Disclaimer: I own neither Danny Phantom nor Harry Potter.
Let me start by saying, I'm an idiot. This is something I've come to accept over the years. From stepping into the ghost portal to dating a ghost hunter, I'd done some pretty dumb things. I'd never expected this to be one of the dumbest though…
"Uh… Hey," I gave a small nod in greeting to the circle of robed giants surrounding me. They weren't giant in the ten foot tall kind of way. More the - these guys could wrestle a lion without breaking a sweat - kind of way. The twigs they pointed at my heads, combined with their grizzly glares, would have been terrifying if it wasn't so crazy.
Not that what I was doing wasn't crazy.
Long story short, I had a bet with Skulker. He said he'd track me down no matter where I disappeared to. So after a whole lot of bribery, I'd gotten Sam, Tucker and Jazz to cover for me while I took a stupidly long flight over to England to hide out for a week or two. Far enough away that Skulker shouldn't be able to follow, and a country that spoke English. Sounded good to me.
That was, until I snuck into some old lady's house to take a whizz .The second I phased out of the building, there they were.
"If you're looking for the costume party, I think it's that way," I joked weakly, jabbing my thumb to the left.
Their faces remained angry. Worth a shot.
One of the guys took a deliberate step forward, his twig tight in his hand as he approached.
"Your licence?" He asked.
"My what now?"
"Your licence," he repeated, like it made total sense. At my blank stare, he gave a grunt. "Where is the witch, wizard or magic folk responsible for you?"
Witch, wizard or magic folk. Okay. Sure.
I glanced around the circle. Blue robes and sticks. Had I somehow stumbled into a cult within hours of landing in England? Or was this some sort of weird LARP group that mistook my glowing for participation. I had to say, they played their parts well if that was the case. I tugged uncomfortably on the strap of my backpack.
"Yeah. About that… um. I could have sworn they were just here. You must have just missed them."
He wasn't convinced. With a tut he lifted his wand a little higher, pointing it directly between my eyes.
"Magical law states that any magical creature visiting muggle settlements must have either a Free Movement Licence or a responsible guardian. It seems you have neither."
Magical law? Magical creature? These guys were clearly on something
"I think there's been some misunderstanding…"
I jolted as a voice shouted out from above me. The man who'd been glaring me down, closed his eyes in irritation for a second before looking up. I followed his gaze.
"No way," I breathed.
It's not strange for me to see figures flying. Ghosts almost always prefer to float over walk. But this was different.
Hovering a few feet above us was a man on a broomstick. The kind of broomstick you'd see a cartoon witch riding. With the blue robe that matched the others, all he was missing was a black cat and a pointy hat.
"What now, Matthews?" the angry man growled, clearly not impressed that he was being interrupted.
"It's Diggory, sir. There's been a troll exposure in Aberdeen and he wants you over there right away." The man's gaze drifted from 'Hawthorne' to me. A look of confusion crossed his face. He was probably wondering why a scrawny kid like me was being surrounded by a mass of body-builders. I was still wondering the same myself.
My mind was already too scrambled to even question the 'troll exposure'.
Hawthorne let out a heavy sigh before nodding to a man behind me.
Before I could register what was happening, firm hands grabbed mine from behind and pinned them against the base of my back. The rest of the robed strangers began reaching for broomsticks I hadn't noticed on the floor beside them.
This was so not happening.
It was only when the guy behind me gave me a tug backwards that I decided enough was enough.
"This has been fun, but…" I let myself go intangible and pulled myself out of his grasp. "I've got places to be."
It was a lie but I was so over this.
Without giving anyone a chance to retaliate, I become invisible and shot into the air and away from the circle.
The shouts of surprise were almost enough to make me want to stay and watch the confusion. But it had been a long day and I was already way too tired.
The hotel I'd been looking at crashing in wasn't too far away from here. So long as I stayed out of sight, I'd have my head on a pillow in no time. I could figure out what was going on with these weirdos later.
I didn't look back as I lifted myself above the rooftops in an attempt to get a better look at where I was going. I couldn't exactly pull up the maps on my phone while invisible but if I remembered rightly, I needed to look for a park. Or. A small patch of fenced off grass at least. I was pretty sure it was just a little further forward…
I was flying with a bit more speed than I had earlier. As much as I didn't want to admit it, I was a little freaked out. My ghost sense hadn't gone off around those people, so I doubted they were dead. Maybe the broomsticks had some kind of weird technology about them that made them fly? Some of the stuff my parents made looked normal enough while hiding ghost weapons inside. Heck, I used a Thermos to catch most of my ghostly enemies. That had to be it. Surely.
My eyes caught a flash of blue.
I turned my head slightly to get a better look before realising it was one of the broomstick gang. Despite knowing I couldn't be seen, my stomach still twinged.
It was a woman this time though she was just as burly as the guys in her group. Her laser-like eyes were flicking around at impressive speed as she scoured her surroundings. They must all be out looking for me. I did a quick spin to see another blue-clad flyer pass behind a building to my left.
