Reviews for Against the Moon
Mallory chapter 134 . 5/5/2019
Oh my gosh, I have so much to say about this awesome story, but most of all: PLEASE, PLEASE write more! This is by far my favorite Marauders fan fiction and it’s easy to consider it canon. I love JKR, but this is better than some of the actual books, even.

I love so much about this story, I don’t even know where to start. The plot is so compelling. You do a great job of reminding readers that there are other events going on, independent of the Marauders’ lives (Professor Meyrigg’s story was a great example of that). I also like the unique personality and backstory for each character. Too often, the Marauders are written as so one-dimensional, but you do a great job of bringing them to life. (It makes what is to come all the more heartbreaking).

I love reading about little Remus. I can definitely see how he winds up being a professor. I admit, I read “In Desperate Manner” first, so when I found this it made the tragedy of that story all the more poignant. His backstory is well-written here and it definitely foreshadows his future (I find it striking, the parallels between Ross and Remus and Dorothy and Tonks- the former two being so miserable and self-deprecating all the time and the latter two being unfailingly cheerful, trying to support the ones they love). His background is written perfectly- in many other fanfictions, his life outside of Hogwarts is somewhat idealistic. But this story makes perfect sense- yes, his father blames himself for what happened, yes, his parents argue now and then, and no, they don’t have plenty of money at their disposal. They used it all trying to find the cures referenced by Remus. Remus will have to make due with second hand books and school robes (the ancient runes textbook really got me). And the part about his baby sister dying was so sad, especially with him blaming himself all these years. Despite all this, they both love him and care about him, and want him to succeed.

And Sirius. Oh my gosh, I love him. His portrayal is so fascinating. I found it interesting that in this book, he and James didn’t hit it off right away, which made sense due to their radically different backgrounds. I adore his fascination with muggle things (definitely explains the motorbike). I think it’s sweet how close he and Remus are, because it’s always written as James and Sirius being the best of friends, which makes sense, but it seems more plausible that Remus is the one he would trust with his secrets, since, as they both point out, James wouldn’t understand. I love that Sirius takes care of Remus, but Remus gets a chance to take care of Sirius too. It’s so great that he’s the first to accept Remus and defends him so much after that. Remus needs the support, and Sirius had to overcome a lot of faulty upbringing for him to get to that point, but he never once questions accepting Remus. (Really glad it’s not slash, by the way, thank you.) Sirius’s home life is chilling (but written well, of course). The signs were there all along, but I didn’t notice how bad it actually was. That part where he goes to visit the Lupins and breaks the bowl was really sad. He was so scared afterward, but Mrs. Lupin just helped him clean it up, making sure he knew it wasn’t his fault (such a great contrast between her and Mrs. Black!). And then the ghastly reveal on the train... poor Sirius, not saying anything about it. It’s good that he trusted Remus though, and I’m glad Remus was able to help him. I’m really concerned about what will happen between Sirius and his family in the future (more on that in a second).

James and Peter are well-written too, with their own personalities. It was great to see them overcome their prejudices and support Remus (though is it bad I’m a bit miffed with them about the way they chose to confront him? He could’ve died! But, of course, excellent writing as always). When James wrote that werewolf essay (brief detour back to Sirius: his was brilliant) so that Remus didn’t have to do it, I started to really see the more mature James that Lily falls in love with someday. And Peter, taking charge on that kitchen raid so that poor Remus wasn’t starving before the full moon. I thought the bit about Peter’s father going to Azkaban was interesting. Hmm... foreshadowing? Him talking about never wanting to go to Azkaban leads perfectly into his future actions (as heartbreaking as they are).

Your minor characters shine in every scene they come across. I think your portrayal of Poppy Pomfrey was on par for best characterization with Remus and Sirius. It’s so sweet, seeing her take care of Remus. I saw one of your posts on Twitter about him being the big loss for her in the final battle, and I almost cried because seeing this is so true and so unfair. She’s like a mother to him, taking care of him before and after the full moon. You can tell he is undoubtedly her favorite patient. (*Shaking my head at the Remus in “In Desperate Manner”* of course she cares about you, Remus, and there’s no way she’s forgotten you! She’d gladly help him if she knew where he was. I’d bet a ton of Galleons that every full moon without knowing what happened to him tore her heart out). And Sirius’s affectionate nickname “Matey” was hilarious. As is her aiding and abetting in hiding some of their misbehavior.

