The Sugar Quill
Author: Newbia The Elf  Story: Slightly Over-Reactive People.  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Olive Hornby sat chattering animatedly with her friends about the latest boy they'd snogged, or the test they'd aced, or the horrifying experience of messing up their hair. I tried to tune them out, listening to Proffesor Binns instead. History of Magic was fascinating, normally, but ever since Binns had died in my second year he seemed to have lost the spark for teaching. Nasty spell accident, we told him a live performance as an example of the violence of the Goblin Riot of 1848 (or 1884, I forget) wasn't a good idea, and he took poor Kilburn Peeves with him, who went and rampaged the school when he became a poltergeist. People didn't like to talk about it though, and already some of the first years were claiming that he had simply gotten up to teach one day and left his body behind him in an armchair in front of the staff room fire.

Still, it was better then how Olive was prattling on. She and her friends always talked in class, because Binns was too busy teaching to stop them. Of course, it was only recently they became so bold, before they had simply slept. But, Olive was always bold, and every one had to do what she did.

I felt my eyes droop and tried to stay awake as I scribbled over my parchment. My notes were all jumbled up, I knew, and I'd fail the test if there was one. I hoped Olive would peek at my answers instead of trying to bribe the teacher's aide, Minerva McGonagall, to tell her (though it never worked), so that she'd get it all wrong. But, of course I would get detention for cheating because Olive would probably say that I was copying from her, not vice-versa. I once got ten points off of Hufflepuff just for letting Minerva help me with a potion in Professor Rigor’s class, and Olive had done nothing but gain points her whole life. Olive had been practicing her "innocent face" for years, I knew. Almost enough to fool me. But not quite.

Well, realizing I would only fail if I looked at these notes, I decided to look at Aaron McKinnon instead. Aaron was, without a doubt, the most handesome boy in 5th year. To me, at least, I didn't care for McGregor or Donaldson or even Riddle. Well, maybe Riddle. He looked sort of like Aaron, who had these totally amazing green eyes and that messy black hair, except that Riddle's eyes were this dark, dark black, almost red. Anyway, he had that ugly flat nose, like a snake, but nobody else but me noticed. Everybody else swooned when he walked by and acted like total prats. I would call it disgusting except that I did the same when Aaron was around. Not that I would have a chance to get Riddle anyway-he was a Prefect and on his way to becoming the Head Boy and had the best grades in the school, and would no doubt grow up to be the Minister of Magic or a person who invented the cure for something, loved by one and all and much too famous to care about me.

Without warning, Binns snapped his book shut (it had been enchanted to allow ghosts to hold it) and told us our homework. I didn't hear what he said, because I had almost fallen out of my chair with the sudden interruption and my glasses had fallen off. I crawled around the floor looking for them like a total prat, until I noticed a large blur that could only be Olive Hornby. Something bonked me on my head, my glasses. I put them back on and everything went into focus.

Olive was smirking smugly at me, playing with her long, auburn hair. Every guy in class loved to gape at that hair, even the Gryffindors, and she's a Slytherin. She was staring at me with those cold, dark grey eyes. She was totally magnificent, and I hated her for it. Jealous, really. Because the scariest thing was, somebody once told us we looked like sisters, and we DO. I have hair a similar color to hers, but it is dirty and always in pigtails (due it a very stupid promise made to my mother in exchange for not getting in trouble for bad grades) so that it looks more like a darkish black. The grey eyes are exactly the same too, but you can't see mine because they are hidden behind these ridiculous glasses. I cried the day I heard some girl talking about these things called "contacts" in the bathroom, knowing if I had stayed alive long enough to wear them everybody would be staring at MY eyes and going, "Myrtle! Your eyes look absolutely fabby darling!" Hopefully that person would be Aaron. I don't know what "fabby" means, I just heard people saying it while washing their hands, but I can imagine Aaron saying that. But anyway, it really made me miserable, knowing that I am so close to being beautiful like her, yet I knew I would never, ever be. Olive was a constant reminder of that.

"Oh Myrtle..." she drawled, "lost those ugly glasses?"

"They're not ugly..." I whimpered. Olive snorted, and her cohorts giggled along with her.

"Goodness Myrtle, if you were to take a test on your appearance you would get an even LOWER grade then you normally do!"

