A/N: AU - Danny got his powers just before he turned thirteen and had been advanced a grade, getting into high school early, adding to his un-popularity. He had his powers for just over a year when the story starts and is thirteen. When Hermione starts school he will be just 14 and she will be 12. Danny has his father's height and his mother's build early on and doesn't really grow all that much.
CHAPTER 1 - Convocation
October 31st 1990
Rain pounded against the shutters while the wind was screeching through the trees, howling down the road, driving the rain ever faster, leaching the heat from everything. The clouds were dark and ominous, their deluge never ending, lightning crackling across the sky, thunder chasing after, roaring in the heavens. The pure sound rattling the glass in its panes so violently as almost to shatter it into a thousand glittering pieces. The lightning had struck down upon one of man's greater metal monstrosities, exploding sparks into the storm and depriving many of power in their homes. In one particular home, was a ten year old girl and her two parents, they had candles lit, curtains drawn, and blankets wrapped around them. There was not light to see their books, there was hardly light to see each other's faces, and so they spoke to each other, and they told tales, tales of monsters; zombies and murderers and the most frightening of all - ghosts. One spoke, and two listened as, in soft tones, the horror unfolded from the speaker's mouth and despite the noise of the storm, they could hear every word perfectly.
"-and as they were cowering on the floor, huddled around a candle, their hearts pounding like drums in their ears, there came a knock upon the door."
And there came the sound of a small girl, screaming in fright at the unexpected sound, and a thump as they hit the floor. Then came twin sighs and the story teller spoke once more.
"Hermione, can you check and see if your father is alright?" Both mother and daughter got up, the mother for the door and the daughter to check on her father, who had just screamed.
"Yes mum." The ten year old girl knelt down by her father, his face was pallid and he was clutching his chest, hand over a heart that was pounding entirely too fast. She put a hand on his arm and he jumped again, his eyes having been closed to calm himself down. "Are you all right?" she asked, concern in her eyes as he nodded hurriedly.
"Yes dear, just need a moment to let the ticker settle back down. Why don't you go see who's at the door with your mother?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes dear, I'm sure." He nodded, putting his hand on his daughter's shoulder to move her along. "Go along now." She smiled and nodded, but before either could move more, Emma Granger came back in the room followed by two Dark individuals. The two had long dark coats, slick and dripping from the storm, the taller of the two, at around six feet was topped with a wide brimmed fedora tipped to the front, and water slowly dripping off. The shorter of the two, stood at just under six feet and while physically smaller, seemed the more imposing of the two. "Emma?" The girl's father, Dan, asked, wondering why two strangers were dripping on his carpets.
"Dan," the smaller of the two seemed to tense "this is the lawyer I told you would be coming?" at his blank look she expounded "To finalize the papers? The adoption papers?" Hermione's head snapped up at that so fast she nearly gave herself whiplash, and her head whipped around nearly as fast when she heard her father agree.
"Oh, yes, I remember, that was today. I guess what with the storm and the power outage it must have just slipped my mind." Hermione, lip quivering, heart fluttering in her chest like the butterflies in her stomach asked-
"A-adoption? You're giving me up for adoption?" she tried to hide her tears as everyone just gaped at her. "Di-did I do something wrong? I'll do better! I promise I will!" Her mother seemed to get snapped out of it the quickest.
"Hermione,-" she spoke softly
"I'll do extra chores and I won't ask for any more books-" an admission that nearly re-shocked her poor parents who were the only ones who had any scope of how much of a bibliophile their daughter was.
"Hermione-," her mother tried to speak once more
"Please don't make me leave mummy! Please!" her daughter was clearly having hysterics. Emma knelt down to her hyperventilating daughter and grasped a hold of her shoulders.
"HERMIONE!" Hermione's hysterics paused for a beat, just long enough for her mother to tell her "Hermione, we're not putting you up for adoption, we're getting an older brother for you." Hermione looked in her mother's eyes, finding nothing but sincerity, and said-
"But I don't want an older brother." The four others in the house nearly fell over at her rather quick turn around and decision.
"Her…Hermione, he's actually your cousin, from America. We're taking him in because his immediate family all died in an attack, a bombing on his house by some church group or another."
"But why would the church bomb a house, it make no sense at all!"
"Hermione, do you remember three years ago, at the family reunion, the family in the bright hazmat suits?"
"Yes, you said they were lunatics, completely bonkers." Emma winced at this and her eyes flicked towards the smaller figure again, but he hadn't moved. At all. "But what does that have to do with anything?"
