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Fanfic / Luminosity

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"My favorite three questions are, What do I want?, What do I have?, and How can I best use the latter to get the former?
Actually, I'm also fond of
What kind of person am I?, but that one isn't often directly relevant to decision making on a day-to-day basis."
Bella establishing her character.

Luminosity is a Twilight rational fanfiction series by Alicorn, which can be read here.

The story begins with the same premise as the Twilight books, with teenager Bella Swan moving to Forks, Washington and meeting Friendly Neighborhood Vampires the Cullens. Unlike her canon self, however, Bella is deeply dedicated to introspection and knowing her own mind, and is constantly investigating her thoughts and feelings, and the reasons for them, by analyzing them in her notebooks.

When Bella encounters the Cullens, she quickly begins to piece together that something strange is going on. After finding out the truth, she must figure out how she feels about the possibility of becoming a vampire, as well as about Edward.

As she learns more about the vampire world, however — such as the fact that vampires are permitted to feed on humans freely as long as they stay discreet, and that trying to maintain connections with human loved ones as a vampire puts both parties in danger of being killed — she realizes there may be even bigger issues at hand.


Some of the original plot remains intact early on, but over the course of the first book, Bella's different decisions stack to the point that it diverges entirely from the plot of the original.

The series consists of three installments: the first book, Luminosity; the sequel, Radiance; and a series of seventeen short stories, titled Flashes, which expands further on the world and characters of Luminosity and the aftermath of the events depicted in the two main books.

There are a number of Recursive Fanfiction stories set in the same continuity, including some longer-form stories: Never Forgotten and Sky. There is also an inactive Luminosity discussion thread.

Alicorn is cooperatively writing / roleplaying a set of Luminosity crossovers called Effulgence and Incandescence. She is also currently writing a series called Elcenia.


Provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pun: When Bella is told she shouldn't simultaneously be around Edward and sharp objects, this exchange takes place:
    Emmett: Edward is a sharp object.
    Bella: Point. Uh, no pun intended.
  • Adaptational Hairstyle Change: Bella starts out with the same long hair she has in the source material, but later winds up bald after surviving being set on fire.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Elspeth, who was Renesmee in canon. Bella actually brings up the "mix 'Renee' with 'Esme'" idea that led to the creation of the canon name, but laments that "there's just no way to put them together in a way that sounds like a name and not a Pokémon."
  • Affably Evil:
    • Many of the Volturi guard fit this trope, interacting quite amicably with the residents of the wolf village.
    • Addy in particular will start up a friendly chat with just about anyone, even if she's currently threatening, kidnapping, or imprisoning them. It's to the point where Edward actually has to remind himself he shouldn't be having a civil conversation with one of the people responsible for keeping him in the witch dungeon and (he thinks) killing Bella.
  • Alien Catnip: Human blood has addictive properties for vampires. It also seems to have mind-altering effects; at one point, a vampire who's recently switched to animal blood remarks that she thinks her head is now clearer.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: What if Bella was a rationalist and constantly monitoring her own thoughts?
  • All There in the Manual: The website has a page to keep track of the large cast, listing the characters and their status as of the end of the second book. It also has information not stated in-story, such as that David's last name is Baxter (although this information later shows up in Flashes).
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Attempting to use morphine to ease the pain of the vampire transformation paralyzes the patient without doing anything about the pain at all.
    • It's possible to hold a vampire captive by breaking them into pieces too small to reassemble of their own accord and keeping them that way. In Radiance, it's revealed that the Volturi have been keeping a collection of witches, including Edward and Alice, imprisoned like this for several years, for Addy to copy and use their powers.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: As a Cullen, Bella can access essentially unlimited funds, "But if you need more than a couple million dollars at a time, let Alice know so she can spook her stockbrokers first." She doesn't like to be entirely frivolous with it, but she does use it when needed, and recognises that penny-pinching would be silly.
    I didn't bring up the financial imposition. (It would be ridiculous and probably insulting. If they hadn't already thought of sending Alice and a spare thousand dollars to toy with Wall Street, they should all have been set on fire for stupidity: they had to be many times richer than they looked.)
  • Artifact Name: In-universe. In Flash 9 ("Molly"), the title character chooses "ultravioletcolorblind" as her screenname, due to being the only human in her friend group of mostly half-vampires. When she gets turned later and sees the color for the first time, she immediately thinks that she's going to have to change it.
  • Ascended Extra: Many characters
    • Bella makes sure to get Gianna's contact information, curious about the only other human she knows who keeps regular contact with vampires. Gianna later reaches out when she's afraid the Volturi are about to eat her, and Bella rescues her.
