Sobbing; there's something particularly visceral about the sound, not the quiet trickle of tears down cheeks, liquid slipping over skin, not the quiet drip drop of salt water rolling off the tip of a nose or the edge of a chin, not the silent welling of emotion, caught by the lip of an eyelid, blinked back into repression.
Sobbing is loud, messy, an emotion expressed with the entire body, the sounds wracked up through the chest, supported by a spasming diaphragm, preventing the sobbing person from even catching their breath. Sobbing sounds like nothing more, or perhaps nothing less, than an emotion being torn out of the chest by bloody roots. Sobbing is less about the quiet overflow of tears and more of a violent explusion of pain.
Myrtle, sitting on the cold lid of the toilet seat, not that she can really feel the cold, the hard porcelain surface, or even really sit on it without a concious effort not to slip through, down to the less-that-spotless floor, wonders when she got to be such an expert on sobbing.
Not that it's much of a wonder, really; if you take an unused toilet and put it plop in the middle of a boarding school, it's inevitable that it will see more than its share of private, vulnerable moments, especially right now when everyone, both living and slightly more transparent, seems to be holding their breath. She's been seeing a lot of him, in particular, and Myrtle, despite some of the things she says, the part she's played for so long that everyone would be disappointed if she wasn't playing it, false naïveté and big eyes through coke-bottle lenses, can feel the true pain seeping out from between his fingers as he covers his face, stringy blond hair falling foward to obscure his temples.
Myrtle has seen her share of teenage emotion, even some drama courtesy of a certain infamous chamber, but this boy is different.
The bathroom is empty now, except for the dripping of a faucet hanging over a broken porcelain basin. The air smells like rust and something sharper, something that tastes like hate. The less-than-spotless floor is even more less-than-spotless that usual, the crimson welling out in creeping tendrils through the thin layer of water on the floor from the broken sink. His blood.
Myrtle drifts up to prop her arms on the door of a stall, or at least pretend to prop her arms, and rests her chin as she watches the patterns tracing across the floor. Her mouth still tastes like the words she'd cried out.
The boy who passed through these tiled walls to the chamber below, a few years ago, is sharper now and Myrtle wonders where he learned how to slice through skin with a mouth that used to merely hiss gently in a language of cool, scaley things. There was fear in the air, the scent acrid, Malfoy's desperation and Potter's anger.
Myrtle watches the red dissipate into clouds of pink across the wet tiles and wonders who will remember when the saviour became the tormentor.
History has a way of changing to fit the popular story, after all.