Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom or Harry Potter.
It wasn't until I was standing in the centre of a circle of odd looking men with sticks pointed at my head, that I realised: coming to England probably wasn't one of my greatest ideas. I mean, sure, I'd done some pretty stupid things. For starters: jumping into a metal doorway built by my ghost hunter parents to form a portal to the ghost zone. Thanks to that wonderful exploration, I now happen to be half ghost. I mean OK, the ability to fly is awesome, the ghost rays are cool and yes, I do rather enjoy kicking the butts of any and every ghost that threatens my home town. Missing the majority of school due to my secret ghost fights and getting grounded daily for missing my curfew (Again – blame the ghost fights), however, sucked beyond measure.
And then of course you have the usual; stealing the Fright Knight's sword; using the Fenton Ghostcatcher to split myself in half; going back in time to stop Vlad from getting his ghost powers, OK the list goes on. This however, surprisingly appeared to be the worst.
Right. Yes. Why was I in England? Well, it was pretty simple really. Skulker had said something stupid like: 'I could track you anywhere in the world' and I'd taken up the challenge. Like I said, stupid. That's how Sam and Tuck saw it too and it took an awful lot of begging to get them onside. Eventually we all agreed to let Tucker work some of his techo-geek magic. Ask anyone in Amity Park, and I'm on some 'astronaut experience' thing in Florida. So yes. I was lying to pretty much everyone, all so that I could return to Amity Park and rub my victory in Skulker's big metal face. I didn't believe for a second that he'd find me all the way out here.
I took a quick look around the circle at these funnily dressed people (ironic for me to say - I know – what with me wearing a black and white jumpsuit at the time). I counted eight. Six men and two women. Normally I wouldn't have freaked out. I'd had a bunch of ghost hunters surrounding me in ghost form for crying out loud. It was just the way they looked. They were all so much taller than me (admittedly, that wasn't hard) and had this ruthless look to their faces that you'd expect to see on a lion wrestler, or whatever. They were all dressed in these brightly coloured cloaks that looked really out of place in this bleak and grey street. Then of course, we come back to the sticks.
One of the guys, slightly more muscular than all the others, stepped forward. The circle was so tight that as he did so, the wonky stick he held in his hand was only about three centimetres away from my eyes. He had it pointed pretty central so I had to go cross-eyed to see the tip of it. For a second I thought he was planning on blinding me.
"Can I see your licence, please?" the guy asked, his expression blank of any emotion. What was he on about? I frowned.
"Yes. Licence. You do have one, don't you?" He raised an eyebrow. I didn't say anything back. Sam had spent hours drilling into my head English law and customs. Apparently she'd done something on it for school last year. They weren't actually that different to ours in Amity Park. In all of that time she had not once mentioned any sort of licence. The man rolled his eyes. "Okay then. Where is your wizard?"
Was this guy crazy or something? Then I realised. The cloaks, the sticks, the insane warrior faces. These guys were in some kind of cult. They had to be. I took a shaky step back but didn't get very far due to another stick jabbing into my backpack.
"Wow. Erm. Listen. Guys, I'm not quite sure what is going on here but... Oh wow, is that the time? Well, I better be off then. If you'll just..." I made an awkward 'get out of the way' motion with my hands. It was kind of obvious that I was bluffing on the time thing; I don't wear watches. I hoped though, that these creeps would get the message and kindly leave me alone. No such luck.
"No licence, no wizard. You're in quite a bit of bother, boy. Magical law states that any foreign magical creature visiting the country must be accompanied by a wizard or be in possession of a magical licence." The man looked me up and down with this huge disapproving glare. I blinked.
"Magical what?" Did he just say 'magical creature'? OK, not to burst anyone's bubble but I am no magical creature. I am completely human! Well... half human... But I was pretty sure that ghosts weren't in anyway magical. Everything about me can be explained by science... I think... Anyway, what right did these creeps have chasing me down and accusing me of breaking their rules? As far as I could tell, they had no idea what I was. If they knew, it wouldn't be sticks they were pointing at me - it'd be ecto-weapons. So they were guessing. Advantage point to me.
"Hawthorn!" I jumped as this new voice appeared out of nowhere. I took a quick glance around the circle, trying to pinpoint who had spoken. For some unknown reason, all eight fashion freaks looked up. I followed their gaze.
