Disclaimers notes: I do not own Harry Potter, Superman, or anything affiliated with the novels, comics, or movies. Harry's owned by Scholastic Books, JK Rowling, Warner Brothers, and I'm not sure who all else. Superman/Superboy is also owned by DC comics as well as Warner Brothers, the family of Jerry Siegel, and I'm not sure who all else.

I know that even DC has had trouble with the rights for Superboy off and on for quite a while. I don't know most of the specifics or when it started, but I do know remember the TV show based on Superboy that was good but got cancelled because of the lawsuit. Anyway, the point is that I really hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the ass.

The title is a reference to the movie The ghost and the darkness, which is owned by Paramount, which is loosely based on the book The man-eaters of Tsavo which is owned by the family of John Henry Patterson as far as I know.

Check the movie out sometime if you haven't, especially if you like movies loosely based on a true story and even more so if you're a fan of either Val Kilmer or Michael Douglas as it's the only movie they did together to my knowledge. Don't worry, no lions were harmed in the creation of this story. Heh heh.

I've finally decided that the last third of the original Disclaimer won't be revealed here but on a companion piece I'm working on called Each night, I dream of Krypton. I'm guessing that anybody that read Lethal rainbow might have been a bit mystified at the reference since I had forgotten to mention the series before then. Sorry about that.

I hope to have Chapter (or Book as I call it there) 1 up soon and as the name suggests, it's going to spotlight stories about Krypton and Kryptonians that have visited Earth. It'll take time, but eventually the final tie in will be revealed. The official spinoff, The Justice Crusade will also be up as soon as possible.

And while there isn't a Quidditch game here, when I get to the second game (the first will be a little more like the one in the CoS movie with a couple of little twists of my own), as in Phantom Relic, Harry's actions during it are loosely based on Seel'vor's Quantum Leap serieswith his permission.

Speaking of which, this story Dedicated out to Seel'vor for not only being such an awesome author but letting me borrow Harry's actions during Quidditch games. Keep up the awesome work.

Summary: An entity is set loose that is so deadly it will take more than even Harry's amazing powers to overcome.

Title note: Of the story titles I've come up with so far for this series (this one, Hidden Heritage, Phantom Relic, Lethal rainbow, and that of Year 3), this is my favorite as it references not only two important plot points in this story in a very subtle way but also one of my favorite movies loosely based on a true story.

Author note: Sorry this took a week longer than I promised to get up, but I'm still having quite a bit of technical problems when it comes to getting on the internet. I can't promise when I'll be able to get the rest up (as I said in Lethal Rainbow, I'm more than halfway done with Year 2), but it shouldn't be too long.

Anyway, welcome to Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville's Year 2. Who is the "ghost" and what is the "darkness"? Are they related and if so, is it the "Dark One" mentioned at the end of Phantom Relic? Well… you'll find out eventually. Heh heh. Sorry, but I'm not the type to spoil things. Couldn't resist the tease though.

Anyway, you'll quickly notice that I've written in that Harry can see the Thestrals from the first time he really got close enough to notice them. As with just about everything in my stories, this has a point to it that will be revealed later.

I know this will probably cause issues but I'm sticking with the belief that even though he already has pretty extensive knowledge of the magical world in this series, I wouldn't think he'd be able to realize what they are unless it came up, which of course will be in Year 5 as in canon.

And finally, some people might think the Sorting Hat's song is horrible, but I never claimed to be a poet. However, it is to the point. Instead of going by the few in canon, I'm going to make them up in ways that each story required. Anyway, hope you enjoy reading this as I did writing it.

In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their usual settings and put into strange times and places, some that have existed, might have existed, or should have existed and others that can't, couldn't, or shouldn't exist. This is one of them.

Harry Potter and the ghost and the darkness

By Lucas Harrell

Chapter 1

Harry stepped off the train carefully with his friends close behind. The trip had been uneventful as Malfoy either had finally taken the hint about bothering him and his friends or otherwise busy fending off the prank spells.

"Firs' years this way!" Hagrid called out.

