Disclaimer- Erm... can't think of anything particularly witty or sarcastic to say at the moment, so... Well, you all know I don't own anything by now, right? Dear Merlin I hope so.
Authoress's Note- Haven't updated for a bit, have I? (innocent whistle) Well, here's chapter three o' my liddle Rita fic! I'm tired and eager to get off the 'Net right now, so I'm not in the mood to reread this for mistakes. Feel free to point out any blatant mistakes you find. I'll get to them... eventually... ;-) E.D.J.
(1) Alright, I cannot for the life of me remember where the quote "Just remember: everything depends on this" is from, so to suffice it's not mine, but I'm having a bit of trouble remembering where it's from.
The reviews are wonderful! Keep 'em comin'!
p0pptartt- I'm glad you think Morwenna the sort of person Rita Skeeter would look up to!
Harry Lvr- It's alright to love and hate Morwenna! Her musings on journalism will have a big impact on Rita and through her, Harry! I could take over for J.K? Wow. You flatter me, really.
The Noble Platypus- I'm glad you like Morwenna! Yes, so very blunt! –growls- I'm very upset that the original Mockfest got taken down! I don't know why people feel the need to play 'Fanfiction police' because A)It's not as if the writers are hurting anybody if it's a small sidestep of the bloody GUIDELINES and B)We're not making any money off of this, so what's the point of reporting it? I think some people just get bored and scrounge around looking for people to point fingers at. Bah. I'm glad you think my fics are awesome! Thank you so much!
Vanillafluffy- Yes, Rita is a very intriguing character. She's very like my character interviewer Elladora in my Crazy Chats with the Harry Potter Characters fic, and Elladora is basically me with the hyper, crazy, evilness upped a bit and a dash of world dominating power thrown in ;-)
Ch. 3-A Useful Source of Embarrassment
Rita hurried out of Morwenna Carleton's office, quite confused. Truth and honesty were positively null in the world of Daily Prophet journalism? The truth was more often than not completely and utterly boring? Her head spun at the thought.
You're here to sell newspapers; you're not in the Miss World Witch pageant. Morwenna's words continued to echo through her mind as she Apparated to her miserable desk on the sixth floor.
Well, it all did make sense—to an extent. The Daily Prophet primary goal was to maintain a steady flow of money, while spreading wizarding news to the populace came second.
Rita wriggled in her chair, suddenly feeling quite dirty. She wondered why it had taken her so long to see what a corrupt world she'd stumbled upon for her chosen line of work. When had the truth taken to the background to be muddled and misinterpreted as the reporter saw fit?
She groaned and buried her head in her arms, crinkling a few papers as she banged her head against her desk.
Wait. Papers? Rita's desk was rickety and dusty, but cluttered and disorganized? No.
She lifted her head and looked down at a small stack of papers topped with a hastily scribbled note in an impatient hand.
Thought you might find these helpful in your quest to keep your job. Study them carefully; they're what you should be writing like. Remember: three weeks—no more, no less. Don't be nervous, just remember: your entire career depends on this. (1)C. Harding
"Thank you for that bit of reassurance, Mr. Harding," Rita murmured sarcastically, crumpling up the note and tossing it in the dustbin next to her desk. It burped loudly.
She glanced at the stack of papers, and her jaw dropped. Here before her was a selection of the biggest front-page articles in the last five years. Most of more recent ones screamed, "You-Know-Who Suspected in Recent Muggle Killings", "You-Know-Who's Mark Found Above the Head of International Cooperation's Home", and "Death Eaters Spotted Outside of Wales."
Rita was suddenly filled with a burst of affection for the old brute of an Editor-in-Chief but kept the feeling contained. Mr. Harding would have her thrown her thrown out of the office on her arse in the blink of an eye if she ran in and hugged him under any circumstances.
Rita quickly pulled out a sheet of parchment and a battered quill and began taking notes.
