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

Tropes A To H can be found here and Tropes Q To Z can be found here.



  • I Am Not My Father: Draco is quite adamant in not being like Lucius, to the point that comparing the two is one of the few things that breaks his usual cool, urbane calm.
  • Identical Stranger: Harry and Clark, again, with it being noted as a) a continued puzzle, b) how Harry ultimately deduced who Jean-Paul was visiting in Kansas on the sly (combined with Smallville's propensity for weirdness). It's Downplayed as the book goes on, with Harry having grown into some of his mother's features, but the resemblance is uncanny enough that it startles the Kent parents when they meet Harry in chapter 55, and Clark when he sees Harry in a borrowed set of his clothing. The differences between Clark and Harry are also played up, physically (scars, Skunk Stripe, eyes, and build), and mentally: Clark is a relatively normal and innocent teen with identity issues (who happens to be an alien). Harry, by contrast, is literally and figuratively scarred by his experiences, much more worldly-wise than Clark, and neither totally normal nor innocent.
    • The resemblance also troubles them both at different times: in Harry's case, he finds Clark helpless and Strapped to an Operating Table with a Mad Scientist about to strip everything away from him, bringing up a lot of very bad Red Room memories and nearly causing him to snap and go on a Dark Phoenix themed Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Clark, by contrast, is deeply disturbed by the way someone with a face that's very much like his a) casually kills thirteen ghouls (cue a Stress Vomit moment on Clark's part), b) when he sees him standing in cold, merciless judgement over Reynolds when Clark, the offended party, is advocating they Turn the Other Cheek (it turns out that Harry's anger is because Reynolds has successfully jumped up and down on his Berserk Button).
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    • On a lighter note, it also leads to the two almost immediately acting like brothers; Harry as the older, Clark the younger.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Carol's main reason for her and Harry staying as Just Friends. He doesn't want to ruin their friendship either (though Diana also suggests that he doesn't want them to get together just to lean on each other, which Harry tacitly confirms), and abides by her wishes. They end up mutually 'ruining' it with First Kiss in chapter 46, as part of the long awaited Relationship Upgrade.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: After Harry and Carol start dating, her muggle friends tell him that they don't care how powerful or well-connected he is, they'll make him pay. Harry being Harry, he decides to test their resolve with his best wrath of god act - and is impressed when, despite being scared, they stand firm.
    • Steve later offers to have a "talk" with Harry along these lines when he thinks Harry upset Carol (she's actually upset on his behalf).
  • Ignored Enemy: Played for Laughs in chapter 58, with Clark astounded and a little bit disturbed at how casually Harry's ignoring the Arc Villain (now transformed into a Humanoid Abomination) to discuss Clark's dress sense. When Clark brings it up, Harry just dismissively says, "he'll keep." This is largely explained by the fact that the villain is a Big Bad Wannabe by Harry's somewhat jaded standards.
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  • I Have No Son!: Inverted with Draco, who states that his father is dead to him.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: The shockwaves from Harry and Maddie's psychic duel spread from where they're fighting in the Nevernever, affecting everyone on Earth, whether they're psychic or not - though those who are tend to be more strongly affected. It's later revealed that this either triggered or overloaded Ruth Aldine's Psychic Powers, including her skills as a Seer, driving her mad. Harry's horrified by that, and tries to fix it. The manifestation of the Dark Phoenix has similar effects, and it gets to the point where Harry Dresden notes how it's becoming a distressingly frequent occurrence.
  • Imminent Danger Clue:
    • Draco identifies a sudden smell of wood-smoke around Harry as this, because, thanks to his passenger, he knows that it's a sign that Harry's inner Phoenix is close to the surface. The smell of wood-smoke continues to act as a motif for the Phoenix, with Harry Dresden and (unknowingly) Hermione noting it.
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    • In chapter 33, Dracula smells it and, having previously narrowly escaped an enraged Phoenix, has an epic Oh, Crap! moment. Of course, the twist is that he's not dealing with the Phoenix or the Dark Phoenix this time, just Harry pretending - albeit very convincingly - to be the Phoenix.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Harry comes out with this, more or less word for word, during Forever Red, after almost effortlessly mowing through Red Room personnel to break out the other prisoners. Carol disagrees.
    Kurt: Mein Gott.
    Harry: I'm no one's god, I'm...
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This book continues the trend of this happening to Harry on a distressingly regular basis: it happens courtesy of Magneto when he's a Blank Slate as the Red Son - and blasted with a gigantic lightning bolt - and then through his shoulder by Dracula (with his own sword, no less), before, again, he gets walloped by a giant lightning bolt.
  • Improvised Armour: Harry cobbles together some from broken Iron Man suits in chapter 32 when about to go after Dracula. Sirius makes it significantly cooler and more effective by transfiguring it, making him a silvery-white Knight In Shining Armour. It's noted that it's more or less the only thing that keeps him alive in the resultant brawl.
  • Incest Subtext: Of the Kissing Cousins variant. Harry's initially uncomfortably attracted to Jean, his second cousin, before his emotions win the argument with his hormones (and even then, he's more than merely platonically aware that she's gorgeous), and when it comes to Maddie (also a cousin) he tacitly admits that he's a bit attracted to her, too, when a dark duplicate suggests he was fantasising about her.
  • Inconvenient Attraction: A mutual version between Harry and Carol. They're best friends, they don't object to being attracted each other on principle, as such, it's just that Carol doesn't want to ruin their friendship, since she hasn't had many genuine friendships with guys. Of those she's had, aside from Harry, there's the flamingly gay and decidedly enigmatic Jean-Paul with unplumbed Hidden Depths, her self-appointed Knight Templar Big Brother Lex, and Uhtred, Jean-Paul's Asgardian boyfriend who she met through Harry and considers her friendship with Harry to be particularly precious. Harry, while not objecting to the idea of a Relationship Upgrade, rigorously follows her wishes and doesn't want to lose their friendship either. Now if they could only get past the whole Stupid Sexy Friend thing, they'd be fine... As it is, though, they don't angst too much about it, save for a few moments of awkwardness, which tend to be absolutely hilarious for everyone else. They eventually give in to the inevitable and end up dating chapter 46 onwards.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Wanda declares the Elder Wyrm, a master of Earth magic, to be an "Earth-Wyrm." Given that she grew up with Doctor Strange for a Parental Substitute...
  • Indy Ploy:
    • This remains Harry's textbook basis for a strategy, any strategy, when he bothers with one, until the end of Forever Red, following an example of this in chapter 10 going horribly wrong.
    • Carol's plan with her shield in the same chapter to bring down the Beast. It stuns him.
    • Defied in chapter 30, where Harry takes the time to plan out how to get around Dracula's counter-measures, and again in Of Dungeons and Dragons when Harry plans his actions carefully and stalls for time when he needs it so as to plan properly.
  • I Need You Stronger: Played With. Voldemort doesn't necessarily want Harry stronger, but he does keep throwing things in his way to test him and get a better idea of how he, and his Phoenix based protection, work. Why, exactly, is a little unclear.
  • Info Dump:
    • In Chapter 7, Draco gives a ton of information about the various governments of the global magical community.
    • Coulson, Ivan and Fury provide one in chapter 9 on Maddie/Rachel, Sinister, the Red Room, and Gambit.
    • Odin and Strange alternate between this in chapters 19 and 20 about Asgard's history, its relationship with the Phoenix, and Surtur... as well as the Mysterious Past of Strange himself, including just who he really is.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Doctor Essex a.k.a. Sinister has one of these slip-ups in Chapter 7, which tips off Harry as to who (or rather, what) he really is.
  • In Medias Res:
    • Chapters 12 through 15 work this way, with Coulson interviewing Maddie, Carol, Natasha, Dresden, and Loki after the action, piecing together what happened via flashback.
    • Chapter 32 does something similar, opening with a battered Harry in an NYPD interrogation room being interviewed by Captain Stacy, and flashbacks explaining how he got there.
  • In Mysterious Ways: Doctor Strange's usual modus operandi can be very puzzling (and extremely frustrating) to outside observers.
  • Innocent Aliens:
    • Clark Kent, who arrived as a toddler, and is generally noted to be one of the sweetest and most innocent members of the cast. While he's far from stupid, and often surprisingly perceptive, he also comes across as a Naïve Newcomer compared to most of the other young characters in the sequel (who by this point have Seen It All and are Shell Shocked Veterans to one extent or another) - as is jarringly demonstrated when he's juxtaposed with Harry.
    • Harry also sees some during his Vision Quest in chapter 51. They are, naturally, being horribly torn apart by creatures from the Negative Zone. He is not pleased.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Clark, as per usual, being regarded by his peers as being particularly innocent - and thus to be protected.
    • Diana has slate blue eyes, indicating that she is/was innocent, but that innocence has been somewhat tarnished.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Seamus Finnegan at one point makes a joke about Harry mind-controlling Professor Sprout to give them better grades. As Harry had just spent six months on the wrong end of Mind Rape, and performed it many times himself as the Red Son, this did not go down well, with Cedric making the same connection when he figures out what's happened to Harry thanks to Krum.
    • When Carol's friends start Eating the Eye Candy while looking at pictures of Harry, Carol reacts with rage rather than good-natured irritation, as she had found out only shortly before that Harry was molested by Belova while he was the Red Son.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The Death Eaters still run amok at the Quidditch World Cup, though Voldemort takes advantage of the chaos for his own ends.
    • Harry still ends up the fourth champion in the Triwizard Tournament - though the tasks are very different, because of his power levels. In addition, the Kemmlerites are also looking for the Word of Kemmler, though this time, Voldemort and Selene have joined them, and Wanda, Bruce, and Magneto are aiding Dresden.
    • According to chapter 46, the events of Black Panther (2018) apparently happen more or less as in canon.
  • Instant Armour: Tony remarks in the sequel that he's working towards an even faster version of this (he's already got ones that can fly to him and assemble around him), after seeing Clark's suit automatically assemble from crystal based nanotech. He technically already has, with the Project Galahad suit he designed for Harry (designed for speed, agility, and endurance - Harry provides the firepower), which is already assembled and can be summoned from a pocket dimension.
  • Intangible Time Travel: While not necessary to time travel as a whole, this happens in chapter 51, which Harry quickly discovers in the past portion of his Vision Quest with the Norns. He muses on the basis for the trope (avoiding changing history) as to why, though he's not particularly pleased about it (and considering what he's witnessing, you can't blame him).
  • In the Blood:
    • The Warrior's Madness runs through the bloodline of the House of Odin, as something of a price for their powers.
    • The narration notes that there's something about the expression on the statue of the First King, Frey, that's very reminiscent of Harry, his distant descendant.
    • It turns out that Clark's nature as a Nice Guy who shouldn't be crossed comes right from his Martial Pacifist father. He's also noted to have his father's smile.
    • This book shows how every one of Steve and Peggy's descendants, even Marie, who Refused the Call, is very clearly no slouch in the intellect, stubbornness, and (when necessary) courage departments.
    • Although there were hints in the previous book, Ghosts has Hermione unknowingly becoming more and more like her mother, such as her increasing power levels and using creative threats to protect her friends. Harry at one point also notes that she demonstrates 'a tone of detached ruthlessness' that reminds him intensely of her grandfather, Magneto.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Harry tries to pull this on Dracula in chapter 32, to distract him while he grabs Carol and makes a run for it. Dracula is not fooled, and not pleased that Harry thought he'd fall for something so blatantly obvious.
