The bright light of the day belied the dark magic brewing below. Hidden within the French countryside dark wizards went about their business, working the last of their foul magicks as they prepared to leave. Muggles, tourists and natives went about their business unaware of what was going on around them.
This unawareness resulted in the terminal misfortune of a few unfortunate souls, who had wandered too close to the foul beasts that were the allies of the dark wizards, over the months that they had been there.
The seeming peace of the day was shattered when a figure blasted through the sky amidst a series of multicolored explosions. Native muggles and tourists began to point and shout. Sirens began to scream as the local police started an evacuation.
Up above Danny found the first area that Dumbledore had marked as a location of Death Eater forces. They had managed to eliminate the other four locations and were certain that the Death Eaters had hidden it in the area Danny was now in. The halfa in question rolled his eyes and put a finger to his earpiece.
"Blow me up," he said.
"Finally," his mother's voice responded.
Another explosion bloomed behind him. Danny allowed it to hurl him forward, towards the site. He called up his shield, preparing for impact.
The Order had decided to put on this show to get the muggles to evacuate. Few people in the muggle world or the wizarding world find it odd for Phantom to randomly pop up in some location, in a fight. A fight that would, of course, cause collateral damage and thus would be in the best interest of everyone to avoid.
Danny slammed into the ground, his glowing green shield protecting him from the impact, cratering the ground. The sounds of people shouting and running were starting to rise up, indicating the local evacuation had just begun. That gave Danny a little bit of time to act before the wizards started moving in the open. He took flight again, keeping what he was going to call the 'Ecto-Skeleton Lite' on low power. Dumbledore and Moody had told him about several key targets that he could eliminate before the fighting began in earnest.
One large blast of ectoplasmic energy to ruin a hillside that was an idle spot for the Death Eaters to apparate in reinforcements. One diving punch to destroy a nexus in the defensive enchantments. A hail of ice to freeze a number of lethally enchanted items. Nothing that would make or break the operation by itself, but might help to tip the balance.
Five minutes in and still no sign of the French magical government. It confirmed a suspicion that Dumbledore had shared with Danny and the rest of the Order: Voldemort or his lackeys had been subverted local officials all over the continent, either through bribery or mind control. Nothing as large as what he had attempted with the British Ministry, but enough to conceal foreign operations.
Six minutes in and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix were starting to move openly. Spell light and spell fire began to shine as they opened up their assault, destroying Death Eater enchantments before they could even be activated.
Six and a half minutes in and the Death Eaters began to return fire. The earth shuddered and disgorged monsters of all shapes and sizes, dark spells crackled and shrieked under the sun, and a number of dark robed figures came out of cover.
Danny began to zip around the battlefield helping where he was needed. He blasted a giant's club to pieces before it could come down on a short plump wizard engaged in a long-range duel with a masked man. He intercepted a gout of fire in the shape of a terrible beast with an ice blast. He punched out two malnourished looking witches and a wizard when they tried to gang up on an Order wizard in bright pink robes.
He was busy dismantling a flock of sharp beaked birds made of ice when the first call for aid came in.
"They've got us under an Anti-Apparation Jinx by the north-most hill," the call came in over the enchanted radio earpiece Danny was wearing. "We're holding out, but Field's lost an arm and we need to get him out of here!"
"On it," Danny replied. He went intangible, letting the flock of glacial birds go through him, and then blew them up with a ball of ectoplasmic energy. He closed his eyes, focusing on the suit, feeling it draw power from him to return it in a new form. He turned a dial on the underside of one of his gloves and upped the power to two thirds. And then he took off.
"Crap!" The halfa shot forward far faster than he had meant to and almost flew face first into a tree. He hadn't been expecting the boost to be that great. Still, this was perfect for the situation at hand.
He streaked across the battlefield, projecting a glowing green shield ahead of him. He took care to fly into the enemy's attacks, shield scattering curses, conjurations, and creatures as he headed for the wounded wizard.
The north-most hill was under heavy fire. At least five dark wizards were throwing spells at it from the base of the hill, supported by two Death Eaters, and a couple of harpies dropping large rocks. Two Order members were erecting glowing magical shields that were being destroyed almost as fast as they were being created, each translucent creation breaking into a shower of golden sparks as spells and rocks smashed it.
