Hi Beth! I’m here for your forum request :D
The first two lines of this chapter are drool-worthy—I love them! I’m sorry to see Anne so dejected though. Did she really love the job at the tea shop that much? Or is she afraid to look for a new one. She certainly seems very nervous about her looming interview. But anything’s better than selling bidets. Her mom doesn’t seem to be very encouraging either…
It seems like things didn’t work out between Anne’s parents. That is hard no matter how old you are. I am concerned now that Maude actually did put Anne’s picture on the internet in the hopes of getting her daughter a husband. It’s really funny to read this conversation between the two of them here.
I think you’ve done a nice job with Dumbledore—and I know he can be difficult to get right. He’s breezy and opaque and he does things for his own unfathomable reasons. During this interview I feel so bad for Anne. She seems so defeated—like she’s already decided there’s no way she’s going to get this job. But she must have some hope somewhere—otherwise why would she have bothered to show up? Her scrubbing the lipstick smudge off her thesis before handing it to Dumbledore really struck me. The fact that she had it ready; but it got messed up; but she’s still struggling to present it—and she’s proud of it too! Proud enough to find fault with the high and mighty Snape’s methods.
I really like the way that Dumbledore tests her. He has this air of casualness—but she knows she’s being tested, doesn’t she? And, under pressure, she comes through with all the right answers. I’d say there’s a fair amount of grit in Anne that we have yet to see.
You’ve done a great job with this rewrite. I feel even more invested in Anne than I did before. And there’s this air of danger for some reason—some foreboding hanging over the whole thing.
Great job on this chapter! I’m looking forward to the next one :D
Hi Beth! You have such a talent for weaving in details that add so much to your narrative and your characters. I feel I have such a strong understanding of Maude, in her all-red clothing, with her brusque and businesslike demeanor which belies the fact that she married a wizard because she had a fascination with magicians, and the fact that her life now consists of continuing to mother her adult daughter, placing online dating ads for her adult daughter (!!), and "play[ing] bridge over luncheon with her companions while they knitted socks for grandchildren yet to be born."
Anne's character continues to be very nicely and subtly developed, and she is charming in her normality, maybe even her mediocrity, at least as far as I can tell of her.
Some quotes I really loved:
They sell these Italian bidets, which I find quite exotic.
(--LOL, ok, thanks, Mom...)
You have a really beautiful way with words!
The comments by Phineas Nigellus were so funny and a great addition to the scene. Of course he would not be able to keep himself from butting in to the interview.
By the way, something funny that hadn't occurred to me in the previous chapter was the fact that Anne, a witch, finds it necessary to drive?? I thought about it when she dug her keys out of her purse here (Did she drive to Hogwarts?? I am so inexplicably amused by the thought.) By the way, thats about the state of my purse, too. :P
Another great chapter!
Hiya Beth! I’m here to leave you a review as a holiday gift! Hope you enjoy it!
I love how you immediately go and set the setting. It makes it really easy to imagine you’re there yourself, and I always enjoy it when it happens.
Charming, the fact that she sits on the counter. Truly charming. But still love it at the same time, for it really shows character.
A life crisis? How old is she? Oh my god. Love it though. HAHAHA PERCY JUST CAME IN OF COURSE HES GOTTA MENTION HIS CAULDRONS HAHAHA. Oh and he’s one of those people oh god and i never even worked in that branch but god.
Penny-bun. I want to throw up. ALSO THE FIGHT. OH MY GOD.
Percy-bun. Oh. My. God. Those two are nauseating but it so fits Percy as well like good god.
Mrs Mugs is an interesting woman.
THAT MUST BE REMUS OF COURSE HE PREFERS CHOCOLATE.
Lol i love the two together. And Remus is written so well oh my god.
DO YOU SITLL HAVE HAIRY PITS I CANNOT IM LAUGHING SO HARD MY SIDES ARE HURTING
YES TAKE IT PLS GO FIND REMUS AND LIVE HAPPYYY
God this review is so short I’m so sorry but I am so interested and I need to know more about those two and just it’s so interesting??? Please remind me to come back for more!
Hey, Beth! Here to leave a gift review!
