Walk Three Worlds
A Danny Phantom/Harry Potter Fanfic
Disclaimer: I don't own Danny Phantom or Harry Potter or anything associated with them.
Epilogue: These Small Hours
"Let it go.
Let it roll right off your shoulder.
Don't you know?
The hardest part is over.
Let it in.
Let your clarity define you in the end.
You will only just remember how it feels."
One Month Later
Danny fidgeted in the hard wooden chair he was sitting in, loosening the tie around his neck just a bit to make breathing easier. He glanced around the nearly empty courtroom, and his gaze came to rest on the judges' bench, which was currently empty as the three District Juvenile Court judges reviewing his case were at that particular moment deciding whether he could stay with the Potters or not.
Next to him, the family lawyer the Potters had hired stacked up his notes and neatly filed them away in his briefcase, seemingly unconcerned with the judges' long deliberation. He noticed the halfa's nervousness and shot him a small, reassuring smile.
"Relax, Danny," he said, shutting his briefcase with a quiet snap. "The judges aren't morons, they'll see that the Potters are good people, and that you'll be in great hands with them."
Danny smiled tightly in return, then turned and looked back at the small group of people seated right behind the weird fence dividing the courtroom: Ginny and James Potter, Teddy Lupin, Ron and Hermione Weasley, Aly McKos, and Chris Glock— in short, his entire family. Teddy, Aly, and Chris waved to him, hopeful grins on their faces. Danny waved back uncertainly, and Aly frowned and mouthed "What's wrong?" Danny didn't reply, just closed his eyes and let his emotions flood out like an invisible tidal wave, knowing that she would feel and understand.
And she did. Her eyes widened when she felt the fear and uncertainty coming from her friend, and she leapt up, leaned over the short fence, and grabbed him in a tight hug. Danny jumped, but quickly recovered, and hugged her back, glad for the physical comfort, which was what he wanted the most at the moment. Aly understood this, and gently played with his hair while he burrowed in her arms.
The fierce alley cat's been tamed, she thought, smiling.
"It's okay, Danny," she whispered to him, brushing the ebony bangs from his eyes. "It'll be okay. The judges will do their thing, we'll go home, and that'll be that. There's nothing to worry about."
He gave her a wan, hesitant smile as the judges came in, she gave him one last squeeze, and then both returned to their seats. The judges sat down at their bench, and looked down at the small group.
"Defendants, please rise," the head judge said, and Danny did as he was told, forcing his body to stay visible and tangible. Beside him, Harry rose as well, looking as uncomfortable as Danny felt in his suit.
"We have reviewed the information, and in light of the recent disappearance of Daniel's current legal guardian, Mr. Vlad Masters, we have decided to accept Mr. Harry Potter's request to become Daniel's legal guardian."
The rather long, technical sentence took a minute to register in Danny's mind, and it didn't help that a veritable wall of noise blasted him in the back the second the judge finished speaking. When the words finally clicked, it was all Danny could do to keep from launching straight into the air in jubilation.
It was over. He was free, finally free, back with a family that loved him, even if that family wasn't related to him by blood. But as Harry ruffled his hair and Ginny kissed him on the cheek and Teddy locked himself around his waist and James happily shrieked "Dee, Dee, Dee!", he remembered that blood didn't matter, they loved him just the same.
Seconds after the Potters and Teddy released him, the Weasleys pounced on him, and then Aly and Chris. As one best friend slapped him good-naturedly in the back, his other best friend wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him solidly on the mouth.
"Didn't see that one coming," Ron commented, grinning as he draped an arm around Hermione's shoulders.
Danny didn't pay any attention to anything else, least of all his new brother-in-law. He was too absorbed in kissing Aly back, and dimly wondered where on earth people in Godric's Hollow went while on dates.
"All right, all right, knock it off, you two, before you scar poor Teddy for life," Chris grumbled, grinning as he watched his two best friends go at it. Danny and Aly broke apart, both bright red and smiling shyly. Danny kept a solid grip on Aly's hand, and stammered as he asked, "Y-you w-wanna g-go o-out s-some t-time, A-Aly?"