    • Rachel is Bella's first pick of latent wolves to visit, and becomes the pack alpha as a result.
    • Santiago's role in Volterra gets more screen time, especially in Radiance, where she helps to manage the captive/tamed wolf packs.
  • Author Tract: The fic was originally created to explain the concept of "luminosity", i.e. self-awareness. Then the story took over and the author tract was forgotten.
  • Badass Boast: Delivered by Elspeth of all people in Chapter 49 of Radiance.
    "That's right. I am the princess of the Golden Empire. I can erase a human personality with my thoughts. I remember more centuries of experiences than you can even count. I can resurrect the dead. And you are going to calm down and listen to me."
    • Also, earlier in the story. Chapter 31, when Elspeth blasts Demetri with the memories of the last five and a half years of his involuntary mate's life:
      "Pay attention when I tell you things," I hissed at him.
  • Bad Liar: Elspeth's power makes her incredibly good at telling the truth... and as a result, people notice when she stops. She and Addy with her power can get away with lying to someone who has never heard her speak truth before, but this is of course a rare situation.
  • Barrier Warrior: Characters with shield powers tend to function as this. Bella's shield protects against mental attacks, while Renata's deflects physical ones.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Bella does not react well to being interrupted. Notably, she also doesn't like the fact that this is a button for her, and uses her luminosity to keep it under control, to the point where it's barely noticeable even when she's a newborn vampire and could more or less kill anyone before thinking about it.
      But my annoyance was the ascription of motive to the secretary, glued down with entitlement and habit. If the motive were recognized to be nonexistent and the entitlement dissolved and the habit fought as a thing in my brain that I did not welcome, they ceased to trouble me.
    • Siobhan apparently has a strong opinion on the name of a certain set of islands. Nobody ever pushes the button on-screen, but Maggie stops Jake from using the name "British Isles", warning him that "it would be an inauspicious way to start your day if you provoked Siobhan into perforating your face".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Volturi are overthrown, notable sympathetic characters like Didyme and the Clearwaters are resurrected, all the main good guys make it out alive, and vampires are forbidden from snacking on humans. However, there's no way to restore the relationships Chelsea cut away, including Elspeth's once-close bond with her "mama" — the closest they can do is offer to use her power to create new artificial relationships in their place, which many people refuse. Although at least the final chapter implies Elspeth is on the road to building new relationships with her parents from the ground up.
  • Blatant Lies: These become a plot point in Radiance. Elspeth has to constantly lie in order to keep her power suppressed, or else it will break through the effect that's making her an Unusually Uninteresting Sight.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Bella's policy towards herself. She refuses to lie to herself about things like her motives for setting up Mike with Jessica (to deflect his attention from herself), or the shallowness of her initial attraction to Edward (based on his good looks and wealth, although she gets to know him as a person over time).
      If I'd let myself believe the pretty justifications for it all, went along with the self-aggrandizing delusion, I'd be mistaken about the one topic I most adamantly refused to be mistaken about:
      Inside Bella Swan's skull, who's driving this thing?
    • Elspeth's Magic's policy toward everything. This becomes extremely useful when it turns out it helps her fight off Chelsea's power, which functions by making you lie to yourself.
  • Buffy Speak: All non-ancient characters use this to some degree, but especially Bella, Elspeth, and Cody Clearwater.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Bella explains in Chapter 1 one reason why she doesn't use her notebook in front of her peers.
    I'd been cured of that particular hypergraphic urge when a classmate of mine in the eighth grade had looked over my shoulder, been confused by my description of her as "wee", and thrown the notebook into a lavatory puddle.
  • Catchphrase: Chelsea constantly thinks "Everyone must love me."
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The story definitely gets darker towards the end of the first book. This carries through much of the second book, although things do eventually take a turn for the better.
  • Cessation of Existence: What Edward believes happens to vampires if they're killed (in contrast to humans, who get an afterlife). Bella, meanwhile, believes this is what happens to everyone who dies.
  • Clone by Conversion: Elspeth's power turns out to be capable of doing this by implanting thousands of vampire lifetimes' worth of memories into a person's mind. While vampires can handle this, humans end up with big problems... and as it turns out, with a bit of makeup, it's not to hard to mislead them as to which set of memories are their own.
  • Compelling Voice: Pyotr has the power to give a command and the hearer will obey, though it only has about a 20% success rate, with absolutely no discernible pattern.
  • Continuity Nod: The phrase "informed of things", first used in Chapter 17 of Luminosity, is repeated in Chapter 48 of Radiance, and stated as the official term in Flash 14 ("Resurrection").
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Painfully averted. Allirea does not love Demetri and definitely doesn't want to bear his children, so she gets her vampire father Joham to punch her repeatedly in the stomach until she miscarries. She's had to do this twice and it's just as horrible as it sounds.