I didn't get the chance to read Anne Clarke 1.0, so I won't be able to offer you much in terms of comparing the two, but this is such an excellent start!
I really liked the setting of this first chapter. It showed Anne living this mundane sort of life, but there were still small joys in it for her. This was most obvious with that fina scene with Mrs Mugs, and even Maggots hugging her! It was so touching to read Mrs Mug, whom I just met and know hardly anything about, looking out for Anne, and encouraging and supporting her to apply for a new job at Hogwarts, since the shop is closing down.
Ooh! When Rolf was first mentioned I was like, "Is he a werewolf? Is he a vampire? Is he just foreign?" But then Mr Lupin walked in through the door (I'm assuming it was Remus, but it could've been his dad) and I was like "ooh! Rolf's a werewolf!" I wonder why Lupin was looking for him, and what else was in his notebook? Weird to make a family tree, honestly.
There's the beginnings of a mystery, here, and it has me very intrigued! Awesome first chapter :)
Hi Beth! I'm here for more of this amazing story!
I'm already instantly entertained. The way Anne describes her mother is so funny, it makes their relationship sound quite seperate, and I didn't have to read much farther to get a better sense of them. Maude seems quite focused on herself, and though she wants to help Anne, she doesn't quite know her daughter well enough to be helpful. But the matchmaking thing is very funny!
"He's riding dragons in Manhattan Zoo with his new girlfriend." -- You can do that?!
Again, you descriptions are absolutely amazing. I can see Anne's house with perfect clarity and the little details you include tells us a lot in few words. It's very well done! And you write Dumbledore so well, too. I love his little words of wisdom and the way he kept the photo with Mrs Mugs because he thinks he looks young in it! And I'm pretty sure Snape's bat essay was a real thing in the books? If my memory is correct, then I love that you included that little detail in here!
I really enjoyed this chapter. We really got to know Anne a little better, and it's exciting and lovely that Dumbledore saw something in her that the other candidates lacked (since I know she got the job :P) Your writing is just so amazing, you must teach me your ways!
Thank you so so much for this lovely review <3
haha, Anne and Maude's relationship isn't perfect, but I'm convinced Anne would lie dead in the gutter if it wasn't for her mum :P
(and you can totally ride dragons at the Zoo!)
I'm really happy you liked Dumbledore! I kind of figured Dumbledore is less impressed by achievements you can write on a resume and more by the transparency/authenticity of one's character? this is my theory at least (I actually don't know if Snape's bat essay is canon, but it would totally be something he'd write with absolute no regard to animal welfare)
again, thank you so much! I def struggle with writing though (I'm not a native speaker), so I'm just really flattered that you enjoy it :')
first of all, anne's mother cracks me up. the world wide web. putting up pictures of anne. corresponding with a german lady and her son. i mean, seriously hahaha i loved that whole exchange between the two of them. her mum seems like kinda a no-nonsense lady and i like that about her because to me, she puts up a good contrast to anne. who is so so relateable which i absolutely adore. she's a bit dramatic, she's unsure of herself, she practices what to say in her interview (even though, uh, my work interviews were very...non-traditional, i could still appreciate that part because i think that most people feel nervous and practice what to say.)
i found dumbledore to be hilarious, honestly :D i mean, this whole chapter was funny, but i think it takes real skill to capture dumbledore. him testing her on her skills via tea was a really clever idea! and wow i really do wonder what exactly he did for mrs mugs' nephew, how the two of them know each other and basically what's up with all that :P
and aww phineas *_* i'm always giddy when he makes an apearance, even if it's just in portrait form and to tease poor unsuspecting protagonists.
can't wait for the next chapter!
Kris! thank you so much <3
I'm so happy you liked Anne's mum! she cracks me up too :P she is very losely inspired by Mrs. Bennet - I actually think she's a great mum, even if she lacks boundaries and doesn't always understand that Anne has more on her mind than finding a husband
haha, I kind of figured most people practice their words when doing something important? Unfortunately for Anne, words aren't her strength
Very happy you picked up on the Mrs Mugs + Rolf bit! I'm rather into that whole plotline and I hope you'll enjoy it too :) Dumbledore is too fun too write imo
Hi there! Well, I can safely tell you I have so many nice things to say about this, I'm afraid I might forget to address them all.