"We'll save you a spot inside just in case you get Sorted into Gryffindor," Harry promised Ginny and Luna. The two nodded before the redhead turned and rushed towards Hagrid while the blond skipped along merrily after her friend.

Fred and George lead them to some nearby carriages. Harry noticed a couple of strange horse-like creatures but just shrugged, thinking it was normal. It didn't take long for the carriage to get to the castle and they piled out and headed up the steps and into Hogwarts.

The students made a beeline for the Great Hall to find good seats and about twenty minutes later, the new group of first years came walking in. However, instead of a cheerful if somewhat longwinded song that usually got a few laughs, the Sorting Hat's words chilled everyone to the bone.

The speaker will soon come forth

And the writing's on the wall

I send this dire warning

To everyone in this Great Hall

The darkness seeks to overwhelm us

Afraid of the rays of the sun

And if the hero stands alone

The darkness will have truly won

Though many sacrifices may be made

You must all stand tall in the end

For the darkness comes for your very souls

And your will and your hope cannot bend

So heed my warning, young gods among men

For the balance must be found

The heroes must stand united

Or humanity's fate will be truly bound

McGonagall simply stared at the Hat for several minutes before shaking her head and stepping forward, picking it up and grabbing the scroll underneath. All around the Great Hall, many students were shaken by the Hat's words, but none as much as the young Kryptonian Gryffindor.

Luna was up before too long. As McGonagall placed the Hat on her head, she heard it mutter, "Well now, you act like what the Muggles would call a dumb blond, but you hide your true self well behind beliefs in what others call imaginary creatures. Your true friends know you better, but even they don't know all of your secrets, do they?"

'Please don't tell anybody,' Luna begged mentally.

"Don't worry," the Hat said, this time much quieter. "As I told your cousin and many other students with things best kept secrets, my discretion knows no bounds. I will neither tell anyone secrets I've seen nor can I be forced to tell your secrets to anybody."

'Thank… wait, cousin?' Luna thought with a frown, 'But…'

"I know you prefer to know most things instead of just guessing about them, but you will know everything soon enough, young Luna," the Sorting Hat interrupted before raising its voice to be heard by everyone.

"Yes, you are very brave and noble like your friends in Gryffindor, very cunning and ambitious in your own way, and hardworking and loyal, but your intelligence would make you best for… RAVENCLAW!" the Sorting Hat shouted. Harry was one of the loudest cheering for Luna but inwardly he couldn't help but feel disappointed.

'I know she preferred Ravenclaw, but I still wish all of my friends could have been in Gryffindor,' Harry thought, 'At the very least, the rest of us could protect her better from anybody that will bully and take advantage of her because of who she is. Oh well, we'll just have to find a way to do it from a distance.'

Ginny was the last to be called up. Unlike Ron, the Hat mulled it over for several minutes. "Hm, intelligent, brave, hardworking and loyal, and cunning and ambitious," it said, "You could fit in well with any House."

'Please put me in Gryffindor,' Ginny pleaded silently, 'Both of my parents, all of my brothers, and most of my friends are there, though I guess Ravenclaw wouldn't be bad either since Luna and I could watch each other's backs.'

"If that is your wish, then who am I to argue?" the Hat said, "GRYFFINDOR!"

Harry, Hermione, Neville, and the Weasleys cheered loudly as Ginny stood up with a grin, took off the Hat, and put it on the stool before she headed for the Gryffindor table. The twins scooted over so she could sit between them and Ron as McGonagall rolled the scroll back up and carried it and the stool out of the Great Hall.

Dumbledore stood. "There are of course announcements but they can wait," he said, "For now, tuck in!" At that, the food appeared on the table and the students started digging in especially Ron, much to the disgust of just about everyone around him.

When everybody finished eating, Dumbledore rose again and made the standard round of announcements. "Though I believe at least most of you have probably already heard this," he said, "The world-famous Gilderoy Lockhart has been very gracious in accepting the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts."

The clapping was sparse and mostly centered around the female population of Hogwarts. Harry only clapped because Lockhart had been polite to him and Ginny at their meeting at the book store and was returning the favor. The new professor stood up and bowed before sitting down.

