an anomaly?

I don't think it was a letter as much as it was a package...filled with gold, or something equally valuable.

mrs_fawkes
October 27th, 2002, 10:42 pm
no don't think it was gold, the way the dursleys feel about magic; they wouldn't have accepted anything they thought might have been touched by magic....even gold.

Sinistra
October 28th, 2002, 3:45 pm
The letter could have been enchanted so if it was burnt, it would seem to burn but really disappear and then reappear in the safekeeping of the sender, like Dumbledore. It may still exist. Harry may get it eventually, but I bet there are answers in that letter, and Dumbledore doesn't want Harry to know some of that information just yet. He grew up without the information, and Dumbledore seems to like that situation, otherwise he would have told Harry more about himself and his family and Voldemort.

mrs_fawkes
October 29th, 2002, 3:27 am
bet there must be a magical equivalent to a copy machine that witches and wizards use. Dd might have a copy somewhere, because he knew what might happen to the one left with harry.

cathairetic
October 29th, 2002, 4:26 am
If wizards have a copy machine it must resemble that thing that Thomas Jefferson had in his bedroom at Monticello. Insert two quills and write with one while the other makes a copy on another sheet of parchment.

Sinistra
October 29th, 2002, 3:45 pm
That's a pantograph, and it's still used today in various guises. It's not magic, but it is cool.

But the idea of some sort of copy machine, a wizarding xerox is a good one. That information has to exist somewhere.

Alorra Spinnet
October 29th, 2002, 10:12 pm
Probably a duplication spell of some sort. I mean, what about all those letters that Harry got? How did they make that many acceptance letters at once? I can't imagine that McGonagall wrote them all out by hand! :typing:

Lioness87
November 1st, 2002, 3:46 pm
Why can't Dumbledore just tell Harry what HE wrote in the letter..?

As far as the reason the Dursleys kept Harry is def. an unknown. I'm hoping that JK tells us the real reason why in future books.

I also doubt that Dumbledore threaten them, or that he gave them money.

I also HIGHLY doubt that the original letter is floating around somewhere. It is probably long gone by now.

Does anyone know why the Dursleys are so uptight about everyone thinking that they are 'normal'? Why should they care..? I would be PROUD to have a wizard relative!!!!

tintinboy
January 31st, 2003, 12:28 am
I have always ondered what was in Dumbledore's letter to the Dursleys. Was it a threat of some sort? Because if the Dursleys hate Harry so much, WHY did they keep him and not chuck him to an orphanage? Who knows, maybe they secretly love Harry but DD told thm to act that way. Maybe we'll find out in book 5? Or never?

Picko
January 31st, 2003, 12:34 am
I very much doubt that Dumbledore gave the Dursley's a threat; it isn't his style. What he said though will probably always be a mistery, unfortunately.

GodricSlytherin
January 31st, 2003, 12:51 am
Possibly, DD will tell Harry what he said to the Dursleys....maybe he is paying the Dursleys....I doubt that though, and, ummmm, who knows.

Iam Cedric Diggory
January 31st, 2003, 12:56 am
The Dursley's loving Harry...Can't see it happening, sorry.

fuzzi95
January 31st, 2003, 1:27 am
if the dursleys were being paid, they would love to see more of those letters!

DocHollidaywe
January 31st, 2003, 1:43 am
I imagine it mentioned that Harrys life depended upon it, i know your thinking, i bet they dont care, but DD could of added,
"The wizard that was after Harry will be looking for you because he thinks you are harboring Harry. If you take Harry we will protect the house this way protecting you and your family as well as Harry.

If they though a wizard was showing up to there house to blast them, they would do anything to prevent it.

Animagi Girl
January 31st, 2003, 1:46 am
He probably said something that would have made them feel guilty if they put Harry in an orphanage. Stuff like... you are his only family... he has no one else... your sisters only child... Stuff like that.

Ava
January 31st, 2003, 2:03 am
He probably said something that would have made them feel guilty if they put Harry in an orphanage.

Yeah, I think Dumbledore has this great convincing power that made the Dursley's keep Harry. Or they're just plain scared of good 'ol Dumbledore so it's best if they keep their mouth shut so that J.K. can move on with the story. Oooh, but I do hope we find out what the letter says in the future books.