"Heads up chowder-heads!" Danny shouted as he sped in. He knocked the harpies out of the way with his shield and then thrust his hand forward, unleashing a white-blue blast of freezing energy. Of course, since he was still getting used to the suit's boost, he misjudged the power.
Instead of a patch of icy ground in the center of the enemy wizards, there was a large swath of frozen hillside, including five frozen figures formerly fleeing. The two Death Eaters were nowhere to be seen, probably having been outside of the range of their Anti-Apparation Jinx and having used that fact to escape.
Danny rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and turned back to the hillside. He flew over to the Order wizards, who were hastily creating a few more shields while they had the time.
"He's over there," one of the said, pointing back at a tree stump surrounded by large bits of wood. There were two more wizards over there, one sitting and looking over the other on the ground.
"I've stopped the bleeding," the sitting one said when Danny came over, "but I'm no med-wizard so I couldn't re-attach the arm, or risk waking him. Get him to the medics."
"Should I bring his arm?" Danny asked, looking around for the lost limb.
"Nah," the unwounded wizard replied. "It's in too many pieces. At this point it's going to be easier to re-grow it. He's going to be out for the rest of the day."
"You can just re-grow an arm?" Danny raised an eyebrow. It made some sort of sense, when he took a moment to think about it, but still...
"Well he didn't lose it to a curse or any sort of Dark Magic," the wizard said as Danny picked up his comrade, "he was just next to the tree when it was hit with a spell. Things like that are easy to heal; it's only tricky when injury is somehow magical."
That explained the Wizarding World's somewhat blase attitude towards physical safety, Danny reflected as he evacuated the wounded wizard. Still, even if they could heal the injuries easily, why would anyone think that bludgers were a good idea?
The battle continued. Shrieks and booms echoed out constantly, spells flashed in a multitude of colors, and fire shone its terrible light. Terrifying creatures of all shapes and sizes loped, flew, and strode over the battlefield, each and every one of them a waking nightmare given form in the waking world. Desperate wizards serving evil powers tried to cast spells beyond their ability, failure wracking their bodies and their comrades, twisting, burning, crackling and transforming them, while success gave birth to cruel magicks. And Death Eaters cast spells that were even worse, breaking shields, minds, bodies, and wills.
Yet the Order pressed on. Veterans did their best to shield the new comers, counter spells, hex creatures, and lead the charge. The newcomers to the Order tried not to be out done, pressing the offense, casting their own spells with a vigor that the un-tested were surprised to find they had. Mad-Moody's wand flicked upward at the last moment, tapping the stream of laughing black fire that sought to consume him and his group, and sending it skyward, screaming. Remus Lupin jabbed his wand forward and two trolls fell backwards and didn't get back up. Bill Weasley sent a series of stunners, shaded like his families' hair, into a group of dark wizards, mowing them down.
And Danny was zipping all over the battlefield, defanging many of the enemy's counter attacks, evacuating the wounded, and helping keep the forward moment. He could feel himself tiring faster than he should, the price of the suit, but it didn't matter. They were winning.
Then he saw them. At least ten Death Eaters had come together in the center of their lines, standing in a circle, wands moving in unison. A sickly green light, the foulest, most disgusting shade of green Danny had ever seen, began to glow in the center of their circle.
"There are a bunch of Death Eater's casting some sort of spell by the group of trees to the east," Danny radioed in. "I don't know what it is."
"It looks like the Greater Killing Curse," Lupin's voice came back over the earpiece. "But only Voldemort-"
"He obviously taught his followers how to cast it," Moody cut in. "Thankfully they need to be in a group to do so. We need to disrupt their casting now! Everyone, hit them with everything you have!"
Spells flew from the Order, so thick that the countryside what covered in a multi-hued sheet of light. But Voldemort's forces were using the same trick that the Order had used to defend the north-most hill. Disposable magical shields shattered under the assault and were recreated nearly as fast. The Order's spells slow trickled forward, but not fast enough. A few powerful spells almost broke through, but dark wizards and witches threw themselves in front of the spells, shielding the Death Eaters with their bodies.