"Yes, well, I said that because they were trying to prove ghosts existed-"
"But that's preposterous, everyone knows monsters aren't real." At this both of the parents actually did wince. The smaller figure was still stone still.
"Not all ghosts are evil dear, and a year ago, your cousin's parent's proved that ghosts do exist. They opened up something of a gateway to another world where all of the ghosts were and their entire town was haunted." Hermione looked like she was going to say something but her mother put a finger against her lip, silencing her. "Do you remember, a couple of months ago, we had that scare with the asteroid, but we survived?" Hermione lit up at a chance to answer her mother's question
"Yes! There was a global collaboration to install something called 'fenton-tech' cables around the world, they sent their designs to every computer on the planet and then erased it the next day. But when the device was finally constructed they used it to turn the entire earth and its surrounding atmosphere intangible for thirty two seconds to allow an asteroid that would have otherwise have ended all life on earth to pass through harmlessly. There was supposed to be an American super-hero, the first ever, super-hero in the world, who led the effort. He called himself Danny Phantom and because of the ethereal quality his powers gave him when he drew upon them, he called them his 'ghost powers'. He was supposed to be a teenage-wait a second, are you telling me he had ghost powers? Actual ghost powers? From real ghosts? Ghosts are real? But wha-" she began to ramble questions at speed. Such high speed that the two figures were impressed that she could say it without stopping, biting her tongue, or indeed, needing to breath apparently.
"Hermione, he has no one else to go to, and he is my nephew, your cousin, so he'll be staying here with us now, like a brother." Hermione blinked at having been interrupted.
"Well, what's his name? And when do I get to meet him?" at that moment the power came back on and everyone took a minute too look around before focusing in on Emma who looked back at the pair and held out a hand to the two as the smaller one stepped forward, lowering his hood. His hair was an inky raven black, his skin was pale and nearly flawless, a scar on the right side of his lips reaching down across both lips and to the bottom of his jaw, the only asymmetricallity, but his eyes, they captivated her. She did not know how it was possible for his eyes to hold that much pain, that much grief, that much sorrow without his very being imploding in upon itself, and yet they did. As she stared into those tortured globes she faintly recognized her mother's voice in the background.
"Hermione, this is Danny Fenton, your father's step-brother's son. He's also known as Danny Phantom, the hero we were just talking about. He's going to be your new brother." Hermione's brain took a few seconds to register what her mother had just said, still captivated by the new arrivals soulful eyes, but when her brain did register it, the entire neighborhood heard her.
November 12th 1990
"Hmph!" Hermione waited for five minutes with her arms crossed and her back turned, nose in the air, waiting for him to give in like her father always did. When he didn't give in after five minutes of her pouting, she turned around to find that he wasn't even there anymore. This was the twenty-second time to date that he had just disappeared on her. And her still refused to talk. To anyone. He hadn't uttered a single word, not even a peep, since he had arrived, he just gave them looks and nodded or shook his head, sometimes just staring at them to until they realized what he was trying to say. Sure he had done what was asked of him, chores, errands, helping set the table, even fixing a flat her father had, but he still never spoke. At first she thought he didn't speak to them because she had offended him by calling ghosts, and by extension him, monsters, so she had apologized - to no effect.
If he wasn't going to talk to her then she wasn't going to talk to him.
November 13th 1990
Hermione had been excited today, it was the day she went to her favorite bookstore, she had a gift card that she had been saving, and she had just enough for the next book in her series, written by an new young author. The books weren't all that long or, honestly, that good, but you could feel the emotions that went through each character as her described them and what they went through, it was very cathartic. It was almost like having friends. But then her mother had thought it would be 'nice' if her cousin were to take her. 'Nice chance to bond' had been her words. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen.
They had gone to the bookstore, both of them riding bikes, and almost immediately people were staring at them...no, they were staring at him. They were ignoring her. She hated to be ignored, not that she wasn't used to it - the people in school, in the park, in the bookstore, but now it was worse. Now people were actively ignoring her, looking at him and glancing at her before dismissing her and looking back at him. It was somehow worse to be associated as part of a pair and then dismissed as not as interesting than to have people dismiss her out of hand as a stranger. Danny payed attention to her...sort of, but these people knew she was good enough to associate with him but not good enough for them to pay attention to. Was she that ignorable? Was there something wrong with her? Was she not good enough? What made him good enough?