TUNKNAPS
January 31st, 2003, 2:08 am
On this site there is an interesting theory about Harry's Aunt Petunia being a squib. If this is true, then they would have been forced to keep harry alive and not in a muggle ofphanage by their wizarding aquaintences.

Besides, if they dumped harry, there would be no stories!!!

-Tunknaps

fuzzi95
January 31st, 2003, 2:11 am
i think dumbledore told it like it was! Or maybe he made the letter from voldemort instead...nah i bet not!

Iam Cedric Diggory
January 31st, 2003, 2:13 am
We know Petunia isn't a Squib because Lily was a, dare i say it, Mudblood. No magic parents, therefore no Squib.

applepie15
January 31st, 2003, 3:32 am
Maybe the Dursleys just want attention. By telling peolpe that they took in a orphaned child people may thank better of them. That sounds like them.

Puffskein
January 31st, 2003, 4:21 pm
Originally posted by Iam Cedric Diggory
We know Petunia isn't a Squib because Lily was a, dare i say it, Mudblood. No magic parents, therefore no Squib.

That's not necessarily true. It's been suggested that one of their parents was a Squib, so there was some magic hidden in the Evans's bloodline. That might explain why they were so proud that Lily was a witch. Still, I agree that Petunia can't be a Squib in the same sense as Filch is.

familiar
January 31st, 2003, 5:10 pm
I'd like to know why he left a letter in the first place. Why not just talk to them?

I just looked it up in the US paperback "Sorcerors Stone", page 50 (Hagrid is yelling at Vernon): "You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left fer him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An' you've kept it from him all these years?"

I think the letter was just a statement that his parents died at the hands of Voldemort, and what great people they were, and he will be going to Hogwarts, like his parents did, when he turns 11. I don't think there was anything else stated. The fact that James and Lily were killed by an evil wizard probably embedded itself in the Dursleys minds and imaginations which led to their behaviour over the next few years.

morosea
January 31st, 2003, 5:30 pm
Originally posted by applepie15
Maybe the Dursleys just want attention. By telling peolpe that they took in a orphaned child people may thank better of them. That sounds like them.

I think you've got a great point. The Dursleys are always so worried about appearances. They might have been worried a neighbor saw Harry sitting on their doorstep and so they'd have to keep him. Also, didn't Aunt Marge say how good it was of the Dursleys to keep Harry. They could be keeping Harry just for the complements they get.

harryton
January 31st, 2003, 5:42 pm
what letter are you guys talking about? in which book did he send a letter to the dursleys?

JoFaye
January 31st, 2003, 6:04 pm
My thought has always been that Prof. Dumbledore told the Dursley what happened to Lily and James. Then told them that with the magic of Lily's love Harry had he could invoke an ancient magic to protect Petunia as long as they took Harry in. I don't think Voldemort would have neccasarily wanted to kill Petunia, but if I were Dumbledore I would keep that particular speculation to myself. Saving her own hide is all I can think of that would have motivated Petunia to take Harry into her house.

morosea
January 31st, 2003, 7:40 pm
Originally posted by harryton
what letter are you guys talking about? in which book did he send a letter to the dursleys?

The letter that Dumbledore left with Harry when he left him on the Dursley's doorstep the night Voldemort killed his parents.

Weatherby
January 31st, 2003, 8:05 pm
I agree that the letter probably detailed Harry's history and that he was a wizard.
Perhaps even a threat to keep him safe?

JoFaye
January 31st, 2003, 8:15 pm
That's what I am saying. I think the threat is that "Voldemort killed your sister. When she died she gave Harry a ancient protection. With that I can invoke magic that will keep Petunia safe. Should Voldemort decide to kill the whole family. Of course, if you keep Harry, Petunia will be safe."

nimbus2006
January 31st, 2003, 9:12 pm
I agree with familiar completely.

The quote also says "the letter fer him" which means it also could have been left for harry to read when he was old enough.. to get information right from the hands of Dumbledore, instead of lies from Petunia and such.

