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Tear Jerker / Child of the Storm

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     Book I - Child of the Storm 
  • It's not really dwelt upon, but the fact that Thor had to watch his wife be murdered and nearly saw the same thing happen to his son, while he was completely powerless to do anything. That alone would've inspired a Heroic BSoD, even if he hadn't had to deal with suddenly getting thrown into another body with 1,500 years' worth of memories getting dumped on his head.
  • How Hela came to be. Oh Loki...
    • As pointed out on the Nightmare Fuel page, from Odin's point of view, this could've been averted if he hadn't been so distant and frightening that Loki would rather run and take his chances than to ask for help. And just to take it Up to Eleven? It's implied that (at least part of) the reason Odin is so emotionally distant is because of his own father, who was definitely not a model parent. Meaning that, when Loki ran away rather than ask for help, Odin must've felt like he was taking his father's place as the frightening one.
    • It's also a tearjerker for Frigga, who, being the loving mother and healer she is, would have certainly done her best to help Loki's wife and daughter.
  • The "Mama loves you, Harry. Mama will always love you," line from a not quite dead, not quite alive Lily Potter. It was designed to reach in and press the button marked 'Feels'.
  • Lily was pregnant when she died, according to Sirius. And she was planning to surprise James with the news after Halloween.
  • Harry's confrontation with Odin, crossing over with Moment of Awesome.
    Why didn't you want me?
  • Wanda had to give up both her daughter and her godson, the latter the child of two of her best friends-and to a family who would mistreat and abuse him. She says to Sirius that he could not possibly hate her as much as she hates herself-and she's the daughter of the man who wrote the book on hatred. It's also clear that, at this point in time, she is pretty much completely alone, her boyfriend having proved to be a conniving bastard of the highest order, and her mentor vanishing for most of a decade.
  • Once upon a time, the Howling Commandos were stationed to Hogwarts, leading Bucky to meet a pretty young witch named Minerva McGonagall and falling in love with her. Unfortunately, he was declared KIA and as such, because unwed teen motherhood was a huge social taboo for the era, Minerva had to give her daughter away. Years later, she tearfully confesses she never tried to contact her grown-up child because she thought Edith would hate her for giving her away, and it's also implied she feared her daughter resenting her for having magic while she didn't.
    • The fact Clint immediately rejects Minerva as family because she wasn't there to take him and his brother in when they were left orphans, and it takes Natasha to point out how irrational it is to hate the poor woman for something she didn't even know in order for him to reconcile. As a first meeting, it more than sucked.
  • Carol's Senseless Sacrifice in chapter 60, as they were rescued moments later, and the way that Uhtred bursts into tears of guilt shortly afterwards. Thankfully, she's saved by the Winter Soldier, but still.
  • The deaths of Luna Lovegood and Arthur Weasley in Chapter 70.
    • The former should be expanded on a little: Wanda postulates that Luna, a 12-year-old girl who had just gone looking for her shoes, took a bullet to the lung and choked to death on her own blood. And she was found by Sean Cassidy, who was implied to have known her mother, tried to look out for her, and was too choked up to do more than whisper. Oh, boy...
  • Bucky's struggles with himself and his identity in chapter 71. While shaking off his programming was awesome, it's left a real mess behind.
    • And then he gets brainwashed again.
  • Chapter 72: you've got Harry clinging to his godmother and weeping in her arms until he can't cry any more in response to Luna's death and his own and doing much the same with his father. It seems a very long way away from Harry's first hugging of his father 70 chapters or so beforehand, because this Cutie is very much broken.
  • When Carol reveals to Steve that she's his great-granddaughter, he's so shocked at the situation that he pushes her away, which leaves her hurt and confused. This just gets even worse after the audience sees her father and what he's like—Carol just experienced rejection from another male parental figure.
  • Harry having to say goodbye to his mother, after just getting her back, as she has to return to her duties as the White Phoenix of the Crown.

     Book II - Ghosts of the Past 
  • Harry's Heroic BSoD after he's forced to Mind Rape six Death Eaters in order to save his friends. He's left vomiting to the point of dry heaving, having completely drained himself emotionally.
  • Maddie/Rachel's fate. All of it.
    • Her reaction when Xavier gently reveals to her that she wasn't, as she had believed, simply created whole by Essex. She was born Rachel Grey and was supposed - should have been - raised as a normal teenage girl with loving parents and siblings rather than some Living Weapon. She just... breaks down, to the point where she physically collapses and Gambit has to catch her, and even after calming herself, she sadly admits she cannot be Rachel because she's been Maddie all her life - she wouldn't know where to start.
