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Fanfic / Spellbound (Lilafly)

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Not one of the fair folk was good. If they found a human, they made them their plaything until eventually losing interest and killing their unfortunate victim.

They liked things that were shiny and new, discarding everything that was old and used…or leaving them behind cursed.

They were drawn to the innocent because the unpredictable ways in which they thought amused them. They were drawn to the guilty to give them back what they deserved. They were drawn to those that were in between two worlds like they were; teenagers, for example, halfway to adulthood but still not severed from childhood.

They loved their little games and delighted in the humans' naivety and misfortune.

Adrien knew all that, though there were certainly ones out there who knew it better than him.

Spellbound is a Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction, published on Archive of Our Own by Lilafly, and is in progress as at August 2023, with over half a million words in 113 chapters thus far.

It features Adrien and Félix as twin brothers, with their mother being one of The Fair Folk (an Aos Sídhe) who recently succumbed to the call of magic and vanished into Tír na nÓg. As half-fae, the boys are caught between two worlds, inherently magical (shapeshifters, in fact) but capable of more human behavior like selflessness and lying. With their mother's loss, their father becomes more distant and cold, resenting everything magic including his sons, and they latch onto someone else as their anchor to the material world and humanity: a baker's daughter named Marinette, who captivates Adrien with her generosity and creativity and passion for life.

However, the more their lives intertwine, the greater the danger becomes of her learning about the existence of magic and the fae and becoming a target — especially once a different kind of magic starts sending akumas to rampage through the city, and an old guardian recruits Marinette and Adrien to fight back.

  • Book 1: Cat Sidhe (chapters 1-25)
  • Book 2: Deities (chapters 26-60)
  • Book 3: Karma (chapters 61-110)
  • Book 4: Courts (chapters 111-?)

Not to be confused with the film of the same name, nor with an episode of Cheers, nor a Harry Potter fanfiction by Methos2523.

Tropes found in this fanfiction:

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  • Abusive Parents: Gabriel's mistreatment of his sons extends to installing iron gates and security screens to keep them in the mansion, and even punishing Adrien with a bell collar (which hurts their cat ears). To add insult to injury, on one occasion where Felix actually wants the security screens closed to block out the temptations of the Land of Faerie, his father dismisses his concerns and re-opens them.
  • Adaptational Relationship Change: Adrien encounters Marinette a year before canon starts, and after a rocky start, they become firm friends, along with his twin brother Félix. Many canon problems are smoothed out by their ability to talk freely and be more comfortable around each other.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Marinette's mother hears that the twins snuck out of their bedroom window to come and visit against their father's wishes, she is quite put out with them — not for disobeying their father, but because it's a long way down.
    Sabine: The window? It’s almost freezing at night and your room is on the first floor! You’ll break your necks one of these days! Next time, you sneak out of the front door or at least a ground floor window like normal people!
  • Ascended Extra: Felix is Adrien's twin brother, and is inextricably entwined with Adrien's life from the start.
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • Marinette is concerned at the thought that her new partner has the power of Destruction, and wonders what kind of person would be selected for that. Tikki reassures her that the choice of Black Cat is primarily about finding a kind soul who will use it properly, for protection. Chat Noir himself is afraid of what he might do with Cataclysm, though.
    • It's taken even further when Adrien is given a portion of Plagg's magic, making him much stronger, but it's constantly demanding to be used. He has to gradually come to terms with it by appeasing it with destruction of small and unimportant things.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Fae love music and are supernaturally good singers. Marinette loves listening to Adrien sing, but he unfortunately has to be careful about doing it, because he's likely to accidentally charm people.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • When Plagg has historically needed to get rid of an unfit holder, such as when the ring is stolen, he typically offers them raw power, and they're usually greedy enough to accept. He then pours enough magic into them to change them into something inhuman, and therefore not capable of using a Miraculous.
    • This was somewhat turned around on Plagg, though; one such person turned into a large black cat and became the ancestor of the Cat Sídhe. Then, centuries later, a Cat Sídhe becomes the holder of Plagg's Miraculous (and Plagg isn't thrilled about it).
  • Berserk Button: The Fair Folk don't like to be called faeries. One way Adrien notices Chloé embracing her fae side is that she starts objecting to the word. Felix becomes temporarily sensitive to it as well, after his experiences at the Samhain revel.
  • Breaking Speech: When Felix has to persuade Alya to stop investigating missing person cases that he knows are magic-related, he points out how her investigative style is reckless and dangerous for herself, her family, her friends, and even the city's heroes. It reduces her to tears, but she does listen and it sinks in.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Even though the fae consider Tikki and Plagg to be gods, their attitude to gods is to always watch them for weaknesses and try to sneak an advantage. When Marinette is outed as Ladybug and kidnapped, Plagg willingly gives Adrien enough magic to beat up a Court chief and get her back.
    Plagg: Remember this sight, Adrien. This is what the power of a real god looks like, so teach those faerie chiefs and queens a lesson in humility for me by showing them that they cannot just take everything they please. Least of all Creation’s Chosen.
  • Changeling Tale: Felix meets a changeling at the Samhain revel, a former human turned into a shapeshifter by exposure to magic, who has temporarily replaced kidnapped people on many occasions to disguise their disappearance. Rather than replacing babies, though, she takes the place of adults — specifically, women who were stolen to become fae brides. She later replaces Marinette when Chloé decides to take Marinette into protective custody.
  • Cold Iron: All iron burns the fae on contact, though for half-fae it's only painful blistering rather than anything more serious.
    • Adrien and Felix have a hard time navigating the modern world as a result, and often carry gloves.
    • Félix isn't wearing gloves when he takes Alya's hand while she's wearing a new iron ring, and is rather put out as a result.
      Félix: That was a surefire way to get yourself killed.
  • Comically Serious: Felix has plenty of moments.
    Marinette: Excuse me, but do I know you from somewhere?
    Felix: I believe you do. We have not been formally introduced at our last encounter, which might also have been better so. It was a painful ordeal to watch.

