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Ghosts Of The Past / Tropes A to H

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Tropes from Child of the Storm's sequel, Ghosts of the Past.

Tropes I To P can be found here and Tropes Q To Z can be found here.



  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Bucky's metal arm can move in ways that normal arms can't, when he wants it to. More dramatically, when the Spirit of the Fallen Fortress possesses Hermione, it makes The Exorcist look mild as it progresses to full on Humanoid Abomination levels of nightmarish.
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  • Abusive Parents: Mr Danvers is psychologically abusive, though it's insidious and very hard to pin down (as psychological abuse often is). He tries to force his two older children - Carol, a sporty, Hot-Blooded teenage Action Girl, and Stevie, a slight, softly spoken, arty boy - into being what he wants them to be (a Proper Lady and The All-American Boy). In Carol's case, he tries to make Harry Mind Rape her. Bad idea. This strongly affects Carol and Stevie's personalities, the former having major trust issues, and the latter suffering "a psychological death of a thousand cuts." When it's revealed just how far he tried to go, his wife and mother-in-law make him pay.
  • Academic Athlete: Harry's very athletic, as canon, but even though his main displays of intellectual prowess are in the form of his deductive intellect and Guile Hero tendencies, he proves to be a very able student of Strange, Magneto, and Gorakhnath when he sets his mind to it.
    • Cedric Diggory, mentioned as being a star Quidditch player and very bright and able student.
  • Accidental Murder: Part of Gambit's backstory is that due to not having full control of his powers at the time, he accidentally killed his then-girlfriend's brother during a fight.
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  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: Harry especially, though Carol isn't immune to it, especially given that she doesn't have the same recuperative powers (though she doesn't tend to get run through the same meat-grinder as him). McGonagall ends up despairing how his knack for finding trouble is even worse than canon, wondering if he can even go one term without risking his life. Dumbledore, the realist, expects that a fortnight is more likely.
  • Act of True Love: Lily's sacrifice and the resultant Phoenix based protection becomes increasingly important as Harry learns to harness it... with mixed success.
    • In chapter 33, after going two rounds with Dracula and getting the crap kicked out of him twice, leaving him so tired he can barely stand, Harry determinedly donates as much blood as he can spare to Carol (who's dying of blood loss) in an impromptu and unorthodox blood transfusion. It nearly kills him, but he doesn't care. Afterwards, Carol gives him a kiss on the cheek and thanks him.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Xavier's response to Logan's crack that if one of the staff at the Institute went mad, no one would notice the difference.
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    • Dracula, of all people, seems to find Carol's proposal that her appointment with him take place at high noon to be this, wryly remarking that he'll have to decline.
  • 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.
    • Dudley Dursley goes from neighborhood bully to a Person of Mass Destruction, and later becomes even more powerful as he's turned into a vampire. Still no match for an angry Harry, though.
  • 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.
    • Doctor Strange, in this fic, is rather less noble and scrupulous than his comic and MCU counterparts - though it mostly exaggerates their ruthlessness. Given his Dark and Troubled Past, and the malevolent cosmic threats like Thanos lurking about, a guy like Strange has to get his hands dirty once in awhile (and sometimes, even more frequently) to assure the universe remains safe.
    • Odin and Thor... sort of (there's a reason the entry used to be on the YMMV page).
      • Odin was willing to put innocent Russian civilians lives at stake, just for the sake of taking down the Red Room, though it could be argued that the Red Room controlled Russia and there was no real way of getting a stranglehold on them without getting one on the rest of Russia as well - a stranglehold that lapsed the moment the Red Room were squashed. Which seems in character for an experienced and occasionally ruthless commander who's both achieving an aim and making a point.
      • Thor at first seems to lack the humility he'd developed from the Marvel films and is more brash and hotheaded when compared to his canon counterpart. However, this might be explained by his sudden adjustment to two decades of memories, the fact that the last time he had a child that he lost track of, Torunn, she died long before he ever met her, and his son's recurring habit of getting into trouble, which would strain the patience of a saint. By Ghosts, he's mostly calmed down, and is if anything wiser and more patient than his MCU counterpart - except when his son is involved.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Diana has an obvious crush on Ginny Weasley, and it is definitely mutual, with the two getting together (facilitated by Harry) at the Yule Ball.
  • 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, ruling a new Russian Empire (very briefly), but he plays a definite second fiddle to Sinister.
  • Adapted Out: While characters such as Amos Diggory and Waldo Butters still appear, their roles are much reduced, the former due to Harry not being as closely tied to the Weasleys and thus the magical world in general, and the latter due to Dead Beat having been condensed into a mostly offscreen adventure.
  • Adventure Duo: Harry and Carol. If one is involved in some form of trouble, the other is rarely all that far behind.
  • 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.
    • Clark Kent also fits the trope - the irony of this, since he's from another world, is noted.
  • 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.
  • All Is Well That Ends Well: Despite the implication of the finale of Child of the Storm, this is Subverted. It's made very clear that Harry and Carol in particular are still suffering from varying degrees of PTSD, right from chapter 1, which features Carol awakening from Trauma Induced Nightmares and a resultant UST heavy piece of psychic therapy as Harry tries to help. Other near-death experiences/generalised horror are treated as increasing the issues, particularly in Harry's case, and broadening the rift between him and those who aren't involved, such as Ron and Hermione, and other Hogwarts friends - one widened even further by first his refusal to explain because of trauma, and then his somewhat cack-handed explanation that only makes things worse. And usually, every time it looks like he's recovered and in good shape (or getting that way, at least), something else comes in to make matters worse.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In Chapter 32, Dracula launches an attack on Avengers Mansion in order to abduct Carol. To bypass the defences and the Threshold, he telekinetically tears the building apart, then has his minions swarm into the separate pieces.
  • Almost Kiss: Harry and Carol share one in chapter 36, with Harry instead opting to kiss Carol's brow.
  • Alternate Self: During the First Task, Harry triggers a mental trap spell that, due to his own powers and the fact that reality is still thin from Chthon's rising, allows him to meet an older version of himself from a timeline where Wanda took him in after his first year at Hogwarts. Then he glimpses various other versions of himself from across The Multiverse.
  • Always Second Best: Uhtred averts this, having long since got over his issues with Harry's prominence and being content to be his right hand (or possibly left, considering Carol) and loyal Sworn Sword. Ron, by contrast, still has this to Harry, though a little less than in canon (as noted in the previous book, he definitely does not envy all the hell that Harry goes through). However, also unlike in canon, Hermione's development of new and unusual powers (which are less obviously traumatic than Harry's) and being mentored not only by Loki (distantly) but also by Wanda Maximoff, a Living Legend in her own right compounds his feelings. Harry, being more perceptive than in canon (and psychic) picks up on it, and explains it to Carol, while Uhtred (who's in a very similar situation) discusses it with Ron when the two meet.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Thor occasionally enjoys winding up his son, having remarked in the previous books that it's pretty much his duty. Usually, said teasing revolves around Harry's attraction to Carol. Harry, naturally, ends up mortified.
    • Jack O'Neill keeps trying to be badass and go-getting, and keeps getting upstaged by his mother, Alison Carter.
    • Steve is less than happy upon discovering that Carol and Harry Rules Lawyered the instructions to leave his door open and their clothes on.
  • 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.
  • Ancient Evil: Selene is noted to have already been old when Atlantis fell.
    • The original Dark Phoenix has been in stasis for the last million years.
    • The Elder Wyrm from the Of Dungeons and Dragons arc was a member of the above-mentioned first Dark Phoenix's army, and has been slumbering in the caverns beneath where Hogwarts now is ever since its master's defeat.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: In chapter 33, Carol kisses Harry on the cheek to thank him for what he did. Harry returns one to her brow in chapter 36, after they Almost Kiss.
  • 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.
  • A Rare Sentence: Dresden notes that Selene "ate his dinosaur," the weirdness of which Morgan lampshades.
    • When discussing Strange's production of West Side Story, Wanda notes that "you haven't lived until you've seen several dozen Mindless Ones pull off a flawless street dance routine." Everyone - including Thor, who really has Seen It All - can only stare in disbelief.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • It's reiterated that Harry and Voldemort are this, though it looks increasingly like Strange is setting Harry up to be this to Thanos - though it's also indicated to be personal with Thanos.
    • 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.
  • The Arch Mage: In addition to all the examples established in the previous book (Strange, Wanda, Dumbledore, Arthur Langtry/The Merlin), in Chapter 62 Wanda reveals that the original Merlin is still around, and that while Strange may be more skilled, Merlin is more purely powerful. As she puts it, while other wizards wield magic, Merlin controls it.
  • Arc Villain:
    • The Red Room, led by General Lukin, Yelena Belova, and Sinister in the Forever Red arc.
    • The Kemmlerites and Dracula in the Bloody Hell arc.
    • The Elder Wyrm in the Of Dungeons and Dragons arc.
    • Dr. Robert Reynolds for the unnamed Smallville arc.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Chapter 55 in particular tries to subvert this, with the author (an epileptic) making very clear that Harry is entirely wrong when he grabs and tries to restrain someone who's having a seizure (though he has reasons beyond just medical for wanting to do so), as it only leads to you and them getting hurt in real life.
  • A Shared Suffering: Harry and Carol's shared experiences, shared traumas, and shared resultant nightmares etcetera, play a significant role in deepening their bond. On the downside, this leads to Ron and Hermione being somewhat Locked Out of the Loop.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: The second part of Forever Red onwards in a nutshell - Harry gambles everything on trying to get through to Maddie, even throwing himself back into the Red Room's hands. This was a horrible idea, with what happens next both turning the world upside down and almost driving him insane. It gets to the point where he's palpably haunted by it to one degree or another for over 40 chapters after it ends, and the entire book effectively functions as his Mental Health Recovery Arc.
  • Audience Surrogate: This role shifts from Harry and Carol to Ron and, to a lesser extent, Hermione, in this book, due to Harry and Carol's Character Development and increased weirdness factor/habit of being totally Fantastically Indifferent. Ron and Hermione, by contrast, are normal teenagers, magic powers aside, and react much more normally.
    • The Red Room prisoners function as this in the first half of Forever Red, being somewhat disturbed by how casually Harry and Carol are treating everything - right down to them Flirting Under Fire.
    • Likewise, Steven 'Stevie' Danvers (Carol's little brother) and Peter Parker both serve as this in Bloody Hell.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: In order to provide Harry with a suitable background music to strike at an Elder Wyrm, Strange has Tony hack the Valiant so its loudspeakers start to crank out "Thunderstruck", much to Peter Wisdom's (very vocal) displeasure.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Carol's brother Stevie is Locked Out of the Loop regarding her adventures with Harry, but has been able to piece together at least a vague idea of what's happening just by paying attention to the way everyone's acting.
    • This is also how Carol is able to deduce that there's a strike team after her, their numbers, and who and what they are.
    • More than once, Bucky is able to deduce what Strange is up to just from the observed evidence.
  • 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!"
    • Dracula gives one when fighting Harry:
      "I am Dracula. I defied empires, causing the fields of Europe to steam with the blood of my enemies, long before I began drinking it as well. When I destroyed their armies, I made a screaming forest of their survivors, earning the name of Lord Impaler. I am the Lord of the Vampires, I have slain gods and demons alike, and I, little Prince, am going to teach you a lesson you should long since have learned." *tosses Harry through a portal into open skies.* "Why not to meddle in the affairs of your betters."
    • In Chapter 34, Wanda asks Jesus to give a message to the members of the Council Elite who might potentially harm Harry, on her behalf:
      "The message is as follows: I am the Sorceress Supreme. Harry is my godson. And if any god, or goddess, or any entity of that ilk, even breathes the wrong way towards him, then I swear by my power and my name that I will make them wish that they were dealing with my predecessor."
    • The Elder Wyrm gives a lengthy one in chapter 43 that carries shades of Smaug's, and one that - since he's capable of taking on both Thor and the Valiant simultaneously - he's plenty capable of living up to.
      "You would fight me? You think much of yourself, oh very little thing. You are an Asgardian, of the blood of Frey, and one of moderate intelligence at that. Those qualities alone make you worth conversing with. But I, I am far more. My sire was Jormungand, Father of Dragons. I was born at the command of the Surtur Ash-Bringer, King of Flames, Lord of the Inferno, for a purpose beyond your comprehension. I was a vanguard for his infinite armies; I burned worlds beyond number from clouds to core, and devoured their people like sheep on the fold! Your people are gods now, Asgardian, but I ate my fill of gods long before your kind ever claimed the spark of divinity! Your people are old now, but I was ancient when the eldest of your sires were mere mortal babes in their mother’s arms! Even in my sleep, I reached out my thought and ensnared gods, both of this land and of your kindred, and broke them to my will!”
  • Badass Crew: Harry already has a team of proto-Young Avengers, composed of himself, Carol, Jean-Paul, Uhtred, and Diana.
    • This group, minus Jean-Paul (at first) and including Bucky, Remus, Sirius, Gambit, and a half-turned Peter Parker, later joined by Alison, and Doctor Doom, work together quite effectively against the Grey Court.
    • The Winter Guard are said to be this trope, though in practice they get Overshadowed by Awesome.
    • After Alison was kidnapped by the Red Room, Peggy Carter teamed up with Charles Xavier, Jor-El, Howard Stark, Mar-Vell, Piotr Rasputin, Bra'tac, and Teal'c to get her back.
