Disclaimer: Does anyone really think I own anything interesting?
Note: I've been meaning to do this for a while. For anyone who paid attention, yes this is a slightly different version of this chapter. I didn't change much, just the wording on a few things and added Clockwork's exit. For those who like this, you have an anonymous reader called Michi G. according to the e-mail she sent me. She pointed out that I had a few small errors in my chapters, and I told her something along the lines of 'Would you mind pointing them out? I wouldn't mind a little constructive criticism.' To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting a reply. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I keep spacing it. For anyone who knows me, this is not an uncommon thing. The first four chapters have been edited. I haven't taken anything out, just made some slight modifications in each. Details are at the top of each chapter.
Danny came home from school in a good mood. For once, he hadn't bombed the test in English, and he knew for a fact that his grades were improving. Ghost activity had lightened a lot recently, and even before that he had been able to find more time to study. 'Getting Sam to help schedule my time was a really good idea. Course, Tucker's the one who's managed to almost single-handedly get me through math so far.'
Walking into his house, Danny's good mood soured slightly when he registered there were two strange men in the living room with Jazz. From the look on Jazz's face, she was glad someone was there, but she wasn't so happy when she realized it was him. That really confused him, since they had gotten closer after Jazz admitted she knew his secret.
Jazz spoke before Danny could. "Danny! You're home! Ah, these people wanted to speak to you." The smile she gave him was rather strained and immediately put Danny even more on edge. She gestured to the two. "This is Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape."
Turning to study the two, Danny saw that one was an old man with long white hair and a beard, bright blue eyes, and extremely brightly colored clothing. The other was closer to his parents' ages, had black hair and eyes and wore all black.
Giving them both strange looks, Danny decided that he should at least try to be polite. "Ah, hi. You wanted to talk to me?"
The more colorfully clothed man—Albus Dumbledore—spoke first. "Ah, yes, you are Daniel Fenton? It seems there was a misunderstanding. You were supposed to go to Hogwarts, but for some reason the offer was never answered."
Danny held up a hand and gave him an annoyed look. "Look, for one thing, it's Danny. Not Daniel or Dan or anything like that. Two, what are you talking about?"
Dumbledore didn't seem to take offense at his tone, merely pulling an envelope from a pocket. "You should have received a letter like this one five years ago, but there was never a response."
Danny cautiously took the thing and carefully examined it, barely taking his eyes off Dumbledore for more than a few seconds. Snape, who had been silent for all of this, smirked. He had a feeling he'd like this boy. Finally, Danny handed it to Jazz without opening it. "Do you recognize that?"
Jazz frowned as she, too, examined the envelope without opening it before handing it back to him. "I think so. About five years ago, you got something like this in the mail, but I think mom and dad thought it was a joke."
Danny considered this for a long moment, never once taking his eyes off of Dumbledore. Although the other man had an aura of danger around him, something told him that Dumbledore was the one to be wary of. Since he had started fighting ghosts, he had learned to listen to his instincts. "Would you go get mom and dad?"
Jazz hesitated briefly before doing as he requested. Danny could take care of himself, as he had proven so often, and it would be best to have parental support right now.
Blue locked on blue, and Dumbledore was slightly confused. This boy moved like a seasoned warrior, and obviously didn't trust him. Out of curiosity, he decided to use his Legilimens ability to look into the boy's mind.
Danny stiffened slightly as he felt someone prying into his mind, and his mental shields instantly snapped up. Danny narrowed his eyes slightly as he caught the brief surprised look in Dumbledore's eyes. 'Thought so. He's the one who did that.'
The slightest smirk curled Danny's lips, but still he didn't look away from Dumbledore. 'I'll have to thank Clockwork the next time I see him. Let's just say you'll find some use for them, he said. Knew better than to ask, it wouldn't be the first time he refused to say anything.'
Just then, Danny's parents and Jazz walked in. Danny smiled and turned toward them. "Hi, mom, dad. Remember that weird letter I got when I was almost eleven?" When they simply nodded, he held up the envelope Dumbledore gave him.
Jack took it and he and Maddie examined it. His face got harder than Danny had seen in a long time, but Maddie was the first to speak. "Isn't this a bit much for a cruel joke?" she asked coldly. "We were mocked enough for our interest in ghosts, and then someone sent a letter from some school that claimed to teach magic? What kind of idiots do you take us for!"