Eventually she had gotten so frustrated with it all that she had kicked him in the shin, happy enough at the time to see him hopping around on one leg, it wasn't until later that she saw some blonde bint come up to him and put her hand suggestively on his shoulder, like she had read in one of her books her mother gave her with the pictures of the almost naked people on the cover. He was getting so much attention! Why did people want to be friends with him and not her? They didn't even know him! She even recognized a few of the people, and she knew they recognized her, so why was he so deserving of a chance to be friends when she wasn't? It infuriated her even more and for the rest of the week she refused to even be in the same room as him. Her mother was able to talk her down but she still refused to look at or speak to him.
December 24th 1990
Hermione was at the park by the pond with her family...and him. She didn't even know why he came along, it wasn't like he even did anything. He just sat there in the snow, in a short sleeved shirt letting her mother fuss over him. He didn't say anything to her either, so why did she put up with him? He was supposed to be family, so why did he hate them like this? Why didn't her mother or father ever say anything? Why? Why? Why? She took a walk to get away and would have continued her angry path of thought, but she was interrupted.
"Hey, kid." She turned around to see a man in heavy clothing, not that odd considering all of the snow, but still, he gave her a bad feeling, like she was dirty just from looking at him "Your parents got a phone on them?" she swallowed and ,against her better instincts, answered him.
"Well, they're all the way over there," she turned and pointed then started to turn back "but I could go as-" she never got to finish her sentence as his hand was clamped over her mouth and her body was dragged away by another hand wrapped around her stomach, pulling her to the man reeking of filth.
"Well, it's too bad that your parents are so far away, but it looks like Christmas came a day early, for me at least. Now stay still and I won't hurt you."
Hermione was terrified. Where were her parents? They were supposed to take care of her, they were supposed to be there for her! Where were they?! By now she had started to cry and the only thing keeping her from hyperventilating was the hand over her mouth. She had almost peed herself. It was barely two seconds, an eternity to her, until she realized that he was going to hurt her no matter what, and she needed to try to do something. What else was she to do? She squirmed about, bit his hand hard enough that something crunched, and the moment she was free, about one and a half tortuously long seconds later flicked her eyes towards the only hero she knew and cried out for help.
"DANNY! HEEEEELP! HEEE-MMMPH!" she was cut off however, by the man stuffing a hat in her mouth, one so dirty she almost gagged from the smell alone, never mind the taste, and then he was off running. In the second and a half that she was free and calling for help, she saw her cousin's head snap up, the dusting of snow on his head scattering, and once his eyes locked onto her and then her abductor his usual apathetic mask shattered, replaced by rage. Rage was almost too calm a word to use for it, he looked murderous. The look on his face was so terrifying in its promise of harm that she froze up and whimpered before realizing that it wasn't directed at her but her attacker, who had also frozen up. Danny stood up and tensed to start running and the only word her attacker could use to sum up the situation was -
Danny put his left side back, turning so his right hand, now a fist, was tight into his front side he bent his legs, face set in determination and then it happened. A ring of the purest white light formed at his middle, giving an almost indiscernible double pulse before it split, exactly as he launched himself straight at them. That was all she saw, because when he launched himself her attacker turned and ran.
She was jostled around so much that when it happened she hardly registered it, they were tackled, and suddenly she was in a much softer embrace. The arms that held her were actually firmer and one of them very hard, but the way she was held, it was with care, like they were afraid of hurting her but determined to hold on. She finally came to a stop in the soft arms, sounds of fearful screaming coming to her ears. She stayed still, hearing her parents call out to her, her body trembling as the screams finally cut off. She chanced a look, to see what was going on, and was confused. Her left eye saw white and her right, black, but they both saw fabric of some kind, from what she could tell of what her face was pressed against, it was tough too.
Hermione looked up and what she saw made her gasp.
