|Reviews for Against the Moon|
| Summer Rising chapter 133 . 11/19
I first completed reading this in 2019 (I think) and have been popping back from time to time to see if you've been able to update. I adore this story - in many ways it's what I imagined of the Marauder's storyline, and in other ways it's completely unique. I saw the 2020 updates in your profile and wanted to wish you well with your health issues. I also wanted to let you know that lately, not feeling quite up to rereading my HP books with all we've seen from JK Rowling, I decided to reread this instead. You are a wonderful storyteller and while I dearly hope to see you continue this at some point, I want you to know your work brings me great joy as a reader, even in this unfinished state. So thank you for that!
| goldeiena chapter 32 . 11/16
I saw another comment already say this, but I wanted to once again emphasize how beautiful your writing is. The part describing Remus going home, falling asleep in hos dad’s arms, his mother’s voice as “low and reverent”... all paint a beautiful picture in my mind. You truly have a gift for storytelling.
| goldeiena chapter 4 . 11/14
The way you describe Remus’s social anxiety is so realistic. It felt like a glimpse into my own head in social situations, and so similar to his real character. You rarely ever read characterization so on point, especially when there is such a limited source material to write off of. Really amazing.
| Guest chapter 134 . 11/7
This story is incredible. I found it in October 2020 and just finished chapter 134 - it saddens me to no end that it hasn't been updated. Truly a spiritual successor to the books themselves, and equally captivating.
Along with HPMOR/SigDig and dirgewithoutmusic's AO3 short stories, Against the Moon is among the best fanfic I've ever read, and quite likely some of the better writing I've engaged with, in any genre.
Here's to hoping for more in future.
| Alohomora Fantasy chapter 134 . 10/20
Hello! I know its been a long time since you have updated on , but you absolutely deserve to get lovely messages irregardless!
This is one of the most wonderful fanfictions I have ever read. Your writing style is so easy to read, and your story is such a joy, truly! You include just the right amount of detail, and your descriptions are varied and immersive. And your characterization... oh my goodness, I love how you have written each one of the characters. The professors are all interesting and fleshed out, real people despite their positions (I especially adored Meyrigg). Remus' mother is a particular favorite, you have managed to make an oft-ignored character so dynamic, compelling, and wonderful. Not to mention how you have handled the Marauders. Each one of them is so well balanced, with good traits and flaws. Even more impressive, you have written them through the eyes of Remus Lupin without fandom bias, and it really pays off.
Your interpretation of Remus Lupin is incredible. He is one of my favorite characters ever, and you have just done such amazing things with him. He isn't perfect, and I get frustrated with him at times, but he is growing, and that is all just perfect for a main character! There is just the right amount of emphasis on his lycanthropy - always present, but it does not overshadow who he is as a person, nor is it overwrought or dramatic.
Which leads me to this- thank you for writing a story where a health issue like this is properly represented. Remus suffers but he also triumphs, he has setbacks with his health but it is not his whole life, and he still has other problems and victories outside of it. You write the illnesses and injuries with a great sense of realism, and i am so grateful to you for this, i just can't even put it into words.
Your plotting is fantastic, every character is rounded out, side characters are just lovely (obsessed with Dorcas Meadowes here), and your writing is just a breeze to read. I love all your bits of foreshadowing and references to future events, how you have crafted the upper echelon of pureblood society and family dynamics, and the immersive family struggles of the Lupins. This story is incredible, it has made me laugh and cry. You are truly gifted.
I will be praying for you, I can see from authors notes that you have your own health troubles. I hope you are well and happy. If you ever do come back to this story, i will be among the many happy readers. But even if you do not... thank you for this incredible piece of work. You are truly so talented and have given the Harry Potter fandom and Remus Lupin fans such a gift. Thank you.
| Ashleigh chapter 92 . 10/12
Omg... this chapter. What an equally heart-wrenching and horrifying depiction of the start of the war. These scenes are vividly ingrained in my mind. So sad and scary yet so good.
| shellie chapter 134 . 10/9
What an incredible feat of creativity. I've been in riveted awe ever since chapter one.
In an attempt to wrangle some of my more coherent thoughts from the fawning disarray of my brain, I’ve kept running note of what makes AtM so FREAKING GOOD, because it goes without saying that I must write an absurdly long review. Also try to keep my infatuation at a respectful minimum. In the latter endeavor, I’ve probably failed.
Your prose expertly straddles the line between efficient and eloquent. So many turns of phrase and original syntax structures. Elegant without sacrificing clarity. You have singlehandedly upped my expectations for good writing, and not even just for fanfiction. Writing, in general.