And Dorcas Meadowes! She gets mentioned in like, one line in the whole series and yet you bring her to life. For all her teasing of Sirius and James, I do think she likes them (respects them, even, once those awful Howlers start coming in). Her part in the birthday prank was hilarious. It irks me that Dumbledore didn’t give her Head Girl, she deserves it. It’s like Harry and being prefect all over again. I saw it in the comments that she’s the one making the noise to drown out Mrs. Black’s Howlers, and I firmly support this theory. Gosh, knowing Voldemort kills her is upsetting. She’s so young. Why, Stoplight, why? But I do love the hints about her being in the Order, and her helping Professor Meyrigg. Really great character.

I’ve always loved McGonagall, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love her here too. She’s so sweet to Remus, understanding his reluctance to transfigure the mouse, and helping Pomfrey with that awful September transformation (*shudders*). I especially love her rapport with Sirius. Yes, he’s a handful, but we can see in that Missing Moment that she respects him. When he wanted to stay behind over Easter and she explained he couldn’t, UNLESS there was a reason he shouldn’t be sent home... I was practically screaming at him to give her the reason! Keeping him in Muggle Studies because that’s where he wants to be was good of her (I’d love to see her and Mrs. Black get into an argument about Sirius. McGonagall would win.) I am really praying that he tells her so he doesn’t have to go home at the next winter break (I’m truly terrified for him at this point.) Although, I’m also wondering whether she already knows, or at least guesses, what happens at Grimmauld Place. Perhaps Regulus let something slip in that little meeting she set up with them. Whatever the case, I’m hoping to see her fight for Sirius.

Also, full confession: ordinarily, I can’t stand OC’s. They’re rarely well written, and they seem to get in the way of the plot. There’s been so many times I’ve been reading something and I’ve been like “NO, James does not have a sister.” or “NO, there isn’t a fifth marauder! MWPP, remember?” But I LOVE your OC’s. I repeat: I LOVE them. Betta MacFusty is a personal favorite. She’s such a great character: the Ginny Weasley of this generation. Some writers try to cast Lily in that role, but I don’t see it. Betta is a great solution. She and Sirius seem like they’d get along so well! I’m shipping them, okay? I see some subtle hints already. Anyway, I broke my own self-imposed rule and started praying that they’d include her on their escapades. The prank against Narcissa where Sirius suggested having her sneak in was hilarious. I am a firm believer that there are only four marauders, but I want to make Betta an honorary fifth. I love her so much. In fact, when I finished my third re-read of this, I decided to stop sulking about the abrupt ending and go find something else to finish the rest of the marauder series, but I got there and I was reading and I was like “there’s no Betta MacFusty. This isn’t right. Can’t read it.”

And your DADA professors are great (except for Alfstin, who was well written but an awful person- ugh!) Professor Meyrigg’s ending had me bawling at one in the morning. You managed to keep an air of mystery about her, and the slow revealing of the clues was keeping me bursting with anticipation. I was so mad when the Marauders broke into her office not once, but twice: leave the poor woman alone! And then when Sirius Apparated with her, you could tell she was distraught. I was praying the whole time that Owyn would survive, because Meyrigg’s pain was so poignant, and then you killed him in a truly dreadful manner (but ugh, once again, it was written fabulously, so I can’t even complain!). And if that wasn’t bad enough, then the baby had to die. At least Remus helped her get closure. I don’t blame her for leaving, and her departure explains why we don’t see her in the Order of the Phoenix picture. I don’t believe she would stop fighting, but I can certainly see her withdrawing from the Order after what it cost her. She, along with Betta, is now considered canon in my head. And Owyn’s mission and Meyrigg’s pain reminded me uncomfortably of Remus and Tonks later on. Wonder what Meyrigg would have to say about Remus’s mission? She wouldn’t be happy, that’s for sure. Also, did I mention I actually cried about what happened to her? I’m really hoping you don’t intend to tear my heart apart again with Culpepper.

I love the Andromeda-Ted relationship and how she keeps in touch with Sirius. The baby pictures are great! I only wish Mrs. Black hadn’t found out...

I like that each year has its own plot beyond the pranks: first year, Remus trying to hide his secret; second year, Meyrigg (I’m crying); third year, well, I’m guessing it’ll be about Sirius, hopefully, unless Culpepper plays a bigger role. I suspect you plan to do something awful to him, so I’m trying not to get attached... and I’m failing as epically as I did with Meyrigg.

I’m really terrified about what will happen to Sirius when he finally has to go home. First, writing to Andromeda (yeah, I really don’t believe he was “sick”; Mrs. Potter, how can’t you see that?). Then Muggle Studies, which was terrible enough. Now he has to face the consequences of the mockery of her Howlers, his continued “disobedience” over Andromeda’s letters and the class, and perhaps worst of all, the repercussions of pranking Narcissa. I really don’t think it’ll go well for him, and something tells me Mrs. Black can do a whole lot worse. Here’s to hoping someone helps him (whether it be Remus or Mrs. Potter or McGonagall or Pomfrey). Please continue with this, so I can see what winter break holds in store for him. I’m terrified for him!