One spell finally broke through all the shields, sped over the shoulder of a malnourished looking young wizard, and shot right at the Death Eaters, a bolt of wind. Right before it could hit them it was consumed by a sudden disk of darkness.
"I know that shield spell," Moody's voice growled over the radio. "They shouldn't have been able to set that up here. Where are they getting the power for that?"
Green lightning erupted from the edges of the circle of Death Eaters, feeding the green light, tearing up the ground and revealing a circle of silver, gold, and mercury, the Order's target for the operation. The circle itself seemed to be discharging the lighting, providing the power to the curse. The foul magick began to rise and grow, becoming larger and larger. The scent of decaying meat, the putrid smell of corpses, the sickly-sweet smell of death wafted over the battlefield.
"Where are they getting the power for this!" Moody shouted. "This Greater Killing Curse is more powerful than any I've seen from Voldemort."
"They're using the circle," Danny replied over the radio. "It looks like it's powering the curse."
"We can't break that shield in time," Sirius said. "Everyone needs to get out of the way."
"Good luck with that," a female voice added. "With the way it's growing, I don't think anywhere is going to be safe."
"Apparate out of here," Lupin commanded. "It's the only way."
"We can't do that," a panicking male voice spoke up. "There are Anti-Apparation Jinx's everywhere, they've all merged together. There's almost nowhere to Disapparate from."
"I'll mark the spots," Moody growled. "Everyone head to the golden lights. You can Disapparate from there."
Golden light began to shoot up from a small number spots on the battlefield, each spot about large enough to fit three people.
"We'll never make it in time," another voice shouted over the radio.
"Maybe if you quit talking and start running you'll have better luck!" Moody growled. "Everyone get going. Phantom-"
"Get going everyone," Danny shouted into the radio. "I've got an idea!"
He was lying of course. He flew forward, dodging some curses, with no idea on how to counter the awful green light. But if he didn't do anything so many people would die.
Ice blast and ectoplasm blasts failed to pierce their defense as Danny descended to right in front of the circle. He doubted a Ghostly Wail would anything to the shield as it had stopped the bolt of wind...
Maybe his shield could stop the curse? It was possible, but from what Danny had heard about the curse it was unlikely. It 'killed' everything, reducing it to dust...
Wait, there was an idea.
The curse had reached the size of a large whale and was starting to grow unstable, flashes of color jutting out, gouging holes in the hillside and in the fallen forms of the wizards who had shielded the Death Eaters. Each flash of color acted like a filter to Danny's vision; everything that was behind it, but not touched by the color appeared in the state of death to the halfa, plants were withered, humans and creatures were corpses, hills were stumps, the sky was black and starless, and everything was tinted in that awful green color.
Danny had heard people talk about that curse. Specifically they mentioned that Dumbledore had slowed it before by ripping up a stone floor and conjuring a hill behind the floor. That meant that the speed of the curse was affected by the mass it needed to destroy. If that was true...
Danny dialed up the Ecto-Skeleton Lite up to full power and took a deep breath, closing his eyes. When they reopened they were glowing with an icy blue-green light. Ice began to spread on the ground below his feet, grass frosting over.
The green light quit glowing and coalesced above the circle of Death Eaters into a sphere. It floated there for a brief moment and then the Death Eaters moved as one, all turning to face the Order wizards and slashing downward with their wands.
The evil light exploded outward, winds blowing wildly from and to the curse, grass wilting without even being touched. In that moment, it outshone the sun and everything seemed dead.
But Danny met it. Icy blue light shone back as he fired off the largest ice blast he had seen in his life. He froze the water in the plants around him. He froze the water in the ground. He froze the water vapor in the air. He froze the soil. He froze the plants. He froze the air itself, turning oxygen solid. And his icy power turned into ice itself, ghostly energy becoming matter.
Ice melted, water underwent electrolysis, and the curse continued forward, but it was slowed. Instead of blighting the countryside in an instant, the Greater Killing Curse was forced to inch forward through the ice. And Danny kept supplying the ice, cold blue light flaring ever brighter.
