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With Strength of Steel Wings by is an ongoing Harry Potter For Want of a Nail Fanfic in which Harry is abandoned by the Dursleys and eventually rescued by a few kids. These kids work for a man who is not what he seems...


Tropes Present In This Work Include:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Harry's steel wings are sharp enough to cut off a man's hand or a Basilisk into pieces.
  • Abusive Parents: The Dursley, who kickstart the plot by abandoning Harry
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  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Harry starts developing his flight abilities, Tiny, Kerr and Mike invent a game of throwing a wooden ring while the flying wizard boy tries to catch it, Mike suggests to call the game fetch and this trope is Harry's reaction. Kerr is not so pleased about the suggestion.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Pomona Sprout's class sees the first years travelling to the forbidden forest in order to learn to identify magical plants. We don't see it happen though
    • This version of Quirrel does not have his infamous stutter, teaches competently and is a beloved teacher appreciated by both students and the Governors' Board.
    • Ron Weasley, surprising enough. He learns various spells, including some advanced curses, that puts Hermione on the defensive.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Ron, who absorbed the bullying tendencies of Draco Malfoy. However by second year he has fully evolved to this, even calling Hermione a mudblood to her face.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Basilisk. In canon it would kill anyone who looked at it's eyes directly and only a series of Contrived Coincidence resulted in people looking at the snake's eyes indirectly and getting petrifyied. Here the Basilisk doesn't have the power to kill but the power of Taken for Granite but if they look at its eyes indirectly they are merely petrified.
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    • Hermione, who is not as capable at spellcasting as in canon.
  • All There in the Manual: The author has compiled a handy list of Harry's runes, due to how many he collects over the fic.
  • Always Save the Girl: Subverted. Harry fails to save Ginny Weasley and Ron hates him for it.
  • Animated Tattoo: If a wizard gets a tattoo, their magic will animate it and cannot be removed without losing a bit of magic. When Harry gets a wing tattoo as a member for Mr Steel's group, his magic turns it into two steel wings as well revealing he's a wizard.
  • Anti-Magic: Iron, something that the Hounds exploit by crafting armor of steel alloys.
  • Artistic License – History: The wizarding history books blame the persecution of wizardkind on the "Catholic religion" taking a greater hold over the nation. In fact, the witch trials started and worsened as Protestantism spread throughout Britain and Catholicism had been a force in Britain since the 4rd century.
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  • Artistic License – Religion: The official position of the Catholic Church on magic is that it doesn't exist. In fact, belief in witchcraft did not spread until after the Reformation and witch trials would be far more common and likely to occur in nations with a growing Protestant community.
  • Asshole Victim: The Dursleys, who get an Agony Beam curtesy of Snape.
  • Blood Magic: Dumbledore created a device by using a few drops of blood to keep minotoring of Harry's magic. Harry getting a tattoo however causes massive disruption of the magical flow and the device explodes. Harry's runes are also this.
  • Boring, but Practical: When attacked by Professor Lupin during the full moon, Harry side-along teleports him to Australia where is daylight, thus causing him to revert to human form.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Colin Creevey, curtesy of Draco Malfoy.
  • Broken Masquerade: A major plotline is how a bunch of online conspiracy theorists are plotting to bring about The Unmasked World.
  • Cool House: Gerald Steel owns a cottage in the countryside, which he, Harry and the Steel Wings eventually move to.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Severus Snape uses the Cruciatus curse on the Dursleys after he uses legilimancy on them to find out about Harry's whereabouts.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Deconstructed. The theorists are correct that there's a worldwide conspiracy going on but their intentions vary somewhat from noble to greed and vengeance.
  • Corrupt Politician: The fifty seats (excluding the Chief Warlock) of the Wizengamot are inherited by the Lord (patriarch) of a pureblood family, with empty seats being appointed by the Minister. Nowadays a significant number of the seats are appointed because bloodlines have died out or the heirs are in Azkaban for supporting Voldemort.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Subverted. Harry wins the race against Mike and Rick by apparating half-way through.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: According to wizarding history books, very much so.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Harry's runes are activated by a vocal command and a silencing charm will prevent him from using them.
  • Crystal Ball: The device Dumbledore to track Harry's health is a round orb, transparent and smoky. It doesn't allow him to scry for Harry but to monitor the growth of his magic.
  • Dead Fic: The fic has not been updated since summer 2015, however the author is busy with another very long fic and has a note on their page saying they will update when the new fic is over.
  • Decomposite Character: Draco, who while still existing as his personality split: his bigotry goes to Theodore Nott while his bullying goes to Ron.
  • Deconstruction Fic: The fic deconstructs various tropes and elements.
  • Deflector Shields: Harry's third rune creates a shield which resembles a bubble.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: For taking an unfavorable photograph of Harry immediatly after he leaves the Chamber and being manipulated by Rita Skeeter to sell it to the Daily Prophet, Draco shatters his camera which also results in a Heroic BSoD
  • Differently Powered Individual: According to Nicholas Flammel in old times there used to hedge-witches, who could make simple potions and spells; then there were the average magic wielders who learned magic from the family's grimoire; the sorcerers who used a Magic Staff for Weather Manipulation and then there were mages who can used magic wandlessly and are the most powerful of all magic practitioners.