You do a really excellent job of setting a scene visually and tonally, and I like how you continue to sprinkle in little details about the setting throughout the chapter (like the faded yellow floral wallpaper) instead of front-loading everything. It makes your writing seem thoughtful and intentional.
I don't know if I'm having a subconscious response to your pen name, but something about your writing style and your tone seems very Regency-era to me, and it's quite engaging. Lupin is quite formal in his language and mannerisms, but I like it. Even though he grew up in the 1970's, there was always something old-fashioned about him in the books. Part of that may be attributable to the fact that wizarding society in general tends to be old-world and quaint, but with respect to Lupin in particular he always did seem like a consummate gentleman.
As to Anne, I like how so far she is still sort of an unknown quantity and as a reader I'm still trying to discern her personality.
I shouldn't have read this at work, because "Percy-bun" and "Penny-bun" made me snort a little and my coworker wanted to know what was so funny. :D I had to lie to them because I am in the closet about my fanfic.
One thing I really like is how you include bizarre and eccentric little details about things that are very in line with what JKR would have done, such as everyone's food and drink orders and what exactly is involved. You also don't shy away from the grotesque, and that adds character. (Ok, "goblin nail fiber" made me want to hork, but I'm pretty sure that was an intentional effect?)
Thank you so much for requesting this review, because otherwise I may never have found this, and I look forward to reading more!
I'm so so happy that you liked it, it made my day, truly.
Haha, I might read too many old books, but I definitely see Lupin as an old-fashioned gentleman - I have this theory that he likes to seem as un-animalistic as possible (on a sub-conscious level at least) - I'm really pleased that it worked out and that you liked it!
Anne is a bit of an observer in ch 1, perhaps to make room for the setting and remaining characters - we'll see a lot more of her personality in ch 2.
I think I read on the forums that Percy is one of your favorite characters? because he's definitely one of mine and I just needed to include him in this first chapter - I have a soft spot for him in all his pretentiousness :P
Again, thank you soo much for your lovely review!
PS: 'goblin nail fiber' is absolutely disgusting but rich in vitamin C ^_^
Hey there! I'm here from the forums with your requested review! And I'm so glad you requested because I'm SO excited about this story after reading about it in your nest, yay!
This chapter completely exceeded my expectations! What an amazing start! Your writing style is really witty and entertaining, which sets the mood for the whole story. I wasn't expecting to be smiling as much as I was!
Anne seems like a really sweet character, just a little shy and unconfident, but that only makes me even more excited to read on about her time at Hogwarts. And speaking of characters, who is this mysterious Rolf? Is it Scamander? I guess I'll have to wait and see! But you've definitely pulled me in with that plotline, and why Lupin is looking for him!
Your descriptions of the coffee shop really shine here, you've got a real knack for painting a picture of a scene! Everything was so quaint and rich and comfortable, which is what makes Anne's shock of having to leave even more sad. Mrs Mugs is a great character, very distinctive, and I'm glad that this doesn't seem like this will be the end of her part in the story, if she's connected to this mysterious Rolf!
This was a great opening chapter, I really, really enjoyed it. I can't wait to see how the story unfolds, and good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo!
Hey! Thank you so much for your lovely review
I'm so pleased you liked the writing and the descriptions *hugs* that makes me so happy
Haha, his name is Rolf Murray, he's an OC - I won't say more than that, but we'll hear more of him later, and Mrs. Mugs will def reappear :D
Anne is def shocked to lose her job, even if it's not what she dreams about doing - she's been working there five years, and she's not always good at dealing with changes. We'll see what happens :)
Again, thank you! I'll b back once I'm happy with ch 2 (it's a hard one to get right, ugh) - if you're up to it ^_^
Beth! Finally here for Anne Clarke 2.0. I absolutely loved this chapter :)
To begin with, you really know how to set a scene! The first two paragraphs of this chapter are incredibly vivid and immersive, I feel like I'm there. The warm summer rain, the rush to get indoors, the coziness of Mary's Mugs, are all beautifully evoked. (Similarly, the first paragraph of the following scene -- "smoke ceased to puff from pipes and chimneys"! It's so good.)