  • It's Personal:
    • Strange's grudge against Sinister is extremely personal. It's also hinted that he's holding a very nasty grudge against Surtur - he was very fond of Frey, the first divine King of Asgard and pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to seal Surtur in Muspelheim, despite Strange's best efforts to save him. He also hated Mordred (though how much of that is retroactive in light how he killed Arthur because Strange wasn't there to stop him is unclear).
    • Magneto has a very personal vendetta against Voldemort - who killed his wife the night Wanda was born (or more accurately, attacked Wundagore Mountain, where a young Magneto and Wanda's mother had retreated after she went into labour, and Magneto confronted him. The resultant fight wound up killing Wanda's mother and narrowly missed killing the newborn Wanda). It also meant that Magneto was unable to raise his daughter, something which clearly upsets both of them decades on. This is brought up in Bloody Hell when Harry Dresden and Wanda persuade Captain Luccio that calling him in is the right thing to do - even if he hadn't made a Heel–Face Turn some time before, he'd still join the fight to have a shot at Voldemort. Unfortunately, his desire for vengeance nearly severely derails matters.
  • Invincible Hero: The Avengers and Asgard. Especially given the way they mowed through the Red Room with minimal effort once they pinned them down.
    • Averted with Harry himself. The author himself repeatedly and emphatically stated that, despite his newfound powers, he's still struggling to figure them out, and will be on the wrong end of more than one beating, as Forever Red (largely thanks to restrictions and poor strategy), Bloody Hell (due to him being no match for Dracula), Of Dungeons and Dragons (because his opponent is so stupidly tough), and Mirror Image (restrictions and time constraints) demonstrate, forcing him to resort to his old Guile Hero tactics.
  • Jerkass Gods:
    • Zeus and Hera - or rather, Hera's more of an active Jerkass, while Zeus is mostly indifferent to her antics, which Odin calls him on.
    • A lot of the Council Elite are this, or at least, Apathetic Gods, something that Strange savagely calls them on.
  • Jesus Taboo: Jesus doesn't appear, despite all the other gods mentioned and the fact that the Knights of the Cross appearing confirms his existence. Subverted hilariously in chapter 16, when a mysterious demigod called Joshua chats to Harry and gives him some wise and kindly advice, playing The Mentor, while Harry is suspicious of him... until Joshua lets him into his mind and Harry realises who he is, with the inevitable response: "Jesus fucking Christ!" After that, he becomes a recurring character, appearing to dispense advice and serve as a liaison between Harry and a group of gods and goddesses that have faith in Harry's ability to control his inner Phoenix (or at least, deem helping him to do it to be the most pragmatic option).
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Joe Danvers' and Stevie Danvers' dynamic is a darker variation on this trope, with Joe trying to force his son into 'manly' pursuits that his softly spoken arty son hates, and treating his love of drawing as effeminate, even teaching his youngest and highly impressionable child, Joe Junior, to mock it, giving Stevie "a psychological death of a thousand cuts". Unlike Carol, Stevie doesn't have the friends or Birds of a Feather thing with their maternal family to counter that (though his mother tacitly supports his hobby by buying him watercolours), or Carol's force of personality, so retreats into himself instead.
  • Just Friends: Despite the frequent Ship Tease, Carol wants her and Harry to stay like this, since she doesn't actually have that many male friends who aren't trying to get into her pants. Of those she does have, one is Jean-Paul, another is Lex, and a third is Uhtred, Jean-Paul's Asgardian boyfriend. And then there's Harry. Moreover, she values his friendship far more than any other kind of relationship. Harry is not averse to the idea of a Relationship Upgrade, but respects her wishes and states that first and foremost, she is his friend - though after Bloody Hell, they start slowly drifting towards a relationship proper. And come the aftermath of Of Dungeons and Dragons, in chapter 46, they have a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Just Toying with Them:
    • Voldemort, in chapter 2. While less powerful than Harry, he leverages his far greater skill and experience to use his friends as People Puppets (and make them deliver a "Reason You Suck" Speech solely to screw with Harry) and human shields, then pulls a dark "Freaky Friday" Flip on them all and banishing them across the camp, setting Death Eaters after them.
    • Voldemort likes doing this. He spends his relatively short duel with Harry Dresden in Bloody Hell doing this, mocking him, right up until the exact moment when Dresden manages to hurt him with a soulfire-infused lightning bolt. Cue Voldemort, injured and enraged, almost killing Dresden in the space of three seconds and only being prevented from following through by Wanda's timely arrival.
    • And again, in chapter 62, he uses his influence on Ron, derived through a blood sample acquired as 'Adam Black' to nudge him and Hermione into following Harry into the depths of the Forbidden Forest and into a haunted fortress. This is partly as a distraction while he raids the Department of Mysteries and partly, apparently, For the Evulz, since he actually considers sitting back with some popcorn to watch.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: A key part of Strange's modus operandi - his reputation is such that everyone knows, despite the fact that he famously Will Not Tell a Lie, that when he turns up, he's about to manipulate them. The question is not 'if', it is 'how'. Strange ruthlessly exploits this, and usually comes out on top by introducing something/someone that either no one knew about, or no one took into account.
    • Harry's started imitating it, as of Bloody Hell, though he's obviously nowhere near as good at it - and it doesn't help that he tries it off the cuff on Dracula, a chessmaster in his own right, and it fails miserably... the first time, that is. The second time (when Alison refers to it by name), once he takes some time to think, and recruits some help rather than trying to pull it off single-handed, it ends up working like a charm.
  • Karma Houdini: Bucky, who is widely believed to have been kept by HYDRA in stasis as a trophy/experiment until he was found after the Battle of London. Word of God has indicated that if the question of how he has the Winter Soldier's skills comes up, it will be 'revealed' that he has the Soldier's memories, because HYDRA wanted another Soldier. A Justified Trope, for the most part, because he was a victim of brainwashing, but few people would be able to look past the reputation of the Winter Soldier.
    • The Beast/Blob a.k.a. Dudley gets off scot-free, having apparently pulled a Villain: Exit, Stage Left. Word of God has admitted that this was largely because he couldn't see any circumstance where Dark Phoenix!Harry didn't kill him. However, the Karma Houdini Warranty kicks in during chapter 32, when Harry pays him back for everything he's done by, since he's now a full vampire, removing his arms and decapitating him.
  • Kick the Dog: Voldemort spends pretty much his entire appearance in chapter 2 doing this or winding up to do so.
  • Kid with the Leash: Carol's perceived role in regards to Harry post Forever Red, particularly in the eyes of Peter Wisdom. In reality, she's his Morality Chain - though considering what he's demonstrated to be capable of on her behalf, there may be an element of truth in it.
  • Kill the God: It's revealed in chapter 54 that Strange enacted his genocide of the Red Court by killing their originator deity, the Mayan bat god Camazotz.
  • Knee-capping: What Syrus intends to do to Stevie, a thirteen year old boy, in chapter 30, apparently out of sheer spite - and moreover, he intends to use a MAC-10 machine pistol to do it. He gets the crap kicked out of him for his pains.
  • Lady and Knight: Harry and Carol evolve this dynamic, with the two alternating between the roles (though truthfully, Harry takes more of the Knight's role), and fitting the more modern version of the trope as Back-to-Back Badasses (and a nascent Battle Couple).
  • The Last Dance: This book, and the first book, are Strange's, and it becomes more and more obvious that his time is coming as he starts spending far more time around the heroes to micromanage matters, making mistakes that he can't fix, becoming more and more ruthless, and less and less patient.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: There are things under this section that are pretty hefty spoilers for the first Book.
  • The Leader:
    • Steve, naturally. He's also the Supporting Leader as, though not the chief protagonist, he is the one the forces of good tend to turn to.
    • Thor, who serves as the Team Dad to the Avengers, and also as The Mentor to all of the younger generation at one point or another.
    • Carol, who tends to take command of the younger generation in the field, as she's acknowledged by all of them to be by far the best tactician (Harry's plans are Crazy Awesome, but tend to lean towards the crazy part).
    • Harry, meanwhile, is the one the younger generation all tend to listen to anyway, with Carol playing Supporting Leader to him.
    • Bucky has shades of this, when required - in Bloody Hell, he effortlessly takes command of the situation, and literally everyone snaps to. Later on, he also demonstrates the parade ground roar that, as Sergeant Barnes of the 107th Infantry, he used during the War.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Strange says that Prince Arthur had evil magical practitioners trying to kill him on a weekly basis. Since Merlin (2008) had a Monster of the Week format...
    • Harry notes in chapter 40 how each of his previous experiences with Voldemort had been once a year.
    • Bucky's line in chapter 46 regarding the The Big Damn Kiss between Harry and Carol is very much echoed by the fandom.
  • Leave Him to Me: Dracula says this about Harry, though only after Harry has repeatedly played Spanner in the Works, and he's got Carol, who he hands off to his Co-Dragons before turning to Harry. Unlike most examples, Harry is the one who gets his arse very thoroughly kicked.
  • Les Yay: In-Universe, Carol notes that Diana has 'got an eyeful' of her once or twice, and Harry becomes a Shipper on Deck for Diana and Ginny.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Harry, when finally pushed to his limit in chapter 2 by Voldemort.
      "All right, Voldemort. If this is the way you want it... Time for Round Two."
    • In Chapter 10, Thor makes a mental note how he's not holding back with the Red Room, since them kidnapping Harry and Carol crossed a serious line.
    • Harry when he snaps in chapter 15 and goes Dark Phoenix. Cue the usual remark.
      I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
    • Dracula, after Harry's thrown his best shots at him and seems on the point of victory.
    • In Chapter 65, Dumbledore cuts loose with the full power at his disposal in order to fight against the entity from the Fallen Fortress that is possessing Hermione's body.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Dracula in Chapter 31, in the midst of Tranquil Fury, after a minion has summarised how his plans to capture Carol have failed so far.
  • Liar Revealed: In chapter 66, Hermione figures out that she's Wanda's daughter, and since she'd just gone through some seriously traumatic experiences, involving unwanted Chaos Magic and an unexpected Omega Class X-Gene (specific power: spatial manipulation), she is not happy. Especially considering the number of people she trusted who lied to her.
  • Life Isn't Fair: Harry remains firmly convinced of/resigned to this. In chapter 35, he evolves into a Knight of Faith, observing that no, life isn't fair - and therefore he should try and make it so.
  • Light 'em Up: There's the Patronus charm, naturally. Apart from that, Harry and Magneto are notably capable of this, the former via magic, the latter via manipulating electromagnetic energy (meaning he can manipulate light, and teaches Harry how to do so rather than just generating it). This culminates in a spectacular moment in chapter 58 when, with Magneto's help, Harry manages to channel a vast amount of reflected sunlight into a beam of energy that flows into him, and then, modulated by him to manageable levels, into Clark to give him a super-charge, saving his life.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • The Red Son's power glows brightly, and he earns comparisons to an angel - specifically, Lucifer.
    • Additionally, the Dark Phoenix, whether it's Harry or Surtur, is the epitome of Life and Fire... and is also the corrupted form of the Phoenix and a bona fide nightmare, even when it's just in its 'Dark Fledgling' state.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Harry's relationship with Diana, Ginny, and Hermione follows these lines. Technically, so does his with Maddie and Jean, especially given that they're his cousins (and Jean big sisters him into oblivion) but his hormones sometimes have other opinions.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Wanda is much more like her father than she wants to admit, right down to the ruthlessness, sense of showmanship, reputation, and temper that verges on cataclysmic when loved ones are threatened. And then there's what she does to Essex - or rather, a a clone - when she catches up to him, after he remarks that she's turning out very like her father. At first, she furiously denies it, before deciding that no, she is like her father. And she might as well demonstrate it. Cue Body Horror.
