Nearly a week after she sends it, she receives the following letter, written in a spidery cursive hand—
Dear Miss Jones,
I observe that my comment has quite nettled you. Perhaps it has hit a nerve?
Regardless, your talent would be remarkable even in ages past. In these fallen days, it is nothing short of miraculous. I, and a select few of my closest confidants, seek to overcome the mediocrity and unimaginativity afflicting our culture — our nation, if you will — at present, by means of extensive cleansing. It is no shame to have been mired in such things when one has been immersed in filth from the time of childhood.
If you remain intrigued, there are several texts I would certainly not recommend for one such as yourself. For example, Potionemaking of the Unknowne contains schemata and experimental procedure for a number of highly illegal and arguably Dark potion bases and axioms. I expect that you understand the dangerous nature of extrapolating from these axioms; nearly every wizard since 1862 has understood this, and therefore has avoided synthesizing these bases and axioms with more recent principles. Such a thing would surely result in power before considered unattainable, and is unacceptable in the scope of its — ambition.
The perils of ambition would be, I think, sufficient topic for discussion if we were to meet in two weeks’ time. On Sundays I take tea at 1196 Bellamine Street. The proprietor knows me as Varia.
The note is unsigned.