Phantom: Hey everyone. So, I've recently watched the movie "Rise of the Guardians" and just couldn't stop thinking about it. I've seen and made fan art as well as read several stories on it. One of my favourite types was looking into Jack's past before he became a guardian.
Trainer: Oh! I've read a few of those too. FYI, I got her to watch the movie and now she's as addicted to this as she is to Danny Phantom.
Phantom: Shut up. If you haven't noticed, I can make comparisons to many things and find what are similar between them. It's what I love about these things. Ok?
Trainer: I'm just saying. You are like a ghost with an obsession.
Phantom: And you're like the ten year old who's a pain in my butt. Anyways, I couldn't stop thinking about Jack's possible past so here I am! Unlike other stories, this won't just have the Guardians watching but also Pitch and the Burgess kids (at least Jamie and Sophie) and some mention of other spirits (made up or not).
Trainer: How come I never knew about this idea? Are you withholding from me on purpose?
Trainer: What about your Danny Phantom fanfic? When will you do that next chapter huh?
Danny and Vlad: Yeah, what about us?
Phantom: Hey, no one said that I couldn't do more than one fanfic at a time, so please just chill until then. I'll get back to you guys.
Jack Frost: Let's have some FUN!
Pitch: Please do shut up…
Phantom and Trainer: Welcome to "Frosted Memories"!
P.S. The Man in the Moon told you to read this story!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Rise of the Guardians; the plot is mine as well as some characters.
Chapter 1: Gathering
It was just another day in the world and everything was fine. Children all around the world where so full of wonder and hope; Enjoying their dreams and memories; and above all else, they were having fun. Speaking of, the embodiment of wonder itself was busy working on his newest toy. He was a big man, and I mean really big. He was also Russian and once a big time bandit. He had long white hair and a beard along with crystal blue eyes. On his arms were tattooed the words 'Naughty' and 'Nice'.
Now, Christmas wouldn't be for another ten months, but this was a job that required work all year round. Humming along to his music, Nicholas St. North – also known as Santa Clause – was carving his newest idea from a big block of ice.
North was just putting the finishing touches on his creation; a beautiful race track with a horse running around it. North pressed a button and a section of the track lift up into a ramp that the horse ran towards. The ice horse neighed and charged forward and leapt off into the air. Instead of the little ice figure crashing to the ground and smashing into millions of pieces, the horse suddenly grew a pair of magical sparkling wings and flew around the room. North gave a triumphant laugh and watched as his creation left a trail a mist as it moved. North was so focused on his new toy that he didn't hear the booming sound of one of his workers racing towards his door.
North's most trusted yeti and head of toy manufacture, Phil, burst into the room yelling something in Yetish. "Gahh, why?" North exclaimed as he watched his ice sculpture crash to the ground. His icy blue eyes saddened by its destruction. Phil gasped and took several steps backwards while apologizing over and over. Just like almost a year ago, the yeti had made the door swing right into the flying object. "What is it that you come crashing into workshop again?" North asked, slightly annoyed that another creation would have to be rebuilt later.
As if he had just remembered why he had rushed in, Phil began ranting to the jolly Russian in his native tongue. To most, this would be nothing but gibberish, but for the man of wonder he knew exactly what the furry beast said. North's eyes widened at the news and firmly said "show me".
Phil nodded and the two left North's office and entered the main workshop of Santoff Clausen. Yetis were working hard to make the new toys for the impending Christmas day. As they walked by the stations, North gave orders and advice. One yeti was painting the last details onto a green race car with water patterns running along the sides and he seemed quite pleased with himself.
North walked by and frowned slightly before waving a hand and saying, "I don't like it; paint it red with hot flames." The yeti looked up surprised and then glanced at the pile of finished cars before groaning at all the wasted work. Phil gave him a sympathetic look and continued to lead his employer towards the globe.
"Go! Shoo! Pesky little elves; always in way and under boot," North exclaimed as he moved forward. When the two got there North started looking at everything to see what the problem was. Phil had told him that there was a problem that needed his immediate attention, but the Russian couldn't find anything wrong. There was nothing wrong with the globe; all the lights of the children were shining brightly.
North turned to the head yeti and asked, "What is problem, my friend? Globe looks fine and there is no sign of Pitch or black sand."
Phil started to garble something about a sign, the moon, shadows and knowing the truth, but what really got North's attention was the mention the Man in the Moon – or Manny as he liked to call him. North turned to face the moon as it shown brightly down through the skylight.
"Ah, Man in Moon. What do you have to say, old friend?" North asked slightly happy and nervous to hear from the moon. If Manny wanted to talk, then it usually was about something important. The Man in the Moon didn't say anything but rather shone his light onto the floor and made shadows appear in the light.
The first few North could easily identify. It was silhouettes of Sanderson Mansnoozie, Toothiana, E. Aster Bunnymund, and Nicholas St. North. In other words, Sandy the Sandman, Tooth the Tooth Fairy, Bunny the Easter Bunny and himself. The next image was of a dark looming figure and North knew right away that it was Kozmotis Pitchner – no, Pitch Black, the King of Nightmares and the Boogieman.
It had been just under a year since the incident that gave the Big Four their fifth member and caused Pitch to be dragged back into his lair by his own Nightmares. They didn't really know what had happened to Pitch since the battle, but they had gotten word that their newest member would occasionally check up on him since he was the only one of the five that knew where the shade's lair was. Although, their fifth didn't like to talk to them about it and said, "It's my responsibility. You guys don't need to worry about It." whenever they brought it up.
Sighing at the idea that they might have to deal with Pitch again so soon, North returned his attention to MiM as the image changed from Pitch to a group of kids who looked no older than ten or eleven years of age. The guardian of wonder blinked a few times before he understood that these were the children that he and the other guardians had met back in Burgess. He chuckled at the memory of the children and how amazed they were at seeing all the childhood "Myths" in action.
Phil tapped the man on the shoulder and pointed to the light again with a worried glint in his eyes. North looked back down and gasped. It was of their fifth guardian; Jack Frost, the spirit of winter and Guardian of fun. However, it wasn't this that made the two so afraid. The image of Jack was blurry, almost as if he wasn't really there anymore. Then the image faded and the moon's light left. Now there was a need to be worried.