Anne is already a loveable heroine :) She's so quirky and whimsical, with a penchant for clumsiness and putting her foot in her mouth. At the same time she's lost, looking for her purpose and doubting her abilities. It's so fitting that when we first see her she's shirking her waitressing duties, hand in the biscuit jar! And the pink stockings are a nice touch.
I like that we get to see Anne's life at Mary's Mugs here (unlike in TACC 1.0). We see that she's understimulated at this waitressing job, and that she's basically fallen into it, and that she's wistful for better things. This excellent passage says it all: "[She] dreamed about better things: things she would never do. She had been at Mary's Mugs five years. Naturally her first year had only been temporary: she stayed another to avoid the grey of an office cubicle; a third due to life crisis. What was now simply called life."
I really enjoyed Mrs Mugs and Maggot as minor characters. Mrs Mugs is so clearly delineated, barking commands at Anne and Maggot and chain-smoking in the back. She's a great foil for Anne, brisk and no-nonsense where Anne is dreamy. Maggot is a great mix of pitifulness and creepiness. And it's great that she and Anne are allies :)
Percy and Penny's cameo is hilarious. It's so in character for Percy to immediately boast to Anne that he's the head of the Cauldron-Thickness Unit! Also in character is his pang of nostalgia for Mrs Weasley -- bringing her up when he's not supposed to, reflecting that her shortbread is surely better than Mary's Mugs's biscuits :( Everything about Percy's order is awesome. Skinny centaur milk! No-foam butterbeer without the butter! Fair-trade goblin nail fiber! One thing I love about TACC -- that I'm glad to see in TACC 2.0 -- is how you satirize elements of the Muggle world by translating them into the wizarding world.
I thought it was a good decision to introduce Remus at the beginning. Your characterization of Remus is excellent -- he's understated, self-deprecating, and kind, with a hint of sadness and humour. Our first glimpse of Remus is also fitting, sharing his umbrella outside a teashop :') All his dialogue is spot-on, but I especially loved "I have the misfortune of a sweet tooth" (what a sweet, sheepish line!) and "It seems my foolishness is without end" (aw!).
Anne and Remus's quirky chemistry is off the charts! Anne's penchant for talking first and thinking later works so well with Remus's kindness and humour. The highlight is of course the moment when Remus heals Anne's cut. It's so beautifully built up -- Remus's story about his left-handed spell-casting mishap is so funny and pathetic, and Anne's amazing line, "Do you still have hairy pits, sir?" is the perfect, hilarious mixture of inappropriateness and politeness. But then the moment itself, when their hot and cold hands touch, is just purely romantic. I love <3
And Mary's Mugs is closing :( It's such an elegiac moment for the Reader, after having spent the afternoon there with Anne.
As a general comment, one thing I love about your writing is how full of quirky details it is. Mrs Clawford (LOL) and her kitten in matching jumpers and sipping matching drinks! Rolf's potential addiction to troll-grown opium! Anne's tights sticking to her legs like "sticky starfish" and her throat tightening like a "warped cloth"! Reading this chapter was so fun, like a treasure-hunt for all these delightful gems.
Amazing job, Beth! I'm so looking forward to this story. Anne Clarke 1.0 is a total delight, and I like Anne Clarke 2.0 even better :)
haha, I don't even know how to respond - I don't think any reviews make me happier than yours :D I mean, I share a lot with you, but you're still so insightful and you just point out all the tiny details I'm rather pleased with - ah *hugs*
I really wanted to include Percy, because you know... he's great :P and he'd totally be that guy to walk into starbucks and make some ridiculous order! Mirroring the modern world is too much fun, I think I'll have Anne take a selfie in her nurse uniform with her polaroid at some point - she'd totally be a selfie girl :P
I'm so so so happy you liked Remus an Anne's exhcange! people are really different when it comes to what they find romantic etc. I think it's super romantic as well, but not over-the-top cheese, it's still subtle, since they're strangers. But I think Anne thinks more of it than Remus does (who - I think - usually brushes off any signs of attraction)
Anyways, compliments on my writing always makes me fluffy inside - quirky details and omnicient narration is like my favorite thing to write! Along with beverages, liquid food, clothing, and the weather - naturally (and who needs a plot when you got this?)