The person holding her was glowing, light was literally coming from him, his clothes too. His boots were white, but covered with shining layered white metal greaves, each layer shaped like a widened 'v' over the next and holding an intricately carved design. They were thin, elegant, stopped at his knees, and ended in three sharp superfluous yet deadly looking points. His pants were black and, again, skin tight, separated from his shirt by a white belt of the same material. Over the belt was what seemed like two silver chords, wrapped loosely over and around his hips, and at his left hip, they tied around the sheath of a sword. His sword was silver, the blade appearing to be two and a half feet long, four inches wide and its fuller a dull grey a half inch wide a third of a way up the blade. Its cross guard was dark grey metal in the shape of a dragon head so the blade seemed to erupt from its mouth as viewed from above, the teeth extending the slightest bit along the sword while three spikes jutted out at either side of its head. The spikes jutted out towards the tip of the blade, longer ones directly left and right, and the longest yet pointing towards the pommel, each horn as intricately crafted as the face of the dragon which was as intricate as the rest of his armor. The hilt was eight inches long and wrapped in black leather, while the pommel held a dark emerald on over a blood red sliver of ruby over another emerald, giving it the appearance of a red slitted green dragon eye. The sheath for the blade was simple silver and black leather the silver accents un-carved and shining. His shirt was black and white, the black going over his abs going up and slowly curving out until, just above his armpits, it wrapped around his shoulders. The sides of his torso and his arms were connected and covered, both by the same white as his boots. His gloves though, were covered like his boots in the same layered style forming gauntlets this time. His gauntlets were a work of art, holding the same elegant layered wide 'v' style as his greaves and the same carvings too, yet these were made of a metal so dark it seemed to suck the light from the very air and made her shiver. Each gauntlet covered his entire forearm and down to his hand, leading into razor sharp claws at the end of his fingers, however, the gauntlet on his left arm was different. The gauntlet on his left arm covered his entire left arm and the carvings were shining like starlight, reminiscent of shining black flames, flames that seemed to be originating from the ornate silver dragon shoulder guard at the top, the horns the same white metal spiraling together with the dark metal. Danny's collar was white and came down from the middle of his neck to just under his clavicles, it connected to a cape that on the outside seemed to give off pure white light but on the inside was blacker than any night she could remember. His hair was as white as his cape, so white it almost made the snow seem dirty and was in a mid-back length ponytail, a few stray strands framing his face. His eyes though, those same eyes that held all of that hurt and pain and torment, those same icy blue eyes were now a toxic green and held nothing but concern, for her she realized. So, in a shaking voice she asked-
"Danny?" whatever answer he would or would not give she would never know as her parents had finally reached her and were clamoring to get closer, to reassure themselves as much as her that she was alright. They were talking to her, she could hear her name being said, but all she did was to blink and ask, almost in a whisper- "What happened to the man?" Danny's face darkened and her parent's paused and as one they all turned and looked, Hermione did too a moment later and saw the man who had attacked her, upside down, frozen by his ankles and hands to a tree, blood rushing to his face and green...stuff covering his mouth and eyes, standing next to him was...another Danny, just as regal and majestic and scary...and it made her feel safe.
She was safe. She was safe and he wasn't going to hurt her and- and- and...and so she broke down and cried.
"I-I-I-I I w-was so s-s-scared. I-I thou-ght, I thought he was going to, to take me a-and I'd never see any of you e-ever ag-ain a-a-and, and, a-a-and-!" at this point she couldn't speak at all anymore so she leant into the chest of the one who made her feel safe, the one who was holding her, the one who, despite having never said a word to her, held such concern for her well being, and she cried. She cried herself to sleep in fact.
Hermione woke up on her family's couch, still clutching her cousin's shirt. She looked up to find, a normal one hundred percent human silent cousin bobbing his head to music he was listening to on his iPod, his eyes closed and arms still holding her. It was then that she realized that she was laying on top of him and blushed. She shifted to get up off of him and he immediately stopped bobbing, his eyes snapping open to lock onto her making her freeze. She blinked
"Hi." He blinked again "Um...I...I wanted to say thank you." Blink "For coming to save me, even when I was being a bit of a prat to you." He cocked his head to the left and gave her a confused look "Um, I was being mean to you because you didn't want to speak and I shouldn't have tried to force you, or been mean to you when you wouldn't. I-I mean I shouldn't hav-mmm!" her eyes widened when he used his fingers to close her lips and stop her apology. He shook his head and cocked it again, taking his fingers from her lips he seemed to be asking her something. She looked at him, really looked at him, directly in the eyes and willed herself to know what he was thinking, and in a flash, she did, sorta "You want to know what 'prat' means?" next he smiled, a small proud smile that actually reached his eyes and nodded "Um, well...in American terms I think it would be something like 'jerk' or 'arse'." She whispered. Danny snorted, face alight with amusement making her blush. "So, um, thanks." He just nodded and smiled at her, ruffling her bushy hair, making her give and indignant cry of "Danny!" before huffing about how difficult it was to tame her hair and not needing any of his help.