North started to pace in front of the control panel for the globe, Phil watching him waiting for his orders. The Russian paused to look at the panel that hid a certain lever. Giving a firm nod to his inner debate, North turned to the yeti and said, "Make preparations for Guardian meeting. I am calling them." Phil gave a gruff reply and went off to prepare for the others' arrivals. North turned back to the panel and allowed the familiar lever to appear. With one swift motion he twisted and plunged the lever into the socket, activating the globe to release the Northern Lights.
Over in Southeast Asia, a palace that glimmered in the rising sun's light stood tall and proud as the many occupants fluttered around doing their jobs. Thousands of tiny bird hybrids were flying to and fro from the palace either carrying a tooth or a shiny new coin. Those that were returning with teeth flew up to small boxes in the walls of the palace and placed them inside for each of the children that they came from.
The largest of all the fairy-like creatures hovered at the centre of a tower giving out orders. Her feathers were a mix of greens and blues while a single group of feathers on her head were golden yellow. Her violet eyes glancing every-which-way. She had golden bracelets and her wings were flapping faster than a humming bird's. Her name is Queen Toothiana – or Tooth for short. She was speaking so fast without a pause for breath one would wonder if she even needed to.
"Toronto, Ontario; sector 5, 2 molars, 8 lateral incisors and 1 bicuspid. Paris, France; sector 9, 2 central incisors, ball hockey accident. London, England; sector 16, 1 canine, 3 incisors and 4 bicuspids; oh my, is that all from one house?!" Tooth said as the fairies worked around her.
Tooth was about to give another order when Baby Tooth – a fairy that was very close to Jack – flew up to her. Tooth took it the wrong way and was trying to give her next mission when Baby Tooth started to chitter and squeak in her own tongue. Tooth became quiet as she listened and looked up at the sky when Baby Tooth said that the lights were out.
"North is calling a meeting? Why?" the Guardian of memories wondered before she nodded to her child and flew off towards the North Pole. Several of her mini fairies followed her, including Baby Tooth.
Off in the undergrounds of Australia, a large rabbit was racing through the tunnels of his home. He had gray and white fur with bright forest green eyes. He had boomerangs strapped to his body along with a pouch that held several items related to painting. He wore brown bracers on his arms and had several spring-like prints covering his head and shoulders.
Racing through his tunnels he passed several bundles of eggs with legs and flower beds. The large Pooka – a special species of rabbit – came to a large opening that looked to be a hidden oasis. He kept running until he was near the centre of his home; The Warren. E. Aster Bunnymund was the Easter Bunny; painting eggs all year round for his special day.
He was about to relax from his little run when some of his eggs started to crowd around him. Bunny was surprised to say the least and was trying to understand what his eggs wanted from him. "Whoa, whoa, whoa there, my little googies. What's the matte' with ya? You're actin' like someone tried to step on ya."
His little googies only scurried around more and some even started jumping since none of them could talk. Eventually, the little eggs made an arrow with their bodies and then a second image of the moon. Bunny furrowed his brow at the message. "Look to the moon?" Bunny thought. "Why would I need to look at the m-" Bunny cut his thought short and saw the Northern Lights in the sky. Understanding what his eggs were trying to tell him, he tapped his foot on the ground twice and created a hole.
"Now I expect ya all to behave while I'm gone," he told the eggs before he jumped into the hole and it closed shut; a beautiful pink flower standing where he once stood. Moments later, another hole opened up in the North Pole and two long ears popped out and surveyed the area. Deeming it clear, Bunny jumped out and stood tall in the wintery landscape; his hole closing soon after.
Bunny sneezed and hugged his body for warmth. "Gah, geez. Why can't North just live somewhere warm?" The Pooka then started his journey to Santoff Clausen and through the snow. As he went his voice echoed throughout the arctic desert. "Cold. COLD! I can't feel my feet! Ah, this is bloody déjà vu all over again! Can't feel my FEET!"
The Sandman, or Sandy, was over in his hidden island home checking up on a few things before he went off to give the children of Japan good dreams when he felt like something was wrong. Not horribly wrong like when North says that he feels it in his belly. That usually meant something really bad. No, this was more like something unknown was approaching. The thing was, Sandy didn't know if it was something good or bad.
Taking his chances, the Guardian of dreams looked out a window and saw the lights dancing across the sky telling him that he had to get to the North Pole. Sandy let out a silent sigh and turned some of his dream sand into an airplane. Setting his golden goggles over his equally golden eyes, the small man made of sand took off and headed north.
"I hope there's a good reason why Nicholas is doing this again," Sandy thought as he corrected his heading.
Everyone was arriving at the Pole in record time. North was pacing in his common office in front of the fireplace while the yetis worked on the gifts and tried to keep the elves out of trouble. Bunny came in and immediately snuggled into the warm glow of the fire as he brushed some snow off his shoulders. "Oi, mate, why are ya callin' us for this time? Please tell me it isn't so we can all just 'catch up'," Bunny said slightly irritated. Cold and he just didn't mix well; just look at him and Jack!
North shook his head but made no effort to make a verbal reply. Instead he resumed his pacing and the Pooka watched impatiently. The second to arrive was Tooth and her mini fairies. Tooth knew something was up, especially since North was anxious and pacing. However, she still had a job to do and ended up giving out orders to the tiny fairies.
Sandy was the last one to arrive with his golden dream sand plane dispersing as he landed. Several symbols flashed over his head. When he was done he crossed his arms and frowned while dream sand puffed out of his ears in annoyance. North didn't seem to take notice, but Bunny did.
"Sorry, mate," Bunny replied. "North called it. We know you were busy, but North wouldn't call if it wasn't important, right? Besides, don't you think that I'd rather be in my warren finishing Easter preparations, or Tooth in her palace or in the field collecting teeth, or even Frostbite…" Bunny paused and finally noticed that Jack had yet to arrive. Normally he would be in just a few moments after the Sandman, but he was nowhere in sight! Turning to the worrying Russian Bunny asked, "Where is Frostbite anyways?"
North paused as well and Tooth finally tuned into the conversation. Bunny was right; Jack wasn't there. North sighed and looked to his fellow guardians. "I am not sure," he finally said. "Manny sent me message only minutes ago. Something about us, children, Jack and Pitch."
