Status: Complete, Word Count: 5,400, Pairing: Harry Potter/Luna Lovegood, Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort
Read the Fic Here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13896643/1/By-the-Light-of-the-Moon
Author’s Summary: He had never been noticed here before. Not until she came along. There had always been something unique about Luna, but it wasn’t until now that Harry truly realized how special she was.
Characterization: Now, in any story in which Luna is a focus, doing her character justice is the single most important thing for that story to be at all readable for me. Just for a bit of context, several things that I consider to be virtually unforgivable errors when writing Luna are making her some sort of hyper!kinky, sex-crazed, harem girl, making her a seer, or both. Several lesser flaws I often see in her fanfiction portrayals include downplaying her quirkiness, overplaying her quirkiness, and making her senile. Now luckily for all parties involved, Sectumus does not do any of these things, and instead delivers one of the most well rounded portrayals of Luna that I have ever seen in a fanfic. They do an excellent job balancing her undeniable insight with her general quirkiness and mannerisms, and generally just making her into a compelling, human character. Despite Harry/Luna being my favorite pairing, there are only a very small number of fics within that pairing that I have praised here on the archive, and that is because I find that most authors are always trying to put some kind of spin on her character, when all I’m really looking for is a fairly faithful to canon version of her, who is written well, and this fic gives me that. Now, the other major character that this fic focuses on is Harry, and I think his character is also really great. It is, in my opinion, rather rare to find a well-written version of canon!Harry that isn’t actual canon Harry, but I think Sect does a very good job writing a Harry who is mostly canon compliant, while still making his arc interesting and engaging. So…yeah, I’m sorry that the beginning of this review is a rant about all the shit versions of Luna that are out there, but I had to get that off of my chest at some point. Anyway, I think. this fic’s characterization is absolutely spectacular! Good stuff all around.
Plot: Now, in terms of plot, there isn’t exactly anything unique here. I’ve seen most of these ideas throughout the Harry/Luna community, but that on its own is not a bad thing. What I thought was rather impressive about this fic’s plot was that it takes these fairly common ideas, and just does them really well. In particular, I thought it built to a very satisfying end in the Ravenclaw common room that left me feeling very happy. I don’t really have much else to say besides that, because this fic’s plot is very straightforward. However, as I said, that is not at all a bad thing. Not every fic has to reinvent the wheel, sometimes using pre-existing wheels to build a fantastic car is just as good, and sometimes you try to use a metaphor and it ends up falling on its fucking face. I’m not saying that’s what happened to me just now, but it also isn’t not what happened to me either. Overall, I’d place this fic’s plot firmly in the great tier.
Dialogue: I thought this fic’s dialogue was very nice! It had a pretty nice flow to it, it was not overly reliant on dialogue tags, and I think it does a really good job accurately portraying Luna’s speech patterns. I also think that Sectumus does a very good job using dialogue to portray a wide array of emotions (although, let’s be honest, it’s mostly fluff and happiness). Again, I don’t have a ton to say here, because this is, in the grand scheme of things, a fairly short oneshot, but I do genuinely think this fic’s dialogue is really great. Probably a low top tier on days when I’m feeling generous.
Romance: Now, by their nature, short oneshots like this can often have a little bit of trouble fully fleshing out their romances, but I think this fic does so about as well as can be expected. Every scene in the fic builds on the last, and we get to see Harry and Luna slowly growing closer, until the end when they’re together, and it’s all fluffy and fun. That’s about as good as can be expected of a pairing “anthology oneshot” like this, and I was honestly fully convinced by the romance by the end of the story. I also thought the symmetry between the opening and closing scenes was a really nice touch. As far as I’m concerned, this is Crusade-Tier oneshot material right here.
Writing Mechanics: Mechanically speaking, this fic is very well done. It has very few spelling and grammar errors, and I think the sentences all flow together really well. I already mentioned that I think the dialogue is great, so….overall, I have virtually nothing bad to say about this fic mechanically speaking.
Overall: This is a really fun and cute Harry/Luna oneshot. Both characters are very well written, the romance progresses at a very enjoyable, consistent pace, and it’s filled to the brim with super fluffy and heartwarming moments. Overall, I wish there were more Harry/Luna oneshots this good out there, but there aren’t, which makes this something of a rarity. So….yeah, well done Sectumus. Another absolutely fantastic oneshot.
Final Thoughts: If you like Harry/Luna, this is an absolute must-read. If you enjoy fluffy romance, I highly recommend giving it a look. While it doesn’t quite top Ethereal in terms of originality and simple beauty, it sure as hell comes close. I really like By the Light of the Moon, and I bet you will too!
Tier: Top Tier
Written on 06/08/2021