"So," she started, sitting next to him on the couch "what were you listening to?" he looked at her, smirking slightly and took one ear-bud out before offering it to her and turning his iPod back on hitting play. She listened to if for a second before putting the bud in her ear and asking "May I?" and gesturing to his player he nodded and offered it to her, looking at the screen which displayed 'Butthole Surfers, Pepper, Electriclarryland'. She looked on in...confused surprise at the name while the song none the less drew her in. Soon enough she was kicking her feet and twisting her shoulders to the beat her head swaying to the forward shoulder. And she stayed like that, listening to music with Danny until her mother called out-
"Kids! Time for dinner!"
No one spoke of what happened in the park, but Hermione sat by Danny, and close too. When it was his turn to do the dishes, she followed him around, helping out where she could putting things away, helping dry while he washed, and directing him where certain things went. When it was time to go to bed she asked that Danny tuck her in, which he did, but then she asked him to stay.
"Don't go, please?" he cocked his head in soft askance "You make me feel safe...and I'm afraid something will happen if you leave." She admitted blushing, Danny sighed and sat down on her bed, using his pointing finger to push the girl by her forehead back down onto her pillow, pulled the blankets up to her chin and sat there. It was only nine thirty. By ten he had given her his iPod. By eleven he was beginning to think it was just keeping her up. Rock and roll and metal will do that, he didn't have his instrumentals, orchestras, jazz and acapella on that iPod. When it was almost midnight he took the music away from her, despite her protests, took a deep breath, and sighed. Then, he began to sing.
Goodnight, my angel
Time to close your eyes
Hermione couldn't believe what she was hearing I think I know what you've been asking me
And save these questions for another day
His voice, it was like his eyes. You could feel the emotion from it. You knew exactly what he was feeling.
I think you know what I've been trying to sayShe could feel it, she could feel the love, the care and concern in his voice, she could feel how much he cared about her and how worried her was.
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far awayShe believed him. She logically knew he couldn't always be there, but she knew he would always protect her, always be there for her, and she felt safe. She felt as safe as she had in his arms as he sung to her and it lifted a weight she hadn't known was there from her shoulders.Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark
And deep inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of meHermione smiled and closed her eyes, suddenly drowsy, she felt so cozy and warm, and it was coming from inside of her heart.Goodnight, my angel
Now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry
And if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart
There will always be a part of me
I think I know what you've been asking me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on...
They never die
That's how you
"Goodnight Danny." She murmured to him
"Goodnight Angel." He murmured back. As she left with Morpheus there was a truly happy smile on her face and all of the day's trouble was forgotten. It was a truly beautiful thing.
Danny trailed off, the memory of his voice lingering in the air, the silence softer somehow than it had been before. Slowly, so as not to wake her, he got up from her bed, kissed her forehead, and left her room, backing out and closing her door behind him and turned around, only to come face to face with Emma Granger. Without saying anything, she hugged him, and just stayed like that for several minutes until he hugged her back.
"Thank you." She didn't need to say anything more as he rubbed her back. Eventually she broke away and gave a small sniffle, wiping the remaining tears from her eyes an nodding to him. "You have a beautiful singing voice Danny. Thank you for sharing it with her." He blushed, something she thought was adorable on him and just nodded. "Happy Christmas Danny." Danny checked his watch. 12:02 AM. A Happy Christmas indeed.
December 25th 1990
Hermione slowly woke up, a smile on her heart and drool on the side of her face. Of course, when she realized she was drooling she sat up and wiped it off...then proceeded to yawn and smile. She was smiling. She didn't know why she was smiling other than that she was immensely happy, but she didn't know why she was immensely happy, I mean, especially not after yesterd-...yesterday. It all came back to her, the anger, the park, Danny, the singing. 'The Singing! Oh, he had a lovely voice. He should sing more often!' Immediately Hermione looked around for Danny, and jumped out of bed when she couldn't find him. She sped across the hall, throwing open the door to his room, only to find that it was empty, and she frowned...then her face lit up in realization. Of course, it's Christmas! He would be waiting for me to wake up so we can open presents together!' So she sped out of her room, down the hall and straight into the living room where stood the tree- a real tree! Not the fake plastic one that got set up every year by her parents, but a real, vibrant, organic Christmas tree! Under it were presents and on it were holiday baubles, and on the very top was a golden star that she had never seen before! It was beautiful. Hermione couldn't keep the smile off of her face, and she didn't try to either. She turned to the couch where her parents were and saw them smiling and cuddling under a blanket, immediately she asked-
"Where's Danny?" before either of them said anything, she felt a tapping on her shoulder. She whipped around so fast that her hair actually hurt as it hit in her face, but her smile was still there as she launched herself, screaming "DANNY!" and pulled the halfa into a hug. She couldn't see, but he was smiling too, a gentle honest smile that hadn't graced his face for a long time. When she finally looked up she saw the smile and told him "Happy Christmas Danny." And to her surprise, he responded
"Happy Christmas Angel."