    • The Avengers, of course, who are respected, if not outright feared, by every mortal and supernatural power bloc on Earth and its associated realms.
    • The First Class of X-Men are mentioned again, with Fury noting to Loki that before he joined, he would've given them even odds against the Avengers. While they never fight together as a collective, each of them demonstrates just how dangerous they are on multiple occasions.
  • Badass Long Coat: Harry Dresden, of course.
    • Maddie/Rachel has a similar one, but she ditches it as part of her Heel–Face Turn.
    • Wanda Maximoff seems to have picked up the habit from her boyfriend, and when she receives the garb of the Sorceress Supreme, it takes the form of one.
    • Harry briefly wears one during the finale of the Bloody Hell arc as part of his imitation of the Dark Phoenix.
  • 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.
    • Harry's shown a number of possible futures in chapter 41, with the worst showing Harry as the Dark Phoenix, having slaughtered his family, the Avengers, and set the Nine Realms aflame, and now just sitting on the melted throne in the ruins of Asgard and laughing like a maniac because he knows that Harry can see him. Harry, needless to say, freaks the hell out.
  • 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.
    • The same arc also heavily implies that Maddie/Rachel is either an Artificial Human or a clone of Jean. As it turns out, she's just always been told that she's an Artificial Human as a means of dehumanisation and thus control. In reality, she's Jean's stolen at birth twin sister.
    • Carol notices Peter Parker acting strangely, standing up to Flash Thompson, and moving with super-human agility. Most readers believed that this was foreshadowing of his spider-powers, but actually, it's because he's a thrall of the Grey Court.
  • 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. It works perfectly, and with a psychic nudge, he very nearly tricks Thor into accidentally killing Harry and Pepper in Carol's body, only being prevented by a brief intervention by the Phoenix.
    • 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. While 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, it could also be said that this was kind of the point.
    • Alison Carter pulled one in the backstory, when she arranged for Fury and Coulson to be the first SHIELD Agents to run into a recently landed infant Kal-El a.k.a. Clark Kent, knowing that they'd react sympathetically to a lost child. Even more impressively, she managed it without once indicating - not even to them - that she was involved.
  • Battle Ballgown: Subverted, with Carol noting Strange's presence at the Yule Ball and wondering if everything is going to go wrong and if she has time to change into something more practical.
  • 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.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Harry wakes up and sees Carol snuggled up to him in chapter 37, and smiles fondly at her peaceful expression... then the moment is immediately ruined when he realises to his absolute mortification that he's got a case of morning wood. Cue some very careful attempts to extricate himself without waking her up.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Harry gets hit with this hard when he darkly remarks that he hopes the then unknown telepath - Sinister - 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. 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.
  • Behemoth Battle: To counter Dresden bringing in Sue the reanimated T-Rex, Selene transforms into a primordial dragon called a Long-Wyrm. To Sue's credit, she holds out for a fair while before Selene wins.
  • Berserk Button: There are many, occasionally several for each character.
    • A general one for most any character is hurting or threatening a member of their family or their True Companions.
    • Draco does not like to be compared to his father.
    • Harry has a selection of new ones (usually relating to telepathy) after the Forever Red arc that he's rather reticent about. This makes him even more unnerving for his fellow Hogwarts students as, from their point of view, there's every chance that they'll make an innocuous joke and he'll go off like a claymore mine. He also absolutely hates being controlled or dictated to, for understandable reasons.
    • Never condescend towards or treat Dracula like an idiot. Harry and Voldemort both try fairly transparent ploys on the Vampire Monarch, and in neither case does it end well for them.
  • The Bet: Several were apparently made among both the Avengers and the Hogwarts staff regarding whether Harry and Carol would have their First Kiss before or during the Yule Ball, with the winners collecting their earnings in Chapter 47 after the kiss occurs when Harry asks her to the Ball.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: Chapters 9 and 10, especially 10, embody this trope.
    • Chapters 12 and 13 also emphasise this.
    • Chapters 32 and 33 are pretty much entirely this trope, with several separate battles.
    • Chapters 43 and 44 have Harry, the Hogwarts staff, the various heroes who have come to watch the Triwizard Tournament, and MI13 fighting an Elder Wyrm who awakens from underneath the Black Lake and starts attacking everyone in the area.
    • Chapter 58 is almost entirely action, with Harry and a newly empowered Clark, backed by SHIELD air support, going toe to with Reynolds a.k.a. the Parasite/the Void over Smallville.
  • Big Blackout: The Grey Court cuts all power and communications networks in Manhattan, in order to create enough confusion and chaos that they can abduct Carol without anyone noticing.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While Voldemort appears to be the Overarching Villain of this book and Surtur is the Greater-Scope Villain, the Story Arc format provides plenty of other antagonists time to shine:
    • Forever Red: the Red Room as led by General Lukin and Sinister.
    • Bloody Hell: Voldemort is joined by Selene and the Kemmlerites (all in opposition to each other) in the Dresden storyline, and Dracula and his Grey Court in the Harry storyline.
    • Of Dungeons and Dragons: an Elder Wyrm is inadvertently awakened by the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament and comes into conflict with Harry as it tries to devour him and the other Champions.
    • Mirror Image: Doctor Reynolds a.k.a. Rudy Jones a.k.a. the Parasite/the Void.
  • 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.
    • Gambit pops up at the end of Chapter 30 to help Carol, Stevie, and Peter escape the Grey Court. Chapter 31 follows up on this by showing he brought Uhtred, Diana, and Logan with him as backup. And then, Harry and Bucky show up just in time to stop the vampires from executing Stevie.
    • Chapter 31 also has Magneto show up just in time to save Dresden from Cassius.
    • Dresden pulls this off in chapter 33 with Sue the polka-powered dinosaur (It Makes Sense in Context), Harry, Bucky, and Alison pull together a team to rescue Carol from Dracula, and Hulk, Thor, and Loki later show up to rescue Harry once things go south.
    • Just as Harry Thorson is about to be pounded into the ground by Dracula in the same chapter, who's seen through his ploy, Harry starts counting down. Five seconds later, Thor performs a Three-Point Landing, followed swiftly by the Hulk and Loki.
    • In chapter 58, Clark is at Reynolds' mercy, being Strapped to an Operating Table... then Harry sweeps in, full of righteous wrath and summarily establishes who the biggest fish in the pond is (hint: it's not Reynolds).
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Harry and Carol in Chapter 46, when she agrees to be his date to the Yule Ball. As Bucky observes... "About damn time."
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • Harry speculates that this is the case with Hogwarts.
    • Sirius casually reveals to Harry that the Forbidden Forest is this.
  • Big Brother Instinct/Big Sister Instinct: Both variations on this are demonstrated.
    • Jean to Harry and Maddie, outright threatening to bring down SHIELD singlehandedly if she thinks that they're a threat to her family.
    • Carol notes after being kidnapped by the Grey Court that what really angers her isn't being captured, nor is it innocents getting hurt, but her baby brother crying.
    • Subverted between Sirius and Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus - while Sirius was concerned about/protective of his brother in the previous book, not only can Wisdom look after himself, he's evolved into a borderline sociopath who Sirius is willing to threaten with murder if he threatens Harry.
    • Harry to Clark, when they finally meet, being instantly protective of him, offering the benefit of his experiences, and helping him through emotional crises regarding his identity.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Magneto and Ruth's terms for each other, Zayde and Aynikl, are Affectionate Nicknames in Yiddish for "grandpa" and "granddaughter," respectively.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: The story settles into this, after the first book flirted with it, particularly in relation to the Avengers' habit of obeying rules more or less only when it suits them, a habit that Harry has acquired, which is treated as morally dubious. For instance, Doctor Doom's concern that the Avengers might one day decide to stroll into Latveria and depose him is presented as reasonable (even if his methods are not), on the grounds that it has happened before. Likewise, their keeping the fact that Bucky used to be the Winter Soldier secret, having faked the Soldier's death, and using him as Harry's bodyguard in a school where more than a few students - including Harry's close friend, Ron - lost relatives to the Winter Soldier and the HYDRA troops he was leading (even if, as with Arthur Weasley, it was a Mercy Kill, it was still a kill). Carol calls her grandmother, Alison, and the Avengers by proxy on this, pointing exactly why it's morally extremely dodgy. Alison, for her part, concedes that Carol is right, but Harry needed the best (not so much to protect him as to mentor him through the aftermath of Forever Red), and for better or worse, Bucky is the best - and he also flies under the radar for those who don't know who he used to be.
  • Blade on a Stick: In lieu of giving Dresden a proper Warden sword, due to him having a different fighting skill set, Luccio decides to instead create a new blasting rod that can fit into a socket on his staff - and function as a lightsabre.
  • Blank White Void: Harry's mental landscape forms into this on more than one occasion, before being reshaped into something else.
  • 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.
    • Alison gets a couple in a flashback in chapter 36, noting to Jor-El that she could, when necessary, make then Director Jim Woo do what she wants. Whether he likes it or not.
    • Strange gets another in Chapter 37, stating casually (while inspecting his fingernails) that Queen Mab knows much better than to get in his way. Since Mab is as powerful as Thor and Loki at her weakest and someone they tread lightly around for good reason, this is no small thing.
    • Harry gets a couple in chapter 42. The first is to the Undines, telling them that if he wanted to cause trouble for them, he would have, but so far has been willing to play nice. If they want to get nasty, he will oblige them, and they won't like it. Later on, he tells the barrow wrights Don't Make Me Destroy You, warning them that it's not a bluff, a threat, or even a negotiation: it's a statement of fact.
    • Strange tells the Senior Council in chapter 61, after having had enough of their blustering, that they will be changing to keep up to date, whether or not they want to.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: This was Maddie's job for Sinister, since he Minored in Ass-Kicking, but regards combat as beneath him.
    • Bucky also serves as this for Harry after Forever Red. While the latter is capable of taking on just about anyone up to and including a fellow Person of Mass Destruction, his primary reaction is to Kill It with Fire, and subtlety, espionage, and being a planning are skills he has yet to master. Furthermore, because of his growing legend, most enemies aren't going to just flat-out attack him, but instead strike from the shadows - and who better to watch his back and teach him how to fight in the shadows than the undisputed master of those skills?
      • He also serves as a moderating influence on Harry in general, helping him along the rocky road of recovery following Forever Red.
  • Born of Magic: Chapter 10 implies in passing that Merlin was this.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Harry uses a slightly modified version of his father's "I would have words with thee" when confronting Dracula.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Harry uses this - specifically, he pretends to go Dark Phoenix against Dracula, who has a very understandable fear of the Phoenix, as part of his Kansas City Shuffle at the end of the Bloody Hell arc. It works, for just about long enough.
  • 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. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't get his wish.
  • Breeding Cult: The occasionally mentioned and extremely secretive Askani are consistently described as a 'weird, but mostly harmless' mixture of this and a Mystery Cult. It's never made particularly clear what they actually want, though their most consistent goal is described to be maintaining their bloodlines and scouting for new input - which would be why they were so interested in Charles Xavier.
    • When one of their members appears in chapter 38 and speaks to Xavier, this impression is confirmed - along with a general interest in psychic goings-on worldwide (on the grounds that they're affected too) - and it is further revealed that the Askani previously not only picked up new psychics, but ejected bloodlines that stopped producing psychics. They've acknowledged this as a mistake (though not as immoral, which Xavier coldly points out), with the reveal that the Grey family, including Jean, Maddie, and Harry (through Lily) are descendants of a previously defunct Askani bloodline.
  • Brick Joke: During the Bloody Hell arc, the Lemony Narrator describes the injustice that the universe didn't have a soundtrack, for if it had, it would have welcomed Maddie lifting Mjolnir to a rousing rendition of "Thunderstruck". When Harry is about to use the thunderstorm to add to the power of his attack, Tony hacks the Valiant helicarrier so that its loudspeakers will blast "Thunderstruck".
    • This is actually a doubled example, as in chapter 80 of Child of the Storm, Wisdom remarks to Pepper that he half-expects Tony to put something in when revamping the Valiant, perhaps a backdoor to hack in through and doesn't mind for his own reasons - part of them being that if he had a problem with Tony, he wouldn't use a helicarrier to sort it out. Then, Tony hacks into the Valiant to use its speakers, which Wisdom definitely minds.
    • Back in chapter 77 of Child of the Storm, during the Battle of London, Thor embarrasses Harry by cheerfully informing him that he and Carol make a lovely Battle Couple. In chapter 43 of this book, when Harry alludes to that battle and how he and Carol teamed up to take down a demonic dragon - in reference to the giant dragon he's facing now - Thor snarks that that wasn't a battle, it was a first date. Cue another wail of teenage embarrassment (though, as it's noted, Harry doesn't actually disagree with this assessment).
  • Bridal Carry: Predictably, Clark pulls a variation of this on Lois Lane when he catches her. This is at least partly to cushion her fall (from a plane) to minimise the jolt as he matches her descent speed and slows the both of them down in line with the laws of physics, taking the trouble to support her back, neck, and head in the process. The UST is not ignored. He then does it again, more conventionally, to whisk her over to the plane (which he has since rescued) and drop her off discreetly... and unfortunately does it a little too fast, meaning that Lois, still somewhat off-balance, ends up throwing up on 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, chock full of self-loathing, and incredibly lonely, regarding the prospect of torture as cathartic and of death as a release.