EvilMeghan
January 31st, 2003, 9:30 pm
I think there was a detailed description of the wizarding world and how everything works and about his history. If the Dursleys read it before him, they would be petrified, so they destroyed it. I bet Dumbledore said he would have someone keeping an eye on him, so that would force them to keep him.

Voldy could not be going after Petunia - at that point, he was wiped out for good, they thought.

familiar
January 31st, 2003, 9:42 pm
I don't think they knew someone was keeping an eye on them. When all the Hogwarts acceptance letters started coming addressed to the cupboard, and then the smallest bedroom Vernon freaked. He and Petunia realized with the "cupoard" address that they were being watched and moved Harry to the smallest bedroom, but the letters came addressed there instead. This makes me think that Vernon and Petunia really had very little idea about what was going on and the letter of explantion was short.

Also the part of the book where Vernon drives around aimlessly, stops, gets out of the car and looks at the sky, then drives somewhere else. This is odd behaviour if he knew his family was being looked after for the past ten years. Especially since I think if Vernon knew his family was in danger he would go to the police and refuse any magical help.

Of course, there is also the possibility that they didn't even read the letter and tossed it.

rotsiepots
January 31st, 2003, 10:25 pm
Dumbledore explains the contents of this mystery letter on page 15 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (paperback edition):

"His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."

This infers, to me at least, that the contents of the letter are not threatening to Dursleys to keep Harry, they are merely explaining who Harry is, why Voldemort wanted to kill him, who his parents were etc. The letter was sent with the intention that, one day, the Dursleys would explain everything to Harry.

Perhaps the Dursleys are better people that we first thought; it seems they kept Harry out of sympathy, not out of threatening letters from Dumbledore.

Spitf1re
February 2nd, 2003, 1:32 am
I think that the Dursleys weren't threatened by DUMBLEDORE, but the FACT that DD is a wizard.

1MelissaPotter
February 3rd, 2003, 12:54 am
I think DD probably scared them into it, or paid them, since they probably wouldn't take in Harry out of the goodness of their hearts.

Expelliorma~
February 3rd, 2003, 2:05 am
Dumbledore's not the threatening type. He trusts people. He probably just explained what happened to Lily and James in the letter, and told them why it was necessary for Harry to stay with them. Now, the Durseleys were afraid of DD being a wizard is another thing.

By the way, does anyone remember Harry seeing Petunia or any of the Durseleys in the Mirror of Erised with the rest of the family?

JoFaye
February 4th, 2003, 4:14 pm
Originally posted by EvilMeghan
I think there was a detailed description of the wizarding world and how everything works and about his history. If the Dursleys read it before him, they would be petrified, so they destroyed it. I bet Dumbledore said he would have someone keeping an eye on him, so that would force them to keep him.

Voldy could not be going after Petunia - at that point, he was wiped out for good, they thought.

Dumbledore and Hagrid both believed Voldemort would be back. If he didn't the precautions for Harry would not have been neccessary.

As I said, Dumbledore didn't have to believe Voldemort would come after Petunia to imply that he might.

Puffskein
February 4th, 2003, 4:36 pm
Originally posted by Expelliorma~
By the way, does anyone remember Harry seeing Petunia or any of the Durseleys in the Mirror of Erised with the rest of the family?

No, he didn't. His heart's desire is to be with the family he's never known, not with the Dursleys!

JofpGallagher
February 28th, 2003, 11:17 pm
Originally posted by Puffskein (original post (http://www.cosforums.com/a/showthread.php?postid=160476#post160476))
No, he didn't. His heart's desire is to be with the family he's never known, not with the Dursleys!

Yes indeed, and DD explained that only the most strong heart's desire will be shown on the mirror...and frankly, the Dursleys are not on the top 100 Harry's list of desires..

GodricSlytherin
March 1st, 2003, 2:41 am
Dd probably said something casual that would make the Dursleys scared as ****....he could have threatened them.....it's easy enough....al he had to do was say.

And if you don't take the boy, you will be cursed to become animals by my wand. Something like that. DD can threaten if he wants.

JoFaye
March 3rd, 2003, 3:07 pm
I think the threat could have just been implied. You know...."I can only guarentee the safety of you and your family from Voldemort if Harry is living here with you." After what happened to Lily and James I think that would have been sufficient.