  • Creepy Child: The first section of Flash 4 ("Mimicry"), depicting Addy's childhood, shows her to have been this.
  • Christmas Episode: Sparkmas, a collection of holiday-themed Recursive Fanfiction available on the website.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: While enduring the pain of vampire transformation, and failing to persuade Edward to Mercy Kill her, Bella instead asks him to break her spine. Which he does, with surgical precision, giving her a few hours of reduced pain until the venom fixes it again (and it would be too risky to re-break it). Bella appreciates the relief so much that when she's later talking to another potential convert, she blithely talks about breaking their spine as a pain relief option without thinking about how that sounds to them.
  • Cure Your Gays: Invoked by Victor, who was upset that he was forced out of the closet by werewolf telepathy instead of being able to come out on his own terms, so he went out and deliberately found an imprint. He still sort of considers himself gay, but since he's imprinted on a woman, he is effectively Maureen-sexual and his original orientation doesn't matter anymore.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Vampires that lose their mate approach or cross this.
  • Destructo-Nookie:
    Edward promised me that it wouldn't bother Esme that some of her furniture would need replacing. We arranged to be out, swimming around in the warm water, when the cleaning crews came through to pick up the remains of feather pillows and the splinters of bedframes.
    • This actually sets up a major plot point, because one of the cleaning crew goes on to recognise Edward for what he is from a local legend. The details of said legend are the first clue that Edward can still father children even if Bella can't bring them to term post-transformation.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Most of the many turns for the worse for the protagonists are logical consequences of events set in motion earlier, but Pera turning out to be Bella's singer at the worst possible moment is clearly this.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Common side effect of the mate bond when the vampire mates first meet.
  • Dramatic Irony: Bella's first impression of Emmett is that "he looked like he was planning to go to college on a weightlifting scholarship, or like he'd done it a few years ago and was only sitting in a high school cafeteria for kicks". This being a Twilight fanfic, the audience probably knows full well that all the Cullens do indeed go back to high school after college, repeatedly in fact.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
    I still usually can't remember my dreams, but I'm told, and have every reason to believe, that they are happy ones.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Bella talks about the lack of realism this trope has in chapter 3.
  • Everyone Can See It: Apparently a common trait of vampire mate-bonds, to the point where it's a Running Gag for someone to ask "was I this bad?" and be told that they were actually worse.
  • Exact Words: Used in various contexts:
    • Edward describes Esme's near-death (which justified her Emergency Transformation) as having "fallen off a cliff". This is true, but he deliberately leaves out why and how this happened. Bella only figures it out much later.
    • It's possible to hide things from Maggie, whose power detects lies, through carefully selected true statements. In the first book, when Bella needs to conceal the existence of Cody Clearwater, she tells Edward that if Maggie asks about Bella's scar from being bitten by Cody, he should say that "a baby half-vampire bit her", and let Maggie assume that the baby in question was Elspeth.
    • One side effect of Elspeth's power is that people can tell when she's lying. She gets around this several times with half-truths, technically accurate but misleading statements, and truths that could easily be mistaken for metaphor.
      "My interest is... professional," I said, choosing my words carefully. "I'm not a relative, but I'm not some random person off the street who wants to stare, either. I've seen symptoms like theirs before, although not so prolonged."
      She raised an eyebrow at me. "You look seventeen."
      "You're more than a decade off," I told her.
  • Exposition Beam: Elspeth eventually learns how to make her power do this.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Leech" is one for vampires, as in the Twilight books.
  • Faceless Eye: Aro keeps one of these on a necklace. Even creepier is the fact that it belongs to Marcus
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Aro maintains an outwardly benevolent demeanor, using terms of endearment for everyone even when he's about to kill them (as seen with the Denalis' mother). At one point, he deliberately brings the newly-turned Vegetarian Vampire Bella near the human Gianna, expecting that she'll lose control and eat her; his response when this fails is to tell Bella how impressed he is with her self-control, and explain kindly that he'd intended to give Gianna to her as a gift. However, he'll readily respond with violence to any slight in situations where he doesn't need to present himself as merciful (e.g. his treatment of the immortal children in Flash 12).
    • Chelsea is courteous and pleasant whenever we see her talk. In her first appearance, she's reassuring a terrified captive that there's no reason to be afraid and that she doesn't intend to harm her. When we see her perspective in a flashback, however, it becomes clear that this is a façade; she's privately disdainful of anyone she sees as beneath her, and only acts friendly so that it will be easier to use her power to make them love her.