    • If Harry Thorson wasn't this trope before, he certainly is after Forever Red.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Played With, in terms of Harry and Carol. On the one hand, Harry is prone to brooding, much more after the brutal Trauma Conga Line of Forever Red thanks to a world-class case of PTSD. Likewise, Carol is much gentler than her reputation and initial spiky attitude leads most to assume, particularly with Harry, and listens to him when he's miserable, comforts him, and counsels him. However, she is also not shy of giving him a firm kick up the arse if he's wallowing, and sometimes ends up brooding in her own right, resulting in the dynamic being inverted.
  • 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 with his bare hands.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ron retains his canonical habit of this, while Carol's proclivity for it (which includes puncturing Harry's more melodramatic moments) is a key character trait. Harry, meanwhile, is just as bad as Carol, especially when he's upset.
  • The Bus Came Back: Sean and Warren make cameos in chapter 2, before becoming supporting characters again in chapter 27.
    • Peter Parker also shows up in chapter 29, having had one fairly brief appearance all the way back in chapter 20 of Child of the Storm.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Harry does this a couple of times, to make the point of how different his life is from everyone else's.
    • He absently remarks in chapter 57, in the midst of the Mirror Image arc, that stuff like Eldritch Locations, Evil Sorcerers who dabble in Magitek super-serums, and that sort of chaos, isn't nothing, but it's basically Tuesday for him. Chloe Sullivan, who's spent the last few hours suffering magical Electric Torture, beaten up, and thrown in a cell by said Evil Sorcerer, tartly remarks that what is Tuesday for him definitely isn't Tuesday for her (or Lex, for that matter).
    • In Chapter 66, he bluntly references this trope by name to tell Ron that while the events of the Fallen Fortress were terrible and life-defining for him, for Harry it was nothing special. Unusually, it's not a dismissal, but a way of underlining just how dangerous and traumatic his life can be - as he makes clear, people are not meant to live like that.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cornelius Fudge. The only reason he's still Minister is for lack of better alternatives, or anyone willing to take the job while it means dealing with Peter Wisdom. Additionally, Wisdom regards terrorising Fudge as one of his few pleasures in life. And that's not even getting into the Hogwarts breakfast food-fight, wherein he's engulfed by a tidal wave of jam, which, of course, had nothing to do with Dumbledore whatsoever.
  • 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.
    • When Diana and Uhtred come to visit Harry at Hogwarts, the latter gets his attention by knocking on a window and shouting "Found you!" just like Sif and the Warriors Three did when they found Thor on Earth.
    • Professor Bach a.k.a. Strange references Ron's creative usage of a Levitation Charm on a troll's club.
    • In chapter 28, Harry (when in an extremely bad mood) refers both to Crouch Senior's role in Sirius' incarceration and Thor's violent reaction to it, noting that they haven't forgotten, just been distracted by more important things - therefore, Crouch would be wise not to draw attention to himself.
      • In the same chapter, in reference to the Kemmlerite necromancers plaguing Chicago, specifically how one of them - Kumori - used her necromancy to prevent someone from dying, Dresden discusses Doctor Strange resurrecting him in the Catacombs under Paris, after he used his Death Curse on Gravemoss, and mentions the veidrdraugar (and how he is heartily glad none of the Kemmlerites have figured out how to replicate them).
    • Later on, Wanda describes the previously-mentioned fight between her father and Voldemort on Mount Wundagore the night she was born, and she and Luccio reference Strange's famous challenge of the Council over her.
    • Harry Dresden calls back to his previous adventure a couple of times when speaking to Ebenezar and Luccio, and he and Cassius reference Dresden's first encounter with the Denarians.
    • In chapter 32, after absorbing the best Harry and his allies can do and letting them pound him a little, the Monster of the Week catches Harry's strike and says, "Not bad. But not good enough." This exact situation occurred in chapter 60 of Child of the Storm, with Zemo and HYDRA's Destroyer instead of Dracula.
    • Mention is also made of Harry and Thor meeting and helping Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker, back in chapter 20 of the first book, by Gwen's father, Captain Stacy - who also notes that according to Gwen, Harry was decidedly not 'arrogant, difficult, and prone to making threats'. Harry's snarky response is that he's "had a difficult year."
    • In chapter 38, when discussing the moral ambiguity of hiding Bucky's past as the Winter Soldier, Alison - who supports keeping the secret - recalls that the Winter Soldier killed Brian Falsworth a.k.a. Union Jack (the Captain Britain of his day, and son of Lt. Montgomery Falsworth) and his partner, Roger Aubrey a.k.a. Dyna-Mite/the Destroyer in the 1970s. This was mentioned in passing in Child of the Storm to establish the Soldier's badassery, and the two made a brief post-mortem cameo at the Battle of London. However, it's expanded upon here, with Alison stating that she knew Brian very well (after all, their parents were friends), and that he was the little brother she never had. She also confirms what their cameo implied - they were more than just professional partners - remarking that she acted as Brian's beard a couple of times. Accordingly, her decision to support keeping Bucky's secret is not one made lightly.
    • Arnim Zola's remark that the sanity of the Red Skull's plans is immaterial, because he can do it, is referenced by Dumbledore. Strange later says exactly the same thing about Thanos.
    • In chapter 53, Harry calls back to his rebuttal to Chthon at the end of the first book when he tells Gorakhnath that he never wanted power, or to be a god, much less "capital-G God."
    • In chapter 58, Harry mentions that he taught Carol most of her repertoire of Russian swear-words. In chapter 2 of Unfinished Business, Carol's just finished a Cluster F-Bomb, and mentions that the language the others (Peter, Monica, Ned, and Gwen) don't recognise is Russian - and that she learned from Harry, who's fluent.
    • In chapter 59, Strange conjures one of Harry's Tarot cards from Trelawney's reading in chapter 66 of the first book: the Star. Which showed a red star in golden fields (Clark) and a blue star in the sky. This, he suggests somewhat cautiously, might - and only might, because this is a relatively minor prediction, by a somewhat pickled and untrained Seer, and he is well aware of the risks of a Prophecy Twist - indicate another Kryptonian. As he warns, though, it could very easily refer to something else.
  • Calling Card: The Dark Mark, for Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
    • The Red Room's is a blood red star.
    • The phoenix, particularly the simplified and stylised Jean Grey emblem, 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 the background 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 apparently doesn't know (and quite plausibly points out that Strange's time travelling means that it's anyone's guess). For his part, the good doctor isn't saying anything.
    • In chapter 18, Hermione mentions having a brief chat with 'Ambrose Penn', a wandless wizard who made a cameo in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, regarding magic and magical theory. He also may or may not be Merlin.
  • The Cape: Steve, as usual, while Clark becomes this - he just needs the encouragement to properly become a hero.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Harry regarding his feelings for Carol. He even lampshades how he can fight the likes of Voldemort and Dracula without batting an eye, but struggles with this. As it turns out, it's mutual - both the feelings and the inability to spit it out. Fortunately, having a psychic link helps clear things up.
  • Can Only Move the Eyes: Cedric Diggory during the First Task, when he's under the Wights' spell. It is unclear whether the other two captured Champions, Fleur or Krum, are similarly capable, but it is probable.
  • 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.
  • Captured Super-Entity: The canonical example of Dream is mentioned by the Gatekeeper, as is the attempt by the Clan Akkaba to capture and control the Phoenix in Vienna in 1897. In neither case did it end well, though the latter has continued significance, as before breaking loose, the Phoenix did as the Clan desired and all but wiped out the Grey Court of Vampires (mainly because She really doesn't like vampires), and it's indicated repeatedly that Dracula might just have a grudge against Harry because of this. When he appears, he isn't particularly interested in fighting Harry, but when the latter rudely insists on being a Spanner in the Works, Dracula does attack him, and seems to both recognise the Phoenix within him and fear it. This gives Harry the idea to pretend to be the Dark Phoenix to scare Dracula and keep him from thinking straight for long enough to keep him on the back foot and rescue Carol. It works for long enough to get Carol away. Then Dracula figures it out and promptly goes berserk.
  • 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. This is considered somewhat disturbing by most other people.
    Noriko: (annoyed) Do you always talk this much when there are more important things to do?
    Harry and Carol: ... No.
    • Peter Parker, Diana, and Harry get into quite a bit of this while fighting Grey Court vampires.
  • 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 being psychologically abusive - 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.
    • It's mentioned in Child of the Storm that Brian Falsworth a.k.a. Union Jack, and his partner (professionally and personally) Roger Aubrey, who were both killed by the Winter Soldier in the 1970s, mainly as a throwaway reference. In chapter 38 of this story, however, it's revealed that Brian was a close friend to Alison, and the nearest thing she had to a little brother - she even played The Beard for him on a couple of occasions. Bearing in mind that the Winter Soldier turned out to be her long lost father's brainwashed best friend, who she interacts with on a regular basis...
    • The circumstances of Hermione's adoption become even grimmer once it's made clear just what Constantine did, that (combined with the Order falling apart and her mentor remaining persistently and unhelpfully silent) left Wanda so very alone and without options.
    • A triple one, no less: Chapter 13 has Belova molest the Red Son as a way to get on Natasha's nerves. In Chapter 46, Harry reveals to Carol that it had happened once or twice before. Then, in Chapter 60, the reader gets to see exactly what happened. It is brutal.
      • Additionally, the scene in chapter 21 where Harry calls out Ron for a tasteless joke regarding seeing Lavender's rear takes on a much harsher cast in light of this incident.
    • Strange's Badass Boast to Jean in chapter 75 of Child of the Storm, "Miss Grey, I am the Sorcerer Supreme. Mistakes and misapprehensions are for other people." It takes on a darker hue in light of the fact that, as of chapter 9 of Ghosts, he appears to have made a mistake — and an absolute whopper too. Not only that, but one which directly affected her as well. Of course, it could also be taken as a statement of intent, that he believes that they should be things for other people, and he's trying to rectify them.
    • Strange's reference to the traditional poem behind For Want of a Nail in the final chapter of Child of the Storm, becomes this in chapter 20. He's rhetorically asking those calling him on his decisions if they felt that he would be better as a knight on the battlefield, or a blacksmith present to re-shoe the horse. In chapter 20, though, it's revealed that the Battle of Camlann was very likely lost, Arthur killed, and Camelot doomed, because he was not there to confront Mordred, Arthur's killer and Strange's Evil Counterpart, on the battlefield.
  • The Champion: Harry serve as this, as in the first book. Later, he becomes this less platonically to Carol, with it being made clear that he will do anything for her - she generally serves as a Morality Chain during those periods when he needs one, and if something were to happen to her, it's made clear that the consequences could be downright horrifying.
  • 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, first mentioned in the above chapter.
    • Also first mentioned in Chapter 35 was the Twilight Sword, which Harry finds out almost a book later was wielded by Surtur.
  • 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.
    • Jesus mentions that his counterpart, the Anti-Christ, is named Adam.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick:
    • Doctor Strange functions as this for the heroes. He's not the most powerful hero, or even the most powerful mage (Merlin takes that, with Wanda next in line), but he's easily the smartest and most experienced. Along with being a time-traveller, an extremely powerful Seer and nigh-immortal thanks to the Time Stone means that he could probably take over the world in a day if he ever felt like it. His unparalleled skills as a manipulator and utter ruthlessness means that he justly terrifies many of his allies, let alone his enemies. However, he was chosen not to be The Chosen One, but The Chooser of The One, and spends his entire vastly extended life machinating to prepare the universe, the Nine Realms, Earth, the heroes, and most specifically, Harry, to face down Thanos.
    • Sinister, to anyone he works with, from Weapon X to the Red Room, since he's generally Not in This for Your Revolution. Instead, as a Mad Scientist brilliant enough to give Zola lessons and behind-the-scenes manipulator immune to Strange's foresight, he arranges to get exactly what he wants: time, lab-space, funding, and as many test subjects as he wants. However, Strange figures out a way around that immunity and tracks him down...
  • 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 and eventual resignation.
    • Frey, the First King, was this, and doesn't seem to have liked it any more than his descendant. His statue, unusually, is described as 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 - as Strange notes, he was a young man almost defined by his devotion to duty, and did it without complaining.
  • Chrome Champion: Harry's 'Project Galahad' battle armour, designed by Tony for speed, agility, and durability (Harry is not short on firepower), is designed along these lines - primarily white and silver, with gold accents.
  • 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.
  • Civil War: One broke out on Krypton in its last days, between the Science Council (which refused to believe Jor-El's warnings), General Zod (who believed Jor-El and believed overthrowing the Council would somehow save their planet) and the Cult of the Eradicator (who also believed Jor-El, but felt that the world ending would be a good thing). To say that Jor-El, a pacifistic scientist, was unhappy about this would be a spectacular understatement.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Harry and Carol are both prone to this when extremely annoyed, often in multiple languages - in Harry's case, it's usually Russian and 'something vaguely Scandinavian' implied to be from Asgard. In Carol's, it includes Arabic, German, and Irish. Both use French quite liberally.
  • 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).
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Clint, Bucky, Natasha, and Loki are particular examples of this, as is Maddie, who was taught/programmed to go for the quick and efficient solution - her Evil Mentor, Essex, is the same when actually forced to fight.