"Amazing," he heard a voice say over the radio, but Danny couldn't spare any effort to reply. He was throwing his whole being into the ice.
There was a crackling sound and the green light began to grow brighter. The Death Eaters were supplying more power to the curse, which began to rapidly devour the ice.
Danny closed his eyes and tried to summon more power. But he was at his limit. He was throwing everything into his counter and had left nothing in reserve.
He didn't know if the curse could kill him while he was in his ghost form and he knew by the time he found out it wouldn't matter. If only it had been raining or something, or if there had been a river he could have frozen, or if Dumbledore had been there to conjure a hill, or even if there had been a beach to grab sand from...
Danny opened his eyes. He could conjure sand, couldn't he? He had been trying to learned the Aguamenti spell at the time, but he had still had created sand. But he needed a wand to cast the spell and even then there wouldn't be enough...
What was that true, however? Wizards and witches could do magic without a wand. He had talked with Harry about it and seen Dumbledore do it enough times. How though? Harry's explanation had basically boiled down to: wizards could do wandless magic when they felt like they could do wandless magic, and that discipline helped with that. How did that relate to the wand?
What did all the spells from the five years of magical studies that everyone at Grimmuald Place had tried to cram into his head have in common? What did all the magical workings he had observed have in common?
Intent and pattern, Danny's desperate brain supplied and he closed his eyes again. Pattern supplied by the wand movement and incantation, intent supplied by the wizard. But, that didn't explain wards and silent casting- but silent casting required focus and Danny knew that they still needed to think the incantation. The pattern was still there. And the wards had the pattern in the writing, but intent- but they need reagents to be powered. Patterns and energy.
Patterns of energy.
Intent was how the wizards instinctively supplied the energy, wasn't it? Or maybe it was simply a bit of 'seed' energy and the pattern grabbed most of the energy from the world? There must have been something about that in one of the many books he had read, but he couldn't recall at the moment. And the wand helped with making the pattern precise didn't it? Like a pen or an ink brush. Then wandless magic was like writing with one's finger. But humans couldn't sense energy, could they? Or maybe wizards could, but not very well. Then wandless magic was like writing with one's finger while blindfolded, or in very bad light. They couldn't really remember the pattern, but they could remember what it 'felt' like. And only when they had that 'feeling' could they cast the spell without aid.
But Danny could sense energy. He had never attempted to when casting magic, but just maybe he could remember the spell now?
Something he was having trouble doing for school. Weren't normal tests high-pressure enough?
He just needed to focus, Danny told himself. He just needed to remember how to do the spell...
The green light was almost upon him when he opened his eyes. It was now or never.
"Aguamenti!" Danny shouted, stepping forward closer to the light, thrusting his hands further out, throwing everything he had into the spell.
He had wished for a beach earlier and he got a beach then. A tsunami of sand and water erupted out of his hands, accompanying the icy power. It became a freight train of sandy ice rushing right into the foul green light, once again slowing the wicked curse.
Danny grinned slightly. Now he just needed to play the waiting game until-
The light grew even brighter while the winds wailed and grew wilder. Somehow the Death Eaters were supplying even more power to the curse, until everything was tinted by the fetid green light, and the whole world seemed a necropolis to Danny. And the Greater Killing Curse began to accelerate once more.
Moody, Sirius, and Remus added their power to the struggle against the curse. If Danny could have turned around, he would have been able to see the three of them standing by the Apparation spots, waving on the other retreating members of the Order, while at the same time they cast the spell, sending more water into the clash between Danny and the curse. It didn't look like Danny would stand alone.
He shouted, throwing everything he had left into his counter, but he had given so much already. He simply didn't have enough to stop it.
"What the hell are you doing to our suit?" A voice came in over the radio, his mother's voice. "We're getting so many warning and alarms that it's surprising that it hasn't simply exploded."
"Trying to stop some bad mojo," Danny managed to grunt back, knees buckling. "Greater Killing Curse."
"Interesting," his father's voice came over the radio next. "Maddie, were any of the sensors operational yet? We could be getting some good data from this."
