Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry Potter/ Draco Malfoy
Side pairings: Harry Potter/ Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley/Blaise Zabini
Word Count: 306,708
Summary: One good turn always deserves another. Apparently.
”Turn” is a canon-compliant fanfic which starts a few months after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" ended. The Potter boys come home for Christmas break and Harry and his daughter Lily collect them and their cousin Rose at platform 9 ¾. We meet a Harry who’s exhausted from his job at the ministry, who is not really happy with his marriage and family life—even though he loves them all dearly—and who isn’t satisfied with his life in general. Later that same night, Harry goes out for a drink and saves a strange old man from slipping and falling on the icy street right before the pub. The old man returns the favor and buys Harry a few drinks. They talk and Harry gets melancholic from the alcohol. Finally, he asks this stranger how his life would have turned out if he had done something different back in school.
That’s the opportunity the old man, Boris, has waited for. He grants Harry a glimpse into this entirely different life he would have led if Harry had changed a particular thing at Hogwarts:
A life where he’s in love with one Draco Malfoy, where Ginny is happily married to Blaise Zabini, where he’s apparently a carpenter and a very good one at that. A life he takes over like an impostor and where he falls deep and hard for this weird Draco fate put at his side, and when he just gets used to it, Harry is suddenly back in his real life. It was all a dream. But even in a midlife crisis, he is still Harry Potter: The guy who fights for what feels right. And this time he fights not for the wizarding world but for his own happiness.
Of course, there’s more to the story, but let’s not spoil it by revealing too much. "Turn" stands for Harry’s journey here—he takes the unknown road, now that he knows what a life he could have led looks like. The story is funny, mesmerizing and beautifully crafted.
There are many little details and charming quirks the characters have and it all adds to the story’s brilliant and heartwarming atmosphere. There are Harry’s friends and family, who take it in stride how he turns his and all their lives upside down, each of them a brilliant addition to the story. Also the kids, in the glimpse and in the real world, who are great fun, even grumpy teenager James Potter whose relationship with his dad wasn’t always the best. There are some animals whose antics make you smile and of course there are two Draco Malfoys—glimpse and real life Draco—who both steal Harry’s heart and the reader’s for that matter, especially or because they’re far from being perfect.
Saras_Girl is a well known name in "Harry Potter" fandom, and following her yearly Advent fic has become a beloved Christmas season tradition for many Potterheads. I love and follow them too, but "Turn" was there first—the fic was published in 2013 just around the time I joined the fandom. It was my first canon compliant fic and that that was a thing I only realised while reading for the first time.
Over time, ”Turn” has become my go-to fic when I feel miserable and need a distraction from life’s snares. It always works and it never gets old to follow an adult and more serious Harry on his journey. Because deep down in his core he is still as stubborn and adventurous as he was in his youth. He just forgot about it and needs to reconnect with this side of his personality. By changing his life he does, and in the end many great things come from his ”Turn.”
I can’t say how often I’ve read this story. I admit I also read all the others by this author, but this is my all time favorite by Saras_Girl. If you have never heard of the name and love Harry Potter, I highly recommend to check out her works. I’m lucky and have become friends with the author over the years (on good old LiveJournal where I only follow about four peeps now) and she knows how much I love to praise her talent wherever and however the opportunity arises. This is me fulfilling my duty as a good friend.
It goes without saying: ”Turn” deserves 5 glittery and twinkling stars.