"PITCH!" Bunny yelled standing to his full height in alarm. "Why would that buggar be back so soon? He's only been trapped for almost a year!"
Sandy made an image of Pitch out of dream sand before another figure – Jack – appeared next to it showing the two talking. Sandy looked to the rest of them with a question mark floating above his head. Tooth understood and voiced what she thought the golden man was saying. "Maybe Jack is talking to Pitch? Jack does go to check up on him," she supplied hopefully.
North rubbed his beard as if in thought but then shook his head. "No, the image of Jack wasn't near Pitch's image. Jack's wasn't even in entire focus. It was almost like it was fog on shadow, making it hard to see. I have bad feeling…" North said.
Bunny face-palmed and said "Let me guess…"
At the same time, both Guardians said, "In my/your belly."
North turned to the Pooka and said, "Exactly!"
Sandy nodded in agreement and made several sand images explaining that he had the same feeling not too long ago. Tooth's motherly instincts were kicking in and she started flying all over the place saying "what if Jack is in trouble? What if Pitch DID manage to break out of his lair? What if he captured Jack?! I'll knock more than just a tooth out of that man if he so much as hurts a single hair on Jack's head!"
It continued like this for some time until the moon's light came back into the room via the window and shone on the floor. The only one to take notice was Sandy of course and he tried to gain the other guardians' attention to no avail. With no elves to jingle, Sandy had to improvise; he brought out a sand whip and whipped at the ground once creating a silencing snap. The other three occupants in the room turned to their smallest friend in curiosity and slight annoyance.
That is, until they saw how annoyed he was. If there was one thing that they knew, it was to never piss off the man of dreams. Sandy allowed his whip to disappear and pointed to the moonlight shining through the window.
North laughed, but it seemed somewhat forced, and said "Sandy, why did you not tell us sooner?" Sandy scowled but knew that the larger man was just as worried if not more so for what was happening. "Manny, what is going on? Where is Jack and what does this have to do with Pitch and children?"
Instead of MiM giving them a reply through his voice or shadow pictures, he sent a person to them with a moonbeam. From the moonbeam came a boy that appeared to be about 20 in physical age. He wore a black suit that looked like some form or armour. Parts of the armour glowed like a star or the moon itself. He had pale skin along with matching hair and crystal blue eyes. The most extraordinary thing about him though was that he glowed. Everything about him just glowed and seemed to chase away the shadows in the room. In his hand was a staff that had a glowing dagger attached to one end.
For those that didn't know him, he was known as Nightlight; Man in the Moon's protector. Of course, the Guardians hadn't seen him in centuries since he usually stayed on the moon, but it was always good to see him. "Nightlight! To what do we owe the pleasure of seeing you again?" North asked in his thick accent.
Nightlight smiled at him and held up a note on clean white paper.
Tooth fluttered forward and asked, "Does it have to do with Jack? Is he in trouble?" She became even more worried as her previous thoughts came back to her.
Nightlight closed his eyes, but never lost his smile. Sandy noticed that it kind of looked like a sad smile, like the young man before them knew something they didn't; which was more than likely true. As the glowing being opened his eyes he held out the note to Tooth and she read it out loud, "Please go to Jack's pond and meet us there. There is something that you all should see."
Bunny was about to demand why, but Nightlight had already vanished to his next destination. The Pooka looked around the room and said the one thing on all their minds, "So, do we go? He pretty much said that this had to do with Frostbite and if the moon is tellin' us to go…" Bunny trailed off and let that linger in the air.
Sandy looked to Tooth and the two nodded before turning back to their furry friend. Sandy gave a 'thumbs up' while Tooth laughed and darted around the room in anticipation. Bunny smirked and looked to their leader to see he was in deep thought. Bunny nudged his arm and the Russian looked up and around to see his friends – no, his family – giving encouraging looks full of determination. North couldn't help but laugh and made to grab his gear from his desk. As soon as he was ready he walked towards the door and shouted, "Everyone! To the sleigh!"
Bunny grumbled, already feeling sick to his stomach at the mere thought of riding in the metal and wooden deathtrap.
Meanwhile, in the forest of Burgess there was a hole. No one knew where this hole came from or how long it had been there, but a hole was a hole and needed to be covered so that no one would accidentally fall into it. Centuries ago, some people put a bed frame over it to prevent such an accident. As the years wore on, the bed became cracked, old and damaged, but still continued with its original purpose. However, this wasn't just any hole; it was the entrance to the Boogieman's lair.
Normally, no one would even dare to go down into it for fear of never coming out. The only beings recently to wander in or out were Pitch Black himself and a certain winter sprite. Though for now, neither one was doing so, instead a glowing boy entered.
Nightlight came to the bed frame and looked at the old wood with slight curiosity and distaste. The hole underneath was darker than the night sky; one couldn't even see the bottom let alone a foot down. Sighing, the glowing immortal raised his staff and began removing a base board that was covering the hole. As soon as it was removed he jumped in and down.
For the most part, Pitch's lair was quite homey. Sure, it was dark and scary, but it still had that home quality to it. It was almost like a labyrinth with all the random path ways and stairs. There were tens of cages hanging from the ceiling and Nightlight frowned as he saw them. Oh, he knew about what had happen little under a year ago and he knew what those cages used to hold.
Nightlight looked over the edge of a bridge and saw darkness and shadows twisting about bellow him. The pit used to be filled with all the children's tooth boxes, but now it was just a pit full of sorrow and fear. Suddenly, several Fearling hands shot out of the pit and made to grab him. Nightlight silently cursed and sliced through all of them with his staff. The Fearlings screeched in pain and recoiled back into the darkness they once came from. Giving a sigh of relief the glowing being continued onward.
Nightlight was now more than ever on edge. Sure, he had expected to be attacked at least once, but that still wasn't very reassuring. Also, he was expecting to hear shouts of pain and agony echoing around the lair, but so far it had been deadly silent.
"Did the Nightmares and Fearlings kill him off?" Nightlight wondered as he continued to search for the Nightmare King. The shadows couldn't hurt him and he knew that. The most they could really do was glare at him or even attempt to grab him. Nightlight saw one of the shadows near him shift and immediately shifted into a defensive position. A Nightmare, a horse made of nothing but fear and black sand, emerged from the shadows glared at the being of light.