  • Filibuster Freefall: Inverted: the fic was originally intended as an Author Tract on the idea of "luminosity" (i.e. self-awareness), but the vampire story took over and the more didactic elements that appeared early in the first book fell by the wayside.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: After Elspeth breaks the remnants of Chelsea's conditioning on Eleazar, he's able to admit that Jane's centuries of revelry in her power aren't excused by her admittedly horrible mortal life.
  • Fridge Horror: In-Universe, Elspeth doesn't realize that Brady is dead until two weeks later, when she realizes that she doesn't miss him — Chelsea "snipped" their friendship before his execution.
  • For Science!: Addy describes her motivations as this.
    Addy: Until and unless you actually try to leave, I'm not going to interfere. I'm a student of witchcraft. If you can learn to beat Chelsea, well, wouldn't that be interesting?
  • For Want of a Nail: The main divergence from Twilight canon is that Bella has a different personality. There are also characters introduced who don't appear in Twilight, and Chelsea is more powerful than her canon self is implied to be, but most of the other departures from canon happen as a direct result of Bella's decisions.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the very first chapter, Bella says of likely causes of death: "If I somehow eliminated them all, I'd be immortal." This foreshadows, not only the vampire plotline that readers know is coming, but the fact that, at the end of the first book, Bella manages to further eliminate one of the only causes of death she's still subject to as a vampire, thereby surviving her execution at the hands of the Volturi.
    • Cody explains to Elspeth that the free wolf pack don't worry too much about humans seeing something suspicious, since it would be hard to get on the Volturi's bad side any more than they already are, unless they "kill one of their wives or something". Marcus later turns against Aro after learning the latter was responsible for killing Didyme.
    • In Radiance, Elspeth muses that she shouldn't expect her power to be able to restore relationships snipped by Chelsea, "any more than I should expect to bring people back from the dead just by pointing out that they had previously lived". Later, she does essentially this, resurrecting people whose memories she got from Addy through Aro by prompting human victims of the mnemic blast to identify those memories as their own.
  • The Generic Guy: In the first book, David doesn't get much characterization, instead serving mainly as an example of what typical newborn vampires are like when they turn without advance warning. In Radiance, where he's had enough time to get control of his vampiric instincts, he gets the chance to display a personality.
  • Genre Savvy: Early on, when considering how to approach the situation with Edward, Bella likens it to a Paranormal Romance novel.
  • Guile Hero: Bella typically gets herself and others out of bad situations by outsmarting the villains or coming up with clever solutions to problems. When James decides to come after her, and manages to get around the Cullens and kidnap her, she tricks him into taking her to Volterra, where he's executed for his recklessly conspicuous actions, while convincing the Volturi to let her live and be turned on schedule. Later, she actually manages to convince her own shield to give her protection from fire, by reminding that part of herself that the integrity of her mind can't be preserved without a body to inhabit.
  • Has Two Mommies: Maggie and Gianna eventually have a daughter named Molly. Suffice to say, the frozen gametes paid off.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Discussed in Chapter 24.
  • Healing Factor: As per Twilight canon, vampires can reattach severed pieces of their bodies with no lasting physical harm done. Half-vampires and werewolves have a more traditional version of this, healing from severe injuries many times faster than a human would.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • At the beginning of Radiance, Elspeth's power, while fun, seems more or less useless for the kinds of life-or-death situations that come up in the series. By the end of the book, it's proven capable of deprogramming people affected by Chelsea's power, including Elspeth herself; creating internal sub-selves to efficiently process millions of years' worth of memories; putting a vampire into an incapacitated state that lasts several hours; outright erasing a human's consciousness; and resurrecting people.
    • Allirea's power also falls under this. She's briefly mentioned in Luminosity, where it's said that she can divert notice from herself. She doesn't actually make herself invisible, just uninteresting. Probably not useless, but nowhere near as cool as, say, Alice's power. And then you actually meet her.
      I peered at him. He looked like he was in pain, but I hadn't hurt him, he hadn't touched the door, I would have heard if he'd hit himself against the stone of the cell... I supposed he could have had a heart attack, but that didn't seem likely in someone his age. The drops of his blood perfuming the air didn't have any scent of disease on them. It was peculiar, really. The only thing that had happened to him since he'd started his description of Heidi was that the stranger in the cell had sunk her teeth into his neck and started sucking his blood.
      "What's wrong?" I finally thought to ask, but he seemed as confused as I and just gestured jerkily at his throat. A few seconds passed, and he stopped screaming. I touched his wrist and checked his pulse. He was definitely dead. Maybe he'd had a heart attack after all. It wasn't impossible for teenagers, and he was under a lot of stress. That wouldn't have anything to do with his neck, though - as far as I know. I'm not a doctor.