Apparently finding me was more pressing than some 'troll exposure' elsewhere. I didn't know if I should be upset or flattered.
So long as I didn't bump into any of them, there was nothing to worry about. I kept up my own search for the park.
That's when something unexpected happened.
My core flared in protest for a moment before all of a sudden, an icy blue-white light flashed from within my chest. I looked down in surprise as an orb glowed innocently where I'd felt my core spark. Curious, I tried to fly backward away from it. It moved with me.
Before I could investigate further I heard a shout.
I looked up to see the woman hunter pointing her stick at me and drawing the attention of her nearby broomstick gang.
That wasn't good.
I gasped as her stick lit up pink and suddenly a blast that looked like it could have come from Plasmius whipped past my head. The tingle of warmth around my ear was enough to let me know that whatever that blast was, I didn't want to get hit with it.
Rather than stick around to let the others catch up, I took off.
Of course, the orb came too..
It didn't take long before shouts were coming from all angles. Flashes of light flew all around me. It was only the last year of dodging ghost hunting weapons and ghosts themselves that kept me from getting hit.
I dropped my invisibility. The orb disappeared within my chest as the rest of me came into view.
As soon as my invisibility was back, so was the orb. I gave up and made myself visible. No point wasting energy on something that clearly wasn't working.
With a huff of annoyance, I dropped down so that I was flying through a tight alleyway. The one thing I hadn't seen them do yet, was move through solid objects. Might as well give them some obstacles.
It wasn't long until they joined me.
Another shot of pink flew by, colliding with a wall and disappearing in a poof of sparks.
How were they doing that? Were their sticks technological weapons? Did the UK have it's own bizarre branch of 'wizard' ghost hunters?
The alley veered off to the left and as I shot around the corner, I almost flinched at the sound of wood colliding with brick. It confirmed that they couldn't go through walls at least. Still, the grunts of pain weren't pleasant.
What did make me flinch was the feeling of someone's fingers grazing my ankle.
"Getting way too close for comfort," I hissed as I brought my knees up. I twisted sharply so that I was flying backwards. It was the woman again. My eyes met hers and I could tell she meant business.
"Look lady, I don't want to hurt you. Can't we just call it quits and leave each other alone?"
Her glare told me the answer was no. She shook the arm she'd tried to reach for me with and her stick fell from her sleeve into her hand. If she shot from this close, there was no way she'd miss.
I took a quick glance behind me. The alleyway was coming to an end. I needed to slow her down before we reached open air. She was readying a shot as I looked back at her. Maybe I could just knock the weapon from her hand…
I lifted a finger and sent a small blast at her stick. The woman swerved, only for the blast to hit the front of her broom. It jolted with the attack and before I could do anything to stop it, she fell and tumbled heavily to the ground.
"Sorry!" I called down with a grimace. I spun back around, ready to burst from the alley and fly off into the late morning sun.
Fate had other ideas.
Hovering with a face as stoney as a cliff edge and blocking off the exit, sat Hawthorne.
I came to an abrupt halt, head whipping between Hawthorne and two more men catching up behind me. Rather than sit and wait to see who'd reach me first, I smirked. The look on Hawthorne's face became wary as I gave him a little wave.
Without a second thought, I dropped from the air and down to the ground. And then through the ground.
They might have been able to somehow make my invisibility useless but they couldn't possibly find me under concrete.
I grinned at the thought and flew forward. In actual fact, I hated flying underground. It was like flying with my eyes closed. The darkness was absolute, with no gaps or spaces for light to reach. But. Desperate times. With no idea how far would be safe, I charged ahead.
It didn't take too long for me to get tired of flying blind. I dragged myself back up to the surface.
I poked my head above the concrete.
The coast looked clear.
Not wanting to risk that changing, I came up through the pavement and hid behind a car. This street was similar to the ones I'd been searching before. A whole lot of big houses and cars lining the curbs like a barricade.
The other thing that was the same was that there was nobody around.
White rings spread from my waist, one travelling up to my head, and the other to my feet. My black jumpsuit turned to jeans and a t-shirt and the white strands of hair that had fallen into my eyes changed to black. If any of the 'magical folk' stumbled across me, I'd be totally unrecognisable.
I pulled my backpack from my shoulders and routed inside to find my phone. A quick search and I realised I was only a few streets away from the hotel. Could it be that I was actually, finally getting lucky?
Slipping my phone back into the bag, I stood up and headed in the direction of the hotel.
The more I walked, the more I noticed just how much of a ghost town this place was. When I say there was nobody about, I mean nobody. Not even birds sat atop the roofs. It was eerie. I found myself peeking inside windows only to see that no one seemed to be at home either. I'd maybe expect the place to be this empty if it was raining or something but the sun was getting higher by the second. The only cars I passed were completely stationary and empty.
And I thought Amity Park could be creepy.
I kept my eyes on the sky as I continued walking. It seemed like I'd gotten far enough away that no one was checking over here yet. A small relief, but I'd take it.
