Fanfiction – Changeling

Changeling by GoWithTheFlo20

This is an interesting case. It’s a Harry Potter – Star Trek: Deep Space 9 crossover that’s quite early in its arc, and has a lot of potential, but it’s also a bit of an “OC named Harry Potter” story.

Specifically, it’s a femHarry story where Harry Potter is a changeling and winds up on Deep Space 9 early in the story arc.

It’s not a bad story by any means, but you can probably get a sense for what I mean when I say that this is an “OC named Harry Potter” story. The story changed Harry’s gender and species, and presents her in a narrative that, while engaging, doesn’t leap to introduce details that are strongly associated with who canon Harry Potter is as a person, and she winds up letting the DS9 crew continue to use the temporary name they gave her… Bu.

Yes, the parts before Harry arrives on Deep Space 9 have a lot of Harry Potter details, but I get a sense that they lean more toward justifying using Harry Potter in a role that already had an identity of its own, rather than establishing that the narrative fundamentally needs who Harry already was.

Sure, “Bu” is Harry Potter because her initial “play dead” response was conditioned by the Dursleys, and she’s got Harry’s hero complex when she refuses to join the Great Link so long as doing so would leave Odo alone again, and she knows enough about glasses to ask the replicator for some test pairs for Weyoun, but that combination of traits isn’t particularly unique to Harry Potter and combining the name “Bu” with the personality she has makes it harder to see why this character should have begun as a femHarry, rather than an interesting OC. (And, to be honest, I can’t remember the story even trying to justify why a changeling Harry would know that much about glasses.)

So, does it need to be a Harry Potter crossover at all? Well, at the moment, the story arc isn’t far enough in to have seen “Bu” do anything a muggle couldn’t do, so I’ll have to give it the benefit of the doubt that magical ability is going to be significant and that’s why it’s a Harry Potter crossover rather than a non-crossover DS9 story.

With all that focused on, what about the good parts? Why did I think this felt worth a review? Well, OC in disguise or not, there’s something about how Harry/Bu and her interactions with others are portrayed which I really like. It’s got that touch of innocent warmth to the tone of the writing that I’ve seen in various “character as a little kid” stories in various fandoms.

It’s also a story with a main character who is very distinctly not human (something else I like)… which it’s already using to good effect for character exploration and development… and, even without the author’s note telling me the intended pairings, I can already feel that it’s going to be a story which explores and develops Weyoun as a very interesting main character.

(Though I am mildly worried about whether the author will be successful at whatever is meant by putting “Garak/Julian” in the pairing chart. As close friendship, yes… but, if more is intended, it may require a kind of character-writing skill that would have noticed and avoided “OC named <canon character>” writing before it happened.)

It’s hard to say more, given how early in its arc it is, but, from what I’ve seen so far, I’d say that it’ll be somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5 out of 5 once it’s got more chapters under its belt and, as long as you’re willing to not be distracted by expectations of who Harry Potter is as a character, it’s something you should check out.

P.S. If you want to see something similar to this done by a professional author, check out the Web Shifters series by Julie E. Czerneda. It’s been at least a decade since I’ve read it, so I can’t write a full review from memory, but I remember enjoying it.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Fanfiction – Changeling by Stephan Sokolow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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