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The Letters (the 84, Charing Cross Road remix)

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The Magic Box
742 Maple Court
Sunnydale, CA 93063


9 May 2001


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


Professor Snape,


In reference to your order from the 26 th of April, I cannot immediately send you the Horklump Juice, Wormwood, and Chizpurfle Carapace that you requested. These herbs, among others, had been restocked by one of the previous owners, Elsa Lanchester. I may have mentioned her before? Not only do I have the vaguest idea of when she bought the supplies, but she mixed them in with previously stocked items. I cannot begin to guess how long the herbs have been sitting there. Maybe I can get rid of them in a Mother's Day clearance. Heal your mother's gout with Horklump Juice, something like that anyway. People still do have gout, don't they? Anyway, I will have to completely restock and leave them sitting in the basement, soaking up Hellmouth energies, until they've reached the potency you've specified. Please accept our apologies.

I do have a question. One of my customers wants to use Agrimony in a spell for clear vision. I've been perusing that journal you mentioned which has led me to books on magical herbs, and from what I've read Agrimony would more likely send her dreams, false visions, and hallucinations. I've sold her the Agrimony of course but I feel, as someone working in a magic shop, that I should inform her how this spell could go wrong. Of course I then realized that other customers must be equally clueless, and that if I gave lessons on the magical properties of herbs, I could not only charge for those lessons but also bring in more customers and thus sell more herbs. I'm still working on convincing Giles. He became quite agitated on the subject, saying I might end up teaching unethical wizards how to, in his words, wreak havoc more effectively. To be so upset by the idea, I think he must know some unethical wizards himself which, given what I've heard about his background, is not at all surprising.


Anya Jenkins
Future Instructor on How to Use Magical Herbs in a Safe Yet Effective Manner