Fanfic / Child of the Storm
A Mega Crossover
by Nimbus Llewelyn
that started on a What If?
In this case, what would happen if Thor
had been incarnated as James Potter, as a first run on that humility thing?
Oh, and after he died, he went mad with grief in a form of Gone Horribly Right
combined with Gone Horribly Wrong
, and Odin had to wipe his memories. Then, those memories were restored by Loki in Harry Potter
's third year at Hogwarts.
So far, the answer appears to be a world of strange hijinks, constant snarking
, lots of badassery
, evil plots, Loads and Loads of Characters
, creepy super zombies, an even creepier Necromancer
, and Loki's incredible coffee making skills
. The sequel is only piling on the weirdness.
Manages to take a Marty Stuish Wish Fulfillment
based premise (Harry gets a Really Royalty Reveal
) and turn it into something (so far) pretty good, largely by exploring the Butterfly Effect
: while Harry is far better protected, loved, and supported, it creates issues that weren't there before, both personally for Harry and on a far grander scale for the rest of the universe. Notable negative repercussions include the deaths of Arthur Weasley and Luna Lovegood.
Notable for its epic World Building
in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of The Last Son
series (but, arguably, far beyond in scale) (which Word of God
has credited as part of the inspiration for the fic), along with SmallvilleX: Evolution
. Also credited are Smallville
and X-Men: Evolution
, in that it takes a similar concept of a young person discovering their powers and the issues that come with them.
In short: A Patchwork Fic
that is both Denser and Wackier
and Darker and Edgier
Has three instalments so far:
- Book 1: Child of the Storm, which starts it all with Harry discovering his heritage and, essentially, trying very hard not to die as a lot of people try just as hard to kill him and briefly succeed, while discovering new powers and making new friends, all while HYDRA ascend, the Darkhold whispers and everyone dances on the puppet strings of the Sorcerer Supreme... It is complete.
- Book 1.5: Chaos Reigns, is a side story set just prior to chapters 59 and 60, alternately from the POV of Harry Dresden and Wanda Maximoff, as they handle an incursion by the demonic N'Garai. It is complete.
- Book 2: Ghosts of the Past, follows on from the Final Battle of Child of the Storm with Harry starting to assert himself as a Power in his own right, but one still vulnerable thanks to his nature as a Glass Cannon and his inexperience, and dealing with the reverberations of the events of the previous book. Meanwhile, a number of separate villains are all, for one reason or another, out to either control him or to destroy him. It is ongoing.
There are constant hints by the author that he has the entire series mapped out. Equally, there are constant hints that he's constantly changing his mind and adding things in at the last minute (like major characters), meaning that it's not uncommon for something definitively stated in an A/N to be contradicted ten chapters later.
The general consensus seems to be that the broad framework is laid out, but the details are subject to change.
He's also friends with the authors of The Magic of Torchwood
and De Aged
, crediting the former as a key beta/source of advice and the latter as an invaluable source of scientific expertise.
Has also gained a certain amount of recognition beyond this page and recommendations on this site:
- A reading, the first chapter of which can be found here.
- And the story's incarnation of Doctor Strange is mentioned both under his main incarnation's tab in the House of Magic and under his main incarnation on the Time Lord page, in the latter case being equivalent to the Time Lord Victorious.
Child Of The Storm contains examples of the following tropes:
Ghosts of the Past contains examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Parents: Mr Danvers establishes himself as a subtle psychological abuser when he first appears in chapter 6. It's intentionally depicted as insidious and very hard to pin down (as psychological abuse often is). He tries to force his two older children to become what he thinks they should be (and honestly thinks would be best for them) - their polar opposites, essentially. Carol is a sporty, Hot-Blooded teenage Action Girl, while Stevie is a slight, softly spoken, arty boy. As Alison notes, if they'd been the other way around, he'd have been delighted. As it is, he tries to forcibly mould them into what he wants them to be.
- The form it takes means that it only becomes clear in retrospect, to both characters and readers, but when it does... Carol's understated but rampant self-esteem issues, spiky attitude, reflexive reaction against authority (usually male), and latching onto alternate father figures, such as her uncle Jack and Steve, her great-grandfather, are a clear product of that abuse, for instance. As for Stevie, one incident makes it clear: Harry's invited round to dinner at the Danvers house in chapter 6. He asks about Stevie's drawing. Before Stevie can say anything, his little brother Joe Junior loudly says that "Drawing's for girls," whereupon his father laughs and ruffles his hair in approval. Stevie wilts and shuts his mouth. While his mother does her best, buying him art supplies and supporting him, as well as reprimanding her husband, he desperately wants his father's approval, and the latter's constant subtle put-downs giving him what Alison terms as 'a psychological death by a thousand cuts'.
- Also in chapter 6, it turns out that Mr Danvers' invited Harry to get the measure of his daughter's Best Friend and to ask him to use his Psychic Powers to change her, to 'make her take the right path'. Harry erupts with rage, gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech, then telepathically knocks him out, but only ends up giving only a limited account to Carol's mother (who thinks that they simply argued, Harry having been engaging in Passive-Aggressive Kombat with him all evening). When Alison gets the full account from Carol in chapter 20, which she passes onto Carol's mother, they both agree that Mr Danvers has to go: Alison pulls strings and he's Kicked Upstairs to a job out of state and she terrifies him into going along with it, as well as staying away from his family.
- Adaptational Badass: Voldemort quickly establishes that he's a lot more dangerous than his canon counterpart.
- As of the update, Barty Crouch Junior has been upgraded as The Dragon to Voldemort. A sign of things to come, probably.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Carol's dad wasn't pleasant in the comics, from what little we see, but he wasn't an explicitly psychologically abusive parent.
- Adaptational Wimp: General Lukin. His canon counterpart is an incredibly powerful CEO and ex Soviet General, ruling a de facto miniature state and wielding a cosmic cube - though that comes with the issue of the Red Skull trying to possess him. This version is an admittedly powerful General and commander of the resurrected Red Room, but he plays a definite second fiddle to Sinister.
- Adventure Duo: Harry and Carol.
- A God Am I: One rather unexpected character veers into this after finally being pushed too far, summed up by a variation on a very famous catchphrase.
Harry: I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
- The All-American Boy: Joe Jnr Danvers, Carol's baby brother, fits this trope like an adorable, impressionable 9 year old glove. His father also tries to force his softly spoken, creative older brother, Carol's middle sibling, Steven 'Stevie' Danvers, into this mould, the same way he tries to force Carol to be more traditionally feminine.
- The Alliance: In ancient times, the worlds that became seven of the Nine Realms, as well as several other races, banded together to defeat Surtur.
- An Arm and a Leg: The Red Son has his left arm and much of his left side blown off while fighting Magneto, then replaced by the Transmode Virus. Unsurprisingly, once matters are set to rights, Harry is vocally unhappy about this. Then he snaps and becomes the Dark Phoenix, blasting off the Transmode and regenerating his limbs.
- Apocalypse How: Strange reveals that of the bad futures he can see, the best are at least a Class 2, while the worst are minimally Class X-4's, with Maddie as the Dark Phoenix destroying all of the Nine Realms except for Muspelheim, which she takes over, and a straight race between Chthon and Thanos to destroy/control the universe.
- It's reiterated that Harry and Voldemort are this.
- Strange seems to consider Sinister to be his, given how he treats hunting him down as a case of It's Personal. He also considered Mordred to be his, and both of them for the same reason: He was too late to stop them from harming others.
- Badass Boast: Strange, when putting his foot down to the Council Elite, lets an epic one fly:
"I am the Sorcerer Supreme. I am the Evergreen Man, the Lord of Time, and I know my place perfectly well. I fight beings like you every single day. I have guarded reality against them for centuries, and for the most part, I have done it alone. For centuries I have stood, and I stand here still, now with an Infinity Stone in my hand. Do you really think that you, any of you, is a match for me? So how dare you? How dare any of you? How dare any of you raise your voices to me!"
- Bad Future: It would seem that Strange can foresee these, and actively works to prevent them. For example, he tells Wanda that if he hadn't led Gambit to the Red Room, setting in motion the first steps of Maddie's Heel–Face Turn, the worst possible outcome of events would have been Earth and the rest of the Nine Realms being destroyed by Dark Phoenix Maddie, followed by a race between Chthon's ilk and an Infinity Stone-powered Thanos to control or destroy the universe. Most of the 'better' futures would still have had Maddie dead and a death toll extending into the millions, if not the hundreds of millions - and while there were other, better futures that Strange could more easily have arranged, though they were few and far between, he felt he owed it to Maddie.
- Bait-and-Switch: At first, it is implied that the Red Son is a clone of someone, perhaps Clark or Harry, or some other genetically engineered abomination from the tail-end of the Cold War. Actually, though, it's Harry, or at least the Blank Slate of his body, brainwashed and programmed.
- Batman Gambit: Voldemort has Crouch send up the Dark Mark during the fight at the World Cup, knowing that its reputation will cause panic and confusion among the heroes and assembled allies.
- The Avengers pull several on the Red Room in Chapter 13, counting on exactly how they're going to react to provocation in order to lead them into several traps. Harry notes rather scathingly that they were blatantly obvious and wouldn't have worked were it not for Belova being mad and Lukin's sensitive ego. However, it could also be said that the latter was kind of the point.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Harry and Voldemort have a couple of these during their fight at the World Cup. The first one ends in a draw due to Harry's raw power going up against Voldemort's skill and willingness to use Harry's friends as hostages. The second, without hostages, ends with Harry overwhelming Voldemort, forcing him to flee.
- Harry and Rachel Grey/Maddie Pryor get into another, pretty epic one, later on. It causes a global scale Psychic Nosebleed, almost kills some elderly psychics, and results in a World Gone Mad in the relevant part of the Nevernever.
- Be All My Sins Remembered: At Loki's own insistence, the "Rogues Gallery" exhibit at New York's Natural History Museum contains a replica of him as he was during the Chitauri invasion.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Harry gets hit with this hard when he darkly remarks that he hopes the then unknown telepath who intervened to keep him at Privet Drive to study him comes around and has a go, doubtless planning to wreak horrors on his person. Then he does. Cue the Forever Red arc, in which Harry is kidnapped, tortured, his Blank Slate body is reprogrammed into the Red Son, hundreds of deaths, countless cases of Mind Rape to varying degrees, the geopolitical map of the mortal and spirit worlds being turned upside down, and worst of all, the rise of the Dark Phoenix, an event which leads to more than a few mortals and gods concluding that Harry is an Apocalypse Maiden and too dangerous to live, while Harry himself is a slowly recovering traumatised wreck. All in all, it's fair to say that that particular wish backfired.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: Chapters 9 and 10, especially 10, embody this trope.
- Chapters 12 and 13 also emphasise this.
- Big Bad Ensemble: On one hand, you've got Voldemort (and possibly Selene, if their deal is holding up). On the other, you've got Sinister, working with the Red Room.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Avengers, Wanda, Bucky, Jean, Alison, and Jack O'Neill in chapter 10.
- Maddie, Jono, Harry Dresden, Sir Fix, and Doctor Strange pull this in chapters 14 and 15.
- For a given value of 'hero', but Strange pulls this in chapter 16 when Odin's being backed into a corner by the Council Elite of Skyfathers. By whisking them to the Rock of Eternity with the Tesseract, no less.
- Big Sister Instinct: Jean to Harry and Maddie, outright threatening to bring down SHIELD singlehandedly if she thinks that they're a threat to her family.