Jeez. What in the world...? Hovering a few metres above our heads was a rather thin, raggedy looking man with thick flowing orange hair. With a bright green cloak and even brighter green eyes, the man looked like some sort of eccentric tropical bird. What stopped my breath however, was the fact that the man was sat upon a flying broomstick. I couldn't help but think back to my rather painful trip back in time to the Salem Witch Trials. Didn't those 'real' witches supposedly ride on enchanted brooms?
"What is it now, Matthews?" The guy in charge, Hawthorn I guessed, growled. Well at least his growl wasn't just designed specially for me. The man in the sky flinched slightly at Hawthorn's tone.
"It's Diggory, sir. He says he needs you back at headquarters. Something about a troll exposure." Matthews' eyes fell on me for a moment and he frowned. He was probably wondering why eight burly figures were holding me at stick point. Then again, I was kind of still wondering that myself. Hawthorn grunted and picked something up off of the ground behind him. Oh, well look at that. Turns out he had a broomstick too. I looked around the circle and realised to my shock and horror, that all of these crazy, stick holding, cloak wearing weirdos, had a broom rested on the ground by their feet. Well this day just got better and better.
"Take him." Hawthorn ordered to one of the men behind me. Before I could fully understand what was going on, my hands were pinned behind my back and I was being dragged backwards. Not cool. I twisted as best I could to see what was going on, although I had a feeling that I knew already. Sure enough, the man holding me was making his way to his broom.
Okay, so anyone who knows me, knows that I have no issues with flying whatsoever. I'm half-ghost, it comes with the job. What I do have an issue with however, is being carried by some guy I've never met, onto a broomstick, headed to I have no idea where. So, naturally, my self defence kicked in. Taking a deep breath, I turned my arms intangible and pulled myself out of my captor's grip. Not pausing for a moment, I passed through him and out of the circle, taking to the air.
It wasn't long before I heard the cries of pursuit. As I listened, I could tell that, despite Matthews' desperate attempts to get Hawthorn to leave me, the leader had decided that I was more important than some troll exposure... Whatever that meant.
At this point, I didn't really have an objective. Get the heck out of here was just about the only thing that filled my mind. Understandable really, when you think about it. If I were in human form, I'd probably have been able to use the whole 'I'm completely innocent, no magic going on here.' thing but due to my complete stupidity, when I'd landed in this small run-down village in the north of England, I'd assumed that, in ghost form, I'd be that little bit safer. If some random stranger came hurtling towards me with a sledge hammer I could easily turn intangible and fly away. Simple.
What I hadn't expected was to be ambushed by a load of flashing sticks. You see, when it'd happened, I'd been caught a little off guard... I say that, I had actually just phased out of someone's house after using their surprisingly ornate toilet. Trust me. Running into a bunch of stick wielding weirdos after emptying your bladder isn't as glamorous as it sounds. Things weren't really going the way that I had planned.
I was quite surprised when I glanced behind me and saw the eight lion-wrestlers catching up with me. I'm not one to brag or anything but I'm a pretty darn fast flyer when I put my mind to it and now was one of those times. I began to wonder if I was in the right line of gadgets. Determined not to be shown up by strips of wood, I veered sharply to the left into a thin alleyway. If I was lucky, the tight space might make broom-flying more difficult. I was rather rewarded when I heard a few cries of pain followed by the clattering of brooms falling onto the ground. Oh the benefits of being a slim fifteen-year-old.
My mood was quickly diminished when I felt something brush against my leg. Chancing a glance behind me, I saw an almost youthful looking woman reaching out for me from over her broom. Her fingers were literally centimetres away from my ankle. I quickly pulled up my leg in a way that looked as though I was imitating Superman. Looking ahead, I saw the end of the alley. Finally.
"Come on! Faster!" I murmured to myself aloud. I tried stretching my arms out harder, hoping that the extra push would speed me up. It didn't. I could hear the woman's breathing behind me and panicked. Working more on instincts than anything else, I swung myself around and shot a small ecto-blast at the tip of her broomstick. The woman was taken by surprise and swayed uncertainly for a second before toppling off her sliver of wood. I spotted two men behind her. Hawthorn wasn't there. I was kind of hoping that he was one of those that had fallen off when I'd moved into the alley. Taking a steadying breath, I turned again and continued top speed to the exit.