    Marinette: You're Adrien's brother.
    Felix: Unfortunately, yes.
    It is for my own wellbeing too when I say that you should give him a chance. Listening to his endless rambles of how you apparently hate him and how he can make it up to you, robs me of more sleep than I’d like to admit.

    Adrien: Felix, you have to see this!
    Felix: I would, if your behind wasn't blocking the entrance.
  • Compelling Voice: Fae can do this on purpose, but they practically can't stop themselves from charming mortals when they sing. Even Adrien, when singing at a party organised by Chloé, makes his audience go glassy-eyed. He uses his ability deliberately when making Marinette forget seeing through his glamour.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Chloé bullies Marinette much like canon — which is odd, on the face of it, because with magic she could do far worse than that. It turns out that she actually likes Marinette, but fears for her safety; she was harassing her just enough to be able to claim Marinette as her plaything and make other fae back off.
  • Cuddle Bug: Fae usually aren't very tactile, but Adrien is, especially with his cat instincts.
  • Curse: Felix curses Alya to "fail to unmask Ladybug no matter how hard you try", and the balance of magic means that he even gets some good luck out of it. Adrien is unhappy about the potential side effects, though.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget:
    • Plagg warns Adrien against being overwhelmed by his power; destruction magic can be used to protect, but it can also have a big influence on the mind of the wielder.
    • After Felix deliberately "unroots" himself in preparation for the Samhain revel, he takes a long time to adjust to life again. His sense of empathy never fully recovers after eating a soul.
  • Deal with the Devil: The fae won't actually break their bargains, but any and all underhanded tactics are fair game, so making a deal with one is an extraordinarily dangerous thing to do. Bridgette trades seven years of her own freedom for the freedom of her sister, which works, but since those years are spent inside a fae mound, she returns at the end to find that a hundred years have passed. And then the fae take the first opportunity to kidnap her back; with her deal ended, all bets are off and she's up for grabs.
  • Death by Adaptation: Lila Rossi, due to her lies, bragging, and presumption, doesn't last a single chapter before the fae take offence and kidnap her to a unknown fate (which, given their usual behavior, she probably doesn't survive).
  • The Dog Bites Back: It took three centuries, but ultimately Bridgette killed her former master, and the daughter resulting from his treatment of her, with an iron dagger.
  • Doorstopper: Spellbound has passed half a million words and counting.
  • Dramatic Irony: Nadja Chamack wants Ladybug and Chat Noir to admit that they're in love and dating, and has various photos intended to prove it, such as the Dark Cupid incident. Of course, those shots are taken out of context and don't prove anything; Ladybug and Chat Noir certainly weren't dating in-mask. But out of mask, they were, and Marinette didn't realise it, not knowing who Chat Noir was. For extra irony, when Nadja presents her "proof", Marinette knows that Chat Noir is Adrien, and they are still in a relationship, so she would have been correct — except that Félix and Bridgette have taken over the Miraculouses, so the Ladybug and Chat Noir being interviewed are not in fact dating.
  • Erotic Eating: Adrien struggles to avoid indecent thoughts when Marinette tries out the cheesecake she baked earlier. (Her moaning doesn't help.)
  • Exact Words: Deals with the fae are sometimes unavoidable, and they won't break them, but woe betide you if you weren't careful with exactly what you agreed to.
    • Before accepting a dance at a revel, Felix is careful to specify that he can't stay long; an open-ended acceptance would be very unwise.
    • Adrien vows not to ever cause Tikki's chosen any kind of harm. Results are mixed.
      • Tikki is able to write off erasing Marinette's memory of seeing through his glamour, to keep her safe, as not being harmful.
      • It comes back to bite him when Bridgette inherits the vow, as Tikki's new chosen, though.
    • King Finnbheara made a deal with a Fuath queen to borrow Bridgette as a bride, with the queen owning any resulting children. However, they didn't actually make any stipulations about Bridgette herself, and he then proceeded to take away her name, thus enslaving her to him.
  • Faerie Court:
    • Unfortunately for Adrien's peace of mind and Marinette's safety, the Court of Paris is an Unseelie Court. Though most who know about the fae would agree that Seelie Courts are not to be trusted either.
    • During the Dark Cupid incident, Chat Noir refers to "the Court" in front of Ladybug, and she tries afterward to persuade him to explain what he was talking about, but he insists that she stop digging. Tikki gives the same advice, which Marinette finds very frustrating.
  • The Fair Folk: The author has drawn heavily on Celtic mythology. Meeting these folk is best avoided. Blue-and-Orange Morality? Check. Compelling Voice? Check. Will kidnap you away to the Land of Faerie to be eaten by horrifying monsters, and place bets on how long you survive (ie how long the entertainment lasts)? Check and check.
  • Fantastic Slurs: A typical fae insult is "Bite iron!" while cussing includes "Ringing iron bells!"
  • Fate Worse than Death: The fae are surpassing experts in this. There's a good chance that they will kill you in the end, once they're bored, but the intervening time can be pretty horrifying — torture, slavery, humiliation, the works — and afterward some of them can even eat your soul. Felix looks away, not wanting to see what would follow, after a human is fed Mind Control fruit and then told to strip and get down on all fours.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: Adrien has reached his teenage years without ever riding a Ferris wheel, thanks to his overly sheltering father, so when he and Marinette visit a fairground, he takes the chance to slip away from their friends with her and try it out. Since they have a few minutes all by themselves, he also takes the opportunity to ask her why Nino and Félix have been poking them and throwing things at them all day, and she has to embarrasedly admit that she made a bet with Nino. She was insistent that she and Adrien are just good friends, so Nino is allowed to do that whenever she and Adrien are acting like a couple. (Which they do all the time, and Everyone Can See It.)
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Bridgette the changeling hasn't been in the mortal realm for centuries, and struggles to understand the fashions, technology, or economic shifts. Reading Marinette's diary and consulting with Tikki helps, though.
  • Food Chains: Once a kidnapped human eats faerie food, there's no going back. Sometimes that's because they're turned into an animal; Felix sees a formerly human deer hunted and torn apart by a pack of dogs for the fae's amusement.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Marinette and Adrien's long-term friendship, Felix's presence, and the existence of fae magic, prevents or shortens many canon events.
    • Adrien's magic, combined with his Miraculous, lets him immediately recognise Ladybug as Marinette.
    • The Gamer doesn't happen, because Marinette was only in the audition for fun (she already spends lots of one on one time with Adrien), and was therefore able to notice Max's distress at losing and help him through it.
    • Being literally part cat, Adrien is much more successful at sneaking up on the Evillustrator silently.
    • Alix, as a full fae, is immune to akumatisation.
    • Sabrina isn't entirely immune, due to the loss of her coat, but akumatisation doesn't work properly on her.
  • Glomp: Adrien opens his Christmas present from Marinette and promptly bowls her over in a hug, fortunately landing on a mattress.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • When Marinette is kidnapped, Adrien resorts to "Plan Z": absorb enough of Plagg's magic to let him fight the Court and get her back, at the cost of losing too much humanity to ever wear the Miraculous again.
    • Tikki has the power to send all the fae to Tír na nÓg where they came from, but she doesn't want to do that, because it would require opening gates that should remain closed, potentially releasing the Tuatha Dé Danann into the mortal world. She settles for the lesser threshold of allowing Bridgette to use her power to challenge the Court of Paris.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Chloé insists to Adrien that Marinette is going to break through the Masquerade eventually and that he needs to do something about it. She tries to speed up the process by slipping glamour-breakers into Marinette's possessions. When that doesn't work, she has Marinette kidnapped.
    • Invoked by Audrey Bourgeois in relation to Gabriel and Nathalie. She wants to eliminate them, but Emilie's bargain protects the inhabitants and employees of the Agreste mansion.