It stood at least eight feet away, just out of reach of Nightlight's staff and light. The two continued to stare each other down before the mare snorted and looked off in another direction. Nightlight relaxed slightly and lowered his weapon. He also realised that he couldn't get near the creature unless he died down his light a bit. Focusing, Nightlight dimmed himself and now you could properly see his black suit instead of the whole thing being lit up like a Christmas tree. The mare snorted again and began walking off. It paused ten steps later and turned its head and glared with its golden eyes. It was then that the boy realised that the Nightmare wanted him to follow. He just hoped it was leading him to his intended target and not some trap.
Several minutes later, the two beings found themselves in what looked like a throne room. The colour scheme was gray, black and gold. It was a great hall with a long black and gold carpet travelling from the door to the throne. On the walls were tapestries with the image of a Nightmare and a Fearling clawing at what appeared to be a coffin with twin scythes crossed over the centre; Pitches preferred emblem. There were several lit torches around the room giving off a golden-silvery glow and casting deep shadows throughout the room. Off to one side of the room was a globe of belief; shinning with the many dots that represented the children of the world. Next to the throne was a small black table that held a cup full of what Nightlight presumed was wine since it was a jewel red. But it was who was sitting on the throne that interested him; Pitch Black.
He wore black robes that had a large 'v' neck that stopped just below his chest. His black hair was slicked back in a tamed but wild sort of state. His skin was a pale gray and his eyes shining with its unnatural gold colour. Currently, the Nightmare King was reading a book and seemed to not notice the two enter – that is until he smiled and showed his razor sharp teeth.
"Oh, who do we have here? Nightlight, it has been too long, old friend," the shade said practically spitting the last words as if they were venom. "When was the last time that we met like this? Hmm, possibly when I tried to…bring Tsar Lunar to my side, yes?"
Nightlight instantly scowled and his glow was starting to come back as his anger grew. The Nightmare had to trot back towards Pitch to avoid the harsh light. "Now, now, Nightlight, no need to blow a fuse." Pitch stated in his smooth English accent.
Nightlight took a deep breath and let it out slowly before his glow died down again. He glared at the man before him but withheld his rage at the memory. Pitch closed his book and set it aside before he stood up to view his unwanted guest. "Now, might I ask what you are doing here in my abode or do I have to get it out of you myself?" Nightlight was about to respond but Pitch held up a hand to silence him and said, "No wait, don't tell me. Lunar sent you to check up on me instead of Jack or you're here to do what my Nightmares and Fearlings couldn't do."
Nightlight huffed in annoyance and gave a 'are you serious?' face to the shade. True, he knew that his own creations and the being who made him who he was had dragged him back to his lair after the battle and had tortured him, but by the end of it Pitch had gained control of them not a month later and had just been regaining his strength. Of course, Jack would often pop in to see how he was doing. Jack may not like the man too much, but he couldn't just watch him suffer and be alone again like he had been. Jack had found that they held a lot in common once you got past the 'wanting to rule the world' thing.
Pitch walked down the steps of his throne and made his way to the globe and asked, "Well if it's none of that then why are you even here?" Pitch was obviously not a happy spirit. He did learn to enjoy the moments when Jack appeared, but this was something different. The first time Jack had showed up, Pitch was fighting off his own minions and seemed to be losing. Jack helped him out and they barely made it out alive. The only Nightmare to fight with them instead of against them was Pitch's trusted riding mare that he had name Onyx.
Onyx was a special Nightmare since she was the first one Pitch had ever made. She was like the other Nightmares except she was slightly bigger and had tints of gold and blue swirling in her body while the others were usually black with hints of silver. She was loyal to the Nightmare King and to him alone. Onyx also usually kept the other Nightmares and Fearlings in line when Pitch was busy with something else. She was almost like the second in command.
Onyx trotted over to the shade a nuzzled his hand to calm him down. Pitch took little notice as he turned to glare at the living light bulb that was standing in his home. Nightlight shifted uncomfortably on his feet. He didn't usually speak, but today would have to be an acceptation.
Pulling at the collar of his suit, Nightlight cleared his throat and spoke for the first time in a long time. "Excuse the interruption, but I have a request from Man in the Moon."
Pitch cocked an eyebrow and started to laugh as if he had heard the world's funniest joke. Nightlight frowned. He had expected an outcome like this but was really hoping that it wouldn't have happened. When Pitch finally caught his breath he said, "Oh, you're serious. Why would I ever do something that Lunar told me to do? I'm older than him and he and I do not get along."
Nightlight leaned on his staff and pinched the bridge of his nose. Yep, exactly as he foresaw this event. Looking back at the shade he replied, "It's not a matter of whether you and he 'get along' as you say. It's to benefit you and the others in understanding Jack Frost a little more than you already do. Answer me this, has Jack ever come forward about his problems? When he's with you or the Guardians? When he finally got his memory of his past life, did anyone comfort him or anything when he found out?"
Pitch considered these words. No, if Jack had a problem he would keep it bottled up until he burst like when he complained about always being alone or Pitch would figure it out based on what his fears were. As far as he knew from listening and watching Jack for the past year, Jack didn't tell the Guardians anything about his problems and only came out a little to him when he sensed something was wrong. Pitch took little pride in knowing that Jack trusted him more with some information about himself than with the Big Four. And when had Jack gotten his memories back? Maybe back in Antarctica when he was in that pit. The child did still have his tooth box then and that insufferable fairy had been with him.
Shaking his head of the thoughts, Pitch scoffed and said, "What does that have to do with anything. That's the way Jack has been for years."
"Is that so? Are you truly sure about that?" Nightlight asked. When Pitch didn't answer he continued. "Look, Pitch. Jack may not say it but I'm sure you've notice how calm he is around you and how after the whole incident last year he was the one to see if you were alright. He cares about you like he would family." Nightlight paused smiling at his small hint. "All I'm say is wouldn't it be nice to understand where Jack comes from and why he is the way he is?"
Pitch thought for a moment. Yes, it would be nice to know where this boy had come from and why he was made a spirit at such a young age. Heck, he felt he had known him from somewhere before their meeting at the Tooth Palace, but he just couldn't place where. Deciding that this was probably very beneficial for him, Pitch spun on his heel and strutted up to the other spirit before demanding, "Where?"