Aly giggled and nodded. "I'd love to," she said quietly.
"So Danny, how's it feel to have a dad only ten years older than ya?" Ron asked, with an evil grin at Harry.
Harry and Danny both frowned at Ron. "Danny doesn't have to call me "Dad" if he doesn't want to," Harry said firmly. He glanced at Danny. "In fact, I'd prefer if you didn't. I'd rather think of you as a kid brother, having a fifteen year old son at twenty five is just too weird."
Danny nodded. "I agree," he said, relieved. "Besides, I can't call anyone who doesn't dress in an enormous orange jumpsuit "dad" anyway. And if you don't mind, Harry, I don't want to change my last name."
Harry smiled and nodded. "That's fine, mate," he said, ruffling his new brother's hair again.
"Come on, everyone," Ginny said. "We'd better get to the Burrow before Mum has a heart attack. She's been dying to meet Danny."
The group left the court house, arm in arm, laughing and joking and teasing each other. Danny couldn't wait to meet his new mother in law, and the famous Weasley clan, and as he climbed into Harry's station wagon, he wondered what they'd be like, and if they'd be as accepting of him as his new brother and sister-in-law were.
"Ready Danny?" Harry asked, looking in the rearview mirror. Danny grinned back.
"Ready," he said.
"All lives are made
In these small hours,
These little wonders,
These twisting turns of fate.
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours,
Molly Weasley was putting the finishing touches on the enormous dinner she'd prepared when she'd heard a knock on the door.
Oh, it's them! She thought happily, quickly wiping her hands on her apron and covering the cake she'd just decorated.
"I'll get it, dear!" Arthur shouted, sounding nearly as excited as Molly felt. She heard the door open, and Arthur's exclamations of happiness as he greeted his son, daughter, and their spouses.
"Molly, they're here!" Arthur called.
"Coming, coming!" The petite, soft-looking redheaded woman called, hurrying into the hall. She gripped her two children, now both at least a head taller than her, in an enormous hug.
"Ron, Ginny, welcome home!" She said, as they struggled to get out of her grip.
"Mum, it's only been two days!" Ginny gasped.
"Mum, I know you're glad to see us, but get off!" Ron grumbled. Molly laughed and released them, looking at Ron critically.
"Ronald, have you been eating regularly?" She asked, frowning. "You're terribly thin."
Ron rolled his eyes. "I'm fine, Mum," he said exasperatingly. "It's just been a bit… hectic, the past couple of weeks."
Molly gave her youngest son a sharp look, and turned to Ginny. Instantly, she knew something was different about her daughter. And while she had a vague idea what it was, she wanted Ginny to tell her.
"Ginny, dear?" She asked quietly, raising an eyebrow. Ginny blushed, and Molly knew.
"Hey, Mum," she said quietly, grinning madly. Molly matched her grin, and turned to her children-in-law.
"Harry, Hermione, how are you?" She asked, hugging them both tightly.
"Great, Mum," Harry answered, hugging her back.
"Doing fine, Molly," Hermione said, and Molly instantly realized that something was different about her as well.
Merlin! She thought happily.
"Grandma Molly!" Teddy piped up, leaping into his god-grandmother's arms.
"Ah, there you are, dear!" Molly said, easily picking the seven year old up. "Having fun with Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny?"
"Don't forget Danny!" Teddy said, pointing at the teenager hanging back in the doorway, looking hesitant. "Come on, Danny, come meet Grandma Molly!"
Molly put Teddy down, and he ran through the group of adults and grabbed the teenager's hand.
"Come on, Danny!" The little boy whined, pulling the older one forward. The teen smiled, and allowed himself to be dragged in front of Molly.
Molly studied her new son-in-law intently. With only a few subtle differences, the similarity between him and Harry was astonishing. Messy black hair did nothing to hide the pair of bright blue eyes that were studying her just as closely, and he had the same pale complexion as his adoptive older brother. He was quite a bit taller than Harry had been, but he was just as slim, and had the same cautious, careful air about him. Molly smiled, and the boy relaxed and grinned back.