Hours later, she stared blankly at her notes in dismay. All of these headline reporters seemed to have one thing in common: they had the ability to get people to divulge almost anything, even some things they may have not want the general wizarding public to know.
Frankly, Rita didn't think she'd ever have that ability. She hadn't even been able to get her best mate at Hogwarts Deirdra to admit that she'd fancied the Hufflepuff Quidditch captain when they were fourth-years! How in the world would she convince international Quidditch stars to confess that they'd been ridiculed by their fellow students because of their inability to control a broomstick for three whole years as one reporter had discovered? No one would ever reveal anything that heart wrenching to her—even if she begged.
But, wait. How had she discovered the truth about Deirdra's little secret? Hadn't she happened to overhear her making a fool out of herself in front of the aforementioned Hufflepuff? Well, 'happened to overhear' was a fairly loose way of putting that she had hid in a broom cupboard for two solid hours and listened in on her friend's twittering. Hmm… perhaps 'spying' would have been a better word?
Wait… Spying! That was it! The way Rita would obtain those scandal-creating secrets! But how? Surely someone would notice a blonde reporter hiding behind door frames everywhere her 'victim' would be? Unless she could disguise herself somehow. An Invisibility Cloak? No, she didn't have the money for that sort of thing. A Disillusionment Charm? No, Rita didn't trust her magical ability any more than she would trust a Death Eater locked in a room with a Muggle-born wizard. There was a reason why she'd entered the field of journalism and hadn't opted for a job working for the Ministry. What else was there?
Rita groaned. She wouldn't have to do a whole lot of research on magical ways of eavesdropping, would she? She'd didn't have time! There had to be an easier way!
A humming in her ear made Rita lose her train of thought. She swatted at the fly, and it gave an indignant buzz and flew above her head, out of her reach. Much to Rita's annoyance, it continued to buzz, even louder this time, as if was determined to make her mess up this article and get fired.
You would think someone would have thought to cast some Insect Repelling Charm over the Daily Prophet offices but no…. it was annoying insects for the people who brought the wizarding public their news! Honestly, half the time it just seemed like they hovered around waiting to annoy the first person they found with no time or patience to spare.
Rita fumbled in her robes for her wand; half thinking she could perform some form of Impedimenta to stop the fly for a bit. How could something so small be so…. Her thought trailed off, and Rita stood motionless, her wand still pointed at the accursed fly.
A small smile slowly curled her lips. She had it. She actually had it! Why had it taken her so long to realize? An insect: small, insignificant, and able to get just about anywhere without being regarded as more than a mere pest!
And, fortunately, that was one bit of magic that Rita actually was able to do.
With a slight wince, she recalled running across the spells to become an Animagus as a seventh-year at Hogwarts. Rita had always been a bit disinterested and indifferent to the magic she'd learned over her seven years at school (one reason she wasn't so talented at magic today), but the idea of being able to transform herself into an animal had both interested and thrilled Rita. Imagine her disappointment when she'd discovered her true Animagus form: a beetle with markings quite similar to her trademark glasses. She'd always assumed she'd register herself with the Ministry someday, but the embarrassment had always stopped her from going through with it. How could a beetle compare with everyone else's forms: eagles and wildcats and such? But now being an Unregistered Animagus would come in handy because Rita wasn't sure the Ministry of Magic would approve of an Animagus using their ability to spy on their fellow wizards.
With a secretive smile she slid out from behind her desk and hurried to the loo. Once she safely locked herself in a stall, Rita hastily recalled the beetle form she'd only taken a few times because frankly she hadn't really seen the point.
After a moment, she opened her eyes and found herself barely an inch from the bathroom tile. Antennae? Six legs? Check, check. Everything seemed in order, so she scuttled out under the door and made her way out to the hallway, being careful to avoid the feet of the few people on their way to lunch.
Whom to spy on first? She buzzed gleefully and opted for the obvious: her Editor-in-Chief and the one keeping her job intact—Charles Harding.
Heh heh. That should be interesting, right? E.D.J.