- Blasé Boast: Strange gives a quiet one to Thor:
We both know that no prison built will hold me. I've been through enough tortures that anything you could do to me would be at best amusingly quaint and frankly, cathartic.
- Jean-Paul also tells Clark that there's no one faster than him, with Clark noting that this isn't as much of a boast as it is a statement of fact.
- Born of Magic: Chapter 10 implies in passing that Merlin was this.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Harry ends up suffering this at the hands of the Red Room, becoming the Red Son.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Harry at one point hopes for world peace, good weather, and a year to go by at school without someone trying to murder him.
- Bring It: Harry says this to Maddie right before their psychic duel in the Red Room base.
Maddie: Consider it brought.
- Broken Ace: Doctor Strange, as best shown during the Forever Red arc and when he explains his background in chapter 20. He's brilliant, witty, and incredibly powerful... and he's also ancient, miserable, half-mad, and incredibly lonely, regarding the prospect of death as a release.
- Brought Down to Badass: According to Dumbledore, while Strange stripped Grindelwald of all his outside enhancements and gifted power, he was still the joint strongest Wanded practitioner of his era, armed with the Elder Wand, and exceptionally knowledgeable about the Dark Arts. In other words, he went from Physical God to Person of Mass Destruction.
- Thor demonstrates during the second half of Forever Red that being without Mjolnir doesn't really slow him down. How? He snaps into the Warrior's Madness and beats the freaking Juggernaut to a pulp.
- Call-Back: When Voldemort first reveals himself to Harry by turning Carol and Uhtred into People Puppets, he has them reiterate his comments to Harry from Philosopher's Stone about power and morality. This is actually what clues Harry into what's happening.
- Carol mentions the heart ripping/pseudo-Blood Eagle incident to Hermione as a demonstration of what Harry's dark side is capable of. She also mentions the Battle of London in general, and Harry's resurrection by the Phoenix and her resultant rampage in chapter 71 of Child of the Storm.
- Mention is also made of Trelawney's second prophecy in Chapter 4.
- Calling Card: The Dark Mark.
- The phoenix becomes this for Harry. It's not that hard to guess why.
- Gambit's literal calling card is the Jack of Hearts.
- The Cameo: Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell appear briefly in chapter 7 as two wandless Wizards, the former an expert on Faerie, the other an owner of a vintage bookstore that almost never sells anything. They are, predictably arguing and the jury is still out on whether Jonathan Strange is any relation to Doctor Strange. Jonathan doesn't know and the good doctor isn't saying anything.
- Captain Ersatz: The Invisible President of Russia, Volodya, is one for Putin, or Putin himself, considering that Volodya is one of his known nicknames and his characterisation fits Putin's background and displayed character.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Harry and Carol continue this trend from Child of the Storm, flirting/snarking at each other even when in the middle of an escape attempt from the Red Room.
Noriko: (annoyed) Do you always talk this much when there are more important things to do?
- Cerebus Retcon: Carol's dad, previously established as having old fashioned attitudes, and generally being a Standard '50s Father in the wrong century, is established on his first actual appearance as psychologically abusive in such a way that it only really becomes obvious in retrospect - something which also, in retrospect, provides the root for most of Carol's issues. He tries to get Harry to use his Psychic Powers to set Carol 'on the right path.' Harry predictably erupts with fury. When his wife and mother-in-law get the full story in chapter 20, they agree that he has to go. Since said mother-in-law is Alison Carter, he is gone in very short order.
- Chekhov's Gun: Back in Chapter 69 of Child of the Storm, Fury had an Oh, Crap! reaction to an Eureka Moment he had after reading something in SHIELD's file on Jean. In Chapter 9, we learn what it was: he's realised that her twin sister Rachel didn't actually die as an infant, but was in fact stolen and still alive. Sinister's involvement led him to figure out who was behind it.
- The phoenix feather (or, as Strange puts it, 'what you all so charmingly think is merely a phoenix feather') that Odin showed Harry way back in chapter 35 of Child of the Storm, and gifted Harry with in the epilogue. Here, Maddie stores Harry's consciousness in it to protect him from the Red Son reprogramming, and it's later used to absorb his out of control Phoenix powers. It's later revealed to be Laevateinn, the shapeshifting wand of Prospero Slytherin.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In chapter 7, the mysterious voice in Draco's head is directly alluded to for the first time since chapter 21 of Child of the Storm, with circumstantial hints as to who it might be: Prospero Slytherin, ancestor of Salazar, hero of the Last Frost Giant War and wielder of the Phoenix associated Laevateinn.
- In the same chapter, Sinister finally appears, having lurked in the background throughout Child of the Storm.
- The Girl With Glowing Blue Eyes finally runs into Harry, also in chapter 7, having appeared in scattered scenes throughout the second half of Child of the Storm and earlier in Ghosts of the Past, each time responding to a major use of Harry's psychic powers or of the Phoenix and is revealed to be Rachel Grey a.k.a. Maddie Pryor.
- Children Forced to Kill: Harry as the Red Son. It's part of why he's so broken that he willingly becomes the Dark Phoenix.
- The Chosen One: Harry, as per usual, to his profound displeasure.
- Frey, the First King, was this, and doesn't seem to have liked it any more than his descendant, with his statue, unusually, having the look of someone who's scared out of their mind by what they're about to do but is nevertheless about to do it anyway - however, as Strange notes, he was a young man almost defined by his devotion to duty, and did it without complaining.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Harry's comes up again in Chapter 10, as he chases after Maddie/Rachel as she's teleported away with the Red Room, not caring about the danger it puts him in.
- Co-Dragons: Yelena and Sinister serve as this to Lukin — the former is his chief physical enforcer, while the latter is the resident Evil Genius (and the brains behind the operation).
- The Comically Serious: Maddie, at first. This eventually evolves into some extremely deadpan sarcasm.
- Composite Character: Dudley is the Blob in this setting, having been experimented on by Sinister.
- The Blue Eyed Girl is a fusion of Maddie Pryor and Rachel Grey, being the twin sister of Jean, stolen at birth by Sinister, and raised as his Hound.
- Cosmic Entity: The Endless, especially Destruction a.k.a. the Phoenix.
- Could Say It, But...: During a fight, Gambit uses banter to cover that he's telling Harry how to find where Carol and the other captives are being held.
- The Coup: When Volodya states his intent to shut down the Red Room and hand Lukin over to the Avengers, Lukin responds by killing him, taking de facto control of Russia.
- Courtly Love: Harry and Carol's thoroughly complicated relationship seems to be slowly evolving into this and becoming an Anchored Ship, with The Four Loves being explicitly discussed by the Avengers in respect to which applies (they're not entirely sure, but settle on philia) - though with the ever present suggestion that it could get less than platonic at a moment's notice, leaving the door open for them to become Mind Link Mates. Interestingly, their psychic connection, formed accidentally in chapter 2, seems to be fuelling both the UST and the courtly nature of their relationship. In the meantime, though, they frequently share a bed and snuggle after one or both has gone through something traumatic (considering Harry's nature as a Doom Magnet, this is a regular occurrence), with no result beyond a Sleep Cute, and they're practically joined at the hip or, as one person snarks, joined at the brain, something which frequently results in them slipping from speaking aloud into telepathic conversations without noticing. Additionally, he's just about the only person other than her mother and grandmother that she lets see her genuinely vulnerable side, and she's one of a very short list of people who can reliably act as his Morality Chain and provide a Cooldown Hug/You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech (usually with Brutal Honesty and snark mixed in, but it's affectionate snark), even when he's on the verge of transforming completely into the Dark Phoenix. The others are his father, and Jean, his cousin and increasingly, surrogate big sister.
- Carol isn't emotionally up for a romantic relationship, especially not with one of the very few guys she considers a real friend - years of sexual harassment from a horrifyingly young age, boys befriending her solely as a means to an end will do that to you, and an emotionally abusive father will do that. This is important, as even after she gets more male friends, Harry's the only one who's really eligible. The others are Lex, Jean-Paul, Uhtred (who's Jean-Paul's sort of boyfriend), and Scott Summers. Gambit flirts with her, but as a cover to slip her a key-card to help her and the other prisoners escape the Red Room, and is in an admittedly odd relationship with Maddie/Rachel. In summation, she's not used to guys who are genuinely attracted to her also being genuinely good people who want to be friends with her. Now she's met one, she's terrified of ruining their friendship by taking the plunge. She has tacitly admitted that she's attracted to Harry, and by the middle of the Forever Red arc, she has also admitted that she loves Harry, in a True Companions sense at least, even if she's not exactly sure if she's in love with him.
- Harry, meanwhile, is utterly scrupulous about abiding by her wishes, states repeatedly that their friendship comes before anything else - this, it is suspected, is why she likes him, and keeps his eyes on her face. However, it's very clear that he loves Carol, with her mother noting that he's genuinely devoted to her - and, she explicitly adds, not like the other boys who've chased after her, either, being someone who loves and respects her for who she is. Her grandmother, Alison, implies in backhanded fashion that she agrees. Word of God is that while Harry wouldn't mind a Relationship Upgrade, he is entirely happy to stay Just Friends with Carol, because she's his Best Friend and it's what she wants. In his eyes, their friendship comes first.
- Create Your Own Villain: Doctor Strange observes that Uther Pendragon's paranoid fear of the pacifistic druidic clans - namely, that they were a solid power bloc that schemed to bring him down and restore the primacy of magic - led to his perpetual habit of slaughtering them whenever they were found within his borders, and likewise led to a number of druidic plots to bring him down. Indeed, this habit came back to bite him twice: two druid boys survived The Purge. One was Taliesin, now known as Doctor Strange, who had been set adrift in an enchanted basket by his desperate mother as their clan was being slaughtered by Uther's men, and became apprentice to Merlin and his right hand man, as well as eventually Court Physician of Camelot, playing a key role in undoing Uther's legacy in Arthur's reign. The other was Mordred, whose family and guardian were likewise murdered, and whose enmity for the Pendragon dynasty led to his allegiance to Morgana and Arthur's death on the field of Camlann, and the eventual collapse of Camelot itself. In other words, his actions led not only to the total dismantling of his legacy, but the collapse of his dynasty and his realm.
- Crush Blush: Harry and Carol. Frequently.
- Harry even manages it when on the edge of a Dark Phoenix meltdown, being incarnate as a being of living flame, which the narrative notes should, by all logic, not be able to blush.
- Cultured Badass: Loki, Natasha, Charles Xavier, Bruce and Tony are all stand-out examples.
- Sinister, being Wicked Cultured and a badass, using quotes from T.S. Eliot and Alfred Lord Tennyson as trigger phrases. One of those he uses them on Maddie/Rachel breaks free in chapter 14 and being an example of this in her own right, replies to his attempt with a stinging quote from Robert Burns and a snippet from Invictus.
- Since Gambit taught Maddie/Rachel the Robbie Burns poem and is a major badass in his own right, he also qualifies, while Dresden is at least familiar with the Burns quote.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The Avengers/MI13 vs the Death Eaters and Harry vs Voldemort Round 2.
- Harry vs his childhood bullies in chapter 7. In the same chapter, Sinister vs Carol and Maddie vs Harry.
- Harry avoids a later repeat of the latter in chapter 10 by refusing to directly engage.
- Wanda vs Sinister. He didn't stand a chance.
- Natasha vs Yelena. The latter gets in a few early hits, but then the former gets her measure, stops playing around and takes her down relatively easily.