Danny sighed softly. "I don't think they're joking, mom."
The single sentence was enough to stop both Fenton parents in their tracks to stare at their son. Snape spoke for the first time since Danny walked in. "And what brings you to this conclusion? Most would think as your parents do, that this is a joke."
Danny gave him a slightly annoyed look. "I've seen too much to automatically dismiss magic as a possibility, but that's not why I believe you." He cast a gaze filled with more than mere annoyance at Dumbledore. "The fact that your boss tried to break into my mind and something a friend once told me is what makes me think this is more than just a joke."
Jack moved faster than most people had ever seen him and had an ecto-blaster in Dumbledore's face before anyone could react. Maddie moved to cover him when she saw Snape reach for something in his pocket and had her own ecto-blaster pointed before he could react.
There was silence for a long moment before Snape broke it. "What is the point of this ridiculousness?" Despite the scorn in his tone, he didn't try to move.
Jack snorted as he kept a close eye on Dumbledore. "The point is that these are ecto-blasters. If you do anything we don't like, we will shoot you. They may not be very harmful to humans, but you will not simply get up from it."
Danny narrowed his eyes when he saw Dumbledore focusing on his dad the same way he had done to him. Without thinking, Danny powered an ecto-blast into his hand and darted around to plant his hand against Dumbledore's spine. "You try to get in my dad's mind, I'll blast you myself. And you'll definitely feel it." He grabbed the man's arm to make sure he wouldn't try to pull away.
Maddie spun around Snape until she was behind him with her blaster also directly against the man's spine and her hand wrapped around his shoulder close to his neck. "Tell us why you are here, and I'll consider letting you walk out instead of being thrown through the front door."
Snape heard the icy seriousness in her tone, and decided he wasn't going to test her resolve. "My colleague, Minerva, recently found out that your son was supposed to go to Hogwarts, but there was never a response. Why it was only found out now, I do not know."
Maddie narrowed her eyes, and glanced toward Dumbledore. Her eyes widened slightly when she realized that not only did Danny not have an ecto-blaster, hishand itself was glowing green, as were his eyes. Something told her to worry about it later, and she went back to questioning her prisoner. "How did he invade Danny's mind?" She gestured slightly with her free hand, blaster not budging an inch.
Snape frowned slightly, but answered anyway. "Albus is a Legilimens, which means he has the ability to look into another person's mind."
Danny smiled slightly. "Don't worry, mom. He didn't get very far."
Dumbledore finally spoke. "Yes, you have very impressive shields Mr. Fenton. How did you learn to shield your mind, anyway?"
Danny scowled softly. "You have a lot of nerve, asking questions after you tried to take the answers by force." Then he smirked. "But I have a pretty good idea why you didn't realize I was supposed to be in your school until recently."
Danny's ghost sense went off, and a familiar voice spoke from behind him. "It seems these two made a bad first impression." Turning to Jack, he smiled slightly. "Your son has him well in hand, Mr. Fenton. Albus Dumbledore will not be going anywhere for the moment."
Danny smiled slightly and spoke before anyone could get over their shock enough to speak. "Hey, Clockwork. You were right about the shields, they were very handy."
Clockwork, currently an adult, smiled slightly. "I know. But then, I know everything."
Jazz sighed softly as she looked around at the strange tableau in front of her. "Would somebody please tell me what this is all about?"
Danny smiled. "Sorry, Jazz, I forgot you never met Clockwork." He frowned. "I don't think… This is confusing." There was a slight groan in his voice as he said the last part.
Clockwork smiled slightly and patted him on the shoulder. "It's all right. And no, Jasmine never met me, only Dan."
Jazz gave the strange ghost an annoyed look. "It's Jazz. And did you have to remind me of that creep?" She shuddered slightly.
Danny frowned at the mention of his future self, but sighed. "All right. What do we do to keep these two from doing anything while we straighten this mess out?"
Clockwork smiled. "Take their wands, and you might want to blindfold Dumbledore. His power to look into a person's mind works through the eyes."
Danny smiled slightly. "Right. Jazz, can you find their wands?"