It seemed the loss of their co-worker had put the other two on edge as they began to shout at me. Trivial things such as 'Give up now!' and 'We're going to catch you eventually'. It was all a little too cliché for my liking, so I ignored them completely. Thankfully, in my ghost form, I don't get worn out too easily. I could keep this chase up for at least an hour and still be up for a ghost fight afterwards. I kind of wished some of that stamina would transfer into my human half but life doesn't really work like that. It wasn't until I reached the end of the alleyway that I realised my luck was running out. It seemed that somehow, a very smug looking Hawthorn and two of his men had managed to get to the end before me and block off the exit. I wondered if, as well as flying, these people could teleport. For some reason, this annoyed me. I had to die to get my abilities - and yet here were eight, completely alive, completely human, people that just kept matching me.
But come on. I'm not completely stupid.
Glancing back and forth between the men behind me and the men in front of me, I turned invisible. Oh, if I could have taken a picture at that moment. Hawthorn's smug smirk drooped and moulded into a deadly scowl. I watched silently as the rest of the men began to look around, wide eyed and frantic for any sign of me.
"Erm... Hawthorn... I think he, er... got away," one of the men, a middle aged guy with thinning brown hair, announced shakily. The look he got from Hawthorn was enough to chill the blood of the toughest man. The man who'd spoken appeared rather close to fainting, which for a guy with as much muscle as him was rather impressive.
Deciding I'd better not stick around to catch the rest of the conversation, I phased through the wall behind me.
Careful to stay invisible (I didn't want to scare any old ladies or anything), I turned and made my way through a very pink living room.
I'll admit, I didn't really know what to think at this point. If I were in human form right now, my heart would have been racing like an Olympic athlete. What I really wanted to know was how a bunch of burly, hooded, sci-fi fanatics had managed to get their hands on flying broomsticks and glowing twigs. Also, how in the world had they known I was even here? My immediate thought was that they were ghost hunters but that just didn't add up. Why would they have called me a 'magical creature' if that were the case. They could, of course, just have been some random crazies with abilities and had just happened to stumble across me. That didn't seem to fit either.
So what was it?
I didn't really get to ponder on it long before a loud screeching noise broke off all possible thought. I gasped and pressed my hands against my ears, trying to dull the noise. I couldn't tell where it was coming from or how to stop it, I just knew that if it didn't stop soon, I could pretty much say goodbye to my hearing.
Without fully understanding what I was doing, I shot out through the ceiling of the building. I had to get away from that deathly squeal. Unfortunately it appeared that that was exactly what those robed pursuers had expected as I flew straight into one of them. Instantly, I felt a strong arm wrap around my torso but I couldn't concentrate on it. The noise was too loud.
If I'd have been thinking straight, I would probably have wondered why the sound was seemingly only audible to me. It didn't seem to affect the broomstick riders.
I thrashed around in my captors grip, admittedly more to get away from the noise than from him. His grip tightened ever so slightly.
The action threw my defence mechanisms into overdrive. Within seconds, I'd managed to bring my knee up and wind the man, causing his grip to loosen before shooting him straight on with an ecto-blast which sent him somersaulting backwards so that he collided with a chimney.
The small part of me that was still functioning normally panged in concern, but instead of going over and checking if the guy was all right, I felt myself flying off again. I couldn't even think about the flying crazies close on my tail.
Desperation had given me the extra boost needed to catapult me ahead of my pursuers. I tried to ignore the slight blurring of my vision as the noise assaulted each of my senses in turn. As quick as a flash, I shot around one of the houses and dropped my hold over my ghost half. My black and white jumpsuit morphed into baggy jeans and a red and white top. My pure white hair transformed into black and I could feel the glow from my previously green eyes dim as they become bright blue. All of this happened before I hit the floor. My knee jolted painfully as it impacted with the concrete but other than that I was fine. Gasping, I slowly lifted my hand to my forehead.
The sound had stopped.
