Myrtle's Halloween

Moaning Myrtle looks forward to spend her Halloween alone, but even if she is dead, she is not forgotten by the living. Friendfic. Characters belong to Rowling.

Myrtle floated in midair in her toilet. She often did, thinking of nothing in particular. Fifty years of being dead had taught her that the bother of thinking very seldom was worth while. Today, however, it was hard to keep the thoughts away. Today was the day of the dead. Today was Halloween.

She had as usual been invited to the Halloween party of the castle ghosts. Both the Fat Friar and the Gray Lady had asked her to come, but she had refused. She did not like to be among people, even other ghosts - not to mention Peeves the poltergeist - and when all was said and done it was simply not worth the bother. Therefore she spent her Halloween alone in the damp toilet where she had died so many years ago. Around was the silence of loneliness, interrupted occasionally by the sound of dripping water and the discrete crawling of a spider. However, now there was another sound as well, steadily increasing. The sound of voices.

"...I agree, yes. But all I'm saying is that she might not want us there. She has chosen to be alone, and she might want us to respect that."

"Why would she not want us to be there. Don't you want us to be with you?"

"Of course she does," a third voice cut in. "But what if we are disturbing her. What if..."

"Hush. We're here."

And the door opened. Myrtle watched surprised as three girls walked in to her toilet. First was Luna Lovegood of Ravenclaw. Dirty blond hair, wand behind her left ear and pumpkin earrings. After her went Hermione Granger of Gryffindor who Myrtle had met a number of times before. She seemed to have made an- admittedly unsuccessful- attempt to comb her bushy hair, and she had polished her prefects badge. Last was Ginny Weasley, looking slightly nervous- her last encounter with Myrtle having been under quite stressful conditions for both of them. Her red hair was kept in place by a silver hair buckle in the shape of a ghost. All girls wore dress robes and they carried an enormous basket. Luna smiled brightly.

"Hello Myrtle. Happy Halloween!"

"Have you come to taunt me?" the ghost asked, floating down to ground level. "Come to laugh at me? Come to make fun at me?" she jabbed at finger a Luna.

"Not at all," Hermione quickly answered.

"We have come to celebrate Halloween with you," Luna said. Myrtle stared at her.

"That is nice, is it? Celebrating Halloween here, in my room? Myrtle's toilet is all she got, but don't let that stop you. She is dead so her opinion doesn't count. Use it as a party room, why don't you? Fill it with filth, why not? Why not throw things at her when you are at it?" Sobbing, Myrtle dived into the nearest toilet from which her wailings echoed. Ginny shook her head.

"Well, that did not go too good. What now?" Luna opened the basket.

"Now we put up the decorations."

"Are you sure?" Hermione asked hesitantly. Luna gave her a curious glance.

"They aren't much good in the basket, are they?"

"Er... No, I suppose not..."

"That's right," Luna said matter of factly and gave Hermione a girland of paper bats, bewitched to flap their wings and squeak with tiny voices. Hermione hesitated a moment, looking as if she was going to protest, but then she took the girland and used her wand to wrap it around the pipes in the ceiling. Luna and Ginny kept unpacking the basket and soon the toilet was as decorated as any Halloween party room. When Myrtle after a while returned from her S-bend, the room was totally transformed. The pipes were covered by bath girlands. Every sink was occupied by a leering pumpkin. Silvery spiders crawled on the wall. On the floor was a large, orange blanket.

"You are really having a party here?" she asked suspiciously. Ginny nodded.

"With you," she said.

"But why?" Myrtle asked. "Why here? Why not with your friends in the Great Hall?"

Ginny and Hermione glanced at Luna, but she was head-first halfway down the basket. Hermione took a deep breath and looked Myrtle in the eyes.

"Because Halloween is your day, Myrtle. Your and all the others who are dead. And you have helped us. You have talked to us and comforted us and we think of you as a friend. That is why we would like to celebrate Halloween with you."

"But I have never asked you to," Myrtle cried, bewildered. "I don't need friends. I don't want friends. Friends taunt you and talk behind your back and hurt you. Leave me alone."

Tears were streaming down her face where she hung in mid air. Ginny and Hermione said nothing, uncomfortably staring down at the floor. But Luna gasped, suddenly white in the face. She dropped the spoon she had been holding and it fell to the floor with a tinkle. She stared at Myrtle, her eyes very big, and suddenly moisty.

"Don't you want to be our friend?" she said with a small voice, and such was the serenity in her plea that Myrtle actually felt some pity for the young girl.

"I didn't say that," she began, and Luna lit up.

"Then you DO want to be our friend," she cried, and with tears in her eyes but radiating of joy and relief, she ran forward to hug the confused ghost. Due to her momentum she ran straight through Myrtle and crashed into a sink, where she ended up in a laughing heap on the floor.

"What..." Myrtle tried, but Luna had managed to get to her feet and dragged Hermione and Ginny with her to the ghost.

"I want to hug you," she simply said and, walking right into the ghost, she put her arms around the waists of the other girls, who after a moment of confusion returned the hug.

In the middle of the hugging girls Myrtle floated, not knowing whether to cry or fly away or what to do. She could feel the warm, living bodies of the hugging girls inside her. Being a ghost she could feel some of their thoughts and feelings as well. Their friendship, their anxiousity, their happiness. Their joy of being together. Suddenly, Myrtle realized that she liked it. The dead girl floated in the middle of the hug of the living girls, and in a way she was sharing it.