    • At a contrast to his Chronic Hero Syndrome influenced strategic thinking (and tendency to Indy Ploy his way in and out of trouble), Harry's actual fighting style heavily reflects this, particularly after Forever Red when Bucky starts teaching him - at which point he starts planning much better. In the next major arc, he explicitly states, "when it comes to monsters attacking my friends, I have absolutely no interest in fair fights". It's also noted in chapter 44 that in a high-stakes fight, he "left his scruples at the door", going for eyes and other soft parts, attacking wounds and signs of vulnerability, and literally stabbing more powerful opponents in the back while they're distracted.
  • The Comically Serious: Maddie, at first. This eventually evolves into some extremely deadpan sarcasm.
  • Compliment Fishing: Averted by Alison Carter, who states that she was "always a better spy than a mother" when discussing parenting with the Kent family. When politely assured that this is certainly not true by Martha Kent, she explains that she's not "dynamite fishing" for compliments, but making a relevant point and acknowledging her mistakes (which have allowed her to become a better grandmother).
  • Composite Character:
    • Dudley is the Blob in this setting, having been experimented on by Sinister, activating his X-Gene.
    • 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.
    • Gambit is a mixture of his canon self and Gabriel Summers.
    • Judging by his true name and his MO, Doctor Robert Reynolds is also the Parasite.
  • The Confidant: Carol develops into this for Harry. There's a number of reasons why, but it has a lot to do with the facts that: a) she's usually right alongside him in whatever insane (and frequently, ludicrously traumatic) scenario he's found himself in this time, so she usually has the inside track on what's happened - which is important, if whatever happened was too painful for Harry to really want to talk much about, b) they have an increasingly close friendship flavoured by UST that eventually evolves into an Anchored Ship, c) after the first chapter of the sequel, as a side-effect of her letting him in her mind to perform some well-intentioned but inexpert psychic therapy, they wind up with a Psychic Link, meaning that he doesn't actually have to say things, as such. This only gets dialled up further in chapter 46, after their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Confusion Fu: This is Harry's strategic trademark, mixed in with frequent Indy Ploys and latterly, Xanatos Speed Chess, and along with his tendency (partly down to Doctor Strange's manipulations) to be in the right place at the right time, it's why he's such a Spanner in the Works to various villains - he's the wild card factor, because no one quite knows what he's going to do next. All they do tend to know is that it'll probably be completely nuts. Unfortunately, the downside of this is that when combined with a habit of not sharing changes in plan, it's also prone to derailing his allies' plans, and sometimes even his own. After this goes horribly wrong in Forever Red, he learns to moderate it by actually stopping and thinking first, and communicating - at which point the plans he comes up with often still qualify as this, because they're still just that nuts.
  • Consummate Liar: Aside from the usual examples of Loki, Natasha, and Jean-Paul, Harry is also evolving into this. Hermione picks up on it after they share a psychic conversation about something Harry doesn't want to discuss with Ron, she asks a stunned and ambiguous question. When Ron asks, Harry smoothly and effortlessly passes it off as discussing homework from Loki. Hermione is disturbed, to put it mildly.
  • Continuity Nod: The orca whale in the Hogwarts' Lake is occasionally mentioned, both in passing in terms of the Lake, and in reference to Hermione's emergent chaos magic (which created the orca from a chair).
    • As he did in previous years, Hagrid invites Harry to tea at his hut multiple times.
    • Bruce Wayne is mentioned as helping Dresden set up the Paranet.
  • Cool Airship: Helicarriers in general, but particularly MI13's Valiant, which proves more than just a paper tiger when it goes toe to toe with the Elder Wyrm, and actually does the bulk of the damage, thanks to its Nexus weaponry, and thanks to its Vibranium armour (scraped off HYDRA's Dreadnought), it can not only shrug off blasts of flame sufficient to melt 'a mountain of adamantium', but store it and return it, with interest.
  • Cool Crown: Harry gets one in chapter 47, for the Yule Ball, a circlet of golden ivy branches and leaves (symbolic of life, rebirth, and love), set with a gem of pure starlight. He's a bit uncomfortable with how fancy it is, but it is generally acknowledged that he wears it well.
  • Cool Helmet: Thor's, as usual - though he doesn't often wear it.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Zig-Zagged. While the characters who do so (Harry, the Avengers, and Doctor Strange) who tend to do so are usually cool, respectively their reasons for doing so are deconstructed, being portrayed as flawed (Harry's lashing out, albeit with good reason); as creating as many problems as they solve (the HYDRA-Death Eater alliance was formed based on fears of the Avengers' vengeance, with Doom's actions being preparing for the same); or actively undermining the authority of those who need it, e.g. the White Council, who backed down when Strange threw down the gauntlet to protect a young Wanda. While Ebenezar McCoy, a member of the Senior Council, notes he was glad to see her spared, he also points out that the White Council's ability to face down rogue practitioners and darker supernatural powers is based on its reputation, which was not helped by Strange's actions.
  • Cool Sword: The Twilight Sword, wielded by Surtur and indicated by Odin to be on the same level as Mjolnir or Gungnir.
    • Van, the Sword of Hope, which was at least somewhat sentient, could No-Sell Phoenix fire, and was wielded by Frey in the Final Battle against Surtur.
    • Harry's sword, which post reforging he names Curtana. Before, it's simply a very sharp and well-balanced sword (made out of Asgardian materials, meaning it probably beats most Earth metals). Forged by Uhtred (with Tony's help) and enchanted by Loki, it receives a kind of re-forging thanks to a mixture of Dracula's lightning, Harry's power, his Phoenix-infused blood, and a couple of enchantments from Doctor Strange. It thus becomes more powerful; how powerful is so far unknown, as beyond glowing occasionally and possibly 'biting' anyone who tries to pick it up without permission, it doesn't do much - until chapter 44, when it proves very effective as a channel for Harry's powers, being one of the few things that seriously harms the Elder Wyrm.
    • In relation to Harry's sword, it's compared In-Universe to the Merlin (2008) version of Excalibur (a very well-forged but mundane sword that was enchanted by being reforged in a dragon's flame at Merlin's behest). Since Strange grew up alongside Merlin and was involved in those events as a boy, being involved in the creation of that sword, Loki remarks that the similarities were almost certainly intentional. Harry, a King Arthur geek, spends the next few minutes on the verge of nerdgasm, and eventually gives it a very Arthurian name: Curtana, the Sword of Mercy.
    • He also discusses another example of this trope, Amoracchius, explaining how Arthur had two apparently different swords that were both known as Excalibur. Essentially, the dragon-forged one was the original Excalibur, and became the Sword in the Stone (the current location of which is unknown, with Loki sourly speculating that Strange could quite easily be using it as a fireplace poker), while Arthur wielded Amoracchius (another example) in later life, and confused record-keepers conflated the two, calling both Excalibur.
  • The Corruption: Black magic has this effect, particularly on wandless practitioners - wands serve as a buffer for wanded practitioners, reducing the side-effects. As a result, even those who innocently break the Seven Laws and use Black Magic with the best of intentions (e.g. by using magic to Mind Rape someone into stopping their self-destructive drug abuse), are at risk of very quickly Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. This in turn explains the White Council's zero tolerance policy regarding dark magic.
    • The only ways around this are if you have an artefact that, like a wand or the Blackstaff, that serves as a buffer, or have mastered the techniques of the Sorcerers Supreme to use it without being changed by it. The latter is the final test of an Apprentice Sorcerer Supreme, and one that's often failed, with Captain Luccio noting some of history's worst Dark Lords and Ladies are former Apprentices that failed that particular test and were corrupted.
  • Cosmic Entity: The Endless, especially Destruction a.k.a. the Phoenix. Also mentioned are Galactus and Eternity.
  • Costume Porn: Harry's jury-rigged armour, which he put together from a bunch of pieces of battered Iron Man armour, becomes this, courtesy of Sirius, being described by a dazed Carol as 'something from another age' - Word of God was that it was intended to evoke Numenor, Knight In Shining Armour aesthetic and all.
    • Tony then uses this design as a template for a suit of armour referred to as Project Galahad, which Harry wears in chapter 44.
    • Harry's, Carol's and Diana's costumes (the latter two being closer to Simple, yet Opulent) in chapter 47 for the Yule Ball all qualify, with Harry, among other things, wearing a golden ivy themed Cool Crown set with a gem of pure starlight, the rest primarily being gold and white themed, with hints of silver and red trousers beneath. Being Modest Royalty, he's a little uncomfortable with it, but is noted to wear it well.
  • 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, before throwing the fight.
  • 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 evolves into this on the way to becoming an Anchored Ship, with the Avengers discussing which of The Four Loves applies (they're not entirely sure, but settle on philia).
    • Regarding Carol, Harry's just about the only person other than her mother and grandmother that she lets see her genuinely vulnerable side (thanks to major trust issues, particularly regarding guys, and is terrified of ruining their friendship).
    • Harry, meanwhile, is utterly scrupulous about abiding by her wishes, stating repeatedly that their friendship comes before anything else - this is a large part of why she likes him. However, following Forever Red, he's leery about a relationship because he doesn't want it just to be a case of Carol holding his mind together - since 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, 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.
    • Interestingly, their psychic connection, formed accidentally in chapter 2, seems to be fuelling both sides of their relationship. They frequently share a bed and snuggle after one or both has gone through something traumatic (since Harry's a Doom Magnet, this is frequent), and are practically joined at the hip/the brain. While broadly platonic, the door is clearly open for them to become Mind Link Mates. In chapter 46, they do.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Harry and Carol, whose minds both tend to jump to the dirtiest possible conclusion - in Harry's case, when Carol refers to not wearing pants, being Separated by a Common Language he assumes that she means Going Commando. In Carol's, she wakes up in Harry's bed, with him in the shower, and immediately assumes that they did more than just have a heart to heart and an emotional Sleep Cute. The resultant mental picture is explicit enough that it travels down the mental link and causes a very surprised Harry to fall over in the shower.
    • Clark. When Harry mentions his Invisibility Cloak after talking about his relationship with Carol, which involved them being caught necking, the pure and innocent Clark immediately asks, eyes wide, if they, ahem, did something under the cloak for the purposes of discretion. Cue mortified blushing from Harry and sputtered denials.
    • Hermione. She ends up in Harry's head (It Makes Sense in Context) and stumbles across some rather explicit memories featuring Carol, and has a sufficiently dirty mind that innocuous words like "warmer and fuller" bring them roaring back. She also begins to ask if they've gone further, before Harry cuts her off, mortally embarrassed.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Doctor Strange observes that Uther Pendragon's paranoid fear of the pacifistic druidic clans and his genocidal response 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 dismantling Uther's legacy during 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.
    • After leaving Grindelwald for Dumbledore to defeat, Strange apparently told Dumbledore that this trope was why he wouldn't just do it himself - though it's suspected that Strange being Strange, this may not be the only reason.
  • Creative Sterility: Surtur is depicted as such. While he's stone-cold brilliant, his brilliance is just that: stone cold. There's no intuition, no spark of inspiration, it's all technical. This is suggested on more than one occasion to be his Fatal Flaw.
  • Creepy Monotone: Essex, usually, with it being noted that it's very rare for him to show any sign of emotion.
  • 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.
    • Diana gets a small one when Ginny's mentioned, after meeting her, which Harry immediately spots.
  • Crystal Prison: Demonreach, an island prison designed by Strange and Merlin which is full of these, with its prisoners usually minimally being Humanoid Abominations. It also siphons off their power. According to Strange, they based it off the Rock of Eternity, created by Agamotto, which is capable of producing these at its master's command - and when the Council Elite of Skyfathers gets uppity, Strange, wielding the Tesseract, demonstrates just how effective it is. On Zeus.
  • 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 (and is more cultured in his own series, though it's overshadowed by being a Pop-Cultured Badass). His mentor, Ebenezar McCoy, was a drinking buddy of the poet himself, and therefore this can be assumed of him as well.
  • 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.
    • The conclusion of the Forever Red arc has a few of these — Avengers vs Winter Guard (including Natasha vs Yelena Round II), Magneto vs the 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.
    • When Cassius attempts to torture Harry Dresden, Magneto shows up, paralyzes, and kills him without the sorcerer being able to get off a single shot.
    • Harry's rematch with a now-vampire Blob!Dudley. Harry's in Tranquil Fury mode and in no mood to deal with him, so he just rips out Dudley's voice-box, then uses his sword and his speed advantage, taking him apart with three blows.
  • Curious Qualms of Conscience: Maddie/Rachel starts developing these in Forever Red, thanks to Gambit's steadily Defusing the Tyke Bomb, and Harry's appeal to a better nature she didn't even know she had, when she starts doubting the morality of her commands when she'd previously executed them without question.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than Child of the Storm. While it's lower on the carnage (at least so far), it explores the moral shades of grey in the good guys, and is far more physically and psychologically brutal towards the main characters, Harry in particular. The villains are also much more personal when it comes to going after Harry, something shown in their tactics, while Wisdom tightens his grip on Magical Britain and Harry's own darker side comes into play.
  • 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: There are several.
    • Coulson and Gambit himself imply that Gambit has one in chapters 9 and 10. The details are elaborated upon in chapter 34, when it's revealed that Gambit is a clone of Scott Summers.