It was the best Christmas she had ever had.
Danny had gotten her a book containing the entire history of the Ghost Zone, the entire infinite Ghost Zone that existed for at least as long as there was life on earth, each chapter containing one hundred years of history. It was a large book. The book, however, was actually a ghostly artifact that even as large as it was on the outside, actually had more paged on the inside. It would take many years to finish that book, even at the rate she read, never mind that it was self updating. He owed the Ghost Writer for this big time.
January 14th 1991
There was chaos. All around there was danger, Danny didn't know how it had come to this, just one and a half hours ago he had been sitting down to ice cream with Hermione, his tiny cousin. They had really been getting along much better ever since he saved her and she seemed to understand that his silence was not just a a slight upon her, it was his way of mourning.
Another item destroyed. He had never faced such terror before, such energy, it made him tremble in fear. He would rather face Pariah Dark than the foe he was pitted against. She was coming closer, her insane cackling echoing down the hallways, the sounds of her dread stead's approach sounding ominously. Oh god, how would he ever explain to Hermione's parents what happened?
Just then the door handle jostled, the grinding of the key being inserted into the lock seeming loud even though he could barely hear it over the present commotion. Almost as if in slow motion, the door handle turned, the door swung open, and Dan and Emma walked in. Immediately they froze, Dan with his coat over his arm and hand on the doorknob, Emma half in half out of the house, taking the step up required to enter. After registering the destruction of their home, a brown and beige blur sped through the room, cackling madly before exiting again. The two elder Grangers took all of this in with a calm stoicism before turning just their heads to Danny, who saw the wise course of action as to hide behind the couch that had been somehow displaced. Dan Stared a moment more before asking the terrified young man-
"Was that Hermione riding an alpaca?" and as if she heard her name being spoken, she sped by again, still laughing maniacally. The hyperventilating halfa just nodded, all he could do at that moment. Dan just pursed his lips and nodded. Emma tilted her head to the side, giving him a pitying look.
"You gave her sugar didn't you?" she asked. Eyes wide and breath short the half was about to nod when the demon called his name.
"DANNYYYYY!" He turned in fear of what he might face and saw the alpaca bucking and Hermione using the momentum to jump, straight for him. In the half second he had before she impacted him, Danny whimpered.
February 22nd 1991
Hermione stood before her parents, her expression intense, a book in each hand, while Danny stood amused beside her. Hermione was trying her hand at reading body language. The only problem was that all of the body language books were in different languages, and the only foreign language dictionary that the library near her house had had was in Mandarin Chinese, and so, here she was, dictionary in her right hand, guide in her left hand, and Danny standing to the right of her while her parents were sitting amused on the couch in front of the two. A look of epic concentration on her face, she opened her mouth, as if to impart some great wisdom upon those waiting for her to speak, and sagely declared with a nod of her head-
The speed at which Danny's head whipped around would have killed him if he wasn't already half way there, simultaneously he blanched, and Hermione's parent's faces were the perfect picture's of shock. In the next second, the still pale boy whipped around, at the same incredible speed, and looked, pleadingly yet at the same time mortified, towards the couple on the couch as if to say 'She's wrong. She's crazy. You can't believe that!'
"Oh, wait-" Hermione spoke again flipping pages as she did so, then squinting at something written in the decrepit tome, completely unaware of all of the eyes of the room's occupant's on her "my mistake, he's proud and hungry!" she suddenly heard her mother laughing and looked up to see her holding her sides, rocking back and forth on the couch, her father scrutinizing Danny, and Danny with his face buried in both of his hands. Hermione looked at each of them in turn, confused, while Danny seemed to wipe his hands down his face, suddenly not hungry or proud, and he seemed mortified if the look on his face was anything to go by. After another round of looks by Hermione and her mother was down to mild fits of laughter she asked the room at large- "What?"
