Summary: Pretending to cry was, in fact, a good thing. It meant that people rarely insulted her any more, for fear of truly upsetting her, and it meant people mainly avoided her… Myrtle reflects. By Aerin.

AN: Came to me when I found out my best friend was reading "Wicked", which is a completely awesome book and tied with "Rent" for "best musical ever" in my book. SO I picked up my computer and started typing, and I just couldn't stop until I finished it.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related trademarks belong to JK Rowling, not me. The phrase "no one mourns the wicked" comes from the musical adaptation of the book by Gregory Maguire, and the quites at the beginning and end are taken from the book.

No One Mourns The Wicked

-- "And there the wicked old witch stayed for a good long time."

-- "And did she ever come out?"

-- "Not yet."

Gregory Maguire's "Wicked"

She was seven years old when her parents left. She was sent to an orphanage and adopted by a loving couple, but she knew things would never be the same. Orphans were wicked; everyone knew it. It was luck she had been adopted this late in the game. She would always pretend that nothing was wrong, but in the quiet confines of her room she would whisper secrets to her stuffed animals and wish that things would change.

And then she got the letter, and things got worse. Her adoptive parents were devout Christians and hated the thought of their daughter being a witch. They tried to convince her to stay home with them, and told her that she was becoming even more evil than she already was, that if she left she couldn't come back. She left.

She had thought, at first, that maybe, just maybe, at Hogwarts it would be different. People wouldn't care that she was an orphan, and wicked because of it. She could learn magic and finally fit in. She had not known that glasses were a bad thing, but Olive Hornby, the most popular girl in her year, certainly seemed to think so; and for that, she was constantly shunned.

And so at the end of the school year she went back to the orphanage because her adoptive parents hadn't wanted her to return, and had it instilled in her head every day that she was a useless and wicked orphan and no one would ever love her. It got to the point where she would no longer even argue, because she felt that it was the truth. She was useless and wicked, and it didn't matter anymore. No one liked her, and they never would.

And then in her second year, she was in the girl's bathroom crying because Olive Hornby had gone a bit too far and told her that her glasses were "wickedly ugly", bringing back horrid memories of the orphanage and causing her to go bawl her eyes out. She heard someone come in and thought nothing of it until they began to hiss, and she heard that the voice was male. She opened the door to tell them, perhaps, to "get your own stall" or "leave before a teacher comes" or some witty remark from her rather small repertoire. But she never got the chance.

The last thing she could remember were those eyes, those horrible yellow eyes staring into her own, boring holes in her head as everything dissolved into blackness. She did not feel herself crash to the floor. She was drifting away, and eventually she made her way back to Hogwarts, floating and silver and pale. Her funeral had been held there as the Headmaster had wished, and she screamed at her adoptive parents when they had the nerve to show up.

-- "I thought I was just the wicked witch! You never cared! You hated me! Get out! Get away from my body! Leave me alone! I never want to speak to you again!"

They had left, and she had sometimes visited them, watched them with a daughter of their own as they grew old and died, and their daugher had her own child, a son she named Neville. She personally thought it was a horrible name for her nephew, but she didn't care; her 'sister' had had the stupidity to marry a man with the last name "Longbottom", so it was her own darn fault really.

Her adoptive parents had never mentioned her to her 'sister'… and while they had been horrified that their own flesh and blood had turned out to be a witch, they supported her the way they never supported her. She wasn't sure if she should be grateful or envious of the "wonderful" Alice, who had had the chance to grow up and get married and have a son with her parents' love. And then she and her husband had been tortured to insanity, and she had felt guilty for ever thinking bad thoughts about the girl.

Time passed. Her nephew grew older and attended Hogwarts. She never sought him out, much as she had never sought out her other relatives. Perhaps, one day, she would tell the descendant of Neville Longbottom her story of woe and what their ancesters were truly like… but for now, she was happy enough watching from the sidelines, even if she did pretend to cry oftentimes.

Pretending to cry was, in fact, a good thing. It meant that people rarely insulted her any more, for fear of truly upsetting her, and it meant people mainly avoided her… which let her be the observer without being observed herself, just the way she liked it. And then in Neville's second year the Chamber had been opened again, and she had been brought back to her own schooldays and helped that nice boy Harry Potter defeat that awful snake once and for all.

She thought she might have loved him, a bit, she realised as she watched his graduation, from the shadows as always. He had always been kind to her, even if he had treaded lightly around her. She thought that if, perhaps, some necromancer had thought to raise her from the dead she might stand a chance… but not only was necromancy highly dangerous and illegal, she doubted anyone would take the time to raise her. After all, no one mourns the wicked.

She had lost him, she realised later, to the pretty girl with the copper-red hair. She only truly noticed when their child came to school, a little girl with red hair and green eyes, the spitting image of her grandmother. Lily had been kind to her as well. The Potters, in fact, seemed to be a kind line, as Lily the Younger took to coming to her bathroom to talk to her. Lily the younger reminded her of herself, a bit, and she didn't mind opening up and talking to the girl.

But then she had gone and been transferred to Beauxbatons. She apologized to her, told her she didn't want to leave… and she told the girl she didn't mind, that there would be other children, but that she would miss her especially. Lily the Younger had called her "my best friend" and given her a poor imitation of a hug, since she passed right through her, before leaving for good. She had been sad, but life continued on… it always did. She kept an eye on her great-niece, a girl with wide blue eyes and long blonde hair, named Marie. And she still kept an eye on Neville, popping in every once in a while to see how he was doing.

And when Neville died, there was no point anymore, she felt. Marie was getting on fine, and she had to admit that she had felt a special attachment to Neville merely because they had both lostr their parents, in a way. So she went through the pipes to the Black Lake and swam straight to the bottom, to her favorite little underwater outcropping. The girl known as "Moaning Myrtle" sat there and sat there, thinking of nothing in particular and everything at once, bittersweetly happy in the knowledge that the world had been ridden of the wicked witch, perhaps forever and perhaps just until some spectacular relative came along. But most likely forever.

-- "And there the wicked old witch stayed for a good long time."

-- "And did she ever come out?"

-- "Not yet."

FIN