  • Hidden Depths: Chloé is nasty to everyone, embracing her fae side, seemingly not at all the same person who was Adrien and Felix's childhood friend, but she can be selfless at times. Like taking Marinette into protective custody when her identity as Ladybug has been outed.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Adrien and Felix would love to be regular humans, especially Adrien, but that isn't an option for them, so they just have to settle for embracing their human side and spending a lot of time with humans who "anchor" them.
  • I Know Your True Name: Fae who know someone's name can control them. They usually use nicknames amongst themselves, although since they cannot lie, they tend to say "You can call me X," instead of saying that it's their name.
    • Melusine learns Marinette's name, and claims Marinette for herself as far as the Unseelie Court is concerned.
    • Felix isn't able to directly seek out Audrey Bourgeois at the Samhain revel, since he doesn't know her true name.note 
    • Bridgette had her name stolen and is enslaved to the fae as a result. Getting it back would free her. Marinette finds it in a book of poetry about the fae, which apparently had a record of her kidnapping.
    • Adrien and Félix's names are public knowledge, but it turns out that they actually have quite a lot of middle names, which dilutes the effect unless someone can learn them all. It's also later revealed that frequently used nicknames (eg Chaton) can become additional names to an extent, and dilute it further.
    • Ultimately defied when Tikki gives Bridgette a new true name, in an extinct language, with no record of the name existing anywhere, so that no one will be able to enslave her again.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Or, at least, fae are quite resistant. This results in very mixed effects when mind-control akumas hit Chat Noir; instead of him being controlled in the usual fashion, his human side largely shuts down, leaving him cold, cruel, and calculating, but still basically opposed to the akuma. Plagg is even able to manipulate him into defeating Princess Fragrance on his own by playing along until the right moment.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Faerie fruit at least makes its victims think so. To outside eyes it appears to actually be rotten and worm-ridden, but once a human eats some (including force-feeding it), they will ignore everything else to beg for more.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Adrien wins a cat plushie for Marinette at a carnival, by hitting one hundred balloons in a row with darts, not missing once.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Many of The Stations of the Canon still occur despite the changes, although many are reinterpreted.
    • Adrien still gets caught picking gum off Marinette's school chair. However, Marinette readily accepts his explanation; it's Alya who assumes the worst of him.
    • Many of the canonical akumas still happen, like Stoneheart and Bubbler.
    • Marinette and Adrien still end up with mutual crushes that the other is oblivious to (though it doesn't drag on endlessly like canon).
  • Internal Reveal: In chapter 69, Marinette reads a letter from Adrien telling her about the fae.
  • It Amused Me: The modus operandi of most fae. Unfortunately, their amusements are often not healthy, or for that matter survivable, for mere mortals.
  • I Think You Broke Him: In the middle of Marinette and Adrien both crushing on the other and not being brave enough to tell each other, Marinette has a Felix-assisted epiphany and tells Adrien that he's her favourite person in the world. He's frozen in a doorway for some time afterward.
  • I Was Just Joking:
    • Marinette is used to childhood sleepovers with Nino, so she's just making conversation when she suggests to the twins that they could all do each other's makeup. But they're models, so they take the idea entirely seriously; Adrien is quite excited at the prospect.
    • Shortly afterward, with Adrien in makeup, she suggests that with hair extensions he would look like a girl. He immediately starts making plans to try this out in public.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade:
    • Happened to Nathalie's family after she didn't manage to persuade them to move into the Agreste mansion (which was protected by Mrs Agreste's bargain with the Court).
    • Audrey demands that Felix dissolve his mother's bargains so that she can finish the job. He insists on leaving things unchanged until his mother returns.
    • The synopsis is about how Adrien fears this for Marinette.
  • The Kindnapper: Chloé has Marinette abducted and replaced with a changeling before the Court can step in and snatch her first. Despite good intentions, it's still a horrible experience.

