Miserably Myrtle

Susie Bones

April 2003

Death.

It's really such a depressing subject and of course no one really like to talk about it.

But I, not surprisingly, being a miserable person, really quite enjoy it. I've been dead for over fifty years and though people can't just leave me alone! and let me wallow in my misery with tranquility, it's actually sort of interesting.

I'd have preferred to live; even if I got to stalk Olive Hornby for some twenty years, eventually that got old. Olive is not exactly the most loved girl in Britain. She would tease me to no end and I would sit in this bathroom and cry for hours. I was miserable Myrtle, ugly, moping, fat, moaning Myrtle, to myself and the rest of Hogwarts.

Of course, when you're given the name Myrtle Klonk, you're sort of doomed right from birth.

I had no siblings. I was really an accident. My parents never had an intention of having children. They were the owners of some of the chief Muggle businesses around the world.

I had no friends. Just hearing my name during role call was enough to indicate to the other kids I was different. That's reason enough to not to befriend someone.

I had no one. Not even someone to nod at in the hall. That would require someone to actually make eye contact with me.

So I dithered in my mope-ish misery, having been well informed that names are destiny and that mine had really fucked me over. For example, (and going from a recent encounter with the girl) the name Hermione Granger. Hermione's a pretty name; not very common at all. And she's very pretty; an agreeable sort of person, unique in her brilliance. Plus, she landed a fantastic guy like Harry Potter … but following Hermione is Granger. The girl's a brain and brains are generally not the most popular, as a rule. Point made.

Hence, with the name of Myrtle Klonk, parents who couldn't have cared less, my siblings the companies my parents owned (and siblings who got far more attention than I could ever hope to have), I began my years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Things were just plain appalling from the moment the taxi dropped me off at King's Cross and they only kept getting worse. Any chance of friendship I might have had was quickly squashed to none at having to answer to my name at the Sorting Ceremony. And then, one day in my third year, I opened my stall door upon hearing that boy, saw those eyes … and died.

At first, I was elated by my death. I had a way of paying that nasty Oliver Hornby (talk about a horrible name) back for all the times she teased me about my glasses. She was sorry she'd teased me. For the first few years, at least. But the Ministry quickly forbade me of that and I returned to Hogwarts, where no one would simply let me brood in peace! They tormented me all during my life and now death was looking abysmally bleak.

And then Harry Potter happened. I first saw him at Nick's Deathday party. He was standing beside his best friends, looking weary and madly out of place. But Peeves decided it was Poke Fun at Myrtle time and bombarded me with old, moldy peanuts before I could say anything directly to him.

However, Harry began to pop up in my toilet all the time. Obviously, he was nearly always with Hermione or Ron or both, but he was every time noticeably polite. Oh, I suppose I was a little over sensitive (especially when it came to that Ron boy), but you cannot truly hold me in culpability for that.

Fairly soon, I found I had developed a mild crush on Mr. Potter. How is that for disturbing pairings? A thirteen-year-old ghost and a twelve-year-old boy! And not just any twelve-year-old boy, but the twelve-year-old Boy Who Lived, mind. I believe we would have been first in line for an interview with Witch Weekly.

So, even though I could not do anything about this recent occurrence in my feelings toward Harry Potter, I ignored it. Or tried to.

But there was one time he came to check on the Polyjuice Potion alone. I holed up in my stall until he ultimately turned to leave. Just as he touched the doorknob, I called his name.

"Hullo, Myrtle," he said. The Potion would have been ready in a couple more days, I knew.

I wanted to tell him. I wanted to declare I thought he was the sweetest, bravest boy I'd ever met.

"Be careful," was what I said instead. I think he understood on some level (he can be eerily astute sometimes, but when it comes to his emotions … the boy is infinitely sluggish), because he never again came to my toilet alone.

I was hurt, but not altogether unsurprised. I'm Myrtle Klonk remember. Moaning Myrtle.

Moaning, moping, absolutely and wholly depressing; Miserably Myrtle.