    • Maddie/Rachel, oh dear god, Maddie/Rachel. Stolen at birth, raised as an Artificial Human and a Living Weapon, raised to believe that the latter was her sole purpose for existence and that even the idea of free will was an aberration in her programming, shaped to obey without question and programmed with shut down commands if this isn't enough... it's not surprising that she breaks down entirely when she finds out the truth.
    • Harry Dresden makes note of his own (orphaned at 6, in an orphanage 'til 11, adopted by a dark wizard who manipulated his developing powers and personality to shape him - and his other ward, Elaine Mallory, Dresden's first love - into his enforcer, forcing Dresden to kill him in a duel at 16, nearly executed for that by the White Council... and in some ways, it arguably got worse from there) 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. In brief, his real name is Taliesin, his parents were slaughtered as part of Uther Pendragon's purge of magical practitioners, his mother set him adrift in a basket a la Moses, he ended up in Uther's Camelot and had to keep the secret of his magic on pain of death from the age of 9 onwards, was taught by Merlin and Merlin's own teacher, his life getting better as he became Arthur's Court Physician and Bard, as well as a secondary Court Mage after Merlin... then he tried Walking the Earth for a few years and came back to find Arthur dead (slain by Mordred, Taliesin/Strange's Evil Counterpart and Arch-Enemy), Merlin in grief-struck exile, and Camelot and all they'd built falling apart. The following five hundred odd millennia haven't been all that kind to him, either.
  • The Dark Arts: Black Magic is depicted as this, as demonstrated by Reynolds (who's also a Mad Scientist), who's a shining example of Sanity Slippage and This Is Your Brain on Evil.
  • Dark Messiah: Magneto is namechecked as having been this trope, being referred to as 'mutantkind's Dark Messiah'. Now, he's Reformed, but Not Tamed.
    • Doctor Strange shows himself as this in this book, oddly enough, though he's a little closer to Moses - and he definitely veers into Dark Shepherd territory when facing down the Council Elite.
    • Surtur, and Harry, as the Dark Phoenix.
  • 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.
    • Chapters 29 and 30 mostly focus on Carol getting kidnapped by Dracula's forces and Dresden and Wanda teaming up with the Wardens in Chicago.
    • About half of chapter 36 involves Alison Carter, speaking to Jor-El (in a flashback) and his son about Krypton's destruction. More detail is also provided about the time the Red Room and their alien allies kidnapped her for her blood.
    • Chapters 55 through 58 highlight Clark Kent, Agent Coulson, Chloe Sullivan, and Lex Luthor - unsurprising, given that they're part of the Mirror Image arc, which is set in Smallville.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Ada Maria Potts-Stark and Margaret Dresden are both named after their deceased paternal grandmothers, though in the former case it's her middle name.
  • Deadly Doctor: Sinister, who though he rarely fights, is genuinely good at it, and uses his extensive medical knowledge for torture in Forever Red. Additionally, his Archenemy Doctor Strange is a (mostly) benevolent variant on this trope, using his medical knowledge as part of creatively making Sinister suffer when he finally catches up to him.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Several examples.
    • The Dark Phoenix usually serves as this to Harry, since it risks a Super-Power Meltdown and transformation into a Humanoid Abomination, then an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Likewise the Warrior's Madness to Thor, which greatly enhances his strength at the cost of putting him in a potentially planet-busting berserker rage.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much all the usual suspects, which means almost the entire cast.
    • In chapter 10, O'Neill (snarking that their extraction mission is really a sight-seeing trip), Kurt (dryly wondering why he could feel his head again after a Psychic Nosebleed writ large), and unexpectedly, Maddie, have their moments.
    • Magneto gets special mention for his utterly dry Scooby-Doo reference.
  • Death by Adaptation: In Chapter 61, Strange exposes Peabody as the Black Council mole on the White Council and kills him, several years before this occurs in canon. He also implies that he's wiped out the rest of the Black Council, when as far as we know they're all still alive in canon.
  • Declaration of Protection:
    • Wanda, Thor, Steve, Carol, Jean, and Maddie ask Jesus to pass one on to the Council Elite in chapter 34 regarding Harry (see Wanda's Badass Boast above), though it's somewhat subverted when he mentions quietly that, being Jerkass God Reality Warpers, they won't really care about most of the above.
    • Xavier gives a quiet but no less fierce one to Brother Smith of the Askani, warning him that if any of them so much as try to contact Harry, Jean, or Maddie, he will know. And they will regret it. Considering both how powerful he is, and how he's the only person bar Strange who actually properly scares Sinister, this is not taken lightly.
    • Harry gives one to the barrow-wights, telling them that Cedric, Fleur, and Krum are under his protection. They disregard it. That was a mistake.
  • Decomposite Character: In The Dresden Files, it's eventually established that Donnar Vadderung, the Fae Lord who also happens to be Santa Claus, is a modern avatar of Odin. Here, it's stated that while Odin used to be Santa (in fact, he was the source of the legend, before it developed into a mantle of power) he eventually passed it off to his son Vidar, who still holds it to this day (Vadderung being one of his aliases).
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Harry's characterisation as the Kid Hero is torn to shreds by showcasing just how heavy a burden that role has become for him. The neverending threats targeting him because of who he is/could be, start taking a serious toll on his psyche along with the mental trauma already built up from his previous adventures, to the point where he develops a serious case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
      • Carol is similarly afflicted, albeit to a significantly lesser extent, and both (Harry particularly) are used as examples of why the Kid Hero concept is a terrible idea. Harry in particular uses it as a reason to keep Ron and Hermione out of things as much as possible and to avoid Clark for most of the book, until Strange forces his hand, because he doesn't want them undergoing the same kind of experiences and turning out like him.
    • Doctor Strange deconstructs the cryptic Trickster Mentor and The Chessmaster playing the Long Game.
      • Leading people around by the nose with hints, comments, and selectively revealed information designed to manipulate them into doing exactly what you want them to do, playing them like chess-pieces, is a great way to win the metaphorical chess match. It's also a great way to get people to resent you at best, hate you at worst, especially when 75% of the time you refuse to tell them why you're doing it (even if that's a necessary part). Playing the Long Game also means that your personal relationships suffer in the process; as Strange sadly admits, he was an excellent teacher for Wanda, but a poor Parental Substitute, the latter of which she badly needed. That and his absolute refusal to help her with her pregnancy with Hermione, by John Constantine, who she had come to absolutely distrust, leaving her utterly isolated but for Lily Potter, as well as his ban on her taking in Harry after his parents' death (she was his godmother and had the right), critically damaged their relationship. While he had good reason to do so - Harry wouldn't have survived her enemies, and neither would Hermione - she also had good reason to resent him, especially given what happened anyway with Harry and Sinister.
      • Sticking to The Plan come what may, only altering details in Xanatos Speed Chess to get it back on track, even if getting it exactly right is crucial to saving the universe, leaves others overly reliant on you, meaning that the moment you get caught off-guard they're massively blindsided - as is horrifically demonstrated in Forever Red. Almost as bad is Harry Dresden's discovery that Strange manipulated events to ensure his and Thomas' birth, setting their mother, Margaret LeFay, one of his former apprentices, on the necessary path on the grounds that he felt they'd be useful, leaving Dresden in a full-on existential crisis. Strange is aware of this (contributing to his considerable self-hatred), and considers his actions Necessarily Evil, setting up Gorakhnath as a philosophical opposite to prevent Harry copying him, and arranging matters so that the heroes can stand up on their own when he's gone.
    • Jean Grey is a minor deconstruction of the Go-Getter Girl, Cool Big Sis, and All-Loving Heroine. She is genuinely all those things and loves both Harry, her cousin, and Maddie, her long-lost twin sister unconditionally. However, the sheer pressure of having to juggle her academic and sporting responsibilities, her de facto role as Head Girl of the Xavier Institute (which gets a lot of traumatised younger students), her lessons in her vastly expanded Psychic Powers, and being a Cool Big Sis to Harry (who's horribly traumatised following Forever Red) and Maddie, who's even worse, with a literal lifetime of trauma that means that she can barely function normally. Add a relationship into the bargain, and it's inevitable that she finally cracks under the pressure in chapter 47. Carol, in milder but similar situation, remarks that she's only surprised it didn't happen sooner.
  • Deconstructor Fleet:
    • The story also paints a clear picture on just how far The Avengers would go to defeat an enemy who targeted those around them, and just what methods they'd resort to. Many of them aren't on the moral side of the scale.
    • Also demonstrated is the fact that the world doesn't stop when the heroes defeat a Big Bad. After defeating HYDRA, not only does the world move on, the next instalment also shows that it's not always a happily ever after scenario. Both Harry and Carol need therapy following their experiences during the HYDRA Arc, and Voldemort is still a present problem, lurking in the shadows. The latter also indicates that no matter how many villains the heroes defeat, there will be another out there just waiting for a chance to strike. It's noted that the rise of the Red Room is partially due to the fact that, with SHIELD still rebuilding and HYDRA having fallen, there's no one to stand in their way.
  • 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.
  • Demonic Possession: Hermione ends up possessed by the entity in the Fallen Fortress.
  • 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. Considering that Berserker Rage Thor can destroy planets, this is an important role. He also gets involved at the end of the Bloody Hell arc, smashing Dracula.
    • Harry gets subjected to this in chapter 30, when he starts bleeding from the nose after having strained himself too much with his Astral Projection.
    • This is also invoked by Voldemort, Selene, and the Heirs of Kemmler, as well as Dracula, who would not have dared to try the Darkhallow nor abducting Carol, respectively, if the White Council, Strange, and the Avengers weren't dealing with the Red Court and their Outsiders - which meant that were unable to come to Wanda and Dresden (or Carol's) aid.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Wanda's reaction to hearing that Karrin Murphy is dating Jared 'The Hellhound' Kincaid, being on a romantic holiday in Hawaii with him.
    • Dracula and Syrus did not expect Harry to show up to rescue Carol and Stevie, who in turn didn't see Gambit, Logan, Uhtred, and Diana coming to rescue them.
    • Even Harry, who feels like he's Seen It All these days, is shocked when he learns that the Forbidden Forest is Bigger on the Inside.
  • 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. Carol later suggests the possibility; though to see his expression. Mostly.
  • 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."
    • Bucky very calmly explains to Ron that a teenage wizard isn't going to be able to do much against a Grey Court vampire, especially a senior one. All the while, he has one hand on Ron's wand and the other on his throat, having disarmed him and pinned him to the floor mid-sentence, in the blink of an eye.
    • After Bucky asks if anyone can see any sign of Dracula trying to infiltrate the Mansion, Gambit notes quietly that he can: Peter Parker's formerly unconscious body has disappeared.
    • As usual, Diana is almost always cool and unruffled unless in the middle of a fight, and sometimes even then.
  • Distressed Woodchopping: Harry, in chapter 55, to work off his anger at what has been done to Clark - specifically, some life/energy draining magic, which presses a particular Berserk Button of his - by methodically working his way through the Kent family's wood-pile.
  • Divine Intervention: Several of the Endless, as well as both Faerie Courts (though not exactly out of altruism in the case of the Fae), step in to aid in bringing down the Red Room for good, as much as they're they're allowed.
    • Mentioned by Harry Dresden in chapter 29. He speculates that the reason Voldemort is not interested in becoming a Greater God is because then he would make himself fair game/an easy target not only for Thor and Loki, but also for Odin, who wouldn't so much as step in as step on. Given the latter's truly epic Papa Wolf moments seen so far, this is probably a fair guess.
    • Defied by Jor-El in a flashback, explaining that he considered asking Asgard for help against the Dheronians, but believed that it will take too long for them to muster their armed forces - and if they made a move, the Dheronians would just destroy Krypton outright. Plus, he's not sure what's going on in Asgard, with the last he heard being that Thor had vanished (he'd just have died as James at this point), so he isn't sure that Clark/Kal-El would be any safer there.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted, hard. 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 disturbed by her behaviour and Natasha cuttingly describes it as what it is: an adult gloating about how she's going to molest a child.
    • When the subject comes up again, and it transpires that she more than once molested Harry as a power move after she'd been thwarted, Carol's immediate response is an eerily calm declaration that she'll "tear that fucking bitch limb from limb." The only reason that she doesn't follow through is that Belova is currently suffering a Fate Worse than Death.
  • The Dragon: Barty Crouch Junior, to Voldemort, as usual, being his chief willing minion - though we see very little of him, in large part because Voldemort himself is moving around behind the scenes.
    • Belova serves as this to Lukin, being the only other person in the Red Room other than him and Sinister who can command the Red Son, leading the Winter Guard as a result.
  • The Dragonslayer: What Harry becomes at the end of Of Dungeons and Dragons, having taken the traditional route and gone for the eye. Additionally, Doctor Strange had arranged for it to happen very publicly, intentionally evoking the Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? reaction (since this dragon is the size of a mountain and destroys planets). Odin, meanwhile, takes the skeleton and puts it on display somewhere that's not too overt, but quite easy to find, making a pointed statement regarding just what his grandson is capable of - even if he did have help.
  • Dragons Versus Knights: What Of Dungeons and Dragons culminates in, with Harry doing the bulk of the fighting against the Elder Wyrm, being sardonically referred to as "the Knight In Shining Armour" by Wisdom. Funnily enough, it's also quite literal, as Harry has at this point been knighted, thanks to the Battle of London, and is a member of the Order of the Garter.