  • Doorstopper: The fic has over seven hundred thousand words, and it's not yet complete.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Invoked Trope. The Hounds get Sirius Black to perform a series of spells in front of their scientific research division, in an attempt to find out how magic subverts the laws of natureand of course develop the technology to block harmful magic.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Sybill Trelawney.
  • Egypt Is Still Ancient: Subverted. Most of Egypt is under control of islamic muggles but the wizarding world controls Heliopolis which is a vast undergound network of cavern marketplaces with an Invisible to Normals dome in the ruins above which is the headquarters of the Centre of Alchemical Studies.
  • Eyepatch of Power: When Harry crafts rune that makes his right eye see magic but also corrects the eye sight, he becomes The Klutz so Kerr, Tiny and Mike give him an eyepatch.
  • Evil Reactionary: Theodore Nott, who absorbs all the negative personality traits of canon!Draco, magnified to the point that he considers that muggleborns should be expelled from the wizarding world.
  • Family of Choice: Mike, Kerr, Tiny and even Rick are this to Harry.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: The concept of magical cores, which is basically power levels, also includes limted amount of magic being avaliable to wizards and witches and how spellcasting spends it, when in canon only physical and emotional exhaustion are shown and there's no hint of limited magic.
  • Forced to Watch: Harry is bound in a telephone cord and has to helplessly watch as Snape obliviates Gerald Steel.
  • Hate at First Sight: Mike, and somwhat Rick too, to Harry.
  • Healing Factor: After being stuck in bed for a week due to common cold, Harry decides to get a rune that increases his regeneration. It's not as advanced as other examples but does reduce the regeneration time by a lot, while not giving him extraordinary abilites like From a Single Cell.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The inability of wizards to dress up like muggles, in violation of the Statue of Secrecy, is what initially intrigued Gerald Steel, eventually to him discovering The Masquerade.
    • Muggle-Repealing Charms work horizontally, not vertically so the Steel Wings can bypass them by getting into a rooftop.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Harry does not return to Hogwarts on third year, instead recieving tutoring from Nicholas Flammel.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Harry has difficulty to channel his seventh rune, Zayin.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Trope Namer becomes yet another victim as Dumbledore orders them to return to their common room which is located in the dungeons, where a troll is also suspected to be.
  • Inept Mage: Gildroy Lockhart who manages to accidently vanish Harry's bones after he's hit with a cursed bludger.
  • Informed Attribute: Hermione's status as "startest witch of the age", due to Adaptational Wimp and being a Damsel in Distress.
  • Instant Runes: Subverted, Harry has to carve runes into his own skin at a very specific time, initially following the lunar phases.
  • Internal Retcon: The Ministry of Magic which has written out from history books the means which ancient Egyptian wizards used to shape-shift into a Phoenix and proclaimed such means to be Dark Magic.
  • Irony: The fact that the means used to uphold The Masquerade such as Laser-Guided Amnesia, Destroy the Evidence and Fake Memories are also responsible for Broken Masquerade.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ginny dies in the Chamber.
  • Language of Magic: Not all wizards use latin, with some foreign wizards using other languages for spellcasting. Old, preferably dead languages are favored because of the innate power of centuries of usage and because it ensures that Power Incontinence by accidental spellcasting is avoided.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Memory Charm, which is deconstructed by showing how destructive to social life it can be Dumbledore wipes out Gerald Steel's memory of Harry, damaging his relationship with the wizard boy forever.
    • Muggleborns who refuse to remain in the wizarding world have their memory of magic erased, which has disastrous consequences.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Hounds find a way to take photographs of magical locations. Because muggle-repealing charms prevent muggles from getting close to "dead zones", they can take accidental photos of these areas by, for instance, take a photograph of themselves with their backs turned to the "dead zones". The Hounds were capable of capturing thousands of photographs using this method.
  • MacGuffin: The wand with a werewolf fang core that Harry finds in the Black vault at Gringotts whom he gives to Sirius. It's geared towards violent-oriented magic and when Sirius uses it for the first, it causes a Lumos charm to instead trigger an explosion. Neverthless Sirius can still properly cast spells with it but as he says, it has a punch.
  • Malicious Slander: As usual, Rita Skeeter with help from Lucius Malfoy.
  • The Masquerade: Deconstructed. The Wizarding World reliance on Mind Rape and separating families has resulted in a nearly invisible backlash amongst muggles that might bring about it's exposure.