"We've got a few..." his mother replied. "And I already activated them. I didn't know you could do magic Phantom. Yet another thing to investigate when we dissect you."
"Didn't know myself before now," Danny managed to reply. "Anything you can do to help? Or get the others out of here?"
"Looks like the retreat is twenty-five percent complete judging by radio traffic," Jack said. "Let's see, what can we do..."
There was a pause, during which Danny let himself be pushed back by the winds kicked up by the clash, feet dragging trails into the ground, giving him distance and time.
"Phantom, there is one thing we can do," Maddie said, in a tone that she had never addressed Phantom with before. "We can turn off the safeties. You'll get a massive power increase for a short time."
"And then the suit will explode," Jack said. "It will be a big explosion. It might destroy you."
"Will it be enough to stop this?" Danny asked through gritted teeth. The disgusting green light was blinding now, only a short distance from Danny.
"I don't know," Jack admitted. "But it's the only idea we've got."
"Then quit talking and do it!" Danny shouted, closing his eyes as the vile light approached, less than a foot away, close enough to gag on the death scent.
"Done." His mother said. "Phantom, for what it's worth... you're really not that bad."
Danny tried to reply, but he couldn't, not while the power surged through him like he had touched a million amp wire. In that instant his exhaustion was gone. No, more than gone. The halfa felt like his bones were vibrating, his heart attempting to escape, his brain racing like an F1 driver. He felt like he needed to do something before he exploded.
Blue-green light flared like a newborn sun, purer, cleaner, healthier than the wicked light of the malfeasance. His power howled, great blocks of ice falling from the air and jutting out of the ground only to be shattered by stray bits of ectoplasmic energy crackling and sparking all around the boy.
And the Greater Killing Curse was halted, completely stopped. It was facing an ocean's worth of water, a desert's worth of sand, all frozen with enough ice to be classified as a glacier. There was simply too much constantly being created to kill.
And then the noxious green light began to dim.
Danny let loose a whoop of celebration at the light faded and the curse failed, all the evil receding to a point far away. With nothing to stop it, the icy power and sand rushed forward. Trees were pulped and hills smashed. It became a rouge bullet train, smashing through the countryside, gouging a gully into the ground.
Danny fell to his knees, exhausted. A ring of blue light flickered around his midsection, blackness began to creep into the edge of his vision, and he had to fight to stay awake and ghost.
"He stopped it," he heard a voice say over the radio. "I don't believe it he stopped it."
"Everyone who hasn't Apparated away advance!" Moody shouted. "Now's our chance."
Danny grinned. Looks like the good guys had won. He could head off and rest now.
Something tugged at the back of his mind. Wasn't there something he was forgetting?
"Phantom, turn off the suit now!" Jack said over the radio. "It's going critical. Everyone keep your distance, if the suit goes critical-"
Right, the de facto bomb he had strapped to his chest.
"Phantom, get it off now!" Maddie screamed.
Right. He had an idea on how to-
The explosion was nothing compared to the earlier lightshow, but it was enough to stop the Order's advance. A green glow fell over the battlefield and a hot wind caused grass to bend and robes to flap. Wizards and witches covered their eyes as dust was kicked up, waves racing away from a small green mushroom cloud where Danny Phantom had been.
When the dust and light had faded there was no sign of either the Death Eaters or the spirit.
Harry Potter was enjoying one of his rare breaks, sitting in a nook in a side corridor, avoiding the world for a moment. He was idly looking over the Maurader's Map, entertaining vague plans for ridiculous situations that were unlikely to happen in at Hogwarts. He had come up with a quick plan to deal with a rebellion by the suits of armor, another on how to deal with the Giant Squid kidnapping the Weasley twins, and the quickest way to neutralize Hermione if she was going to snap at her current location.
He was currently considering how to deal with Sam if she was transfigured into a dragon (as if that could happen), glancing at the other boy's position on the map. Harry looked up for a moment, pondering on how to use the architecture of the castle against a possible dragon, and then glanced down again.
The dot that read Danny Fenton had vanished.