"Ummmm..." I, the ever witty Myrtle, mumbled. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Aaron was staring at me.

"Oh, she agrees with me!" giggled Olive, "For once the Mudblood got something right!"

"SHUT UP...please." I looked nervously at Professor Binns to see if he didn't like my language. He was going on about some silly war we had to look up for homework. I had already lost track of all those dumb Crusades, and they didn't even come up on the test for some reason!

"What? Couldn't hear you Myrtle! Maybe you need to get something for your ears as well. Make it hideous, to match your-"

I gave a high-pitched wail and ran, sobbing, out of the room, completely forgetting my bag.

"Oh, Moaning Myrtle is upset..."I hear someone giggle. It only made me cry harder and I ran to the bathroom, stopping for nobody. I barreled into the girls’ bathroom and immediately got into one of the stalls so that I could be miserable in peace. WHY did I have to make such a scene? Honestly, it was enough to make one cry.

Ever heard of the phrase, 'misery loves company?' Whoever said that was miserable because due to lonliness. Misery wants to be left ALONE. So when I heard someone hissing some strange words and coming into the bathroom, I stopped crying long enough to be angry. Why in the world would anyone be coming into the bathroom of all places at this time? To wash their hands?

"Olive! Leave me alone!" I cried, opening the bathroom stall. But instead of Olive, I saw that I was staring into a pair of large, yellow eyes.

And at that second, I died.

**... Doo doo doo dooooooo...**

It is very odd, dying, very odd indeed, though I didn't realize it immediately. For instance, your legs sort of disappear. You can see a brief outline of them, but they seem to have melted into your robes. I was feeling sort of giddy, with all the floating, but I soon calmed down. I wondered what kind of spell those horrid Slytherins had tested on me this time. Jelly-legs, I supposed calmly. Oh well, at least I wasn't in pain or dead or something. My life may have been miserable, teased for being a muggle-born and in constant fear of my life about people taking a leaf out of Hitler's book when it came to dealing with Mudbloods, but I would hate to die. Not without even graduating from Hogwarts or having had Aaron notice me, at least.

Oh yes, and did I mention I could walk through walls?

It was simple, really. I supposed that Olive's cronies, perhaps that Bulstrode girl, had cursed me, and in huff and a whole lot of tears (which I didn't notice until later were pearly white and a rather odd texture that was not quite wet, but more of a dim dew feeling) I angrily pushed the stall open, or tried to. I couldn't grip it, and went head over heels on the floor.

That's when I saw my body crumpled on the floor and realized that I was dead.

I screamed bloody murder and repeatedly smashed into the wall, hoping to feel some pain instead of just going through, because ghosts and dead people don't feel pain. But, no pain, and finally calmed down and said, "Wait. Dippet will find me. It's only a matter of time..."

I waited for hours, justing sit inside the toilet. Yes, that’s right, INSIDE. I had fallen through and found out I didn't have to breathe in water, and it really was the most awesome thing I had ever done, until I remembered WHY I couldn't breathe, and then I started crying so hard that the toilet got clogged. And I just waited, and waited...

God, it was so BORING. I could switch from boredom to depression, sometimes both, quite easily. I did a few laps in my toilet (for once, I was glad I was so small, or I would have been extremely cramped) and tested out my ghost powers, which weren't much. I tried opening the door, and it took several minutes. In order for a ghost to grip anything, she has to touch it very gingerly, just barely touching it at all, and move it without your hand going through. If you become confident and go too fast, you go head over heels out the door and have to start all over again, and you feel very stupid for not just gliding THROUGH the door, which is exactly like going through thick water. It took me an hour, but I finally managed it every time I tried. Then I did a few flips, got dizzy and started crying, really more from habit then anything. Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Dum dee dum dee...I started to sing to myself, song after song. When I had sung all I could remember and was forced to sing Happy Birthday to You, I tried to conjure good memories., there's one! I think. Ok, 6th year is it? This year. October...Christmas? Wait a second, Christmas is in January (later, I realized the ghost brain had gotten me a bit disoriented at first and started crying), so Halloween then. I'm with people, possibly my friends. How many friends did I have anyway? Ok, don't think like that Myrtle. Happy thoughts...Halloween...