A second later, five figures shot above me, coloured capes billowing in their wake. Breathing a sigh of relief, I sat back against the wall and pulled up my right trouser leg. Now, if anyone has ever seen a dislocated knee cap, they know that it is not the most pleasant thing to look at and this time wasn't an exception. The cap jutted out to the side and the darn thing had already started bruising (side effect of speedy healing).
Now this is the part where I say; don't try this at home. Seriously, dislocated anythings are best left to a doctor. I however, can't really afford that luxury. Taking a deep breath, I took a hold of the knee cap. I slammed my eyes shut before yanking the body part back into place. "Gah!"
Okay – falling from heights as a human is seriously not something that I would recommend. To anyone.
Brushing the pain-induced tears from my eyes, I shrugged off my backpack and pulled out a water bottle. One little break wouldn't do me any harm. I leant my head back against the brick wall behind me and gulped down a fraction of the liquid. My escape plan so far pretty much started and ended with: walk away. If I was lucky, I could just walk out of here and those flying weirdos would never even notice. After all, they had just flown right past me.
Trying to feel positive, I pulled myself up and stumbled in the direction that I had come – away from sticks and away from wacky, floating brooms. They couldn't hurt me in my human form, there had to be laws in England about that.
Despite the deep ache in my knee, the walk was rather therapeutic. The sound of my footsteps echoed slightly in the empty street, matching pace with my calming heart-beat.
I'm going to pretend that I didn't just sound like some lame poet then...
Hang on, that was a point. During this whole hellish cat and mouse chase, I hadn't seen a single bystander. This place was like some sort of ghost town... no pun intended. I took a quick glance around the street to confirm my suspicions. Sure enough, not even a dog walker or a pottering old lady was anywhere in sight. Did English people have some kind of aversion to sunlight or something?
I decided to push the thought to one side. Despite the fact that it was crazily eerie, it was probably just some random coincidence. Walking slowly beside the houses, I thought back to what Sam had told me just yesterday.
"Look, the main thing to remember is that the English are exactly the same as us. Try not to make any bad jokes, don't mention anything ghost related or supernatural and you'll be fine. It's not like as soon as you get there a bunch of crazy ghost hunters are going to pounce on you and attack you with ghost weapons."
Oh, the irony.
I froze on the spot as a gruff voice called over to me from behind. As quickly as I dared, I turned to face the speaker.
"Oh you have got to be kidding me," I murmured under my breath. Couldn't I get a moment's peace?
"What are you doing outside? I thought the whole town had been evacuated," Hawthorn growled, stomping his way towards me. Well, that answered one question.
"I must not have got the memo." Okay, why was I talking in a very very poor attempt at an English accent? Come on, this guy had accused my ghost half of being in the country illegally, I didn't need that on this side too. The man's scowl deepened. I couldn't help but wonder if that saying had come true for him (you know the one, 'If the wind changes, your face will stick that way' or something along those lines) possibly when he was about twelve... "Why is the whole town evacuated?"
"Flood warning. A dam a few miles away might over flow."
Now that was an obvious lie. The only reason this town had been evacuated was to cover up the fact that broom flying witch-wannabes decided that they were going to go on some sort of ghost hunt. I don't know how they managed to evacuate the whole town before I knew about it but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
Maybe these guys, the stalkers that they were, had somehow been tracking my ecto-signature or whatever whilst I was flying over England. Then they'd be able to predict when I was going to arrive here and allowed them to clear the place out and spring the trap.
I didn't for one second believe the 'dam' story.
"Oh, well... I guess I'd better be out of here then... Sorry for the confusion." Trying not to show off my nerves (come on, you'd be nervous too if you had some six-foot something weightlifter standing over you, looking at you as though you were fresh meat) I swiftly turned back around and continued walking away from Hawthorn. I really hoped that there was an exit to this town somewhere in this direction. I really hadn't been paying that much attention when I got here.
Hawthorn didn't say anything as I moved, though I could feel his hard gaze on the back of my skull. I'll repeat, English people are weird.
I paused again, suddenly feeling rather irritated. "What now?"
"Where did you get that backpack?"
The backpack. Oh crud, how could I have forgotten about the backpack? The same backpack I'd been wearing when I'd been cornered before. How amateurish a mistake what that?
I offered the man a small nervous giggle (shut up) before making a break for it.