  • Land of Faerie: The original Celtic mythology version, Tír na nÓg, a separate world magically linked to the Earth, with warped time and fantastic monsters and The Fair Folk who enslave humans if they eat faerie food. Most half-fae do their best to avoid going there, since they're likely to become lost and be gone for decades, like Mrs Agreste, and halflings don't get a lot of respect from pure fae. But at certain times of year, it calls out to them, since it's the natural home of fae, and can be hard to resist if they're not firmly anchored in the mortal realm.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Adrien makes Marinette forget about seeing his ears and tail, for her protection. She doesn't fully understand, but trusts him enough by this point that she gives her permission.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cat Sídhe have an unusually direct relationship with karma; they can bestow curses on anyone, at any time, and receive good luck in response, or blessings, and receive bad luck. Other fae have to wait for special circumstances and/or pay a heavy price to bestow blessings and curses, and they don't get the same backlash. As Adrien explains to Marinette, this ability to manipulate luck makes cat Sídhe very powerful and feared among the fae; his own mother could have ruled the Court of Paris if she were so inclined.
  • Leonine Contract: Nathalie can't afford to quit her job or be fired, or else she will lose the protection of Mrs Agreste's bargain with the Unseelie Court, which has already expressed a desire to remove her for knowing too much. Mr Agreste is not an archetypal Bad Boss, but he's not really a good one, either.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Adrien, Felix, Plagg, Tikki, and Melusine all work to keep Marinette ignorant of the fae. The fae might not ignore her, though.
    • Alya's naturally inquisitive nature becomes unhealthy as the magic present in the city drops more and more clues. Félix does his best to run interference, but eventually it gets to the point where she knows that magic exists, and knows he's deliberately not telling her more — which would upset her more, if she weren't also aware that people have been killed over these secrets.
  • Manchild: Technically Adrien isn't an adult, but he certainly does act younger than his age, becoming very excited about kindness and cake and birthday parties and making friends. It's partly just his personality, but also from being socially isolated, plus a generous dash of faerie passion and sensitivity.
  • The Masquerade: The fae don't want humans to know about them. They enforce this by removing any human who does know.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Marinette knows that Adrien is keeping things from her, and is quite patient about it, but it definitely puts a strain on him and on their relationship, especially after he removes some of her memories and feels guilty about it.
  • Master of Illusion: A speciality of the fae. Adrien and Felix wear glamours whenever they're in public in "human" form, because they still have cat ears and tails.
  • Meaningful Gift: Nathalie sends a message by buying Adrien lunch. It's chocolate croissants, which he loves, and which she used to buy when they were out on excursions with his mother and not his father — indicating that she's willing to work with him and Félix against Gabriel.
  • Meaningful Name: After Chloé's attempted kindnapping of Marinette falls through, Bridgette reflects on how the term "queen bee" fits her remarkably well, because the fae use the term "queen of insects" to refer to one who has lost influence with other fae and rules over mortals instead.
  • Mercy Kill: A Deader than Dead case. The soul of a human who wandered into a sídhe and was eaten by a kelpie calls out to Felix and begs him to put it out of its misery. He does, but has mixed feelings about it.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: Technically Marinette does have a natural affinity for noticing the magical world, but ultimately she's a human who doesn't and isn't supposed to know about it. And Adrien wants to keep her blissfully (and safely) ignorant.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Fae have so much magic of their own that there isn't room for the Miraculous magic to enter them and take effect. Half-fae can use a Miraculous, but it will be less effective; they will be weaker than a transformed human.
    • This is why Adrien gets the ring instead of Félix. Félix ate a soul and therefore has more magic than Adrien does, so he's less suitable (and Plagg trusts him less) — until Adrien activates "Plan Z" to save Marinette, and absorbs too much magic to ever wield a Miraculous again, leaving Félix as the only practical option.