It didn't take too long before my eyes locked onto the building I recognised from the internet. It stood out from the rest of the houses, being taller and having a large car park at the front.
The car park was full, but again, I couldn't see anyone else around.
It was only as I got closer to the building that I felt a shiver go down my spine.
My breath hitched in my throat as I instantly recognised the gruff voice.
I turned to see Hawthorne staring me down a few cars back. He wasn't on his broom any more and he'd shed his cloak, leaving him in trousers and a black tank top.
"You shouldn't be here," he announced, eyes scanning the area as though expecting something to jump out at him.
As much as I knew it'd be impossible for him to know I was the ghost he'd been chasing down, I couldn't help but feel relieved. I glanced around the empty cars, putting on the most innocent expression I could muster.
"I shouldn't?" I asked, voice small and meek. I'd never been much of an actor, but Hawthorne wasn't paying me enough attention to notice.
He shook his head.
"Whole place has been evacuated. Flood warning. It was broadcast an hour ago. How did you miss it?"
He still wasn't looking at me.
Flood warning? That explained the lack of people. But where was the flood? The sky was clear and I hadn't seen anywhere filled with water ready to overflow when I was flying above the city. It was obviously a lie.
But what kind of person could evacuate a whole town with such a dumb excuse? I shifted my weight uncomfortably as I realised maybe these folks had more influence than I'd originally thought. Somehow they'd known I was here. If the place had been evacuated a whole hour ago then they'd also figured out that I was coming.
The more I thought about it, the less I liked it.
"I actually just got here. I must have missed it."
That caught his attention.
His gaze travelled over me cautiously and a pang of nerves sounded in my chest. I smiled awkwardly as though that would make him trust me more.
"A little young to be travelling alone, aren't you? Are you a tourist?" He probed.
He wanted more. I tried to think back to the excuse Jazz and I had thought up in case anyone asked.
"I'm here looking at schools. I have family over here and Mom wanted me to see if the education was any better." I shoved my hands into my jeans pocket, hoping it would make me look nonchalant.
The guy's frown deepened. He considered me for a second longer before obviously deciding he had bigger problems to deal with.
"Do you have anyone to call to get you out of here?"
Because of the flood warning. Right. I made a show of thinking about it.
"No one close by but…" I went to pull my phone out of my backpack once more.
I didn't realise my mistake until Hawthorne's eyes became lasers.
"Where did you get that bag?"
I felt the blood rush out of my face as I stopped rummaging. The bag. The same bag he'd seen me wearing in my ghost form. Idiot.
"This old thing?" My voice cracked as I spoke, making my heart race a little faster. I slowly pulled the backpack back onto my shoulders, giving him something I hoped looked like an innocent grin. "I got it from a flea market years ago." Not a lie but not the answer he was looking for.
"Give it to me."
I took a step back.
"Woah. No. Sorry. Stranger danger and all that."
He didn't look like he was about to argue.
"Hand it over," he demanded. He started marching towards me, hand outstretched.
That was enough for me.
I ran for the hotel.
Motion detectors picked up my advance and the automatic glass doors slid open at the same time Hawthorne called for me to stop. Not wanting to find out if he'd use his weird weapons on a living, breathing person, I made for a door past the reception that said 'STAFF ONLY'.
The kitchen I found myself in was entirely white. The walls, the floors, every surface gleamed like freshly laid snow. I stood out like a rooster in an aquarium. Hawthorne made it into the room before I could change or pull on my invisibility.
"Stop! I need to-"
I swept an arm across one of the surfaces, sending pots and pans flying towards him. I didn't stop to see if it had deterred him any before I barreled into the next room.
If the kitchen hadn't been a good place to hide, the restaurant was so much worse. Larger and with only a fraction more colour, I'd be pinned to the floor before I reached the nearest door. Rather than wait for that to happen, I darted under the closest tablecloth. The flash that accompanied my transformation occurred at the same time the kitchen door slammed open again.
I was just about to slip through the floor when the tablecloth was shot into the air. I blinked as I realised he was still by the doors.
He recognised me this time. The scowl on his face was accompanied by the quickest of glances around the restaurant. My hands shot out in surrender as his twig appeared from seemingly nowhere and focused in on me.
"I have a proposition," I started, getting ready for another disappearing act. "You let me go, and I head back to where I came from. Win-win."
The flick of his wrist was so fast, I didn't get a chance to prepare myself as a pink blast flew from the stick. The ecto-shield that burst to life in front of me wasn't quick enough.
Hawthorne's shot landed.
Warmth seeped through me like I'd just slipped into a heated pool. I shook my head in an attempt to dispel the sudden dizziness as the world tilted. This was tiredness like I'd never felt and try as I might, it couldn't be fought.
My head hit the floor and the world turned dark as a single thought flitted through my mind.
Maybe coming to England wasn't one of my greatest ideas.
AN: 2022 update! The above chapter is an edited version of the original. Everything is exactly the same, it's just a little tidier!
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I don't really have much more to say. Thanks for checking out this colossus of a fic and I hope you enjoy. :)