  • Drama Queen: As is observed by several, including T'Challa, Harry is occasionally prone to this (usually in a fight) and Carol calls him out on it in chapter 15, neatly undercutting the drama of the scene in question.
  • The Dreaded: Voldemort, especially since he Took a Level in Badass.
    • Wisdom functions as this to the British Ministry and the Death Eaters. One of the main reasons Fudge hasn't been replaced is because no one wants to go up against him.
    • The Red Room to absolutely everyone, 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 far from 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.
    • Harry, on a lesser scale to Hogwarts students after he emerges from the events of Forever Red with a rampant case of PTSD and a Hair-Trigger Temper - it doesn't help that they don't even know why he's like that. He gets better after Cedric Diggory gives him a gentle What the Hell, Hero? and he has a Heel Realisation.
    • Thanos, though still The Ghost, casts a large shadow over proceedings. The Council Elite have a Mass "Oh, Crap!" when they hear that he's coming, and even Strange is... perhaps not afraid, as such (or at least hides it well), but unequivocally describes him as being the worst and most dangerous threat in the universe.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Played Straight and Subverted with Alison Carter on various occasions. Sometimes, she's in typical SHIELD combat gear, entirely befitting a Retired Badass, Super Soldier, and ex-Deputy Director of SHIELD who hasn't aged (physically) half as much as careful application of make-up would have most believe, and indeed, finds retirement boring and is still very active behind the scenes. When meeting the Kent family, however, to set them a bit more at their ease, she dresses up in a casual, comfy fashion that the narrator observes a Brit would have described as 'mumsy', and that the very American Clark inwardly pegs as resembling 'a soccer mom from central casting' (albeit an upper-middle class 'ladies who lunch' version). He also, however, picks up very quickly on the fact that this is far from all that she is.
    • When Harry is discussing his different identities/aspects of who he is with Ron in chapter 45, he performs an Instant Costume Change (or, rather, a psychic illusion of one), taking on the appearances and voices he used as Dark Phoenix, Light Phoenix, Red Son, and Harry Potter (in the latter case, basically him just before he discovered his heritage).
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: A usual hazard of Dark Phoenix possession, as it hits the person involved with a massive power-rush and magnifies all emotions, both good and bad, and gets magnified by them in turn.
    • The same applies to dark magic, with Reynolds' point of view section in chapter 58 explicitly comparing it to drugs (he thinks this is a good thing, mind you).
  • Easily Forgiven: Discussed and Zig-Zagged with Harry after the way he's been passively terrorising his fellow students following what the Forever Red arc did to him (as in, they're terrified of accidentally setting him off). On the one hand, after he has his Heel Realisation courtesy of Cedric Diggory's What the Hell, Hero? speech, and publicly apologises to Seamus Finnegan, who at one point he scared witless after the other boy unwittingly pressed a Berserk Button of his, the Hogwarts student body relax significantly and generally seem willing to let bygones be bygones. On the other, the narration notes that they're 'cautiously optimistic', but also wary of a reversion, and Harry and Cedric discuss the trope, with Harry dryly noting that his fellow students would mostly just be relieved by the change and too scared of him to be willing to push it. Cedric, ever optimistic though he is, does not disagree, and Hermione later notes that while Harry is seen as being generally decent, the view of him as nice went out the window a long time ago.
  • 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.
    • Carol and Jean-Paul, when Uhtred and Harry go shirtless for a training bout, make their appreciation known. Harry being Harry, he offers Carol a conjured handkerchief to wipe up the drool.
    • Carol's friends on the soccer team, especially Monica Rambeau, are quite appreciative of the, ahem, attributes Harry's picked up from his dad, to Carol's absolute mortification.
    Monica: That ass is literally divine.
  • Eldritch Abomination: As part of his Vision Quest with the Norns, Harry gets a glimpse of Annihilus, who aside from his overall bug-like appearance is noted to be constantly shifting through colours that Harry's eyes refuse to comprehend.
  • 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.
    • The Mirror Dimension, as per Doctor Strange (2016), is thoroughly weird.
    • The strange in-between dimension in chapter 42 created by a spell reacting oddly to Harry, which allows him to see a small and hopefully relevant section of the multiverse and interact with an alternate version of him that goes by Nathan.
    • Belle Reve sanitarium has been the site of dark magic rituals perpetrated against magical beings. As a side effect of this, it has turned sentient, and is capable of manipulating its own Alien Geometries. Lex and Chloe are understandably fairly freaked out. Harry, on the other hand, is less than impressed and notes that he was breaking into more impressive places when he was eleven, before effortlessly cowing it into submission.
    • The Fortress in the Forbidden Forest. It's normally a ruin, but on some nights is restored to its full state; on those nights, people who get too close are compelled to enter, at which point the collective spirits of everyone who died there torment them with their worst fears.
  • Emotionless Girl: Maddie, thanks to Essex's conditioning, often complete with a Creepy Monotone. Even after her Heel–Face Turn with an associated increase in willingness to show emotion, she still gives off a very dry, reserved vibe - though this is more because she has trouble dealing with her emotions rather than not having them in the first place.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The balance between the two is discussed and played out several times across both books, particularly regarding the Phoenix and its hosts with each side noted as having both flaws and virtues. On the one hand, emotions means compassion, empathy, and understanding. On the other, stoicism means rationality, practicality, and self-control. The conclusion is that too much of either is a bad thing, with the best choice being a balance of the two - to feel and understand emotions, but not to be ruled by them - being demonstrated by Harry's Character Development towards being Fiery Stoic.
  • Empathic Environment: Those parts of the Nevernever near to the mortal world tend to be influenced by it, and it can be similarly influenced by suitably powerful individuals. When two Omega class psychics throw down, this results in a World Gone Mad.
  • 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 by showing previous wielders, 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 and was in Odin's possession for a millennium and a half without him twigging, it can disguise itself extremely effectively.
    • Ván, the Sword of Hope. It was forged from uru and vibranium, layered with the best spells that the Alliance of Realms could come up with, had a mind of its own, which like Excalibur, only someone worthy could wield - which despite Thor's suspicions, had nothing to do with Strange (who suspects that, instead, it had more to do with Yggdrasil). It was made to take on Surtur, a fully fledged Dark Phoenix and No-Sell the best said Dark Phoenix could throw at it - which, by inference, it did. It makes the Sword of Gryffindor look like a toy in comparison.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Played for Laughs in chapter 32 after a Grey Court vampire's body is charged and turned to ash by Gambit, and what's left of the vampire is apparently thrown down a hospital laundry chute.
  • Enemy Mine: Strange recruits Doctor Doom to help Harry's group fight the Grey Court, on the grounds that Dracula's victory would threaten his own power base.
  • Enthralling Siren: Harry encounters a group of Undines (water spirits) in the maze of caverns under Hogwarts' lake during the First Task, which use enchanted music to lure people into their lake and drown them. Thanks to his powers, Harry's not affected (mostly, he's just mildly annoyed), and winds up bargaining with them: they guide him through the caverns to protect the other champions, in exchange for him breaking them free of the magic keeping them imprisoned underground.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Dracula gets one in chapter 24. He's sitting and listening to Voldemort's proposal for mutual advantage, having remarked that he doesn't particularly want to play games... then Voldemort finishes his proposal, saying that he'll elaborate on the details of what information he has to offer once Dracula accepts. In a blurred instant, Dracula is on his feet and has lifted Voldemort out of his chair like it's nothing, coldly remarking that he doesn't appreciate being manipulated into a war with the Avengers or Asgard which would be 'tiresome'. So, it's going to be the other way around - Voldemort's going to cough up his information, and if, and only if, it is sufficient, then Dracula will accept his proposal. Oh, and any attempt to use his magical or psychic powers won't work because Dracula's suppressing them with a mere effort of will. Voldemort promptly coughs up.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Lily as the White Phoenix of the Crown a.k.a. Destruction of the Endless, consistently appears in a white dress with a golden sash and Phoenix emblem whenever she turns up.
    • In the Of Dungeons and Dragons arc, one of the Undines appears in this form. Considering that Undines like luring people to their deaths by drowning, Harry is careful not to be taken in - though he doesn't miss that the entity in question at least appears to be an attractive young woman in a wet dress that's implied to be Vapor Wear.
    • In chapter 60 of the sequel, Jean and Maddie appear in Harry's mindscape wearing pure white dresses (their psychic forms having previously merged into a pure white gestalt), emphasising both their unearthly nature and purity. Here, they're unambiguously benevolent, doing their best to help heal Harry
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Jean-Paul agrees with Carol's assessment that Warren is hot. While this isn't necessarily surprising, considering that Jean-Paul is very, very gay, even Harry (who's otherwise entirely straight) notes that he's astonishingly good looking.
    • In a gender-flipped example, Carol (who is otherwise very heterosexual) mentions that Jean Grey is hot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even before her conscience started to really develop, Maddie despised Omega Red. As did pretty much all the rest of the Red Room, actually.
    • The saner members of the Winter Guard are visibly disturbed by Yelena molesting Red Son!Harry to get at Natasha.
    • When one of Dracula's minions suggest he employ some Loophole Abuse to get around a promise made to a captive Carol on his behalf (by pointing out Dracula himself didn't make the promise), Dracula is incensed at the idea of breaking a vow, and later demonstrates a certain amount of Villain Respect for both Carol and (to a lesser extent) Harry.
  • The Everyman: Ron, to an extent, like in canon. It's only to an extent, however, because he's increasingly focused on becoming a SHIELD Agent and being trained in hand-to-hand by Sean Cassidy on the grounds that he wants to go after HYDRA to avenge his father and figures that that's the best way to get at them.
  • 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. It gets to the point of almost being an Exaggerated Trope, given that beings who have seen them together for just a few minutes can already tell that they're flirting, and becomes a Running Gag. Then they finally get together in chapter 46.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Xavier points out to Sinister in a Breaking Speech that this is his Fatal Flaw: He never understood either The Power of Love or the persistent strength of Maddie's free will.
    • Averted in the case of Doctor Doom, who knows perfectly well why neither Alison Carter nor Bucky is willing to force Peter Parker to drink the antidote to the Grey Court infection within him, but aren't making any moves to stop him - it could kill him, and Alison, a grandmother, has a soft spot for children, while Bucky, as the Winter Soldier, was well known in certain circles for his refusal to hurt children.
    • Both 'Dave' the Elder Wyrm and his master (Surtur) offer Harry the opportunity to join them and share his power. Since this is Harry we're talking about, the reply is a salvo of snark.
  • 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 Russian furry hat) as a substitute, before coldly deconstructing what she's doing.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: After the Avengers devastate the Red Room in retaliation for the events of the Forever Red arc, and thus effectively decapitate the Russian government (which the Red Room had taken over) it's noted that everyone from Chechen rebels to Islamic fundamentalists to splinter fragments of HYDRA to the Grey Court are trying to take advantage of the power vacuum left behind.
  • Eviler Than Thou: As far as Strange is concerned, Thanos is far, 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 and has no illusions otherwise.
    • Dracula, as part of his Establishing Character Moment, subjects Voldemort to this. Of course, it could be argued that Voldemort still got the better of him.
  • Exact Words: Dresden (at Pepper's suggestion) 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. And since she'd just attempted to scam him into thinking he had to take the position, he threatens to bring it up with Thor and Odin, who would be less than pleased that she's trying to turn what is supposed to be a goodwill effort to her own advantage, if she objects. Mab being Mab, she's grudgingly impressed.
    • Harry's 'apology' to Snape in chapter 28 ("I'm sorry, Professor. What I said hurt you.") is explicitly noted by the narration as being very carefully structured to carry an undertone of total insincerity and subtext of 'and I'm glad it did, because it was meant to.' Dumbledore later somewhat dourly remarks that trying to make Harry apologise to Snape publicly would be pointless, as Harry's budding talent at this (by implication, developed by watching his uncle and Doctor Strange at work) means that he would just structure his 'apology' to be as insincere and humiliating (for Snape) as possible. Harry tries (and fails) not to look pleased.
    • Rita Skeeter is warned by Loki via Bucky that any slandering, libelling, or misrepresenting Harry in the Daily Prophet will be met with harsh legal action. She therefore very carefully does not do any of these in her article, but does include as much innuendo and rumour as she feels she can get away with.
    • In chapter 45, Harry uses this to very carefully and skilfully dance around the point of the Winter Soldier still being alive, with 'Dave' the Elder Wyrm having hinted to Ron that this was the case. Afterwards, he feels distinctly unhappy about it.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: Played with. According to Loki, the name Excalibur was applied to both the sword Arthur pulled from the stone and the one the Lady in the Lake gave him, but that they are in fact different swords (the name was shared because it had importance and power). And the latter is the one wielded by the Knights of the Cross and now known as Amoracchius.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through!: Carol pulls this in chapter 29, when making an escape attempt from Dracula's vampire strike team, through Lexington-63rd subway station. The narration notes that the fact that she's most of six feet tall, well built, moving fast enough to break several local speed limits (whilst carrying her younger brother under one arm to boot) helps, as does the fact that she's apparently inherited her great-grandfather's "I-am-Captain-America-and-shit-is-getting-real-so-do-as-I-say" voice.
    "MOVE!"
  • Expendable Clone: This, crossed with the Hive Mind trope, is 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 - though when faced with the Dark Phoenix, he might as well have built snowmen for all the good they did.
