"Are you in here again, sulking Myrtle? Because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you-"
— Olive finding Myrtle Warren's body[src]

Olive Hornby (fl. 1940s) was a witch who used to harass and bully 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.

Bullying Myrtle

Myrtle was Sorted into Ravenclaw in 1940. She was constantly teased and bullied by her fellow students. On one such occasion, Olive cruelly taunted her about 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 had previously bullied Myrtle, Professor Armando Dippet, then-Headmaster of Hogwarts, requested 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 and horror, according to Myrtle's ghost, who watched the scene with delight.[4]

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.[5] After Moaning Myrtle interrupted her brother's wedding, Olive went to the Ministry of Magic to get rid of the troublesome ghost. Myrtle Warren was then sent back to Hogwarts Castle, where she haunted the bathroom in which she died.[4]


Olive Hornby was already dead before the events surrounding the 1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, although it is unknown what year she actually died.[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," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  5. 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.
  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..."
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