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 Many things had happened recently that Olive wished she could take back. She wished she hadn’t gotten so mad at Mabel a few days before. She wished she could have somehow warned Eva that she was about to be attacked. She wished that she would have tried harder to be nicer to Myrtle. And she wished, more than anything, that she hadn’t snapped.

She wished that she hadn’t believed that she really had to choose between Aggie and Myrtle, and she wished that she hadn’t gone so far as to truly pick one over the other. She wished that, sitting in her chair in the History of Magic classroom, listening to Myrtle prattle on beside her, she hadn’t come to a decision.

Most of all, however, she wished that Myrtle didn’t wear glasses, because that was truly what sent Olive over the edge.

---

It had been a long night. Myrtle was up until three in the morning – again – and Olive hadn’t been able to fall asleep until a couple hours later, leaving her only around two or three hours of sleep. Lottie had been complaining incessantly ever since, and Aggie had joined her almost immediately. It had put Olive in a bad mood from the moment she woke up.

The first thing she noticed upon getting out of bed was Myrtle. She was standing by the foot of her own bed, tying her tie around her neck, turning around to face the mirror while she straightened it.

“Where are you going?” Aggie asked, voicing the question on everyone’s mind. “I thought you were still ditching classes.”

Myrtle glanced quickly over at Olive before clearing her throat and scowling. “I’ve decided to go today. Not that my decisions are any of your business.”

“Just promise you won’t make as big a scene as you did last night,” Lottie rolled her eyes as she brushed through her hair.

Aggie looked over at Olive and arched an eyebrow. Olive avoided her gaze and continued getting ready for that day’s classes.

---

That had only been the start. Olive didn’t want to hurt Myrtle, but she also felt very uncomfortable going against Aggie and Lottie and being nice to her. If she were to choose Myrtle, surely she would then become the laughingstock of the school, and she couldn’t handle the thought of facing people like Ardella, or that nosy girl in the library, day after day for the rest of her Hogwarts career. Even just thinking about it, she was beginning to feel sick.

The feeling of helplessness soon escalated into Anger. Anger at what, Olive wasn’t sure. All she knew was that all of her emotions from the previous week – being forgotten by Lottie, being embarrassed by Ardella, being put into multiple uncomfortable situations by Aggie, fear from Eva’s attack, and anxiety about Mabel – were manifesting themselves now, and the only feeling Olive could recognize from the intense combination was Anger. Anger at Lottie for leaving them all behind. Anger and Aggie for being so damn insensitive. Anger at Mabel for not understanding. Anger at Eva for getting herself attacked. Anger at Ardella. Anger at those girls from the library.

Deep in the depths of Olive’s mind, she knew she was being irrational. But she was just so tired, both physically and emotionally, that she just couldn’t bring herself to care anymore. She only wanted it to be over, but no one seemed to agree with her.

---

She sat alone. Aggie sat behind her with a Hufflepuff from their year, Olive wasn’t sure of her name. Mabel and Lottie sat behind Aggie, because apparently they had bonded over the friendship of their boyfriends.

Boyfriend. Olive hated the sound of that. Mabel had a boyfriend. Or did she? Were they even dating, or had it been a one time thing? She crinkled her nose again. She didn’t want Mabel to have a boyfriend. She had to remind herself that she had no right to care anymore.

“I thought Myrtle was coming to class today,” Olive heard Lottie whisper.

“She probably changed her mind,” Mabel said. Olive fought the urge to turn around to look at her.

Aggie snorted. “Or somebody stole her glasses again.” She chuckled for a moment, but then they all fell silent. Olive still didn’t turn around.

She had been wondering herself where Myrtle had gone – hadn’t she said she would be going to class? – when she sat down next to her, slinging her bag off her shoulder and dropping it onto the floor next to the desk.

Olive looked over at her. She was scanning her eyes across the room anxiously. “I’m not late, am I?” she asked. Olive shook her head. She didn’t want Aggie to see her talking to Myrtle, and desperately wished Myrtle would stop talking to her for the same reason. She would never hear the end of it.

Even without looking, Olive could feel Aggie’s gaze burning holes in her back. There were still five minutes before the start of class, and students were still trickling in. Olive knew what they were thinking – they were wondering what Myrtle was doing sitting with her. They were wondering whether they were friends. She wished Myrtle would sit somewhere else.