Honestly, this is such a good story. I would call it canon for sure, and if it was up for sale I’d definitely buy it.

Okay, so now that I’ve sat here for an hour and wrote this long winded review, instead of doing my essay that’s due in about twelve hours, please please please write another chapter! Actually, several more chapters! You can’t leave me like this! I know you’re working on another project, but when you get a chance could you please continue on this one? I need to know what happens!

Thank you for this wonderful story! 3
Teddylonglong chapter 134 . 5/3/2019
A fantastic story - thank you so much for sharing it! I hope very much that you will be able to continue writing and update soon :)
Guest chapter 120 . 5/2/2019
You've basically spoiled any chance of me being able to enjoy any other marauder fic. This is canon for me now, and nothing else can match. 3
undy chapter 134 . 5/2/2019
...and now I can re-engage with real life. Thanks you so much for 134 (!) chapters of excellent writing, I've enjoyed every sentence.
SeekerOfMagick chapter 134 . 4/16/2019
Alright! And so here I am, feeling all sad because I've caught up alongside the rest of your fan base. So here comes the next review!

This might be a bit of a strange compliment (?), but you write about child abuse very well. There are tens of thousands of Harry Potter fanfiction that deal, in one way or another, with abusive situations-and even the more realistic ones out there still aren't quite realistic, if you know what I mean. And perhaps one of the most interesting things about the way you write the situation is Regulus himself: the "lucky" one, who, in his own way, wants to protect his brother, and believes that the only way to do that is to appease their mother. Who seems to despise conflict. He doesn't understand that there is no real way to rationalize the situation or truly make it better. The fact that he is so convinced that it would, and the fact that Sirius is so adamant that it doesn't-I'm not sure where I'm trying to go with this, but you're doing well.

On another note, reading about Ross and Dorothy is always fascinating for me-namely because if I compare them to the adult Remus we eventually come to know, well, he's very much their son. How Remus handles feelings of inadequacy and desperation in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows can be seen at certain times with Ross in Against the Moon-and really, I've read hundreds of Remus-centric fics, and plenty of Lyall Lupin fics, but I've never read a story that handles the characterization of his parents quite like you do.

And! Slowly but surely, Remus here is becoming the Remus that we get a glimpse of in Snape's memory during Order of the Phoenix, and that's exciting. I really loved reading "The Junior Professor," partially because I love giving speeches and it's fun to read about, but mostly because we're really starting to see Remus overcoming his anxiety.

I think I'll leave this by saying that I can't decide if I like or dislike Professor Culpepper, but I'm doing my best to dislike him simply because I'm about 60% sure you fully intend on breaking my heart with him. But time will tell!

I hope that you're doing well, and that your muse brings you back to Remus and AtM soon! ;)
SeekerOfMagick chapter 129 . 4/15/2019
Hello, hello!

Oh, I love your story. I first found it a bit over a year ago, so there are new chapters (such as this one) that I've never read before . . . which just means that I'll leave you another review when I get to 134, but for now I want to ramble about Remus's new classes.

You talk of numerology in Arithmancy, and the runic poem in Ancient Runes (which, by the way, "bliss he enjoys who knows not suffering, sorrow nor anxiety, and has prosperity and happiness and a good enough house"-that has always been my favorite stanza, and I loved how perfectly you portrayed Remus's feelings on how genuinely difficult it can be to read such a thing when you're in a miserable state). And in Divination, you've decided to take an original spin and have the third years focus on meditation and crystal energy. My life more or less revolves around the love for all things metaphysical and spiritual, so believe me when I say that it's just plain delightful to read about them from you.

And Van Dorn! The American flower child! He's hilarious, just hilarious, and I'm positive I'm not the only one who thinks so. I always look forward to reading the Divination class excerpts solely because of how his character makes me giggle so much. James's general distaste for him and his class just really makes the whole thing that much funnier.

Speaking of humor here-and stepping away from the classes-do you realize exactly how hilariously you write Sirius, in regards to anything Muggle-related? Lately I've been reading Against the Moon at work when I'm on my breaks, and both times in your story where Sirius visits the Lupins, I've been at work. Both times you've made me laugh so hard-one time a co-worker even came into the bathroom to ask if I was okay! Now when I see police I think of panda cars, and sometimes the line "Always wanted to spend a night in the cells, me" pops in my head and I start laughing all over again. So really, thank you for that!

