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Nightmare Fuel / Child of the Storm

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     Book I - Child of the Storm 
  • The entrance of the Winter Soldier. When he first appears, it's left unclear exactly what he is, and has a room full of hardened Death Eaters and Werewolves terrified of him. Without saying a word. The only people who aren't scared of him are those who know he's coming and Gravemoss (who's completely Ax-Crazy anyway). Though, the heads of the manticore and the nundu rather helped make an impression.
  • Chapter 21 from beginning to end.
    • The Veidrdraugar as a whole.
  • Gravemoss is arguably Nightmare Fuel incarnate.
  • The backstory of Hela, crossing over with Tear Jerker. Loki seemed to be experiencing an irrational case of Adult Fear about his lover and unborn daughter and his parents (father's) anger, so hid them away. However, the birth went wrong and both mother and child died. Loki used necromancy for the first and last time to resurrect the child, Hela. And then she became something of a Creepy Child and had an involuntary case of Vampiric Draining - small plants and animals tended to die around her - required to keep her in the living world. So Loki, with the help of Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three (apparently how they met each other), raises her in Helheim, but has to leave her there eventually.
    • From Frigga's point of view: her younger son has just disappeared with the pregnant girlfriend that, of course, she knew about, she knows how dangerous a birth can be so she's desperately looking for him, and when Heimdall finally picks him out, rushes to the scene, as fast as she can... to find her son, his arms bloody to the elbow, weeping, with her firstborn grandchild dead in his arms while his beloved girlfriend is already dead. In essence, she was too late.
      • And the experience drives him to use necromancy. Dark magic. As a powerful sorceress herself, one who taught Loki the ways of magic, that must really suck.
    • From Odin's point of view: he essentially set the whole thing in motion by being such a distant, frightening father that Loki would rather run and risk who knows what then own up and seek help. It is all on his head. And you can bet that he knows it.
  • Loki's time with Thanos was this, according to what little we've picked up from him. While he explicitly wasn't mind-controlled, his experience was far from pleasant.
  • The Darkhold doesn't just grant the means to create veidrdraugar. It grants the means to put them into mass production.
  • Gravemoss rips Sif's heart out. With every intention of turning her into one of the veidrdraugar. While Dresden manages to prevent this and Doctor Strange pulls a Deus ex Machina, but it comes very, very close...
  • In chapter 60, after winning something of a Curbstomp Battle against HYDRA's werewolves the aged up kids seem to be coasting to another victory with minimal actual peril faced... then, in a matter of seconds, they are curbstomped by a robot based on the Destroyer controlled by Baron Zemo which inflicts some of the first genuine, non-trivial injuries on them and despite the fact that Harry and Diana are in Thor's league of power, comes very, very close to killing several of them. This isn't the conflicted Winter Soldier or a less powerful Elite Mook. This is someone who not only is wiling to kill them but very definitely can and wouldn't think twice about doing it.
  • Chapter 65 exploits the Fridge Horror of Ginny's experience at the hands of Riddle's diary, having Sean explain to the Hogwarts staff that Ginny has considerable psychic trauma following her encounter with Tom Riddle's diary. When Snape questions this, Sean retorts:
    No. She only spent nine months being mentally manipulated and slowly drained of her life force by a powerful and malevolent psychic entity that tricked her into trustin’ it. She’s fine.
    • Being a man who knows what he's talking about thanks to his time at Interpol, he then goes on to directly compare Riddle's diary to a sexual predator, explaining the parallels. Afterwards, the staff look a mixture between sickened, horrified, and homicidal.
  • Chapter 66 presents the scenario of being trapped in a memory of a violent superpowered battle powerful enough to shatter mountains with a young psychic who's completely lost control of his powers which are making everything real.
  • Part 2 of Chaos Reigns gives us a glimpse of the horrors that are breaking through into Earth due to the Darkhold being free, as an army of N'Garai and Mindless Ones, led by a Mabdhara, swarms into Chicago, leaving a trail of death in its wake. The scene of one their feeding spots is enough to make even Dresden, who's used to this sort of thing, retch. And he notes that, as long as the Darkhold is still loose, this is just going to keep happening...
