My first fanfic in nearly 20 months. This chapter sucks because I haven't written fanfic in over a year, so it's going to take some getting used to.

That aside, I own nothing. Except plot, maybe.

Un-beta'd.

x

A sunny Monday morning brought the hallways of Amity Park's Casper High to be swarmed with students who were both eager to greet their friends due to not seeing them over the three-day weekend and groan about how it was too soon to begin the first week of school. Majority of the students' chatter leaned towards the latter.

The green lockers on the walls were lined with people, with the sounds of catching up and telling stories of weekend, both real and made-up, lockers closing, squeaky and non-squeaky footsteps mixed in the air. Two students in particular, hovered by their lockers.

"So, how did it go last night? With Ember and everything." Sixteen-year-old Danny Fenton gave his best friend Tucker, who was currently typing around on his PDA, a dry look at the question. African-American Tucker Foley has been Danny's best friend since forever, and he was the biggest computer geek that Danny has ever known.

"Honestly, it was pretty horrible. I discovered something new about Ember. Apparently, Skulker gave her some sort of beeper that tells him in whenever she's in some sort of trouble," said Danny, "And, of course, she beeps him when we were fighting. Skulker showed up in five seconds flat and he started shooting at me like a maniac." Tucker howled out in laughter.

"Are you serious? Man! That sucks!" Danny wasn't amused as he slammed his locker shut and walked off, Tucker following behind him, still laughing. "That really sucks!"

"It really isn't that funny," Danny muttered as he glared at his best friend as they turned to the hallway on their right, "I nearly got slammed last night—Skulker upgraded his suit like you wouldn't believe," Danny paused to shudder, "Thank God it happened near my place and Jazz was there to help. Or else I would've been totally screwed."

"Still, dude, you gotta congratulate the couple," Tucker chuckled and pat his best friend on the back, "it is kinda cute."

Danny grimaced. "Ember and Skulker, working together to kick my butt? No, not really."

Tucker grinned. "But the beeper thing?"

Danny shrugged, a half-smile on his face. "That one, I gotta admit, is kinda cute," he paused, making a face, "You know, for a frenzied hunter and an equally-frenzied rock star wannabe."

x

"Mr. Fenton, I hope our discussion of Beowulf isn't boring you," a voice drawled, but Danny was too sleepy to care.

"Psst, Danny!" Tucker hissed, and Danny's blue eyes flew open when he felt a particularly painful kick to his shin.

"OW! Oh, uh—no, of course not, Mr. Lancer! I think that the, uh, epic poem Beowulf is an, um, very interesting piece of Anglo-Saxon literature." Danny smiled sheepishly at the plump balding man. Mr. Lancer raised an eyebrow.

"Hmm. Very well, then. Class, the probable date when Beowulf was written was between the eighth and early eleventh century, when…" Mr. Lancer went on, and Danny gave a sigh of relief, smiling when Mr. Lancer turned to look back at him.

"How did you do that?" Tucker whispered, and Danny looked at him, but his eyes were focused to the front of the class.

"He wrote it on the board, Tuck."

Tucker blinked and scratched his head under his red beret. "Wow. I should learn how to pay attention like that." Danny smiled dryly.

x

Danny remembered nothing substantial from any of his morning classes, except that Beowulf was written during the Anglo-Saxon period. He sat next to Tucker at their usual table while the lunch announcements reverberated throughout the lunch room, the volume of the speakers overpowering the buzz of the students.

"Good morning, Casper High!" a slightly static voice blared from the speakers, "This is Jazz Fenton, your student council president, to make some announcements. First off, since the second floor biology lab was burned down last week due to a very unfortunate accident, the biology department has moved its laboratory sessions to the chemistry lab on the third floor. Revisions to schedules have been made to accommodate…"

"Oh, yeah, I just remembered," Tucker started, wiping the mustard off of the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand and licking it off ("Dude, really, get some tissue," Danny grimaced), "How's Jazz taking the news?" Danny shrugged.

"...and don't forget, support the Casper High Crows at the pep rally on Wednesday at the football field! And that's it for today's announcements. Enjoy the rest of your day!"

"You mean the news of me being a half ghost? She's taking it pretty well. Says it 'explains a lot.'" Danny bit into his sandwich and stared at the sea of people in the cafeteria, recalling the Accident. "Whatever that means. You know, I'm kind of glad that your extremely nerdy side convinced me to step into that portal. I helped out a lot of people since I got my ghost powers."

Tucker gave a wry smile. "I was more freaked out than happy. I mean, you were practically convulsing right in front of me and I didn't know what to do. I'm lucky you're alive, man."

