There’s a new theory in town, and this reader of the internet (and diehard skeptic) has to say that it sounds completely and totally plausible. It never felt quite…right…that the Dursleys were so downright mean to poor, orphaned Harry Potter, did it? It certainly never felt right to this reader of the Harry Potter series.
This is your spoiler warning. Turn back now if you have not read the books. (And then go read the books.)
Anywho, here’s the theory: The reason the Dursleys were so mean to Harry was not actually any of their faults. It was all Lord Voldemort. Sure, Petunia had a falling out with her sister based on petty jealousy but what little sister doesn’t fight with their siblings once in a while? It doesn’t seem like enough to warrant putting Lily’s kid under a staircase for nine years, is it? But remember, when Voldemort killed Lily Potter, he created a horcrux in the baby left behind.
It’s a well-known fact in the Harry Potter universe that horcruxes are not comfortable things to be around. They twist and turn the emotions of their surroundings and generally sew discord as all evil things love to do. This truth is at the base of the theory that the internet has come up with for Harry’s mistreatment. The Dursleys were quite literally incapable of treating him well after 9 years spent living with such a horrible thing in their house. Sure, that horrible thing was inside of an adorable little boy with green eyes and an intriguing scar, but it was still a vessel for evil. As a result, they were twisted and turned themselves. This could also explain why it was only later, after Harry had spent the majority of years away at Hogwarts, that Dudley was able to acknowledge Harry’s good act when he protected him in The Order of the Phoenix. Sure, that acknowledgment wouldn’t come until the final book, but it came, didn’t it?
You have to love a community on the internet that can come up with such interesting and well thought out theories to explain the little things in their favorite stories that don’t line up correctly. Here’s to the logical minds on Tumblr and Reddit who came up with this one!