Nightlight smiled brightly for the first time at the Nightmare king and said, "Meet us at Jack's pond." Judging from the confused and sour face that the shade made, Nightlight elaborated and said, "The pond in Burgess that presented your final stand."
Pitch nodded and turned back to his throne mumbling something under his breath about how that pond was always frozen and a certain annoying winter spirit. Speaking of, Nightlight had to go find some more people before finding Jack and bringing him to his pond. With that, Nightlight raced out of the shadowed lair.
The sleepy little town of Burgess was just waking up from a long night full of sweet dreams. As always, the sun raised high and spread its warmth across then snow covered town. Spring was on its way and soon the snow would have to say good bye until next winter. However, seven children were going to make the most of it while it lasted.
Jamie Bennett – the first child to believe in Jack Frost – squinted his eyes to try and block the sunlight from disturbing his dreams. Unfortunately, his younger sister, Sophie, had different plans and wanted to play with her brother in the snow. Sophie crawled onto his bed and started jumping on it in hopes of waking him up.
"Jamie, Jamie, Jamie," Sophie chanted as she jumped. She had recently turned four and was eager to explore their town; especially in winter and spring since he favourite two Guardians held power in those seasons. These Guardians of course being Jack Frost and the Easter Bunny.
Jamie groaned and buried his head under his pillow in hopes of getting her to leave. It didn't work; she was even more persistent now. Jamie lifted his head and sleepily said, "Sophie, please let me sleep some more. It's the weekend for Pete's sake."
Sophie pouted and said, "But I want to play outside. Winter's almost over."
Jamie sighed but knew his sister was right. Winter was almost over; he just wished Jack would come around one last time this year so that they could play. Maybe take another amazing sled ride around town. Jamie may be 11 now, but he still believed in all the childhood myths just like his friends did. He wasn't sure he would ever stop believing.
Sitting up in bed and forcing his sister to stop bouncing, Jamie smiled and said, "Ok, I'll take you out. We can meet up with my friends and have ourselves a big snowball fight. Agreed?"
Sophie smiled back and nodded her head happily. "Agreed!" she exclaimed and tackled her brother into a hug. Jamie laughed but soon broke the hug and told her to leave so that he could get ready. Sophie raced out of the room exclaiming that she was going to play in the snow with 'Jack-Jack' who apparently was 'snowy'. Jamie chuckled at his sister's antics and started his morning routine.
He brushed his teeth and hair, got dressed, ate a small breakfast and explained to his mother what they were going to do for the day. Ms. Bennett laughed and said to have fun. Jamie nodded and was pulled through the door by his sister who was giggling and trying to make him move faster.
"Be careful," their mother said from the doorway as she watched her kids leave to play.
Jamie turned to face her and said back, "we will." With that the two Bennett kids left to find their friends.
The first house they came to was Pippa's. They were surprised when they saw Cupcake there too. Apparently they had a sleepover the previous night and had woken up early so that they could enjoy the last bit of winter before spring took over completely. Jamie explained his plan and the two girls agreed to come along.
Then Pippa said, "We should split up and grab the others then meet at the park. Then we can have some fun."
Cupcake and Jamie nodded in agreement. "I'll get the twins," proclaimed Cupcake and before anyone could say anything she was off.
Jamie turned to Pippa and said, "I guess that means we should get Monty."
Pippa shrugged and said, "I guess so." She turned to Sophie and said, "come on, if we're going to play we need to drag that bookworm out of bed." Sophie giggled and followed the two eleven year olds to their next destination.
No more than half an hour later, the seven kids arrived in the park and were ready for a snowball fight. They got into groups of two with one group of three since Sophie was there. Team one was the twins; Caleb and Claude. They high fived and said that their teamwork would 'annihilate' everyone else. Monty rolled his eyes at the idea while everyone else giggled. Team two was Monty and Cupcake. And that left Team three to be made up of Jamie, Sophie and Pippa.
They were about to spread out and make their forts when a bright light shone off to the side and blinded them. Claude was the first to recover and said, "Man, that is the brightest nightlight I have ever seen."
Caleb agreed with his brother until they heard a voice. "Thank you. I try to stay bright since it is in my nature."
The twins looked around with wide eyes until they both landed on a man of about 20 wearing a black suit, holding a staff and glowed. Both of them said the same thing, "Wooooooow."
Everyone else recovered and looked around for what was so amazing but came up with nothing. "Guys, what are you looking at?" Monty asked and readjusted his glasses.
"At the glowing man. Don't you see him?" Caleb asked. When everyone besides his brother shook their head Jamie came to a realisation.
"You're a spirit like Jack Frost, aren't you," he stated more than actually questioned. Everyone was now excited to meet this new spirit, but first they had to see him which meant they had to believe in him. But how do you do that when you don't even know who you're dealing with?
Nightlight knew that the others couldn't see him but he smiled anyways. He was as excited to be seen at all just like Jack was when Jamie first saw him. He held out a note to the twins and Claude grabbed it. To the others, it looked like it came out of thin air. Opening the note he read, "My name is Nightlight. There is not much you need to know about me at the moment, but if it will put your minds at ease, I was the one who originally defeated Pitch Black and sealed him in his lair. I wish for you all to go to the frozen pond in the woods where you last encountered the Guardians and meet the rest of us there. The only thing you need to know is that this will help you understand Jack Frost a little more."
When he finished reading it to his friends they all gasped at the sight of Nightlight. He smiled and waved at them before he pointed to the forest that held the pond. He then took off for his final pick up and this one would likely be the hardest.
Jamie looked to his friends as he considered the invitation. He smiled at the thought of learning more about his favourite Guardian and smiled. The rest of his friends smiled too, coming to the same realisation and idea. Sophie looked hopefully up at her brother, not entirely understanding what was going on other than that she might get to see the Guardians again. Sophie tugged at Jamie's jacket and asked, "Bunny? Jack-Jack?"
Jamie laughed and started to move towards the forest and the pond hidden within. Leading his sister he said, "yeah, we're gonna see them soon." Sophie squealed and ran forward in an attempt to get Jamie to move faster.
The other kids looked at each other before laughing and chasing after the duo shouting, "Hey, wait for us!"
Jack was lounging back in a tree and was enjoying the early glints of dawn coming over the horizon. He was currently in the United States and kicking back in Washington watching some early risers walked through the light snow. The moon was still out but the sun was just coming over the horizon. He would likely leave soon to go and visit Jamie one last time before the season was over. For now, however, he just wanted a little peace and quiet.
