If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this may sound odd to you. And you might disagree with me. But unlike other fans, I don’t think Harry was exactly the safest with his blood relatives, especially due to how horribly they treated him.
Yes, he had to live there because of the protection that would keep him safe from Voldemort and his followers because of his mom’s sacrifice. However, the Dursleys did endanger Harry, too. Not as much as Voldemort or any death eaters, but their abuse did go too far at times.
Aunt Petunia hit him with a frying pan. While many people say that Harry never went through physical abuse with his relatives, this was one exception. I don’t know if the pan was hot, though, but hitting someone like that isn’t too safe, even if the object doesn’t burn him or her.
Uncle Vernon also tried to choke Harry one time, but some sort of magic stopped that, I think, according to an article on Screenrant. That sure is dangerous and could maybe lead to legal consequences, at least today. I don’t know about the 80’s or 90’s.
And let’s not forget that Harry was forced to live in a small cupboard under the staircase until right before his 11th birthday. After the incident at the zoo, Harry is locked up their for a long, long time. And spiders live there, too. That sure is not safe for anyone, and can negatively impact their brain health and even physical health. If someone does that today, he or she would be arrested and his or her children would be taken away by social services.
The Dursleys also locked Harry in his second room and only let him out to use the bathroom a couple of times a day.
So, while Harry is safe from Voldemort while living with the Dursleys and is kept alive, I think he is just barely safer there. If his relatives were forced to treat him better, then he would be much safer there and more likely to call that place home.
Yes, there wasn’t much any wizard or witch could do to pressure the Dursleys into treating Harry better. But, perhaps, there is one thing they could’ve done that apparently wasn’t thought of by many. They could take away everything the Dursleys owned, except their basic needs for survival, and not let them have those items back unless they treat Harry better. And they could only keep the items if they treated him well.
Imagine how devastated Dudley would have been if he didn’t have access to his toys. Or if the family couldn’t watch TV. Or if they went to buy new stuff, but even those got confiscated by the magical authorities.
Some people say that Harry’s cruel treatment from the Dursleys would help him become stronger later on. But their level of cruelty wasn’t the safest in my opinion.
I get that if Harry lived with someone else before his 17th birthday, even if they welcomed him with loving arms, the protection from Voldemort wouldn’t be there. Therefore, he could access Harry and kill him.
So, I believe Harry wasn’t really that safe anywhere.