Title: Unfinished Business
Pairing: Moaning Myrtle/Olive Hornby
Rating: PG to PG-13
Word count: 673
Notes: Just to be clear, Olive Hornby is the girl whose teasing drove Myrtle into the bathroom where she was killed. Myrtle haunted her for a while after her death.
Warnings: leaning towards dub-con
Summary: "In hindsight, there is nothing Myrtle could have done."
In hindsight, there is nothing Myrtle could have done. Although she realises quite bitterly this can be said of a lot of things (as she does have time for a lot of hindsight), this particular detail stands out in the long list of worn memories that she runs through her mind again and again as time slips past her – soon the memories themselves feel brittle and cracked from over-handling.
She could have done nothing about the fire she accidentally set to her mother’s favourite carpet when she was ten.
She could have done nothing about the spots that relentlessly popped out on her face from early adolescence into – well – infinity.
She could have done nothing about the mind-numbingly long moment when she stared into those deathly cold, yellow eyes and felt something falling from her, as if she wasn’t the body but simply the mind. (Truthfully, she probably was, looking at her smoky immaterial form; yet strangely enough it had been the body that had received the tears, the shock, the care, the rituals. The body that she had hated, the body that had fallen from her like a dead shell, nothing more – the only measure anyone had ever had to know her. There had been no physicality whatsoever about dying, but for the living there is no other way.)
But most of all, she could have done nothing about Olive Hornby.
Olive Hornby had not only been gorgeous, she had also been relentless. (The memories most cracked from handling in her head are the memories of Olive Hornby, the most battered, the most hurtful yet the most sweet, the ones she returns to when Hogwarts has settled into a rustling, deceptive quiet and the students sleep.)
She returns, she can’t help it. She is still Myrtle full of spots, still silent chubby ugly Myrtle who accidentally turned her neighbour into a turtle and cried in front of the class when she didn’t know how to change him back. Still Myrtle who looked at Olive Hornby and felt something dark and … hot, like a warm drink on Christmas Eve, pooling in her stomach. Myrtle has only the faintest memories of hot, but this is one that makes her almost feel it again. Olive Hornby who sat with her hands on her knees and her collar open in the heat of the fire. Myrtle remembers oh
the pulse just over the collarbone
the skin stretching across a kneecap
a long lean finger tapping on the tabletop
the flickering fire-gleam on Olive Hornby
and then the memory changes into Olive Hornby looking at her and smiling, but not the kind of smile that warms. The kind of smile that kills.
“Poor Myrtle,” Olive is saying, words sharp, “poor Myrtle to’ve been born with such a face… Such a horrid face…”
She moves closer and maybe then she’s caressing Myrtle, maybe she’s simply pinching or scratching her (Myrtle can’t remember, either would have hurt) and then she says: “I know all about you, Myrtle, about your horrible unnatural desires…”
There is a kiss, but it is horrible – teeth and a tongue full of acid and nails digging into Myrtle’s shoulder. Olive pulls back and her mouth shines in the fire’s glow. “You’re disgusting, Myrtle,” she says, “but I bet you’re happy about that, aren’t you? You’re happy you’re so hideous, so no boy will ever want to kiss you.”
Despite the hurt, despite the acid, Myrtle remembers thinking that yes, she’s happy no boy will want to kiss her. She ridiculously, ludicrously, unbelievably wishes to kiss Olive again and almost does, but Olive jumps back and the disgust on her face … Myrtle remembers.
There was nothing she could have done, because now she thinks she might have been in love with that vile-beautiful creature.
It’s what she remembers, it’s why the thought (the dark numbing heart-stoppingly pleasurable thought) slowly makes its way into her mind: I’m still here, even though she may not expect it.
And this time, Myrtle has the power.