  • Men in Black: Most governments and their respective intelligence communities are aware of the existance of the wizarding world.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Spells cease to work once the spellcaster is dead or unconscious.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The Basilisk is slain by Harry's sharp wings.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Due to using legilimancy on the Dursleys, Snape has a much more positive view on Harry. Which is what causes his angry reaction when Augusta Longbottom suggest to let the Acceptance Letter do its work when the Order's search for Harry turns fruitless.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Ministry's reaction to finding out that several employees have been kidnapped. However, to prevent widespread panic, Scrimgeour decides to appoint Shacklebolt to quietly investigate the matter.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves have a twisted version of "wolf physiology" which allows them to transform but also perverses the wolf pack structure by creating an individual, called alphas, that rules supreme until overthrown. Unlike wolves, where the pack members can refuse to follow the alpha's commands, there's a form of compulsion that prevents werewolves from doing so.
  • Painful Transformation: Harry shapeshifting into his Phoenix form.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Dursleys do this to Harry.
  • Parental Substitute: Gerald Steel becomes a father figure for Harry until Snape wipes his memory
  • Perspective Flip: The fic is initially from the point of view of muggles living in the world of Harry Potter and how they would interact with The Masquerade. Even after Harry goes to Hogwarts, muggles still play a vital part.
  • The Phoenix: As in canon, Fawkes. Harry also gains the ability to shapeshift into a Phoenix after he carves up a runic set dedicated to the Sun.
  • Photographic Memory: The first rune of Harry's second runic set will allow him to remember things much better, although according to the Author it's actually eidetic memory. However it results in Harry reading things much slower than normal.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Rufus Scrimgeour and Amelia Bones, who have deep respect for each other's commitment to a fair law enforcement. They conspire to bring down Cornelius Fudge when he refuses to allow an investigation into the Hounds.
  • Playing with Fire: Harry's third runic set gives him the ability to manipulate fire, although only fire that he creates and not fire from other sources, such as Phoenixes.
  • Power Incontinence: A burst of accidental magic causes Harry to fry every appliance in the Dursley's kitchen.
  • Present Day: Unlike canon, the story is set in the mid of The New '10s. For instance Vladmir Putin is the ruler of Russia, rather than Boris Yeltsin and cellphones are commonplace.
  • Reality Ensues: Pureblood obsession with blood purity has resulted in a decline of birthrates so most pureblood have only one child whose death could spell the end of their lineage. Also muggleborns general lack and unfamiliarity with magic gives them greater disvantage over purebloods can far more easily master spells because they have been surrounded by magic all their lives.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dumbledore. When a troll infiltrates the dungeons, he orders all Houses to return to their common rooms except Slytherin which is to remain at the Great Hall. Unfortunately he forgot that the Hufflepuff House common room is also located in the dungeons.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The reason why James wants to expose the wizarding world is as revenge for the death of his brother who had all his memories of magic erased because he refused to remain in the wizarding world.
  • Roof Hopping: During his race against Rick and Mike, Harry engages in this until he apparates to the finish.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Harry decides to go to Egypt after Ginny dies in the Chamber. He does eventually return though,
  • Shown Their Work: The author researched wolves and Remus' description of how wolf packs are actually lead by two alphas, a male and a female, who are merely the parents of the other wolves shows it. It's also pointed out that amongst real wolves there's very few agressive hierarchy and dominance battles. Werewolves on the other hand..
  • Shout-Out: To the first book, where a Parental Substitute brings about a Broken Masquerade by telling Harry he's a wizard.
  • Shock and Awe: The rune Zayin, which creates a lightining bolt that obliterates anything it's targets.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The origins of the Hound are unknown, even to its members.
  • Solar and Lunar: Harry's first two runic sets are dedicated to the moon while the other two runic sets are dedicated to the sun.
  • Spotting the Thread: What causes people to join the Hound are a series of bizarre events, like patients curing themselves, prized students vanishing to a school that doesn't exist, government employees whose memories are wiped continuously, law enforcement agents who catch criminals who suddenly aren't criminals anymore and other parts necessary to maintain The Masquerade.
    • Thanks to the internet, they now are organizing at a faster rate and have actually compilled data and crafted a map that details the wizarding world.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A variant. When Harry is first brought to Hogwarts, Madam Pomfrey casts a series of diagnosis spells on his magical core but due to the his protective runes, the diagnosis is that the core is normal, average which, along with the fact she has to employ very advanced healing spells, causes the mediwitch to be suspicious.
  • Teleportation: Beyond apparation, Harry can also teleport through conjured fire.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Harry's third runic set allows him to create a door made of fire.
  • Übermensch: According to Nicholas Flammel mages are magic wielders who deign to use wands rather than rely them and he believes Harry will become one. The trope comes into effect in that Flammel believes that Harry will throw off expectations and make "[his] own world".
  • The Unmasked World: In the first chapter it's implied this the case. The rest of the fic reveal how this came to pass.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of the runic sets Harry gets gives him the ability to shapeshift into a Phoenix, and he has all the powers of a Phoenix as long he's transformed.
  • Winged Humanoid: Harry
  • Witch Hunter: The Hounds, although they merely want to expose their existence. Some merely seek to do The Magic Comes Back while others have far less noble goals.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Early on, during the debacle of the Philosopher's stone, a hand off remark is made of wizards living up to two centuries though the exact lifespan is unknown.
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