Two years ago, Danny's parents, Jack and Maddie Fenton, inventors and owners of FentonWorks, invented something called the Ghost Portal, a doorway to the Ghost Zone. At first, it didn't work, much to the dismay of the couple, but, thanks to Danny, convinced by Tucker to go into the portal because "who knew what kind of amazing, super epic things existed on the other side of that portal", who pushed a button inside a portal that allowed it to work.

However, the problem was that, since Danny was inside during the time, the activation of the portal affected him, giving him ghost powers and another identity, Danny Phantom. The only people who knew were Danny, Tucker, Jazz and the ghosts Danny had to face every now and then.

Ever since then, Danny Phantom has been protecting the city from attacks from ghosts who escape from the Ghost Zone and make it to the human world.

Well, it's supposed to be Danny Phantom. But the rest of the city knows him as Invis-o-Bill.

"With all these ghost attacks happening, I'm lucky I'm still alive."

The chatter of students filled the gaps between conversations as they ate their lunch. The boys finished their lunch and stood to put away their trays when milk started dripping from the bangs of Danny's black hair and down the back of his neck, making the entire cafeteria laugh.

"Got milk, Fen-turd?" Danny groaned and turned to meet a laughing jock who held a carton of milk over Danny's head. Dash Baxter, the blond-haired, blue-eyed football quarterback with a closet full of letter jackets was the (mostly self-dubbed) King of Casper High. He was a senior that basically had nothing better to do other than wail on people and flirt with girls.

The booming laughed caused other students to look at them and for the laughs to multiply by the second.

Danny stepped aside to dump his tray in the trash, and moved to get away from the jock. He was yanked backwards by the collar of his shirt.

"Let him go, Dash!" Tucker cried out.

"What're you gonna do, geek?" Dash sneered, "Program me to death?" He let out a roar of laughter along with the rest of the students when Tucker turned bright red.

The bell ringing was the signal of the end of Danny's humiliation, which Dash didn't look too happy about. He dropped Danny unceremoniously on the floor, and glared at the boy. "You're lucky this time," Dash ground out, "but remember this, Fen-tonium, I'm gonna wail on ya one o' these days." He promptly dropped Danny on the floor of the cafeteria and turned to leave. Danny sighed in relief when he saw the other students disperse along with Dash, heading for their classrooms.

Tucker got down next to Danny. "Dude, are you okay?"

"Yeah," Danny stood up, "I'm fine. Really, it's not as if Dash could do any real damage. Come on, I have to get this stuff off of me before class."

x

After phasing through the milk in his hair and clothes in the washroom, Danny walked to his last three classes of the day. They all went by in a blur—which was mostly what every day at school felt like—and before he knew it, he was walking home with Tucker.

"You up for a little Doomed later tonight?" Tucker suggested, fiddling with his PDA for the nth time. "I found some new cheats that can totally help us through level 10!"

Danny shook his head. "Nah, I think I'll pass. I gotta go do some security rounds in the Ghost Zone before something goes out of hand again." Tucker shrugged.

"All right, suit yourself. See you tomorrow!" They waved to each other and said their goodbyes and Tucker turned left, whereas Danny turned right and hid behind a dumpster in an alley.

"Going ghost," Danny muttered to himself, transforming into a white-haired, green-eyed, half-ghost hybrid and taking off for home.

x

The sight of a large house with a metal extension and a giant sign that read FentonWorks greeted Danny's eyes when he soared through the skies of Amity Park, silently landing next to a dumpster in an alley of the neighboring block, walking the rest of the way. FentonWorks was notoriously known for making the loudest noises when its ghost alarms went off, and Danny didn't want that to happen again. Once was enough for one neighborhood.

Danny climbed the stairs, twisted the knob and pushed their front door open. "I'm home," he called out, dumping his backpack on the couch.

"I'm in the kitchen, sweetie!" Danny set foot in the kitchen, walking to kiss his mother's cheek. His mother, Maddie Fenton, dressed in her blue jumpsuit and red goggles, held a screwdriver in her hands and was tinkering with a device that made Danny squirm silently.

"Hi, Mom, what're you working on?" Danny asked more out of courtesy rather than actual curiosity. Who knows what that invention would do to him…

"Oh, I'm just fixing your father's cell phone, sweetheart," she responded kindly, "He sat on it again. I'm gonna have to sew his back pockets shut if he wants this thing to live any longer." Danny inwardly gave a sigh of relief, walking to the fridge to get a soda.

"Speaking of Dad, where is he?" Danny popped open the lid and gulped the cola down.

"Danny, my boy!" a booming voice yelled, and a giant man in an orange hazmat suit appeared through the doorway on the other end of the kitchen. Danny grinned.

"Hey, dad." Danny tossed the empty soda can into the trash and walked out of the kitchen. "I'll be in my room!"