    • Marcus's power to see relationships doesn't get a great deal of use in canon, and has often been mocked by the fandom or hatedom. In Luminosity, Marcus is the reason Chelsea is able to keep the Volturi together — he sees relationships in much greater detail than she feels them, and can point out the beginnings of internal conflicts that she would otherwise miss. His power also allows him to notice Allirea's presence via relationships involving her. At one time, it also made him effectively immune to Chelsea's power, since he could catch her using it on him and call her out, but after Didyme died he stopped caring enough to bother.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: According to Elspeth, Vladimir and Stefan are without mates, but they've spent the last few millennia hanging around each other.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the chapters in book two are words for a person, ending in an "er" sound. (Liar, Runner, etc.). The thirty-fifth chapter went as far as to invent the word "genealoger" in order to fit this pattern (the actual word is "genealogist").
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Invoked by Victor, a gay werewolf who deliberately gains a female imprint.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Somewhere around there at least. Werewolves and half-vampires grow to maturity, then live forever.
  • Immortality Hurts: In Radiance, the Volturi keep several vampires disassembled for easy storage. Including Edward and Alice.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: Vampires tend to get pretty casually hit with damage that would be way more than enough to kill a human. Aside from the aforementioned practice of keeping them in pieces as an imprisonment method, vampires are seen tearing each other's limbs off in minor scuffles or friendly sparring sessions.
  • Immortality Inducer: Take a human, add some venom in the bloodstream and you have an immortal vampire in three days.
  • Immortality Seeker: Bella. Unusually for this trope, she's not just concerned with herself, but believes immortality should be available to everyone.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: Unlike canon, Bella is already a vampire by the time of the honeymoon — indestructible, untiring, not even needing to breathe. Once they arrive on Isle Esme, there's a Sexy Discretion Shot and then the narrative picks up days later, when she needs to hunt. And then, after dinner, it cuts away again for even longer.
  • Insistent Terminology: The juvenile werewolves Elspeth meets in the wolf village dislike being referred to as "children", on the grounds that this is the word for juvenile humans, and insist that the correct term for them is "puppies".
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Bella and Edward. We later see more examples of vampire/human relationships when a vampire meets their mate as a human. These tend not to remain interspecies for long, since the vampire typically turns their mate immediately, but there are some exceptions, such as Gianna and Maggie.
    • Werewolves with their imprints, at least in the majority of cases where the relationship is romantic.
    • Flashes 6 and 7 show examples of hybrid/vampire and hybrid/human romances. It's also possible for a wolf to imprint on a hybrid, as seen with Jacob and Elspeth.
  • Kill It with Fire: The usual way to kill a vampire.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Jacob, talking to some vampires who are on his side about some vampires who aren't:
    Jacob: I want those lee...ders of the supernatural world gone.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Maggie is a lesbian and a vampire, but otherwise doesn't fit the archetype. Rather than being a sultry seductress, she's only interested in finding true love. Which she does, in Gianna.
  • Lies to Children: Bella tells Maggie that Gianna is the Cullen family's "pet human". This is not at all literally true, but is much simpler than explaining the full situation. This leads to some confusion when Maggie wants to meet the pet human.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Gianna. To the extent that nobody even suspected she was gay.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Bella sees it this way, and has a hard time understanding why anyone wouldn't. Nevertheless, she's adamantly against turning anyone into a vampire without consent.
  • Living Lie Detector:
    • Maggie. In Radiance, there's also Charles, whose power works the opposite way, detecting truth and honesty.
    • Elspeth is an inversion: her power gives her a boost to her persuasiveness when she's telling the truth, which means she sounds much less convincing by comparison when she's not. As a result, everyone else can tell when she's lying.
    • Elspeth also works out a way to make her power function as a limited version of the trope played straight — and unusually, she can figure out the objective truth. Since her power helps her land on the best way to communicate things to people, she can sometimes make inferences about them based on this information, and on at least one occasion this allows her to confirm or deny a claim someone makes that may or not be a lie.
  • Loophole Abuse: Addy, wanting to stay hidden from Alice, exploits the fact that anyone whose actions will be affected by a werewolf is invisible to her. No matter how distant the effect is — she kept up on the wolves' Twitter feeds and "made a variety of trivial but highly visible decisions based on the number of words in each message".
  • Love at First Sight: Both vampires and (male) werewolves are biologically subject to this (through mate bonds and imprinting, respectively).
  • Mad Love: Demetri loves Allirea, and does not understand that she doesn't love him back, not even when Elspeth tells him so, repeatedly, right before he is killed.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: When lesbian vampire couple Maggie and Gianna want a child, they manage to find a sperm donor that might be a distant nephew of one woman — but they can't be sure, because Maggie suspects her sister-in-law was cheating on her brother all those generations back.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Chelsea can cut away your connection to anyone you love, leaving you indifferent to them. This results in things like a mother and father not caring when their baby is killed, or another victim watching impassively as her former loved one is killed right in front of her.