You both expand upon and depart from the Harry Potter mythos, all the while keeping well within established realms of magic—and filling in the gaps seamlessly.
- Academic realism: from wholly developed lesson plans down to the homework assignments, to different teachers with different personalities and teaching methodologies.
- New pranks, ingenious for all their harmless caprice. New spells and ingredients and clothes and dishes, useful and useless and all distinctly wizardly.
- The particulars of Hogwarts laundry service, so wonderfully descriptive.
- Unique female characters with agency: Dorcas, with her playful menace, or Betta, with her pragmatic mettle.
Mind-boggled. Your inventiveness is astounding. Few people can introduce mishaps and mysteries for every chapter, for every fictional week, like you have.
The subtle humor is definitely worth acknowledging. Some of my favorite moments include:
- Classroom antics. Sirius repeating snide asides aloud, taking care to see syllables match and words rhyme.
- Walburga’s Howlers getting more ridiculously convoluted than the last
- Peter not being picky with his lemon squash (However, I will say that I wish fewer dietary jokes were made at Peter’s expense.)
- Basically anything irreverent that comes out of James’ and Sirius’s mouths.
Another feature I’ve noticed in your writing is the meticulous attention to detail. Even while actively searching for factual inconsistencies (if only to reassure the skeptic within me that not everything can be flawless), I find myself out of my depth.
Every time I think I’ve caught a mistake, I’m foiled! Just found out that Blu-tack is not, in fact, anachronistic. Nor, for that matter, is the imperial system. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two from you, and that’s not even counting all the delightfully niche vocabulary. All those words with very specific meanings, actually used appropriately!
On the case for painstaking detail, I also see subjects that I imagine would require extremely thorough research on a variety of esoteric topics.
- English gentry dinner etiquette (One that is adapted to magic, yet still maintains the exclusionary nature of protocol. Am now wondering whether asparagus slurping is a real thing—if it is, you have done one better than Debrett’s.)
- coal mining in Pennsylvania, American industrialization, types of coal, and how it loops back to seam fires
- Astronomy and constellations and crystals
- Layout of English manor houses (a London house versus a country estate)
- Architectural detail—in buildings and in clothing
- True crime (the most recent development), old newspaper headings
- 1970s mechanical lingo. I, like Remus, didn’t understand much, but I assume that was the point, which makes it all the more impressive that you probably put some legitimate research into what is supposed to be construed as nonsensical drivel. Or you’re just a virtuoso who happens to not only be a fabulous writer, but an academic, historian, and technician all at once. After reading AtM, I wouldn’t put it past you.
And, oh man: “All Hail the Dramatic Irony Monkey”— please let me steal this, the mental image alone is brilliant. But onto the more sobering implications.
The thing about canon convergent fanfiction is the fact that many readers have prescience of what comes after—an advantage you’ve employed to the last with foreshadowing and parallels.
From fun allusions:
- Marauders being characterized by their respective Animagi traits
- Sirius’s affinity with Kneazles - a nod to the Crookshanks and Padfoot friendship
- The origins of waddiwasi (bonus for Remus inadvertently inventing an imminently chaotic spell)
- A preview of the sneakoscope, Peter not knowing about it
- James’ distaste for Seekers
To the bittersweet:
- Lupin’s innate penchant for teaching
- James being described as “fatherly” to Regulus
- James and Sirius bantering about mortality in typical boyish fashion
- Meyrigg is to Lupin as Lupin is to Harry
- Hands-on lessons
- Nurturing a passion for DADA where before there was none—the magic of a good teacher!
- Seriously, was Owyn the ONLY secret Prof. Meyrigg was keeping? What’s with all the talk about gizzards and Augureys? I’m tempted to see a part-human kinship there.
To the gut-wrenching:
- Reading about Peter’s character growth, knowing all the while what he will go on to do
- James’ picture-perfect life with its horrific finale
- Sirius, doomed to suffer undeservedly (arguably from the moment he was Sorted)
- Remus, forced to live with what will happen, doubting his friend, his memories, and himself
To the weird:
- Remus being privy to his future in-law’s romance and seeing Tonks as a baby. And if the Whomping Willow incident was integral to the further development of the Ted/Andromeda relationship, then in a way Remus himself would be indirectly responsible for his beloved’s conception. Huh.
You weren’t kidding about the dramatic irony! Praise be.
