Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine, nor are any of Rowling's wonderful creations.

A/N: I wrote this in response to all of the abused-Harry fics. Rowling had better address how the Dursley family treats Harry at some point...because they get away with entirely too much. I think if he ever told them that his uncle had him around the throat that something would be done. Or maybe that's nothing big to Rowling so it doesn't matter...ergh. So here it is. My little dark version...

Oh, by the way, Sirius is alive in this. Fifth year didn't happen like Rowling has it. It just went along like whatever.

Title: Eyes on the Target

Nobody else seemed to notice the pattern. I think perhaps they just couldn't imagine what the signs could mean. It was glaringly obvious to me, really, but perhaps it was because I was on the outside, an observer from the fringes.

He came that first year a scrawny, pale, thin eleven year old boy. Nobody wondered why he was underweight, though I admit that those robes hide a lot. Not a word was mentioned about his faded and worn clothes, nor the battered state of his glasses. He was very quiet and polite, I remember, but most people seemed to think it was just because he was 'well mannered.' But well mannered people aren't that meek. They don't tremble at the slightest raised voice, nor back away inconspicuously from imposing figures. Of course, he was a bit of an anomaly to the typical pattern. He shook and feared, but he refused to back away. He refused to hide. He faced down Snape and Voldemort that year, though I saw the shaking every time he escaped an argument with Snape alive.

Of course, no one asked him why he never cried or complained. I know he was in agony after he woke up from a three-day coma. I visited him one night, while he was asleep, and watched his limbs shake with pains and weariness. His eyes betrayed him to me, most of all, the pain in them like a neon sign.

But no one wondered. And then he went home for the summer, and everyone quit thinking about him. I figured the circumstances Ron found him in at the end of the summer would have clued them in to what I had already begun to suspect, but I was wrong. They assumed the starvation and neglect was an isolated incident, that the fact that Harry still didn't cry when his arm was shattered, nor when a huge basilisk almost killed him, was all because he was a Gryffindor. By that time, I was in awe of his ability to rise above his circumstances, to fight back when he'd been trained not to, and I thought, wrongly, that he could handle it.

Third year seemed to prove it as well. I learned that he ran away from his relatives, and I saw the fury for them in his eyes. He hated and also feared them, but he seemed to be able to escape them still. I saw him in Diagon Alley one of the days—I doubt he's ever mentioned to anyone the black eye he had for days.

I didn't see much of what happened to him that year—but I never heard him cry once, no matter what was going on. At the Quidditch match, I saw his attempts at a Patronus, and was amazed that he was even able to get a little silver mist to appear. Lupin had been working with him for months by that point, but I doubted very much that Harry had enough happy memories to truly create a corporeal patronus.

When Harry came back from the summer after third year, he seemed to be all right. A little thinner than when he'd left, but it seemed he'd been at the Weasley's for some time—which made me wonder just how thin he'd been before they'd collected him.

Fourth year felt a lot like first to me. Harry never cried, yet never backed down from anything. He took the alienation of the school and one of his best friends without protest, proving to me that he relied on himself and no one else to carry him through. When he faced the dragon, he kept his cool and didn't even weaken when his shoulder was slashed open. He showed how worried he was about other's well being in the second challenge—others thought it was his nobleness, but I knew it was his fear of doing something wrong. He didn't want to leave them in peril as he had been left so many times.

The telling point was the third task and Harry's return with the body of Cedric Diggory in his arms. He was bloodied and shaking from painful curses, but he didn't make a sound. He just got up and kept moving. I've never been that proud of a person in my life.

Fifth year is when my alarm grew. Harry came back to school with bruises. He said something about a fight, but the slight ring pattern set off warning bells in my mind. No one else noticed, and Harry continued on with his life. This was the first year that I remember him being thinner at the end of the school year than at the beginning. In the last month, he started losing weight rapidly, his skin pale and tight. I knew he wanted to say something, to admit something, but he didn't. And I let him go, let him head back.

And then when the next year started, there was no Harry. A somber Dumbledore announced that Harry had passed away over the summer, inexplicably taking Voldemort with him. The news had been kept quiet—Fudge had yet to admit that Voldemort had ever really risen again—and it seemed Dumbledore didn't want the news of exactly how and why Harry had died to get out.

Ron and Hermione were weepy and regretful, remembering all the times they'd spent with Harry. Everyone else was stunned and unsure. I was suspicious.

After the feast, I forced myself to actually prove I was meant to be a Gryffindor and went to Dumbledore's office. I took a chance and told him that I knew Harry had been killed by his family.

Dumbledore admitted it was true. He said he didn't see it coming, would have done anything to prevent it, and I believed him. Harry hid it well, but in retrospect all admitted it was pretty obvious. Of course Harry was abused. He was scrawny and pale, never talked unless someone else spoke first, and never cried. That made me wonder just when he'd last cried, but it no longer mattered.

Everyone had their eyes on the goal, the defeat of Voldemort. No one wanted to see that perhaps their golden hero could be hurting.

Dumbledore told me the details—Sirius had gone to check on Harry the day after his birthday and had found the boy dead. Just lying cold and stiff in his bed on his back, green eyes wide open like he was staring at the ceiling. But the bruises around his neck told what had happened. Vernon Durlsey, Harry's Uncle, had strangled him, finished the job he'd tried to do the summer before. Harry's fingertips were bloodied and bruised from fighting back, and his murderer was on the floor of the room. Dumbledore told me that Harry's defensive magic kicked in too late to save him, but killed the man that murdered him.

Sirius was broken, it seemed. He'd come to Dumbledore clutching the body and weeping wildly, and then only Lupin seemed able to keep him from killing himself. Dumbledore told me that it seemed that Harry's connection with Voldemort had been deeper than they thought—Snape was the only one that knew just when Harry died, because he was with Voldemort at the time, and at exactly midnight on the 31st of July, Voldemort laughed cruelly once more at some muggle he was torturing before suddenly stopping, his face going blank as he fell over. It had been a rather under-dramatic end for the monster—he'd just fallen quietly and never gotten back up.

Harry had died the same way, falling back to his pillow, eyes wide but dry and his uncle dead on the ground. He'd fallen back and never moved again. Sirius had arranged for his quiet burial next to his dead parents, and there was no stone for him, since they knew it would just attract tourists and gawkers.

And so the year went on without Harry. I joined the remnants of the Golden Trio, laughed and cried with them like a normal teen and all the while wondered what Harry had thought as he died, clawing madly to be free of his Uncle's hands, desperately struggling to hang on to his life. Ron and Hermione moved on, became a couple, married just after they graduated. I watched, finally married a nice girl and had a family. Nobody seemed to remember any more, the boy that had died and had in doing so saved them.

I named my second child James—there were too many children named Harry, it seemed to me—and hoped that that tribute was enough to soothe my soul. Because I had known, before anyone else, I had known and I had let it go. I had let Harry go back year after year, though I knew why he didn't want to. No one blamed me, not even when Sirius finally managed what he'd long ago meant to do and killed himself, using his own wand to reflect the killing curse onto himself. He was the only one that had refused to forget, at least on the outside, and then he was gone.

Harry was forgotten, left as an aside note in a few history books and nothing more. A sixteen year old boy, dead, and nobody cared.

A/N: While reading this again, I got a sudden urge to write a little short story about Neville...going after Harry. No, not for that! To kill him! You know, like take his place or something! The Boy-Who-Lived could have been Neville, you know. What if he wanted that chance? Hmm...the possibilities... Oh, Please Review! I love it sooo much when people do!!! And read my other stuff! Some of it's pretty good too, I think! --Miss Laine