"Welcome, Danny," she said warmly, "I'm Molly, Ginny and Ron's mum. Arthur, where are you? Come over here and say hello to your son-in-law."
The tall, thin man came to stand next to his wife from where he'd been talking quietly to Ron, and gave Danny a quick once-over.
"Hello, Danny," he said, grinning at the boy. "I'm Arthur. You're going to have to tell me everything about the Muggle world. After we eat, of course," he added quickly, seeing his wife's dangerous look.
"Let it slide.
Let your troubles fall behind you.
Let it shine,
Till you feel it all around you.
And I don't mind
If it's me you need to turn to.
We'll get by.
It's the heart that really matters in the end."
Déjà vu, Danny thought wryly, smiling as he thought of his first dinner at the Potters. This was almost the same thing, only crazier than Danny had ever expected.
For instance, tonight the ENTIRE Weasley family was present. Bill and his wife Fleur, and their five year old daughter Victoire, Charlie, who Ron said on vacation from his job in Romania, Percy and his twin daughters Molly and Lucy, and finally George and his wife Angelina, and their son Fred. In all, there were nineteen people crowded into the Burrow's rather small dining room. The kids, Charlie, and Percy ate in the kitchen, while Danny and the adults took turns at the dining room table, feasting on some of the best food Danny had had in a very long time.
"How on earth did you not learn how to do any of this?" He asked Ginny between bites of a delicious steak and kidney pie (he didn't even care that it was kidneys, it was absolutely heavenly!). Ginny just gave him that odd smile she'd been fond of lately.
As the party wound down, the food slowly disappearing and the partiers getting fully and lazy, Ginny and Hermione stood and said that they needed to make an announcement. Danny was sent to fetch Charlie, Percy, and the kids from the kitchen, and everyone crowded into the dining room. Danny was slowly being bored to death by a lecture about cauldron thicknesses from Percy, until Charlie finally put a Silencing Charm on him to shut him up.
"Now, everyone, please give your attention to Ginny and Hermione," Arthur called, turning to the two women, who were giggling like schoolgirls.
"Wonder what's gotten into them?" George muttered. "I don't think I've ever seen Hermione act this silly before."
Angelina shushed him, just in time, because Ginny and Hermione had finally got over their giggles.
"We have an announcement to make," Ginny said, grinning madly.
"We're—" Hermione started.
"—pregnant," Ginny finished.
The room stood stock still for a split second, then pandemonium erupted as Harry and Ron simultaneously leapt up and wrapped their arms around their wives. The women in the room shrieked and the men shouted, all calling out words of congratulations, questions, and teasing remarks.
"Gonna be a big brother again, Danny!" George hooted, ruffling the halfa's hair.
"Technically, I'm James's uncle," Danny said, grinning.
"All lives are made
In these small hours,
These little wonders,
These twisting turns of fate.
Time falls away
But these small hours,
These small hours
Twelve Years Later
"Ginny, where are the keys?" Harry called, rooting around the kitchen.
"I'm sorry, dear, I haven't seen them," Ginny called back, charming the two trunks to be feather-light while her nine year old daughter Lily watched with wide eyes.
"Mum!" James, now twelve years old, raced into the family room, his eyes bright and excited. "I just got an owl from Claire Lieber, the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team! She said I can try out for Seeker!"
"That's fantastic, dear," Ginny said, grinning at her son.
"Brilliant, James," Harry called, shooting the boy a grin. "Now where are those blasted keys?"
"Mum?" Eleven year old Albus asked timidly. "Could I be a Seeker?"
Before Ginny could reply, James jumped in.
"No way!" He sneered. "First years never get on the teams, and besides, you're too little anyway. And even if you did get on a team, it wouldn't be Gryffindor. You'd be on the Slytherin team!"
"I'm not going to be in Slytherin!" Albus shot back, his green eyes flashing angrily.
James's grin widened. "Slytherin, Slytherin!" He teased.
"Boys, that's enough," Ginny said sharply. "Have you brushed your teeth?"
"Yes, Mum," they chorused jadedly.