I'll be the first person to say that I am in no way a fit and healthy fifteen-year-old. Fitness just really isn't my thing but there are most certainly times in my life when I really wished it was. Hawthorn called out in pursuit and his pounding footsteps seemed to get closer by the second. I guess that had something to do with him being super-sized and me being... not so super-sized. Unfair advantage there, if you asked me.
Come on legs, don't fail me now. I took a sharp left into yet another alley, hoping that I could replicate that trick I did earlier when flying but Hawthorn just wouldn't be deterred. Attempting to pull on my ghost core to feed me some energy and perhaps some speed, I pulled out of the alleyway and continued down the next road. This place was seriously like some sort of maze.
I don't know what made me see it. Perhaps it was desperation or perhaps it was just luck. Whatever it was, I was momentarily grateful. I couldn't outrun Hawthorn in my human from, that much was evident, I had to find some way to change forms without the guy realising what was happening. So far as I knew, the backpack hadn't proved anything so my secret was still relatively safe.
So of course, when I saw the door to someone's house, slightly ajar, my heart leapt. Trying not to allow Hawthorn to gain any more ground on me, I added my last little reserve of energy into my sprint toward the open door. Thankfully, Hawthorn didn't appear to notice my escape route and merely continued to jog on, not once bringing out his stick (whatever that would have done).
I reached the house in less than a minute and burst through the door, slamming it shut behind me. Trying to catch my breath, I allowed my ghost form to take over, leaning heavily against the door in the hope that that may deter the older man. Of course all I was really doing was trying to buy myself some time. If these creeps had ghost sensors, it would only be a matter of time before the whole swarm was on top of me. Flying away wouldn't do me much good but what else could I do? Before I could think up an answer to that, the door I was leaning against swung open, throwing me across the room like some kind of plaything. I grunted in pain as my head impacted with a wall, causing stars to dance delicately in front of my eyes.
Groaning, I pulled myself up and turned to face Hawthorn who was glaring down at me full force.
Instantly I put an arm up in a surrendering motion. I was getting really tired of this running thing.
"Okay, okay, I give up," I gasped, clutching my stomach with my free arm to dull the stitch that had stuck around from my human half. "Can't we just talk about this?"
Hawthorn didn't say anything, making the more intimidating choice of slowly walking towards me, his stick pointing directly at me. I felt too tired to really concentrate on what I was doing but I was vaguely aware of my body sliding into a more defensive position. "I'll take that as I no." Slowly, I began to light up my hands, forming the ever warming energy for my ectoplasmic energy ball.
However, the ball had hardly started to form before Hawthorn murmured a few indistinguishable words under his breath. His stick lit up.
I fired the ectoblast at my pursuer full on in a desperate attempt to stop whatever the man was planning to do.
I was too late.
As soon as the light from Hawthorn's stick hit me, I could feel the hot tingle of the light, clawing at my skin. It took me a while to get a grip on what was actually happening. I tried to make a dash for it but it was too late. Unable to sustain the energy ball, the green orb died out before it could hit its target and reluctantly, I watched the world tilt. It seemed as though everything was happening in slow motion. My head hit the floor and I was forced to watch Hawthorn lift me onto his shoulders. I wanted to pull away; to run but I couldn't. I couldn't move at all and slowly but very surely, I watched my world go black.
Life really, really sucked sometimes.
AN: Hello and welcome to the edited/rewritten version of Spellbound! (Previously named 'Challenges') If you have read Diversity, you will know that as an author I like to ramble on... a lot... I recently decided that I should probably place my ramblings at the end where people can chose to completely ignore them with more ease - because I'm thoughtful like that :3
All righty! So this chapter has been proof-read but like always, if you see any mistakes, just point 'em out to me and I'll see what I can do about them. The official update date for the second chapter is the 1st of August. From there I am going to try to make my updates fairly regular but as I am in my last year of sixth-form education in September, I can't make any promises.
Hopefully, I have covered all the brilliant points you put across on the preview and Danny seemed slightly more competent ;)
I think that's all I really wanted to say - my brain is telling me that it needs sleep so I feel that I should probably comply...
Check out my facebook page 'Iymea - Fanfiction Writer' for any updates on my fanfic progress!
See you in August!