  • Chapter 71's description of HYDRA unleashing the veidrdraugar on their targets and when that (rarely) fails, they grab people off the street, put them under the Imperius curse and inject them with particularly unstable Extremis, turning them into unkillable living bombs, is fairly horrific.
  • When the Winter Soldier attacks the Ministry and carves through everyone in his way, that's scary enough, if not entirely unexpected. But if he hadn't killed Arthur, best-case scenario is that the latter would've been used as a hostage. Alternatively, Lucius might've given him to Gravemoss. In fact, this is quite likely - certainly, it was an awful enough fate that the Winter Soldier genuinely thought that killing Arthur with his bare hands was the merciful option.
  • Chapter 72 reveals that Luna died from a bullet in the lung. This means that she would have died slowly and painfully, drowning in her own blood.
    • It also has Thor living every parent's nightmare: finding out that his son has died. The fact that he was resurrected immediately afterwards does not make it any better.
  • Chapter 74 has Harry finally snapping and demonstrating just how mindbogglingly terrifying an enraged psychic can be.
  • Chapter 77: Chthon rises, which turns the skies red and unleashes demons over the entire Earth.
    • Hell, pretty much every aspect of Chthon's appearance is designed to show that this is just Wrong, capital letter fully deserved.

     Book II - Ghosts of the Past 
  • Know all the in-universe Fridge Horror about Harry's Psychic Powers? Voldemort, who now has some of that power himself, proves that it's all completely justified. He turns Carol, Uthred, Diana, Pepper, Jane, and the Twins into People Puppets, threatens to make them kill each other (in Pepper's case, says he'd make her cut out and eat her own unborn baby and enjoy it), and then induces a "Freaky Friday" Flip in them, banishes them randomly and sets more People Puppets, Death Eaters, to hunt them down. All purely to fuck with Harry.
    • He also gives Betsy an aneurysm in order to eliminate her from the battlefield, and induces a panicked Thor into nearly killing Harry in the heat of the battle.
    • To add to the example above, if you thought Voldemort was scary in canon, this story has managed to make him walking Nightmare Fuel.
    • The majority of the time the "Freaky Friday" Flip is usually Played for Laughs. There was nothing funny about how it's done here.
  • Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black. If you're capable of unnerving the freaking God of Thunder, then you're a force to be reckoned with. Now that he's Director of MI13 and damn close to being de facto ruler of Britain, it would be a suicidal move to get on his bad side.
  • What happened to Rachel Grey, Jean's twin sister who was believed dead because Sinister kidnapped her in the maternity ward, dubbing her Madelyn 'Maddie' Pryor and raising her as his Living Weapon. Even worse, Strange understand too late what was happening and was powerless to prevent it, only arriving in time to prevent Sinister kidnapping Jean as well.
    • The contrast between Jean and Maddie/Rachel is played up, not for the whole Evil Counterpart aspect, but to underline how absolutely horrific what's been done to Maddie is, and how utterly broken it's left her - a Living Weapon that Sinister doesn't even need to exert telepathic control over, one only barely able to grasp the concept of making her own choices beyond mere flexibility within the parameters of whatever mission she was given, after months of patient, careful coaxing from Gambit, one who is driven to confused tears by the way that post Heel–Face Turn, everyone's being so kind. This, on its own, is a Tear Jerker. Where it crosses over into Nightmare Fuel is where one remembers a) that this is a seventeen year old girl, b) that the techniques involved in systematically demolishing the foundations for any kind of free will.
    • Additionally, Doctor Strange spends the entirety of the Forever Red arc as a psychotic Mood-Swinger - as a product, it is implied, of the above, as he vowed never to be too late, after he was too late to the Battle of Camlann, and magical vows carry real power and real consequences, never mind the psychological ones. That's horrifying enough. But half the time, he's even more Crazy Awesome than usual. The other half... normally, he's smooth, knowing, in-control and often affable. At worst, he's a bit brusque. This time, not so much. He's gaunt to the point of being skeletal, having worked himself to the bone in a way that Frigga explicitly states should have killed him trying to 'make it right', his shadow keeps twisting and transforming, changing shape more and more the more agitated he gets, and generally he winds up frightening villains and heroes alike by his mere presence, being on the verge of outright snapping. And when Uhtred accidentally questions his given word... well.
