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Chapter 104 : Gossip Bites
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Smirking at the piece of parchment in front of her Rita twisted one of her blonde curls around her finger. She liked gossiping. Anybody could tell people that... but the fact that she was getting the chance to submit a gossip column to the Daily Prophet, whether they published it or not, made her rather happy. It meant she was getting somewhere in life. And that, to the sixteen year old Ravenclaw, was rather important. How else was she meant to get her name out there? To start to build a chance for herself for when she left this castle if she wasn't willing to dish the scoop? Not to mention that the fact that Samantha had actually told her about the rendezvous was something else that she was proud of.
She was getting information right at the source. Even Samantha couldn't argue that.
Then again, the thing she was most proud of was the line in a letter she had received from the editor of the Daily Prophet a few days after her first submission. Leaning over Rita pulled the book that kept that letter safe out of her bag and smoothed out the parchment.
Dear Miss Skeeter.
We find your writing style rather interesting and refreshing. It would be lovely to have a gossip column coming from Hogwarts although we are not specifically interested in the students but rather the professors. If you can get information about one of your teachers, information that isn't widely known, we will print it in our paper under your name and help to give you some exposure.
The fact that she had to get some information about one of the professors had her stumped. But it wouldn't be long that she stayed that way as she quickly cleared her books off of the library table, packing everything into her bag and making her way back to the Ravenclaw tower. It was going to have to be something completely and utterly unexpected. Something that would make them sit up and notice and – luckily for Rita – she had a nose for this kind of stuff.
Or at least she liked to think that she did.
Snapping the answer to the riddle Rita climbed through the portrait hole and made her way quickly up the stairs to the sixth year girls dorm. Flinging open the door Rita came face to face with Samantha, her best friend. Good practice for the smile that spread over her face.
“Samantha. How are you doing today?” She simpered, her tone normal. “Are you going out to meet with your friend again?” This was juicy. Even if the paper wasn't interested in it.
“I am.” The soft spoken dark haired girl affirmed, scooting around Rita with a slight smile. “I'll see you later.”
The moment she was gone Rita bit her lip thoughtfully. The Richardsons were right and powerful, just like her own family. The difference was that the Richardsons owned a rather large amount of the Daily Prophet and really had a rather big amount of influence because of it... Influence that would help her get what she was looking for. Smiling slyly the blonde sat down on her bed, pulling a fresh piece of parchment and a quill off of her bedside table and beginning to write. This was the beginning of something wonderful.
The deed was done, the letter sent off several days later and Rita was really certain that she was not going to have to wait long to find out how her news was received. The longer it took the more she wondered if she was going to get what she wanted from the Richardsons, a chance to be a real writer at the Daily Prophet before she had even really left school, no matter on who she had the information about. Or at least earn some money over and above her pocket money. Which would be nice.
Slipping into her seat at breakfast the Monday after she had sent the information to Samantha's parents Rita glanced around. Today was a good day. She could feel it in her bones as she poured pumpkin juice and helped herself to some eggs and bacon.
That was when the mail arrived, soaring overhead, all apart from a red envelope that landed in front of Samantha, right opposite Rita. A howler. This was going to be interesting.
SAMANTHA JANE RICHARDSON
WE HAVE RECEIVED SOME INFORMATION FROM A FRIEND OF YOURS THAT YOU ARE BREAKING YOUR BETROTHAL AGREEMENT WITH PETER BY SEEING SOME OTHER BOY MOST EVENINGS. HOW ARE WE MEANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST YOU IF YOU ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS? YOU ARE MEANT TO BE GROWING UP... BUT INSTEAD YOU STILL DO SOMETHING BECAUSE IT'S WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND NOT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.
WE ARE VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH YOU YOUNG LADY. WE'LL TALK ABOUT THIS MORE WHEN WE SEE YOU FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS BREAK. DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT IS STUPID IN THE MEANTIME.
OH, AND THANK YOU RITA DEAR FOR LETTING US KNOW. YOU SHALL BE REWARDED.
The letter tore up and Rita kept her expression cool as her eyes flicked over Samantha, who had gone from pale to bright red at the mention of her best friend's name. “You, me, dorm. Now.” The brunette hissed, not even waiting for the smoking to go out from the howler before she stood and stormed off, Rita following somewhat reluctantly.
This was going to be interesting.
The door slammed shut and Rita found herself facing the end of Samantha's wand.
“What did they mean thank you Rita dear for letting us know? What reward?” She hissed, her voice getting dangerously soft as the blonde watched her.
“Well simple. I want to write for the Prophet now. Not in a 'few years' as a 'junior reporter' when I finally leave this place. Your family has influence in the Prophet and I had information that they wanted about your rendezvous. You're lucky. If the Prophet were interested in the affairs of students I'd have sent the information there. They want me to spy on the professors.” And suddenly it seemed like that would be a good idea anyway.
Samantha growled and Rita smirked at her. “You can't deny that you wouldn't have done the same. That you wouldn't have told my parents any of my secrets if it benefitted you.” Rita pointed out, a smirk playing over her face. That was exactly why she hadn't bothered to tell Samantha any of her secrets.
Even as tears seemed to well up in the other girl's eyes.
“You were my best friend Rita. You were somebody I trusted and I thought that you were worthy of that trust. Even when Margot and the others all thought that you were a bad person I defended you. And then you do this to me? I don't want to ever talk to you again. You are no longer a person to me. I hope your chance with the Prophet is worth all of this.”
Rita shrugged. “I'm sure that it will be.”
Watching in amazement as Samantha shook her head sadly before pocketing her wand and stalking from the room Rita sat down on her bed in thought. She had just lost her best friend, the end of that friendship... was it really worth what was coming next? A tapping on the window caused the blonde to look up, her pondering over as a smirk played over her face.
A letter would be good news. Grabbing it from the owl Rita ripped it open, reading it eagerly and smiling widely as she did. So what if it was the end of her friendship with Samantha? She was certain there would be other friends. And this was the beginning of her new career. One that she was going to thoroughly enjoy... even if it was just something small while she was still in the castle.
At least she had a foot in the door and that was all that her ambition really wanted just yet. This was the promise. This was the beginning of something far better than that lousy friendship had ever been for her.
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