"And on a final note, this year, since several students have been interested in it, we've decided to start up a Duel Club," Dumbledore said, "It will be starting next month so if you're interested, keep an eye on your House bulletin board for details."

Soon after, dinner was over and the Prefects led the Gryffindors to their tower. After him, Ron, and Neville said good night to Hermione and Ginny and they headed up to bed, Harry pulled out the mirror he had gotten for his birthday. He had given one to each of his friends. "Luna," he murmured.

It took a few minutes before Luna appeared in the mirror. "Oh hello, Harry," she said, "I had a feeling I'd be hearing from you. I hope you're not mad at me for not being in Gryffindor."

"Of course not, Luna," Harry replied, "I would have liked all of us to be here, but I know you feel Ravenclaw's better for you." He hesitated. "Look, the reason I'm calling is that I know how cruel other kids can be and I just wanted you to know I'll help you in any way I can if you have any problems with your housemates."

"I know you will and I appreciate it, Harry," Luna said, "But I think I can take care of myself."

"I know you can," Harry said, "All I'm doing is looking out for my friends."

Luna nodded. "Oh one more thing," she said, "Draco Malfoy has a shadow, a rather odd little elf named Dobby. I sat pretty close to him on the Ravenclaw table and heard him gloating about the elf being there to help him quote, 'Put the uppity half-bloods, Mudbloods, and blood traitors in their place'."

"In other words, on their knees kissing the arses of their pureblood zealot masters," Harry interjected, "His dad must not have liked what I said at the end of last year and thinks another bodyguard can make a difference."

Harry sighed. "I know Dobby's been conscripted into helping that idiot and I especially don't want to hurt him, but I can't back down from what I said," he said, "Idiotic inbred pureblood bigots like him are the ones that need to be put in their place and it's time he realizes that."

"I know," Luna said, "Just be careful."

"I will and thanks for the warning," Harry said, "Good night, Luna."

"Good night," Luna said and her face disappeared from the mirror.

"Mirror off," Harry said. 'So I have something else to worry about,' he thought, 'Malfoy won't waste any time in trying to use this to his advantage and when I respond, I'll have to keep a close eye out for Dobby and Stupefy him to keep him out of harm's way.' With that decided, it didn't take long for sleep to overcome him.

The next day, Harry was quick to bring his friends up to date on what Luna had told him. "Don't worry, Harry," Ron said, "We won't let him get anywhere near you and you can show Malfoy who really needs to find out who needs to be put in their place."

"But this… Dobby… is essentially a slave," Hermione said, "He can't help what his masters are ordering him to do. We can't hurt him."

"Don't worry, we'll only Stupefy him," Harry said. Hermione nodded.

The five Gryffindors headed down to the Great Hall to meet up with Luna and wasn't too surprised to find Malfoy and his stooges accosting her. "You think you're untouchable don't you?" he sneered, "Well, Potter's not around to…"

"Well, it seems that the inbreeding has also affected their vision and hearing," Harry said. The 4 newcomers had their wands pointed at the 3 Slytherins.

Suddenly, a pop sounded. "Dobby is very sorry, kind young sir, but Dobby cannot allow…" Dobby was cut off when Hermione sent a stunner at him before he could react and the little elf slumped to the ground.

"As you can see, your new bodyguard isn't going to be of any help," Harry said as he stepped closer to the three Slytherins, his wand at the ready. "Now, I know the pureblood inbreeding has severely dulled your intelligence, so I'll reiterate what I said on the train back to London.

"My friends are all under the protection of the House of Potter," Harry said, "You will not give them anything more than bad looks or I'll make you wish you had never been born and would be well within your vaunted tradition. That now includes Luna and Ginny. Do you understand?" Malfoy mumbled something. "What was that?"

"I understand," Malfoy repeated. Crabbe and Goyle were quick to add their agreement.

"Then get out of my sight," Harry said. Muttering under their breath, the three hurried away. The Kryptonian wizard revived Dobby. "Sorry about that, Dobby. I didn't want to hurt you so I had Hermione stun you since I also couldn't risk you hurting us on their orders."

"Dobby knows," Dobby said, "Dobby is sorry Dobby has to do this, but master is giving Dobby no choice."