    • Jane's power doesn't do any physical damage, but the purely mental experience of pain she can induce is enough to cause severe and lingering emotional effects on those we see subjected to it.
    • Elspeth's power turns out to be capable of this as well, by sending someone a massive enough payload of implanted memories to render a vampire comatose for several hours or destroy a human's consciousness entirely. Or, in Demetri's case, simply sending him the memories that prove Allirea doesn't love him like he's been telling himself.
  • Mercy Kill: It's common for humans in the throes of the three-day vampire transformation to beg to be killed to escape the pain. Gianna almost persuades Maggie to do it, too, because Maggie's power lets her know that Gianna was sincere about wanting to die.
  • Mythology Gag: According to Addy, Bella's magic tastes like apple.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Most of the decisions Bella and Elspeth make have directly contributed to the continued worsening of the situation. This finally starts to turn around towards the later chapters of Radiance.
  • Never Found the Body: Incinerating a vampire doesn't leave behind much of a corpse.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Bella's mental shield conveniently becomes capable of protecting her from physical damage just in time to save her when she's set on fire. Justified in that previous chapters foreshadowed this by showing Bella pondering the nature and limitations of her powers and experimenting with how flexible they could be.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: As a newborn vampire, Bella is too sensitive to blood for regular airline travel, so she instead gets put in a large suitcase, with a tag attached indicating that she's a sculpture by an anonymous artist. It helps that she has rock-hard cold skin and can remain completely motionless indefinitely.
    The time I was investigated during our stop Stateside, I heard some confused mumbles about why such a pretty statue was being transported without any packing peanuts and in the same bag as a set of assorted language primers and a box of contact lenses. I didn't think this inquisitiveness would go anywhere untoward. I probably wasn't even the strangest-looking thing they'd seen that month.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: The immortal children kept and later killed by Aro are a heartbreaking example. So is Alec, eternally fourteen and likely unable to mate due to his youth even after his twin sister, who has basically been his sun and moon for centuries, is killed, leaving him totally alone in the world and extremely unlikely to make new friends.
  • Note to Self: one of the defining traits of this version of Bella is that she records, organizes and analyzes her own thoughts. After she becomes a vampire and has extreme difficulty remembering her mortal life, these records are very helpful in allowing her to recover much of it.
    • Siobhan uses this, as a way to get around Allirea's power.
  • Offered the Crown: Bella was made empress because Siobhan, the one that actually won the throne, did not want to deal with the hassle, and no one else was interested.
    • Becoming “queen of the world” was actually Bella’s plan from the time she found out about the Volturi early on in Luminosity. It just ended up taking way, way more time, heartbreak, and effort to get there because of the huge hole in her original plans.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Elspeth offers to provide some in chapter 52 of "Radiance". Which leads to some amusement when they discover she doesn't really have a deep enough voice for the purpose.
  • Omniglot: Many immortals, including Bella and Elspeth.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The vampire from Cardiff is referred to exclusively with such epithets as "Cardiff Bint", because the main source of information on her is Maggie, who despises her for being a pathological liar.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Edward thinks so.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In Twilight tradition.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Enforced by magic; mated vampires are ecstatically happy together. Of course, things can still go wrong, if, say, they have very different views on the value of human life, or only one of them is a vampire...
  • Personality Powers: As with the source material, even with a new personality Bella qualifys, as do the new additions.
  • Pet the Dog: Santiago does this a couple times; it's stated she's been teaching children how to dance.
  • Power Copying: Addy can copy the powers of any witch by touching them. Downside is, she can only keep one at a time, and switching powers on contact is automatic and involuntary.
  • Power of Love: Conversed and Exploited Mate bond and imprinting both are immune to magical manipulation, or otherwise react differently to magic. The rebels use this to recruit key members of the Volturi.
  • Power Perversion Potential: "Among the enhanced vampire senses is touch."
  • Precision F-Strike: Exactly two f-bombs are dropped in the entire fic. The first one is Played for Laughs, when Cath and Ilario mate-bond and Maggie is annoyed at their timing. The second one is not, when Bella gives Chelsea a "Reason You Suck" Speech before killing her.
  • Prefers Proper Names: Allirea sees nicknames as childish and refuses to use them. Elspeth figures out that the "Del" who copies powers and betrayed Pera is the same person as the "Addy" who Bella has warned her to stay away from, because Allirea insists on referring to her by her full name, Adelaide.
  • Primal Scene: Radiance, Chapter 20: "I remember my parents' honeymoon!"
