Categories > Books > Harry Potter

The Miseries of Myrtle

by TheBadgeringWitness 0 reviews

"Moaning" Myrtle Warren has a right to be miserable.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst,Drama - Published: 2018-02-26 - 2174 words - Complete

0Unrated
Myrtle hates everything.

Normally, people would see that line and expect a tag on, like “except this one person” or “besides this one thing” or “well, almost everything”. But it was Myrtle. Moaning, Moping, Miserable Myrtle Warren, dead since 1943, chained to a toilet in Hogwarts since she appeared at a wedding twenty years later and caused so much of a fuss that the Ministry of Magic had to step in and do something about it. She hates absolutely every thing and every one.

Not like anyone could do much to her, really. After the wedding incident, the Spirit Division had told her she was to return to her place of death, and she was not to roam elsewhere until it was destroyed. They knew she had died in Hogwarts. They must’ve known how much she hated it there. Why else would they tell her to stay there?

They threatened her, telling her vaguely that if she stepped out of bounds… Well, there’d be trouble in her future. Empty threat or not, Myrtle had no choice to comply. They followed her, drew something on the stall of her toilet, and left her to her lonesome.

She hated them. Hated Hogwarts. Hated the bathroom’s gleaming floor and stone walls and the toilets with the old pull-chains. Hated that girls would still come in there, not knowing she was there with them, and talk like no one had ever died in there at all. They were alive, and pretty, and breathing, and God did she just want to smack the casual smiles and bright eyes right off their little faces.

She showed them, at least. She scared them out of their wits, just by floating through the stall and suddenly appearing in the mirror. Their screams and frantic running brought a glimmer of something other than misery inside her for a few minutes.

She’d already had to suffer four years of being alive in Hogwarts. Four years, four miserable years of being in Ravenclaw, of not being able to figure out half the riddles the eagle-knocker asked, of not fitting in with her peers, of not knowing how to make or keep friends, of being too plain, too far-sighted, too pimply, too flat-chested for anyone to look at with interest of any kind.

Peeves noticed her, though. He noticed her the way he did with everyone. She was mediocre at everything, practically invisible, and he singled her lonesome existence out on day one, and did what he always did with people - he made them upset. He didn’t care if he made someone cry or yell back. He had no preference that anyone could tell - he just wanted people annoyed and frustrated so they’d burst. He used whatever he could against them, be it pranks or high-running emotions or some carefully-picked-apart insecurity.

Myrtle had so many that it was easy pickings, and for four years she guessed that she was his favorite target, being so anxious over everything, so depressed at being ugly and mediocre and friendless, and of course being bullied already by Olive Hornby. Peeves made her cry at least once every fortnight. She hated him, but at least he wasn’t Olive. Olive made her cry once every couple of days.

After Myrtle had died, the tables had turned. For three years, Myrtle Warren’s ghost followed Olive Hornby around, reminding her at every opportunity that she was responsible for Myrtle’s death. In the beginning she scared Olive out of her wits, and then, when the shock wore off, she made the still-living-girl purely unsettled and anxious. Myrtle loved that. Scaring her had been fun, but making Olive cry from stress and guilt and the knowledge that Myrtle would never go away was the most satisfying thing she could ever do.

Myrtle had little else, after all - her parents couldn’t see or hear her, since they were muggles, and they cried and grieved for their daughter while she stood before them, trying to get their attention for a long, long time during the summer months. Myrtle found no solace in staying at her parent’s house. It was too depressing, not being able to talk to them while they tried to go through their grief together and pick up the pieces. Her distant relatives - the ones that were alive and not drafted into the war - helped them, but they didn’t care for Myrtle in the same way, so to Myrtle’s ears their soothing words only came off as “there, there, get over it”. By the start of August, 1943, Myrtle had tearfully decided to never again go inside her parent’s home. She told herself not to care if her parents decided to have another child or get divorced or move elsewhere or just sit around and stare at her picture on the mantel for the rest of their lives. Since she never went near her childhood home ever again, it was easier to forget them.

Peeves was not the first person to see her return to Hogwarts after that, but he was the first to throw an insult at her. He latched onto an insecurity she didn’t even know she had and threw it back at her: Your hair is still so greasy it doesn’t even float! Ha ha haa ha haa!

She saw less of him, though, when she had taken to haunting Olive. He popped up occasionally, just to remind her of how dead she was and rubbing salt in her wound by telling her that for all she could haunt Olive, it wouldn’t change the fact that Olive was alive. Olive could touch and smell and taste, where Myrtle couldn’t even try. Olive could make friends, despite all the nasty things in her life, and they’d usually stick around. Olive could even go on dates and make-out with boys until Myrtle interrupted.

Myrtle would never get the chance to try anything like dating. Simple reminders from Peeves made her brain twist and remind her how alone and dead she really was. Even after she left Hogwarts to follow Olive across the country (and even to a few different parts of the globe), those reminders stuck to her like glue.