    • Bridgette was originally human, but has had so much magic exposure that she, too, is only partially compatible. She's more vulnerable to injuries while transformed than she should be, and her Miraculous Cure can't be trusted to perfectly fix everything.
  • Mythology Gag: A non-canonical pilot video had a slightly different looking Ladybug holder, named Bridgette. In Spellbound, Bridgette is a former Ladybug holder who lost the earrings and was taken by the fae, losing her memory of her own name and becoming a shapeshifter with a ladybug-themed native form.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Usually isn't filtered, but occasionally Played for Laughs, such as when Marinette realises that she does have a crush on Adrien but that she's persuaded him she doesn't, and "released curse words her parents would be ashamed to hear coming out of her mouth."
    And then she said them again. With adjectives.
  • Non Human Lover Reveal: Marinette has a hard time coping with the knowledge that Adrien has not been fully human all along. She does still believe that he loves her, but she has to rethink every part of their relationship in light of her new understanding.
  • Not Brainwashed: An interesting case when Adrien and Félix first attend school and "meet" Marinette, whom they have actually known for a year. They don't want to reveal their friendship to Chloé, lest she take petty revenge on Marinette for being part of their lives, so Adrien uses a Mind Control effect in a song, influencing Marinette to like and trust him — while knowing that she is wearing a protective necklace that makes her immune. He then has a perfect cover to explain their closeness to any other fae. And Marinette has no idea of what's happening except that her friend just serenaded her during class.note 
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: After Marinette is kidnapped by the fae, both legs broken, and replaced with a changeling, there's no going back to how things were. She learns that Adrien and Felix are half-fae, that Adrien was Chat Noir, and she takes up the Peacock Miraculous because Adrien can't wield a Miraculous anymore and so she would be out of balance as Ladybug. It will be months before she is healed and can return to her life, but even when she does, things will be very different.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Marinette delights in reminding Adrien about how he tried to give her a leaf as a gift. A dead, dry leaf. She eventually learns that it was actually magic — but it's probably just as well that she didn't find out at the time.
  • Only Sane Man: Felix feels like this to most of the world, particularly his brother. (The human world, at least; the Faerie Courts are another matter entirely.)
  • Painting the Medium:
    • When Adrien leans on his fae side, his voice changes, depicted with alternating regular and italic letters.
      Faedrien: What’s the matter? It’s just me, my lady.
    • The universe tugging on him and calling him to Tír na nÓg is depicted with right-aligned Zalgo text.
      .̺̾̔Sͯl̃ͣ̇e͕͋e̙̥ͯͭ͜pͧ̈, ̢̈͊̂c̪ͬa̡t̰̗͒͛ ̠͕c͔hi̴͍̔̽ͅld̴̰,͔̾ ̽̊̇sḷ̠̜ͬ͂̾ȩ̽eͫ̽ͫp̪͆
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Adrien is energetic and flirty and naive, while Felix plays the Only Sane Man who has to make sure his brother doesn't get himself killed — and who never has enough coffee for the job. They're still inseparable, though.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Chloé and the twins should be natural allies, but she holds her cards too close to her chest, and pays the price when Adrien interrupts her kindnapping of Marinette and attacks her, injuring both her body and her reputation among the fae.
  • Power at a Price: Magic always has a cost.
    • Adrien and Felix are quite relieved when they learn that Plagg just wants Camembert cheese, rather than life force or losing happy memories or firstborn children.
    • Felix bought some protective herbs from Melusine, in exchange for singing a song to which he afterward forgot the words. He considers that very cheap, presumably offered because she likes children.
    • The more innate magic someone has, the less human they become, and the less compatible they are with a Miraculous. Felix becomes better than Adrien at spellcasting after he eats a soul, but it contributes to Plagg choosing Adrien as his wielder. At least until "Plan Z" makes Adrien so magical that he's completely incapable of using the ring anymore. By that time, Plagg has come to trust Felix, and accepts him as a wielder — but he's still not able to use as much of the Miraculous' power as Adrien previously could.
