A/N: Hey there! I decided to rewrite the first three chapters. They were short and badly written. I have improved my writing a lot since I first started, and I want to bring the first three chapters up to my new standard. Don't worry, I won't deviate from the main things. That being said, I hope you enjoy any changes I made.
Disclaimer: I do not own DP or HP. I can only imagine the weirdness and insanity that would happen if I did... I also do not own The Lion King.
Chapter One: Are Dreams Important?
It was a warm night with a pleasant breeze rustling the leaves of the trees scattered throughout Amity Park. Rock music, tinged with a gothic flavour, floated across the air from an open window. The music could easily be distinguished from amongst the various sounds of nocturnal wildlife. A girl's voice suddenly shattered the relative calm, in time with the song. The notes rang out nice and clear, carried by the breeze.
Amity Park's resident half-ghost was on patrol, keeping an eye out for any spectral activity. He didn't really need to be as vigilant with his eyes as his ghost sense would invariably alert him if a ghost was nearby. Intrigued by the music he floated closer to the source of the noise. A few seconds later, Danny Phantom was witness to a very rare sight: Samantha Manson was singing. Turning around, Sam found herself staring slack-jawed at her best friend. Mouth gaping stupidly, Danny collected his thoughts and gained enough sense to close his mouth.
Clearing his throat, he managed to croak out a nervous, "Hi Sam…"
Sam just stood there, her brain telling her to reply. Realising she had been caught and was unable to rewind time, Sam slowly met his apprehensive gaze. She opened her mouth but no sound came forth. Danny, who had been expecting Sam's wrath, was rather relieved at her reaction and decided to try another stab at conversation to cover up the awkward silence as the music, which had been coming from Sam's huge CD player, had stopped.
"You…uh…have a really good singing voice!" he said hesitantly, blurting the last part out in a rush while rubbing the back of his neck in a nervous gesture. Sam finally found her voice and narrowed her eyes.
"Were you SPYING on me?!?" she yelled. Danny looked like someone had struck him in the face with a Holy Frying Pan of Righteous Feminine Wrath. Sam put her hands on her hips and simply stood there, glowering at her best friend. Flustered, he floated to the floor and took a few steps back.
"N-no, of course not! I was just out on patrol and heard singing. I had no idea it was you!" Sam looked disbelieving. "It's the truth!" he persisted. She sighed, giving in to the puppy-eyes he was shooting her way.
"Yeah, yeah. Just don't you dare tell ANYONE or you'll regret it!" she hissed out threateningly.
Sam Manson was a force to be reckoned with; Danny knew this from personal experience and had no desire to be on the receiving end of Sam's combat boots or any other sort of weapon she had at her disposal. Danny gave her a goofy salute and mimed zipping his mouth shut.
"Good boy," she said, smiling despite herself. She glanced over at her bedside clock. 9:47 blinked innocently back in bright red digital numbers. "Danny, you better go!"
Danny looked a bit disappointed by this, but he had to be home before his curfew at ten o'clock. "See you at school tomorrow," he said over his shoulder, launching himself out of the window. He flew off in the direction of FentonWorks, enjoying the wind rushing past.
Out of all of the abilities he had gained from the Fenton Ghost Portal, flying was the one he secretly liked the most. There were no words to properly describe the feelings that flying induced. It made him feel free, like he had not a single care in the world and, if he did, the wind would whisk it away for him.
'Hakuna Matata!' Danny thought with a chuckle.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end sooner or later. Upon sighting FentonWorks, he flew down and landed in front of the odd-looking building and quickly checked for any people. Seeing the street was deserted, he transformed back into Danny Fenton and opened the door.
The lounge room was one of the few places in the house that had no ghostly gadgets in it, leaving it plain and normal-looking. His father was sitting on the lounge doing needlepoint. Jack Fenton looked a little out of place sitting in the ordinary lounge room in his large, bright orange hazmat suit. He looked up as Danny came in.
"Hey son, you're home!" he said in his usual loud voice, "On time, too!"
The teenager rolled his eyes at his dad and went upstairs, his feet partially dragging on every step. Half an hour later he was sound asleep in bed, curled slightly beneath the covers with his mouth open.
Wind whistled past his ears, but he couldn't feel it. Despite feeling chilly to everyone else and able to turn intangible at will, Danny could always feel the wind. While he was intangible the wind went through him, though he could still feel it to a degree. He was tangible at the moment, but the fact that he couldn't feel the wind at all was confusing and a touch troubling.