- Thor vs Blob!Dudley. The former stops the latter's double axehandle strike with zero effort, then, with just as little effort, piledrives him halfway into a mountain - all while holding back.
- The conclusion of the Forever Red arc has a few of these — Avengers vs Winter Guard (including Natasha vs Yelena Round II), Magneto vs Winter Guard, Strange vs Sinister, Maddie vs the Red Room, Jono vs Blob!Dudley, and Dark Phoenix Harry vs the Red Room, including Bizzaro Jor-El especially.
- The Avengers vs the Red Room, overall really, doesn't go well for the bad guys.
- Darker and Edgier: Than Child of the Storm. While it's lower on the carnage, it exploring the moral shades of grey in the good guys, and is far more psychologically brutal towards the main characters, Harry in particular.
- Darkest Hour: The Forever Red arc arguably hits its in Chapter 12. With the aid of the Red Son (brainwashed Harry), the Red Room is able to cause most of Eastern Europe to leave the European Union and NATO and rejoin Russia's sphere of influence, which also spreads to Central Asia. Meanwhile, the Winter Guard hunts down potential supernatural threats and either wipes them out or forces them to flee to other regions, further increasing Russian influence. And then, just to top it off, President Volodya tries to shut the Red Room down, only for Lukin to kill him and seize de facto control of the country and most of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Coulson and Gambit himself imply that Gambit has one in chapters 9 and 10.
- Maddie/Rachel, oh dear god, Maddie/Rachel.
- Harry Dresden makes note of his own in passing in chapter 15.
- Stephen Strange has one at least equal to any of the others, which he finally elaborates on in chapter 20.
- David vs. Goliath: Carol versus Blob!Dudley.
- Harry versus Maddie, which would be why he spends most of the fight using every ounce of cunning and creativity he possesses to avoid a direct contest of power and skill.
- Day in the Limelight: Hermione gets one in chapter 18, which mostly consists of her, Ron and the Twins being Locked Out of the Loop and trying to figure out what's going on. They actually manage to get a pretty good idea of what happened.
- Deadly Doctor: Sinister.
- Doctor Strange is a benevolent variant on this trope. Well. Mostly.
- Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much all the usual suspects, which means almost the entire cast.
- In chapter 10, O'Neill, Kurt, and unexpectedly, Maddie, have their moments.
- Defiant to the End: Volodya, when Lukin is about to execute him, merely calls Lukin out on the nearsighted stupidity of his plans, how it'll bring Russia to ruin, and how the Avengers will destroy him. He was right about that one, as it turns out.
- Harry is similarly defiant when faced with the prospect of programming or being lobotomised - though that's partly because if there's no other option, he's prepared to unleash the Phoenix.
- Destructive Saviour: Both Bucky and Carol note Harry's tendency towards with this, with Carol describing the results of Harry losing his temper as being "like Carrie as directed by Michael Bay." It's not an inaccurate description, either.
- This last remark takes on an edge of Foreshadowing when Harry snaps through mistreatment, just like the titular Carrie and becomes the Dark Phoenix.
- Deus Exit Machina: The Hulk gets subjected to this no less than three times in Ghosts of the Past: Due to fears of getting telepathically manipulated, Bruce works as The Medic at the Quidditch World Cup in chapter 2. In chapter 10, during the attack on the Red Room, Loki has to teleport his thoroughly Hulked-out self to an empty desert. Finally, instead of helping Thor against the Juggernaut in chapter 13, he remains on hand to stop any of the other prisoners.
- However, after Thor snaps into his Berserker Rage after the latter incident, the Hulk does restrain him long enough to be calmed down.
- Dirty Mind-Reading: How Harry knows that Carol is attracted to him - while he doesn't go looking, empathy is part of the psychic package...
- Jean-Paul also insinuates the less family friendly aspects of the psychic link between the two of them - and while he's trolling, they have used it to flirt.
- Dissonant Serenity: Harry, after a flashback in chapter 12, remarks in a disturbingly casual voice, "That's when the torture started. You'd almost think I'd annoyed him."
- Divine Intervention: Several of the Endless, as well as both Fairie Courts, step in to aid in bringing down the Red Room for good, to the best that they're allowed.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. Belova aggressively kissing and fondling the Red Son a.k.a. Harry, who's a) physically a teenager (14/15, even though he looks closer to 18), b) a puppet of the Red Room and in no state to even consider consenting, with the narrative noting that from Belova's point of view, that's part of the point, in front of Natasha as a power play. This is because she sees Harry as something of Natasha's that she can take, and afterwards makes a lewd comment about how he's 'almost done cooking', bragging about how she'll show him what pleasure means is treated as horrifying and absolutely disgusting. The fact that she's exceptionally attractive is treated as utterly immaterial by the narrative; her sane teammates are deeply creeped out by her behaviour and Natasha cuttingly describes it as what it is: an adult gloating about how she's going to molest a child.
- The Dragon: Barty Crouch Junior, to Voldemort, as usual.
- Drama Queen: Harry is occasionally prone to this and Carol calls him out on it in chapter 15, neatly undercutting the drama of the scene in question.
- The Dreaded: Voldemort.
- Wisdom functions as this to the British Ministry. One of the main reasons Fudge hasn't been replaced is because no one wants to go up against him.
- The Red Room, and with good reason.
- The Phoenix, even to the good guys. As Loki points out, even though Lily is the chief aspect of the Phoenix, she is not the only aspect, and some of those aspects aren't fuzzy and nice - at the very least, they aren't constrained by mortal, or even divine, morality. The fact that Trelawney's second prophecy speaks of 'something ancient beyond telling' awakening, just before it goes on about how 'embers long banked now burn again' and 'the twisted flame' that 'welcomed by fools' will 'consume all', as well as the fact that Harry has a) displayed a frightening dark side, b) had ominous and somewhat prophecy flavoured warnings made about said dark side and what could happen if he gives into it means that this is not in the least bit unwarranted.
- In chapter 15, he proves all these worries right by becoming the Dark Phoenix.
- Chapter 20 elaborates on this with the reveal that the original Dark Phoenix was Surtur, who destroyed an entire galaxy.
- Doctor Strange is this to Essex/Sinister, whose usual calm - which later holds up in front of the freaking Dark Phoenix - dissolves completely when Strange finally finds him, looming up behind him with a Slasher Smile.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Harry and Carol, mutually, when they're in swimsuits. It's deeply awkward and leads to Harry reaffirming to a faintly worried Carol that they are still Just Friends and their friendship comes first.
- Eldritch Location: The Dreaming, which is noted as being even stranger than the NeverNever, which is apparently a small portion of it.
- Also, the Rock of Eternity.
- Empathic Weapon: The Green Lantern Ring is mentioned again as being semi-sentient, enough to form opinions on people.
- Wands, of course, and the Sword of Gryffindor.
- Mjolnir. In chapter 12, Maddie discovers that while it isn't quite sentient, thanks to Odin's spell, it does have something of an emergent consciousness. Certainly, it's capable of indirectly answering a telepathic question about what it means to be worthy, indicating what actions the questioner - Maddie - had performed that were worthy, and shattering a powerful telepathic block. It also appears capable of expressing a certain degree of smug satisfaction.
- The artefact that, as Strange puts it, the cast so charmingly thinks is a phoenix feather - it can store Harry's mind and epic amounts of Phoenix fire, it moves around of its own accord, and considering that it used to be Laevateinn, the wand of Prospero Slytherin, it can shapeshift.
- Ván, the Sword of Hope. It was forged from uru and vibranium, layered with spells, had a mind of its own, which like Excalibur, only someone worthy could wield, and it was made to take on Surtur, a fully fledged Dark Phoenix and No-Sell the best he could throw at it - which, by inference, it did. It makes the Sword of Gryffindor look like a toy in comparison.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Jean-Paul agrees with Carol's assessment that Warren is hot.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even before her conscience started to really develop, Maddie despised Omega Red.
- The saner members of the Winter Guard are visibly disturbed by Yelena molesting Red Son!Harry.
- Everyone Can See It: Harry and Carol. By this point, both of them are aware of their mutual attraction, but deny that they're taking it further, or flirting, when they blatantly are.
- Evil Gloating: Yelena indulges in some when confronting Natasha again in Chapter 13, specifically, about molesting the Red Son, because she saw him as being Natasha's. An unimpressed Natasha asks if she wants a white cat to stroke while she does it, snarkily offering a white ushanka (the famous furry hat) as a substitute.
- Evil Power Vacuum: After the Avengers devastate the Red Room in retaliation for the events of the Forever Red arc, it's noted that everyone from Chechen rebels to Islamic fundamentalists to splinter fragments of HYDRA are trying to take advantage of the power vacuum left behind.
- Eviler Than Thou: As far as Strange is concerned, Thanos is far worse than Surtur, as while the latter is at least operating under Insane Troll Logic on how to "improve" the universe, Thanos just wants to render it a barren void.
- Exact Words: Dresden uses this so that he only has to serve as Mab's Emissary during the fight against the Red Room, rather than have to become her Knight.
- Expendable Clone: How Essex manages to turn up in multiple places simultaneously and survive repeated violent murder. He's also known for cloning his minions and, with the Red Room, creates the Red Army, an army of clones.
- Expy: What with his proclivity for pyrotechnics; the faintly ominous prophecies about him; the vast power dumped on him that he's only barely trained in and - to begin with - scared stiff of, leading him to make stuff up as he goes along; the royal/pseudo-royal status that he's reluctant to embrace; the association with fire and light, as well as reincarnation/rebirth; the red and gold colour scheme complete with a legendary creature that scares the pants off a lot of people; the number of truly ancient of bad guys out for his blood before he can grow up and crush them; plus the vast power he has access to that could quite easily drive him insane and destroy the world; plus references to a 'sword of fire', one that waits specifically for him, Harry has a definite resemblance to Rand al'Thor.
- There are also heavy elements of Nate Grey. Ludicrously strong Psychic Powers that might end up screwing him over, check. Dark hair with skunk stripe in the fringe, check. Miserable childhood with Sinister heavily involved, check. Bit of a Momma's Boy, definite check. Hot-Blooded Deadpan Snarker with Chronic Hero Syndrome, check. Guile Hero prone to the Indy Ploy, check. Mutually intrigued by Maddie Pryor? Check. In chapter 8, he even gets Nate's post-Shaman outfit when he slices up the black leather containment suit the Red Room put him in, leaving him in, effectively, a No Shirt, Long Jacket.
- Doctor Strange also quotes Moira MacTaggert in her original assessment of Nate when discussing Harry - specifically, the page quote on Nate's Marvel Wiki page.
- Eye Scream: Sabretooth gets his eyes slashed out by Loki after he looked at baby Ada funny.
- Facial Markings: Harry's scar, as usual.
- Maddie/Rachel's famous markings on her face are revealed to be magically applied tattoos and part of her asserting her own identity, as part of Gambit's nudging.
- Fairy Tale Motifs: Many of the same ones that appeared in Book I reappear here. A new one, however, is an even straighter version of the Changeling tale, with Jean Grey's twin sister having been stolen at birth by Sinister and replaced with a dead infant, making it look like a tragic case of SIDS, being raised by Sinister as Madelyne 'Maddie' Pryor.
- The fairy tales themselves are discussed in chapter 12, which reveals that Sinister used a number of them, twisting their meanings, to underline his More Than Mind Control hold on Maddie.