“I was in that bathroom on the second floor, the one you told me about. You’re right, nobody would ever go in there.” Olive nodded, though found it odd that Myrtle would voluntarily visit the place where an attack took place. Ultimately, however, she went back to ignoring her. Or, at least, trying to.

“Can you believe Jacob Pritt stole my glasses again?” she said. Olive peered over at her. Truthfully, yes, she could believe that Jacob Pritt stole her glasses again. He was always trying to steal her glasses. She was a little disconcerted by Myrtle’s obvious attempt to be nice. She was making the assumption that Olive had chosen – that Olive had chosen her. She hadn’t even asked Olive. She felt her anger rising and her fist clenched tighter around her quill.

Why had Myrtle chosen today to come to class? It only pressured Olive more, and she was already feeling uncomfortable with the decision she had been forced into. She didn’t want to be swayed.

“What have we been going over this past week?” she asked nonchalantly, calmly. Olive, however, was anything but. Her toes curled in her shoes. How could Myrtle be so blasé about everything that was happening? She took her notes out of her bag and slid them over to Myrtle without saying a word. She dearly hoped that Aggie wasn’t watching them. She would think that Olive had chosen, and she hadn’t. Myrtle slid the notes back to her.

“He tried to take them right off my face,” Myrtle continued, obviously bringing back her earlier topic of conversation. Olive just wanted to tell her that she didn’t care. But she bit her tongue. She wasn’t sure how long she was going to keep doing that. Olive took out her books and a fresh piece of parchment, dipped her quill in her inkwell, and prepared herself for the professor’s entrance. She hoped that Myrtle would realize that she wasn’t in the mood to talk to her. She turned her head every so slightly, and out of the corner of her eye, she saw Aggie watching her. Great.

“It took me at least ten minutes to get them back.”

It was a seemingly harmless sentence. In any other circumstance, Olive would have thought of thousands of things to say. In that single moment, however, Olive didn’t think. She couldn’t think. It had been building for a while, and it all of a sudden became too much for her to handle.

I don’t care about your stupid glasses, Myrtle! Nobody does!”

Myrtle froze and looked over at her, clearly shocked. Olive was shocked herself. She heard Aggie’s sharp intake of breath, the shuffling of Myrtle’s shoes on the cold, stone floor, and the fluttering of her parchment as she let out a sharp exhale.

Time seemed to stand still for a second – and then, Myrtle was standing, her chair almost falling backwards from the suddenness of her action, and she walked stiffly, quickly out of the room. Olive watched her as she left – followed her until she could no longer see her. Her eyes caught Aggie’s. She looked shocked, almost as shocked as Olive felt.

She looked at Mabel, who was looking at her in a way that made Olive squirm. The disappointment in her eyes was so evident that it made Olive shiver. On some level, she was registering the vague chatter occurring around her, but she couldn’t comprehend anything that was being said. All that she saw was the way Mabel was looking at her, and all she could hear was the methodic in, out of her own labored breathing. Lottie was looking out the doorway where Myrtle had just passed.

It only took Olive ten seconds to make the decision to follow her, and only a minute after that to catch her. Her robes were billowing behind her as she walked quickly down the hall, and Olive could hear her sniffling echo off the walls. It made her cringe, to know that she had caused that.

“Myrtle, wait!” she called. Myrtle stopped and turned around so quickly that Olive instinctively retreated a few steps.

What?” she cried. “What do you want, Olive? You want to make fun of me some more?”

Olive’s breath was coming quickly now, and the edges of her vision were blurring. Her head had started pounding as well.

“No, I didn’t mean – Myrtle, I’m-”

Don’t,” she said. Olive shut her mouth. “Don’t even think about trying to defend yourself.”

“I’m just trying to-”

“Come seek me out? Didn’t get your jollies back there so you’ve come to finish it up?” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Go on, then.”

“I’m sorry.”

Myrtle glared at her. “Just leave me alone, Olive,” she said. “I don’t know why I wanted to go to class today in the first place.” She sniffed and wiped her eyes quickly with her sleeve. “I trusted you.”

And, although Olive didn’t know it yet, those were the last words the Myrtle ever spoke.