Jack snuggled into the tree and started to fall asleep when I bright light shone down into his face. Jack held up his hand to block some of the light and tried to see through his fingers; which still didn't help him see who was creating the light.
When the light vanished, Jack saw a familiar figure sitting on a spear-like staff smiling back at him. Jack's eyes lit up with excitement and exclaimed, "Nightlight!" before pouncing on him to give a happy hug. Jack laughed loudly while Nightlight gave his usual silent laughter.
Jack pulled back and smiled at the glowing being. "Where have you been? I haven't seen you since that month after the Pitch incident," Jack exclaimed happily. Nightlight smiled at the frost sprite and ruffled the boy's hair. "Hey!" he cried while trying to smooth out his messed up hair. Although, whether Nightlight had ruffled Jack's hair or not didn't really change the outcome of the look of the white locks.
Jack recalled the memory of their first meeting quite well.
It had all happened about a month after defeating Pitch; Jack had been having some doubts about being a Guardian and had gone to Antarctica to think. It had been his favourite place to go other than his home town to just let his mind go blank and enjoy the view. He had gone to the shoreline of the landmass to watch the moonlight on the waters.
Jack had been feeling so confused about his role in the world. He looked to the moon and asked for some advice, but as usual, the moon didn't answer him back. Sighing, Jack lay down in the snow and listened to the waves and the wind. He had heard wolves earlier and didn't mind when a few had settled around him. In fact, he loved the wild dogs like family oddly enough. There were two adults along with two pups; one of them being older and had a speckled pattern on his head in the shape of a snowflake. It was kind of funny; they reminded him of his own family from 300 years ago. However, it was when the father of the pack started to growl that Jack sat up and became alert.
The wolf was growling to the area behind him so Jack turned his head and pointed his staff at whatever the threat was. When he saw that the threat was just a kid a little older than him, he questioned what was so…well, threatening. He looked like a normal guy to him; that is, until he noticed that the other was glowing and holding a staff as well as the fact that he was in a frozen wasteland and only certain beings could survive.
Becoming curious, Jack asked, "Who are you?" The being didn't say anything, but somehow Jack just knew and smiled up to the older man. The wolves noticed the change of attitude and relaxed again. Jack turned back to view the ocean and said, "So, you're Nightlight huh?"
Nightlight nodded and sat down next to the frost spirit and joined in watching the ocean. Jack talked about his growing worries and he didn't know why. It was a weird feeling; like he could talk about anything to the newcomer and the other wouldn't mind, but rather stay by him like a sibling would in hard times. Jack smiled at that and Nightlight seemed to have the same feeling because he pulled Jack into a hug and then continued with a noogie.
Jack chuckled at the memory. They had truly been like brothers ever since that day and seemed to know when something was up with the other. Nightlight didn't say a word and Jack sighed realising that this might not be the day that he would finally hear the other boy's voice. "Well, I've got to get going. You know, got to spread some final touches to winter before spring takes over," Jack said dusting off his pants.
Nightlight seemed to have different plans for the winter sprit, however, since he grabbed the boy's wrist and started to gently drag him through the air in the direction of Burgess. Jack frowned and said, "Hey! Wha-what are you doing Nightlight? I can get home on my own just fine you know."
Nightlight didn't respond and just kept moving forward. Jack became rather annoyed and wrenched his arm out of the older boy's hand and demanded, "alright, Nightlight. What's going on?"
The glowing being looked to the spirit that he treated like a brother and sighed. He had to get him back to the pond in Burgess for this to work and MiM was counting on him. Nightlight looked back at Jack with a pleading look in his eyes, hoping that Jack would just come willingly. Jack didn't know what was up, but the look in the other spirit's eyes told him that it was important and so Jack reluctantly nodded and said, "Fine! Let's go to…where ever it is you want to take me. Just…just stop giving me that look, ok?"
Nightlight smiled warmly and motioned for Jack to follow him. Groaning, Jack complied and floated after the glowing spirit to Burgess Woods and to his pond.
The first to arrive at the pond was Sophie who dragged Jamie to try and go faster, followed by the rest of the Burgess kids. The pond was frozen like it always was, which now that they thought about it was very strange since it was like this all year round. A few rocks and boulders protruded through the ice making what looked like mini islands and the trees surrounding the body of water had a combination of frost and spring buds on the branches. It was beautiful.
Sophie squealed when she saw the frozen pond and was about to run onto it; that is until Jamie grabbed her around the middle and stopped her.
"Noooooo," Sophie whined. "Want to skate, want to skate!" she complained over and over as she tried to escape from her brother.
Jamie struggled for a moment before he got a better grip. "You can't, Soph. I know that Jack likes to be here and all but it's getting warmer out so the ice might be thinning," Jamie reasoned.
Sophie looked at him confused before he explained, "the ice could break and you might fall in."
The four years old gasped in both fear and understanding and allowed her brother to pull her away from the surface. Unfortunately, that small bit of fear had escaped and a sigh of content was heard on the other side of the pond. Everyone turned to the sound and stared in shock and disbelief because standing there was none other than the Boogieman; Pitch Black.
"I never thought that I would be back to this place so soon," Pitch mused as he looked across the water's surface in what seemed to be a daze. "Although, seeing and feeling fear so early in the morning is just a bonus to this occasion, don't you think?" He looked at all the fearful and shocked looks of the children and smirked. He hadn't been expecting the children to be present but he certainly wasn't complaining; he was receiving such an energy boost from the seven of them alone.
Jamie seemed to be the first to come back to his senses and stood before the group; standing tall and hoping that he looked brave. Sophie gripped his jacket and whimpered as she buried her face into his side. Placing a protective hand on his sister, Jamie demanded, "What are you doing here Pitch? I thought-"
"That those so-called Guardians had beaten me and sent me back to my lair? At first, yes they had, but not for long," Pitch explained. "Now, what are you and your annoying friends doing here?"
Jamie growled and was about to make a snappy remark when Pippa beat him to it. "Yeah, well we could ask you the same question, Boogieman," she exclaimed.
