July 20, 2007
Harry Potter and the Deathly Lawyers
The Ministry of Magic
Dear Independent Bookseller:
We have received intelligence that at twenty-six minutes past eleven o'clock on the evening of July twentieth, you are planning an improper moment of enthusiasm as part of your event for the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Your plan to have a nearby coffee shop sell butterbeer for profit at that moment is a serious breach of the Decree to Prevent Unauthorized Profits by Unsanctioned Entities.
As clearly stated in the Unbreakable Vow you made in order to sell "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," "No supplier … may make a profit in association with the goods or services that it is providing to this event."
We grudgingly accept your right as a bookseller to make some profit, but it is forbidden for others to participate in the profits. The three dollars one might spend on a butterbeer could, in fact, be used towards the purchase of a second copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Admittedly, one would need to purchase twelve butterbeers to equal the cost of one book at the price the publisher has chosen. However, twelve mugs of that watered-down monstrosity you are calling butterbeer is frankly equivalent to one mug of the real stuff.
Should you continue with this plan, ministry officials will have no choice but to call upon your place of business and force you to relinquish all copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," including the one you will so cleverly attempt to hide in the true crime section.
The International Confederation of Warlocks does sanction certain money to be raised as long as those funds are earmarked for a local charity. Initially, your plan to convert the adjacent drug store into Honeydukes, the famed candy shop of Hogsmeade, and sell candy for a local youth group would seem to meet these guidelines. However, upon closer inspection, the entire endeavor is patently ridiculous. The drug store in question looks nothing like Honeydukes, and you could at least have tried to hide the diaper section from view. We are hereby rejecting the plan just because we here at the Ministry can.
Furthermore, we have learned that one of your employees, Miriam Maxwell, is planning to read the final pages in the stockroom at forty-three minutes past eleven o'clock on the twentieth of July in order to be the first to discover whether "Harry bites it," as she so delicately phrases it.
Such premature perusal of the book will not be tolerated, and Dementors will be arriving shortly to perform the Dementor's Kiss upon Ms. Maxwell. You might be interested to know that she has been regularly leaving her shift fifteen minutes early anyway, so we trust that you will not be overly distraught at this turn of events.
We reiterate that, as stated in the Unbreakable Vow, no copy may be released to the muggle public before one minute past midnight on the twenty-first of July. As a further precaution, a spell has been placed on your premises making the use of time turners or other time trinkets impossible. Any attempted violation of this process will be reported to the Ministry of Magic forthright. If, for example, you happen to sell a book at thirty seconds past midnight, we will know about it and act accordingly.
Finally, any use of owls in an ironic manner will not be tolerated. Trust us. You do not wish to encounter the Improper Use of Irony Office.
Enjoy your event!
©2007 Joe Lavin