- Fat Bastard: The Beast/Blob a.k.a. Dudley Dursley, even more than his canon counterpart (or rather, counterparts) - while he's not a cannibal like his Ultimate and Age of Apocalypse counterparts, he's Essex's Dumb Muscle, never told no save for very select occasions, encouraged to indulge in every vile whim... the result? A murderer and a rapist.
- Faux Affably Evil: Voldemort, who acts friendly and polite in an urbane sort of way in the midst of making some of the most horrific threats imaginable.
- Essex a.k.a. Sinister in his guise as Nathan Milbury, kindly family doctor.
- Fiery Redhead: It takes a bit to get Jean fired up, but once she is, oh dear god...
- Maddie/Rachel subverts this, generally being as cool as ice, no matter the situation.
- Flirting Under Fire: Harry and Carol do this a lot. And then deny that they're flirting. No one is fooled.
- For Want of a Nail: According to Gambit, Thor was able to stop Hurricane Katrina before it could devastate New Orleans. This leads to him feeling indebted to the God of Thunder, which he cites as a reason for helping Carol and company - or so he says. Gambit being Gambit, this is rather less than the complete truth.
- Foreshadowing: By the bucketload, as per freaking usual. A significant example is Maddie's powers glowing electric blue-white, and infusing lightning with psychic energy when fighting Harry, which foreshadows her being deemed Worthy and wielding Mjolnir.
- Harry's fears of losing control and his powers harming others foreshadow first his becoming the Red Son and then his cutting loose and becoming the Dark Phoenix.
- Carol's flippant remark that Harry losing his temper is like "Carrie as directed by Michael Bay" at the start of the Forever Red arc takes on a dark twist at the end when Harry snaps just like the titular Carrie and becomes the Dark Phoenix.
- On a darker note, Harry's dry remark about being very attached to his arm and liking to think that it's very attached to him in the Breather Episode at the museum comes back to bite him when, as the Red Son, it's blasted off in his fight with Magneto, and is replaced with a Cable style Transmode construct.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Voldemort uses his enhanced psychic powers to make Carol, Pepper, Diana, Jane, Uhtred, and the Twins swap minds, as part of his messing with Harry at the World Cup.
- Freudian Trio: Harry's The McCoy to Carol's The Kirk and Jean-Paul's The Spock. He's also The McCoy to his father's The Kirk and his uncle's The Spock. However, he's The Kirk to Jean's The McCoy (usually) and Maddie/Rachel's The Spock. In general, he walks the line between The Kirk and The McCoy.
- Full-Name Ultimatum: Alison uses this on Tony, partly to annoy him, partly to get him to do as she tells him. She later uses it more seriously on her son, General O'Neill, when he tries to leave her Locked Out of the Loop - or at the very least, fails to inform her - regarding the Red Room going after Carol and Harry.
- General Ripper: Lukin is a quieter, milder version of this trope, but all the more terrifying because of it - and he becomes more of a classic example as his Mask of Sanity fades away and he becomes drunk with power.
- Generation Xerox: Alison Carter looks much more like her father than her mother; though she acts much more like the latter than the former.
- Genre Savvy: Jean-Paul, who very quickly figures out that there's rather more to Draco than meets the eye, going off his unusually mature behaviour, Harry's mention of his sudden change of heart back in Child of the Storm correctly deducing that he's not alone in his mind - though he believes that Draco's being possessed. That said, the clincher comes when Draco rather blows his cover (something that gets Lampshaded) when he has a serious word with Harry about his Phoenix fragment and the dangers of using it, which he knows very well thanks to being possessed by someone who is heavily implied to be Prospero Slytherin, ancestor of Salazar and former wielder of Laevateinn, itself confirmed to be a Phoenix related artefact.
- Maddie is somewhat this as well, given her understanding of the Dreaming and how requests there come in threes.
- The Glomp: Carol gives Harry one in chapter 1 after the psychic therapy scene, when they both got a good look at each other's minds and stirred up a lot of emotions. It led to a Sleep Cute, but nothing more.
- In chapter 16, he gives her one in return, though it's more of a Security Cling.
- Jean gives Harry and Maddie one in chapter 15 after Harry's cooled down from the Dark Phoenix just after breaking loose of the Red Son programming and Maddie executed her Heel–Face Turn and discovered that she was Jean's Separated at Birth twin sister, being described as hugging them both so tightly that it almost seems as if she's trying to merge with them.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: When confronting his childhood bullies, Dudley's gang, Harry winds up hitting one of them with the nearest thing that came to hand - their leader.
- Guile Hero: While Harry's power now means that he can usually rely on a strategy that leaves a trail of destruction visible from space, these tendencies resurface when he's faced with someone more powerful than he is. This is demonstrated in chapters 9 and 10, with an Indy Ploy that involves getting into a psychic duel with Maddie/Rachel to buy the others time to escape and cause enough psychic upheaval that the Avengers won't possibly be able to miss it, while never directly taking Maddie on in a contest of power and skill because he knew she'd crush him, doing enough to keep her occupied and all the while peppering her with little memory fragments of Jean, confusing her, before eventually having an extended psychic chat with her, all in aid of hopefully getting her to switch sides. While it doesn't all pan out as he'd hoped, the vast majority does. Not bad for a plan he made up on the spot.
- Heel–Face Turn: Maddie pulls one towards the end of chapter 11, then completes it in chapter 12.
- Hegemonic Empire: Asgard has this in respect to the Nine Realms, albeit with a light touch since they don't actually want or need anything from the rest of the universe. As a result, they only really get involved if someone's mucking around with one of the other Realms, or one of the other Realms is mucking around with another (Jotunheim screwing with Earth led to the Asgard-Frost Giant Wars), with a general policy best summed of 'don't make us come down there (because we can kick the crap out of you and you know it)'. This attitude hasn't been entirely consistent over time, with some periods, like Bor's rule, where Asgard largely ignored various realms, and others hinted at when it ruled a much more conventional (and huge) empire. Under Odin, however, Asgard tends to keep a gimlet eye on the affairs of the Nine Realms and make a statement where required. This is pretty much the only reason that the likes of the Kree, the Skrulls, the Shi'ar and other would-be powers have left Earth alone, because messing with Earth means messing with Asgard, and that just isn't worth it.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Maddie/Rachel is referred to as 'gorgeous-in-black-leather-trousers' by Jono, wearing tight black trousers and a black leather trench-coat.
- He-Man Woman Hater: Lukin's not exactly a classic example, though he uses typical misogynistic slurs against Maddie/Rachel when incensed by the latter's Heel–Face Turn.
- Dudley a.k.a. the Blob, who's noted as being a rapist.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Played With. Almost none of the heroes favour swords, except for the long deceased Arthur Pendragon, and the much longer deceased Frey. However, Harry's shown an increasing affinity for the weapon, and Trelawney's prophecy stipulates 'a Sword of Fire' that waits for his hand.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.:
- Harry, after being forced to Mind Rape five Death Eaters to protect his friends. His dad talks him out of it.
- Jean is left practically catatonic in Chapter 11 after Harry being recaptured by the Red Room and learning Maddie is her long-lost twin sister.
- Maddie basically collapses after finding out the same thing.
- Heroic Sacrifice: About a million years ago, Frey, the First King of Asgard, made one to trap Surtur. Harry notes that his statue, at the bottom of the Cavern of the Kings (Asgard's royal mausoleum), is unusual in that while most of the statues have the standard expression of noble constipation, Frey instead looks very young and very frightened, like someone who's scared witless by what they're about to do, but has nerved themselves up to do it anyway.
- He Who Fights Monsters: As in the last book, this is a constant worry about Harry. A justified one, going by the way he snaps and becomes the freaking Dark Phoenix in chapter 14.
- Strange sadly admits that this has happened with him in his struggles to save the world, especially when facing off with Sinister.
- Hidden Depths: Carol's mother turns out to be much more than the Extreme Doormat Carol's been making her out to be.
- Hope Spot: In chapter 11, Maddie seems to be steadily gaining a mind of her own, throwing off Essex's control, thinking for herself and moving to protect Harry from the Red Room... then Sinister uses a Trigger Phrase and knocks her out.
- Hot-Blooded: This is pretty much the hat of the House of Odin thanks to the Warrior's Madness, and also, it would seem, the Evans-Grey family. Harry, being a scion of both, gets a double-dose.
- Hot Wings: Harry as the Dark Phoenix.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Dark Phoenix - it causes global scale Bad Dreams, makes animals howl from hundreds of miles away, and leaves the entire planet feeling as if someone had just walked across their grave. And that's when it's still basically a fledgling, its power still growing, with it being pointed out that the fully fledged Dark Phoenix would be much, much worse. Which makes it even more unsettling to realise that it's Harry.
- The Fire Giants, of whom Surtur is the leader, are said to be this.
- Human Sub Species: In addition to the ones already established in Child of the Storm, it's revealed that the Fae were originally human - or at least, a prehistoric human relative - before they migrated to the Nevernever hundreds of thousands of years ago and adapted to it. Under the circumstances, this explains a lot.
- Hunter Of Her Own Kind: Maddie, as she's a Composite Character of famous canon example Rachel Grey.
- Hurricane of Puns: The list of streets off Diagon Alley - the canonical Knockturn Alley, Internation Alley (embassies, foreign businesses and travel agents), Theatric Alley (magic West End/Broadway), Alchemic Alley (alchemists), Aesthetic Alley (jewellers and clothes shops), and Gastronomic Alley (food district). The terrible pun nature of this is lampshaded by Carol: "Well. So much for the famous British sense of humour, then."
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Carol's reason for her and Harry staying as Just Friends. He doesn't want to ruin their friendship either, and abides by her wishes.
- In the Blood: The Warrior's Madness runs through the bloodline of the House of Odin, as something of a price for their powers.
- The narration notes that there's something about the expression on the statue of the First King, Frey, that's very reminiscent of Harry, his distant descendant.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: The shockwaves from Harry and Maddie's psychic duel spread from where they're fighting in the Nevernever, affecting everyone on Earth, whether they're psychic or not - though those who are tend to be more strongly affected.
- The manifestation of the Dark Phoenix has similar effects.
- Inconvenient Attraction: A mutual version between Harry and Carol. They're best friends, they don't object to being attracted each other on principle, as such, it's just that Carol doesn't want to ruin their friendship, since she hasn't had many genuine friendships with guys (and those she's had, aside from Harry, are with a flamingly gay and decidedly enigmatic guy with unplumbed Hidden Depths, her self-appointed Knight Templar Big Brother, and said flamingly gay guy's Bi the Way Asgardian boyfriend - who she met through Harry) and considers her friendship with Harry to be particularly precious. Harry, while not objecting to the idea of a Relationship Upgrade, rigorously follows her wishes and doesn't want to lose their friendship either. Now if they could only get past the whole Stupid Sexy Friend thing, they'd be fine...
- As it is, though, they don't angst too much about it, save for a few moments of awkwardness, which tend to be absolutely hilarious for everyone else.
- Indy Ploy: This remains Harry's textbook basis for a strategy, any strategy, when he bothers with one.
- Carol's plan with her shield in chapter 10 to bring down the Beast. It stuns him.
- Harry's plan at the end of that chapter. Unlike most examples, it goes horribly wrong.
- Info Dump: In Chapter 7, Draco gives a ton of information about the various governments of the global magical community.
- Coulson, Ivan and Fury provide one in chapter 9 on Maddie/Rachel, Sinister, the Red Room, and Gambit.