Speaking of the HP canon, it’s uncanny how easily your story melds in. While the writing style isn’t exactly the same (yours is far more detailed), the tone and spirit are remarkably alike. You strike at many of the aspects that made HP such a success in the first place—the quintessentially British aesthetic, actualized worldbuilding, magical mischief, and above all, dynamic characters.
Case in point, Lupin’s official biography. The thematic intent and character journey aligns perfectly with your vision. While I don’t endorse Rowling’s views, I will say it takes a great degree of observational skill and imagination to achieve such faithfulness to the source material.
I find you actually make Remus out to be a more sympathetic character, partially owing to the narrative perspective, but also owing to how harrowing his struggles are. He is intensely relatable, with a sort of sagacity beyond his years.
I can imagine how handling Peter Pettigrew can be a challenge to any writer who sets out depicting the Marauders in their youth. It can so easily skew towards contrivance. Your approach is fantastic.
You give Peter a backstory, fleshing out his character to be more than just a feckless henchman, to be someone who was once a realistically desirable companion, who maybe had another motive for his eventual betrayal—in this case, avoiding prison at all costs.
(As for James and Sirius, listing EVERYTHING that makes them great would probably extend this review to twice its length, so I’ll just say that they will probably be the ones who will stick most in my memory whenever I think about this fic in future.)
On a personal note, I really appreciated Peter’s words of wisdom in “Peter Takes Charge”: “eat what you’re craving” As someone who still struggles with ignoring hunger cues, I’m glad that intuitive eating is finally being championed!
There are many things I sympathize with Remus on, and times when I wish there was someone who genuinely cared to help the way his friends do. Reading about his misadventures with the Marauders is incredibly touching, and in many ways, vicarious. I will revisit, if only to relive everything over again. I hope you are well, wherever you are. Thank you for this experience.
| Lyssasoulless chapter 134 . 10/6
Just saw your bio and that you're still around which im very happy about! I hope that you feel better soon ️
| Lyssasoulless chapter 134 . 10/6
Just wanted to thank you for this story, it's so wonderfully written and such a great take on the young versions of the boys! Made me tear up quite a few times! Amazing story. I hope there is more but even if there isn't what you've already written is still a marvel and wonderful to read!
| Jay chapter 134 . 10/5
Absolutely wonderful work of art. I binge-read the whole story in the last few weeks and I have to say it's amazing from start to finish, I love how detailed and intricate it is, how well fleshed out each character is and how the story is really, really captivating.
The word count looked intimidating at first but each week of Remus' life has been lovely to read through. I absolutely hope you keep on working on this fic one day because it genuinely is a masterpiece!
| Ashleigh chapter 62 . 9/22
I really enjoyed this chapter! Especially Sirius’s reactions to Dorcas and how Remus, James and Peter were able to leverage the Cleansweep Two. Was smiling throughout the whole thing. Though I do remember during my first time reading I was, along with Remus, anxious that the prank would end in hurt feelings. More kudos to you and your writing abilities.
| VikitChan chapter 134 . 9/22
Done rereading for 3rd time.
Still hope that one day you will choose to continue this story
| SpookyVoice chapter 1 . 9/21
Ahhh at last I've found this story again! Had a nagging reminder of a great lupin story I'd read before and I've searched through loads. None could scratch the itch quite like this one though. Absolutely adore your writing. And the truest characterisation of Lupin I've found. Settle down to reread the whole thing
| Guest chapter 132 . 9/7
I was wondering about the presence of a Crouch (Quintilla) and her earlier part in the harassment of Sirius for embarrassing his family and going against their expectations in First Year. Is this a suggestion that the Crouch family has ties to the Dark Arts? I mean Barty Crouch Sr. was involved in punishing that sort of thing but he was extremely harsh. And maybe his family was involved somehow? That might help explain why his son joined the Death Eaters. I ask because it seems like the entirety of Slytherin, even if they aren’t directly involved, must know about Malfoy and Lestrange basically grooming the other Slytherins into little Death Eaters. So it seems odd that Barty Crouch’s own family (can’t remember if you said Quintilla is his niece or cousin) wouldn’t report this behavior to him unless the Crouch’s are somehow involved in the Dark Arts to some degree.
I love to think about all this stuff and I appreciate how good you are at making us think without being obnoxious about it (like pretentious about evoking high thought or whatever) but it’s also not super obvious stuff. It’s nice to be kept thinking of things even on the fifth time rereading it all.
| Guest chapter 122 . 9/4
Omg I forgot to comment on the nine year anniversary on the 20th but congrats on nine years of AtM! It’s an awesome story and an amazing feat of writing