You do a great job here setting up the scene with the dreary rain and the dreary customers where none of them stand out until Remus. It really captures the sort of retail/restaurant working with the public feel. Mary's Mugs feels like a real place you could go: not upscale, but comfortable anyway and the sort of place that would probably close during the economic downturn caused by the wizarding war.
Remus here seems very IC, cares what people think of him, but doesn't want pity or charity. He also seems a bit shy and clumsy around women he finds attractive, which also seems IC to his canonical self. Anne also seems to be unsure and a bit shy herself. I lke their interaction quite a bit.
The guest shot of Percy and Penelope adds a touch to it as it connects us to what is happening and the time period the story is set in.
This is a very good introductory chapter that makes me want to read more.
haha, I've worked quite a lot in service and I find it pretty dreary. I think Anne does a much better job than I do - I simply don't have the patience for annoying customers :P
I'm really happy that you liked Remus and found him IC! that means a lot to me!
Thank you for your lovely review :)
I'm here for the Slytherin EvS Review Tag, Team Emerald and to see what you have done with this story. It's been so long since I read the old version that I don't remember it, but this version sounds just fine.
Your writing flows very smoothly, with scene-setting details creatively described, and a good balance of action, dialogue, and background information.
You paint a vivid, even amusing, picture of Mary's Mugs, the low-brow tea shop for unpretentious people, and its homespun proprietress, whose manner of speaking I fail to identify. And yet, if Mary's Mugs closes down soon, we'll see no more of this quirky tea shop that we have only now come to know Too bad; I liked the place.
But I see that there is plenty of mystery ahead -- Anne's new position as Nurse Apprentice at Hogwarts (we suspect she'll take the position; it makes us wonder what career aspirations she had before she landed at Mary's Mugs), the mysterious Mr. Lupin with his geanalogy notebook and his secretive interest in Mary and her nephew Rolf, and the ultimate fate of Mary and Rolf, all set against the background of the Second Wizarding War. You do well in dangling these tantalizing hints in front of us readers in the opening chapter, and you leave us with a cliffhanger -- what will Anne do, now that she has just lost her job?
Anne Clarke has great potential for development of a good character arc over the course of this story, since she starts out as a passive and rudderless character, one who drifts with the current of where life takes her instead of making things happen. If she takes the job at Hogwarts, her life will be stirred up for sure. I estimate the date of this opening scene as being between the summer of 1995 and summer of 1996, since Percy is out of school for at least one year, and Professor Dumbledore is still alive. Momentous times ahead!
For concrit, there are a few typos which you will see with a close reading and smille as you fix them up. (Curse you, Auto-Correct!) Also, an issue with dialogue punctuation; I'll send you a PM about that.
This chapter looks like a great beginning to this story. You seem to have a knack for story-telling and originality, and I hope that subesquent chapters will be appearing soon. Thank you for writing.
Hey Vicki, thank you for your thoughtful review! I'm so pleased to see you enjoyed it :)
Yes, I'm a little sad to say goodbye to Mary's Mugs, but it will reappear in ch 3. I really enjoy Mrs. Mugs and no worries that you can't identify the dialect, it's a bit made up, haha. I'm glad that you seem to look forward to what will happen next - it's set in the summer of 1996 - we'll get some more background on Anne in the next chapter :)
Again, thank you so much for your review! (and feel free to PM me)
Hi Beth! I’m here for our swap :D
You’re on to something really good here—not that ACC 1.0 was bad by any means—but I feel like you’ve started something special here and I’m so glad that you are running with this idea. The atmosphere you’re creating with your words, the time that you’re taking to really dig into the scene and the people, it’s really wonderful. From the very beginning of the chapter, your description of the tea shop and the way the patrons are crowded in out of the rain really grabbed me. And your humor is still there too adding shine and sparkle to the prose.
Meeting Anne, sitting on the counter as she’s being chastised by Mrs. Mugs made me sit up straighter and really want to know what was going on. Mrs. Mugs is a great character by the way and I’m so interested to know more about her and her nephew Rolf (and is he into troll-opium?). Putting this mystery right into the first chapter is another great addition to the story. I feel as thought the stakes are higher here and that Anne might be on the edge of something dangerous.