- Odin and Strange alternate between this in chapters 19 and 20 about Asgard's history, its relationship with the Phoenix, and Surtur.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Doctor Essex a.k.a. Sinister has one of these slip-ups in Chapter 7, which tips off Harry as to who (or rather, what) he really is.
- In Medias Res: Chapters 12 through 15 work this way, with Coulson interviewing Maddie, Carol, Natasha, Dresden, and Loki after the action.
- It's Personal: Strange's grudge against Sinister is extremely personal.
- Jerkass Gods: Zeus and Hera - or rather, Hera's more of an active Jerkass, while Zeus is mostly indifferent to her antics, which Odin calls him on.
- A lot of the Council Elite are this, or at least, Apathetic Gods, something that Strange savagely calls them on.
- Jesus Taboo: Jesus doesn't appear, despite all the other gods mentioned and the fact that the Knights of the Cross appearing confirms his existence. Subverted hilariously in chapter 16, when a mysterious demigod called Joshua chats to Harry and gives him some wise and kindly advice, playing The Mentor, while Harry is suspicious of him... until Joshua lets him into his mind and Harry realises who he is with a Precision F-Strike: "Jesus fucking Christ!"
- Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Joe Danvers' and Stevie Danvers' dynamic is a darker variation on this trope, with Joe trying to force his son into heavy contact sports and 'manly' pursuits that his softly spoken arty son hates, and treating his love of drawing as effeminate, even teaching his youngest and highly impressionable child, Joe Junior, to mock it, giving his older son what his mother-in-law terms 'a psychological death of a thousand cuts'. Unlike Carol, Stevie doesn't have the friends or Birds of a Feather thing with their maternal family to counter that, so retreats into himself.
- Just Friends: Despite the frequent Ship Tease, Carol wants her and Harry to stay like this, since she doesn't actually have that many male friends who aren't trying to get into her pants. Of those she does have, one is flamingly gay, another is her self-appointed Knight Templar Big Brother, and a third is a Bi the Way Asgardian who's in a sort of relationship with the flamingly gay friend. And then there's Harry. Moreover, she values his friendship far more than any other kind of relationship. Harry is hinted not to be averse to the idea of a Relationship Upgrade, but respects her wishes and states that first and foremost, she is his friend.
- Karma Houdini: Bucky, who is widely believed to have been kept by HYDRA in stasis as a trophy/experiment until he was found after the Battle of London. Word of God has indicated that if the question of how he has the Winter Soldier's skills comes up, it will be 'revealed' that he has the Soldier's memories, because HYDRA wanted another Soldier. A Justified Trope, for the most part, because he was a victim of brainwashing, but few people would be able to look past the reputation of the Winter Soldier.
- The Beast/Blob a.k.a. Dudley gets off scot-free, having apparently pulled a Villain: Exit, Stage Left!. Word of God has admitted that this was largely because he couldn't see any circumstance where Dark Phoenix!Harry didn't kill him.
- Kick the Dog: Voldemort spends pretty much his entire appearance in chapter 2 doing this or winding up to do so.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: There are things under this section that are pretty hefty spoilers for the first Book.
- The Leader: Steve, naturally.
- Les Yay: In-Universe, Carol notes that Diana has 'got an eyeful' of her once or twice.
- Let's Get Dangerous!:
- Harry, when finally pushed to his limit in chapter 2 by Voldemort.
- In Chapter 10, Thor makes a mental note how he's not holding back with the Red Room, since them kidnapping Harry and Carol crossed a serious line.
- Harry when he snaps in chapter 15 and goes Dark Phoenix. Cue the usual remark.
I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
- Light Is Not Good: The Red Son's power glows brightly, and he earns comparisons to an angel - specifically, Lucifer.
- Additionally, the Dark Phoenix, whether it's Harry or Surtur, is the epitome of Life and Fire... and is also the corrupted form of the Phoenix and a bona fide nightmare, even when it's just in its 'Dark Fledgling' state.
- Living Shadow: During the Forever Red arc, Strange's shadow starts taking on strange shapes - in fact, multiple shadows in his general vicinity start warping and shifting in profoundly disturbing ways when his Berserk Button is pressed, combined with Glowing Eyes of Doom and, when facing Essex, a Slasher Smile. It's indicative of the fact that he is, as Dresden puts it, 'not overly burdened with sanity.'
- Locked Out of the Loop: Harry's Hogwarts friends are left entirely in the dark of the events of the Forever Red arc.
- Looming Silhouette of Rage: Strange pulls this on Essex in chapter 14, with a fully fledged Slasher Smile that shows just how much he's going to enjoy making Essex suffer.
- MacGuffin Super Person: Harry, again - most people want to control him or kill him.
- The Madness Place: Doctor Strange seems to have set up home here in the Forever Red arc, and has undertones of it throughout all of his appearances.
- Magnetic Hero: Harry, as ever, though Carol has elements of this too.
- Make an Example of Them: Lukin has the Red Son do this to Volodya's troops, and when Volodya bitterly says that he didn't have to do it, Lukin replies that he did and this trope is why.
- Mama Bear: Wanda. Oh dear lord, Wanda. You really shouldn't hurt her godson, or she really will melt you down into traumatised, screaming atoms.
- Alison Carter also qualifies - when her son, Jack O'Neill, was captured and tortured during Desert Storm, she personally led the team that rescued him. When she finds out about her son-in-law trying to convince Harry to mentally alter Carol, she nearly breaks his arm to make him confess (with one hand, while sitting down and drinking tea), then uses her influence to have him promoted to a job out of state away from his family, all while warning what she'll do if he doesn't do as he's told.
- Lily, as per usual, though she has to be a bit more indirect this time.
- Averted in Natasha's case: though she's obviously angered by Belova's molesting of Harry, she recognises the ploy for what it is and instead files it away as something to be dealt with later.
- Mask of Sanity: Belova's is a thin one. Lukin's is much thicker, until it starts fraying under the strain of his egomania.
- Mechanical Abomination: Essex creates one heavily implied to be based on the Pegasus Replicators, resulting in this 'verse's version of the Transmode Techno-Organic Virus.
- Megaton Punch: Harry, thanks to channelling his telekinesis through his body, to Dudley a.k.a. the Blob, and well deserved it is too.
- Thor, to the same person, burying him halfway into a mountain. He also inwardly notes that he was actually holding back.
- Me's a Crowd: Sinister apparently not only has multiple clone bodies as backup, but can operate several at once - it's how he can appear in so many places at once, and heavily implied to be how he survived Wanda's attack.
- Mind over Manners: One of the most horrifying parts of chapter 2 is Voldemort's demonstration of what a complete lack of this can be like and Harry having to give up his fanatical devotion to this trope and Mind Rape the Death Eaters into his People Puppets to protect his friends isn't far behind.
- Sinister completely disregards this, and taught Maddie/Rachel to do the same, to the extent that she doesn't realise that other people are bothered by this. It's part of what makes them so very dangerous.
- Chapters 7 through, to an extent, 20, underline just how horrifying a lack of this can be.
- Mind Rape: Voldemort. Frequently.
- Harry, directly to the five Death Eaters left under Voldemort's control and indirectly to every single living person with a Dark Mark. It leaves him literally retching.
- Harry, at length, at the hands of the Red Room and Sinister as they try to turn him into the Red Son. Then Maddie fakes a major version of this, pretending to erase his mind but actually hiding it, allowing the Red Room to program the empty shell as part of her plan to save Harry. However, they're separated for months, relatively speaking, meaning that when Harry's mind returns to its body he's effectively mind raped by the memories of what the Red Son was used for. The shock is so bad that Harry responds by going full Dark Phoenix.
- Mister Exposition: Draco offers his services as this in chapter 7, on the grounds that of all the kids present (the Weasleys aren't around) he knows the most about Diagon Alley and its environs.
- In the same chapter, Mister Ollivander does his usual bit about wand-lore, delving a little further into the meanings of Harry's wand and that of his mother's and about the implications of Harry's connection to the Phoenix.
- Odin and Doctor Strange both do this in chapters 19 and 20, with Wanda throwing in a note or two as well.
- The Mole: Gambit is Natasha's mole in the Red Room.
- Moses In The Bull Rushes: Clark, of course, being a teenage Superman.
- Doctor Strange, astonishingly. His mother set him adrift in a hastily enchanted basket when the forces of Camelot slaughtered their people, before being killed herself. Ironically, he was found and raised by a fisherman who lived in Camelot and was taught magic by Uther's Court Physician, Gaius, and Gaius' student, Merlin.
- My Eyes Are Up Here: Wanda's internal monologue in chapter 10 indicates that she had to deal with this from a bunch of Otaku in Japan who accidentally summoned a bunch of especially tentacled demons. This is one of a number of things that left her in a particularly bad mood.
- My Greatest Failure: It's revealed that the reason Strange is so determined to never fail to help people is because he was too late and missed the Battle of Camlann, and his King and his mentor, Arthur and Merlin, paid for it. It also explains why arriving too late to save Maddie/Rachel drove him halfway insane.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Harry and Maddie's psychic duel has this effect, as does the manifestation of the Dark Phoenix.
- Mythology Gag:
- Carol's swimsuit in the first chapter has the same design as her comicbook counterpart's most famous costume. It also gets a bit meta when you take into account that the author has frequently called it a swimsuit.
- In Chapter 3, Diana is shown wearing blue shorts and a red shirt, the same colour design as Wonder Woman's iconic outfit.
- In Chapter 6, when Harry asks what Logan teaches at the Institute, he responds with "Art."
- In chapter 8, an enraged Dudley screams Superboy-Prime's famous line, "I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU TO DEATH!"
- When discovering her half-sister, Wanda mutters, "by the hoary hosts of fucking Hoggoth." Minus the Precision F-Strike, this is a phrase often used by her mentor.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Harry, after the extremes he went to in order to beat the Death Eaters at the World Cup with his powers.
- Narnia Time: Time in the Red Room headquarters moves at an accelerated rate compared to the outside world, with an average of the equivalent of three days passing inside for every one elsewhere. This is later explained as it being in the Nevernever - and when it moves deeper into the Nevernever, the disparity increases to two weeks in the real world to six months in the Nevernever, with the observation that it could have been much worse.
- Necessary Evil: What Hermione considers the execution of wandless Warlocks to be, pointing out just how incredibly dangerous dark magic, wandless dark magic in particular, is. Jean-Paul agrees with her, while Carol is more ambivalent.
- Nerves of Steel: Most of the Avengers, Harry and Carol too, though Alison Carter is a stand-out example of this, maintaining a Stiff Upper Lip throughout some ungodly chaos and horror.
- Nice Guy: Kurt, to the point where Carol instantly takes a liking to him.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Russian President, 'Volodya', is mentioned as being an ex-KGB officer bent on restoring Russian prestige. While it's not stated to be Vladimir Putin, it is very obviously Putin, right down to the fact that Volodya is one of the familiar forms of Vladimir. Then he gets executed by Lukin, though not before he gives a good "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: Harry winds up in this, thanks to slicing up the Red Room's containment suit. Carol mocks him mercilessly.
- Not Hyperbole: When Wanda says that she's going to find Sinister and render him down to "screaming, traumatized molecules", the narration notes that she's being entirely literal. And she ends up living up to the threat in Chapter 10.
