I know what the title of this book is. Queen of the Quills. And although it has been fairly acquired, what with my extensive involvement in writing, I would like to dispose the idea of me being any sort of queen.
I have always considered myself humble (and charitable - you remember my big donation to Auror Granger's House-Elf Liberation Front, as well as my precious effort in the fight to end the stigma surrounding Werewolfism). So I find the title Queen of the Quills a bit excessive. Merited, but excessive.
I'd rather be the Dutchess of Quills or the Countess of Quills - in a deservedly lofty position but never the absolute figure. I love this profession too much to be its ruler. In writing, I find not only the pleasure of having my voice heard, but the pleasure of service, of duty, for what am I but the Beloved Messenger, carting the most sensational news to those most hungry readers?
In these pages, I don't believe you shall find someone queenly. I am, foremost, a person. A person of talent and success, but a person, no more. I have my quirks, my favourite ice cream flavour. I am, essentially, one of you people. Being considered a queen, I think, removes one's capacity for failure. I have only marginally encountered it - but I would still like that certain freedom to be as I am, with no regal status to maintain.
Yes, reader, we are on an even plane. I may be a few degrees higher than you, but you can stand on tiptoe, look straight into my eyes, and see my undeniably humble roots.
I feel it important to address this, because what follows is a very personal account of my life. I've had a few stumbles here and there, and while I've been pin-straight throughout most of it, I know how people want a queen to be perfect. But I've had my ups and downs, no doubt - my highs and lows - and from it all I have only emerged as an even wiser person than before.
What I've learned: perfection, no matter how badly it is sought, does not exist. We've refused to accept this for so long, and having it affirmed is like trying to move a boulder with your bare hands: nearly impossible. Because my work is so praised and so widely-read, I feel it is my ultimate duty - in this, my sixtieth year, a year of both grace and wisdom - to show you that what we perceive as perfect (in this case, me, a colossal figure among columnists, biographers, and readers everywhere) is, actually, not.
This, I count as yet another act of charity - inviting you into the inner life of the Queen of the Quills (a name I've drained of its indisputable validity) to find that same, humble seed from which we all begin.
Author's Note Little known fact: I love Rita Skeeter. I've always wanted to try her out, and what better way than writing her autobiography?
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