"I know and it's fine," Harry said, "But could you do both of us a favor and leave yourself open when you come to his defense? That way we won't have to hurt each other and Malfoy is probably too stupid to realize you're doing it deliberately, so you should be able to keep from being punished as long as you're careful."

Dobby smiled and nodded. "Dobby will try, sir, but if master catches on and gives stricter instructions, there won't be anything I can do," he said. With that, he disappeared. The group of friends walked into the Great Hall after he left.

Snape later said that Malfoy tried whining to him to do something and that he had taken great pleasure in informing him that with the official proclamation of protectorate laws there was nothing he could do and that went double for Dobby, who could be executed for going against it, so having an elven bodyguard was now useless.

Classes went on as usual, seemingly even including Potions. On the surface, Snape seemed to be his usual nasty self, but a subtle wink let Harry know that he was sticking to their agreement.

In Defense Against the Dark Arts, Lockhart quickly proved just how much of a fraud he was by botching from day one. In Harry's class, he set loose a group of particularly hyperactive Cornish pixies before fleeing and leaving the clean up to him and his friends, who were quick to subdue them.

A month or so later, Harry and his friends were excited as they made their way to the classroom that had been assigned for the Duel Club. It turned out that it was going to be more of a tournament format that would last until the end of the year. If it was popular, it would continue from that year forward.

There used to be a formal tournament years ago, but it had been disbanded after too many complaints over what were probably fake injuries. Harry suspected bigoted pureblood parents to have been behind it after finding out how outmatched they're kids were by Muggle-borns and half-bloods, something to them could not be allowed.

To be fair, the students were split up into their year groups. There were competitions with both individual and teams up to 4. The staff hadn't decided on what the winner or winners would receive, but promised it would be something good.

They had signed up for every combination. For 2 person teams, since Harry and Hermione were generally best at dueling they took Ron and Neville respectively since their dueling styles matched better.

'Ron and Hermione are an especially bad team,' Harry thought with a grin, 'Without me or Neville there to help them focus, they'd bicker so much they'd distract each other and get taken out within seconds.'

For the 3 person team, Harry and Hermione were of course the two main ones while Ron and Neville switched being the third member and being the reserve one as they were more or less equals. The 4 person team was obvious. No matter how they did it, they knew that with Flitwick's training the year before, they had a good chance at winning.

"I wonder who's going to oversee the club," Ron said, "Bet its Flitwick."

"I don't care as long as it's not… oh no," Harry muttered as he noticed who was strolling across the room towards the gathering crowd of students. Professor Flitwick was indeed present as well as Professor Snape, but apparently the new DADA teacher took it upon himself to be the main overseer.

"Welcome to the first meeting of the Duel Club," Lockhart announced as he stepped onto the dueling platform in the middle of the room. "Can everyone see me, can everyone hear me? Good. Now for the rules.

"Rule 1: No potentially permanent harm is to be done in the duels," Lockhart said, "This means no bone-breaking curses, no cutting curses, no Reductos used directly at your opponent, and especially no Unforgivables, though I suppose that's a given, eh?

"Rule 2: There are to be no use of spells against bystanders to distract your opponent," Lockhart continued, "As a gesture of good faith, we will forgo the need for barriers unless it becomes necessary.

"Rule 3: To be fair to anyone without extensive dueling experience outside of their current curricular level, duelers can only use spells from the standard mandatory book lists they've received to this point," Lockhart said, "Though I guess anybody that reads my books thoroughly would have an advantage." All the guys rolled their eyes.

"And finally, there are no other formal rules except to have fun," Lockhart said, "All right then, we'll have some exhibition duels in each age group today and spend the next few days showing the basics, which will also serve as refresher courses for those who have had experience but haven't dueled in a while."

The 1st Year exhibition duel was easy to make as Luna and Ginny were the only ones with any real instructions on dueling thanks to their friends and in the case of the latter brothers so they faced each other. It was close, but the redhead was able to win by using a tripping jinx as a distraction before disarming her friend.