  • Sinister ensured no one would come for Lorna by wiping her family's and friends' memories about her, so much that her own mother forgot her and thought someone was playing a tasteless joke when the girl tried to call home. Poor Lorna breaks down in Storm's arms afterwards.
    • This is implied to have happened to the other prisoners too.
  • Harry being brainwashed into becoming a Red Room agent and murdering dozens of people in cold blood, performing Mind Rape and loads of other horrible things as well. Just when you think he hasn't suffered enough... And all that after Maddie tried to protect him, too.
  • Understandably, he completely breaks and starts channelling the Dark Phoenix, which manifests with what Dresden describes as a chilling, agonised scream. It's brief, but heartbreaking nonetheless.
  • The usually cool, calm and collected Maddie being overwhelmed to the point of tears by the way she's being treated (with kindness and concern). As she puts it in something of a bewildered wail, "Everyone's being so kind." Why? Because she's never been treated like this. She's never been treated with such genuine, free kindness and concern, and she has absolutely no frame of reference for it.
    • Also her revelation that she was, in fact, aware that Gambit's original intentions when getting close to her were mainly to pretend to care to use her to get free of Essex, before changing his mind and actively working to coax her away and get her free too, once he realised that she was as much a victim of Essex as he was, and she let it past. Why? Because it was nice to have someone at least pretend to care about her. To underline the point: this is someone so starved of affection that not only did she have trouble with the concept, she was willing to accept affection that she knew was fake and had ulterior motives behind it, simply because it was the closest she could get. Gambit is appropriately stricken.
    • And in chapter 28, the depth of her insecurities and worries about meeting her family, and fearing that she'll be compared to Jean - who is, in her eyes, more or less 'perfect' - and that she'll therefore fall short as a disappointment. Thankfully, Harry, another 'less than perfect' member of the family, is present to help her through it, but even still...
  • We finally learn why Wanda dropped Constantine: he felt that the knowledge of the Zataras, of how to merge wanded and wandless magic, was potentially incredibly dangerous if it fell into Voldemort's hands, and that while they'd never give it up willingly, Voldemort had his methods. So he took steps - specifically, secretly enchanting them both without their knowledge or consent, turning them into bombs that would go off if Voldemort ever captured them and broke into their minds, hopefully killing Voldemort in the process, making it look like Death Curse of the Taking You with Me kind. That was exactly what happened when Voldemort captured Sindella Zatara. Voldemort survived, albeit badly injured. And it gets worse: a grieving Giovanni Zatara - still reeling from his wife's death and seeking revenge was told by Constantine that he could find the wounded Voldemort. However, Giovanni wasn't stupid, and knew Constantine's growing reputation, and was hesitant about trusting him and ambushing the Death Eaters, so asked Wanda if Constantine was trustworthy. She checked with Constantine about the plan, then said that he was. Voldemort turned out to be healthier than expected, and Giovanni died, killed with a killing curse. Which left the explosive enchantments intact. Which Wanda discovered. She then she confronted Constantine, demanded to know why he did it, he said: "Casualties of war, love. Casualties of war." Casualties of war. You have dick moves, and then you have that.
  • Surtur's backstory establishes he was a kind, gentle, and brilliant mage-scientist from an extremely advanced world. However, it was dying and he was so desperate for a way to save his people that he managed to summon and beg the Phoenix for help. As soon as he summoned her, he broke the circle, stating that he only wanted a chance to speak, not to bind Her. The Phoenix took pity on him and made him one of Her hosts to let him fulfil his aims. And it worked - Surtur repaired and improved the planet, even kickstarting his people's evolution. But. He then thought, "Why stop there?" and started altering his people on a grand scale without their consent, making them 'better'. They rose up against him and the Phoenix came to reclaim Her power - he begged to keep it, to be allowed to finish what he had started. She refused, rebuking him for misusing it, and Surtur... snapped. He'd spent decades studying the power he'd been given, so managed to separate it from the main Phoenix, which fled in agony and confusion, then obliterated and enslaved the spirits of his people, transforming them into Fire-Giants, becoming the first Dark Phoenix. He then resolved that he was the Only Sane Man in an insane, flawed universe, and that it was up to him to burn it all down and rebuild it better. It ends up with him locked away for a million years. Tragic Villain indeed.