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Elspeth, due to her mother's "neuroses", and the fact that her hair grows "like bamboo," usually has hair down to her ankles; it's often pointed out how amazing it is that she can work with it.
  • Really 700 Years Old: vampires, natch.
  • Red String of Fate: Deconstructed to various degrees with both the vampire mate bond and the wolf imprint systems.
  • Reduce Aggro: Allirea's power is this combined with Perception Filter, unless she's concentrating people will forget about her. Sometimes with disastrous results.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Chapter 31 of Radiance, Elspeth delivers one to Demetri. Due to the nature of her power, it results in a Critical Hit.
  • The Remnant: Vladimir and Stefan. Their regime governed the vampiric world until the Volturi destroyed it, allowing them to live as a novelty. Thousands of years later, they're still very eager to see their usurpers destroyed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Alice predicts some form of this as a possibility, should Marcus ever find out about Aro's betrayal.
  • Romantic Fake–Real Turn: Bella deliberately plans one, after realising that becoming a vampire will mean she's as supernaturally devoted to Edward as he is to her. Once she decides that immortality is still worth it, she suggests that they announce that they're an item, then finish out the school year as "the showiest, most sickeningly inseparable couple in the universe," so that it will be plausible to everyone when they elope together over the summer. Even before summer, though, she finds herself liking their sort-of-fake relationship — and of course, for Edward it's real all along.
    With as little history experiencing and labeling romantic emotions as I had, I might not even be able to tell when I stopped pretending.
  • Running Gag: Discussing unimportant things. Specifically, the very-not-unimportant but Unusually Uninteresting Sight Allirea.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: "Among the enhanced vampire senses is touch."
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Bella sets Mike up with Jessica to get his attentions off of herself. She subconsciously starts coming up with more "noble" reasons, but quickly notices this and rejects it as the self-deception it is — they might indeed be cute together, and Mike might indeed be better off with Jessica than pining over Bella, but she knows that those aren't her actual reasons and she doesn't want to go around believing false things about her own thoughts.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: Pera.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Leah and Seth fit. Ilario and Gianna on the other hand are an aversion, particularly in their tastes in romantic partners.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Vampires and werewolves can have normal sexual orientations, but for vampires, it's mostly a predictor of their mate's gender (Maggie knew she was gay before mate-bonding with Gianna, for example), and for werewolves it's overridden by the imprint bond anyway.
  • Society of Immortals: The Golden Coven is working to create one.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: Second-hand. Bella doesn't approve of Elspeth dating, since she's really only five and a half years old, so this is one of her stock lies that she tells boys who take an interest (since Elspeth herself can't).
  • Spiritual Successor: The fic is attempting to do something similar to the Twilight series as Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality does with Harry Potter. Luminosity's author is a part of the same community blog, Less Wrong, as Methods of Rationality's author Eliezer Yudkowsky.
  • Spy Speak: Several instances; for example, Bella has a coded conversation with Billy Black about vampires and werewolves.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Chelsea was a particularly monstrous one in the past. After bonding to one particular boy, she severed his ties with his family with her power, ate the entire family and bound him to her with her power before turning him. And she didn't even need to; if she had just turned him, he would have bonded to her on first sight as usual, which is a connection far beyond what her power can bestow. She was just obsessive and paranoid.
    • Demetri is a vampire, and loves Allirea. However, as a half-vampire, Allirea is not subject to the vampire mate bond (and therefore doesn't automatically love him back), and she's not human, so he can't turn her into a full vampire (which would make her love him). Allirea hates Demetri.
    • Actually every vampire that ever mated to a human prior to the establishing of the Golden Coven would count.
      • Though the first vignette in Flashes indicates that Sulpicia was thrilled to be taken away from her human life by Aro.
  • Starter Villain: James and Victoria. They both wind up dying fairly unceremoniously.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Bella's mental shield grows powerful enough to put out fire and reassemble her pieces, thus making her virtually indestructible.
  • The Strategist: Siobhan. This is, in fact, her power.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Allirea. Creepy and obsessed with vengeance when we first meet her, but devoted to her family, especially her children.
  • Summon Bigger Fish:
    • When Bella runs out of other options, she ends up using this method to escape from James. It works, with the Volturi deciding that she's more interesting and executing James — but it also comes back to bite her.
    • Irina later proves to have been paying attention, and repeats Bella's strategy to retaliate against the wolves who killed Laurent.
  • Superior Species: As per canon, Joham believes that he is creating one by fathering vampire-human hybrids. Bella eventually reveals that she's partially sympathetic to the idea, wanting to populate the world with hybrids, who have the agelessness of vampires but can have children and eat non-blood foods like humans - although she doesn't condone how he left a string of prospective mothers to die.
