The Phoenix Files: The Scoop on Rita Skeeter

An Original Essay by Natalie M.

I’d like to start off by saying this: I believe that everyone’s views should be seen and heard. I’d like to share mine with you. There’s not much that Christopher didn’t say in his Rita Skeeter Phoenix File, but I would like to go into more detail. I’m all about detail, and I really like using it. I’m also very, very, organized, so here are some main points about reporter Rita Skeeter:

  • She is an unregistered animagus
  • She is skilled at twisting people’s words and actions
  • She has some odd quirks

An unregistered animagus… She could be pretty much anywhere with this unique ability. Does this remind you of someone? Maybe Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot, or Prongs? Did Rita go to school with them, is Rita not really Rita? My guess is that he/she went to school with Remus, Peter, Sirius, and James and that he/she is covering it up. Maybe (for the sake of all the slashes, I’ll address Rita as a she, although I don’t completely agree with it) she came across their plans for unregistered transformations and decided to go through it with them. I know it’s far out and highly unlikely, but it has its possibilities. That would explain her outward knowledge of Harry Potter, because usually a reporter’s views are skewed. She seems to know that Harry likes privacy (interviewing him in a broom closet), or maybe she likes privacy? (U.S. edition of GoF, chapter eighteen, page 303)

“We don’t want to be in there with all that noise,” she [Rita] said. “Let’s see…ah, yes, this is nice and cozy.” It was a broom cupboard.

Whatever the reason for this odd behavior, it can’t be good. Might I remind you that Voldemort’s spies are everywhere? I know she probably isn’t working undercover for the dark side (I don’t believe it myself, but occasionally you have to consider other views); and although Krum did notice her in the scene in GoF, she wasn’t easily noticed at other times. Here is some of her article (inside scoop) on Hagrid: (U.S. edition of GoF, chapter twenty-four, page 438)

An alarmingly large and ferocious-looking man, Hagrid has been using his newfound authority to terrify the students in his care with a succession of horrific creatures. While Dumbledore turns a blind eye, Hagrid has maimed several pupils during a series of lessons that many admit to being “very frightening.”

Her ability to twist the words and actions of people leads me to my next topic of discussion. Twisting words and actions – Rita shows amazing talent (and promising ability) at changing things people say and do into selling stories. Hermione does suppress this during OotP by threatening to turn her in. (U.S. edition of OotP, chapter twenty-five, page 565)

“It’s none of your business if Harry’s been with a hundred girls,” Hermione told Rita coolly. “So you can put that away right now.” Rita had been on the point of withdrawing an acid-green quill from her bag. Looking as though she had been forced to swallow Stinksap, she snapped her bag shut again.

Rita must have developed that talent as a child; it’s amazing how she can twist what Hagrid says (almost like Umbridge in OotP).The reason that I mentioned “promising ability” earlier was because Rita could use her publicity to help Harry. She does this in OotP, but unwillingly. If she was rewarded or ended up actually liking helping the good side of things, she could become a major influence! Now, to the scoop on Rita Skeeter!

Odd quirks… Rita Skeeter is constantly in need of what I call “reassurance.” When girls (sometimes guys, too) go through that stage in their lives where they always need to be reminded that they look beautiful, they all own little pocket mirrors or are pretty much always in the girls’ bathroom at school. Well, it looks like Rita is going through this stage a little late, or she never went through it at all. Usually, every girl will go through it at sometime. But, as her Quick-Quotes Quill states in the U.S. edition of GoF, she’s forty-three! She sometimes has her quill do a little “test,” as she calls it, and tells it to write about her. Then it will write “attractive blonde reporter, Rita Skeeter…” and we all say “here she goes again!” But, most women have gone through this stage by their late twenties. I think that maybe Rita isn’t what she appears to be. She is always described as mannish, but with penciled eyebrows, curled hair, and lots of make-up. Make-up is just what it sounds like: you can use it to literally “make up” someone new, and I think that’s what Rita did. This concludes my editorial. Take the time to consider different views, because you never know what you might be missing!

Questions? Comments? Email me at Muggle_Natalie at hotmail dot com.