The Most Ethical Thing Rita Skeeter Ever Did In Harry Potter

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling added an extra element to Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) relationship with his own fame when she introduced "Daily Prophet" reporter Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson) in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Skeeter, a journalist who goes well out of her way to stretch the truth, makes life even more uncomfortable for Harry when her articles help turn his peers against him while he's forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.

Skeeter's reporting harms others too — she unfairly outs Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) as a half-giant to the public and accuses Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) of toying with Harry's emotions in numerous articles throughout their fourth year at Hogwarts. Rowling's depiction of Skeeter paints a negative picture of journalists in the wizarding world — Hermione eventually realizes that Skeeter gains her information through being an unregistered Animagus who takes the form of a beetle and blackmails her into leaving Harry alone by the end of the year.

In a 2000 interview with the BBC's Newsround, Rowling said that she hesitated to actually write the character in the fourth "Harry Potter" book because she didn't want the sudden inclusion of a wizarding journalist to be interpreted as a reflection of her real-life relationship with members of the media. The author also said she originally wanted to include a journalist interviewing Harry all the way back in the first "Harry Potter" novel but decided to hold back until her main character truly has to start grappling with the reality of fame.

From the fourth book onward, Skeeter plays a small but interesting role in Harry's life — while she never proves likable, she does conduct some interesting reporting by the end of the series.

Rita Skeeter uncovered the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship

Rita Skeeter's methods may have been wildly unethical and unprofessional, but there was at least one time in the "Harry Potter" series that she did uncover some interesting truths. In "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Skeeter publishes an unauthorized biography of Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) called "The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore."

In the book, she suggests that Dumbledore dabbled with Dark magic in his youth and that the longtime Hogwarts headmaster's sister, Ariana (Hebe Beardsall), was a Squib whom the family hid from public view out of shame. While Ariana was not a Squib, Skeeter actually exposed the seemingly little-known fact that Dumbledore and Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Michael Byrne) were friends years before the fateful 1945 duel in which Dumbledore finally stopped Grindelwald's campaign of terror.

Although "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" shows Dumbledore (Jude Law)) telling anyone who will listen about his youthful romance with Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), few people at all seem aware of their brief relationship by the time Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione attend Hogwarts. At 12 Grimmauld Place, Harry even finds an old letter from his mother to Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) suggesting that she found this detail of Dumbledore's life surprising some 20 years before.

It seems Dumbledore stopped publicizing his prior relationship with Grindelwald sometime after he defeated and imprisoned the dangerous villain. While the book implies that Skeeter illegally uses Veritaserum — truth serum — to get this information from magical historian Bathilda Bagshot (Hazel Douglas), the reporter's uncovering Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald helps Harry and the audience paint a fuller picture of Dumbledore as a character by the end of the series. Ethical? Of course not. But it gets the job done.