    • While hints were shown in the previous book, Hermione starts looking and acting more and more like Wanda in Ghosts, to the point where Harry starts picking up on it. Additionally, once he realises that she's Wanda's daughter, he also notes 'a tone of detached ruthlessness' that wouldn't have been out of place coming from Magneto.
    • Played for Laughs in chapter 49 when Carol's friend Monica notes that while Harry doesn't immediately look like his father, he gets one part from him: his ass, which "is literally divine". Cue Harry and Carol's utter mortification.
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Carol is usually this to Harry, following the events of Forever Red, though sometimes the roles flip. This also tends to mean that Carol effectively has the most dangerous teenager in the known universe on a leash, which does not go unnoticed by the likes of Peter Wisdom (though as Betsy notes, Wisdom's interest in Harry and Carol's relationship extends exactly as far as how it affects Harry's mental state and no further).
    • It's also why Harry expresses wariness at the idea of the two of them getting together, stating that if they do, he doesn't want it to be just about him using her as this to keep his mind in one piece.
  • Living Shadow: During the Forever Red arc, Strange's shadow starts taking on strange shapes - in fact, multiple shadows in his general vicinity start warping and shifting in profoundly disturbing ways when his Berserk Button is pressed, combined with Glowing Eyes of Doom and, when facing Essex, a Slasher Smile. It's indicative of the fact that he is, as Dresden puts it, 'not overly burdened with sanity.'
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Harry's Hogwarts friends are left entirely in the dark of the events of the Forever Red arc, and this, with Harry's reluctance to talk about it, causes friction afterwards. And when he does eventually come clean, his somewhat incomplete explanations don't help matters. More generally, he's a Secret Keeper and not particularly inclined to talk about even the things he can share. Since this involves keeping the truth about Hermione's heritage, among other things, it leads to trouble in chapter 66 when Hermione figures it out - the fact that Harry refused to apologise did not help.
    • Stevie and Joe Jr. don't have the full scoop on what Carol's been up to, and the former confronts Carol over this (although he has a pretty good idea nonetheless).
  • Looming Silhouette of Rage: Strange pulls this on Essex in chapter 14, with a fully fledged Slasher Smile that shows just how much he's going to enjoy making Essex suffer.
  • Loon with a Heart of Gold: Luna remains this as Delirium, having become the personification of, well, delirium.
  • Lovable Jock: Harry, technically, though he's not Seeker thanks to a lack of Quidditch (and was planning to quit the team anyway, on the grounds that his reflexive telekinesis means that he'd have a rather unfair advantage...), but as a very reluctant Triwizard Champion, he still qualifies on the 'jock' part. The 'lovable' part varies.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Potentially. Love, specifically, of Carol is just about the only reason that Harry would willingly unleash the Dark Phoenix again, or threaten to do so - if she'd died during Bloody Hell, he'd have threatened the Council Elite to bring her back on pain of his doing so via the Dark Phoenix if they didn't.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In chapter 32, Harry pulls this on a speechifying vampire with two cold words, the choice of which was likely entirely intentional.
  • Lying To Protect Their Feelings:
    • Harry once he figures out Hermione's heritage, and almost everyone else who knows/figures it out, though mainly at Wanda's behest (because she wants a clean break/to keep Hermione as far away from the burdens of being related to her as possible). When Hermione figures it out, the excrement hits the fan. Especially because while Harry regrets keeping secrets, he isn't exactly apologetic, either...
    • There's also the small matter of keeping Bucky's heritage from Ron, which is potentially a much bigger problem.
  • MacGuffin Super Person:
    • Harry, again - most people want to control him or kill him, to his endless irritation.
    • Carol becomes this during the Bloody Hell arc, being sought after by Dracula.
    • Clark, in turn, becomes this in the Mirror Image arc, being slowly drained by Reynolds a.k.a. the Parasite/Void.
  • The Madness Place: Doctor Strange seems to have set up home here in the Forever Red arc, and has undertones of it throughout all of his appearances. He gets better afterwards.
  • Made of Iron: Voldemort's become so powerful by the climax of Bloody Hell that he's able to shrug off Magneto doing his best to kill him slowly and horribly by ripping the iron from his blood (as is noted, it's not exactly efficient - Magneto wants him to suffer) and Dresden shooting him in the head from point blank range with a .44 Magnum revolver. Three times.
  • Magic Music: Professor Gwion Bach a.k.a. Doctor Strange is a new addition to the Hogwarts faculty and teaches a class about this. The main basic point is that Magic Music is only really an extension of basic ideas about magic ('chant' and 'enchant' come from the same etymological root) and of spell-casting, which shapes magic to the caster's will via rhythm and commands. While short incantations are quick, easy, and relatively customisable, they're also limited and you can only do one thing at a time. With songs, you can weave multiple spells into one casting, doing multiple things at once, especially if you're playing an instrument and singing, and/or more than one person is involved. At the very least, you can make it much more refined and precise.
  • Magnetic Hero: Harry, as ever, though Carol has elements of this too, which she gets from Steve - who, naturally, takes it to whole new levels.
  • Make an Example of Them: Lukin has the Red Son do this to Volodya's troops, and when Volodya bitterly says that he didn't have to do it, Lukin replies that he did and this trope is why.
  • Make-Out Kids: Harry and Carol are implied to become a relatively restrained version of this after chapter 46. Or at least, 'relatively' in the sense that they abide by the restrictions to keep at least one layer of clothing on at all times. However, according to a mischievous Lex in chapter 56, they Rules Lawyer that particular restriction masterfully. You see, no one ever said it had to be one layer of clothing each... after one memorable incident where they get caught by Steve of all people, Harry is banned from having his door entirely shut when Carol is in the Mansion.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Wanda. Oh dear lord, Wanda. You really shouldn't hurt her godson. If you do, she will quite literally melt you down into traumatised, screaming atoms.
    • Alison Carter also qualifies - when her son, Jack O'Neill, was captured and tortured during Desert Storm, she personally led the team that rescued him. When Carol is kidnapped, she helps lead the rescue mission. When she finds out about her son-in-law trying to convince Harry to mentally alter Carol, she nearly breaks his arm to make him confess (with one hand, while sitting down and drinking tea), then uses her influence to have him promoted to a job out of state away from his family, all while warning what she'll do if he doesn't do as he's told.
      • Her daughter Marie, Carol's mother, is implied to be no different - for one thing, Alison explicitly states that the above punishment is considerably more merciful than what Marie would have done if she'd found out first...
    • Lily, as per usual, though she has to be a bit more indirect this time.
    • Played With in Natasha's case: though she's obviously angered by Belova's molesting of Harry right in front of her, she recognises the ploy for what it is and instead files it away as something to be dealt with later (and then brutally curbstomps Belova). Carol even later uses it as an example of why she's really not one to critique Carol's response to the same thing, and Natasha non-verbally concedes the point.
  • Mana Potion: Reynolds successfully invents one, created from the Life Energy of those he drains - primarily, Clark. The tragic part is that he originally intended to create it from raw magic and use it to heal people. Unfortunately, he ended up Drunk on the Dark Side trying to make it work.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Vivian Lake turns out to be this for Jason Woodrue a.k.a. the Green Man (or as Deadpool dubs him, 'plant guy') and his 'Patches' gang and suped up berserker mooks in Unfinished Business.
  • Man Bites Man: Clark of all people, resorts to this in chapter 58 when fighting Reynolds, with Harry noting (proudly) that for all his genuine good nature and nobility, when you get down to it, Clark is a vicious in-fighter. Another benefit is that, since he's Kryptonian, he can avoid the disadvantages of this trope.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Harry's unfortunate tendencies towards this remain from canon, though with a little more justification - here, he's got Resurrective Immortality (though it has unfortunate side-effects on the Leaking Can of Evil).
  • Mask of Sanity: Belova's is a thin one. Lukin's is much thicker, until it starts fraying under the strain of his egomania.
  • Mating Dance: Downplayed for the Yule Ball - Harry and Carol have an up close and sexy dance, the Mambo (a more restrained relative of the Tango) but not quite as overtly sexual as most examples of this trope. This was intentional by the author, who explained that considering their ages, taking it further would be entering Squick territory.
  • Mechanical Abomination: Essex creates one heavily implied to be based on the Pegasus Replicators, resulting in this 'verse's version of the Transmode Techno-Organic Virus.
  • Megaton Punch:
    • Harry, thanks to channelling his telekinesis through his body, to Dudley a.k.a. the Blob, and very well deserved it is too.
    • Thor, to the same person, burying him halfway into a mountain. He also inwardly notes that he was actually holding back.
    • Clark, once fully charged, delivers several to Reynolds a.k.a. the Void. Harry is notably impressed.
  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: Several. Most examples relate to Forever Red, and with good reason.
    • For Harry, everything after Forever Red is part of this, with multiple demonstrations that it is not linear - as in, his recovery has definite hiccups, most aptly demonstrated in chapter 60. It doesn't help that most of the Forever Red memories were initially locked away (justifiably, as he just couldn't deal with them at the time), and he accessed them around chapter 42 out of necessity.
    • Maddie, also after Forever Red, though mostly for traumas that took place before it than during it - for her, that particular arc was both her proper introduction and her triumphant Heel–Face Turn, if at serious cost.
    • Carol has elements of this dotted throughout her appearances - in the first chapter, Harry provides psychic therapy for nightmares related to the events of the first book, and after Bloody Hell, when she's recovering from her Near-Death Experience.
  • Mentor's New Hope: As Wanda was this for Strange, being lined up as his Redeeming Replacement, Harry is also this to him, as he hopes Harry will succeed where he has failed - not just with every apprentice bar Wanda, but in successfully defeating Thanos.
  • Me's a Crowd: Sinister not only has multiple clone bodies as backup, but can operate several at once - it's how he can appear in so many places at once, and heavily implied to be how he survived Wanda's attack.
  • Messy Hair: Harry, as usual. It's chronic, and frequently affectionately ruffled.
  • Mind over Manners:
    • One of the most horrifying parts of chapter 2 is Voldemort's demonstration of what a complete lack psychic ethics can be like and Harry having to give up his fanatical devotion to said ethics and Mind Rape the Death Eaters into mindless People Puppets to protect his friends isn't far behind.
    • Sinister completely disregards this, and taught Maddie/Rachel to do the same, to the extent that she genuinely doesn't realise that other people are bothered by this (and, post Heel–Face Turn, has some difficulty learning psychic ethics, simply because it's a concept she's never come across). It's part of what makes them so very dangerous.
    • Chapters 7 through, to an extent, 20, underline just how horrifying a lack of this can be.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Voldemort. Frequently.
    • Harry, directly to the five Death Eaters left under Voldemort's control and indirectly to every single living person with a Dark Mark. Being his Godzilla Threshold, it leaves him literally retching.
    • Harry, at length, at the hands of the Red Room and Sinister as they try to turn him into the Red Son. Then Maddie fakes a major version of this, pretending to erase his mind but actually hiding it, allowing the Red Room to program the empty shell as part of her plan to save Harry. However, they're separated for months, relatively speaking, meaning that when Harry's mind returns to its body he's effectively mind raped by the memories of what the Red Son was used for. The shock is so bad that Harry responds by going full Dark Phoenix.
