Blackmail, theft, and the occasional bit of arson are useful parts of being an investigative reporter. Fearlessness is, too, which is why Denise snatches up the assignment before anyone else dares.
As far as she's concerned, she's the only one capable of disabling the Geeks' security system and navigating the First Years' traps without incurring too much harm. Or at least without ruining her suit before her appointment with the new Minister of Education.
The simple truth, however, is that this story needs a St Trinian's girl's perspective, someone who understands the long history of scandals and also someone who understands that every St Trinian's girl receives an invaluable education. Regardless of what most of the country believes, St Trinian's girls are not all vagrants and criminals who leave school and continue to destroy everything that's decent.
Denise reaches the entrance with only a minor scratch for her efforts and sees that Beverly is as oblivious as ever. She's engaged in a particularly daring workout that takes so much of her focus, she hardly notices the group of Emos carting off what Denise can only suspect is one of the newer students.
Denise strolls right past the desk and heads straight to Miss Fritton's office. A polite knock grants her entrance, and she greets Miss Fritton with a smile.
"Denise," Miss Fritton says warmly, and motions her to sit. "To what do I owe the pleasure? Tea, darling? Or maybe you'd like something a little stronger, eh?"
Miss Fritton is already pouring herself a tumbler of scotch. She doubts Miss Fritton would be opening up the First Year stash this early in the day, but one can never be too careful at St Trinian's.
Which is why Denise politely declines with a shake of her head as she pulls the recorder from her bag. "I'm fine, thank you. I'd like to ask you a few questions if you have some time?"
"I always have time for my girls."
A fact that makes Denise smile and nod in agreement.
For the most part, Denise keeps her questions neutral, and Miss Fritton is as forthcoming as ever, only occasionally trailing off with absurd tales of her youth and St Trinian's history and the occasional barb about Geoffrey, but Denise records everything, listening patiently, bringing Miss Fritton back with a pointed question or two.
"Ah, my girl, if only you could have been there," Miss Fritton says with a nostalgic sigh. "But bigger and better things, I suppose."
Denise's status is bigger, perhaps, but better only in a different way. It's why Denise is proud to ask, "Tell me, Miss Fritton, how does it feel for St Trinian's to receive positive acclaim after being the bane of the Ministry of Education for at least fifty years?" She smirks as she asks it, unable to help herself. Every St Trinian's girl learns that they're extraordinary, but it's taken the rest of the country some time to catch on to the fact that they can be an occasional hero as well.
Miss Fritton smiles as well. "I always said my girls would show the Ministry a thing or two." It's a modest and safe answer but concludes their interview quite neatly.
Denise has no illusions that her interview with the new Minister of Education will end so swimmingly. But if she can survive the First Years, clever little beasts that they are, she can survive a stuffy gent with a nasty attitude.
As Denise walks down the hall, where the walls are lined with portraits of Fritton women, she wonders if Annabelle has learned that after St Trinian's, she can survive anything, too — like being groomed as the next headmistress.
St Trinian's is more than disreputable accounts of explosions, thefts and violence. This is one of the many reasons why Denise disabled the security cameras and traversed the minefield of a road that leads to the school. The story, when it's written, needs a clever, subtle hand, so everyone can understand that St Trinian's is a legacy. For its girls, it's a home.
That fact brings a small smile to Denise's lips, and she quickens her steps down the hall. Annabelle will learn soon enough, of course. Every St Trinian's girl does.