  • Stephen Strange grew up in Camelot after being orphaned as a baby. Yes, that Camelot, and he became Court Physician and Court Bard, as well as a secondary Court Mage after Merlin. And even now, after 500,000 years, he still refuses to forgive himself for too late in arriving at Camlann, thinking he could have struck Mordred down and saved King Arthur. It still haunts him. After all that time. And it's hinted that the reason he refuses to forgive himself is because he's terrified of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and starting to dismiss such things as 'the cost of doing business.' No wonder he's so messed up.
    • He still regards as another regret the circumstances leading to Surtur's binding, since one of his friends, Frey, had to sacrifice himself. Frey was young, and kind, and he was about to become a father, and Strange couldn't find a way to spare him which spared the universe too. Frey knew it and thanked Strange for trying, only asking Strange to walk with him while he left for his last battle.
    • When being threatened by an angry Thor, Strange remarks that any torture the latter has in mind would be amusingly quaint, if not cathartic, and that he honestly wouldn't mind if he did die. What kind of hell has that man been through?
    • Additionally, what happened with Arthur and Mordred and his being too late to stop the tragedy explains why he drove himself mad trying to do everything he could to save Maddie/Rachel - he failed her the exact same way as he failed Arthur, by being too late, something he vowed after Camlann to never, ever be.
      • And on top of that, as he informs Uhtred when on the verging of totally flipping out, he never breaks his word, because it's just about all he has left. The prospect of being forced to break his word, which likely had very real magical consequences on top of the very obvious psychological ones, nearly destroyed him.
  • While having powers is awesome, Jean-Paul discusses with the Kents the downside of being born a mutant-there are many beings and organizations out there who would love to use a super-powered minion, and if you don't keep your powers hidden or have protection like Xavier, the Avengers, SHIELD, etc, they will come for you, and your loved ones will be helpless to intervene. All because you just happened to be born with powers you didn't ask for.
  • Pretty much everything about Ruth - at around 12 years old, her psychic powers were just starting to develop when she got hit by the side-effects of Harry and Maddie's psychic brawl. Her powers went out of control, the sheer amount of possibilities she could see drove her mad, and she was reduced to begging on the streets, which implies that, for whatever reason, her parents either aren't around, or didn't care for her. It's a toss-up as to which possibility is more of a tearjerker, with a hefty dose of Fridge Horror.
  • Harry's Motive Rant in chapter 28 really shows just how weary and broken Harry is from Forever Red and everything else, sounding like a combination of weary old man and petulant teenage boy who just wants to spend time with his friends and family without someone trying to kill him.
    "I. Have had. Enough. All I want is to have a normal school year, and to be left alone. I mean...is that really too much to ask?"
  • In chapter 29, Steven 'Stevie' Danvers, Carol's younger brother, lays out what he's noticed about what's been going on (a lot, considering that he's Locked Out of the Loop), including that there was something fishy about their father suddenly getting a job that keeps him far away from his family (because he tried to get Harry to alter Carol's mind). He then notes that their youngest brother, Joe junior, who's 9, doesn't understand what's going on, just that something is off and that his daddy is gone - he doesn't know why, much less understand (that there's a good reason for it), and therefore tends to cry himself to sleep whenever he thinks his older siblings aren't around. Furthermore, he believes that Carol seldom paid attention anyway, a remark she, a little ashamed, doesn't rebut. In general, it serves as a little reminder that what's good for the main cast has ramifications for other characters.
    • Later on, Stevie being absolutely terrified of Dracula's strike team - he is, after all, surrounded by monsters that are pretty open about how they have no use for him other than possibly as a snack, and his only protection is his superpowered big sister, who the monsters are clearly more powerful than, and the fact that they're only sparing him as long as he can serve as a hostage for Carol's good behaviour. While Carol's not especially fazed by vampires etcetera, having had practise fighting monsters, Stevie is completely out of his depth and understandably terrified, and thus clinging to her as tightly as he can, with later chapters establishing that he's got PTSD. Another little set of ramifications.
      • Little Joe, meanwhile, is 9 years old, just lost his daddy, and sees both of his big siblings getting traumatized, so he starts acting out. And he's the least traumatized member of that family, given that he's too young to remember Charlie O'Neill.
  • Alison Carter remembering Piotr Rasputin: all he ever wanted was to peacefully live as a farmer, but the Red Room coveted his mutant power too much to take "no" for an answer, killed his parents to teach him a lesson about refusing them, then kidnapped his baby sister Illyana to make him comply to their wishes. When young Alison was abducted too and people came to rescue her, he was reminded of his little snowflake and turned against them, then with the help of Peggy and a few others tried to find his sister... only to learn she had been spirited away into Faerie and thanks to the time differential of the Nevernever was now a grown-up woman with a bad case of Blue-and-Orange Morality. As summed up, life conspired to make of Piotr a very lonely man.