Clockwork decided to be helpful, since he was already there anyway. "Snape's is in his right pocket, but you might want to get Dumbledore's yourself, Danny. There are some strange objects hidden in those pockets."
He smirked. "You have things well in hand, Danny. I must be going. I only stopped in to be of some help." Clockwork calmly left as quickly and mysteriously as he came. Danny snickered softly. Clockwork did like making an exit.
Finally, Dumbledore found his voice after the time-controlling ghost had left. "Excuse me, but is all this really necessary? All we came here to do was to issue the invitation to young Daniel." The slight heat at his back increased suddenly, and something told Dumbledore to stand very, very still.
Danny growled softly. "It's Danny. Call me Daniel, and I might put up with it, but if you ever call me 'young Daniel' again, I'll fry you no matter what witnesses we have." No one who heard that thought he was anything but dead serious. Considering the fact that his eyes were glowing even brighter than before, it was quite an intimidating threat.
After several minutes and quite a bit of hassle, Snape and Dumbledore were both sitting on the small couch, wands confiscated and Dumbledore blindfolded.
Danny smirked and glanced over at Snape. "You can do the same thing he can, can't you?" When Snape gave him a confused glare, Danny decided to elaborate. "What did you call it, Legamens? When he tried to get into my mind."
Snape snorted softly. "Legilimens, actually. And yes, it is an ability that I have."
Danny smirked softly. "Use it on anyone that is here or may come in while you are here, and you'll get your very own blindfold." He smirked softly and decided to up the ante, so to speak. "Of course, you should be warned that the only thing we would use is hot pink."
Jazz saw the look of disgusted horror on the man's face at that, and laughed softly. "Who knew having a Goth as a best friend would prove useful, huh Danny?"
Danny smirked. "Yeah, especially considering her parents. Sam practically runs at themention of pink sometimes." He paused for a moment. "Speaking of, I'd better call them and ask them to come over."
Snape sneered. "You are going to bring more muggles here? Only the immediate family of a muggle-born student is allowed to find out about the Wizarding World."
Danny narrowed his eyes. "One, I don't know what a muggle is, but I don't like your tone. Two, I tell my friends everything. I won't keep something like magic a secret from them." He turned on his heel and went to the nearest phone to call Sam and Tucker.
Maddie frowned as she kept her blaster ready. The way Danny had said that, she knew that Sam and Tucker probably knew all about why Danny's hand and eyes had been glowing. Something told her that she had seen those eyes before, only far less angry.
Before Maddie could figure it out, Danny came back in. "They're on the way. It'll only take a few minutes."
Jack sighed. "Well, son, if you decide to go to this place, you will be calling us as much as possible, right?"
Snape snorted softly before Danny could answer. "Technology doesn't work at Hogwarts. You'll only be able to send letters by owl."
Maddie blinked. "No technology? That's interesting. Does it have to do with the electricity, or is there some other reason?"
Snape sighed, but didn't seem quite as annoyed as before. "Students have brought personal items to school with them. Many of the muggle-born will at times try to bring in some small game or such. If it is electronic, it never works. We've never found out exactly why, though it likely has something to do with the amount of magic in Hogwarts."
Jack raised an eyebrow in interest as an idea came to him. "So there's no restriction on anyone bringing in something like a computer?"
Snape rolled his eyes. "Of course not. We've never seen the point, since it never works unless they adapt it to run off magic. Besides that, by the time they learn how to do the necessary charms, they often don't bother."
Jack considered this. "Do you have ghosts at this school?"
Jazz and Maddie didn't think anything of this, but Danny gave his father a discreet considering look. Despite what some people (coughVladcough) thought, his father was not an idiot. After handling some of his inventions, Danny knew this quite well.
Snape raised an eyebrow, but nodded. "Yes, we have many ghosts at Hogwarts. The History of Magic Professor and each of the House ghosts are the ones best known. And Peeves, of course."
Danny frowned. "Who's Peeves?"
Snape rolled his eyes a little at all the questions, but still answered. "The resident poltergeist."