- Not Me This Time: When telling the origins of Asgard, Strange mentions how Ván, the Sword of Hope, embedded itself into a tree - the focus for Yggdrasil - and would only let someone worthy wield it. When Thor asks if Strange was responsible for that, Strange replies that while he was there, for once what happened wasn't his fault.
- In the same chapter, Strange also states that he isn't responsible for setting Harry up to face Surtur, saying that while the latter is a threat, he has bigger fish to fry - like Thanos, for instance. Instead, he suspects that either the Phoenix or Yggdrasil itself are responsible.
- Not So Different: Wanda states that Wisdom reminds her of Magneto before he "went soft".
- Wanda increasingly starts to wonder this of herself and her father, especially after she melts Sinister alive in chapter 10. He undeniably deserved it and it didn't keep him down for long, but it's a tactic straight out of her father's playbook.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Council Elite of Skyfathers. It's rarely called, and it seems to spend most of its time arguing.
- Oddly Common Rarity: Omega Class beings. However, it's pointed out that Omega is quite a vague classification and there's a lot of variation within it. However, it's largely confined to Greater Gods (e.g. Thor, Loki, Hercules) and Skyfathers (e.g. Odin, Zeus, etc), with human Omegas usually gaining at least part of their power from an outside source (e.g. the Hulk, the Juggernaut, the Sorcerer/Sorceress Supreme, Xavier via Cerebro).
- It's also pointed out that for natural born Omega Class beings (usually mutants), the birth-rate is about 1 in a Billion, and might even be less than that owing to the fact that that kind of power tends to run in families; e.g. Magneto, Wanda, and possibly Hermione, and Harry, Jean, and Maddie/Rachel.
- Chapter 10 elaborates on this at the start, observing that with the exception of various Greater Gods and the Sorcerer/Sorceress Supreme (a chunk of whose power comes with the position), the only pre-modern human Omegas were Merlin (probably a Half-Human Hybrid who was Born of Magic), and those who were empowered by outside influence, such as the Green Lantern, the Juggernaut (the Avatar of the Elder God Cytorrak), and the the bearer of the Mantle of Avalon. In other words, natural born human Omega class beings are something very new.
- Word of God has also noted that the whole 'Epsilon, Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Omega' classification is getting increasingly outdated, as it was created by SHIELD back when the only active Omega Class beings were Magneto and the Green Lantern, and a few others, who were continental or global threats at the most, and Omega simply meant 'beyond conventional classification'. Now, with the scale going cosmic, and all kinds of beings waking up, Omega is being informally subdivided into 'global', 'stellar', 'inter-stellar', 'galactic', and 'universal'.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Strange arrives at the end of chapter 2, it's apparently right after fighting off an attempted invasion of Earth by Dormammu. As in, he's scorched and his clothing is still smoking.
- Wanda and Dresden were involved in fighting off a bunch of especially tentacular demons in Japan, after a bunch of Otaku used the wrong book of magic in the wrong place at the wrong time. The results were, apparently, very messy, as were Dresden's unspeakable jokes about sushi and Japanese pornography. It also, apparently, resulted in a lot of gunk in Wanda's hair, much to her displeasure.
- Thor and Steve march into the Kremlin, terrify Volodya, and demand Harry back, Lukin and/or Essex's heads on a platter, and the Red Room shut down, not necessarily in that order.
- Several of the fights in the climax of the Forever Red arc are so one-sided that they're just skipped over.
- Off with His Head!: Strange cuts off the top half of Sinister's head (one of them, anyway) to get at his brain, in order to track down his many, many clones.
- Oh, Crap!: Naturally, everyone's reaction to the appearance of the Dark Mark and Voldemort announcing his return.
- Harry has a moment of this when he realises that his old paediatrician, kindly Doctor Milbury was Sinister, the telepath who kept him at Privet Drive.
- Everyone's reaction to Strange, for the only time in living memory, looking anything less than completely assured, for the first time that they know of, being caught off-guard.
- The reaction to the possibility that he's finally snapped is similarly freaked out.
- Sinister's reaction to first Maddie breaking free of his control, and then Strange showing up.
- And then the biggest one of all in chapter 15 when Harry snaps and turns into the Dark Phoenix, complete with the classic Badass Boast.
- It also remarked that when that happened, as the narration puts it, 'whereupon, to put it in the simplest terms possible, the Gods and Goddesses (and Devils, Demons and other assorted entities of that ilk) of Earth completely and utterly lost their shit.'
- The Council Elite, when they realise that Strange has used the Tesseract to kidnap the lot of them and whisk them away to the Rock of Eternity, without them even noticing.
- Older Than They Look: Courtesy of the super soldier serum she inherited in her blood, Alison looks in her forties despite being in her sixties, even with careful application of ageing make-up. Tony makes reference to the fact that underneath it, she actually looks younger than he does.
- No one knows how old Sinister is, but he certainly doesn't look it. Mind you, he doesn't look entirely human unless he wants to, so...
- No one has any idea how old Doctor Strange is either, other than that he's more than 400 years old. He looks to be in his early forties, if that. He himself estimates it to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 500,000.
- Asgardians as a matter of course.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Surtur, the original Dark Phoenix, believes that the universe is flawed, and he can do better. Which can only happen after he destroys the existing universe.
- Out-Gambitted: Volodya, intending to shut down the Red Room, confronts Lukin with a small army, all equipped with psychic inhibitors to protect them from control. However, he didn't count on a brainwashed Harry being present and able to use his telekinesis to kill them all anyway.
- Papa Wolf: Thor, as is demonstrated throughout the Forever Red arc.
- Odin likewise, culminating in, in chapter 16, facing down the entire Council Elite of Skyfathers to protect Harry, in the full knowledge that he might well die in doing so.
- Parents as People: The Carter-Rogers-Danvers family is especially prone to this. Steve understandably took a while to come around to the idea of having a small clan of descendants, Alison Carter/O'Neill was by her own account a much better spy than a mother and always assumed that both her children would follow her into service and wound up pushing her daughter away by pushing her too hard, and Mrs Marie Danvers tried everything to keep her daughter away from superpowered trouble after seeing what it did to her family, making said daughter resent her.
- However, Steve does eventually come round and sincerely apologise, Alison learnt from her mistakes with her grandchildren, and Marie eventually conceded that she couldn't change her daughter, that she wouldn't want to, and instead resolved to be proud of her.
- Pass the Popcorn:
- When Harry and Carol stumble into an awkward conversation about whether she finds him attractive, Jean-Paul zooms off and comes back with a bag of popcorn to enjoy it. The sheer audacity of that action causes all three to burst out laughing, breaking the tension.
- When Harry is confronting his former bullies, Carol says she's content to sit back and enjoy the show, and asks if there's anyplace nearby where she can get some popcorn.
- People Puppets: Voldemort enjoys this trick, using it on Pepper, Jane, Uhtred, Diana, the Twins and Carol, as well as the six Death Eaters he sends after the others. The latter actually works against him, since one person controlling six is notably less effective than those six operating on their own, and his casual allusion to how he does it clues Harry in to what's happening and allows him to override Voldemort's control, destroying the Death Eaters' minds in the process.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Harry, the 'mass destruction' part being something of a problem.
- Dudley and Jono Starsmore a.k.a. Chamber.
- Pool Scene: In the first chapter.
- Power Limiters: The Red Room puts Harry in a suit that cuts off his ability to use his telepathy, and stops him from externally use his telekinesis. He gets around this by using the TK on himself, and eventually uses a knife to cut the suit open, restoring his powers to full.
- Power Perversion Potential: Carol mutters darkly after seeing magic glasses that can see in the dark and magnify vision that if that's possible, you can bet that someone's invented the X-Ray Vision version. Considering Moody's eye, she's actually right about that.
- The potential for this via Harry and Carol's psychic connection is occasionally alluded to, but defied - UST and frequent unconscious flirting aside, they're carefully platonic.
- Pragmatic Villainy: The main reason that Volodya is furious with Lukin for ordering the kidnap of Harry and Natasha knows that he wasn't behind it - while he likes neither SHIELD nor the Avengers, he doesn't want to make an enemy of them either.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Doctor Strange gives an absolute peach of one combined with a Slasher Smile when gliding up behind Essex, who he's finally got his hands on...
Hello, Nathaniel. Long time no see.
- Harry, meanwhile, gives an example in chapter 15, when he snaps and goes Dark Phoenix, repeating a classic example of this trope.
I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
Alison: I am going to have a discussion with your father, one that I should have had a very long time ago.
Carol: Is this a discussion or a "discussion?"
Alison: It will be the former if your father minds his manners. It will be the latter if he doesn't.
- Primary-Color Champion: Diana has taken to wearing her classic red and blue colours.
- Psychic Link: Harry's psychic therapy session with Carol left an imprint of each other's mind in the other's, thus enabling a psychic connection between them. While this makes things a little awkward, they quickly adapt to it, and tend to slip into telepathic conversation without even noticing - though Jean-Paul semi-seriously speculates that their little slips are partially intentional, to keep some conversations, implied to be of the dirty variety, private. Chapter 8 also reveals that it lets Carol vaguely sense when he's around.
- Psychic Nosebleed:
- Harry gives Voldemort one during their first psychic duel. Shortly after, when Voldemort mentally attacks Betsy to remove her from play, she gets a worse one - and Loki, who'd been checking on her, gets a nasty migraine (albeit mostly as a side effect).
- Just about everyone in the surrounding area gets one as a side effect of Harry and Maddie's duel.
- Psychotic Smirk: Strange's usual Grin of Audacity can sometimes take on this quality.
- Public Execution: What Volodya was planning to do to Lukin. It didn't go as planned. Lukin did it first to Volodya's troops, then to Volodya himself, the latter on his knees at point blank range.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Voldemort.
- Harry then does this when he snaps and goes Dark Phoenix, repeating a classic example of this trope.
I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
- The Purge: After Lukin and Essex are captured, Loki uses information taken from them to spearhead the hunting down and murder of every single other member of the Red Room.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Strange, or rather, as he was known back then, Taliesin, after he arrived too late to intervene at Camlann. He notes that normally, this wouldn't have had any real effect, even considering how powerful he was. However, he was in a particularly temporally sensitive area, had a natural gift for time magic (though nothing compared to what it became), and the Time Stone (for want of a better way of putting it) heard him. It appeared in front of him, and... changed him.
- Realpolitik: When negotiating with the Indian Prime Minister for the handover of Red Room members seeking asylum, Loki advises him on how to get the most beneficial information from the fugitives first, as well as how to start up India's own Avengers-like team.
- Reality Ensues: As the author notes, a three-against-one match usually will not end well for the one, especially if the three are used to working as a team. However, when the three are neighbourhood bullies and the one is a well-trained demigod with a fair amount of life-or-death combat experience... well, it's still a Curb-Stomp Battle. It's just that the boot is on the other foot.
- To an extent with the deployment of the Red Son by the Red Room. If you've got someone with those kind of powers, you're not simply going to use them to kill people, but to grab information and to alter the balance of power on a massive scale.
- And afterwards as well-even once the bad guys are defeated and the hero is recovering from his experiences, there's going to be a huge amount of clean-up.
- Reality Has No Soundtrack: The Lemony Narrator notes when Maddie picks up Mjolnir that if the universe had a soundtrack it would instantly cut to a rendition of 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC, before lamenting that because of this trope, it doesn't.
- Reality Warper: Skyfathers are all capable of this, to an extent.
- The Dark Phoenix.