  • The Power of Trust: Although she doesn't fully understand what's going on, Marinette trusts Adrien and allows him to block her memory of seeing his cat ears through his illusion.
  • Property of Love:
    • Deconstructed in a reflective moment, where Adrien considers the contrast between fae ideas of owning people, vs relationships of love where people mutually claim each other, as he has come to experience with Marinette.
    • Played straight in the Dark Cupid episode, where Chat Noir is quite possessive of Ladybug.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Marinette realises that Adrien gave her the ladybug bracelet charm in full knowledge of who she was, she insists that "This. Is. Not. Funny!" but she can't stop Adrien from laughing.
  • Relationship Upgrade: A considerable portion of the story is about showing how the friendship between Adrien and Marinette (and Felix) develops, starting from a year before canon, and then Adrien and Marinette eventually start officially dating. Part of the reason the Love Square is cut short is that Marinette notices how Adrien had started getting uncharacteristically tongue-tied, just like her.
  • Running Gag:
    • Felix and Nino start poking Adrien and Marinette whenever they're acting like a couple without realising it. Later, Alya joins in, although Felix has to explain the rules to her.
    • Adrien and Marinette's first official meeting (ie with Adrien in human form) involves a misunderstanding with Adrien giving Marinette a dead leaf (which was actually a necklace hidden by an illusion). Later, when they're past that hurdle, he starts a tradition of giving her charms for her bracelet on birthdays and Christmas, with the first being a leaf. Marinette also doesn't let him forget it, bringing it up as an embarrassing story when meeting new people. When they later visit the same park on a date, Marinette gives him a dead leaf. It's not until after his fae nature is revealed that she finally learns what was actually going on.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Sabrina's devotion to Chloé is explained by her being a selkie whose coat is held by Chloé's mother.
  • Sensory Overload: At the best of times, Cat Sidhe are very sensitive to the songs of the universe, the emotions of people around them, and the possibility of disasters. When Adrien's senses are dramatically boosted by a portion of Plagg's magic, and Marinette has fully come into her Second Sight through prolonged exposure to magic, plus she's wearing the Miraculous of Emotion, is not the best of times; just being around crowds of people is painful.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Félix eventually learns that his father wants to use the Wish to undo the creation of the fae (which also involved a Wish). It's implied that this would result in restoring the canon timeline.
  • Sex Slave: Becoming a fae "bride" means this. And the fae are typically not gentle. The story doesn't go into the graphic details of what happened to Bridgette, except that after she made her deal and said that she was ready, "She wasn't."
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: After absorbing a large dose of Plagg's magic, Adrien is stuck as a cat for a while. With a lot of practice, he's eventually able to return to his regular cat form, at least, instead of standing as tall as a human at the shoulder.
  • Shapeshifting: Adrien and his brother Felix can transform into cats. Actually, their cat forms are just as much a part of them as their humanoid forms are, and they get very uncomfortable if they're not allowed to shift regularly.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Marinette likens Adrien's early notes, when he's trying to break the ice, to "a letter she might get from an Animal Crossing character."
    • Félix stops by unexpectedly at the bakery, and Marinette comes downstairs wearing a Slytherin T-shirt, to which his reaction is, "Well, that's a relief. I don't think I could have put up with another Hufflepuff."
    • When Félix is braiding Marinette's hair for Christmas Eve dinner, and she learns that he hasn't had the chance to practise since his mother disappeared, she responds with, "Well, I volunteer as tribute for future hairstyling sessions then. This looks beautiful."
    • When getting her Miraculous and freaking out, Marinette thinks to herself that she isn't Hinamori Amu.
    • Adrien's smile in cat form has "a striking resemblance to the cat bus in My Neighbor Totoro".