    • Harry pulls this on Syrus in Bloody Hell, as it's the only viable tactic he has available. Since the individual in question is a vampire and an Asshole Victim, no one's overly bothered.
    • The Elder Wyrm is prone to doing this to anyone who stumbles across him, in his sleep. It's how he ended up with his Wights.
    • The spiritual entity that inhabits the Fallen Fortress lives and breathes this trope, being a sentient Psychological Torment Zone.
  • Mirthless Laughter: Both Harry and Carol tend to laugh mirthlessly when in a bitter mood, usually accompanied by biting sarcasm, often self-deprecating. With Harry in particular, it tends to relate to memories of the Dark Phoenix. In both cases, most people consider it Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour.
  • Mister Exposition:
    • Draco offers his services as this in chapter 7, on the grounds that of all the kids present (the Weasleys aren't around) he knows the most about Diagon Alley and its environs.
    • In the same chapter, Mister Ollivander does his usual bit about wand-lore, delving a little further into the meanings of Harry's wand and his mother's, and about the implications of Harry's connection to the Phoenix.
    • Odin and Doctor Strange both do this in chapters 19 and 20, with Wanda throwing in a note or two as well.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: in the sequel, Harry tries a number of methods of avoiding girls under mistletoe in the run-up to the Yule Ball, and eventually gets desperate enough to try this with a trunk, so he can hide in plain sight if needs be. Plus, no one's going to try and kiss a trunk. It actually works, more or less, until Trevor (Neville's toad) makes a bid for freedom... near a window... just as Harry turns around suddenly.
  • Mob War: The plot of Unfinished Business turns out to be driven by a gang war erupting in New Orleans between the existing crime families and a new group led by Jason Woodrue and an unnamed benefactor.
  • The Mole: Gambit is Natasha's mole in the Red Room.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Harry, after his return to Hogwarts with a Hair-Trigger Temper and a much scarier demeanour, as well as a bodyguard whose job seems to be as much to protect other students from his charge as anything else, all of which genuinely - and understandably - scares many of his fellow students. However, he's actually suffering a horrible case of PTSD and retains his heart of gold, which re-emerges over time, partly with the help of Cedric Diggory, who reached out to him.
  • Mood-Swinger:
    • Strange, during the Forever Red arc when he seems to have lost his few remaining marbles. One moment, he's cheerfully and harmlessly loopy. The next... you can see why he's The Dreaded.
    • Ron notes Harry's inclination towards this after the aforementioned arc and its associated brutal Trauma Conga Line, pointing out to Diana that Harry's sudden chirpy mood worries him because when his mood suddenly goes up, then like a broomstick, it is usually about to go very suddenly downwards.
  • Mook Carryover: Dudley/The Beast is brought back into the story in the employ of the Red Room. After fleeing their downfall, he's somehow caught by Voldemort, who then hands him over to Dracula to turn into vampire, as a peace offering - though Dracula suspects that there's a sting in the tail, somewhere. Whatever that was, it becomes a moot point when Harry dismembers him - though that may or may not have been why Voldemort threw him into the mix in the first place.
  • Morality Chain: Carol serves as this to Harry after Forever Red, which considering their connection (literal and figurative) is not especially surprising. The fact that Bucky also serves as this, on the other hand, is - though since Bucky has the shared experience thing to call upon, perhaps less so. Either way, they're among the few people who can reliably talk Harry down when he's right on the edge, and Carol's death is the one circumstance under which Harry would be willing to unleash the Dark Phoenix again.
  • Mordor: The vision that Odin has of Muspelheim shows it to be this — oceans of ash-grey water, plains of obsidian rock, and forests of stone and steel, all surrounding a city built around Surtur's citadel. And it's all utterly devoid of life except that which is bound to Surtur's will.
  • More Than Mind Control: The essence of Sinister's hold over Maddie, which makes it so hard to dislodge. But once it is...
  • More than Three Dimensions: The Spirit of the Fallen Fortress, being a minor Eldritch Abomination, enjoys playing with physics in its domain. When it possesses Hermione and unleashes her full reality-warping potential as a wielder of Chaos Magic and an Omega Class space-manipulating mutant filtered through its own sadism, the result is the kind of fractal based physics warping that requires either multiple PhDs or some serious drugs to understand. Then it goes full Escher.
  • Morph Weapon: Laevateinn. It used to be a wand, and before that, it was a sword, and now... it's pretending to be an entirely ordinary phoenix feather, something it's good enough at to fool Odin (but not Strange, who knows exactly what it is) for a millennium and a half. Precisely why it's doing this is unclear, but it's heavily hinted to be sentient, so it probably has its own agenda.
  • Moses In The Bull Rushes: Clark, of course, being a teenage Superman. Though as Alison reveals, it was a little more organised than most realise...
    • Doctor Strange, astonishingly. His mother set him adrift in a hastily enchanted basket when the forces of Camelot slaughtered their people, before being killed herself. Ironically, he was found and raised by a fisherman who lived in Camelot and was taught magic by Uther's Court Physician, Gaius, and Gaius' student, Merlin.
  • Motive Rant: Harry gives a pretty good one in chapter 28 after once again being selected for the Triwizard Tournament, riffing off the Twelfth Doctor, explaining in furious tones just why he takes a lot of the crap that he goes through, and why he's furious about being dragged into this. Even with his most horrific adventures, he's usually chosen to get into trouble in order to help others and accepts it as the price he has to pay. However, he was forced into the Triwizard against his will, and furthermore, it's not for some grand purpose — just fame, riches, and glory, all of which he has more than enough of already.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Harry's mouth sometimes just runs on, and on, and on, and much of it is snark. He frequently uses it as a coping mechanism, for Casual Danger Dialogue, and as a distraction. In chapter 65, he lampshades it when talking to a spirit that's taken the form of his Evil Twin (and in doing so picked up a few of his memories and mannerisms), pointing out that he tends to talk when he reckons he's got the advantage and bluff on a bad hand.
    • And, of course, Peter Parker, who's uncharacteristically silent for most of his first appearances... then starts gabbling away in chapter 32. Harry, meanwhile, reflects that while most would wonder how Peter could talk so much, a telepath would be able to explain that the real miracle was that he didn't talk even more.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: There are several.
    • Harry, as in canon, has Wrath as his main flaw, though by the sequel he's a bit too Machiavellian and comfortable with Lying for anyone's comfort. Oh, and he's stubborn as hell. Plus, after Forever Red, he's a bit Rude and Cynical. However, he is kind-hearted, noble, and always trying to be better - he's The Hero for a reason.
    • Carol's is also Wrath, an aspect in which they're Birds of a Feather. She's also one of the few people who's even more stubborn than he is. She's also frequently Harry's Morality Chain, and sometimes even The Heart for the younger characters, as she has one of the most consistent moral codes.
    • Doctor Strange is the arch-manipulator of the story, though it vies with Pride for his main sin (he can and will showboat) - something not helped by the fact that he really is that good. He's made more sympathetic by the fact that he's a Broken Ace and bitterly aware of his own flaws, what he has become, and considers himself a Necessary Evil at best.
  • The Multiverse: Harry gets a glimpse of it in Chapter 41, seeing various versions of himself from across different universes.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • According to Harry, one of the Twelve Uses for Dragon's Blood discovered by Dumbledore is as an oven cleaner. Also a case of Awesome, but Impractical, however, as it's too expensive to be used for that purpose on a regular basis.
    • Harry's Asgardian muscle memory is, apparently, not only good for rapidly picking up combat skills, but also learning how to dance. Likewise, his telepathy is also very good for sharing those skills with his dance partner.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here:
    • Wanda's internal monologue in chapter 10 indicates that she had to deal with this from a bunch of Otaku in Japan who accidentally summoned a bunch of especially tentacled demons. This, along with a lot of magically impervious slime, is one of a number of things that left her in a particularly bad mood.
    • Carol snarks about this around Ron, in chapter 34, to his mortal embarrassment.
  • My Greatest Failure: It's revealed that the reason Strange is so determined to never fail to help people is because he was too late and missed the Battle of Camlann, and his King and his mentor, Arthur and Merlin, paid for it. It also explains why arriving too late to save Maddie/Rachel drove him halfway insane.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Harry and Maddie's psychic duel has this effect, as does the manifestation of the Dark Phoenix. "Tingling," however, is something of an understatement.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Harry notes Ron's attitude in this respect as the reason for keeping Ron out of his Shipper on Deck antics regarding Ginny and Diana.
  • Mystery Cult: The Askani are consistently described as a 'weird, but mostly harmless' mixture of this and a Breeding Cult - no one's entirely sure what they actually want. Their main consistent objective seems to be maintaining their bloodlines, scouting for new members/input into those bloodlines (they happily taught and tried to recruit Charles Xavier, but they had a few ideological differences that led to his leaving), and being left alone.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Carol's swimsuit in the first chapter has the same design as her comic book counterpart's most famous costume. It also gets a bit meta when you take into account that the author has frequently called said costume a swimsuit.
    • In Chapter 3, Diana is shown wearing blue shorts and a red shirt, the same colour design as Wonder Woman's iconic outfit.
    • In Chapter 4, Wanda claims that if whatever caused Harry to have to stay with the Dursleys comes after her godson again, she will reduce it to "screaming, traumatized atoms". Jean Grey once made that threat against a group who were threatening her students in the comics. Unlike Jean, Wanda proves that it's Not Hyperbole.
    • In Chapter 6, when Harry asks what Logan teaches at the Institute, he responds with "Art."
    • In chapter 8, an enraged Dudley screams a variation on Superboy-Prime's infamous line, "I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL KILL YOU TO DEATH!"
    • Harry's appearance in that chapter heavily resembles first the New 52 version of Superboy, then, with the No Shirt, Long Jacket thing, Nate Grey. Then in Chapter 41, he meets an Alternate Universe version of himself who calls himself Nathan, before using the alias himself in chapter 56.
    • Steve notes that an old friend of his likes to say that he's the best there is at what he does, even if it's not very nice.
    • When discovering her half-sister, Wanda mutters, "by the hoary hosts of fucking Hoggoth." Minus the Precision F-Strike, this is a phrase often used by her mentor.
    • As a bit of playful teasing at Jean's denial about her feelings for Scott, Maddie half-jokingly asks Jean if she can have him. In the comics, Maddie and Scott were an item during one of the times Jean was dead.
    • Dresden and Ebenezar's discussion on the White Council's Laws of Magic and their purpose echoes the one that canon Dresden had with Luccio in Turn Coat.
    • It's implied that the force that hid Sinister from Strange's Sight was either Kang the Conqueror or Apocalypse, both of whom are implied to be amongst the enemies Strange fights in his 'time war.'
    • In chapter 27, Harry threatens to make anyone who tries to put his name in the Goblet of Fire spend the rest of their lives thinking they are a five year old girl. And when Hermione questions this, he claims that he would ask Ginny to braid their hair.
    • The following chapter has him enter the room where the other Triwizard champions are waiting, and think that in another life, he might've been impressed by them. Indeed, in another life, he was.
    • When launching an attack on Avengers Mansion, Dracula sends in his lower-ranked minions alone, stating that "in chess, the pawns go first".
    • While being possessed by Dracula, Peter Parker is described as clinging to the wall of Avengers Mansion like a spider, a none-too-subtle reference to his canon counterpart.
    • Wanda's comment about street-dancing Mindless Ones is a reference to something that happened in Nextwave (which required a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer from the author to confirm that it was a reference, not just a ludicrous joke).