Pitch's golden eyes flashed menacingly and the shadows seemed to grow behind him as he glided across the ice towards the group. "I'd watch what you say if I were you, girl. Or else – gah!"
An exploding Easter egg shot through the air and exploded next to the Nightmare King sending him back along with a cloud of colourful smoke.
"Or else you'll what, mate?" a voice called from above.
Everyone looked up and saw a familiar sleigh caring Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny. Said bunny was perched on the side of the sleigh with another egg at the ready while the others seemed shocked – just like the kids had been – to see Jamie and his friends along with Pitch.
Pitch dusted himself off and grunted in response to the question. Sophie caught sight of 'her bunny' and reached to the sky shouting, "Bunny! Bunny! Hop, hop, hop!"
Jamie laughed but suddenly frowned. He looked at the sleigh again and noticed one Guardian missing; Jack. He looked over at Pitch and saw that he notice the winter spirit's absence as well. North landed the wooden structure at the pond's edge and everyone climbed out. They made their way over to the children and Tooth asked, "Is everyone alright?"
When everyone nodded she gave a sigh of relief and turned her attention to the shade just a short distance away. "What are you doing here, Pitch?" she demanded, using her queen-like authority in her voice. Baby Tooth – who had tagged along while the rest of the fairies returned to their duties – started to squeak in an equally annoyed tone.
"And what have ya done with Jack?" Bunny demanded.
Everyone stared at the Pooka in confusion and so he said, "Well this is Jack's pond; therefor he should be here already unless someone did somethin' to him."
Pitch scoffed and said, "And you believe that I did something just because I'm here now, am I correct?"
"Am I wrong? You're always up ta somethin'," Bunny countered.
Pitch narrowed his eyes and retaliated, "since when am I to blame for something being wrong? It's not my fault…this time."
"You bloody liar; it's always your fault!" Bunny said.
By now the two were in the middle of the frozen pond and were practically butting heads as they continued to argue. North and Tooth continued to guard the kids in case things went south and Sandy was watching the two spirits fight; preparing to step in if need be.
However, Sandy noticed something in the sky followed by a gust of cool wind. Turning his attention up, he saw two figures with staffs flying toward them. Identifying them to be Nightlight and Jack Frost, the man of dreams tried to gain everyone's attention. The only one who seemed to notice was Pitch and he was in the middle of dodging a boomerang. He jumped back and took the moment to look to where Sandy was pointing. From the brief glance he was able to see the two figures approaching, but it also allowed Bunny to get a hit in and knock him to the ground.
"Ha! I think your age is startin' to catch up ta ya, mate. I wasn't even tryin' that hard," Bunny exclaimed happily.
His victory was short lived, however, since Jack and Nightlight landed on the pond taking in the scene. Let's just say that neither one of them was amused at the moment. Jack was the first to speak, saying, "What in the name of MiM is going on here?"
Pitch stood to his full height and said, "Ask the kangaroo. He's the one who threw the first blow."
Jack couldn't help but snicker at the fact that Pitch –his enemy – had just used his term for Bunny, but then he became serious. Jack turned to 'the kangaroo' with crossed arms and waited. Bunny stared in disbelief and stutter, "Me?! Y-y-you're really gonna say that it was me? I was protecting those kids from-from you! Y-you're the one that provoked this whole thing."
Pitched scoffed again and smugly said, "Who was it that said that it was always my fault and that I had done something to Jack even though I haven't seen or heard from him in about a month?"
Suddenly, the Nightmare King and the Easter Bunny got into another verbal fight. Sandy was prepare to knock them both out when Nightlight put a hand on the little man's shoulder and shook his head. He then pointed to himself and Jack. Sandy nodded in understanding and stood back to allow them some room.
Jack looked at the two and said questioningly, "You take Bunny…and I'll take Pitch?"
Nightlight nodded and the two got a pair of mischievous smiles on their faces. Nightlight held his staff out and allowed a stream of light to fly out and wrap around the unsuspecting Pooka; easily capturing him in what looked like shining ribbons of light. Pitch was surprised and faced the being responsible before he too was wrapped in a set of bonds, but these ones were made of ice and frost. Pitch redirected his glare to the teen standing next to him.
Jack laughed nervously and took a step back. "Let. Me. Go," said Pitch in a dangerous tone that gave no room to argue.
Jack gulped and said, "Only if you don't attack…anyone." Pitch growled but nodded all the same. Jack sighed in relief and released the shade from the icy bonds. Nightlight had apparently made a similar agreement with Bunny because he was releasing him from the bonds of light.
Right then, everyone who had stayed on the pond's edges for fear of the ice breaking came over. North and Tooth were helping Bunny while Sandy greeted Jack. Sandy had sort of known that Jack would likely be the last to arrive, but he hadn't expected everything else to happen. He didn't know why the Burgess kids were here and especially didn't know why Pitch was too. Unfortunately, he had a feeling that he'd find out soon enough.
Jamie and Sophie were the first of the kids to reach the centre ice and immediately jumped onto Jack and Bunny respectively. Jack and Jamie laughed as they fell to the ground while Bunny picked up Sophie and asked, "how ya been, ya little ankle-bitter?" Sophie just giggled.
Once everyone was fine again – with exception to the fact that everyone, minus Sandy and Jack, was becoming uneasy with Pitch's presence – Jack finally asked, "Sooooo, why did you basically call everyone close to me to my pond, Nightlight?"
Nightlight looked at the winter sprite and then to the moon and back. It was still early so the moon could still be seen in the sky. Jack looked at the moon as well but was still confused. What? Did the moon need to tell him something? It hadn't really done that at all for him in the past, so why start now? Nightlight sighed and cleared his throat.
"Jack," he said. "Man in the moon wishes that everyone here knows more about you; to understand where you come from."
Nightlight stared at Jack and Jack did the same back. His eyes were wide and his mouth was slightly open. Nightlight thought that maybe Jack understood where this was going with this. What Jack said next proved him wrong. "Oh my god! You really can talk!" he said with a huge grin on his face. Obviously, Jack had failed to take the main message away from his words.
Instead, North spoke up asking, "What do you mean 'understand where he comes from'? We each know Jack well enough, da?"
Nightlight shook his head and said, "Sadly, you barely know anything about him. Even Pitch knows more than any of you do, and please don't ask about that. Really, only few know everything about Jack and it isn't any of you - so you do not know what he has gone through."