  • Gambit's reaction when he's informed he's nothing but a clone grown by Sinister who only escaped by a freak accident? He runs away. When everyone finds him, he tries to play it cool, but he's obviously shaken.
  • When Jor-El realized Krypton was about to be destroyed, he immediately went to the Science Council to warn them... only for them to dismiss him. So he begged his friend Dru-Zod for help... and Zod ended up declaring war on Krypton's government. Oh, and don't forget this apocalyptic cult who started to worship Jor-El as a prophet of the coming doom, the 'Herald of the Eradicator'. Being a committed pacifist, he was utterly horrified at this, and the poor guy was reduced to hiding himself and his family to continue living in something approximating safety.
    • The fact he came to Earth to personally plead with Alison Carter to watch over baby Kal-El, and the way he pretty much dismisses any chance of getting out alongside Kal-El. Also heartwarming because yes, Jor-El was that anxious to protect his beloved son.
  • Alison discusses with Carol how she has to lie to the faces of men and women she works with and respects, every single day, given that many of them had loved ones who were killed by the Winter Soldier.
  • Clark's breakdown when it truly hits him that he's the Last of His Kind.
  • Ginny's concerns over realizing her feelings towards Diana, which she's afraid to discuss with anyone because she views them as "unnatural", cut far too close to home for anyone in the LGTBQ community who's faced similar troubles in their own lives.
    • When she gives into those feelings and kisses Diana during the Yule Ball, she has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and flees, convinced that there's something wrong with her. Fortunately, Harry is able to convince her what she's feeling is perfectly normal, and she's left feeling much better afterwards.
  • A more minor example, but there's Hermione and Ron developing a tenseness with each other due to her disapproval of his plans to one day join SHIELD as a means of hunting HYDRA, in order to get revenge for his father's death.
  • Harry reveals that he unblocked his Red Son memories. All of those terrible things mentioned above? Now he can remember doing them.
  • It turns out that shortly before Harry killed it, the Elder Wyrm touched Ron's mind and stirred some of his suspicions, and implied that the Winter Soldier is still alive. Harry is forced to do some quick thinking and usage of Exact Words, and though he smooths it over somewhat with a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech, he also admits that he would (and is) lying to him about some things. When Ron finds out the truth, it's going to be nasty...
  • T'Challa briefly alludes to the plot of Black Panther (2018), which means he had to live through the heartwrenching reveal that his father (who he watched die in front of him - here, murdered by Baron Zemo) wasn't such a good person and that he had a cousin driven so mad he was unable to normally function in society. It's easy to see he still feels raw about it.
  • Draco has to ask Harry to pull strings for him just so that he can visit his imprisoned mother over Christmas. This also implies that they probably haven't seen each other very much at all.
  • At the Yule Ball, for the Last Dance, Doctor Strange dresses up in the formal bardic gear he wore back when he was known as Taliesin and was part-time Court Bard to Arthur Pendragon, and plays an ancient antique crwth (a Welsh semi-lyre/proto-violin), indicated to be his original instrument. What song is he playing? One that only one other living person has ever heard, because he's only ever played it once before, when he was a mortal young man: the First Dance for Arthur and Guinevere's wedding. Who is he playing it for? Harry and Carol, of course, the last couple on the dance-floor. On one level, it's a sweet Shipper on Deck moment. On another, though, it's a reminder of how utterly ancient and incredibly lonely Strange is, how much he's lost, and that this is part of his way of saying goodbye, because he's dying.
  • Harry and Carol discuss the problems that Jean's been going through: Playing big sister to Harry and Maddie, two incredibly traumatized family members; acting as the unofficial Head Girl at the Xavier Institute, meaning that she's also taking care of Bobby and the Red Room prisoners, all of whom have had plenty of traumatic experiences of their own, on top of all the angst that being a teenager and a mutant brings (plus, as Harry's demonstrated, being a telepath in a building full of teenagers is difficult enough at the best of times); struggling to deal with the fact that, at 17/18 years old, she's got Physical God levels of Psychic Powers; captaining her soccer team; and dealing with academic pressure, as well as the pressure to keep up a happy face on top of all of that. And then her boyfriend started cheating on her. Because "she wasn't spending enough time with him". As Carol observes, it's mainly surprising that she didn't crack sooner.