    • The inscriptions on Curtana's blade ("For justice take me up. In mercy cast me away. I am Curtana. Wield me wisely.") resemble those of Excalibur, which, according to some myths, had "take me up" engraved on one side, and "cast me away" engraved on the other. Considering the intentional Arthurian name that Harry gave it, the following discussion of the Arthurian symbolism, and the fact that Doctor Strange (who, as Taliesin, grew up in Camelot, was Merlin's apprentice, and later Court Physician and Bard to Arthur Pendragon himself) had a very large hand in it indicates that it was, In-Universe, very much intentional.
    • Jesus' praise of Harry for "doing what is right rather than what is easy" was originally said in canon by Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
    • Alison's amused comment to Clark that there's "already a Captain Marvel" references both the original Kree Captain Marvel (who's appeared already) and, in a more meta way, the title's most famous successor in the comics, her own granddaughter (though Carol shows no signs of adopting a codename).
    • After arriving in a strange, in-between dimension due to a unique confluence of circumstances, Harry is met by a Mentor figure who informs him when he asks about it that "this is your party." Sounds familiar. Since this mentor figure is another version of himself, it could well be that this was on purpose.
    • Carol and Diana's outfits when they attend the Yule Ball share colour designs with their canonical superhero costumes.
    • Gorakhnath refers to Strange's long game against Thanos as the Infinity War. Strange himself later refers to the threat posed by Thanos as "the endgame".
    • Clark Kent thinks that Bruce Wayne's "dark knight" persona is a bit much, possibly a subtle nod to the occasional dissension between their canon counterparts.
    • Much of Clark's rescue of Lois Lane and the crashing plane comes from a mixture of Superman and Superman Returns.
    • Odin references his canon self's line from Thor: Ragnarok while giving Harry a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech in chapter 60.
    • Chapter 64 has Harry knock Hermione's astral form out of her body, the same way the Ancient One did with Strange in Doctor Strange (2016) and Banner/the Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. However, it's partially accidental - while he was trying to use the technique, he was actually trying to knock the spirit possessing her out instead.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Harry, after the extremes he went to in order to beat the Death Eaters at the World Cup with his powers, and again after what he did as the Red Son.
  • Mythical Motifs: A couple of times.
    • Harry is generally associated The Phoenix, thanks to his occasional comparison to a bird of prey, his uncanny talent for Playing with Fire, and being known for rising from the ashes - both figuratively and literally. All in all, it's a little unsurprising that The Phoenix serves as his chief motif, being the new form of his Patronus and frequently appearing in his clothing (particularly if he taps into his Phoenix fragment).
    • Voldemort is increasingly associated with the Ouroboros, with all the usual serpentine imagery and pretensions to immortality - explicitly stating that he and Harry have both passed beyond the usual cycle of life and death - and using an infinity symbol when in disguise as Adam Black.
  • Naked People Are Funny: To Harry's annoyance, meeting with the Norns includes being magically stripped naked so that the visitor brings nothing false with them, literally or figuratively (though a robe is supplied - which is suggested to be a relatively new innovation). Mostly, he just finds it irritating - and laments that Carol will never let him hear the end of it.
    • In chapter 58, after being super-charged by Harry, Clark goes charging in to get even with the Arc Villain. As Harry notes, he is completely unaware that he's naked. Since Clark is flying, downwards, at speed, and isn't very good at it, he ends up sticking out of a crater with his ass in the air, which Harry pauses to mock him for.
  • Narnia Time: Time in the Red Room headquarters moves at an accelerated rate compared to the outside world, with an average of the equivalent of three days passing inside for every one elsewhere. This is later explained as it being in the Nevernever - and when it moves deeper into the Nevernever, the disparity increases to two weeks in the real world to six months in the Nevernever, with the observation that it could have been much worse.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: The trope is zig-zagged, with the answer coming out somewhere in between. Some personality traits seem to be In the Blood (Harry being Hot-Blooded, for instance, and Hermione's 'tone of detached ruthlessness' that Harry notes sounds exactly like her grandfather, Magneto). However, upbringing is strongly emphasised in the classical case of Clark Kent, and in the two examples where characters are Split at Birth ( Jean and Maddie, and Scott and Remy - though Remy's a clone) it's made clear that there are definite and fundamental personality differences that come from their respective upbringings.
  • Necessarily Evil: What Hermione and the White Council consider the execution of wandless Warlocks to be, pointing out just how incredibly dangerous dark magic, wandless dark magic in particular, is. Jean-Paul agrees, as does Harry (commenting that people go from 'best intentions' to 'Jack the Ripper' horrifyingly quickly), while Carol is more ambivalent.
    • Doctor Strange sees pretty much every aspect of his behaviour that isn't a simple Pet the Dog moment to be this, and is very emphatic on how he doesn't want anyone to turn out like him.
  • Nerves of Steel: Most of the Avengers, Harry and Carol too, though Alison Carter is a stand-out example of this, maintaining a Stiff Upper Lip throughout some ungodly chaos and horror.
    • In the case of Harry and Carol, it's discussed and indicated to be a result of all that they've been through, with Carol's relative lack of reaction to being kidnapped and threatened by Grey Court vampires being contrasted to the way that her little brother was in terrified tears. The latter is a normal reaction for a young teenager. The former is not.
    • Cedric Diggory, upon being kidnapped by the barrow wrights, notes that he's much less shocked than he ought to be, since he's pretty much used to Harry being a Doom Magnet and dragging in everyone else around him.
  • New Child Left Behind: The consequences of Steve being Carol's great-grandfather and the relationship between the two are further explored, both emotionally (in terms of Steve's response to his sudden extended family, particularly Carol, as well as his daughter/Carol's grandmother, Alison Carter), and more broadly, with the Bloody Hell arc hinging on the ramifications of it.
  • Nice Guy: Kurt, to the point where after escaping the Red Room physically unscathed, his immediate response is to worry about the others. Carol instantly takes a liking to him as a result.
    • Cedric Diggory, as per canon. As Strange remarks, he is a very decent young man, an assessment which Harry agrees with.
    • As usual, Steve Rogers and Clark Kent are very sweet and kind men. Unless you make them angry.
    • Jesus, unsurprisingly, with a kind attitude, bucket-loads of compassion, and a snarky sense of humour. The latter is implied to be Thor and Loki's fault.
    • Neville Longbottom is a generally sweet-natured young man, and this, combined with his quiet and somewhat nervous nature, leads many to underestimate him, even those who know him well, as Harry inwardly notes.
    • Harry at the start of the story and, eventually, after he manages to evolve past the worst of the trauma that the Red Room inflicted upon him (though he remains much more uncompromising towards those who would hurt innocents, especially people he cares for).
    • Clark Kent is one of the genuinely nicest people in the story, with a huge heart, an astounding capacity for compassion and an ability to Turn the Other Cheek that even the relatively jaded Harry finds both humbling and awe-inspiring, and, well... he may still be growing into it, and have an occasionally pointed wit, but he's Superman. And The Cutie, funnily enough.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Russian President, 'Volodya', is mentioned as being an ex-KGB officer bent on restoring Russian prestige by slow, steady, and pragmatic means (which means that he is not pleased by the Red Room's antics). While he's not stated to be Vladimir Putin, he is very obviously Putin, right down to the fact that Volodya is one of the familiar forms of Vladimir. Then he gets executed by Lukin, though not before he gives a good "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Harry's face off with Dracula is absolutely brutal, as Dracula spends the vast majority of the fight kicking the crap out of him. The second round, once it ends up in an actual fight, is more or less the same.
    • Magneto has to do this to the Red Son in order to get him to stop, though the trope is played with in that Magneto doesn't actually want to hurt him.
  • Non-Action Guy: Hermione is noted as being this by nature, while Ron is a more ambiguous case (he certainly was in the first book, but the second book suggests that after his father's death, he's much more inclined to get involved). This is tied to a certain innocence, real or perceived, that Harry wants to preserve, which is why he tries to keep them out of his adventures. This causes no small degree of trouble between the three of them, particularly Harry and Ron, not helped by the fact that Bucky unequivocally demonstrates that Ron isn't ready.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Harry winds up in this, thanks to slicing up the Red Room's containment suit. Carol mocks him mercilessly.
  • Not Afraid Of You Any More: Several examples.
    • Harry is, strikingly, much less fazed by Voldemort than before when they face each other again, because he's faced worse and won (though this doesn't mean he isn't afraid of what Voldemort might do to other people...). Additionally, he's long since left the last vestiges of fear of/grudging respect for Snape behind.
      • However, interestingly, running into Dudley again in Forever Red reactivates some real fear, largely because he's stripped of a lot of his powers and Dudley's now got serious powers, as a School Yard Bully All Grown Up and a fully fledged monster. That said, after the initial shock, he gets over it and mostly just gets angry, meaning that Dudley is lucky to survive the experience.
    • Maddie eventually gets this when facing Sinister for the first time with her psychic conditioning and triggers removed, meaning that he can no longer control her, quoting Robbie Burns and 'Invictus' to underline the point - she is no longer his slave, and she is the captain of her own soul. She might have emphasised the point with a beatdown, but Doctor Strange (who had his own score to settle) got there first.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: It's left unexplained what Loki said to Sabretooth to make him crack (and what illusions accompanied it), but considering that casual threats to use his nervous system to string a harp and play a symphony to the accompaniment of his screams hardly drew a batted eyelid, the fact that even SHIELD's best got nowhere, and that it's, well, Sabretooth...
    • In chapter 52, it's noted that the only thing scarier than the idea that Malekith is behind the mists that shroud Svartaflheim and clearly preparing for war against Asgard is the idea that someone else, with unknown abilities, motives, tactics, and aims, is behind it.
  • Nothing Personal: In Unfinished Business, Deadpool is just a professional doing his job, as he explains to Gambit. Well, given the person in question, this is for a given value of professional. Gambit seems to accede, calming Carol down... then uses her shield to take it very personally.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Wanda says in chapter 4 that she's going to find Sinister and render him down to "screaming, traumatized molecules", the narration notes that she's being literal. In Chapter 10, she follows through.
    • Apparently, Jean-Paul literally started drooling at the sight of his boyfriend Uhtred in an eyepatch. He argues that this was a justified reaction.
    • Wisdom similarly starts drooling in chapter 44 when Strange mentions that he used the Philosopher's Stone to transmute the newborn volcanic mountain in the Hogwarts lake, created by the Elder Wyrm, into a mixture of vibranium and mithril.
  • Not Me This Time: When telling the origins of Asgard, Strange mentions how Ván, the Sword of Hope, embedded itself into a tree - the focus for Yggdrasil - and would only let someone worthy wield it. When Thor asks suspiciously if Strange was responsible for that, Strange replies that while he was there, he was as confused as anyone else.
    • In the same chapter, Strange also states that he isn't responsible for setting Harry up to face Surtur, saying that while the latter is a threat, he has bigger fish to fry - like Thanos, for instance. Instead, he suspects that either the Phoenix or Yggdrasil itself is responsible.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: Harry retains the white lock in his fringe he got while being possessed by Chthon, and it's occasionally remarked upon as rather odd and distinctive. He also gets captured, tortured, and his Empty Shell body is reprogrammed by the Red Room as a superpowered assassin in the vein of the Winter Soldier, a Trauma Conga Line that leaves him with vastly increased combat skills, fluency in Russian (among other languages), and a truly horrifying case of PTSD, which months later, he has yet to totally recover from.