He was flying over a vast lake, watching the shimmering surface of midnight blue reflect all that was above it. Danny could see his ghostly aura light up the surface like a giant white firefly. Many stars twinkled above him and the moon was full and bright.
In the distance was a dark castle, its features indistinguishable despite the moonlight. The castle sat atop a hill of sorts, vaguely resembling the castles perched on cliffs that Dracula always seemed to inhabit in all the vampire movies. It loomed closer and closer and…suddenly seemed to disappear.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEE-
A hand awkwardly turned the annoying device off. It, and the arm it was attached to, withdrew back under the warmth of the covers. A mess of raven-black hair could be seen amidst the jumble of sheets, spread messily on a light blue pillow. A zombie-like moan erupted from under the sheets.
"Why does school have to start so early?" Danny muttered sleepily, trying and failing to suppress a yawn. Still grumbling about it being too early, he started to get ready for school. He grabbed a clean t-shirt and pair of pants. He met his sister coming out of the bathroom on his way in.
"Good morning, Danny!" she said cheerfully.
"Morning Jazz…" he replied unenthusiastically. He got out of his pyjamas and turned on the shower. Danny let the warm water wash away his sleepiness. He walked into the kitchen, fully dressed and awake, fifteen minutes later. Grabbing a bowl, spoon, carton of milk and a box of cereal, Danny set about the task of breakfast.
In between the crunches his cereal made, he could hear his dad tinkering with a new gadget down in the lab. Luckily there was no smoke wafting up the basement stairs, so he knew that nothing was on fire or had exploded yet.
His mum was making her husband some waffles for breakfast. She was using the proper appliances instead of her ecto-powered ones for once. His sister was sitting at the table calmly reading a book. Breakfast went by blessedly smoothly, and when he was done, Jazz offered to drive him to school. It wasn't often that Jazz extended such an invitation to her little brother, so he eagerly accepted and followed her out the door.
"Have a good day at school!" their mother called just before the door swung shut. The siblings got in Jazz's car and she drove off, heading for Casper High.
The car ride went a little less smoothly than breakfast. When they were only three blocks away from FentonWorks, Jazz began grilling him. She asked him all about the ghosts he had faced since the last time she had spoken to him like this, and if he had been hurt while fighting any of them. Danny had to firmly reassure her that he was perfectly fine before she eased up and gave him a small, apologetic smile.
As Jazz pulled up at Casper High, Sam came running up; Tucker was a little behind. Danny got out of the car and his sister went to park it. He was immediately confronted by Sam the instant Jazz pulled away from the curb.
"Did you tell anyone?" she demanded.
"No, you've sworn me to secrecy, so be secret about it I shall!" he exclaimed dramatically, shoving his fist in the air to prove his point.
"Dude, what are you doing?" Tucker panted, finally having caught up. Danny lowered his hand.
"Nothing, Tuck. Come on; let's get to class before I'm late…again."
Sam and Tucker nodded, walking with Danny towards the building they dreaded. The bell rang just as they sat down. Mr. Lancer finished writing on the board and turned to face his class.
"Now today we'll be discussing the finer points of Shakespeare's work," Lancer said, managing to sound both excited about Shakespeare and unenthusiastic about getting the room full of teenagers to do the same.
The class groaned. Slowly, like condemned people, they each opened a copy of Hamlet that Mr. Lancer had placed on their desks. After what seemed like an eternity, the bell rang. Eager to escape English, the students swiftly packed up. Danny, Sam and Tucker headed to science. After a couple of dull hours, if you didn't count the explosions that occurred, and the smell of singed hair was thankfully removed, it was lunchtime.
"I am never letting Tucker handle the chemicals in science ever again…" Danny muttered. He stuck a hand behind his head and ruffled his messy hair, trying to disguise the fact that a few locks had been partially burnt off at the back. Sam was watching him scowl with a deeply amused look on her face.
The three grabbed a lunch tray each and walked past the old, grumpy lunch lady who proceeded to dump a lump of some unidentifiable meat onto Danny and Tucker's trays; Sam having gone straight past the lady to where the green stuff, that was supposed to be green, was. Danny didn't blame her. Even he had his doubts about the green-tinged mystery meat.
"Blessed meat, come to daddy!" Tucker crooned at his food as soon as they had sat at their usual table.
"Ugh, gross," Sam said.
Danny knew that unless he headed them off now, this was more than likely going to become another of his friends' Meat vs. Veggies fights. Danny himself had a good balance of both. 'What's the point in getting involved? They're not gonna listen,' he always told himself. He never paid his friends much attention when they fought like this, though he usually got dragged into it anyway.
