Moaning Myrtle had already helped Harry with the Golden Egg in exchange for him to come and greet/meet her sometimes. Yet, Harry did nothing to keep this promise and straight-up lied to her.

Despite that she found him in the middle of the Second Task and gave unsolicited help:

"How are you getting on?"

Harry thought he was having a heart attack. He whipped around and saw Moaning Myrtle floating hazily in front of him, gazing at him through her thick, pearly glasses.

"Myrtle!" Harry tried to shout - but once again, nothing came out of his mouth but a very large bubble. Moaning Myrtle actually giggled.

"You want to try over there!" she said, pointing. "I won't come with you... I don't like them much, they always chase me when I get too close."

Harry gave her the thumbs-up to show his thanks and set off once more...

Goblet of Fire, chapter 26 (The Second Task)

Why did Myrtle offer her help to Harry so easily during the Second Task, even though he had broken his promise to her?

  • 12
    Even the minimal amount of attention he paid to her was more than she was getting from anyone else. He broke his promise to come see her, but nobody else even bothered to talk to her enough to make promises. She remains hopeful.... God, that sounds like a wretched commentary on the average high school relationship.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:03
  • 3
    Did he break his promise? Is there reason to think Harry didn't visit her "off-screen" (off-page?)?
    – Joe L.
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:06
  • It has been a while since I read it, but I believe that she only helped him in the lake in the movie. In the book, pretty sure she just helped him in the Prefect's bath. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:07
  • 1
    @JoeL. I assumed so, as he made the promise "fingers crossed", implying that he didn't plan to uphold it.
    – user38452
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:08
  • 1
    Indeed. Though, he never promised. She asked if he would come by, and he responded with "I'll try." Though I think basically she helped because, as mentioned, Harry pays attention to her and does not ignore her nor make fun of her. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


First, as noted in the comments, Harry doesn’t actually promise to visit her again. Perhaps carefully, he omits saying the word “promise”. Here’s the passage:

“Will you come and visit me in my bathroom again sometime?” Moaning Myrtle asked mournfully as Harry picked up the Invisibility Cloak.

“Er… I’ll try,” Harry said, though privately thinking the only way he’d be visiting Myrtle’s bathroom again was if every other toilet in the castle got blocked. “See you, Myrtle… thanks for your help.”

Goblet of Fire, chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)

I’d be mildly surprised if something happened “off-screen”. There’s no mention of Myrtle after this until Harry’s in the Lake, and there’s no compelling reason for him to visit. If there were, it would probably be significant enough to mention in the plot.

As for why she still comes to see him in the Lake, we have no definite answer, but I can think of several plausible reasons:

  • Boredom. Haunting an empty bathroom must get pretty tedious after a while, and so why not pop down to the Lake to see what all the excitement is? There will be very few people around to make fun of her, and it’s something a bit different.

  • Curiosity. Remember that she saw both Harry and Cedric open their eggs. She knows that merpeople are involved, but not much more than that. Perhaps she just wants to see what all the fuss around these eggs is really about.

  • Harry is, begrudgingly, still her friend. Even if Harry is a terrible friend who never visits her, he will at least tolerate her in a way that most other people don’t. If she’s getting lonely in her bathroom and knows he’ll be in the lake, and nobody else will be around, well… why not?

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