But she’s still sweet, somewhat clumsy Anne. You gave just the right amount of back story for her I think in the paragraph about why she has been working at this tea shop for five years. She’s a little lost, and a little stuck, and it looks like she’s about to get unstuck pretty quickly.
Percy-bun and Penny-bun had me in stitches!! I loved seeing him this way and I hope we’ll be seeing more of him (and Penny-bun I guess). The whole business with the allergies and the biscuits was so funny. And I found the tapas style way that Anne presents the biscuits utterly charming.
Anne and her yellow Volkswagen! It’s the perfect car for her!
I think that having Anne and Remus meet in this first chapter was another good decision. And you handled their meeting very nicely. They are both a little awkward, but they wind up having this clumsiness induced moment when he’s trying to help her after she injures herself. I held my breath a little during that moment.
You tied Remus into this so nicely—he’s after Rolf for some reason and now, all of the sudden, Mrs. Mugs is closing the tea shop and Anne has the opportunity to find a new job at Hogwarts. But somehow I doubt that she’s seen the last of Mrs. Mugs—or Rolf for that matter.
All your little world building things were lovely—the house elves, the details of the drinks at the tea shop—all nice touches that make this world seem alive. I can’t wait to see where you take this from here!
Great job! :D
Noelle! you're the best cheerleader one can wish for <3
I'm so happy that the atmosphere pulled you in, I'm almost sad to leave the teahouse behind (but there'll be one more scene in ch 3!) - Mrs Mugs is def a character I like to write, even if she seems two-dimentional, there's a bit more going on beneath the surface - Rolf is part of this and it isn't the last we'll see of them ^^
Ah, I'm so so thrilled you liked the exchange between Remus and Anne! I love writing Remus, at least my version of him (which might be a little old-fashioned) but this far I def think they're compatable, although it will get a bit complicated
haha, I couldn't imagine a car better suited for Anne! yellow beetle was the first image that popped into my head :P
Thank you so much for this review, you're the best!
(also bagging this for team silver, evs, because i don't like losing :P)
i'm not sure if it's what you wanted but i feel like i'm reading a totally different story than the anne clarke 1.0. i mean, anne is still anne, slightly clumsy, a little out of sorts with what she's doing with her life and all that, but the story itself starts out quite darker. and i loved the first version and i love this second one so i'm really glad you decided to give it a go at a re-write.
i'm immediately intrigued by mrs. mugs and rolf and what the hell he's up to and why is remus looking for him. could he be a werewolf? that mrs. mugs helps out? could he have joined up with greyback since he's not asking for money anymore :O idk why i'm thinking werewolf but i remember that remus mentioned he'd been trying to infiltrate them (in the books, i mean).
i like that remus and anne met at the start of the story because i feel like it gives them a nice...background, so to speak? i'm not sure that it's an entirely chance meeting, either, because remus obviously has been lurking around the teashop and he probably very much on purpose offered his umbrella to anne and follow her inside. *intrigue and mystery intensifies*
i can't wait to see anne at hogwarts, tbh, mostly because i loved her interactions with snape in the first version and i'm looking forward to see if any of that is still around :P i'm also sort of hoping maggot goes with her? to be employed, i mean. i'm still iffy about mrs. mugs and her motives but i'd also like to see maggot taken care of :I i have a huge soft spot for house elves, what can i say.
looking forward to the next chapter! *_*
You're picking up on a lot of the right clues - it was not a chance encounter and I think Anne realises that too. More on rolf in chapter 3!
I think the mood shifts between light and dark - Remus' mission is really important to the plot, but won't pick up before later. Anne is still Anne and I think the next chapter will feel more familiar - but the rest is new - but don't worry, lot's of Snape interactions to look forward to! But I really felt like this was the right way to open the story - we follow Anne on her daily life as a waitress and introduce all of the major plotlines
Maggot is owned by Mrs. Mugs, so she won't follow her to Hogwarts *sniffles* - but they'll reappear don't worry! I have a soft spot of house elves as well ^_^
Thank you so much for this lovely review, I can't wait to get further into it and hear what you think <3