Fuchsia
March 3rd, 2003, 4:52 pm
JoFaye is right methinks. The Dursleys can be manipulated through that fear and even if it is said in a playful manner they won't see it as such.

Justin Etre
March 4th, 2003, 1:09 pm
Originally posted by I heart Sirius (original post (http://www.cosforums.com/a/showthread.php?postid=36625#post36625))
I think maybe even they way Harry is treated (to an extent) by the Dursleys might have something to do w/ that letter.


I think that you may be right. Perhaps Dumbledore was a little too informative, the Dursleys may have been horrified to begin with at thought of magic in their house, but they may have been even more so after reading about all the events that had passed.

SUDDEN THOUGHT: WHAT IS THE DURSLEY'S BLAME HARRY FOR LILLY'S DEATH?

cathairetic
March 6th, 2003, 1:30 am
I hadn't ever thought of that. That's a very interesting idea. However, Petunia didn't seem to like Lily much. I think she was jealous of the attention given her sister by their parents.

hermiones mum
March 6th, 2003, 5:38 pm
Could the letter have been charmed like the shrinking keys, so that the Dursleys believe that they have destroyed it, yet it is still laying in wait for Harry to find it.
OR
Could Harry see Dumbledore writing the letter in the pensieve to see the dilema he was placed in.....
But I do believe that the reason they are so fanatical about appearing normal is so that no trouble from the wizard world appears on their doorstep.

Scotlandking85
March 7th, 2003, 8:47 pm
I think Harry is protected by the Fedelius charm and Mrs. Figg is his secret keeper. I want to know if DD has a copy of the letter he left for the Dursley family, so Harry can read it. I think that it would be funny if DD actually had threatened Verneon. Hehe

Starseyer
March 9th, 2003, 6:20 am
I wonder if there might be some purpose for the Dursley's other than just to torment and/or protect Harry? Perhaps there is a chance for healing the grudge Petunia has against Lily? And has anyone else noticed that past the first book there has been no mention of Dudley having any friends? (please correct me if I'm wrong) Maybe he will realise that the behavior his parents have been encouraging in him is pushing people away and he will have a change in his way of thinking. I wonder if we are going to see any character development in him?
I'm even expecting a scene eventually in which Harry will need to protect his muggle relations from the likes of Lucious Malfoy. That could get interesting!

Starseyer
March 9th, 2003, 6:24 am
Another thought: perhaps a reason that DD chose to have Harry live with the Dursleys was because he knew that they were so opposed to magic that they would be sure to keep Harry's presence in their house a secret -- unwittingly helping to protect him.

Barbara Kennedy
April 5th, 2003, 5:23 am
It could also be that the protective spells that were placed around the Dursleys and their home had to be woven around relatives to be effective.

black&potter
April 6th, 2003, 4:59 am
i would really like to know myself im sure it just BASICALLY explains what happened (without scaring them too badly) and sends his thanks for taking him in

harp230
May 29th, 2003, 5:00 am
Reposting an idea... Let me know what you think....

I agree that most likely the letter was destroyed but...
Well what if they did not destroy the letter. Maybe that is part of the Dursley suprise? What if something (voldemort's return) forces them to reveal the letter? Or what if Harry somehow accidentally finds out about it? Surely the Dursleys would have to be informed about Voldemort's return(for Harry's safety and theirs). I doubt that Harry would bring up that conversation. We do know that The Dursley's have limited communication with the Owl Post. The letter(or letters) could somehow say someting to force the Dursleys to tell Harry. We know that the Dursley's can be influenced by letters. They did keep Harry for some reason.
Or how relaible would the owl be what if some communication is delivered to Harry by mistake? Or in the presence of Harry to give him some ideas?

harlle15
May 29th, 2003, 12:21 pm
well! i think it would be safe on harry to live with the dursleys and a witch seeing harry who is known to be mrs. figgs but she's a witch i read it somewhere....

harlle15
May 29th, 2003, 12:23 pm
i want to know what was written on the letter that had been left with harry. i think dumbledore has a copy of it coz i'm sure that the dursleys throw it. harry is safe there coz mrs. arabella figgs was looking after him.

JoFaye
May 30th, 2003, 4:16 pm
I believe Vernon to be too big a coward to destroy the letter. He ignored it, for sure, but I'll bet he still has it.

