In Chapter 2, we first hear about a mysterious escaped prisoner, meet Harry’s Aunt Marge, and see what happens when Harry loses control. Let’s go!
I will start off this chapter review by saying that Aunt Marge is one of the absolute worst people in the entire series. I despise her with every fiber of my being.
Harry learns several things on his birthday, none of which are particularly good. Which is sad, given how happy he was to celebrate his birthday the night before, with his cards and presents from his friends. But this is the Dursleys’ house, where good feelings come to die, so what can you do. The first thing we learn is that the Muggle television news is reporting on an escaped convict named Black, who is likely armed and very dangerous. We also learn that Aunt Marge is coming to visit.
I hate her I hate her I hate her I hate her.
Sorry about that. Moving on.
Aunt Marge was Uncle Vernon’s sister. Even though she was not a blood relative of Harry’s (whose mother had been Aunt Petunia’s sister), he had been forced to call her “Aunt” all his life. Aunt Marge lived in the country, in a house with a large garden, where she bred bulldogs. She didn’t often stay at Privet Drive, because she couldn’t bear to leave her precious dogs, but each of her visits stood out horribly vividly in Harry’s mind.
Y’all, this is a lady who hit Harry’s legs when he was five so that he wouldn’t beat Dudley at a game, who gave him a box of dog treats for Christmas, and who left him sitting in a tree until after midnight because he was chased up there by one of her dogs after he accidentally stepped on its tail.
There is a brief silver lining though. Harry had been wondering how to convince the Dursleys to sign his permission form to go to Hogsmede village. He makes a deal with Uncle Vernon: Harry will be on his best behavior during Marge’s visit (including pretending to go to a school called St. Brutus’s Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys) if, at the end of it, Uncle Vernon signs the form.
And Harry tries, he really does, and almost makes it through the week. Aunt Marge is terrible, mean, and condescending as always, but Harry tries to ignore it. This kid has amazing restraint, I must say. I would have slapped this woman silly by now. But then, Marge starts doing something even worse. I can’t even believe someone would do something like this.
“It’s one of the basic rules of breeding,” she said. “You see it all the time with dogs. If there’s something wrong with the bitch, there’ll be something wrong with the pup -“
She’s not talking about dogs here. She’s talking about HARRY’S MOTHER. You know, the woman who is DEAD. And she’s saying this RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.
Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.
Right after she says that though, the wine glass she was holding explodes. Marge dismisses it, saying that she has a very firm grip and has done this sort of thing before (really????) but Harry is worried that he caused it by losing control of his magic. Which he cannot do, or he could get in trouble with the Ministry of Magic.
He finally makes it to the last night. One more dinner. She leaves in the morning, thank goodness. But . . .
“This Potter,” said Aunt Marge loudly, seizing the brandy bottle and splashing more into her glass and over the tablecloth, “you never told me what he did?”
Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were looking extremely tense. Dudley had even looked up from his pie to gape at his parents.
“He – didn’t work,” said Uncle Vernon, with half a glance at Harry. “Unemployed.”
“As I expected!” said Aunt Marge, taking a huge swig of brandy and wiping her chin on her sleeve. “A no-account, good-for-nothing, lazy scrounger who -“
Like before, she is now badmouthing Harry’s father, who she has never met and knows nothing about. Who is dead. In front of Harry.
Harry, I would blow up my aunt too if she acted like that.
Which is what happens. Aunt Marge starts inflating like a balloon and floating away. Harry doesn’t know how he did it, but knows that he needs to get out of the house. He grabs his trunk and all his stuff and heads for the door.
“I’m going,” Harry said. “I’ve had enough.”
Don’t blame you one bit, Harry.
See you next time for Chapter 3!
Yess book three! My favorite of the series… I always remember this scene: his aunt is so infuriating!