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The Letters (the 84, Charing Cross Road remix)

Chapter Text

The Magic Box
742 Maple Court
Sunnydale, CA 93063


28 October 2000


Professor Severus Snape
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Hogwarts School
84, Charing Cross Road
London, W.C. 2

Dear Professor Snape,

Giles said to tell you – again – that there is nothing wrong with our herbs. By again he means that he's told you before and not that I've told you before because I've just been hired to this position and, as a full-time employee, have been trusted to manage your account. I'm sure if I do a good job he'll trust me with other long-distant accounts. So, when Giles said again, he meant we at this store, in our capacity as a corporate entity, are telling you again.

We, the store that is, have most certainly not been holding onto those herbs since the dawn of the Bronze Age. That doesn't even make sense because the Bronze Age would have started at completely different times based on varying geographical locations. It's not as if everyone in the world woke up one morning and decided it was time to get civilized. Sunnydale itself was founded in 1899, centuries after the Bronze Age ended.

We know when most of the herbs were purchased, and it certainly wasn't as far back as the Bronze Age. We keep excellent records as did the previous owners. Well, the third owner back was pretty awful at record keeping, but the Vandal Root we sent you was brought into the store by the last owner and so we know exactly how long it's been here.

Anyway, Mr. Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, if you knew anything about potions, you'd know that plants belonging to the Caprifoliaceae family are twisted by energies emanating from a Hellmouth. The herbs we sent you have been sitting on the shelf for six months. Given that this is a particularly strong Hellmouth, it's no wonder the herbs have gone wonky. I do hope that the students' fingers grow back, but it is certainly not our fault that you ordered from us before researching our establishment.

I am sending you a fresh batch of Vandal Root directly for one of our suppliers, one nowhere near a Hellmouth. I would charge you for this resupply but Giles, who owns the store, said that he hadn't been aware that a Hellmouth could change an herb's potencies and therefore it is our fault, well his fault, not mine. Your credit with the store remains at $1763.42. In future, when you pay with gold coins, you should not send them directly through the mail, but you should send them to me. I'm sure I could have gotten a better deal than Giles.

You have a large credit with the store. You should buy merchandise other than herbs. How do you feel about slug-scented candles?

I hope you are happy with this resolution so you will continue shopping at our store to make up for the money we spent replacing your stock.

Anya Jenkins
Chief Employee in Charge of Sales Reparations

P.S. The word reparations should in no way suggest that we are at fault.