Alastor
May 30th, 2003, 5:14 pm
Originally posted by harlle15 (original post (http://www.cosforums.com/a/showthread.php?postid=342263#post342263))
harry is safe there coz mrs. arabella figgs was looking after him.


That's what you may call an educated guess. But we know for sure that Dumbledore, with some ancient magic, arranged that Harry is safe in his relatives' care. You may find more about Arabella Figg in the thread "Theories regarding Mrs. Figg" here in the Great Hall.

Kindly note also that there is above your own name a red box marked "edit". You can use that when you want to add something to your post instead of double posting.

Jessica
May 30th, 2003, 9:43 pm
Okay two points:

1) I firmly believe that the letter still exists. a) because as has been said Vernon is a coward and b) becuase I am sure that Dumbledore did something to the letter to prevent its destruction knowing that Vernon might try to destroy it.

2) MOre of a question really. I am less confused by them taking him in the first place than by why they keep letting his come back after he:
Book 1) defied them by leaving with Hagrid to go to Hogwarts
Book 2) Escaped out thw window after dropping the cake on Mrs. Whoever.
Book 3) Blew up his Aunt Marge.

It seems to me that Dumbledore is holding SOMETHING over their heads be it a threat a bribe a warning whatever. They don't want him back but they keep taking him back when they could just say that he has to stay at school or with his friends over the summer.

nfh_aftran
May 30th, 2003, 9:52 pm
Voldemort mentioned the reason he stays with the Dursleys in GoF, and it's because there is ancient magic where Harry is protected, so long as he is in his relation's care.

Jessica
May 30th, 2003, 9:54 pm
No, I'm not asking why Dumbledore wants Harry to stay there.

I'm asking why the Dursleys are willing to let him

harp230
May 30th, 2003, 10:47 pm
I to have been trying to figure out why the Dursley's let him stay ar eve keept him in the first place. I bet it has to do with something in that letter. Maybe the letter is some sort of magical contract. I like that idea that it cannot be destroyed ant magical contract would bve a good reason. But still The Dursleys would still have to be forced into it. And that needs more thought. I don't see dumbledore threatening them or blackmailling them but other than that what would motivate them. Maybe it is some issue of honor. hmmm... Maybe there is some other magical relation to one of the dursley's that forces them into the "honor"? THe person or because they have another connection to the magical community they are bound to honor the traditions. Otherwise I do not see them taking Harry for the considerations of a sister Petunia doesn't like. What about Harry's mom's parents? Assumption would be that they died. But when? What if they had concerns(perhaps even before Harry was born?) that a child would be left without someone to care for him or her and the Dursley's are bound by that? That would make the most sence(of course baring some major surprise)?

Barbara Kennedy
May 30th, 2003, 11:33 pm
There is one theory that the Dursleys are protected by the enchantments placed on Harry [and/or them] as much as Harry is. Kind of a mutual protection, as long as Harry is safe, they are too.

Jessica
May 31st, 2003, 1:35 am
Yeah, I don't quite buy that theory, Barbara. Only because see the Dursleys as being to arrogant to think that the wizarding world could hurt them.

I agree with harp that D is unlikely to blackmail or threaten.

Which I know leaves very little options left but I'm sure JKR will blow our socks off.

MaynardIsReal12
May 31st, 2003, 1:56 am
This is a really good thread. I think he said to keep care of him and to know that this was Lily's and Jame's kid.I don't think he told them of Harry's wizarding abilities, because they already knew somewhat about that.

harp230
May 31st, 2003, 3:27 am
Well it could tell of his abilities. I don't buy that "he is ordnary but just does a lot of extrordianry things bit". The Dursleys would know he has abilities, but there could be some indications. It the letter should explain his story, and probally deeper than we have heard. I would say that there are some care instructions and to expect a letter from Hogwarts in 10 years. I wonder if there were any other letters after that one but before tyhe Hogwarts letters? I wouldn't be surprised, but i would guess not due to the reaction of the first Hogwarts letters. Or at least in a long while. But you never know until told otherwise. What else? Who knows? But I agree it will be a surprise, much beyond our speculation.