March 10th 1991 - Hermione's birthday
It was seven in the afternoon and Hermione had just had the best birthday party she ever remembered having! She had a Chocolate cake, presents from her family -Danny was now included in that- and she had a non-family member come as well! Danny's friend Andrew (The Ghost Writer) who had read every book she had as well and could even talk to her about them! She had debated favorite parts of romance novels with him even! At first it was a bit odd that his voice echoed and he bobbed up and down, floating all the time, but after a few minutes to get oriented he was an excellent conversationalist! He had left through a swirling green vortex of energy from whence all manner of voices in all manner of languages could be heard, screaming, laughing, crying, singing even over the constant background of whispers. It was odd and scary and terribly fascinating. She had gotten her first glimpse of the Ghost Zone that she had spent over three months reading about. That had been almost an hour ago and she was now reading through her index of ghost species and anatomy, also a lot bigger on the inside than out and self updating.
There was a knock on the front door of the Granger residence.
Having tuned everything out and yet almost expecting it, Hermione did not jump when her name was suddenly called and her book shut and confiscated, but she did protest-
"Mum! I had just gotten to the part about the ecto-illeacytogeum!" Hearing a snort she glared at her cousin before sighting a stern elderly woman in deep green robes. She looked like she had just swallowed something sour and was disapproving of it at the same time, somehow making you feel like you did something wrong, just seeing her made Hermione want to straighten her back even more than it already was. "Oh," was her eloquent response "hello." She said cautiously, getting up so as not to appear rude.
"Honey," her mother spoke "this is Professor McGonagall, she said she has something to speak to the family about in regards to your schooling." Hearing this Hermione's eyes went wide as her mind conjured up imaginary things she might have done wrong and how severe the consequences must be to have a Professor come by to deliver her punishment. "Professor McGonagall, this is Hermione and that is Daniel." Hermione gulped and figured that if she was painfully polite it might not be so bad, so she stepped forward, extending her hand.
"Hello Professor, it's nice to meet you." With a brisk yet firm handshake Professor McGonagall nodded to her and responded in kind
"Good evening miss Granger, it is nice to meet you as well." With a quick glance to Danny then back to the elder Grangers McGonagall continued "This will be a private discussion, it is not for anyone but immediate family." Before anyone could say anything however, Hermione spoke again.
"But Danny is family." Imperiously raising an eyebrow, McGonagall quipped
"Indeed? Might I ask how close?"
"He's my cousin, and like my big brother, I trust him with everything." This time looking to the parents McGonagall asked a silent question. Dan was silent and let his wife take lead while Emma winced slightly and gestured to a seat near the Professor before sitting on the couch near Hermione.
"I'm sorry for not suggesting so earlier Professor, but please, won't you be seated?" as she sat she looked to Danny who just stared back at her until she looked back to the Professor and put a hand on Hermione's shoulder. "Danny's family recently was the victim of an attack that left him without family or home, so we've adopted him, seeing as Dan and Hermione are his last living relatives. He truly has been as a son to us these last months, and Hermione has hardly been separated from him for long." Taking a long moment and seeming to consider, she finally spoke.
"I see. May he join us then? This will affect your daughter and so he will need to be present then." Danny pushed off of the wall he had been leaning against and walked, silently, to the back of the couch, next to Dan and directly behind Hermione, staring at McGonagall, as if to say 'I'm here, get on with it.' McGonagall cleared her throat before speaking, directly at Hermione. "Miss Granger, I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
There was silence. The kind of silence that just screams in your ears. Finally Dan spoke.
"Madam, I thank you not to make fun of myself and my family. I'm afraid I will have to ask you to leave."
"Sir, I do no such thing. I, am a witch and an accomplished Transfigurations Mistress, and your daughter is a witch of age to begin her schooling."
"Really!" Dan began again "I-" but Danny put hand on his shoulder and suddenly had the attention of everyone in the room. Then, he spoke.
"State Gamp's law and name the five principle exceptions." Hermione's head shot around so fast she might have hurt herself and she stopped breathing for a moment, her parents just gaping at him.
"D-danny, ar-" Emma started to ask but Danny silenced her with a look and turned his narrowed gaze back upon their guest. With a raised eyebrow and an inclination of her head she recited-
"Gamp's Law states that anything can be transfigured or conjured, yet to transfigure an object from one substance to another or in order to conjure an object, the basic composition of said object must be known. Increasing the complexity of an object's base substance increases the difficulty in its subsequent transfiguration or conjuration. The five principal exceptions to Gamp's law are food, money, clothing, objects affected by dark magic and temperature." McGonagall was staring Danny down, as if challenging him to contradict her but he just nodded once. Hermione and her parents gaped at him, the youngest Granger beginning to hyperventilate.