  • Not So Different: Wanda states that Wisdom reminds her of Magneto before he "went soft." She also increasingly starts to wonder this of herself and her father, especially after she melts Sinister alive in chapter 10. He undeniably deserved it and it didn't keep him down for long, but it's a tactic straight out of her father's playbook, and when she did it, she explicitly stated that she was acting like her father.
    • As for Harry, aside from the canon examples of Voldemort (added to with their shared Psychic Powers and apparent immortality) and Snape, he's noted to be worryingly like the old, bad Magneto or pre Heel–Face Turn Loki when he gets in a real, dark rage, something that both Magneto and Loki themselves notice. Oddly enough, though, this applies most to Doctor Strange a.k.a. Taliesin. Let's break it down:
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Council Elite of Skyfathers. It's rarely called, and the participants seem to spend most of their time arguing.
    • The White Council is a bit better about this, particularly the Senior Council, and they're more unambiguously good (though they aren't exactly nice...)
  • Not with Them for the Money: Like canon, Ron is a platonic example with Harry, who's got more money than he knows what to do with, while Ron dislikes charity.
  • Oddly Common Rarity: Omega Class beings. However, it's pointed out that Omega is quite a vague classification, which is discussed In-Universe - the power ranking was decided before humanity really began encountering planet buster level beings, let alone greater. It is therefore increasingly seen as outdated In-Universe. That being said, it's largely confined to Greater Gods (e.g. Thor, Loki, Hercules) and Skyfathers (e.g. Odin, Zeus, etc), with human Omegas usually gaining at least part of their power from an outside source (e.g. the Hulk, the Juggernaut, the Sorcerer/Sorceress Supreme, Xavier via Cerebro).
    • It's also pointed out that for natural born Omega Class beings (usually mutants), the birth-rate is about 1 in a Billion, and might even be less than that owing to the fact that that kind of power tends to run in families; e.g. Magneto, Wanda, and possibly Hermione, and Harry, Jean, and Maddie/Rachel.
    • Chapter 10 elaborates on this at the start, observing that with the exception of various Greater Gods and the Sorcerer/Sorceress Supreme (or others empowered by outside influence), the only currently known pre-modern all-human Omegas were Merlin - and given that he was Born of Magic, there's a question of the 'natural' part. In other words, natural born human Omega class beings are something very new.
  • Official Kiss: Between Harry and Carol in chapter 46. The general reaction is 'about damn time'.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • When Strange arrives at the end of chapter 2, it's apparently right after fighting off an attempted invasion of Earth by Dormammu. As in, he's scorched and his clothing is still smoking.
    • Wanda and Dresden were involved in fighting off a bunch of especially tentacular demons in Japan, after a bunch of Otaku used the wrong book of magic in the wrong place at the wrong time. The results were, apparently, very messy, as were Dresden's unspeakable jokes about sushi and Japanese pornography. It also, apparently, resulted in a lot of gunk in Wanda's hair, much to her displeasure.
    • Thor and Steve march into the Kremlin, terrify Volodya, and demand Harry back, Lukin and/or Essex's heads on a platter, and the Red Room shut down, not necessarily in that order.
    • Several of the fights in the climax of the Forever Red arc are so one-sided that they're just skipped over. Natasha vs Belova round II, for instance, after Belova pushed Natasha's Berserk Button and received a calm yet utterly brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • On a smaller scale, so is a food fight in the Great Hall, which ends with Seamus Finnegan's eyebrows on fire (again), Pansy Parkinson being treated for a concussion from a hard-boiled egg, Colin Creevey stuck in the rafters, and a tidal wave of jam engulfing Fudge. Which was of course not Dumbledore's fault and he had absolutely nothing to do with it.
    • Most of Dead Beat is reduced to this, as Word of God noted that up until the end, it would be essentially the same as canon with a few minor changes.
    • Cedric, Krum, and Fleur's exploits during the First Task are skipped over until they are kidnapped by the barrow wrights.
    • In-between his two scenes in Chapter 52, Strange singlehandedly genocides the Red Court, in such a way that it also cures all of the half-turned victims as well by murdering their common ancestor and creator, Camazotz, the Mayan God of darkness and blood.
    • In Chapter 61, Sirius recounts to Harry a recent mission he was on with Remus and Constantine involving hunting down alchemists in Eastern Europe (whom Sirius suspects were influenced by Voldemort) who were using magical tattoos to turn people into hexenwolves.
  • Off with His Head!: Strange cuts off the top half of Sinister's head (one of them, anyway) to get at his brain, in order to track down his many, many clones.
  • Oh, Crap!: Naturally, everyone's reaction to the appearance of the Dark Mark and Voldemort announcing his return.
    • Harry has a moment of this when he realises that his old paediatrician, kindly Doctor Milbury was Sinister, the telepath who kept him at Privet Drive.
    • Everyone's reaction to Strange, for the only time in living memory, looking anything less than completely assured, and for the first time that they know of, being caught off-guard. The reaction to the possibility that he's finally snapped is similarly freaked out.
    • When the Red Room prisoners, led by Harry and Carol, are about to escape, and are confronted by Maddie. Noriko isn't especially fazed, thinking that it's just one person, and that they have the numbers, and probably power, advantage. Carol, by contrast, knows exactly what they're dealing with, and is consequently scared witless.
    • Sinister's reaction to first Maddie breaking free of his control, and then Strange showing up as a Looming Silhouette of Rage complete with Slasher Smile.
    • And then the biggest one of all in chapter 15 when Harry snaps and turns into the Dark Phoenix, complete with the classic Badass Boast.
      I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
      • It also remarked, 'whereupon, to put it in the simplest terms possible, the Gods and Goddesses (and Devils, Demons and other assorted entities of that ilk) of Earth completely and utterly lost their shit.'
    • The Council Elite, when they realise that Strange has used the Tesseract to kidnap the lot of them and whisk them away to the Rock of Eternity, without them even noticing, and they have another when he tells them that Thanos is coming.
    • Draco notes that if you can smell wood-smoke around Harry and see no sign of a fire, you should have this reaction.
    • Karkaroff gets one of these when he takes a good look at Peter Wisdom and realises exactly who he is, or rather, used to be. No one really twigs to it however, because as the narration observes, no one in their right mind would be particularly happy to have Peter Wisdom watching them in much the same way a shark does a particularly lethargic seal. Fudge gets one at around the same time when he sees MI13's helicarrier, far beyond anything magical he's ever heard of, and realizes just how outclassed the Ministry is.
    • Everyone's reaction when Wanda suddenly becomes the Sorceress Supreme and they realise the attendant implications.
    • Harry Dresden when he realizes that Voldemort had been tracking him, and had just murdered Grevane - with Dresden himself only being spared because Grevane had swiped the book that Dresden had found and Voldemort wanted before Voldemort got to him.
    • Dracula gets a good one when he smells woodsmoke as he is preparing the ritual, despite no wood-fire being anywhere nearby, as he knows exactly what it means. This is actually an exploited example, since Harry knows Dracula's history with the Phoenix and since he's been the Dark Phoenix, and fakes it exceptionally well as a distraction.
    • Harry gets a downplayed one when he sees Jesus onboard the train, driving him to psychically influence everyone else in the carriage to leave, something that it's noted he'd never do lightly, because of the dubiously ethical grounds on which such an act stands. This is not so much because of who it is, as why they might be present.
  • Older Than They Look: Asgardians as a matter of course, after they hit adulthood.
    • Courtesy of the super soldier serum she inherited in her blood, Alison looks in her forties despite being in her sixties, even with careful application of ageing make-up. Underneath, she looks closer to her late twenties, if that.
    • No one knows how old Sinister is, but he certainly doesn't look it. Mind you, he doesn't look entirely human unless he wants to, so...
    • No one has any idea how old Doctor Strange is either, other than that it's counted in centuries. He looks to be in his early forties, if that. Odin reckons that he was born around the same time as Thor and Loki, 1500 years before, and that with time travel, he's about Odin's own age. Actually, Strange himself stopped counting after he reached 100,000 years old and estimates it to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 500,000.
  • Ominous Fog: The Fallen Fortress initially appears to be full of this, against the logic of geography and weather, fully befitting its nature as an Eldritch Location. As it turns out, however, the mist is both sentient and maliciously homicidal.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • Surtur, the original Dark Phoenix, believes that the universe is flawed, and he can do better. Which can only happen after he destroys the existing universe.
    • Thanos is also referenced, and distinct from the above in that he has absolutely no illusions about what he is.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Each of the Avengers, Bucky, Harry, Wanda, and Strange, as per usual.
    • Each member of the Senior Council, to various extents, are this as well, as are at least some of the Wardens.
    • The Beast, Dudley, is incredibly difficult to take down without psychic powers or massive amounts of electricity. (Thor manages it fairly easily, but then, he's Thor).
    • Jean and Maddie are this trope thanks to their immense psychic powers, even without the latter wielding Mjolnir.
    • Wanda name-drops this trope in reference to Jared "Hellhound" Kincaid, describing him as 'the Winter Soldier of the supernatural world'.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Cedric Diggory, who in his recurring appearances tends to be the Straight Man to Harry's increasingly strange Wise Guy, the two bonding somewhat after Cedric inspires a Jerkass Realization in Harry (after his understandable bad attitude following Forever Red). This shows in a Funny Background Event in chapter 40 when Harry correctly deduces what the First Task is, then rambles on about what happened in the Chamber of Secrets, Basilisk and Teenage Voldemort and all - at the same time, Fleur and Krum shoot Cedric increasingly incredulous looks, and Cedric just sighs and nods, as if to say, 'yes, this actually happened'.
    • Ron also serves as this to Harry, noting incredulously in chapter 37 that Harry is actually seemingly unfazed by Dracula skewering him with his own sword and almost draining Carol (as it turns out, Harry was very much fazed by the latter and is carefully controlling his temper), and in general continually lampshading the ridiculous coincidences and bizarre events that make up his best friend's life.
    • Jean-Paul continues to serve as this to the younger generation in general, being one of the very few who doesn't at least get an adrenalin rush from battle, stating in the previous book's finale (after Carol notes that Uhtred has problems) that they all have problems. Instead, he prefers the quiet life.
    • Rhodey's status as the Only Sane Man in the first book was also lampshaded offhand by Harry, who notes that he usually looks like he needs a drink after having to describe something like how "my godmother's apprentice cut off the insane necromancer's arm, permanently this time."
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Whenever either Harry stops snarking, matters have gotten very serious.
    • This is part of what clues in Harry Thorson that his friends have been possessed by Voldemort.
    • The Avengers and co have a Mass "Oh, Crap!" when they realise that Strange is actually caught off-guard.
    • Dresden notes that he's seen Magneto angry before, but that was Tranquil Fury. When he sees Voldemort, however, he loses his temper completely.
    • If Charles Xavier is not being his usual patient, polite and charming self, it's because he's either seriously rattled or in a seriously bad mood, or both. In the case of the visit of Brother Smith of the Askani, it's the second, with shades of the first. When he interrogates Sinister, it's the second, and sufficient to cow him into compliance - and Sinister had previously shown sublime indifference to anyone but Doctor Strange, up to and including the Dark Phoenix.
    • Occasionally, Strange will straight-out say something, instead of his usual obfuscation, such as when he tells Wanda that he chose her as his successor because she's the best, not the other way around, or when he swears to back up Harry if necessary in chapter 44.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Has it Played for Drama when Maddie, whose social skills are somewhat lacking, picks a very unfortunate moment to tell Jean that her boyfriend is cheating on her (having just found out via her own Telepathy). Specifically, when said boyfriend was meeting her parents. Jean, unsurprisingly, blows up, having been under a lot of pressure to begin with, and ends up taking it out on Maddie, who is miserable because she didn't want to hurt Jean, was only trying to help, and is still afraid of being rejected.