- Strange, to a limited extent. To a much, much greater extent with the Tesseract in hand.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wisdom gives one to Amos Diggory as a proxy for the Ministry as a whole, focusing on how poorly the Ministry handled the remaining Death Eaters at the end of the last war, blaming the current mess on letting so many of them slip away.
- Voldemort gives Harry two short ones, first reiterating his power and morality speech from Philosopher's Stone, then on the obvious nature of his attempt to call on Betsy for help, which ends up with Voldemort giving her an aneurysm.
- Harry gives one to Carol's father when he tries to convince Harry to "put her on the right path".
- Volodya gives Lukin one just before he's executed.
- Maddie gives Lukin one just after having thrashed him and his troops, cutting off his response with a short textbook Shut Up, Hannibal! line.
- When the Council Elite gathers to discuss the possible threat Harry presents after being the Dark Phoenix, Huginn calls out the other gods on the fact that technically speaking, each of them is even more of a threat to Earth than Harry is, so they have no ground to stand on.
- Resurrective Immortality: Sinister appears to have it, given that he shows up fine and whole a few scenes after being thoroughly killed by Wanda (with Word of God being clear that it's not a Healing Factor).
- The Reveal:
- Chapter 7 has several. First, Essex/Sinister is working with the Red Room, second, Draco's mental passenger is deeply familiar with the Phoenix and aware of Harry's fragment, third, Sinister was the telepath who kept Harry at Privet Drive, pretending to be the benevolent family doctor that Petunia mentioned back in Child of the Storm, fourth, the girl whose eyes were glowing blue at points in Child of the Storm and in chapter 2 is Maddie Pryor - though Word of God indicates that there'll be a twist here, namely that she's a Composite Character of her canon self and Rachel Grey.
- Chapter 8 also has a couple: Dudley Dursley is the Blob and working for Sinister and the Red Room and Gambit is also working for them (though not entirely willingly).
- Chapter 9 has two of them: Maddie Pryor is actual Jean Grey's twin sister Rachel, who supposedly died as a newborn, but was really stolen and raised by Sinister, and Gambit has been working as The Mole inside the Red Room for Natasha.
- Chapters 19 and 20 have a bucket-load of them:
- Asgard has had a Phoenix host before, in the form of Princess Sunniva, who became the mother of the Trimurti.
- Surtur was the original Dark Phoenix, Yggdrasil was created as his prison and the Nine Realms but for Muspelheim and Nifflheim/Helheim were composed of The Alliance against him, and the Odinforce was created to empower someone enough to keep him distracted while everyone else ensured that he was Sealed Evil in a Can. Oh, and the Phoenix/Yggdrasil is probably behind Harry being shaped into someone able to face Surtur and survive.
- While the X-Gene came from the Celestials' experimentation, humanity's ability to not only survive Super Soldier experiments like the Terrigenesis which produced the Inhumans (and which worked quite literally nowhere else), Project Rebirth and its sequels (e.g. the Hulk project), but thrive thereafter, and ability to successfully breed with so many species, is revealed by Frigga to be a side-effect of the formation of Yggdrasil, emphasising the Humans Are Survivors aspect.
- Pursuant to the above, the Fae were once human, or a Human Sub Species, that slipped through into the Nevernever hundreds of thousands of years ago and found that they liked it. It altered them - as Frigga puts it, where humanity as a whole learned to use magic, the Fae (especially the Sidhe) became magic.
- Doctor Strange reveals his Dark and Troubled Past. His real name is Taliesin, though he was born Gwion ap Gwreang to a nomadic clan of wandering magic users referred to as druids (they kept up druidic traditions). Yes, that Taliesin. When he was a baby, his clan was raided by Uther Pendragon's forces and his family was slaughtered, and his mother put him in a hastily enchanted basket and set him downstream to save him. He was found by a fisherman who lived in the city of Camelot and who took him in, naming him Taliesin. When he started developing magic, he became runner/errand boy/apprentice to Gaius, Uther's Court Physician, mentored by him and Gaius' other student - Merlin - helping them protect the then Prince Arthur, even learning swordsmanship from the Lady Knight and Sir Lancelot. He rose to become Court Physician, and occasional Court Bard, under King Arthur and thrived in Camelot's Golden Age, directly opposing his Evil Counterpart, Mordred. When he was in his thirties, he had trained up successors, and decided to go travelling to learn more and bring back knowledge and glory to make Camelot even greater. When he returned some years later, however, he found he was too late. Arthur had been killed at Camlann by Mordred, who Strange/Taliesin considered to be his responsibility, along with the best of his knights, Strange/Taliesin's friends, Merlin had vanished in despair, and despite Guinevere's best efforts, all that Arthur and Merlin had built was crumbling around him. He had a Rage Against the Heavens moment, at which point the Time Stone responded, altering him: a gift as a Seer became nigh-omniscience, a talent for time magic was made into fully fledged Time Master level abilities, and he became The Ageless. Oh, and he's about 500,000 years old. He stopped counting after he hit 100,000. No wonder he's so broken.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After being freed of the Red Son, Harry goes Dark Phoenix on the Red Room.
- And during the cleanup from the above, Loki starts hunting down every single Red Room member, from top to bottom. He is assisted in this by Natasha, Bucky, Clint, Skye, and her mysterious protégée "Oracle."
- Rogue Protagonist: Harry as the Red Son, though not by choice.
- Running Gag: Several, as one might expect.
- Jack O'Neill, Four-Star Badass and Deadpan Snarker supreme, keeps trying to be tough and go-getting... and keeps getting upstaged by his mother.
- Speaking of Alison, ex-spy mistress extraordinaire, her explanation for every bit of meddling/keeping her ear to the ground? "Retirement is boring."
- Continuing on from Child of the Storm, everyone's automatic response to the younger generation being corrupted is to blame Tony.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Maddie and the Red Son, for similar, yet different reasons. Both are incredibly powerful, and incredibly skilled at using their power effectively, but they're also not especially skilled at thinking outside the box, Maddie being chronically Literal-Minded and the Red Son being nigh-robotic - which trips them up against those who can fight on their level and think on their feet - nor are they even remotely skilled at interacting with other people on a normal level.
- Strange cites the flaws of this approach, when Harry asks him why he didn't just arrange for him [Harry] to be trained into a Living Weapon pointed at Thanos' throat. Essentially, it's hard to be a champion for life if you don't even know to value life in the first place.
- Sanity Slippage: Both Lukin and Strange throughout the Forever Red arc, albeit for different reasons - Lukin's Mask of Sanity is collapsing under the strain of his egomania, while Strange is flying blind thanks to Essex being immune to his Sight and thus a Spanner in the Works, and manically obsessed with 'making it right', undoing his greatest failure - not arriving in time to prevent Essex stealing the newborn Rachel Grey from her crib. The results are, respectively, a frothing maniac who thinks he can take on the universe and a mood-swinging Ambiguously Human Well-Intentioned Extremist fixated on killing Essex.
- Harry has also arguably been undergoing a slow, steady example, one which culminates in the Trauma Conga Line of the Forever Red arc and, in chapter 14, snapping and becoming the Dark Phoenix. He seems set to get better... eventually.
- The Scourge of God: After Harry is taken by the Red Room and brainwashed, Asgard retaliates by causing all fuel, mineral deposits, and crops in all Russian (and Russian-aligned) territories to degrade and wither, with any imported suffering the same fate. Frigga indicates that they're just getting warmed up.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Yggdrasil was created as the Can to end all Cans, serving simultaneously as a power-source to allow someone to fight Surtur on something approximating the same level (enough to stall him, at least), as a cosmic scale prison to keep Muspelheim locked away, and a complex locking mechanism to keep Surtur trapped in Musphelheim once he's lured there and siphon off his power. The Alliance of Realms were very thorough when they put it together.
- Secret Secret-Keeper:
- Alison has known she's Steve and Peggy's daughter since she was eight years old.
- Marie has known about Carol's powers since they came in, since her mother Alison raised her on stories of their family's true heritage, so she knew what to look for.
- Sensei for Scoundrels: Bucky seems set to become a benevolent version of this for Harry as of chapter 3, on the specific grounds that he's pretty much the master spy and Harry needs to learn that he can't simply brute force everything and, since he's a Glass Cannon, how to watch his back.
- Doctor Strange is set to become one for Harry too, as of chapter 20. How benevolent he is could be up for debate.
- Sensor Character: Maddie's function as Sinister's Hound.
- Shipper on Deck: Thor continues to quietly ship Harry/Carol.
- Bruce is sort of this, in regards to the same couple.
Bruce Banner: They're not romantic but I figured that they'd gone through too much to be friends.
- Ship Tease: Harry and Carol, pretty much every single time they're both on-screen and a few times when they aren't.
- Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Carol's short range, Harry's long range, though they have been known to mix it up.
- Harry and Carol's UST heavy psychic therapy session in the first chapter is straight out of "The Girl in the Fireplace".
- In Chapter 4, Wanda claims that if whatever caused Harry to have to stay with the Dursleys comes after her godson again, she will reduce it to "screaming, traumatized atoms". She later lives up to it. Jean Grey once made that threat against a group who were threatening her students in the comics.
- The title of the first major arc, Forever Red, is taken from Margaret Stohl's Black Widow book, Forever Red.
- Carol complains about Harry's newly developed Stealth Hi/Bye tendencies, and Bucky's own talents in that department, saying that someone needs to put a bell on the two of them, something lifted almost directly from "School Hard". Appropriate, since Harry is an In-Universe Buffy fan, as is the author.
- In chapter 7, Draco refers to a piece of music that a couple of enchanted instruments are playing as, when played fast, 'Arthur's Triumph', and when played slow, 'Merlin's Lament', supposedly composed by Merlin himself after the fall of Camelot. This appears to be a direct reference to the theme of Merlin.
- In-universe, Carol again calls Harry Luke Skywalker for his fighting skills, background, essentially gentle nature, and this time, use of the Jedi Mind Trick.
- Harry's appearance in chapter 8 heavily resembles first the New 52 version of Superboy, then, with the No Shirt, Long Jacket thing, Nate Grey.
- In chapter 10, Harry makes an in-universe Shout-Out to The Princess Bride and escapes from a psychic construct death trap with a sonic screwdriver.
- In the same chapter, Wanda mirrors the Ninth Doctor's furious speech in Dalek, complete with Slasher Smile, after Sinister tells her that she's just like him and she at first repudiated it.
Wanda: Actually, no. You're right. I am like my father. I am his daughter. And do you know why? Because I am going to fulfil that promise I made, a promise to render you down to traumatised, screaming atoms if you ever went near my godson again. And while I'm not going to have the time to make it last, I am going to enjoy it. So scream, you bastard, scream!
- Lukin promises to "make Russia great again." The less said about that one, the better - though with the author's known political leanings, it's hard to imagine that it's anything other than an intentional jab.
- When three of the female Endless; Death, Delirium, and Destruction (a.k.a. Didi, Luna, and Lily) turn up, the description of the three is very consciously the Discworld version of The Hecate Sisters, with references to 'the Maiden, the Mother and... the Other One'.
- Strange lampshades that he's a Doctor who fights in a Time War. Also, his revealed backstory basically inserts him into the plot of BBC's Merlin.
- Shown Their Work: The author is a qualified Historian with a very broad general knowledge base (the sciences are a bit of a blind spot, however), a British private school education, an excellent memory and a compulsive need to show off. This was inevitable.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: It's all but stated that a large part of why Carol is attracted to Harry is because he's a genuine Nice Guy (rather than a 'nice guy') who completely respects her and her boundaries, determinedly putting their friendship first, something all but confirmed by her mother - who happens to be a very sharp observer of people. It's also hinted that Harry is attracted to Carol because she's one of the few people his age who's treated him like a person without the preconceptions connected to his being the Boy-Who-Lived or the son of Thor in years.