    • Meanwhile, Maddie, having blurted this out at pretty much the worst time imaginable, faces rejection and anger from Jean. From most people's point of view, this would be entirely understandable, if still upsetting; from the point of view of someone who's just beginning to get used to the idea of being loved and cared for unconditionally...
  • Harry actually isn't Thor's first demigod child. As Frigga put it, young Thor was reckless, not feckless, and took precautions after Loki's Hela fiasco. However, one time, he unfortunately failed to get those precautions updated. As a result, when he had a night with a mortal woman, it (against all odds, what with Asgardians having a low fertility rate) resulted in a pregnancy. Thor didn't know, because he assumed the precautions were still in place, immediately returned to Asgard, and was dispatched to Nidavaellir to help out in a minor war against the trolls, basically just as way of showing Asgard's support and his abilities. This took a few decades, and when he returned to Earth, he heard about a shieldmaiden named Torunn who claimed she had been sired by the God of Thunder himself. While such claims were common enough, he remembered the village she was born in, noticed mention of superhuman attributes in stories about her, realised she probably was his and immediately went looking for her, following the stories... only to arrive several years after her burial. Oh, he still got to know her as she became a Valkyrie (an undead badass warrior woman protecting the Norse afterlife, slaughtering the monsters that still infest it, and even Outsiders that try and use it as a way into the Nine Realms), and she seemed to be enjoying herself (as Harry notes, it's what most of the family does for fun). He's not so bothered by the being dead part - as Frigga notes, death is seen differently in Asgard, since they know pretty much how it works. But what he is bitter about is the fact he missed a lifetime with his daughter. This in turn is, according to Frigga, why he reacted so badly when he got his memories of Harry back, and is so bitter about having missed out on a good chunk of Harry's childhood.
  • Carol tells Harry that when her father came to visit for Christmas, she confronted him on his attempt to get Harry to use his powers on her, ultimately disowning him. She breaks down in tears as she recounts this, being especially upset when she acknowledges that the worst part was that her father didn't even seem to realize what he'd done wrong.
    • It's also noted that Joe Jr. was unaware that their father was only visiting for the holiday and had a meltdown when he had to leave again.
  • Wanda's reaction when Dresden meets his infant daughter: she's genuinely happy, she is, but the bitterness and wistfulness are still there. Once upon a time, she was the one apprentice with this tiny person she helped to come into the world, but she had to let Hermione go. And Harry, come to that.
  • Dresden unloading to Murphy how Strange manipulated his mother to ensure he and Thomas were born, all as part of his larger agenda. He admits that he logically understands Strange's reasoning for doing so, but is still clearly torn up over the fact that he was a pawn before he was even born, and that his mother had to suffer and die for it.
  • In the aftermath of the fight against Reynolds, Strange asks Tony to help Harry, because he's going to go through a bad case of PTSD, courtesy of his memories from the Red Room, combined with how he found Clark close to being vivisected. When Tony (naturally) asks him if he can't help Harry, Strange bitterly says that he has tried everything in his power to help Harry get through it, but has been unable to. Even angry as he realizes part of this is because of Strange's manipulative nature, Tony empathizes with Strange and can tell that he is an incredibly tired and frustrated man that has found a problem he cannot solve.
  • Harry, a little reluctantly giving Clark another dose of Brutal Honesty regarding his crush on Lana, after Clark brings it up. Specifically, he points out how if Clark was really as in love with her as he claims, he'd know more than some basic character traits about her. While he adds that a) his relationship with Carol (and the related mutual insight) is not anyone's standard of normal, b) he's not actually met Lana or seen/sensed how the two interact and feel about each other, c) Clark definitely cares about her and Lana probably cares about him... going by what Clark himself has said, it probably isn't True Love. Clark gets understandably upset to have this shoved in his face, even if he understands Harry's point.
  • Strange bluntly tells Clark to not waste time hoping for another Kryptonian having escaped the planet's destruction, even though he concedes that it's possible. He's advising this because he desperately tried to find a hint of his birth clan having safely fled Uther Pendragon's relentless persecution against druids, chasing rumours, getting his hopes... only to be confronted to the cold truth that he well and truly was the Sole Survivor.
  • Harry has the PTSD event Strange warned about, and it is as terrifying and tearjerking as warned. Harry ends up bleeding because he rubs his skin raw.
    • Carol does her best to help when she finds him, but has to deal with the fact that she can barely help the person she loves so much, and also with how Harry flinches every time she gets too close (due to her superficial resemblance to Belova).
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