---

Olive’s next mistake was going back to class. The stares, whispers, and looks were not worth returning to class, especially when she wasn’t able to focus the entire time. With everything Professor Binns said, all she could hear were Myrtle’s final parting words, I trusted you, and with every note she took, she could see Myrtle’s face. Hurt, disappointed, betrayed, mad…all in one expression, and it killed Olive every time she saw it in the back of her mind.

“You shouldn’t have said that, Olive,” Mabel told her as soon as they had left the classroom. Olive scowled and kept walking.

---

She hadn’t known what to say when Professor Dippet asked her if she were friends with Myrtle. She wouldn’t go so far as to say they were friends, but it wasn’t worth explaining their whole complicated relationship to the headmaster. Olive had never felt guiltier nodding her head and calling Myrtle her friend. Friends didn’t snap at each other, at least not to Olive they didn’t. But she said yes anyway. It was simpler that way.

He had noticed that Myrtle was skipping classes, and had finally decided to do something about it. Later on, Olive would think how coincidental it was that he chose that day to care about his students, almost as if he knew what was going to happen that day, or what had already happened.

“Is she in Ravenclaw Tower at the moment?” he had asked, after Olive told him that that was where she spent most of her time.

“Well – I’m not sure, you see-”

“Just find her,” he said exasperatedly, cutting Olive off. She pressed her lips together tightly and nodded.

It hadn’t taken her long. If she were being completely honest with herself, she knew where Myrtle was going the moment she left the classroom. She recalled the conversation they had had the night before, where Olive had confessed her favorite hiding place.

Nobody ever goes there. Perfect for being alone.

Just leave me alone.

---

The first thing she noticed was that it was eerily quiet. She had been there only the night before, and yet she could tell something was different the moment she stepped foot into the room. There was water on the floor, for starters.

“Myrtle?” she called. She didn’t want to go further into the bathroom. She didn’t like the feeling she was getting. It was very…foreboding. Olive walked slowly and calculatingly, wringing her hands as she walked. She didn’t know what she would say, or if she would be able to say anything at all. Would Myrtle try and argue with her again? She knew Myrtle would be very angry, and that scared her. She didn’t know how to deal with that, but it seemed to be happening very often lately.

“Are you in here again, Myrtle?” she asked, not even knowing if anyone was there to hear her. Her voice echoed off the walls, making the room seem much bigger than it actually was. It was cold – Olive shivered. She wondered if Myrtle was cold as well. She walked a few steps further. The entirety of the room was coming into view, and she looked around. Was she in one of the stalls?

“Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-”

And then she screamed.

---

Olive often wondered when it had happened. Was it right as Myrtle entered the bathroom, or was it five minutes from then? Had she been in there an hour before she died, or longer? What was Olive doing when it happened? Perhaps it happened when she was in the Headmaster’s office, and she would have been okay had everything occurred only five minutes earlier. Or perhaps it didn’t matter when it happened, and it was simply fate.

Olive couldn’t decide whether or not she believed in fate, but she liked to think that there was nothing she could have done. It made the pain of knowing it was her fault just a little easier to bear.

But when she closed her eyes that night to go to sleep, there was nothing to make her feel better. Nobody had said anything to her the rest of the day, but that was exactly what Olive wanted. Solitude. Perhaps if she were alone, she wouldn’t be able to hurt anybody else.

 

 

I feel like I have to explain a couple things from this chapter. First of all, the quote (said by Myrtle) from Goblet of Fire is: 



"Olive Hornby came into the bathroom - 'Are you in here again, sulking Myrtle?' she said. 'because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-' (Goblet of Fire, chapter 25)

My quote is a little different in that I left out the word 'sulking'. My thinking is this: Myrtle is known to exaggerate the way people talk about her, and the way people tease her, so to me, it makes sense that she added 'sulking' as just an overstatement of what people said about her. So, I left it out. 

Secondly, I know Olive didn't exactly "tease" Myrtle, but this also goes back to Myrtle exaggerating what people think about her. Since someone had tried to steal her glasses earlier that day, she was already upset about them, and when Olive, someone whom no one would expect to lash out, says that nobody cares, Myrtle takes that as her "joining in". 

Hope I've cleared all that up. There's still an epilogue to go, so if you have any questions about this particular story, just leave me a review and I'll try to answer it in the epilogue, probably in an author's note, as I've actually already written the epilogue. 

Also, I have a meet the author's page, if you'd like to ask any questions about my writing! It's a little lonely at the moment, so I'd really appreciate it! 

 

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