In Slightly Twisted Vision!
It was nearly six years ago to the day that her life had changed forever. Her father, Wisconsin dairy mogul Vlad Masters was terrified of ghosts, but whenever he was away on business, her mother Maddie would regale Diana with stories about ghosts and ghost hunting. The girl fell asleep to tales of her mother's college days, of ghostly research and how a ghost saved her father from a horrific lab accident twenty years ago, an accident that led to Vlad and Maddie eventually falling in love and getting married.
At eight years old, Diana was absolutely enthralled with these stories, and believed that the castle was haunted by ghosts. She was always a clever child, and the fact was that Maddie underestimated the young girl's inquisitiveness and cunning. So it happened one day that Maddie was outside tending to something in the garden, and Diana discovered her mother's big secret.
Enthralled by the hidden lab, Diana did what any child would do: she began pushing buttons, flipping levers, and poking at everything that piqued her interest. There was one device in particular that captured the young girl's attention; a silent empty gateway hidden behind a heavy metal door with a heart painted on it.
"WHOOHOO!" Diana crowed, flying invisibly above the traffic below. She had been far from normal for six years now, the girl had come to appreciate the simple pleasure of flying under her own power. Instead of being cooped up in a cramped plane for an hour, she much preferred the freedom of the open skies, a freedom she had missed direly during the winter break, when she dared not use her powers lest her mom find out.
She sighted a truck stop below and decided to stop for lunch, flying to an easy landing out behind the fast food place. After a brief check to see that no one was watching, she reappeared, returning to her normal appearance in a flash of light. As she walked around the front of the building, she gasped slightly, nearly crossing her eyes to verify the faint blue wisp from her mouth. A ghost? Here? A quick glance around didn't reveal anything, and the slight mist dissipated quickly, so Diana shrugged it off, stuck her hands in her jacket pockets, and strolled around the corner.
With a yelp, she collided with someone else standing just around the corner, causing Diana and the guy she ran into to both fall over. She sat there in momentary confusion as the other guy shook the dust from his black hair, shakily trying to get back to his feet. She hopped easily to her feet, frowning in confusion at the young man. She was often traveling solo, but it wasn't often she ran into other people in her apparent age bracket doing likewise.
"Hey, sorry about that. You okay?" Diana offered the boy a hand, helping him to his feet. She had to quirk an eyebrow at his appearance, jeans and a white and red t-shirt, but no jacket.
"Ur... been better." The boy finished smoothing out the rumples in his attire, finally looking at Diana. Something in his expression when he saw her piqued Diana's interest, so she put one hand on her hip and surveyed the raven-haired youth with a critical eye. He had to be about her age, short and lean with messy black hair and piercing blue eyes. He was almost cute, aside from the fact he looked absolutely exhausted.
"Honestly, you look pretty miserable. C'mon, let's get some chow." Diana declared.
"Oh, no, that's okay, I'm broke-" The boy stammered.
"Pff, s'cool. Besides, I ran into you, consider it an apology." Diana grabbed the boy's arm and hauled him into the restaraunt despite his protests. "And eating alone is boring."
Her captive apparently gave up on resisting and followed her inside. She could only wonder how long it had been since the guy had last eaten; she could hear his stomach grumbling despite being a foot or so ahead of him. He again tried to protest when she slapped enough money on the counter to cover both of their meals, but a few pointed looks silenced his feeble protest as they got their food and laid claim to one of the booths.
"Anyhow, don't think I caught your name in between running into you and getting lunch." Diana nibbled at her burger. "I'm Diana."
The boy gave her another unreadable look; almost bordering on a confused frown or intense thought. "I'm Danny. Danny Fenton... and... uh... thanks for lunch." He grinned sheepishly. "I guess I was pretty hungry."
"No prob. So where ya headed anyway?" Diana leaned back in the booth, comfortable in the padded seat.
Danny frowned, considering his response. It struck Diana as a bit strange for a guy in her age bracket to give much thought to such a simple question. After a sip of his soda, he finally replied. "Actually, I'm... backpacking to Madison."
Diana quirked an eyebrow. "Without a backpack?"
Danny nearly dropped his burger at the observation. "I... lost it?"
Somehow, I doubt that. Diana thought to herself. Rather than press the subject though, she decided to turn the conversation to other mundane topics. "Well, if you follow this highway, you should spot a castle off the road. Just don't ask for free cheese samples."
That seemed to catch the boy's attention, because he was suddenly looking at her, blue eyes intense. "Castle? You mean Vlad Masters' castle?"
Diana nodded, slightly surprised by Danny's reaction. "Well, yeah. It's the only castle in Wisconsin. What hole have you been hiding in?"
"Oh... just... don't mind me." Danny backpedalled rapidly. "So... uh... where are you headed to?"
"Back to school, actually. Banquo School for the kids of parents with too much money." Diana replied, tone laden with sarcasm at her variation on the school's name. She never had quite gotten over her mother encouraging her father to start sending her away to these ritzy private academies. Diana suspected it was largely because Maddie feared that Vlad would find out about the secret lab from her. "Don't you go to school?"
Danny again gave his reply a long moment of thought. "Ur, yeah, Casper High. But we're... um... still on winter break!"
"Lucky. Banquo doesn't start for another week, but I've gotta be there early to get settled in the dorms and everything." Diana griped, nibbling at her fries. She would have liked to spend her vacation doing fun stuff like backpacking, but her father's work schedule and her mother's housekeeping and secret research had killed that idea long before it could get off the ground.
"Wow, I guess that does stink." Danny admitted, wolfing down his lunch with the speed and intensity of a kid who hadn't eaten in days. "But are the dorms that bad? I mean, you have your own place, no crazy parents bothering you, right?"
Diana snorted. "They're just crazy when I'm home. Seriously, I don't know what my mom's problem is. I know she's hiding a lot from Dad, and he gets so jealous-!"
"Uh, wow." Danny stated lamely, clearly at a loss for something more appropriate to tell the redhead. "My parents are... ur... were, I guess... always building crazy gadgets and trying them out."
"Were? Did something happen to your folks?" Diana raised an eyebrow.
Danny recoiled immediately. "Uh, well, no, sorta... um... Y'know, I think I need to use the bathroom. Excuse me!" He got up to make a dash for the boys' room.
"Alright." Diana frowned. "But I gotta get going. If I'm late, my roommate will hog the bigger bedroom. See you around, Danny!"
"Uh, right. Bye!" Danny ducked into the bathroom, muttering to himself. "That was weird. She looked almost like a younger version of Jazz-!"
He gasped, immediately spotting the blue wisp that signaled the presence of a ghost. Danny quickly verified that he had the bathroom to himself and transformed, flying up through the ceiling and half-expecting a fight. No ghost was apparent outside though, so Danny turned invisible and surveyed the immediate area, months of ghost fighting having bred a slight paranoia about his ghost sense going off. He peered inside the restaraunt, mildly surprised to see that Diana had already left, because the redhead was absolutely nowhere to be seen.
"Man, she wasn't kidding about going." Danny muttered, taking to the open skies and heading for Vlad's castle. "I just hope Mom has a portal. I've got to get to Clockwork and fix all of this!"
Unknown to the teenage half-ghost, Diana was also airborne and flying in the opposite direction, to the boarding school she would be calling home for the next several months. And unknown to the red-headed half-ghost girl, her entire life was on the brink of being turned upside-down forever.