  • Expy: What with his possessing a particular proclivity for pyrotechnics; the faintly ominous prophecies about him; his vast and only barely trained power which he's initially 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 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' that waits specifically for him, Harry has a definite resemblance to Rand al'Thor.
    • There are also elements of Nate Grey in there too. Ludicrously strong Psychic Powers thanks to being part of the Grey family that might end up screwing him over? Check. Dark hair with skunk stripe in the fringe? Check. Miserable childhood with Sinister heavily involved? Check. Momma's Boy? Definite check. Hot-Blooded snarker with Chronic Hero Syndrome? Check. Guile Hero prone to the Indy Ploy, a tendency that evolves into Xanatos Speed Chess? Check. Mutually intrigued by Maddie Pryor? Check. Occasionally frighteningly ruthless? Check. In chapter 8, he even briefly gets Nate's New Mutants era 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. Carol, predictably, mocks him mercilessly.
      • Doctor Strange also quotes the 616 version of Moira MacTaggert in her original assessment of Nate when discussing Harry - specifically, the original page quote on Nate's Marvel Wiki entry.
      • In relation to that, Harry's also gaining increasing shades of Cable, Nate's 616 counterpart. First, the infection by the Transmode Virus that transforms his left arm, left side, and left eye, temporary though it is. Second, an occasional tendency for just one eye, his left, to glow gold when he's using his powers rather than both. Third, when he jokingly suggests building his own version of Asteroid M/Avalon, after noting that he has the power (though not the knowledge), he mentions as possible names 'Greymalkin' and 'Providence' - the former being Cable's former space station, the latter being a floating city Cable built out of the remains of the former.
      • In chapter 41, an older alternate counterpart of Harry turns up, is heavily designed after both Shaman era Nate and the 'Brother Nathan' version of Cable, and when Harry snarks that he'd call him 'Other Harry' but that name is spoken for, casually refers to himself as Nathan.
    • Separately, Harry also has significant shades of Hope Summers: half Messianic Archetype, half potential Dark Messiah/Apocalypse Maiden targeted from birth, heavily associated with the Phoenix Force from infancy, with vast powers that don't truly realise themselves until their teens, who goes through hell and consequently manifests Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour and textbook PTSD, is trained by a brilliant soldier/master assassin with a metal arm, and wants to experience a normal life but what with Blood Knight and Doom Magnet tendencies, keeps putting themselves In Harm's Way.
    • Doctor Strange is an often mischievous immortal sorcerer who routinely acts a good deal more strangely and less dangerous than he actually is, casually and often impatiently pushes around/outright bullies monarchs and other authority figures, and when matters get serious, belies his silly reputation by unleashing hell on his enemies. In other words, he carries significant shades of Belgarath - though his precognitive methodology, plan to guide history, and very dry Deadpan Snarker tendencies owe just as much to the Light Prophecy.
      • Related to the above, with her vast power, similarly ominous reputation, maternal affection/terrifying Mama Bear tendencies towards small boys of great destiny in her care, along with an often fractious relationship with her father/father-figure and stunning beauty, Wanda has more than a few shades of Polgara about her.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Sabretooth gets his eyes slashed out by Loki after he looked at baby Ada funny.
    • The Red Son has his left eye blasted out by Magneto as part of an attempt to subdue him. He gets a Transmode replacement.
    • In Chapter 44, Harry tries to take the Elder Wyrm out by turning himself into a living bullet, going in through the eye, through the brain, and out the other side. Unfortunately, it moved at the last moment; as such, he only manages to slash one eye out, a wound which he ruthlessly exacerbates and ultimately, he kills it with a blast through the eye.
  • Face Death with Dignity: According to Strange, when he told Frey that try as he might he couldn't save him, Frey simply thanked him and asked him to accompany him to his final battle. Strange accepted, on the grounds that it was both the least and most that he could do.
  • 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 towards independence.
  • 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.
  • Faking the Dead: Strange does this during Bloody Hell, both to give Wanda the room to prove herself as the new Sorceress Supreme, and to give himself room to make certain moves without anyone being aware of him.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Most of the cast who're regularly exposed to him tend to take this attitude to the weird, Crazy Awesome, and frequently Beyond the Impossible antics of Doctor Strange, summarising it as, 'Strange being Strange, in every sense of the phrase.' Hermione, by contrast, has 'mild hysterics' at Strange doing things that all the laws of magic dictate should be impossible.
    • Harry is a particular example, being able to observe and analyse most things that would drive even gods insane with perfectly clinical calm and equanimity thanks to his experiences with Chthon and the Dark Phoenix, dismissively remarking at a couple of points that he tried insanity and got bored with it. However, he does have limits. Frigga at one point remarks on how perhaps his most remarkable gift is relating the most extraordinary things in perfectly casual tones, as if they're completely normal.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Carol's father is revealed to be a downplayed version of this; he doesn't stop her playing sports, and generally being a tomboy, despite his desire for her to be a Proper Lady who'll Stay in the Kitchen (which in turn causes his daughter to hide her girly streak because she won't give an inch). However, this isn't so much due to grudging tolerance as the fact that he's terrified of his mother-in-law and brother-in-law, who wholeheartedly support her. He's more successful with his second child, Stevie, who's quite quiet and a budding artist, when his father wants him to be a rambunctious athlete like his youngest child, Joe Junior, dismissing his artistic talents as "girl's stuff" and encouraging his youngest son to do the same. It is described icily by his mother-in-law as "a psychological death of a thousand cuts."
  • 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 (until he turns into a vampire), he's Essex's Dumb Muscle, never told no save for very select occasions, encouraged to indulge in every vile whim... the result? An unrepentant murderer and a rapist. He's bad enough that becoming a Grey Court vampire is described by Harry as having changed very little, other than his diet.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Chapter 46 reveals that after the Red Room's defeat, Dream punished Belova for her part in Harry's torture by sending her nightmares that tore away all her self-delusions and justifications for her actions. Due to the magic involved, this warped her waking world self, transforming her physically into "Gollum's uglier sister" and driving her completely insane. It was bad enough that Loki, mid Roaring Rampage of Revenge, took one look at her and decided that he couldn't make it worse.
  • 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.
  • Female Gaze: When Harry meets Carol's muggle friends, one of them admits to admiring his ass, much to his and Carol's mortification.
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: This is one of the many reasons that the Danvers family is so dysfunctional. Carol (the daughter) is a tomboy who is incredibly talented at sports (to the point she was once forced to be tested for steroids for embarrassing the male sports teams) and highly assertive. Her mother on the other hand is - apparently - the typical housewife who puts up with her husband's emotionally abusive behaviour towards their children with little complaint, without ever explaining to her daughter why. As a result, Carol initially doesn't like her at all, though in the sequel, she comes to understand her much better, Hidden Depths and all (they get on much better as a result). Her mother realising just how far Carol's father was willing to go and consequently leaving him to her own mother's total lack of mercy helped.
  • 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. It's actually considerably more frightening.
  • Fiery Salamander: the Elder-Wyrm - while it's a ridiculously ancient proto-dragon, being absurdly large, planet-breakingly powerful, and scarily smart, it's depicted closer to a mythical salamander. It lives in cold, damp caves, and once it does emerge, it unleashes volcanic hell (and enjoys swimming in lava).
  • Fiery Stoic: The ideal nature of a Phoenix Host is described as being along these lines. Separately, Harry starts becoming this in after Forever Red, as part of a general drift away from his previous Hot-Blooded and impulsive nature, and trying to control his inner Phoenix, becoming wiser and more thoughtful as he recovers and mellows out, while retaining his proclivity for Playing with Fire. However, there's a still a significant capacity for Tranquil Fury in him.
  • Fight Dracula: Essentially what the Harry Thorson and co half of the Bloody Hell arc can be summed up as.
  • Fingore: The unfortunate Remus gets splinched in chapter 32 by some rather nasty wards. Thankfully, the fingers are reattached by Sirius.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Continuing on from the previous book...
    • Voldemort exploits Harry's unwillingness to hurt his friends when he turns them into People Puppets and drains the life from them to replenish himself every time Harry manages to hurt him, thereby bending Harry to his will (though Harry does eventually find a way around it).
    • In Forever Red, Harry exploits Maddie's curiosity, one of her most dominant traits, under The Stoic mask, especially about Jean. While he fails to cause the desired Heel–Face Turn straight off (and his Chronic Hero Syndrome ends up landing him in a far worse trouble), it eventually has the desired effect.
    • Harry, again, does this in Bloody Hell by exploiting Dracula's entirely justified fear of the Phoenix with a temporary power boost and some skills he learned from Loki (helped by the fact that he knows exactly how to imitate the entity in question). It works for just as long as it needs to.
    • Voldemort, also again, exploits both Selene and Dracula's hunger for power in the run-up to the Bloody Hell arc from an apparently submissive position. While Dracula rightfully suspects his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and appears to demonstrate how he's Eviler Than Thou, Voldemort still comes out on top, leaving Selene to swing in the wind once he's got what he needed, and leaves Dracula to bear the wrath of the Avengers.
    • Harry, yet again (it's basically his go-to tactic at this point, after destroying everything in sight and setting the rubble on fire), in Of Dungeons & Dragons, exploits the classical draconic fondness for talking and riddle-games to buy time to escape and out-manoeuvre it.
  • Flirting Under Fire: Harry and Carol do this a lot. Occasionally to the understandable disbelief of the uninitiated. And then deny that they're flirting. No one is fooled.
  • Flower Motifs: At Betsy's suggestion (what with her knowing these things thanks to her training as a Proper Lady), Harry gives Carol a Viscaria (meaning "will you dance with me?") when asking her to the Yule Ball.
  • Flowers of Romance: Harry giving Carol a Viscaria (meaning "will you dance with me?") to ask her to the Yule Ball, especially since it results in a Relationship Upgrade. It is widely deemed to be adorable. Even if the flower does get squashed in the resultant kiss.
  • Flynning: Averted, hard. Considering how often he's either outgunned, on a tight timetable, or both, Harry will always - always - go for the quick kill. Every technique he uses, from the Groin Attack to the back-stab, is designed to take his opponent down as quickly and effectively as possible. The only exception to this is when fighting a vampirised Dudley, when he calmly dismembers his opponent while explaining exactly why it's not a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. And even that was both relatively brief, and efficient, killing his opponent in three sword-strokes.
  • Fog of Doom: The mist that infests the Fallen Fortress, which initially appears to just be an Ominous Fog, before it's revealed that it's a) sentient, b) psychic, c) maliciously homicidal.
  • Foil: the series has a few:
  • Follow in My Footsteps: most of the dysfunction in the Carter-Rogers-Danvers family comes from here; Alison followed in Peggy's and Steve's footsteps as a Lady of War and Living Legend at SHIELD, and her son, Jack O'Neill, followed in hers (as did his daughter, Sharon), but her daughter, Marie Danvers, didn't (she preferred "making good" to fighting evil). Cue a mother-daughter split that took a while to heal. Then Carol showed every sign of following in her grandmother's footsteps, and her mother's Adult Fear (driven by Jack's experiences in the Gulf) meant she tried to avert this. Cue another rift, though one that was bridged before it got too far by Marie choosing to support and be proud of her daughter.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Harry, eventually, forgives his grandfather for not rescuing him from the Dursleys due to understandable concerns (including not wanting to draw attention to Harry in the first place). However, as he notes, this is not the same as forgetting.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted; Mr. Weasley is still mourned and remembered, and the Weasley family's grief for him fuels Ron, Fred, and George's Character Development. Meanwhile, the fact that Bucky is Harry's bodyguard and mentor, his past as the Winter Soldier kept secret, and is thus around Ron in particular almost every day, is repeatedly brought up as something that will be a major problem when the truth comes out.
    • Luna's death is also remembered, though this is Played With—while she is an active character post-mortem, Harry and Dumbledore don't actually know that.
  • 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.
    • Due to his friendship with Carol, and by extension Harry, and familiarity with superpowered beings in general, Lex figures out Clark's secret almost immediately after meeting him, and decides to help protect him.
    • Magneto's intervention means that Cassius is never able to cast his "Die alone" Death Curse on Dresden, and that Kumori is captured before she can flee (though Cowl gets away).
    • Wanda is able to reverse Corpsetaker's swap with Captain Luccio, returning the other to her own, more powerful body. Corpsetaker herself is Killed Off for Real, meaning that she won't be stirring up trouble as she did in Ghost Story.
    • While Strange is pretending to be dead, he cures Lea of her Nemesis infection in exchange for Mab freeing Dresden of his debt to her, and convinces her to give up on making him the new Winter Knight by pointing out that as a potential Sorcerer Supreme he'll be fighting the Outsiders anyway. He also kills Mavra, a Black Court vampire who had crossed swords with Dresden in the past and had indirect leverage on him. This essentially curtails a significant number of later Dresden Files plot points.
      • And in chapter 52, Strange takes another hammer to Dresden Files canon by wiping out the Red Court long before Dresden himself is put in a situation to do that same thing in Changes.
    • Due to Harry's massive power advantage, even when wearing Power Limiters, different Tasks are chosen for the Triwizard Tournament.
    • Sean's presence at the Yule Ball as a chaperone allows him to give Ron some much needed emotional advice, preventing his canonical row with Hermione.