  • Wanda shows she's her father's daughter by making good on her promise to reduce Sinister to screaming, traumatised atoms if she ever meets him. He undeniably deserves it, but... damn.
    Wanda: Actually, no. You're right. I am like my father. I am his daughter. And do you know why? Because I am going to fulfil that promise I made, a promise to render you down to traumatised, screaming atoms if you ever went near my godson again. And while I'm not going to have the time to make it last, I am going to enjoy it. So scream, you bastard, scream!
  • And Sinister lives. Worse, he still has Harry's genetic material in his clutches and intends to clone him.
  • When Lorna tries to call home, her own mother is unable to remember her because Sinister wiped her memory and everyone Lorna ever knew back in Australia to ensure no one would ever come for her. Presumably, the same happened to the other prisoners.
  • Project Red Son is revealed to be a Brainwashed and Crazy Harry with Undying Loyalty to the Red Room. You may now piss your pants.
    • Also doubles as a Tear Jerker, given who Project Red Son is.
  • Lukin starts using Red Son's psychic abilities to make other countries dance to the Russians' (or more specifically, his) tune. It's not violent (except where it is implied that it very much is, with spies vanishing all over the shop), but people are compelled to do exactly what he wants on a continental, if not global, scale. Superweapon indeed.
    • Asgard's answer to one of their princes being kidnapped is starving Russia by destroying their food and energy resources. And Frigga swears to ramp it Up to Eleven until Harry comes home. Never mess with an Asgardian Mama Bear, especially when she's the Queen.
  • Chapter 12 shows why getting on Magneto's bad side is a very very bad idea. In less than two minutes, he reduces what General Lukin calls the pride of the Red Room and their answer to supernatural threats into crumpled and crippled ruins. Particularly nasty is when he flays one of them with his own tentacles and crushes a Powered Armor... with its pilot still inside.
  • Sinister comes up with a nanotech virus he uses on the Red Son when it is obvious he is going to lose. The virus starts to eat him from the inside and turn his body into metal. Magneto, who is fighting him in Bayville (which is in New York, mind you) has to hit him with a brutal lightning strike (for which he created a geomagnetic storm that was visible in Kansas) just to slow down the virus. And it nearly spreads to Wanda.
  • And yet it can get even worse. For example, after the brainwashing gets wiped out, Harry is so furious with everything he becomes the Dark Phoenix!
  • While also awesome because of how it was delivered and whom it was delivered to but Harry's utterance of this line sends chills down the spines of all who know what it forebodes:
  • When Strange tells the Council Elite that Thanos is coming for Earth, they all freeze up. Think about that — the Skyfathers are among the most powerful beings on Earth, and the thought of the Mad Titan terrifies them. Just what are Harry and the others going to have to deal with when the time comes?
  • Harry's description to Hermione of just what the Diary Horcrux did to Ginny on a psychic level, comparing it to a giant constrictor snake wrapping around her mind and slowly crushing the will and life out of her, over the period of most of a year, to make her mind and life-force easier to swallow and digest.
    • He then explicitly refers to it as Mind Rape and remarks that it's not a phrase that he uses lightly, since he knows whereof he speaks, having been on the receiving end.
  • What Constantine did to the Zataras is bone-chilling: enchanting them without their knowledge or consent just in case they were snatched by Voldemort, which would trigger the enchantments and make them explode and killing everyone around, to hopefully both kill Voldemort and keep their knowledge out of his hands. And he was their ally at the time.