  • Origins Episode: Chapter 20 serves as one for Doctor Strange, with him finally explaining just who he really is, and why he is the way he is, doing what he does.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: In addition to the Harry Potter canon of werewolves who are infected with bites and turn into wolves once a month (like Remus), the story also includes the Dresden Files concept of multiple different kinds of werewolves, such as those who are infected by curses rather than bites, those who can shift voluntarily, people who happen to have wolf spirits that grant them greater strength, and those who can change with the help of magical artifacts. On note about that last one (known as hexenwolves), in Chapter 61 Sirius reveals that he, Remus, and Constantine were recently hunting alchemists who had learned (implicitly from Voldemort) how to transfer the hexenwolf magic from belts to tattoos that bind the wolf spirit and ability to transform into the very bodies of the users.
  • Our Wights Are Different: Harry and the other champions encounter some during the First Task. They're mummified, animated corpses compelled to guard the caverns and tunnels under Hogwarts' lake, forcing anyone they catch to join their ranks, all at the behest of something much, much worse.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: This is one of the punishments inflicted upon Yelena Belova by Morpheus for her abuse specifically, sexual abuse of Harry-as-the-Red-Son. Apparently she ended up with them worn down almost to the bone. Given what she did, no one is overly sympathetic, especially as her victim was a child.
    • It's hinted to be prophetic, as said victim, Harry later has a horrific incident of this during a Shower of Angst, related to the sexual abuse he underwent at Belova's hands after he relives the incident. He wears through flannel, a brush, and most of a wire scrubbing pad before being stopped.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • Volodya, intending to shut down the Red Room, confronts Lukin with a small army, all equipped with psychic inhibitors to protect them from control. However, he didn't count on a brainwashed Harry being present and able to use his telekinesis to kill them all anyway.
    • Sinister is ultimately on the receiving end of this from Strange during Forever Red, after decades, if not centuries, of being able to evade him thanks to the aid of someone or something that shielded him Strange's Sight. While Strange is flying blind, he still eventually (barely) succeeds in freeing Harry and all the other prisoners from his grasp, as well as being behind the inducement of Sinister's most prized Living Weapon, Maddie/Rachel, to perform a Heel–Face Turn, and tracks Sinister down, looming behind him with a Slasher Smile and a menacingly purred Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. Unsurprisingly, Sinister's response is shock, horror, and denial, before Strange kills him. And to make matters worse, the Red Room is all but destroyed at the same time, and while he can usually rely on the Cloning Gambit, Strange has now literally hacked into the network behind it, being able to track down each and every one of the clones, with only one (in the Raft) and the original surviving.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Thor, as is demonstrated throughout the Forever Red arc.
    • Odin likewise, culminating in, in chapter 16, facing down the entire Council Elite of Skyfathers to protect Harry, in the full knowledge that he might well die in doing so.
    • Jor-El is a pacifist, but all but states outright that he is willing to die as long as his son gets the best chance to live, and live well.
  • Parental Substitute: Steve becomes this to Carol over time, starting in chapter 2, and by the time of chapter 60, at Pepper's prompting, he fully accepts that in every real sense he is her dad and starts doing more than just playing the part (her actual father having been demoted to Glorified Sperm Donor status for what he tried to arrange).
  • Parent-Child Team:
    • Harry and Thor team up on several occasions.
    • Alison and Jack O'Neill also serve as Back-to-Back Badasses during the Forever Red arc.
  • Parents as People: The Carter-Rogers-Danvers family is especially prone to this. Steve understandably took a while to come around to the idea of having a small clan of descendants, Alison was by her own account a much better spy than a mother and always assumed that both her children would follow her into service and wound up pushing her daughter away by pushing her too hard, and Mrs Marie Danvers tried everything to keep her daughter away from superpowered trouble after seeing what it did to her family, making said daughter resent her.
    • However, Steve does eventually come round and sincerely apologise and becomes a good if occasionally awkward Parental Substitute to Carol, fully embracing his role as de facto dad in chapter 60, Alison learnt from her mistakes to be a good grandmother, and Marie eventually conceded that she couldn't and wouldn't change her daughter (unlike her husband), and instead resolved to be proud of her.
  • Part-Time Hero: Most of the younger generation, for obvious reason: Uhtred and Diana embrace the heroic lifestyle but are still children, Carol is a little more equivocal and has school, and Harry is somewhere in the middle (his life revolves more about his heroic exploits, whether he likes it or not, because him and trouble go together). Clark and Jean-Paul are the most clear-cut cases - the former has Chronic Hero Syndrome crossed with a serious case of I Just Want to Be Normal (and even when he accepts that he isn't, prefers a relatively normal existence), and the latter only gets involved when matters are truly serious/he is genuinely needed. However, when he does, he doesn't hold back.
  • Pass the Popcorn: It becomes a Running Gag.
    • When Harry and Carol stumble into an awkward conversation about whether she finds him attractive, Jean-Paul zooms off and comes back with a bag of popcorn to enjoy it. The sheer audacity of that action causes all three to burst out laughing, breaking the tension.
    • When Harry is confronting his former bullies, Carol says she's content to sit back and enjoy the show, and asks if there's anyplace nearby where she can get some popcorn.
    • As Wanda confronts Strange over his Faking the Dead, Carol munches on popcorn again.
    • Strange spends most of the First Task eating popcorn. When he stops, everyone wise pays attention.
  • People Puppets: Voldemort enjoys this trick, using it on Pepper, Jane, Uhtred, Diana, the Twins and Carol, as well as the six Death Eaters he sends after the others. The latter actually works against him, since one person controlling six is notably less effective than those six operating on their own, and his casual allusion to how he does it clues Harry in to what's happening and allows him to override Voldemort's control, destroying the Death Eaters' minds in the process.
    • Harry is capable of this, which Ron denies in shock, when the above incident is brought up by the Twins. Hermione corrects him: it's not that Harry can't, it's that he won't. There's a very big difference.
    • Maddie also proves frighteningly subtle in her use of this, to the point that her victims - including Carol, who's been mind-controlled in the past - have no idea what's happening until the spell is broken by Harry, who warns her not to try it again. Interestingly, she doesn't actually know that it's wrong.
    • The Red Son is a recursive example, in that his powers allow him to do this (and this is one of his main uses), while he's technically one himself, for the Red Room.
    • A key point in Bloody Hell, as Grey Court vampires can control those they've sired, as Syrus does to Peter Parker, range dependent on how powerful the senior vampire is. And if they're Dracula, they can control more or less any Grey Court vampire, from hundreds of miles away, which Dracula uses to wake up the knocked out Peter and use him to take down the Mansion's power source.
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
    • Harry, the 'mass destruction' part being something of a problem - at one point, Coulson inwardly observes that he's got a reputation for leaving a trail of destruction visible from space.
    • Dudley a.k.a. the Beast and Jono Starsmore a.k.a. Chamber.
    • Grey Court Master vampires are this as a matter of course, possessing Combo Platter Powers including Super Strength, Super Toughness, Weather Manipulation (to varying extents), and hypnosis. Some can also use magic, with Harry alluding to all Masters that survive long enough to reach that status pick some up as a matter of course.
  • The Phoenix: The motif, as ever, is associated with Harry and Jean, but also with Maddie, Jean's stolen-at-birth twin sister. The latter, interestingly (and aptly given that she appears with the Red Room), has a resemblance to the Slavic Firebird myth - she's 'beautiful but dangerous, showing no sign of friendliness' at first, to quote The Other Wiki, she picks up a Phoenix feather (Harry's, to be specific), that's both a blessing and a curse. She was also captured by an evil immortal (Koschei the Immortal in the myth, Sinister here) - something which, as with most who capture the Firebird, spectacularly backfires.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Carol, to her grandmother about Harry, which he later reciprocates... sort of. The sort of part comes in because the two are quite clearly in very much not platonic love with each other, and still coming around to admitting it. In chapter 37 both accept that they love each other romantically, but they're also not emotionally ready to date. In chapter 46, this goes out the window, as they become fully romantic.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Gambit. Unusually, unlike canon (where he opts for the Joker or the Ace of Spades), his favoured card is the Jack of Hearts. Significantly, the Jack is usually The Trickster, and also known as the Knave, with the Knave of Hearts being a thief who "stole the Queen's tarts", most famously referenced in Alice in Wonderland.
  • Poisonous Friend: There are quite a lot of these, with key examples being Doctor Strange (who is generally disliked for his ruthlessly manipulative tactics), Natasha (who does things behind the scenes that the Avengers just can't do), and Loki (who does much the same when 'off-duty', and more specifically, acts as this for Thor and Harry, being entirely loyal to them and willing to do things that they would never even consider, such as Cold-Blooded Torture.)
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Jean and Maddie/Rachel. One is a warm-hearted All-Loving Heroine, raised in loving family and taught by a kindly, gentle and wise mentor, and a Fiery Redhead who it is best not to piss off. The other is a cool, pragmatic young woman with No Social Skills who was raised by a sociopathic Mad Scientist almost completely under his heel, so starved of love that she was willing to accept even faked affection because it was the first time that anyone had even pretended to care and is at a complete loss when confronted with lots of genuine warmth and kindness. One dresses in warm colours, while the other dresses in cold colours and black, even post Heel–Face Turn (though she has shown a taste for green and gold, and both appear in white). However, this is repeatedly indicated to be a result of upbringing, the two having been Separated at Birth, rather than an inherent difference.
  • The Polly Anna: Kurt Wagner and Clark Kent come through both of their downright traumatising experiences as sweet-natured and kindly young men, always willing to believe the best of people - though Clark occasionally has his moments of doubt.
  • Pool Scene: In the first chapter.
  • Power Copying: Harry, whose frightening adaptability, flexible power-set, and active imagination sometimes allow him to do this. The most prominent example is in the sequel, when Maddie Pryor - a Living Weapon trained from infancy - infuses lightning with psychic energy and throws it at him. To her astonishment, all this achieves is Harry making a light-hearted quip thanking her for the "new trick" and copying it... with fire.
  • Power High: Harry in chapter 33, when he's supercharged by Jean and Maddie to distract Dracula.
  • Power Limiters: The Red Room puts Harry in a suit that cuts off his ability to use his telepathy, and stops him from externally use his telekinesis. He gets around this by using the TK on himself, and eventually uses a knife to cut the suit open, restoring his powers to full.
  • The Power of Blood: Type A and Type AB, drawing on both Harry Potter and The Dresden Files in their use of Blood Magic. While it isn't necessarily dark magic, and can be used benevolently to enhance spells, empower rituals and magic circles, and enforce bindings, it does stray very close. It's also favoured by vampires - especially the Red Court and, to a lesser extent, Dracula's Grey Court. As a consequence of the latter, Doctor Strange has Harry study up on it extensively when he's set to run into Dracula and his plan to use the blood of a Super Soldier to become immune to sunlight.
  • The Power of Love: Familial love, primarily, which is how Harry wound up with the Phoenix fragment protection. He also uses it with the Power of Trust to appeal to successfully Maddie's better nature and induce a Heel–Face Turn, and it's then used on him to talk him down from his Dark Phoenix rampage.
