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When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars.

~Edgar Watson Howe, Country Town Sayings, 1911

Wednesday, November 22nd




One last delicious dish to share with you today, dear listeners.

After her sudden and mysterious disappearance a year ago, the delicate flower and socialite Pansy Parkinson has returned. One has to wonder what could have drawn her back.

Or who.

My sources tell me this perfect Pansy has been spreading her petals for not one but two of Hogsmeade's hunkiest catches. Men who were supposedly already off the market, at least as far as their girlfriend and fiance - yes, fiance - were probably concerned.

These two tasty testosterone packed men fought over her on Monday at the Phoenix according to eye witnesses. The photos are to die for. Not as gorgeous as the Streak, but still something to warm my -

RITA!

What? I was going to say heart. We can talk about warming something else later, Zeke, now run along. Rita's working.


Where was I?

Bill Weasley - who as we all remember is currently engaged to the sister of his former fiance, for the moment anyway - stormed into the Phoenix demanding to speak with the school founder and wizarding wunderkind, Harry Potter.

The topic?

Why, dear Pansy, of course.

The heated discussion quickly turned to blows and it's unclear just who won the fight - and the right to pursue Pansy? - as outside interference stepped in to separate the sparring men.

So how did the reportedly difficult diva manage to get her claws into two reclusive and "unavailable" men in such a short time? And how will the saucy lingerie shoppe owner and little tart baker react to their newest rival? Could this be the end of all those dreams of domestic bliss?

You'll be the first to know after Rita, darlings.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Percy walked over to Miss Midgen's desk and began sifting through the incoming mail - or at least that which was in the Inbox. He never quite knew whether or not she was indeed hiding correspondence from him. As he squinted at the bad handwriting on one envelope, his ears were assaulted by the nasal tones of Rita Skeeter. He glared down at the small radio that sat at the receptionist's desk.

"Don't tell me you actually listen to that drivel," he said with a sniff.

Miss Midgen merely looked up at him with a raised eyebrow and moved to turn up the volume.

"I find her style of journalism to be too crass," Capper piped up from his desk.

Percy ground his teeth. He had done his best to be kinder to the boy, but he still grated on his nerves with those yes-man mannerisms. He was about to say something in response when he heard his brother's name.

Oh no. What the bloody hell have you gotten into now, Bill? Cheating on your fiancee? How could you do that to her? And hitting Harry Potter... well, I think I might have paid to see that, actually. Always treated the twerp like more of a brother than they ever treated me...

Suddenly, he broke into a grin. Yes! Mum and Dad will be so pissed at Bill that they'll naturally 'forget' about our little fight. That'll make the dinner so much easier! I'll definitely have to bring Bill some more biscotti for this one - maybe I'll even take him out for a capuccino!

The grin still upon his face, confusing his employees, he turned and headed back into his personal office - incoming mail forgotten.
Flicking off the wireless, Izabel rolled her eyes before shaking her head. She knew Skeeter too well to believe half of what the woman spewed out. But there was usually at least a grain of truth buried deep in her reports. She was torn and didn't know if she should send Daphne an owl asking what was going on - or let Remus find out from Harry.

Probably better if I let him handle it, she decided with a sigh. If she were Daphne the last thing she'd want would be to get owls asking if everything were alright between her and Harry.

Anne's eyebrows rose higher and higher the longer Skeeter talked. She thought back to the party she'd attended at Potter's residence and she was a little surprised. Harry and Daphne had seemed - well suited and while the Parkinson woman had been quite beautiful, Harry hadn't seemed to pay that much attention to her.

Of course that could have been just because Daphne was there, Anne decided sagely. Oh, well. It's none of my concern, but this sure isn't the quiet little hamlet I thought it was when I got assigned here. I wonder if I could get a raise?
Demonstrating intermediate counter-curses had gone much longer than usual -- two of the fourth-year students were a bit too enthusiastic about the chance to hex each other. By the time Lupin had dismissed the class and had a bit of a chat with the girls about their tiff, it was time to head to the staff table for dinner.

Rita's broadcast had been the main topic of conversation.

Remus required clarification over several points once the gist of what had happened became clear, and Sprout and the rest had been both able and willing to provide.

He'd excused himself early after exchanging worried glances with Izabel and a slightly pained look at Creevey -- the photography club might be a great learning experience for the students, but apparently at least one of them was going a bit beyond composition and developing negatives into tabloid journalism. Profitable, if the student had played his or her cards right with Rita, but hardly wholesome.

Back in his quarters for the evening, Remus picked up a quill and then sat staring at the empty parchment for a while. Neither man needed someone coming in all heavy-handed to try to patch things up. Still, he felt the need to help if he could.

Pointing out that -- if the reports were accurate, which Lupin doubted greatly, Harry'd moved past that stage and Bill was too level-headed to get entangled at this point in his life -- Pansy Parkinson was hardly worth fighting over would probably not be the best place to start.

Settling the dispute earlier in the day had been much easier.

A moment later two school owls left Lupin's window, carrying identical notes.

Harry, Bill --
Poppy was quite anxious over dinner about you both. I've managed to convince her that neither of you are in immediate need of a Healer's attention; you may thank me later.
If there's anything else I might do to assist, let me know. (Right up to eliminating the Skeeter woman, I'm afraid I can't help there, my apologies.)
- Lupin.
Harry's hand cupped his jaw while he was reading Remus' owl and he winced slightly.

Might not have been a bad idea to...

No. Lecture #326 would have been doled out along with any ministrations, I'm sure,
Harry decided, remembering all the 'helpful' talks the school's Healer had given him while he attend Hogwarts.

Back to the letter. Answer it...

Or ignore it.

If I ignore it, he might feel the need to come visit me in person and he has little enough spare time.


Harry drew a fresh sheet of parchment to him and grabbed a quill.

Remus,

Nothing you can do, I'm afraid. Bill's gone completely bonkers and Skeeter - is and always will be Skeeter. Would you look the other way while I set up a few traps for little green bugs?

Harry

P.S. Thanks for heading Poppy off. The last thing I need right now is a lecture.
Remus

Thanks for stepping in, mate. I know I messed up. I just - it's hard to explain but if you'd seen her face you'd understand why I needed to say something. I should have been more mindful of our surroundings before I let Harry get to me like he did.

Bill


It had been one thing for her former fiance to admit to not being in love with his new fiance, another entirely to be sleeping around on her, and coming to blows so openly over said other woman.

The only internal conflict for Fleur was who to confront first.

Gabby?

Bill?

Or even the other woman, this Pansy? For she certainly needed to be put into her place.

And Gabrielle was surely devastated by all of this.

She listened to the rest of the broadcast intently. How could she have been so wrong about him?

She didn't know him at all.
Gabrielle had been giggling as she listened to the broadcast - and trying to decide if finally stopping by with those biscuits she owed Bill that never quite made it there was too obvious as an excuse to tease him.

But then again surely plenty of people who heard the broadcast were...

Gabby's eyes widened and suddenly it wasn't as funny anymore.

His parents! They would hear or be told... his problem. Just continue to avoid the Broomsticks...

Fleur - Fleur would - oh hell. And somehow Gabby had the feeling that came under the heading of her problem.

Gabby chewed on the end of the pen she had been using and spoke to herself, ignoring the odd looks she received from the girl she had hired to come in over her absences - mostly buying trips - of which there had been several lately. "Okay - don't panic. We made up but haven't been able to see each other since - so maybe that will hold up? Fleur's busy with her job - I've been busy with the shop-" Shaking her head she blew a strand of hair out of her face. "How did this get to be such a mess?"