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When the Evillustrator realises that Marinette was just playing along and fooled him, he angrily says that she's just like Chloé. Chat Noir, who has him pinned and was already envious of their fake date, very calmly points out the flaws in his accusation.
  • Soul Eating: Cat Sídhe are capable of consuming the souls of the departed, which permanently increases their magical power but makes them less human. Felix is pressured into using this on a human eaten by a kelpie.
  • Spider-Sense: Adrien and Félix can sometimes feel premonitions of looming disaster, though they typically can't do anything to stop it. Marinette concludes that Adrien should just do as he pleases if he can't change anything, so they return to Paris despite him knowing that something bad will occur there.
  • The Stoic: Nathalie actually puts on a friendly expression (for her) when deciding to help out Marinette and Adrien instead of busting them, but Adrien knows that to most people it would just look sober. He can only tell because he's known her for so long. He's astounded to later hear her laugh, which she hasn't done in years.
  • Take Me Instead: This is how Bridgette secured the release of her sister, who had been kidnapped to become a fae bride. Being Tikki's chosen, Bridgette was interesting to the fae in question, while her sister was merely taken because she was beautiful, so the fae willingly made the exchange.
  • Trauma Button:
    • After the Samhain revel, Félix has a panic attack upon seeing a white horse, which reminds him of the kelpie who ate a human in front of him.
    • Marinette panicks whenever she sees Adrien's giant cat form, as it reminds her of her kidnapping, and she only gradually adjusts.
    • Bridgette does not cope with watching an episode of My Little Pony where a bride on her wedding day turns out to be a changeling, having done her best to forget the times she did that very thing.
  • The Trickster: Faeries are naturally this, of the more cruel and sadistic variety. Adrien and Felix keep it low-key with pranking each other, such as when Adrien buys Felix a shirt in his preferred colour but a feminine style.
  • Voice of the Legion: Adrien's voice becomes otherworldly when his fae side is dominant, such as when his human side is mind-controlled or when he charms Marinette to suppress dangerous memories.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 58. A spriggan observes Ladybug talking to Adrien's cat form about how he used to visit her balcony, and rapidly joins the dots to deduce that Ladybug is the human whom Adrien is known to visit, Marinette. Then, in chapter 59, Marinette is kidnapped as a result. The story heads into much grimmer territory afterward, in book 3 — not without its happy moments, but with a much darker tone than the previous books.
  • Win Her a Prize: Adrien wins a giant plushie for Marinette by hitting a hundred balloons with darts — without missing once.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Most of the fae love children. Which is to say that given a chance, they'll bewitch the parents and whisk the child away to watch its fascinating panicked screams.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Melusine seems to be this. She's still fae and shouldn't be blindly trusted, but she's generally been helpful and trustworthy to the teenage protagonists.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time is twisted and variable inside faerie mounds. Felix, at the revel, watches trees grow up and bear fruit within apparent seconds, and animals seen in the corner of his eye are piles of bones by the time he looks at them directly.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside:
    • This typically happens to anyone who visits the Land of Faerie — including Mrs Agreste. She is likely to return safe and sound one day, but it could be decades or centuries.
    • Felix is aware that this can happen inside faerie mounds, and has to be careful about how long he stays at the revel and where he goes.
    • Bridgette was taken as a fae bride for seven years (of abject physical and sexual slavery), then returned to the mortal realm — and found, not her sister, but her great grand-niece, who informed her that a century had passed.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Dark Cupid is able to make the human part of Adrien hate Ladybug. But Adrien's fae side is resistant to such control, and feels rather possessive toward Maribug, and finds amusement in beating Dark Cupid to a pulp and breaking one of his wings. If not for Ladybug's intervention, he probably would have killed him.
    Faedrien: Yoſhouldn’t havdonthis.

Alternative Title(s): Spellbound