Wow. This was extremely well done.
Luna was very young when her mother died, and you have managed to capture the innocence that a girl not yet attenting Hogwarts would have. Even though this is 5-ish years before we meet Luna in canon, I do not have any hesitation in saying that going off to the forest to be around nature and (as luck would have it) magical creatures is so Luna. The ordinary is too tough to deal with, so she is finding beauty in little things and making it extraordinary in her mind.
"If you are lost, don't move until you are found" is good advice, especially if she is in the forest. The fact that she is repeating something her father says is very fitting for Luna. She clearly looks up to her father both here and in canon, believing him even when he says things that do not make much logical sense. To look to something he has said in times of trouble is a very child-like thing to do. She is finding comfort in her father's words, even though he is not there in person.
I LOVE the way you managed to contrast the thestral and the unicorn. Even without names at first, it was easy to tell what they both were. The cold breath of the thestral is sharply contrasted by its caring nature we see immediately after. Most people - especially children - would be afraid of seeing a unique, never-before-seen creature. Luna, of course, isn't afraid of something that most adults are because she doesn't think the same way as most of society. She sees people (and creatures!) at their core for what they are.
Luna's belief that the unicorn was her father and her thestral was her mother tugged at my heartstrings. Little Luna just wanting to be a part of a family again KILLED me. Poor little Luna. :( I like how you turned expectations on their head here as well - no unicorn = female, thestral = male. :)
Hello! I thought it was about time I checked some of your stories out, so here we are :)
I think this is a beautiful piece you have here. I loved your characterisation for Luna here, so calm and gentle towards animals and I could definitely see her whispering something like the mantra she said at the beginning. It's a lovely saying and it was heart warming how she actually did find someone to walk through the forest with for comfort (this is shortly after her mother died, right? Since she could already see the Thestrals and her reaction suggested it was her first time seeing them?)
Luna's only fear was that the animal might be afraid
Luna's just too lovable in this! If I was her and a horse with no pupils came up to me, I would be terrified, but she's not and is so caring to animals. I think her reaction really highlights the difference between her and other people (I'm not saying anything against her, she's awesome), and also her kind nature. I really like how you've written about her in this story :)
And the two representations of the horses was sweet, even if it killed me slightly knowing Luna's family was now down to two. The footstep mentions helped emphasise the numbers more, going from one companion to two. The ending was very good too- Luna's alone at the beginning and not at the end so it leaves me feeling slightly happier (while still wanting to cry a bit)
Anyway, I think you did a wonderful job with this and I enjoyed reading it :)
Hey Sam! I saw you have a new story with no reviews and I thought I'd drop by.
This is honestly gorgeous. I'm blown away by what a powerful mental image the ending scene was - little Luna standing between a bright white unicorn and a pitch black thestral. Add in the symbolism of unicorns representing life and thestrals representing death? Stunning. I really liked that even though Luna didn't seem to know what a thestral was (not sure about the unicorn) and therefore wasn't aware of that symbolism, she sort of made that connection with the thestral representing her mother and the unicorn representing her father.
I thought Luna was so perfectly characterized here. I absolutely loved how she stuck to her guns with the "don't move if you're lost" mantra, even as the thestral sniffed and nuzzled at her, and then decided that she had been "found" by the thestral and therefore could move. The part that really stood out to me with her characterization was how she was not scared of the thestral and was worried that it would be scared of her, and also wondered if it would like a blanket upon feeling its cold breath.
Now I'm sitting here thinking about the symbolism of the unicorn and thestral distrusting each other at first and then accepting each other and both walking with Luna. Ugh! I just love this imagery so much! I can't tell if I'm overthinking it, but the fact that I've been sitting here mulling it all over for like ten minutes is definitely a demonstration of how powerful your imagery is here.
Great work, thank you for sharing!