"All right, second years," Lockhart said, "Who here has had any instruction on dueling?" Harry and his friends all raised their hands as did a few others, including Malfoy. "Well then, why don't we stick to the classic Gryffindor vs. Slytherin rivalry and have you and you." He pointed to Harry and Malfoy.

Harry grinned as his friends clapped him on the back as he stepped up to the dueling platform. "Scared, Potter?" Draco sneered as he joined him on the platform.

"You… wish," Harry countered confidently.

"Now then… wait, I know you, don't I?" Lockhart asked as he took a look at Harry's face, "Outside of school I mean."

"Yes sir, I was one of the two you picked to take the picture with you outside Flourish and Blotts at your book signinga few months ago, sir," Harry said.

"Oh yes, now I remember," Lockhart said, "Mr. Planter, right?"

"I'm sorry, but it's Potter sir," Harry said. He noticed Snape whispering something in Draco's ear and wished he could hear.

"Oh, my apologies," Lockhart said, "Well then, Mr. Potter and Mr.…"

"Malfoy, sir," Draco interjected.

"Hm, son of Lucius," Lockhart said, "Interesting. Anyway, take your positions." Harry and Draco walked to the appointed positions. "Now bow." The two did so though very quickly. "Now, 1, 2…"

Before Lockhart could get to 3, Draco shouted, "Flippindo!"

However, Harry easily dodged the spell and clucked his tongue. "Wow, what wonderful pureblood education," he said, "Even a 3 or 4 month old Muggle child would be able to follow instructions enough to wait until 3."

"SHUT UP!" Draco shouted, as he sent a leg locker hex at Harry.

Harry easily jumped over the spell and faked yawning. "Oh wow, talk about boring," he said, "You'd think that…" He ducked under a stunner. "Him probably having access to a full library and…" He did a spin to avoid disarmed. "Professor Lockhart's wonderful novels would give him more of a repertoire."

"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!" Draco exclaimed, "SERPENSORTIA!" At that, a long snake erupted from his wand and landed between them. "GET…" Suddenly, an evil grin spread over the blonde's face. "GET THAT MUDBLOOD!" He pointed at Hermione. The snake started slithering towards her.

'Can't take the risk of that not being a deadly snake,' Harry realized, 'I've got to do something, but what? If I use my powers, everyone will know.' Suddenly, he got the strange and overwhelming urge to talk directly to the snake. "STOP!" he shouted and to his surprise, the snake did as he commanded and turned back.

Somewhere deep within the bowels of the school, a large, thick door stood. As if on cue, the door opened and a shadow came from inside. It did not seem to have an actual shape, though eerie glowing purple eyes shown from within.

'Finally free after all this time,' the shadow thought, 'They thought they could imprison me? HA! After I find a suitable host, I will raise an army to overtake this world and rule.' With that, it began pulsing, as if searching for something… or someone.

In a place not far from where the shadow creature had been set loose, a second being, this one with the shape of a small man though obviously not solid, was seemingly meditating when his eyes flew open. 'The darkness has been set loose once again,' he thought.

The man glanced at a nearby rock that was constantly shifting colors. 'The champions are not ready,' he thought, 'But they will be soon, I can sense it. I will do everything I can to protect them from the darkness' influence, but only time will tell if it'll be enough.' With that, his eyes closed again.

"Evanesco!" Snape proclaimed as he shook of the surprise of Harry speaking Parseltongue, sending the snake back to wherever Draco had summoned it.

"Mr. Malfoy, you are not only disqualified from this duel," Lockhart said, "But for such a serious infringement of the school rules, you are banned from the Duel Club and you'll be lucky to still be in school once I report this."

"Oh please," Draco sneered, "Father pretty much owns the Board of Governors so there's a better chance of you getting fired. As for this stupid club, you can have it. Filth like Potter and his Mudblood will only cheat to win anyway, just like every other time." He yelped when a stinging hex hit him squarely on the rear end.

"You and your friends are the only filth I see here, Malfoy," Harry said, putting his wand away. "1st Generation magic users and those of mixed or unknown heritages like myself don't have to cheat if you're any indication.

"If inbred idiots like you learn to actually step up your game instead of hiding behind your mum's skirt, you might come close to standing a chance," Harry finished. Draco just glared before leaving with Crabbe and Goyle.