Harry's initial reaction was unworried, simply assuming that the boy had moved elsewhere. He casually scanned the map, looking for where Danny had gone off to. But Danny wasn't anywhere near the spot Harry had last seen him.
Harry began to look more earnestly for the boy's name on the map. Danny was nowhere near where he could have realistically gotten to. Nor was he anywhere that he could have implausibly gotten to. Nor was he even anywhere he could have gotten to impossibly. Harry couldn't even be sure that Danny was in the castle.
What was going on with Danny Fenton?
"Have anyone seen Fenton today?" Harry asked later in the day, when he had some more free time that coincided with Ron and Hermione's breaks.
Ron shrugged, but Hermione looked thoughtful.
"No," Hermione answered with a frown. "Now that I think about it, I haven't seen him in any of his classes since this morning."
"Maybe he's in the Hospital Wing?" Ron suggested. "We should go check."
But Danny Fenton wasn't in the Hospital Wing according to Madam Pomfrey when the trio went to check.
"Maybe he snuck off somewhere with Sam and lost track of time," Hermione was the one to suggest a possibility this time.
"Maybe," Harry mused, eyes narrowing. Something was going on. "But that doesn't explain,-" Harry looked around to make sure they were alone, and then pulled his friends into a side corridor, "-why I haven't been able to find him on the map." He pulled out the Maruder's Map and activated it.
Ron and Hermione looked over the map, searching for Danny.
"I can't find him," Ron admitted.
"I found Sam," Hermione said. "But Danny's not with her." She glanced down at her watch. "This is interesting, but I've got class soon. If Danny doesn't get back by tonight, we can look into it more then. Otherwise we've got more important things to worry about."
"Like what?" Harry asked, frowning.
"Well, I think it's time we talk about how you're going to teach us all to fight." Hermione said, expression going completely serious.
"You've got more on that plan I take it?" Harry inquired.
"Yes," Hermione answered. "This upcoming Hogsmeade weekend I'm planning to invite students who might be interested. We can explain things to the there and then we'll hammer out all the details, like schedules and who will help you teach."
"You mean I'll have to talk to them, get them to agree to this idea, to be taught by me, and then have you talk to them and arrange the details," Harry rolled his eyes. "You really think I can convince anyone to get in on this plan?"
"Of course," Ron interjected. "Mate, I've seen you do far worse. You really don't give yourself enough credit."
The red head glanced at Hermione.
"Besides, knowing her, she's mostly going to invite people who are worried about their marks, so you probably won't even need to do that much convincing," Ron said with a smirk. "Just mention OWLs and NEWTs a lot."
"Ron..." Hermione said reprovingly before turning back to Harry. "Harry, if they actually come it's because they're interested in the first place. And those that do come probably won't have brought into all the awful rumor-mongering that the Prophet's been up too. You don't need to worry"
"Fine, I'll talk to them at Hogsmeade."
"Is there any sign of him?" Dumbledore asked Maddie Fenton as the two of them stood on the battlefield. The muggle ghost hunter was looking through a pair of electronic binoculars, scanning the battlefield.
"I'm looking, but this entire battlefield is covered with all sorts of energy and radiation," Maddie replied. "But if he was right next to the suit when it went off, there might not be anything left to find."
"He saved so many people today," Dumbledore said. "I wish..."
Maddie made a non-committal sound. Dumbledore turned to look at her, eyes narrowing.
"I'm just surprised he was useful before the end," Maddie said, still scanning the battlefield. "Still... I wish we had taken it a little... easier on him back home."
They were standing on a hill overlooking the former countryside and current flattened, burned, crushed wasteland. Bits of green fire smoldered around the edge and in the center of the destruction. Green lightning sparked and danced in random places in the air. Members of the Order of the Phoenix were working in and around the devastation, collecting samples, and working to fix the damage. Jack Fenton worked among them, instruments recording and collecting.
"How much longer until the French magical government gets involved?" Maddie asked.
"If the local officials are as turned as I suspect, then I shall venture a guess of several days," Dumbledore replied. "I think we should be able to determine what the function the circle was performing here."
Maddie fiddled with her binoculars.
"Hmmm. Is it safe to go into the center yet?" She asked the elderly wizard. "There's something interesting there."
