An unorthodox interview

Rita Skeeter interviews Harry with her notorious Quick-Quotes Quill

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

‘Lovely,’ said Rita Skeeter, and in a second, her scarlet- taloned fingers had Harry’s upper arm in a surprisingly strong grip, and she was steering him out of the room again, and opening a nearby door.

‘We don’t want to be in there with all that noise,’ she said. ‘Let’s see ... ah, yes, this is nice and cosy.’

It was a broom cupboard. Harry stared at her.

‘Come along, dear – that’s right – lovely,’ said Rita Skeeter again, perching herself precariously upon an upturned bucket, pushing Harry down onto a cardboard box and closing the door, throwing them into darkness. ‘Let’s see now ...’

She unsnapped her crocodile-skin handbag and pulled out a handful of candles, which she lit with a wave of her wand and magicked into mid-air, so that they could see what they were doing.

‘You won’t mind, Harry, if I use a Quick-Quotes Quill? It leaves me free to talk to you normally ...’

‘A what?’ said Harry.

Rita Skeeter’s smile widened. Harry counted three gold teeth. She reached again into her crocodile bag, and drew out a long acid-green quill and a roll of parchment, which she stretched out between them on a crate of Mrs Skower’s All-Purpose Magical Mess-Remover. She put the tip of the green quill into her mouth, sucked it for a moment with apparent relish, then placed it upright on the parchment, where it stood balanced on its point, quivering slightly.

‘Testing ... my name is Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet reporter.’ Harry looked down quickly at the quill. The moment Rita Skeeter had spoken, the green quill had started to scribble, skidding across the parchment:

Attractive blonde Rita Skeeter, forty-three, whose savage quill has punctured many inflated reputations –

‘Lovely,’ said Rita Skeeter, yet again, and she ripped the top piece of parchment off, crumpled it up and stuffed it into her handbag. Now she leant towards Harry and said, ‘So, Harry ... what made you decide to enter the Triwizard Tournament?’

‘Er –’ said Harry again, but he was distracted by the quill. Even though he wasn’t speaking, it was dashing across the parchment, and in its wake he could make out a fresh sentence:

An ugly scar, souvenir of a tragic past, disfigures the other- wise charming face of Harry Potter, whose eyes –

‘Ignore the quill, Harry,’ said Rita Skeeter firmly. Reluctantly, Harry looked up at her instead.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling