“After you left,” he said in a low voice, grateful for the fact that Ron’s face was hidden, “she cried for a week. Probably longer, only she didn’t want me to see. There were loads of nights when we never even spoke to each other. With you gone…”
Rita Skeeter: A Parable of Perseverence and Positivity
15 June 2015
Queen of the Quills, Mistress of the Muckrake, five-time number 1 Best Selling Author, The Daily Prophet’s Gossip Correspondent are just some of her titles; there are few reporters who have attained such a notorious reputation as the luminary Rita Skeeter. Throughout her four decades of publication, Skeeter’s remorseless writing style has pierced the most unerring greats in living memory, including the likes of Armando Dippet, Alastor Moody, Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter. Age does not refrain Rita, who turns 64 this year, as she continues to churn the most scandalous of publications, dripping with hidden truths, juicy gossip and intolerable tales. With such a congested history and vast reputation, where does a woman begin?
Rita is a natural at these interviews, having sat at both ends of the table on countless occasions. She initiates our interview with a profound confidence and dominant expression. “I was looking forward to this interview,” Rita expresses. “It’s nice to see you! We haven’t done this in a while.” It’s true, Rita and myself have rarely seen each other since the summer of 1997, in which I interviewed her for her new book, now best seller, ‘The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.’ Our 97’ interview was conducted at the brink of the Second Wizarding War, and since then, things could not be more different. Seventeen years later He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is long deceased, all of those who supported him have been rightfully punished, and the crippling fear has been removed from our hearts.
However this has not stopped the persevering Rita, who has whisked out 3 books since the conclusion of the war. The first of which was The Boy Who Lived: Tales of Tragedy and Triumph, published only weeks after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s death, about which Harry Potter himself remarked “I can’t believe trees were cut down for that worthless fictional tosh.” Just 2 years later Skeeter made a stunning return with her gossip ridden publication on the deceased, infamous Hogwarts Headmaster Severus Snape (Snape: Saint or Scoundrel?). Both of these were instant no.1 best sellers, and had thousands of reservations from her loyal legion of fans.
However succeeding this, no new books immediately surfaced and after a particularly long hiatus, it was presumed Rita may never return to writing books. “I actually prefer writing books to articles,” Rita assures me with her usual charm. “There are so many interesting figures on whom I’d love to write biographies about, it’s just finding the source material to form the basis on that which is difficult. If I’m going to write a book, I want it to have a strong element of validity… I would be betraying my readers if what I published wasn’t 100% truth.” This doesn’t stop Rita, however, who made a mighty return last year with her publication of Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob; the book was sold out within days and has since held its position at the no.1 best seller list for a record 47 weeks. “I think that was my favourite to write so far,” Rita remarks. “It took the longest, and was by far the most grueling, but I was up for the challenge. The tale of Dumbledore’s Army is a compelling, intrepid and almost twisted one - this was a group of children with a strong political stance and who changed our society to what it is today. They’re heroes; though not entirely perfect, yet I admire them. Unfortunately, I can’t say the feeling is mutual.” Rita’s penetrating articles and publications have led to a great deal of retortion from those whom she targets, most famously Harry Potter and his cohorts. In 1999 Rita released a harsh criticism of Mr George Weasley’s conduction of his shop without his deceased twin’s aid. Mr Weasley abundantly reacted with the launch of a “Rita Skeeter Dart Board” and “Pin the Tail on the Cow: Rita Skeeter edition” in his affluent shop (which, admittedly, became a great deal more prosperous from the release of both products.). In 2005, Rita’s wrath again targeted another member of the Dumbledore’s Army collective - Hermione Granger. Skeeter heavily criticised Granger after she was promoted to Deputy Head Of Magical Law Enforcement claiming, “No logic could penetrate her cretinous brain, especially with hair such as hers.” Coincidentally Rita’s office was ransacked with Weasley Wizard Wheezes’s Best Itching Powder (for the second time, might I add) the following day - we’ll leave you to conclude the culprit.
Her most recent feud is with the Daily Prophet’s own Quidditch Correspondent, Ginny Potter. During the Quidditch World Cup last year, Skeeter received a particularly nasty Bat Bogey Hex from Potter, who viciously retorted succeeding a negative comment about her husband, Harry Potter. Skeeter is reportedly in talks of a law suit. “Oh well, I’ve dealt with worse over the years. It’s the price you have to pay for being an honest reporter - people tend to ignore the truth, and spit it back at you when you lay down the facts,” Skeeter states with a calming ease. “Ginny has a unpredictable personality, I was caught off guard. I’ve known her for a long time - as with other members of the Potter collective. I was particularly surprised by Ginny’s reaction since whenever I viewed the group in their teen prime, I made the judgement she was of bland, wishy-washy character. She would always stand on the sidelines and longingly gaze at Harry. Not a threat at all.”
So after all her drama on reporting for the Prophet, will Rita continue? “Most certainly! We have a busy month ahead of us, this hasn’t stopped me.” Rita triumphantly remarks; she shines with an aura of positivity and perseverance. It’s remarkable that a woman of her age continues to work as hard as she does, and show no sign of weakness; Rita is the perfect idol for young women everywhere. “The only thing I’ve changed about my life is the position of my office, which is no longer parallel to Ginny Potter’s.
[Pictured above: Rita Skeeter in a Court chamber recording details of Igor Karkaroff giving names of Death Eaters in exchange for early release from Azkaban - 1982]
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