"I think if you're with me it should be safe enough," Dumbledore answered.
The two of them walked to the center, taking care to skirt around the flames.
"Can you do something about that," Maddie asked, pointing at the fire in the center.
"I believe so."
He was sleeping. He had been so tired for a while now, so he didn't question why he was asleep in what felt like dirt, or why it was pressing down on him, or why the air tasted weird. He was just enjoying drifting on the edge of consciousness, dipping in and out of the darkness inside his own head.
There were sounds around the edges of his mind. He wished the sounds would go away. He wanted to sleep more.
Some of the noises were voices now. Danny groaned. They were here to wake him up. He didn't want to wake up.
The voices were louder now. One was familiar.
Danny's brow furrowed. It must be time to get up.
He tried to sit up, but he couldn't. Something was pressing down on him, trapping him. He needed to get up, needed to get up, why couldn't he get up, why was he trapped in the darkness, why couldn't he get up...
He called upon his powers and transformed, blasting up.
"Interesting," Maddie said, looking down.
"What's interesting?" Dumbledore asked.
"Right there," Maddie said pointing at the spot where the epicenter of the blast had been. "There's a dead spot in the ectoplasmic radiation. This place should be crawling with it, but there's less then even the background radiation-"
Her binoculars beeped loudly and she jumped back.
"Get away from there," she shouted to her wizard companion. Dumbledore took a couple of surprisingly spry steps backwards.
There was a flash of green light and the spot exploded.
Danny Phantom shot out of the hole, looking far worse for the wear, but intact.
"How did you manage to survive?" Maddie asked with a glare at the ghost boy.
"Survive what-" Danny looked around. "Oh, wow... okay, I'm starting to remember what happened."
"How. Did. You. Manage. To. Survive." Maddie asked again through gritted teeth.
"I think I went intangible to drop the vest, went into the ground, and put up a shield?" Danny rubbed the back of his head and yawned. "It was sort of confusing towards the end there."
Maddie began muttering angrily under her breath while Dumbledore looked amused.
"I must say that I'm impressed with your actions today," Dumbledore said. "Outlasting the Greater Killing Curse was a risky but noble endeavor. You saved many lives today. Additionally, your actions meant that the Death Eaters were forced to retreat without the circle."
"Oh. That's good." Danny said, eyes dropping. "Tell me later. I'm going to go rest."
He drifted away, arms dropping as he flew, leaving Dumbledore and his mother behind. He just needed to find somewhere isolated to take a nap and then head back to Hogwarts. Something tugged at the edge of his mind, something he had forgotten, but he was too tired to care at the moment.
Danny limped into the darkened Gryffindor common room later that night, barely awake. It had taken him far too long to cross the English Channel and head through Britain. He felt like he could sleep for a week. After eating a horse of course.
"So what were you up too today?" A voice asked from over by the fireplace, where the embers were still smoldering. Danny jumped, before realizing it was just Harry.
"What do you mean?" Danny managed to say through a yawn.
"No one saw you at any of your classes today," Harry said, stepping forward, eyes narrowing behind his glasses. "And you weren't in the Hospital Wing either."
Danny groaned. He did not have the cognitive capacity to handle this.
"Just tell Ron and Hermione and get me a detention tomorrow," the American moaned. "I'm too tired to deal with this right now."
"Look, if something's wrong, we can help," Harry offered. "But what happened today was pretty suspicious. And to be honest-"
Danny groaned again and slumped into one of the chairs in the common room.
"- right now we can't afford anything suspicious," Harry continued. "Now look, if you're worried about getting into trouble-"
He was interrupted by a loud snore from the chair Danny had just occupied. Harry sighed.
He had wanted to find out what exactly had happened to Danny, how he could just disappear from the Marauder's Map in an instant. Did his screwy magic allow for a form of Apparition that the usual Anti-Apparition jinx didn't prevent? Or, unlikely as it seemed, was Voldemort trying to use him? Or was Umbridge doing something to him? Harry sighed again. It didn't look like he would be getting answers that night.
AN: Life continues and things get written. I'd like to thank Magnive for betaing.