"Al, did you comb your hair?" She asked, eyeing the messy ebony mop on the top of her youngest son's head.
"Yes, Mum," he answered, nodding. "It won't stay flat."
Ginny sighed. "Harry, do you think you could do something about Al's hair?" She called.
"Aha! Found 'em!" Harry called triumphantly, holding the errant keys up before pocketing them. "What's that, love?"
"Al's hair," Ginny repeated. "He says he combed it, but it still looks like a bird's nest. Could you do something about it?"
Harry came over and studied his youngest son with a practiced eye. Poor Albus had inherited his hair, in all of its eternally messy, pitch-black glory, and Harry knew from experience that it would take nothing less than an act of G-d to get it to simply lie flat, let alone look presentable. Albus had even adopted Harry's habit of trying to flatten it with his hand when he was nervous, which he was doing at the moment. Harry smiled at him and just ruffled it up even more.
"Ginny, you know as well as I do that my hair and Al's always looks like birds' nests," Harry said, shooting his wife a large grin. "I don't see any problem with it."
Ginny sighed, but was saved from responding by the sudden appearance of Danny and Aly.
"Uncle Danny!" Lily shrieked, leaping on the now fully-grown halfa. Danny laughed and swung the little girl around.
"Hey there, princess!" He said.
"Danny, you know you can't just phase into people's houses like that," Ginny scolded, grinning as she gave her adoptive brother-in-law a kiss on the cheek.
"Sorry, Ginny, but Harry changed the password on the door again," Danny replied, tickling Lily as he held her upside down.
"Put me down! Put me down!" Lily demanded, screaming with laughter.
"What's the magic word?" Danny asked playfully.
"Okay." With a quick twist, he flipped the little girl over and set her back down on her feet, gently holding her steady until the dizziness of the blood rushing out of her head passed.
"Uncle Danny, look! I'm gonna try out for Seeker!" James said, shoving his letter under Danny's nose.
"Really?" Danny took the letter and quickly scanned it. "Wow, that's impressive, James. Really taking after your old man, huh?"
"Yup!" James said proudly, as Danny handed him back the letter.
"Hey, Al, ready for your first year of school?" Danny said, grinning at the carbon-copy of Harry who was standing quietly behind James.
Albus nodded, shooting Danny a nervous smile.
"Uncle Danny, are you coming to King's Cross with us again?" James asked hopefully.
Danny shook his head. "Sorry, buddy, not this year," he said, smiling apologetically. He wrapped an arm around Aly, who'd been chatting with Ginny. "Aunt Aly and I have an appointment we have to go to."
"Aw, but it's Al and Rose's first year!" Wailed Lily. "You have to come!"
"Sorry, princess," Danny said, patting his niece on the head, "but we can't get out of it. You'll survive one year without me."
"And we'll be on the platform waiting for you when you come home for Christmas," Aly cut in, smiling at the downcast kids.
"Promise you'll write to us?" Albus asked quietly, his big green eyes, the exact same eyes that Harry had, locking onto Danny's blue ones hopefully.
"You betcha, small-fry," Danny answered, ruffling Albus's hair. "You'll be the first to know when I crack a case. Promise."
"Speaking of which," Harry said suddenly, giving Danny a sharp look, "this appointment of yours wouldn't be with Mundungus Fletcher at the Three Broomsticks, would it?"
"Nope, that's next week," Danny replied, grinning wickedly at his older brother. "Relax, Harry, he's just giving me some information on a case I'm working. I swear it's nothing Dark or dirty or malevolent, just a little history lesson over some butterbeer."
Harry just shook his head ruefully. "Bloke's too old to be doing what he does," he muttered.
"But he's so darn good at it," Danny laughed.
"Harry, we should get going," Ginny said. "Boys, say goodbye to Uncle Danny and Aunt Aly."
James shook Danny's hand, and the halfa tolerated it for a moment before wrapping the "mature" twelve year old in a one-armed hug.
"You watch out for yourself and Al, okay, buddy?" He said quietly.
"I will," James answered, grinning at his uncle. Danny clapped him on the shoulder and released him, and turned to Albus.
