Harry Potter Finale Almost Had a Dudley Redemption Arc That Would Melt Your Heart
Dudley's life was supposed to take a very, very unexpected turn.
Who among us Potterheads didn’t hate the Dursleys? Yes, they accepted Harry after his parents died, but the way they treated him killed absolutely every shred of sympathy that readers and viewers tried to feel for them.
Dudley was a bit different. Unlike his parents, he was not an adult, and his bullying of Harry was a reflection of his poor upbringing. Dudley grew up as a spoiled boy who did not understand that he was hurting others.
It turned out that J. K. Rowling wanted to include a small but touching detail at the finale of the last book that would melt the heart of even the most hardcore Dudley hater.
The author had planned for Dudley to have a magically gifted son or daughter. This was supposed to be included in the epilogue of The Deathly Hallows – Dudley would have sent his magically gifted offspring to Hogwarts.
Harry’s cousin was supposed to stand on Platform 9¾ with the Golden Trio and their children during the touching farewell. This would be an unexpected but heartwarming plot twist, considering that Dudley has been portrayed as character who has worn his Muggle identity as a badge of honor since the book one.
Although Harry and Dudley shared a sweet moment of redemption in the final book, with Dudley declaring that he didn't think Harry was "a waste of space," Rowling apparently wanted to strengthen their bond by making his child a wizard. She eventually abandoned the idea, believing that no one with Vernon Dursley's DNA could be magically gifted.
According to Rowling’s comments, after the events of the last book, Dudley had two Muggle children. For obvious reasons, Vernon and Petunia avoided meeting Harry, but Dudley would occasionally see his cousin so their children could play together. Their relationship was a bit awkward, but it was still a big step up from how toxic it had been before.
But it wasn't just Dudley who had to get his share of redemption. We all remember that heartbreaking scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Harry says goodbye to the Dursleys.
Although the farewell turned out to be rather cold, there was a scene in which Petunia tells Harry: "You didn't just lose a mother in Godric's Hollow that night, you know. I lost a sister." And you just couldn't help but feel sorry for Petunia when you saw the sincere sorrow in her eyes. Most fans still wish that this episode wasn’t cut.