The door opened then, cutting off anymore questions. "Hey, Danny. What's going…on?" Sam blinked as she took in the scene. All four Fentons were in the room, all keeping an eye on the two men on the couch. Of the two men, one was dressed in extremely bright clothing, which made Sam wonder if he was colorblind, and had a black cloth tied over his eyes. He also seemed to be privately amused by something or other. The other man was wearing all black, and had an extremely dark look on his face.
Tucker came in just behind Sam and also took in the scene. "Uh, Danny? What's going on?"
Dumbledore smiled slightly. "You do realize that that story may be a little complicated. After all, not even Mr. Fenton has gotten the entire story yet."
Danny gave the man an annoyed look that had both Sam and Tucker raising eyebrows. "When we want to know the rest, we'll ask. Until then, I would appreciate it if you did not make me dig out something that could be used as a gag." Everybody's eyebrows, including Snape's, rose at the icy tone and obvious dislike for the man. Of course, everyone but Sam and Tucker had some idea why.
Danny calmly walked over and pulled both Sam and Tucker out of immediate earshot. Before he could speak, Tucker did. "Man, Danny. I haven't seen you give anyone but Vlad that nasty a look in a long time."
Danny smiled slightly. "Yeah, well, I really don't like that guy. Something about him is grating on my nerves, and it's not just his fashion sense." Both snickered at that, and Danny quickly began to explain what had happened so far. When he was done, Sam decided to do a quick re-cap.
"Okay, so you come in, see these guys, they tell you something about a letter to some magic school, and when you send Jazz to get your parents, the guy with no fashion sense decides to try and invade your mind?" Danny nodded and she snorted. "No wonder you're pissed off."
Danny laughed a bit at that, while Tucker simply nodded in agreement at her assessment. "Yeah, dude, with your secrets having someone just walk on in and try to take a look must really suck."
Danny nodded. "Yeah, and it's making me more and more glad that Clockwork's a good teacher. The shields he taught me kept that guy out, and he seemed surprised that I had them." He glared back toward the old man, not surprised to see his face turned toward them.
Turning slightly, he lowered his voice a bit as he added. "And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this guy's got good ears, so nothing about certain secrets while they're here. One more thing, the other guy, Snape, can do the same thing Dumbledore did, and look in people's minds." He turned back toward the group once more.
Tucker cocked his head slightly. "So what did you do to make sure he wouldn't try the same thing his boss did?" He saw no reason not to let the guy know he was asking; it wasn't like it was that big a deal.
Danny smirked in a way that reminded his friends of when he did the best pranks. "I threatened him with a hot pink blindfold."
Okay, maybe it was a big deal. Sam flat-out stared at him, trying not to laugh. "Danny, you've been hanging around me too long."
Danny laughed. "Do you really want to say that about your boyfriend? I mean, who knows I could get a fan club, and everyone would be happy to get me to spend less time with you!" He ignored the slight chill down his back as he thought of a fan club. It wasn't like it would happen, right?
Sam rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. Like that would happen. They'd have to see past the show of 'nerdy Danny Fenton' before they even realized how good-looking you are."
Tucker shook his head slightly as he watched the two. 'Those two really haven't changed much towards each other. The biggest thing that's changed is that the kisses aren't really 'fake-out make-out's anymore. I wonder if anyone at school even really knows.' He decided to join in after that last comment. "I don't know Sam, after all Danny does take his shirt off to practice."
Sam's eyes glazed over for a moment. "Don't I know it," she murmured. Then her eyes widened and a bright blush spread across her cheeks. "I mean…!"
(1) There are times I almost pity Danny, especially since he's a favorite of Mr. Murphy's.
AN: Yes, I know. I have another story that I haven't worked on in a while, and I really shouldn't put up another new story. Unfortunately, this one has been bugging me for a while. I just recently decided it was ready to be put up when I finally got a title for it. I don't know how often I'll update, since I've got quite a bit on this one, but I need to sort out the order of everything.
On a different note, for anyone who reads 'Neko' I am really sorry. I've gotten blocked on a certain point in that story and until I can sort it out, Ranma won't give me any more material for it. There are times I could strangle him. If anyone wants to help, could you suggest a good nickname-type-thing for Charles Xavier from X-Men Evolution? I got to a certain point and suddenly realized I didn't have a clue for it, and neither does anyone else I've asked. Help?