"All right, son!" Jack Fenton, Danny's father, called out, "Just yell out 'ghost!' at the top of your lungs if you need help!" Danny picked up his backpack off of the couch and rolled his eyes, a smile on his face.

x

"Skulker's Island? Check." Danny winced as he pulled a dart out of his butt. He stopped, floating amidst the green space and purple doors. "Well, guess I'm done for the day. All right, time for some Doomed with—huh?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Danny saw a while figure move in the distance. He turned his head towards it—and he saw one of the Ghost Zone's common floating islands, but this one had a figure on it.

"Who is that?" Danny asked himself, flying towards the rock. "Hey!" He called out, and stopped just a few feet from the island, careful to leave space just in case the ghost was dangerous. "Are you okay, uh—" he squinted, "—miss? I've never seen you around before. Do you need help?"

The girl before him looked absolutely murderous. Her skin was deathly pale, her dark hair slightly mussed and her pale purple eyes glaring daggers towards him. She was wearing a hospital nightgown—it looked like a nightgown he's seen before, but he wondered what hospital it could be—and her feet were bare.

"I'm fine," she spat venomously, "You can leave now." Danny frowned.

"Geez, would it kill you to be nice, even just the slightest bit? I was only trying to help." The frown never left his face, and her glare never let up.

"Well, you're not doing anything remotely useful, so leaving would be a better alternative." Danny folded his arms across his chest, fed up of her attitude, and glared back.

"Fine," he answered her, turned around and took off. He didn't get very far before he heard a scream—from the opposite direction. He groaned. "Seriously?" He turned around to see Skulker hovering over the—snarky, rude and malevolent yet still—helpless girl and rushed over to save her.

"You'll make a good addition to my collection, child," Skulker purred, and the girl just glared.

"Go away!" she yelled, holding up her hand and flipping him off. Danny almost laughed at the sight—Skulker looked absolutely offended.

"Why, you little—" One of Skulker's guns protruded from his back and shot at the island, making the girl scream again.

"Hey, leave her alone!" Danny yelled, shooting a bright green beam from his hands. Skulker turned to the direction of the voice and was blasted back. Danny smirked and flew down to push the girl out of harm's way, but the weirdest thing happened.

Did that blast just shoot right through her?

"Well, if it isn't my prey. Now I'll have two new additions to my collection!" Danny rolled his eyes and flew towards the metal ghost, slamming into him and bringing him to one of the infinite doors in the Zone. With a firm grip on Skulker, he opened the fridge door and threw him into a particularly snowy place human world.

"Give me a break, Skulker," Danny deadpanned, shooting Skulker with a beam of ectoplasm. The metal ghost flipped backward into the snow. Skulker's face came up, and he spit snow out of his mouth, looking absolutely livid.

"Why, you—" Danny slammed the door in his face before the hunter could continue, sending a beam to burn off the handle.

"Now that that's done," Danny dusted his hands off and looked down at the girl who was sitting down, her knees to her chest. I should probably leave her alone

He started flying off but the guilt was too much for him to bear. He groaned to himself. "Aw, man." He huffed and turned around, flying back and landed on the island. Here it goes.

"Hey," he started carefully. The girl was silent, just staring off into space. Danny cleared his throat. "Hey," he said again, slowly making his way towards her, "Are you—uh, are you sure you're… okay?"

Her voice was so small that he could barely tell it apart from the silence that enveloped them. "No," she murmured sadly, "I'm not okay. I don't even know where I am." Danny rubbed the back of his neck. Her silence unnerved him.

"This is the, um, Ghost Zone," he said slowly. So far, every single ghost he's encountered already knew they were dead and why they were here. He never met a newcomer, so to speak. He paused. "Do you know why you're here?" The girl shook her head, her hair moving fluidly with the movement of her head.

"No, not a clue." Danny was stuck. What do you tell someone who doesn't know they're dead?

"Oh, um. Okay." Minutes filled with silence passed, before Danny spoke up. "Do you, uh, want me to help you?"

She looked up at him, her eyes filled with such sadness and home that it made Danny's heart both drop in panic and swell with anxiety. "Will you?"

Danny tried his best to smile. "Of course." The girl stood up and walked over to him, extending a hand.

"Then I'm sorry for how I acted towards you earlier," she said, a small smile on her face, "It was really rude of me." Danny smiled back, shaking her hand.

"It's cool. I'm D—Phantom, by the way." The girl raised an eyebrow but decided not to comment.

"Hi, Phantom. I'm Sam. It's nice to meet you."

x

Wow, this turned out to be really boring. I apologize. I already have the outline and I know that the whole story will be better than this.

Originally 10 chapters, but I—somehow—turned the first to chapters into one chapter, so it's either going to be nine chapters, or I'm going to have to do something about this.

Read and review,

P