"Hey! Don't speak like I'm not even here. I'm not invisible…anymore," Jack said slightly depressed and annoyed by the end.
Tooth thought about it for a moment and realised that Nightlight was right; they barely knew anything about Jack because he didn't like talking about himself too much. Sure, they had learned what he liked and disliked as well as a few things that were somewhat personal, but not much after that. Determined to find out more she asked, "And how would we do this? Jack isn't likely to just open up all of a sudden."
The other Guardians nodded in agreement and Jack pouted. He didn't like where this was going; he could feel it! Pitch figured where this conversation was heading and smirked; oh, he would certainly enjoy this. The Burgess kids were all but lost, but if it meant learning more about one of their favourite spirits they wanted to know too.
Nightlight smiled and said, "Man in the moon will show all of you Jack's memories from before becoming a Guardian - or even a spirit for that matter."
Before he could say more, Jack's eyes widened with a combination of realisation, shock and fear. Now he really, really didn't like where this was going. "Oooooh no. No, no, no, no, NO! No way! I didn't agree to this! I don't want them to see my past; it's the one thing that is mine, and mine alone!" Jack cried. "I'm out of here!"
Jack flew up with aid from the wind and was about to fly off to who knows where to avoid everything. Unfortunately, the moon had different idea and had Nightlight go after him. It was a fantastic chase across the sky and over the pond as the spectators watched from below. Jack eventually made a dive towards the pond with the soldier right behind him. Just before he hit the ground he pulled up and zoomed right past Pitch only avoiding him by a few centimeters. Nightlight did a similar move but was closer to Bunny when it happened. Unlike Pitch, the air travelling by from Nightlight caused him to lose his balance and fall on the ground. The kids giggled and continued to watch as Nightlight tried to catch the runaway spirit.
"Nightlight! Leave me alone! I don't want them to see! They don't need to!" Jack tried to reason.
"I can't do that Jack," Nightlight replied. "MiM wants them to and I can't deny his wishes. Please just come back down. I promise nothing bad will happen. I'll be there with you all the way!"
Jack shook his head and was about to call on the wind for help when he felt something snare his leg. Looking down he saw that the glowing being had managed to get a ribbon made of light around his ankle. The only thing running through Jack's mind was "No, no, no, no, no, no! Game Over! No, no, no, no, no, no! This can't be happening. Please, NO!"
Pitch was the only one to hear the boy's mental pleads and felt somewhat sorry for him, but there was nothing he could do at the moment. The bonds started to snake around Jack's body and soon he was being dragged back down to the ice. Nightlight sat him down so that the spirit could sit cross-legged but couldn't run off again.
Jack pouted and mumbled something about hating Nightlight and trapping him in a giant jar later. Nightlight sighed and said, "As I was saying, MiM will show all of you Jack's memories."
"What about Jack?" Jamie asked.
"Yeah," Monty joined in, pushing his glasses up again. "Is Jack going to be seeing his memories too?"
Jack glared at Nightlight and Nightlight sighed. "Actually, Jack will be…um, sort of reliving his memories. He won't be able to talk to you during the time that you watch. No, I'll be watching over Jack while you all see the memories. That is why Jack needs to be present, however."
"This is so not fair," Jack yelled and thrashed in an attempt to get the bonds off. Unfortunately for him, it just resulted in him falling onto his back and grumbling under his breath.
Everyone debated if they should follow through and watch or not. Surprisingly, it was Sophie who spoke up first and said, "I want to know more about Jack-Jack. He's like a second older brother!"
Jamie stared at his sister and then looked to Jack. He had only known the teen for a year, yet he knew almost nothing about him. He too wanted to know, but he wanted Jack to be ok with it. Jack made eye contact with the Bennett kids and made a slight nod of his head that no one else saw. Gaining the courage he needed, Jamie said, "I do too. I want to know more about Jack."
"Same here," exclaimed Pippa.
"Me to," said Monty.
Cupcake shuffled slightly and said, "why not?"
Caleb and Claude said at the same time, "we're in!"
Nightlight nodded and then turned to the spirits who seemed to still be thinking about it. North and Tooth looked worried like a pair of parents that didn't know what to do. Bunny's ear twitched and Sandy was looking at the ground. Pitch seemed fine but Jack could tell that he wasn't sure if he wanted to either. Jack flipped off his back and landed on his feet. The movement seemed to gain both dream-weavers' attentions. First the winter sprite's eyes locked with the Nightmare King's and then with the Guardian of dreams.
Pitch smiled with pride as he saw Jack accept the fact that it was going to happen and said, "I'd love to."
Jack snorted in amusement just as Sandy nodded his head. Once they had both agreed, everyone else seemed to come to terms and accepted as well.
Nightlight smiled and said, "Well then, this is where Jack and I say farewell for now."
Jack was stunned and said, "Hey, wait! At least let me say-" but before he could finish his sentence, the two had disappeared in a flash of light leaving everyone else on the pond.
Everyone blinked and wondered how they were supposed to see the memories. The next thing they knew, the moon had made a full appearance and everyone started to disappear in similar bursts of light. It had started with the kids, then the Guardians and soon only Pitch was left.
The shade looked up at the moon with slight distaste. "So it begins. I hope you know what you're doing, old friend," Pitch said before he too was engulfed in light and taken to Jack Frost's memories.
Phantom: So there you have it everyone. Chapter one is done.
Trainer: Where was I when you were writing this?
Phantom: In the room with me, but you thought it was the next chapter to Ghostly Reunions. I never said that it was I just said that I was writing a chapter.
Trainer: You're evil sometimes, you know that?
Phantom: Yep! Anyways, so just so everyone knows, we are both out of school now and done with our exams. So expect some more chapters to be coming out!
Trainer: Yeah! My chapter for my story on my page (Spirit Trainer) will be out soon too!
Phantom: Tell me what you think and if you have an idea for a memory that you want to see, tell me and I might add it in!
Jack: I can't believe that I agreed to this. Do you all hate me or something?
Pitch: No one hates you, Jack. We're all just…curious. *smiles*
Phantom: Yeah, what he said. *smiles somewhat like a Cheshire cat*
Jack: Well I know who you're siding with. Darn it.
Trainer: See you all later!
P.S. If the moon tells you something; believe it!