~Myrtle's Memory~

"So then he said, 'That's not a Muggle, that's the headmaster!'" finished Sharon Blatt. All the people around her, including me, laughed. Sharon was just about the most popular, charismatic girl in all of Hufflepuff. I envied her, but didn't hate her like I hated Olive, because she was also really nice. Plus, she was three years younger then I was, in 3rd year. Envying a third year is just pathetic. Nicole Sinclair, her best friend, looked at me curiously, through her laughter.

"Sherikin, you are a great comedian. You even made Myrtle crack a smile. No offense of course Myrtle!"

I glared at Nicole. Of COURSE I was offended. I dug into my book again, which I had been reading rather boredly until Sharon and all her friends came in, happened to sit on the same sofa as I was sitting on in the common room, and started cracking jokes.

"I smile," I mumbled sullenly.

"Yes, this must be the...third time!" quipped Paula Woo good-naturedly. They may have THOUGHT it was all in good fun, but I wasn't called Moaning Myrtle for nothing.

"Fourth, if you count the time that she had to 'open wide' when we were learning about dentistry in Muggle Studies and she ended up numbing her face for an hour!" giggled Nicole. I wished she hadn't reminded me. I had only taken that class because I was Muggle-born and therefore guaranteed a passing grade.

"Oh, come on Nika, don't tease her," scolded Sharon, but you could totally tell she thought it was hilarious. "I remember you had a cavity!"

Nicole shuddered. "I got off easy. Did you hear? Jennifer Midgen was an INCH away from having braces..."

OK, not a good memory. Back to singing...if only I had something to read. Or I could pick up a book at all.

~End of Myrtle's Memory~

Finally, I heard the door open. I was so happy that someone was going to find me; I wanted to rush out and demand they take me to my mummy, but then all my hopes came crashing down. It was Olive Hornby.

"Are you in there, sulking, Myrtle?" she asked, “Because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-" and she opened the stall door. Honestly, had she even considered privacy? And suddenly I got so mad, realizing I wouldn't have been in the bathroom if she hadn't teased me, so it was because of her I was dead. At first she was sort of smirking that I looked so mad, and then she looked down and saw my body.

Olive screaming was the best sound in my life and afterlife. She started running away and I called after her, "Murderer! Stinking bloody murderer!" and a few choice words. Olive went rigid, staring at me.

"I murdered YOU?" she snarled amid her shivers.

"If YOU hadn't made fun of my glasses, I wouldn't have been in the bathroom-"

"Oh yeah likes it's my fault you did whatever it did to annoy something into killing you-" HONESTLY! Olive held nothing sacred, not even the dead.

"Murderer! Murderer!"

"What's this then? I heard screaming-" said a voice from the doorway. Professor Sinistra, I remembered. The new teacher, she was pretty young-only graduated recently herself-and this was her first year teaching.

"Olive killed me!" I screeched, and Sinistra fainted dead away on the floor.

So, anyway, they found me, took away my body, and a whole mess of things. Later on, I found out that Rubeus Hagrid had set a monster loose in the school, and that what was must have killed me-I just didn't remember it because dying can do things to your memory. Of course, spiders have eight eyes, not just two big yellow ones, but I decided that was just my dead memory again and decided to keep my mouth shut. After all, it wouldn't hurt anybody, or get them expelled, or any other nasty thing, would it?

****52 years later...****

What in the world was Harry doing here? It was the middle of the night, and he wasn't a prefect! I saw, for a moment, the egg, but then closed my eyes. I wasn't a total pervert. Well, there was the Diggory fellow the other day...'Stop thinking,' I ordered myself, 'you're very bad at it.'

I squirmed uncomfortably in the taps, and couldn't help looking at Harry as he tried out some of the shampoos out. Thank goodness, he wasn't undressed yet. I could still look for a little...I frowned; trying to remember the last time he had visited me. Two years ago, was it? Why hadn't he visited since then? I should be grateful, I told myself sternly, he used to come all the time, and willingly, I knew. Such a sweet boy, he was almost exactly like Aaron. That redheaded kid though-I didn't know whom he looked like. And that smart one, her name was Hermione, just like Minerva. I giggled a little, thinking of the day she had been turned into a cat (although that might have been a failed Animagus attempt from spending too much time talking to Minerva). That was good day; it would teach her to stay away from Harry. Of course, I felt a little guilty now, since it was obvious after a while they were just friends. She probably liked the other kid with the red hair (wasn't his name Ron?), because you have to be close to have someone belch slugs for you. Nobody would do that for ME...