  • Superpower Lottery: As per Twilight canon, there are humans (and vampires) with unusual powers, including Edward's mind reading, Alice's precognition, and Bella's mental shield. In this fic, people with such powers are called "witches".
  • Supporting Leader: Siobhan eventually becomes this in Radiance.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The first book's narrator is Bella, in keeping with Twilight tradition, the second's is Elspeth, with Addy taking over for the chapter where Elspeth is comatose and delusional.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Chelsea's far too amoral to be a woobie, but when you see her memories, you have to wonder why she thinks 'Everyone must love me'. She's showing signs of being one of the more tragic variants of the Stepford Smiler.
  • Take That!:
    • Bella’s comments on how a name combining Renée and Esme would sound like a Pokémon.
    • The premise of this fic looks like one, but the author actually likes Twilight.
  • Talking to Themself: This is what ends up happening when Elspeth tries using her power on herself.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Part of Bella's "Summon Bigger Fish" plan.
  • Time Abyss: Aro falls into this, not by being alive for that long, but because he has so many memories of so many vampires that, going by remembered time, he may be older than humanity. By extension, Addy and Elspeth.
    • …and by extension again, Siobhan, and everyone caught in the memory blast, with the exception of the humans who are physically incapable of processing millions of years’ worth of memories in high-definition.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Marcus spends most of the story (and the preceeding two thousand years) brooding over Didyme (and being forced to see his severed half of their mate bond, because of his power). He finally gets thrown a bone in one of the final chapters of Radiance, when she is reincarnated in a human’s body and their mate bond reforms.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In Radiance, Adelaide.
    Maggie: Jesus! Wow, I've killed a lot of people, but I never coerced a five-year-old into provoking somebody into torturing her so I could get my jollies playing with her power. Most Evil Person In The Car Award goes to Addy.
  • Too Much for Man to Handle: Addy discovers you can use Elspeth's power to broadcast a lifetime's worth of memory. Later on, she has to take advantage of this by broadcasting her entire set of memories. She's several centuries old, and has used Aro's powers to absorb the comprehensive memories of hundreds of other vampires. This means that some ten thousand years of memories get uploaded to every nearby vampire in an instant.
    • Not just metaphorically breathtaking, it proves deadly to a couple of humans caught in the blast.
    • And some of this information is politically very delicate.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Whenever Allirea is discussed, Elspeth elides over the conversation with "This is unimportant; why are they discussing this?"
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: This is Allirea's power. Except when she's actively suppressing it, everyone (except Demetri, her stalker, whose mate bond overrides the power, and Bella, who is immune to all mental powers) forgets about her existence, even when looking right at her.
  • Villainous BSoD: Demetri in Chapter 31 of Radiance, thanks to Elspeth. He then flies into a frenzy.
  • The Watson: Bella.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Vladimir and Stefan. They have no powers to speak of whatsoever, yet they're some of the oldest vampires in existence, and Elspeth thinks either of them could defeat Siobhan in a fair fight. Even though they're physically smaller, have ancient, brittle skin, and Siobhan has witchcraft.
  • Weasel Words: These help hide whether Elspeth's telling the truth.
    • Also used to hide things from Maggie.
  • Wham Episode: To the point that you can refer to people as pre- and post-the following spoiler: Oh, this is interesti—did Edward just die?
  • What Cliffhanger?: Nearly every chapter ends on one.
    • Chapter 35 of Radiance has an amazing one, though. "'Quite a story,' agreed Alice's voice, softly."
  • Wild Card:
    • Addy is almost a paragon of this trope. She's completely amoral, possesses an ability that is uniquely suited for making things more chaotic, and follows an inscrutable agenda, sometimes working against the protagonists, and other times working against the Volturi, to the point that it's almost impossible to predict what she'll do next.
    • To a much lesser extent, since he hasn't actually appeared in the fic (but been mentioned a few times), Joham is this as well, due to his solitary tendencies, as well as his scientific curiosity and stated goals of creating a Super Soldier Master Race.
    • Marcus almost becomes this when a certain secret (that Aro killed his mate Didyme, to keep her from leading Marcus away from being a Volturi king) starts to leak and threatens to reach him. When Alice considers showing him the secret, she sees way more possible reactions from Marcus than usual, from trying to kill Aro/Sulpicia/himself/everyone, to leaking Volturi secrets to Carlisle/Chelsea/Rachel, to flat disbelief despite the indisputable proof, to ordering the local Compelling Voice to make him forget, to just walking away. In the end, though, Aro, having expected this, breaks him into rubble before anyone tells him anything.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard: Elspeth finds a way around a power-restriction this way. Considering that witch powers are personality-based, it makes sense.