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So sorry this chapter's taken so long to get up. It's been written for a while, just not appearing on the site because of challenge fics. (: But here you go!

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.



She was alone.

This was made exceedingly clear, as she checked into the room, as she sat down to write to somebody, anybody, and could not think of a soul. Oh, sure, she had friends; one could not be as much of a personality as she without attracting a few.

She was the flower, full of pollen, attracting as many bumblebees as were willing to vie for her attentions. She had never asked, but they had come in hordes, and who was she to deny them the chance to talk to her, if they so desired? She had been the Queen Bee at school, never alone, always with a smile on her face, but she had come here and realized just how little that meant.

She had come to the Leaky Cauldron because it was near the Daily Prophet, was sitting in this cold and dreary room for her career, had abandoned her life to chase her dreams. She could feel it touching her fingertips, could feel the silken texture of nearly achieved dreams floating past her. She had managed to snag a nail, but she didn’t want to tear the material, and so she was running after it, chasing the silken dreams with all of her power. Unless she did well at the Daily Prophet that day, she was sure to lose whatever tenacious hold she had on her career, on her future.

She had always seen herself, in the future, as being successful, but she was beginning to see that this might not happen, and it scared her. She could not go crawling back to her parents; they would cage her in once more, make her teach, punish her for trying to break free from the life she had always known and do something for herself.

And so she sat down, and she wrote a letter; to whom, she was not sure, but she could feel the words pouring out onto the page, and she felt herself relax, and the tension in her shoulders leave, until she was staring at the page, and there were tears in her blue eyes.

She closed them, now, and she dreamed of her mother, of her father, of forgotten dreams and long-ago days, spent running through the grass and screaming in laughter, and she cried at the memory, cried because she wanted to be that girl, because she wanted to have dreams that weren’t becoming shattered by the moment, wanted to have a life that wasn’t utterly dependant on this interview, and she woke up and her face was covered in tears.

She closed her eyes, her baby blue eyes, the only gift from her father, and she sighed once. She had to get this job; she had to make her dreams come true; she had to prove her family wrong. It was as though they had said “Go ahead, Rita—you’ll never make it without us.”

And that was what they were thinking, and she knew it, and so she vowed that she would do whatever it took to make it.

Because if there was one thing she was not, it was naive. She may have been the moon and the stars and a comet and a flower, but she could be the sun, and she had never wanted to burn as badly as she did in that moment.

And so she would.

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