Like I said, I'll be writing another review once I'm all caught up, but I suppose I just wanted to say all that. I hope that you're having a lovely day (and if not lovely, then hopefully at least alright)!
Grammarosprey chapter 1 . 3/31/2019
Dang, that was probably the best biting scene I've ever read! Solid 10/10
Xenerik chapter 1 . 3/29/2019
Dear StoplightDelight,
This is, quite possibly, my favorite Harry Potter fanfiction out there. Your writing style is cozy and comfortable, making me wish I could curl up near a fireplace with a copy of Against the Moon in print. You develop the characters slowly and excellently, and I love the way you weave storylines and characterizations together. I binge-read this story late into the night, and I was left with a deep ache when I finished the 134th (!) chapter.
I especially love your descriptions of Mrs. Lupin and Madame Pomfrey and McGonagall and Remus and Sirius and...everyone?! You write everyone so perfectly and this FEELS LIKE CANON. I love it dearly.
I just read this story recently, so I don't know how often you post (is a year and a few months a normal distance between chapters? Or should I conclude that this story is [dare I think of it? The prospect might be too depressing]...on permanent hiatus?). I do hope that you are doing well, and I send lots of love and good wishes your way.
Ravioli chapter 134 . 3/17/2019
This is definitely one of the best stories here on fanfiction. You’re an excellent writer and have told this story better than I could have ever imagined. Please continue writing!
vacantvagrant chapter 1 . 3/15/2019
Overall, I really like this fic. What I love most about it is how James, Peter, and Sirius are portrayed realistically as young boys with a slowly developing sense of emotional maturity and identiry. Too many fics represent James, for example, as corageous, self-sacrificing, and deeply in love with Lily right from his first ride on the Hogwarts Express, which in my opinion is a ridiculous portrayal of an 11 year old boy. It's much more realistic to see a sheltered, spoiled, and admittedly brave boy who slowly grows to understand what it means to be corageous, self-sacrificing, etc. Overall, great characterization. My only critique so far (I'm on chapter 65) is that Remus is always so miserable that sometimes this is hard to read. Then again, perhaps Remus being meek and miserable is just a realistic interpretation of the character, the very reason I like this fic so much. So yeah, thank you for writing. Advice to other readers: savor the literary talent at hand, here, and break up the savory with something sweet and silly, like pictures of puppies or a crack fic.
BellatrixBlack1997 chapter 14 . 3/10/2019
I’ve read your fic three times now (starting on the fourth) and I just wanted to tell you that you are absolutely brilliant. I left you a review before but since rereading Against the Moon I realized that I didn’t give you nearly enough praise. I tend to judge writings based on if I can enjoy them just as much the second time reading them and if anything I liked Against the Moon even better the second time. In fact, I wholeheartedly consider this to be Harry Potter canon and you are my second favourite author beside J.K. Rowling herself. Thank you for giving the fan fiction world an opportunity to read your beautiful creation and I eagerly look forward to your next update in Remus’s story.
(Also, happy birthday Remus)
cathrin chapter 134 . 2/25/2019
No! I've reached the end (so far) of this wonderful wonderful piece of writing! Sincere regrets, but I'll most definitely have to re-read it and read your other works to. Your style of writing and characterisation and plot is... ahh! Amazing! I wonder if you're going to post the entirety of Remus' time at Hogwarts in one story, or split it into two or three parts?
guest chapter 111 . 2/24/2019
oh i LOVE professor van dorn. doing everything & more for the hippie community... "now my brothers and sisters... the key to divination is found in the rolling of this joint..."
gl0riana chapter 88 . 2/23/2019
poor professor meyrigg - and poor remus - 'it was happening again'... and especially after she was obviously trying to be considerate towards remus, calling the werewolf 'him/her' rather than 'it'. i have a feeling i'll cry next
gl0riana chapter 71 . 2/22/2019
I was going to wait to read the entire thing before leaving a review, but this story is so very good I couldn't wait. It's very thorough, but doesn't seem slow or drawn-out at all - I genuinely feel as though I'm reading an official prequel to Harry Potter. Every detail is well thought-out, the characterisation is just spot on - I especially like James's - and there is definitely a ring of originality throughout the entire thing. You have gotten under the skin of Remus Lupin exactly, and mimicked the awkwardness of being a twelve year old without fault. Little things like James calling Sirius a 'dog', and Remus enjoying grading papers are very clever touches, and amusing, too. And the emotion present in the story: Remus' constant concern, the affection between him and his mother, Sirius' exuberance and vulnerability... This truly feels like a story that goes beyond the, ahem, screen. Truly excellent writing; I look forward to reading the rest.
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