"Nobody missed me even when I was alive. Took them hours to find my body- I know, I was sitting there waiting for them. Olive Hornby came into the bathroom- 'Are you in here again, sulking Myrtle?, she said, 'because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-' And then she saw my body...ooooh, she didn't forget that until her dying day, I made sure of that..."
Myrtle Warren to Harry Potter[src]

Olive Hornby (fl. 1940s) was a witch who used to tease Myrtle Warren about her glasses when they were school girls at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


Early life

Olive was born between 1926 and 1932, around the time Myrtle and born. She also had a brother.

Hogwarts School

When she was eleven years-old, Olive received a letter, accepting her into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's unknown if she was older than or was the same age as Myrtle, so their Sorting might have been at the same time or in different years.




"Are you in here again, sulking Myrtle? Because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-"
—Olive finding Myrtle Warren's body.[src]
Myrtle was Sorted into Ravenclaw in 1940. She was constantly teased and bullied by her fellow students. On one such occasion, Olive made fun of her glasses, which was the reason Myrtle was in the bathroom that concealed the Chamber of Secrets on the night of her murder[3]. After realising that no one had seen Myrtle for a couple of hours, and knowing that Olive Hornby made fun of Myrtle, Professor Armando Dippet, then-Headmaster of Hogwarts, asked her to go and look for Myrtle. When Olive got to the bathroom, the first thing she saw was Myrtle's dead body lying on the floor. This left Olive in a state of shock, according to Myrtle's ghost, who watched the scene with delight.

Haunted by Moaning Myrtle

Moaning Myrtle, as Myrtle's ghost was now known, haunted Olive Hornby for a long period of time, even after she left Hogwarts[4]. After Moaning Myrtle interrupted her brother's wedding, Olive went to the Ministry of Magic to get rid of the ghost. Myrtle Warren was then sent back to Hogwarts Castle, where she haunted the bathroom in which she died[5].


Olive Hornby was already dead before the events surrounding the 1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts[6].


  • The olive branch to the ancient Greeks, was sacred to Athena and was a sign of peace.
  • Her last name, Hornby, is an Old Norse personal name composed of the elements horn ‘horn' + boði ‘messenger'. This could possibly point to the fact that Olive was most likely the first to send the message about Myrtle's death. Horns were also a symbol of power in many cultures, which could mean that Olive had power and authority over Myrtle. It might also be a "Last Trump" (in the sense of trumpet) reference.


Notes and references

  1. Olive was still at Hogwarts when Myrtle died -- she was sent to find Myrtle by Dippet -- meaning that she was no older than 17 in 1943 but was at least 11.
  2. World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  4. If she was still at Hogwarts, Olive would force Moaning Myrtle to go away by calling the Headmaster or her parents, not the Ministry of Magic.
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  6. From Moaning Myrtle's remark in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (emphasis added): "And then she saw my body...ooooh, she didn't forget that until her dying day, I made sure of that..."