    • And worse, after it worked with Sindella, he manipulated the grieving Giovanni into going after the wounded Voldemort, in the hopes of either Giovanni successfully finishing him off or being captured and the same thing happening as before, killing Voldemort anyway. Oh, and when Giovanni had justified reservations, he turned to Wanda (Constantine's girlfriend at the time, and considering the chronology, probably in the early stages of her pregnancy with his daughter) to ask her if he could trust Constantine. She in turn turned to Constantine, to seek assurance that the plan was sound. He assured her it was, not mentioning the enchantment, and she in turn gave Giovanni the go-ahead. Giovanni died, and though Wanda was upset, she was willing to forgive Constantine - any plan can go wrong, right? Then she found out about the enchantments. In light of that, the surprising thing is less that she didn't tell him about their daughter, more that she didn't kill him on the spot.
  • How powerful was Surtur as the first Dark Phoenix? Yggdrasil's entire structure was engineered to imprison him and empower the King or Queen of Asgard to fight on his level sufficient to distract him for long enough to seal him away. That's how bad.
    • And Harry's going to have to fight him-and probably fairly soon.
  • The threats made by Syrus and his coterie of vampires to Stevie in order to keep Carol in line are pretty chilling, with Harry later grimly confirming the 'turn a bone into a toothpick' trick is one that Syrus has pulled before - on a young child, no less.
    • Grey Court vampires in general are this, with Wanda pointing out how they're more or less perfectly engineered predators of humanity - they're far faster and stronger than humanity, with predator's senses and instincts, even without their other powers. Also, having once been mortal and looking mortal, they can blend in more or less perfectly with the rest of humanity, and without supernatural senses (or thermal imaging), they're very hard to pick out.
  • When Harry snaps into Tranquil Fury and decides to deal with Vampire!Dudley personally, the results are chilling - for all Dudley's power, Harry, speaking in a calm, unwavering voice, explains how this is not personal, and it is not for revenge. Oh, and he's doing this while systematically dismembering Dudley, without missing a beat or taking a scratch, finally decapitating him.
  • Alison talks to Clark a little about how, as a child, she was kidnapped by the Red Room. Think about that: An eight-year-old girl, in the hands of the Red Room.
  • The Clan Askani senses something powerful stirring in the Astral Plane and dispatch a group of seven of their members to psychically investigate it. Six of them are incinerated by it, destroying their minds and bodies almost immediately. They took the brunt of the attack, shielding the seventh enough that they live long enough to pass along a message from the being responsible: EVERYTHING BURNS.
  • The glimpse of Muspelheim that appears in chapter 40 is pure Nightmare Fuel. It's not, as might be expected, a world of flame and shadow (which would be scary enough), but a different kind of hellish world, one where everything has been burnt to a crisp and rebuilt with mathematical precision. No art, no growth, no soul, no natural life.
  • In chapter 41, when Harry gets a look at multiple versions of him in alternate realities (some roughly at the same point in time as him, others a good deal older), he sees one where he became the Dark Phoenix, described as the King of Ruins and Lord of the Burning Wastes, sitting on Odin's half-melted throne in the shattered palace (with a number of visibly dried bloodstains), surrounded by the broken remnants of Gungnir (Odin's spear), Steve and Carol's shields, a crumpled helmet that used to belong on an Iron Man suit, a bow (Clint's) and a pair of bracelets (Natasha), the shattered Mjolnir, and a giant human-like skull (implied to be the Hulk's), and the Dark Phoenix in question - confirmed by Word of God to be aware of being aware he was being observed, goes Laughing Mad, all while Yggdrasil burns eternally in the background. Harry is unsurprisingly absolutely horrified after seeing it, retching, with it being made very clear that this possibility is his worst nightmare.
    • What makes it worse is not just that this Harry murdered his father, his uncle, who he loves dearly, and Carol, who going by the shield, he'd have already have fallen in love with. What makes it worse is this: the Power of Love weakens the Dark Phoenix, while it's created/powered up by the Power Of Hatred. And Harry is heavily defined by his capacity to love, with even his worst deeds/plans coming from there (including a willingness to risk becoming the Dark Phoenix in the first place). The implication of this, that hatred overcame love, are pretty horrifying - The Dark Side Will Make You Forget at best.

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