I sighed a little. So much for the Cat Incident did, Harry liked Cho Chang. I knew, because after Cedric had figured out the clue, he'd relaxed and started talking to himself, worrying about how POOR, DEAR Cho had been so distressed that she had turned Harry down at the ball. I'm so glad that I've secretly been stealing people's Daily Prophet every time they bring it here, which is always, or I wouldn't even know about the ball. Or even about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. That's why I wanted to come here again. Not to look at boys.

Oh my goodness, he was getting in! I closed my eyes. A few minutes later, I cautiously opened them. There was foam everywhere, too much to see him through. The tap was getting so uncomfortable, and I couldn't see anything, so getting out wouldn't be bad, right?

I sat on one of the taps, making myself almost invisible. It was a finely honed trick I had learned from the Fat Friar, the only person who was really nice to me most of the time, even when I was alive. Such a dear, but he barely ever visited any more for some reason.

Harry opened the egg, and I shielded my ears. ERG. He closed it, thank god, but really, this was pathetic. Without thinking (it had taken Diggory one second, as though somebody had already told him) I snapped, “I’d try putting it IN the water, if I were you." I really wanted to die again when I blew my cover, but I forced myself to look calm, like this happened every day. Well, I didn't really want him to think of me as THAT but-

"Myrtle! I'm not wearing anything!" Oooh, brilliant deduction Sherlock. Now, I wasn't embarrassed anymore, just annoyed.

"I closed my eyes when you got in." Well, it was the truth. "You haven't seen me for AGES." That too.

"Yeah, well," fumbled Harry, making up an excuse that it was girls’ bathroom. As if it stopped him before, or Ron. Then dear Harry said how he had gotten caught, and my heart broke. Poor Harry, getting caught for me! So I said, "I see,"and told him what to do. It was obvious, of course. Well, not really, but if Cedric had gotten it so fast, as I told him.

"Have you been spying on him too?" What? I would never SPY...exactly... "What d'you do, sneak up here in the evenings to watch prefects take baths?"

"Sometimes, but I've never spoke to anyone before," I said slyly. Just to keep him on his toes.

"I'm honored. Keep your eyes shut!"

Well, of course I would, I am NOT a pervert after all! So I peeked a couple of times with some other guys, so what? Really, you couldn't blame me. When you live in a girl’s bathroom, you rarely see anyone of the male gender, clothed or not. Then I opened them, and Harry had the egg again. I told him what to do, enjoying it a lot. Most of the time people told ME what to do, I was glad it was the other way around.

I faintly heard some music from under there. I couldn't understand it because it was under water, but what a lovely tune it seemed like! Harry came up again. He murmured a piece of the lyrics about voices and seeking (Quidditch?), and then dove back down a few times. I watched him carefully-no, not like that!

Harry talked to me about the song, and I had to tell him practically EVERYTHING. He is smart though, it didn't take Cedric such a short time, and with that stupid MERMAID picture too. She reminded me way too much of Olive Hornby.

Then he changed all of it. "Myrtle, how am I supposed to BREATHE?" gaped Harry in horror. Tactless! Doesn't he hold the dead sacred or SOMETHING?


"What's tactless?"

Well, wasn't it obvious? He told me he 'forgot'. Oh yes, so easy to remember the ghost next to you is dead. I told him off, and then started talking about how I had tortured Olive. Oooh, yes, that made me happy. I made her life a living hell, I did. Everyone in the whole school thought she was a murderer, and I did nothing to stop that fact. The fact that she had a ghost who frequently burst into tears always haunting her also helped. She was the most unpopular girl in school until she graduated. I started making up stories about how I tortured her, how I had ruined her brother's wedding-the fact she didn't have a brother didn't bother me-and how the Ministry had to get me off her. Good times, if they had been real.

"Shut your eyes again, will you? I'm getting out," I heard Harry say. I obeyed, hoping if I was nice he'd come back again, and asked him to come visit me, and he said he would try! I was so happy, I'm sure my voice showed it too and he noticed how happy I was. Was I pretty when I was happy? I wondered. I realized, no, you look horrible of course, and suddenly became very sad. I'm often moody like that. So I glided off to my toilet again to cry...

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