She already hated herself, but now she hated so much more.

Myrtle not only hated Olive, but she hated Olive’s friends and family, and hated everyone she chanced an encounter with. They were all living, and she was dead and buried somewhere, and she was forced to watch them all flounce about.

Myrtle hated other ghosts, too. Even the kindest and most patient ghosts she had met over the years tried to tell her to calm down and move on and maybe go back to see her family sometime. They all said in different ways, to the point where any sympathy and similar stories of woe they offered blended together to form the same message of “go home already”, and Myrtle found no comfort in any of their words. They were ghosts, too, after all. Words of comfort felt useless coming from things that couldn’t even breathe. Even her old houses’ ghost, Helena Ravenclaw, offered nothing but empty clinical words and vague promises that things would get easier over time, so Myrtle hated her as much as the rest.

She rarely met ghosts around her age, when she thought about it. When she did see them, they seemed content to spend their time with what little family or friends they had left, or else exploring the world and meeting new people or some such nonsense. None of them understood what it was like, being really alone.

She hated them all for the same reason she hated Peeves, and hated Olive, and hated her family. They kept reminding her she was not only alone, not only nothing but a spotty, lanky, ugly teenage girl, but dead.

When Myrtle was shoved back into her toilet stall, she hated everyone and everything even more . People realized she couldn’t do anything physically, after a while. They went into the bathroom when they needed to go, and while some tried to talk to her out of pity, they left awkward silences and funny glances behind, and others insulted her just as much as Olive or Peeves had done before them.

If you’re a ghost, why do you still have pimples?

What was it like to die?

Can’t even touch us, yet tells us to leave her alone! It’s not like you can make us leave, pet.

Er, are you ok?

Yeah, yeah, boo hoo to you too, you moaner.

Don’t you understand privacy?! I’m trying to pee, here, you weirdo!

Yes, Myrtle couldn’t do much to get people to leave, but she could wail. She could cry and moan and sob, and people would get very uncomfortable, and if people said something particularly horrible about her or her death, she’d throw enough of a tantrum to blow taps off of spouts and cause the old pipes to back up. She didn’t know how, but her wailing and teary shouts were enough to make the water around her rush forth and spill everywhere, and so the second-floor bathroom was flooded so often the out-of-order sign on it was almost permanent. The caretakers and house elves stopped bothering to clean up anything other than the water, and stopped coming in and bothering her, and before long the bathroom was as gloomy, as broken, and as empty as Myrtle felt.

Myrtle tended to hate attempts at sympathy. She didn’t like people talking down to her, either, like she was a lame dog. She didn’t like their lies, they’re ‘oh-I-understand’’s, they’re deliberate jabs at her lack of life, both big and small. People were so insensitive to her, it got to the point where the slightest sign of rudeness got her tearing up. There was only two times she had ever not-really-hated the people coming in her bathroom and attempting something like sympathy, and both times it was cute boys.

One was Harry Potter, who came to brew a potion and made small-talk in the meantime, and seemed genuinely interested in solving the mystery of how she had died, rather than making it casual banter like the rest, and didn’t bother covering up things with attempts at flattery. He never visited after that, and it hurt, so after he’d fairly abandoned her after his fourth year, Myrtle came to hate him a little, even if she had wanted to see him again.

The other boy was Draco Malfoy, who was so genuinely upset at himself and his own fate that he became like a comrade in Myrtle’s eyes. She actually found herself soothing him , and it was a strange thing, being on the other side and telling complete lies of how everything would be alright. When his sixth year was up, Myrtle never saw him again, but heard of him here and there in the halls, and Myrtle felt betrayed enough to hate him a bit more than she did Harry.

At least the rest of it all was consistent, she supposed, swirling her ghostly form around a u-bend. People would pop in occasionally, when they were in desperate need for the lavatory, and a ghost or Peeves would drop by if she hadn’t left for a while to remind her of her pitiful non-existence in one way or another… Yes, it was very consistent, with only the occasional hiccup of handsome boys stumbling in or fights of some kind going on.

Yes, years would come and go, teachers and students changed as always, ghosts arrived and departed only to leave no impact on her at all, and the most consistent person in her life, the one person who talked to her enough so that she knew she was still a ghost and not slowly becoming part of the wall, was Peeves. He never seemed to shut up, never seemed to leave, never seemed to feel anything but malicious joy in watching her cry - he so often upset her to the point where she became suicidal that he cackled merrily when she would talk about killing herself somehow. He hated her as much as she hated him, and he was the one person who stuck around her. She’d be stuck in the toilet until the end of days with a pest who taunted her until she made pipes burst with her non-existent tears. It was the only thing she had to look forward to, until the end of time or magic itself, or maybe just until the end of Hogwarts.

And that realization was so incredibly depressing that Myrtle didn’t bother holding back her choking sob, and she let the non-existent tears that seemed to constantly prick her eyes fall from her face and into the nothingness she occupied.
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