"I had that same dream again last night," he said as a diversionary tactic. It worked beautifully; they both stopped and turned to him.
"You mean the one with the cool dark castle?" Sam asked, the Goth liking the idea.
"Yep, that's the one."
Tucker looked thoughtful as he poked his meat with his fork. "You've had that same dream every night for a week! Maybe it means something important?" he theorised.
Sam, who was into the obscure arts, found the idea vaguely intriguing. "Interpreting dreams is said to be really hard. There has to be something going on for you to have a recurring dream like that."
Danny put his head in his hands and his elbows on the table. "If there is, I don't know what that something is. It's just a lake and a castle, how can that mean anything?"
Sam and Tucker looked at each other, unsure how to answer. Since their friend was half ghost, there could be any number of reasons for the dreams. Still, neither could even begin to guess what a lake and a castle symbolised.
"You don't think the castle has anything to do with Vlad, do you?" Tucker suddenly asked.
Danny frowned. "The castle doesn't look like any of Vlad's buildings," he answered after a moment.
"I doubt Vlad's involved. He's got a lot of powers, but nothing along the lines of telepathy or anything. Maybe the dreams will just go away?" Sam suggested hopefully, attempting to bolster Danny's flagging mood.
"Yeah man, don't worry about it! Just do what you always do," Tucker added.
Danny smiled gratefully. "Thanks guys."
They had a pop quiz in math after lunch. When Dash saw the large red 'D' scrawled on top of his quiz after he got it back, he made sure to track Danny down in the hallway. Once he had located Danny, Dash then proceeded to stuff him into his locker as retribution for his poor grade. Dash's poor grade was in no way Danny's fault, but it was one of the jock's favourite excuses to pick on the smaller boy.
In another brief break between periods the Box Ghost burst out of a box, but he was sucked into the Thermos not long after. When the school bell rang to signal the end of the educational hours the trio walked out, splitting up after deciding to meet at the Nasty Burger tomorrow to celebrate the end of the school week.
"Curse you, Potter! How were you able to wriggle out of that?" Dolores Umbridge seethed to herself. The short, squat woman had attended Harry Potter's trial only three hours earlier. She knew that if Dumbledore hadn't shown up, they would've had that miserable Potter.
Her heels, which didn't really add to her height, clacked against the polished marble floor. She was on her way to her own office, having just come from speaking to the Minister himself. As Umbridge was Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, she had a rather nice office located on a hallway with only a few other important offices spread along its length.
Echoing voices could be heard in a room a bit farther ahead. Umbridge had the need to know everything that went on around her, so she walked up to the room. It was on the left side of the corridor and the door was slightly ajar, allowing her to peek into the room.
There were two ghosts inside. Both of them looked like noblemen from a past age and they appeared to be deeply absorbed in their conversation, neither of them noticing the eavesdropper.
"Yes, I'm not sure how either. Mmhmm, they call him the 'Halfa'," said the ghost closest to the door, with an air of sophistication laced into his words.
"The 'Halfa'?" the second ghost repeated inquiringly in a deep voice, bemused. "What's a halfa?"
"I'm not sure," the first ghost replied, uncertainty colouring his tone. He floated side to side about an inch each way, as though he was shifting on his feet. Since he was floating a couple of inches off the ground, the whole gesture looked a touch weird. He brushed some imaginary dust off his transparent sleeve. "All I know is that the other ghosts say he's powerful."
The second ghost's eyes widened and he leaned in closer to his friend. The two continued to talk in hushed tones, though Umbridge could no longer hear what was being said. She pulled back from the door, her mind whirling from all she had overheard.
This recent information confused her. All ghosts did were float, go through things and turn invisible, unless they meant status-based power, but the ghosts didn't have any real authority figures. Except those who represented their fellow spirits at the Ministry, but even they had no real official power…
What if it was not a ghost at all? The name 'Halfa' struck a despised cord within the Senior Undersecretary. Anything with that sort of name had to be a half-breed of some sort, and it was most likely formed from crossing two species illegally.
Umbridge hastily walked back to her office. She wanted to look into this.
A/N: There, I managed to add about 1,000 or so words! I didn't leave many sentences completely untouched and I added plenty of new paragraphs. What do you think? Is it better than the original? If you guys think it is, then I'll start rewriting chapter 2.
Just a note, but there really is such a thing as a Holy Frying Pan. It's the most powerful weapon available for Paula in the Super Nintendo game Earthbound.