- Sleep Cute: After Harry gives Carol some late night psychic therapy, they fall asleep in her bed, where Natasha finds them the next morning.
- After the terrifying events of Chapter 2, Harry, Carol, Diana and Uhtred all curl up together in the same bed for comfort.
- Chapter 4 opens with Harry cuddled up with Wanda, still emotionally recovering from what happened at the World Cup.
- In chapter 16, another incident is mentioned between Harry and Carol, both fully clothed, Carol playing 'the protective big spoon' and giving freaking Frigga a major league Death Glare when she thinks that she might disturb Harry. Frigga being Frigga is entirely unfazed by this and, simply adds it to the mental file 'Reasons My Grandson Is Probably Going To Marry A Midgardian.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Yelena Belova a.k.a. Black Widow II, and Arkady Rossovich, a.k.a. Omega Red. The latter is so vile that all the other Red Room soldiers find him revolting, and Natasha mentions him as someone who actually got off on killing children.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The narration, which varies from verbose enough to give Chris Claremont a run for his money, to curt profanity.
- Alison Carter, who was raised by Peggy Carter, and therefore has a Stiff Upper Lip, Nerves of Steel, and the general manner suited to a member of the English upper class. She's a classic Lady of War. She also peppers her speech with the occasional Precision F-Strike and according to Carol, taught her most of her extensive vocabulary of foul language.
- Spanner in the Works: When Sinister uses his Trigger Phrase to crush Maddie's independent streak and wipe her memories of what caused it, he clearly didn't count on her touching Mjolnir, which restores those memories, and her desire to help Harry.
- In turn, Maddie's plan to try and free Harry is temporarily derailed when Sinister reassigns her off base.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: Happy at one point reflects on Obadiah Stane as a "traitorous bastard" who wasn't worth the dirt piled on top of his grave.
- Standard '50s Father: Joe Danvers Senior, father of Carol, Stevie, and Joe Junior, is a darker variant on the trope - while he never raises a hand to his children and earnestly believes that he's doing what's right and best for them, he psychologically abuses and subtly browbeats them, trying to force them to be things that they aren't: in Carol's case, a traditionally feminine, more submissive girl, and in Stevie's, a rougher, tougher, jock type boy. In both cases, it leaves them with serious issues - Carol's got serious self-esteem issues, latches onto alternate father figures like her uncle Jack and her great-grandfather Steve, and has an outwardly spiky demeanour to begin with. Stevie, meanwhile, just retreated into himself.
- The Stations of the Canon: Still follows these, broadly, with the Quidditch World Cup being attended, the Dark Mark being sent up into the sky... except that it's hijacked by a now telepathic Voldemort. The Triwizard Tournament will also be occurring, as well, though Word of God has indicated that it will be very different from the canon version.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Harry's learned how to do this from Natasha and Clint, to the point where Carol complains that someone needs to put a bell on him.
- Stealth Pun: Tony and Pepper's daughter is named Ada Maria Potts-Stark. In other words, 'AMPS', as in the measurement of electrical current.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Alison "Ali" Carter, even in the middle of a epic battle in a World Gone Mad, never loses her stoic cool.
- Storming the Castle: In Chapter 10, the Avengers and a few associated allies assault the Red Room base in the Nevernever in order to rescue Harry and Carol.
- Stress Vomit: Harry, as part of his Heroic B.S.O.D./My God, What Have I Done? moment in chapter 2, dry heaving even after there's nothing left.
- Stupid Sexy Friend: Harry and Carol, towards each other, much their mutual dismay and everyone else's amusement.
- Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The basis of Asgardian civilisation, and, it is hinted, Atlantis too.
- Mister Ollivander complains that Howard Stark was apparently prone to taking apart captured wands, searching for 'batteries' and 'circuits', things which made them work.
- Superpowered Evil Side: The Winter Soldier persona functions as this to Bucky.
- The Dark Phoenix to Harry.
- Take a Third Option: In chapter 16, instead of simply hiding Harry away or preparing for the attack of the Council Elite, Thor's plan is... to grab Strange by the heels and shake him until all the answers come out, because he'll have a plan, because he's had centuries to prepare and having plans is what Strange does. Going by the end of the chapter, it actually works...
- Talking the Monster to Death: How the Forever Red arc ends, with Dark Phoenix!Harry being talked down cumulatively by Thor, Loki, Wanda, Jean, Maddie, and Carol, mainly because he's a Tragic Villain at worst who's mostly just in a spectacular amount of pain and lashing out - as a result, violence isn't going to faze him and, if anything, will just drive him further into darkness. It works.
- Tangled Family Tree: Adding onto the huge one already established in Child of the Storm, Maddie is revealed to be Jean's long-lost twin sister, rather than her clone, and Lorna is Wanda's half-sister.
- Teleporters and Transporters: All adult wanded practitioners, Loki, Doctor Strange, and Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler.
- Tempting Fate: Harry, at the end of the first chapter, which gets lampshaded by the Lemony Narrator.
- Territorial Smurfette: Subverted. A rocky moment or two aside, Carol and Hermione get on like a house on fire, bonding over their amusement at Harry's foibles.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Like Child of the Storm, the story has its share of genuinely good characters, as well as characters who fight on the side of the heroes but will not hesitate in doing whatever is necessary to make sure that the world is safe from much worse individuals.
- This Cannot Be!: Sinister, when Maddie reveals he doesn't control her anymore.
- Too Dumb to Live: Volodya calls Lukin on this, stating that kidnapping and brainwashing the guy who's both Crown Prince of Asgard and protégé of the Avengers is probably not the best idea.
- To the Pain: When interrogating Sabertooth, Loki threatens to rip out his entire nervous system (except what's necessary to keep him alive) and play it like a harp to the accompaniment of Creed's agonised screams. And when even that isn't enough to get anything from him, Loki whispers something in his ear; whatever he says, it's enough to get Sabertooth singing like a canary.
- Trigger Phrase: Sinister uses one, a quote from T.S. Eliot, in order to enforce his control of Maddie/Rachel when she's slipping free.
"'Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act... lies the Shadow.'"
- His second one is a quote from The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
- True Companions: The core group of Harry, Carol, Diana, Uhtred, and Jean-Paul developed into this as result of their previous experiences together in Child of the Storm.
- The difference in experiences between this group and Harry's Hogwarts friends, specifically Carol and Hermione, is a brief cause of friction as Carol explains fairly gently but quite pointedly that there's a darker side of Harry that Hermione doesn't know about, no matter how well she thinks she knows him. This gets Hermione's hackles up, but when Carol makes it clear that she's not trying to push Hermione away but make her aware of the matter and enlist her help in acting as Harry's occasionally needed Morality Chain/be ready to offer a What the Hell, Hero? speech or emotional support as and when it is required, then gives supporting evidence for what Harry's scarier side is capable of, they understand each other just fine.
- Ultimate Job Security: Of a sort. According to Loki, the only reason Fudge is still Minister after everything that happened on his watch is because no one else wants to have to deal with cleaning up his mess or the encroaching power of MI13 - specifically, with Wisdom, who considers watching Fudge squirm to be one of his few pleasures in life.
- Unexplained Recovery: Sinister, after Wanda melted him. Cloning is implied to be involved.
- Unreliable Narrator: Gambit's tendencies towards this make it hard, at first, to figure out what he's actually up to.
- For once, averted with Strange (who never lies, but has a talent with Exact Words that the Fae would envy) in chapter 20. Probably.
- Unwilling Roboticization: Harry is on the receiving end, via Sinister's version of the Techno-Organic Transmode Virus, that turns organic material to living metal, which canonically infected Cable. Thankfully, a monstrous EMP from Magneto and Wanda nuking the remains stops it before it goes too far. Harry in Dark Phoenix state regenerates himself back to human state
- UST: Going by the number of related entries on this page, is it really that hard to guess who? (It's Harry and Carol).
- Vampiric Draining: Voldemort seems to have learned how to do this to anyone and everyone from Selene.
- Omega Red also uses this trick, through his tentacles.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: A central theme in the story.
- Villainous Breakdown: When the Red Room is finally taken down, Lukin is noted as looking like he's ready to descend into "gibbering denial".
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left!:
- Voldemort flees from the World Cup as soon as he learns everything he can from his fight with Harry, Crouch too.
- When the Avengers and their allies manage to storm and easily overwhelm the Red Room base in Chapter 10, Sinister triggers a transportation system to move most of the facility to another location.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Wisdom. Thor notes that while he sympathises with Wisdom's goals, the sheer scale of his ambition and his frequently vicious methods unsettle him.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 20, which reveals the backstory of Yggdrasil, Stephen Strange, and the Asgardian royal line; sets up more detail regarding the impending threats of Surtur and Thanos, just why Wanda hates Constantine, and the identity of Professor Gwion Bach, as well as setting up plenty of plotlines for the future and a link to Merlin.
- Wicked Cultured: Sinister.
- Will They or Won't They?: Harry and Carol. While they've settled on 'won't' for the time being, sticking with being Just Friends, it's very clear that that isn't even close to the end of it, and Word of God has repeatedly indicated that they'll be dancing around each other for a good long while yet.
- Worf Effect: The Red Army - an army of hundreds of clones of the Winter Soldier, Natasha, Steve, Harry, and Maddie, all of whom are in Super Soldier bodies, and have the power sets of the originals, giving the reason for Lukin's apparently baseless confidence. But they're up against the Dark Phoenix, and their obliteration is just an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. More like a Red Shirt Army.
- World Gone Mad: As a side effect of the intensity of Harry and Maddie's psychic duel, the region of the Nevernever they're in stops resembling anything remotely like reality.
- Would Hurt a Child: The Red Room in general, Omega Red in particular. According to Natasha, he got off on it, and in chapter 12 he looks like he enjoyed draining Harry. The rest of the Red Room despise him as a result.
- Wreathed in Flames: Harry, when in the middle of a fight and/or in a really bad mood.
- A trademark of the Phoenix and Her hosts. When Harry goes Dark Phoenix, even in a passive state, they're hot enough to burn Thor - who's walked on stars.
- Wrong Genre Savvy:
- The Avengers at first think that Strange, who's so far been The Omniscient, allowed Rachel Grey's kidnap by Sinister, so that she could be trained by him before being redeemed by Harry, something which is admitted to fit his mode of operations. They realise, however, that the fact they even saw it means that the much more likely and much more frightening prospect is that he made a mistake.
- Everyone is quick to assume that Maddie is Jean's clone, which is understandable, given the circumstances. However, they're all way off.
- You Are Too Late: Doctor Strange, disturbingly. For a man who makes a habit of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, whose mystique is based on his arranging things down to the last second, it is extremely jarring to find out that he was this at a certain time in chapter 9 of Ghosts of the Past, arriving too late to prevent Sinister from stealing Rachel Grey/Maddie Pryor. The point is underlined by the fact that not only was he caught off-guard, he was seen being so. Partially ameliorated by the fact that he managed to prevent Sinister from stealing Jean too, but only partially.
- It turns out that he was too late once before, to stop Mordred from killing Arthur. This failure has haunted him ever since.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Wanda's reaction to finding out that Lorna is her half-sister.