    • In Chapter 61, Strange makes another change to The Dresden Files by exposing Peabody as the Black Council mole on the White Council long before this was discovered in canon and executing him, thereby preventing his scheme which resulted in the deaths of LaFortier and Morgan. He also notes that he's eliminated the rest of the Black Council.
    • Sirius shows the Room of Requirement to Harry in Chapter 66, a full year before he found it in canon.
  • 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.
    • Carol starts calling Harry "Luke Skywalker" in the finale of Child of the Storm for his kind and gentle nature, rags to riches story, Psychic Powers, and fighting skills. Pretty much the only thing missing is the lightsaber and the mechanical hand. Come Ghosts of the Past, he briefly gains a mechanical arm (albeit on the wrong side), and a glowing sword.
    • 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.
      • During Forever Red, he also warns Maddie that the Red Room are only holding him for as long as he allows them, and when he does, his voice takes on a hint of the Phoenix's echo. At the end of the arc, he reveals just what he's been holding back: 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.
    • In Chapter 11, Wanda mentions Zatanna Zatara, a prodigy at combining wandless and wanded magic, and that her parents managed to create a hybridized style of magic before dying in the war against Voldemort. Not long after, Zatanna becomes the new DADA teacher at Hogwarts, and the deaths of her parents and Constantine's part in it are established as the reason why Wanda hates Constantine.
    • Strange mentions being weary and "near the end of the line" a couple of times, and then appears to die in chapter 29. However, it was faked, so he could do a few things on the quiet.
    • In chapter 19, Jean briefly reflects that Remy has a striking resemblance to Scott Summers. Fifteen chapters later, she and the audience discover that there's a very good reason for this. He's a clone of Scott.
    • All the way back to the beginning of Child of the Storm (again, as per usual), when discussing how Harry had provided a Mercy Kill to Sally the Basilisk, Loki commented that perhaps they should call him "Harry the Just." Fast-forward to Ghosts chapter 35, and Harry is discussing the justice or otherwise of another Mercy Kill, and resolves to bring some justice and mercy to the universe. Looks like Loki was more accurate than even he realised.
  • "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. Unusually, it's not Played for Laughs and all the potential horror is played up instead.
    • This is a key part of the Corpsetaker's MO. It doesn't save her from Voldemort, a rival who - thanks to his Telepathy - is not even the slightest bit fooled.
  • 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.
  • Friendship Favoritism: Overlapping with Friend Versus Lover below due to the ambiguous nature of Harry and Carol's relationship, Ron worries that he's being displaced by Carol. The implication is that he's both right and wrong. Harry is still very close to Ron, and cherishes his friendship, but thanks to a confluence of factors (not least his desire to keep Ron safe and uninvolved, and having to lie to Ron about Bucky), Carol is now usually his chief confidant.
  • Friend Versus Lover: Ron versus Carol, over Harry, something complicated by the uncertain nature of Harry and Carol's relationship (Everyone Can See It, but they're Just Friends because of prior psychological issues until chapter 46), meaning that it overlaps with Friendship Favoritism. Deconstructed somewhat in that they actually get on rather well, and Ron's main concern is less with Carol taking over his role as Harry's primary confidant, more that he's Locked Out of the Loop since most of Harry's adventures don't take place at Hogwarts anymore, he wants to keep Ron and Hermione out of it for their own safety, and he's fairly reticent at the best of times (Carol, by contrast, is usually involved whether he likes it or not, and has a Psychic Link to work with).
  • Frightening Power Usage: When Jean-Paul does fight, he specialises in using his Super Speed as brutally and efficiently as possible. Likewise, Harry tends to get brutal with the telekinesis when he's in a bad mood (dismemberment has sometimes been involved), and induces a Stress Vomit in Clark by freezing and shattering thirteen ghouls.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Clark in chapter 58, though he's not aware that he's naked. Harry proceeds to spend the next few minutes mocking him.
  • 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.
    • O'Neill, in turn, pulls one of these on Carol in chapter 17 when she's being shifty about where the dog she got for him (one of Freki/Geri's puppies by one of the royal hunting hounds in Asgard) comes from.
  • The Gambler: Gambit, with his card motif that flows into Death Dealer - he makes a dozen Red Room hardcases and Yelena Belova hesitate just by pulling out a deck of cards. Like his canon counterpart, he's a gambler and The Trickster, but a much more calculated version.
  • 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.
  • Genius Loci:
    • Belle Reve sanitarium, as a result of the magical experiments performed there. It's not a very powerful one, however, because of its relative newness, and Harry quite firmly puts it in its place with minimal effort.
    • It's noted that while the Forbidden Forest isn't fully sentient, it does have a certain awareness, due to a combination of its age and all the magic that's passed through it.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • By the time of the First Task, Thor is so used to Harry's Doom Magnet status that he fully (and calmly) expects things during the task to go horribly wrong, possibly involving some kind of Ancient Evil awakening that Harry's going to have to fight. As it turns out, he's absolutely right.
    • Harry himself easily deduces the First Task on a cursory glance at the location simply from prior experience. Fleur and Krum are stunned, while Cedric's silently just like "Yes, really. He does this all the time."
  • Gentleman Wizard: In addition to Strange, Dumbledore, and Lucius from the first book, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell make a cameo in chapter 7.
  • The Ghost:
    • Though mentioned several times, Thanos has, thankfully, not appeared yet. But he's coming...
    • Piotr Rasputin is mentioned in chapter 27 by Magneto, and Alison later expands on his backstory in chapter 36, but so far he's stayed offscreen.
  • 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 this time 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.
    • Hermione gives one to Harry following the events of chapter 60.
  • Godhood Seeker: Those after the Word of Kemmler and the Darkhallow rite within.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Wanda, Dresden, and the Wardens, being outnumbered and outclassed by the Kemmlerites, Voldemort, and Selene, call Magneto for help, despite the fact that relations between he and Wanda are touchy at best, and he's The Dreaded amongst the Wardens.
    • Harry threatens that if his plan to rescue Carol from Dracula doesn't work, he'll bring an ultimatum to the Council Elite: Either they resurrect her... or the Dark Phoenix will. Thankfully for everyone involved, it doesn't come to this - especially when Jesus explains the problems with it in chapter 35 (namely, even if it works, these are not beings that take being bullied lightly, hold grudges, and pretty much codified Disproportionate Retribution).
  • Go for the Eye: Harry's absolutely vicious tactics against the Elder Wyrm primarily consist first of blinding it in one eye, then ruthlessly attacking the wound to get at the brain.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Ivan indicates that this was what happened to the Red Room. At first, it was created as a response to the rising number of superhumans: The Nazis had the Red Skull, Kemmler, Grindelwald, and Tesseract-based technology, and the Western Allies had superhumans like Cap, Blade, Spitfire, Namor, Dumbledore, and Strange (though as Fury noted, the latter is on no side but his own). While the Russian winter proved deadly against mortal enemies, it was not nearly enough to stop superhumans, and so the Red Room and the Winter Guard were formed, including the Winter Soldier. It was a complete success.
  • Green Rooming: As per usual with this fic, due to the Loads and Loads of Characters. One notable example is that of Peter Parker, who appears in the Bloody Hell arc for the first time since the early chapters of the previous book, briefly becomes part-Grey Court vampire, helps the heroes Fight Dracula, and... a few name-drops aside, promptly disappears again, before reappearing as the Deuteragonist and other POV character of Unfinished Business.
  • 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.
    • Instead of charging in to rescue Carol, Harry takes the time to contact Xavier and enlist his help against Dracula, and he and Bucky rapidly put together plans to counter the latter's own.
  • Hate Sink: The Beast a.k.a. the Blob a.k.a. Dudley lacks any redeeming qualities whatsoever, so it's understandable to root for Harry when he literally cut him apart during Bloody Hell, after Dudley got turned into a vampire - something which, Harry notes, only changed his diet.
  • Heal the Cutie: Harry is partially broken in the extended finale of the first book - seeing a friend you've tried to protect get killed and then get killed yourself will do that - before being partially healed. Then, the brutal Trauma Conga Line of the Forever Red arc drives him to the brink of complete insanity as the Dark Phoenix. He is talked down by the Power of Love, and the rest of the book has him slowly healing with therapy, time, and affection - falling head over heels in reciprocated love with Carol certainly doesn't hurt - going from someone who's barely stable, to a Knight in Sour Armour, to a Knight In Shining Armour once more (if a more cynical and pragmatic one than before) who believes that Rousseau Was Right (mostly).
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: Steve comfort Carol his great-granddaughter with a 'Thor-sized' tub of Rocky Road ice cream in chapter 45 after she's upset and angry (enraged, in fact, to the point where she breaks a punching bag and busts her wrist trying to work it out) because of what Yelena Belova did to Harry.
  • The Heartless: The entity haunting the Fortress in the Forbidden Forest is the collective fear, anger, and misery of everyone who died there.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The three leaders of the Norns, Maiden, Mother, and Crone, who respectively see into the past, the present, and the future.
  • 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'. However, it's also noted that this attitude hasn't been entirely consistent over time, with some periods, like Bor's rule, where Asgard ignored various realms and dominated others, 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 and Wanda when incensed by the former'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 BSoD:
    • 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, in part because it proves that everything she thought about herself, everything she believed, is a lie.
    • Dresden has one in chapter 54 upon finding out the extent to which his life has been shaped and manipulated by Doctor Strange, wondering if he's nothing but a weapon the latter forged.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Harry's still prone to this, like in canon, with the main exception being when he wants to overawe someone. At that point, he'll quite happily remind everyone what he's capable of. As he puts it, "I don't know what you know, or what you think you know, but it boils down to this: you have limits. I don't."
    • Ron also tends towards this, with Uhtred disagreeing and pointing out how remarkable some of the things Ron has done (which he's heard about from Harry) are.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Zatanna is pretty starstruck when she meets Wanda, who remarks that she was the same when she met Agatha Harkness.
    • Harry Dresden alludes to having had a reaction along these lines when he properly met Steve (while they'd met at the Battle of London, they were rather occupied). Steve was, apparently, patient.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Following the initial shock, this is the general reaction, both In-Universe and among the readers, to Doctor Strange's apparent death.
  • 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.
    • In addition, Zatanna Zatara is far more than just a pretty face, as is Cedric Diggory, who's perceptive enough to pull off a basic Sherlock Scan on Peter Wisdom, a man he's barely met, and a more insightful one on Harry. While he's nowhere near the Trope Namer, he's sharp enough to catch quite a few details and impress Harry, who's currently in one of his Jerkass moods.
    • While Stevie is The Quiet One of the Danvers family, he reveals that he has a pretty good idea of what's been going on with Carol, even though he's been Locked Out of the Loop.
    • Monica Rambeau is introduced in this book as one of Carol's soccer friends and a Shipper on Deck for her and Harry, with a penchant for Eating the Eye Candy. She was briefly mentioned in the first book as a possible candidate for the Young Avengers Initiative. Just what makes her so extraordinary is yet to be seen.
  • Holy Burns Evil: The shield Carol was gifted by Odin in the first book's epilogue is capable of burning vampires on contact, due to being god-forged and blessed by Odin.
    • Harry's lingering Phoenix embers in his blood have the same effect, leading to a partly-turned Peter Parker reluctantly drinking a mug of Harry's blood and successfully burning out the vampirism.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Even when he's not consciously tapping into it, Harry's Phoenix fragment burns vampires on contact with his blood and gives his fire magic a bit of an edge against evil. And, to be fair, more or less everything else too.
  • 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.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Dracula completely freaks out when he scents Phoenix fire (or even what he thinks is Phoenix fire.
    • According to Strange, Frey and his descendants achieved this with Surtur. Having stolen power from one of the Endless themselves, he rampaged through the galaxy, an unstoppable force, before his mighty Great Captains were destroyed and he himself was defeated and bound for a million years.
  • 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.
    • Uhtred and Diana both are this trope - like Harry, Diana has a double dose from her parents, though she usually controls it better.
  • Hot Wings: Harry as the Dark Phoenix.
  • Housewife: Carol thinks of her mother as the Extreme Doormat variant and her father as a Stepford Smiler version of the Standard '50s Father, describing her as such. While she's dead right about her father, as Harry realises as soon as they meet, her mother is a considerably more nuanced case (and much more like Carol than she wants to admit). Her Refusal of the Call was driven by a desire to "make good" not fight evil, plus her own mother's Parental Neglect, and cemented by what happened to her brother, Jack. This drives her Adult Fear of what Carol might be getting into (though she ultimately avoids making her mother's mistakes, explains why she was afraid, and accepts her daughter's choice and being proud of her). She also clicks to what her husband is becoming after finding out what he was willing to do to Carol to get her to be a Proper Lady and effectively kicks him out while her mother arranges for him to be Kicked Upstairs and out of state (and per Alison, would have done much worse if she'd found out directly).
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Dark Phoenix - it causes global scale nightmares, 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 (mutants, magicals, Eternals, and Deviants), 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, with Frigga remarking that where magical humans learned to use magic, the proto-Fae became magic. Under the circumstances, this explains a lot.
    • Also, mention is made of the Inhumans, who're a variation on mutants. And it's later established that the Jaffa also exist, and like the Inhumans are a sub-race created by the Kree as a warrior caste.
  • Hunter Of Her Own Kind: Maddie, pre Heel–Face Turn 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 nature of these puns is lampshaded by Carol: "Well. So much for the famous British sense of humour, then."
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