After a long, long time Luna let go.

"Now I'll unpack the food," she said and returned to the basket, leaving the others to glance at each other in a slightly uncertain way.

"So?" Ginny asked, smiling a shy little smile. "Can we stay?" And to her surprise Myrtle realized that she actually wanted them to.

"Please do," she answered, suddenly shy herself. "I would very much like to spend my Halloween with... friends."

Hermione actually burst into tears.

"Sorry," she laughed. "I... It's just... Oh Myrtle, why did it take us this long?"

"Sit down and eat," Luna interrupted. They followed her to the blanket and sat down. Even Myrtle floated down to ground level. Luna had produced plates and bowls and jars and jugs of all different kinds and shapes imaginable. But they were all empty.

"You see," Hermione said to Myrtle, "since we can't eat the food you normally eat at ghost parties, and since you can't eat the food we normally eat, we thought we should bring something we all can enjoy."

"And what is that?" Myrtle asked nonplussed, eying the empty plates.

"Make-believe-food," Luna said, handing her a bowl. "Care for some chicken pie?"

They had a wonderful dinner, talking and laughing and giggling. Luna told them the most amazing stories from her travels and of the strangest of creatures. Hermione told about life as a muggle, and she and Myrtle marvelled over all that had changed since Myrtle had lived. Ginny told stories about her family, and they all laughed at some of Fred's and George's more memorable pranks. Myrtle, who by now had forgotten all about her not needing or wanting friends, told them about the secrets of the castle and the strange existence and past times of its ghosts. Then they talked about Harry Potter and they giggled. They ate and drank and the fact that there was not really any food did not bother them the least. Witches are good at make believe.

They had finished their pudding and were lying outstretched on the blanket, looking at the ceiling which Hermione had bewitched to look like a star-dotted night sky. Ginny rose her head and turned over to face their new friend.

"Myrtle..." she said. "Can I ask you something?"

"Whatever you want."

"Well... It is kind of personally, you see, and if you don't want to answer, that is just fine with me."

"What is it you want to know?" the ghost asked, a touch of uncertainty in her voice.

"When you were alive you knew Tom, didn't you? Tom Riddle? What was he like?" Ginny actually blushed slightly.

"Ooooh!" Myrtle said, clearly flattered by the question. Luna and Hermione looked up as well to hear the answer. "Tom was such an interesting boy, with his dark hair, his big eyes and that simply adorable little nose of his..."

"And his voice," Ginny cut in. "Gentle and calm, but still powerful..." They talked about Tom Riddle for a long time. And they giggled a lot.

At last they decided to break up. Make-believe food or not, the three living girls were hungry and wanted to go to the feast. Also Myrtle decided to leave her toilet and join the other ghosts at their party. They cleaned up and packed their decorations with a flick on their wands- yet another advantage with being a witch - and together they left. When they came to the stairs, however, Myrtle halted, hovering in mid air. The others halted as well.

"You're my friends now," Myrtle asked anxiously. "Aren't you? You won't just disappear and leave me alone again?"

"Yes we will," Luna said with no trace of anything but honesty in her voice. Myrtle stared at her, her eyes suddenly starting to get wet again.

"We'll take our exams and leave," Luna went on, "in just a few years. Then we'll travel somewhere else and do other things, and after just a hundred of years or so we'll die, and probably not become ghosts. We will disappear, Myrtle, because we will change."

"But," added Ginny, "there is nothing that prevents you from changing as well."

"And however we change, we will still be friends," said Hermione.

Myrtle could only stare at them for a long time, completely speechless. Then she started to cry. Big, howling tears. But they could all see that the tears she cried now was a different kind of tears than those she had cried for the last fifty years.

They entered the Great Hall where the feast was at its peak. They were greeted by their friends and could soon stuff themselves with real food. They saw Dumbledore dance by with professor Sinistra, followed by the clearly tipsy Trelawney who danced double folded with the tiny Flitwick. The evening was great. Ginny managed to lure Harry to the spot under the mistletoe. Hermione danced with Ron and they ended up in a corner shouting at each other about who had stepped on who's toes. Luna put a flying charm on herself and spent much of the evening floating upside down in mid air because "Everyone looked so funny from above".

As the evening turned to night the girls gathered to catch their breath and take some pumpkin juice. As they sat down at the table the ghost of the Fat Friar drifted out from the wall and approached them. They greeted him and he bent his head.

"It was a very decent thing the three of you did today," he said, the gratitude in his voice obvious. "Never before in my afterlife have I seen young Miss Myrtle enjoy herself to the extent I have witnessed tonight. Why, even Peeves could not ruin her good mood. And I have understood that it is all thanks to you."

"She is our friend, sir Friar," Luna answered. "It is not anything special to be nice to friends. That is what friends do, isn't it?" Ginny and Hermione nodded agree.

"Undoubtly," the Friar smiled. "But despite the fact that I can't possibly give any of you a reward for your deed matching that of your newly formed friendship itself, I still feel that a little token of the gratitude of me and the other house ghosts would be appropriate." He glanced at the large hourglasses that kept score of the house points.

"Thus. Thirteen points for Ravenclaw. Twenty-six points for Gryffindor and as for Miss Myrtle herself, thirteen points for Slytherin."

The faint rattle caused by the gems that moved to indicate the newly gained points was completely lost in the noises of the party.