One crazy "Harry Potter" theory has been floating around the Internet like someone used Wingardium Leviosa, but the most maddening thing about it is that it makes a lot of sense.
In the books, it's a bit confusing why the Dursleys are so horrible to Harry. He's just a regular kid who lives in a cupboard under their stairs and helped defeat Volde--er--He Who Must Not Be Named. And they were his family after all. Was there a reason for their cruelty?
The Theory: The Dursleys act horrible because they're living with a Horcrux.
In the theory, which has popped up on Reddit, the reason for the Dursley's abhorrent behavior is because they've been living with Harry. As redditor jodatoufin explains:
Horcruxes kind of turn people crazy like the ring in LOTR. Since Harry was kind of a Horcrux that could explain why the Dursley's were so cruel to [him].
Fans of the series know a Horcrux is an object in which a dark wizard or witch has hidden a fragment of his or her soul. Harry Potter becomes a horcrux receptacle for Voldemort on the night his parents were murdered. Could this explain his extended family's unpleasant behavior?
It's common knowledge that Horcruxes are bad news. From Marvolo Gaunt's ring to Tom Riddle's diary, they just bring evil and misfortune wherever they are. This is evident in Deathly Hallows when Harry, Ron and Hermione realize Slytherin's Locket had oppressing effects on them. The group decides to take shifts with it, but that still doesn't stop Ron from becoming so angry he ends up leaving.
Also, the Dursleys took Harry in. He was an orphaned boy left on their doorstep, and as Dorkly points out, this is a serious act of kindness. That doesn't sound like the Dursleys everyone has come to loathe over the years.
Plus, as J.K. Rowling has pointed out, there are times in the books, such as in Order of the Phoenix, when Voldemort's soul causes Harry to go into a dark place. Even Dumbledore seems to go out of his way to avoid Potter at points. Is this partly because he doesn't want to be affected by the Horcrux within the Boy Who Lived?
The Case Against
Despite the support, there's also a strong case that the Dursleys were just lousy people. Firstly, Harry wasn't a true Horcrux.
In an interview with PotterCast, Rowling explained that, unlike the other Horcruxes, Voldemort never intended for part of his soul to become trapped in Harry, which has big implications:
Harry did not become an evil object. He didn't have curses upon him that the other Horcruxes had. He himself was not contaminated by carrying this bit of parasitic soul.
Additionally, the books explain pretty quickly that the Dursleys had a strained relationship with the Potters. Mrs. Dursley even "pretended she didn't have a sister." After all, the Potters were very "unDursleyish."
As one Redditor puts it, if Harry was causing the Dursleys to act the way they did, wouldn't their condition have improved over summer?
Then again, the Dursleys had spent years with Harry, and maybe time away from Hogwarts is the reason Ron and Hermione didn't become unpleasant.
Though, Ron had his moments ...
What do you think, Muggles?