The eleven year old hesitated a split second before running into his uncle's arms, ignoring the snickering of his older brother as he hugged Danny tightly.
"Promise you'll write?" He whispered.
"Promise," Danny replied. "You'll be fine, Al. Don't let James or anyone else get to you, okay? And try to live a little bit, have some fun, get into some trouble. But let me know first before you do anything drastic."
Albus gave him a wobbly smile. "I will," he said quietly.
"That's the ticket," Danny said, smiling back and ruffling up Albus's hair again.
"See you tonight, Uncle Danny!" Lily piped, quickly kissing Danny on the cheek.
"See you tonight, princess," Danny replied, dropping a quick kiss on the top of his niece's head.
"Have a great trip, boys," Aly said, hugging James and Albus. "Have fun, but don't forget about your schoolwork."
"Yes, Aunt Aly," James said, rolling his eyes.
"Okay," whispered Albus.
"Come on, everyone, let's get to the car," Harry said, flicking his wand at the two trunks.
"James, Al, don't forget your owls," Ginny said.
"We'd better get going too, Danny," Aly said. "I don't want to be late."
"Oh yeah," Danny said. "See you guys tonight!" He called.
Harry waved from where he was loading the two trunks into the back of his station wagon, and Ginny and the kids waved from inside the car. Danny turned to his wife and grinned.
"Ready to go, hon?" He asked, transforming into his ghost form. Aly smiled and let him pick her up.
"Just to the house, and then we drive," she said firmly. He grinned at her, iridescent green eyes dancing, and then they phased through the house and into the air.
"All of my regret
Will wash away somehow.
But I cannot forget
The way I feel right now.
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twisting turns of fate.
These twisting turns of fate…"
"So we go to do the scene over, but nobody noticed that the rope was cut halfway through from when Ken had cursed the director, and the second Ken's line, "Who could ever learn to love a Beast?", is over, the entire set falls down, and there's Peggy right behind it, dressed in nothing but her bathrobe and hair curlers, and her face all painted up like a clown!"
The room shook with laughter at Teddy's story, especially since Ron was pounding on the kitchen table. Danny nearly choked on his firewhiskey, and Aly took the glass from him with a frown.
"Remember, you're flying us home later," she told him. "The last thing we need is you to be flying drunk."
"Oh, come on, Aly," Danny whined playfully. "We live across town; it's a two minute flight. Less, if I push myself."
"Do that and you'll be sleeping on the couch for a month," Aly responded. "Remember the last time you went flying drunk?"
Danny went red, as did Teddy, and both looked at the floor. Harry looked at his younger brothers sharply.
"Is there something I should know about?" He asked dryly. Danny and Teddy exchanged glances.
"Nope," replied the nineteen year old Metamorphmagus.
"Not a thing," added the twenty seven year old halfa.
The thirty seven year old wizard sighed. "You two need to grow up," he said, smiling wryly at them.
"And become boring like you?" Teddy asked, looking appalled.
"Not a snowball's chance in hell, Harry," Danny said, grinning.
"Speaking of growing up," Aly interrupted, shooting her husband a withering glare, "you know that appointment Danny and I had to go to this morning?"
"The one that meant you couldn't come to King's Cross with us?" Harry asked.
"What about it?" Ginny asked, looking curious.
Danny grinned and took Aly's hand. "Aly's going to have a baby," he said, gently squeezing her hand.
"Brilliant!" Ron exclaimed.
"Congratulations, you two," Hermione said, grinning.
"When're you due?" Asked Ginny.
"June," Aly answered.
"Names?" Teddy asked.
Aly looked at Danny, who had a strange look on his face. "Honey?" She said quietly.
Danny took a deep breath. "Jack Tucker, or Madeline Samantha," he answered, his voice subdued. Aly squeezed his hand gently, and Harry and Ginny nodded, smiling sympathetically.
"They'd be very proud of you, Danny," Harry said quietly.
"Thanks, Harry," Danny replied, giving his older brother a wobbly smile.
"Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours
(—Rob Thomas, "Little Wonders")