  • Power of Trust: Bucky notes in chapter 25 that this Harry's willingness to extend trust to people is one of his most remarkable gifts, allowing him to inspire the better natures of people who didn't even know they had better natures. A particular example of this is Maddie - though the ground work had been laid by Gambit, Harry's willingness to believe that she could be a better person drove her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Carol mutters darkly after seeing magic glasses that can see in the dark and magnify vision that if that's possible, you can bet that someone's invented the X-Ray Vision version. Considering Moody's eye, she's actually right about that.
    • The potential for this via Harry and Carol's psychic connection is occasionally alluded to, but defied - UST and frequent unconscious flirting aside, they're carefully platonic. It gets a little close to the line when Harry penetrates... er, enters her mind to project his astral form through her (both are entirely aware of the subtext). However, aside from Harry's amusement at Carol's line of thought/turn of mental phrase, it's not dwelt upon since both have other things on their mind. Since the two have got together following chapter 46, who knows what'll happen.
    • The potential inherent in Clark's X-Ray Vision is brought up every now and then, with Clark usually finding it mortifying.
  • Power Trio: As noted in the first book, Harry tends to gather friends in trios. There's himself, Ron, and Hermione, the schoolfriends who know each other best on the day-to-day matters. There's himself, Carol, and Jean-Paul, who have a similar connection thanks to the amount of near-death experiences they've shared. In both, there's a couple with UST and a Shipper on Deck who's at something of a remove from the other two (Harry because he's been through far more and is far more powerful than Ron and Hermione, and Jean-Paul because of his natural aloofness).
    • Harry also forms one with Jean and Maddie, being family and the three most powerful human psychics ever born. It also overlaps with The Hecate Sisters—Jean has the maternal (or, in this case, Big Sister Instinct); Maddie is the coldly pragmatic one with the least life experience, and Harry serves as the balance between the two.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The main reason that Volodya is furious with Lukin for ordering the kidnap of Harry and Natasha knows that he wasn't behind it - while he likes neither SHIELD nor the Avengers, he doesn't want to make an enemy of them either.
    • Dracula is also very much an example of this — while completely evil, he also has a sense of honour, and doesn't waste minions who show intelligence.
    • Doom's primary reason for helping to fight Dracula, whose victory would threaten the former's own power.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: There are quite a few.
    • Magneto gives a subdued but no less terrifying one when confronting the Winter Guard.
      Good evening. My name is Magneto. You kidnapped my daughter. You kidnapped my daughter's godson. You tortured them both. You have twisted the latter into your weapon. I would like to discuss this. And once we are done, if you are very lucky... I might actually allow some of you to live.
      • He gives another in Chapter 31 as he pulls off a Big Damn Heroes moment. As Cassius notes that Dresden has only a few moments to make good on his threat to kill him, Magneto enters and says:
        Sometimes, a few moments are more than enough.
    • Doctor Strange purrs an absolute peach of one combined with a Slasher Smile when gliding up behind Essex, who he's finally got his hands on...
      Hello, Nathaniel. Long time no see.
    • Harry, meanwhile, gives an example in chapter 15, when he snaps and goes Dark Phoenix, repeating a classic example of this trope.
      I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
    • As befitting her Lady of War nature, Alison gives a very calm one in chapter 20.
      Alison: I am going to have a discussion with your father, one that I should have had a very long time ago.
      Carol: Is this a discussion or a "discussion?"
      Alison: It will be the former if your father minds his manners. It will be the latter if he doesn't.
    • The Hulk gets a wonderful one in chapter 33 as part of a Big Damn Heroes moment.
      "HULK SMASH PUNY VAMPIRE!"
  • Precision F-Strike: Harry's utterly deadpan reaction to being selected by the Goblet of Fire includes one of these.
    Harry: Oh, for fuck's sake.
    • He gets a more basic "Oh fuck" when he learns that Dracula is coming to attack a largely undefended Avengers Mansion personally.
    • He reiterates the first example after triggering a flood trap during the First Task:
      It wasn't by anything particularly loud, it had to be said. But when all is silent, even a whisper is like a shout. And a trickle of water is like a torrent. Especially when you're a powerful demigod, have all your available senses keyed up, and know that it's about to become one, at which point there is only one appropriate response.
      Harry: "Oh for fuck's sake."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A coldly furious Harry intentionally uses Willow's famous one-liner before turning a vampire to Ludicrous Gibs and slaughtering the remaining five vampires in the room in less than a minute.
    Bored now.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Harry's older alternate counterpart, 'Nathan', warns him of this in chapter 41, after Harry underestimated a trapping enchantment in the First Task that led to the two of them meeting in the first place - though he softens it somewhat by noting that Harry did actually examine the trap, and put more thought into than he [Nathan] would at the same age.
  • Primary-Color Champion:
    • Diana and Clark have both taken to wearing their classic red and blue colors.
    • In one of the alternate universes Harry sees in Chapter 41, he's part of a Young Avengers team, many of whose members wear red and blue costumes. This leads Harry to question whether there was a discount on cloth in those colours in that reality.
  • Properly Paranoid: Wisdom, as per usual.
  • Psychic Link: Harry's psychic therapy session with Carol accidentally resulted in this. While this makes things a little awkward, they quickly adapt to it, and tend to slip into telepathic conversation without even noticing - though Jean-Paul semi-seriously speculates that their little slips are partially intentional, to keep some conversations, implied to be of the dirty variety, private. Chapter 8 also reveals that it lets Carol vaguely sense when he's around, and she later accesses it to ask for his help after she and Stevie have been kidnapped by the Grey Court.
    • Jean and Maddie both have one with Harry and each other, which it's speculated may have formed in the womb.
  • Psychic Nosebleed:
    • Harry gives Voldemort one during their first psychic duel. Shortly after, when Voldemort mentally attacks Betsy to remove her from play, she gets a worse one - and Loki, who'd been checking on her, gets a nasty migraine (albeit mostly as a side effect).
    • Just about everyone in the surrounding area gets one as a side effect of Harry and Maddie's duel.
    • Harry gets one in Chapter 30 due to the effort required to fight as an Astral Projection on the other side of the Atlantic.
    • Doom gets one in Chapter 33 while duelling Dracula's mystics.
  • Psychic Powers: Most sufficiently powerful supernatural beings have some degree of this.
    • Harry, Jean, Maddie, Essex, Xavier, Voldemort, and Betsy Braddock, are some of the more prominent examples.
    • The Askani, described as a 'weird, but mostly harmless' cult of psychics are apparently among the experts on these.
    • Dracula proves himself incredibly skilled and powerful, able to turn Xavier's Cerebro-enhanced psychic attack back on him.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The Fallen Fortress, being an Eldritch Location infested by a spiritual entity specialising in Mind Rape, functions as this. Sirius and Harry manage to deal with it relatively easily, thanks to their experience of being on the wrong end of Mind Rape, Harry's a bit shaken, while Sirius is more or less unfazed, and both find it somewhat cathartic. Since Ron and Hermione don't have that experience, they're not so fortunate.
  • Psychologist Teacher: Both Dumbledore and Xavier, to varying extents - Dumbledore dabbles, sometimes serving as a confidant for certain students, particularly (but not exclusively) Harry. Xavier, by contrast, is pretty much the on-call therapist to the entire superhuman community - while there are other therapists, he is widely considered to be the best, and even Harry's later therapist, Dani Moonstar, is one of his former students.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Strange's usual Grin of Audacity can sometimes take on this quality.
    • Whenever the Dark Phoenix smiles, it tends to look like this.
    • Harry, in chapter 28, directs what is described as 'a disconcertingly nasty smile' at Snape when he's about to go in for the verbal kill. He also tends to wear something very much like Strange's version of this when he's about to ensure something nasty happens to someone that deserves it.
  • Public Execution: What Volodya was planning to do to Lukin. It didn't go as planned. Lukin did it first to Volodya's troops, then to Volodya himself, the latter on his knees at point blank range.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Voldemort, a couple of times on his return in chapter 2.
    • Harry then does this when he snaps and goes Dark Phoenix, repeating a classic example of this trope.
      I AM LIFE. I AM FIRE. NOW AND FOREVER... I. AM. PHOENIX!
    • Regarding Thanos, Strange says that like the Red Skull, the sanity of his plans is immaterial. Because. He. Can. Do it.
    • Magneto, when faced with Voldemort (who is directly responsible for the death of his wife), snaps into pure rage and roars the following before ripping Voldemort's blood from his body and turning it into his signature helmet in a concerted attempt to kill the Dark Lord in the most painful way possible.
      Voldemort! You. Are. Mine!
    • Loki, when giving Harry a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech:
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: This tends to be a sign that Doctor Strange is not quite as infallible as he appears and lets everyone believe. In the sequel, he rather sadly states that he's only taken five students (four at the start of the story, the fifth being Harry) over his extremely long life, and only one - Wanda Maximoff - turned out well (indeed, he says that he could not be more proud of her, and her success was more down to her virtues as a student than his as a teacher).
    • Mordo was this, though it's ambiguous, because his main impact (he hasn't appeared) is in his own choice of student - Victor von Doom. The sheer scale of manipulation and ruthlessness this version of Strange is capable of means it's possible that he actually intended for Mordo to fall, in order to teach Doom in turn.
    • An unambiguous case is one of Strange's other students, revealed in the sequel to be Margaret Le Fay, mother of Harry Dresden. He took her in when she was seeking other viewpoints to the White Council's rigid stance of non-interference/focus on fettering magical power rather than using it to make a difference, teaching her how to handle Black Magic safely (figuring that she was going to experiment anyway), but she left after deciding that he was too cautious and more concerned with the future rather than the present, joining up with darker forces. While Strange had anticipated this, he was hoping she would only skim the surface without pulling a true Face–Heel Turn - and while she did pull a Heel–Face Turn in the end, it got her killed.
  • The Purge: After Lukin and Essex are captured, Loki, Clint, and Natasha use information taken from them to spearhead the hunting down and murder of every single other member of the Red Room.
    • Strange mentions Uther Pendragon's purge of magic users in Camelot, which ironically led to his being adopted and raised in Camelot.
  • Purpose-Driven Immortality: Doctor Strange, who's over 100,000 years old, and is probably around 500,000, with that purpose being to prepare Earth to go up against Thanos.
  • Put on a Bus: As per usual, quite a few characters get subjected to this. Lorna, Noriko, Kurt, and Jono all go off to the Xavier Institute after the Forever Red arc, and this trope is also invoked by Harry Dresden, sending Bruce Wayne back to Wayne Manor so he won't get involved against the Heirs of Kemmler, Voldemort, and Selene, all of whom are far beyond his weight class - though only after Bruce apparently bailed him out when he was cornered by one of the Heirs and her pet ghoul (he used a flashbang. Wanda was impressed).
    • Bruce also pops up again in the Clark arc via his online 'Mr Knight' alias, offering his knowledge of thaumaturgy (which is more comprehensive than Harry's, to the latter's surprise, since the only people who should have that kind of knowledge are Wandless magical practitioners who by definition can't use computers), and his advice.
    • After being nearly turned into a Grey Court vampire, being cured, and helping out against Dracula, Peter Parker promptly passes out of the narrative again.
  • Putting the "Pal" in Principal: Both Dumbledore and Charles Xavier qualify as this, being well-loved by their student bodies and faculties. This is particularly true of the latter, who doubles as a Psychologist Teacher (Dumbledore dabbles, but Xavier's a full-fledged therapist, the one who everyone in the superhuman community turns to) and whose smaller student body means he can take a more personal interest.
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