Harry felt exhausted as he stepped down from the platform and his friends crowded around him. They watched the rest of the exhibition duels, which included the twins tearing their opponents up in a two on two duel when they came to the 4th years.

After the meeting was over, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville stayed behind, putting privacy charms up to make sure no one was around to hear them. "Why didn't you tell us you were a Parseltongue?" Ron asked.

Harry frowned. "What are you on about?"

"You don't know?" Hermione asked, "You were talking to that snake earlier. Thanks by the way, since I'm guessing you called it off."

"You're welcome and no, I guess I didn't realize I was hissing," Harry said, "I had a feeling it was probably venomous and didn't want it to get to you and I just… reacted. Must have been my powers kicking in to my desperate need to stop it." He said that last part softly. "This is bad."

"Tell me about it," Ron said, "There hasn't been a Parselmouth in centuries and since Salazar Slytherin himself was evil and was one of the most known, it's considered to be a Dark art."

"Oh please," Neville said, "Nothing's truly Dark on its own except for the Unforgivables. It simply depends on who uses it and how. Harry definitely wouldn't use this in a Dark way."

"Of course I wouldn't," Harry interjected, "But I do see your point, Ron. The Wizarding world is still just so paranoid after the Muggle-born riots they're looking to point a finger at someone and call them Dark. It could be the Salem witch trials all over again. Let's go see Dumbledore. He'll be able to do something about it."

The others nodded and they all headed towards the Headmaster's office and explained things to him. He was quiet for several minutes before he sighed. "Of all the magical abilities your powers could give you, why did it have to be Parseltongue?" he murmured softly.

Harry nodded. "I can only hope there's a point to it, just as with every other power I've gotten had something to do with the at least situation I attained them," he said, "But in the meantime…"

"In the meantime, I will do my best to divert attention away from your new ability," Dumbledore said, "But unfortunately, it will get out eventually and it wouldn't be hard to find out that you were adopted and that could mean trouble if they try to link you to Salazar Slytherin."

Harry nodded. "I'm sorry I caused so much trouble," he said.

"Never feel you have to apologize for such a selfless act, even if it does end up coming with rather dire consequences," Dumbledore said, "But you do not have to worry about this right now. For now, leave this to me." The four nodded before leaving.

Harry climbed into bed that night with a heart heavy with worry about what might happen. 'But Dumbledore's right,' he said, 'I can only hope that I'm wrong and this whole thing doesn't come back to bite me.' With that, he fell into an uneasy sleep.

To be continued…

Author's footnote: I had wanted to hold off on the Duel Club meeting and the subsequent introduction of the entity until Chapter 2, but decided to have it here because it made more sense than what I had originally planned, a subplot that's more centered around the preparations for the Year's Quidditch season, so I switched them.

And yes, I know Harry didn't actually say open, but that wasn't the point. Since he was first Parseltongue in the school… well, let's just say that he's the first one to know he's a Parselmouth anyway… I figured that no matter what he said, him simply speaking it opening it would make sense.

If enough people don't agree, I'm always willing to rewrite it, but I feel I should warn you doing so would change a subplot that's not only fundamental to this story but also later on. I will explain how at the end of the story. Please just trust me that what I currently have planned is much better than any alternate version I can come up with.

Anyway, the ghost and the darkness have both made an appearance. All I'm saying right now is that the ghost is probably somewhat obvious, but the darkness… well, I'd like to think that's least somewhat less so. At least one subtle clue to their DCU identity and more will be shown in the coming chapters.

Despite what I said before the story (sorry, but it was just a red herring to throw you off the trail of its actual identity), I will say that "The darkness" is not Voldemort, Darkseid, or the "dark one" and it's definitely not Blink (see Seel'Vor's Harry Potter and the Quantum Leap for that reference).

And on a final note, I wish I could have ended this chapter on a happy note as I have just about every other chapter and/or story in the series, but I felt it apt given that this is my version of the book where Harry Potter really started going dark. Anyway, until next time, Pueda el solitario Dios encuentra la paz por ultimo.