From her mouth spewed poison. Doubt. Fear. Discrimination. Misplaced Moralities. All of herself, then, seemingly from nowhere, self-loathing. She wasn't normal, she was different, a freak - no wonder the other kids always excluded her, they could sense something different about her, the-
Everyone stared, shocked at Danny, who had come around the couch and just slapped Hermione, the last sound before silence reigned. Then Danny knelt. Then he took Hermione's head in his hands and forced her to look in his eyes, and spoke, twice in one day, quite the rarity.
"Hermione, listen to me...it doesn't matter if you're a witch or not. Being a witch changes nothing about you, absolutely nothing. Not the past. Not the present. Not the future. The only thing that can change the here and now, or the soon to be, are the choices you make. Human beings...any sentient being, is nothing more than their memories. We are our collective experiences. If I met someone who looked and acted exactly like you, but didn't have the same memories, she wouldn't be you. If you and I were to switch bodies right now, then the body our mind inhabited would be called as the mind was.
"Who you are...what you are, won't change even if I told you you were from Mars. If you were a martian, you would be no less Hermione Jane Granger than you were five seconds ago. You are the daughter of Dan and Emma Granger, you are my cousin and you are a witch. But even if none of those were true, you would still be who you are.
"Who you are, is a kind, sweet, interested, interesting and courageous young woman who I think of like my own little sister. As to what you are, you're a fine young lady with a big brain and an even bigger heart, and you could be a dragon or a werewolf or an alien from outer space and I would still love you because you are Hermione. So what if you're a witch? I'm half dead. You're my little Angel and I'm your Phantom and that will never change."
Nothing was said in those next moments and there was not so much as a sound of rustling cloth. Tears started to well up in her eyes and all of a sudden Hermione latched onto Danny crying even harder than before. Danny stiffened up for a moment and looked around for help, but all he saw saw the stern woman standing there with a miniscule smile on her face and Dan and Emma in a one armed hug, Dan looking proud and Emma with tears threatening to spill over, but a smile on her face as she looked on.
After a few seconds Danny put his arms around Hermione and started to stroke her hair, and after a couple more minutes she had calmed down enough to pull away. Danny looked at her, eyes puffy and red, nose slightly runny and cheeks wet.
"Yeesh, you look like you got into a fight with an onion and lost." A choked laugh was all that came out and for a moment all she did was smile at him. Then she looked at the white rumpled cloth she was holding and blushed a bit.
"Sorry about your shirt Danny." Was all she said with her slightly scratchy voice, and he snorted, then the sound of a throat clearing could be heard and she whipped around again. Hermione suddenly realized that she had not been all alone for her minor mental breakdown and blushed even harder, so much so that she almost resembled a tomato. McGonagall seemed to take pity on her and swished her wand, conjuring a handkerchief and handing it to the embarrassed girl.
"Why don't you go clean up dearie and we can continue our talk." McGonagall suggested. Hermione nodded and scurried away, presumably to a bathroom or her bedroom. Nearly as soon as they heard a door close, Hermione's parent's were on Danny, thanking him and hugging him in Emma's case, but she let him go sooner than her daughter did because she remembered that he didn't particularly like hugs. But not before thanking him again.
"Thank you Danny." All Danny could do right then was look at her like she was crazy and snort
"She's family." Was all he said, like it was all that mattered, and maybe it was, but Emma still shook her head, smiling at him as she held him at an arm's length. She spoke again, smoothing down his now, completely rumpled t-shirt.
"Still, thank you." She retreated back to her husband, who was still looking like the proudest father there was, even though he was just Danny's uncle. Danny just snorted again. McGonagall stepped towards him, gaining the room's attention.
"Thank you Daniel. Having you say that, if not the manner you said it it, has been something that few muggle-born's have the advantage of. Having someone accept them is a great boon to anyone in this situation." Danny just snorted again.
"Indeed. Now, I would be most interested in how you knew Gamp's Law and it's five principle exceptions, or indeed, of the existence of magic at all. Generally speaking, we try very hard to keep the existence of magic a secret so as not to incite a war or a repeat of the Salem Witch Burnings. Given the extensive precautions that have been enacted in the past several hundred years, it begs the question, how did you know?" Danny cocked his head slightly and looked almost quizzically at her.
"Do you know who I am?" almost perplexed by such a simple question McGonagall gathered herself for a moment
"I assume the by your relation to the granger Family you are Daniel Granger."
"My name is Danny Fenton."
"Mr. Fenton," the professor began "I have no wish to be rude, but I do not see how your name explains how you know about magic." He cocked his head at her
"You honestly don't know who I am." He whispered
"No. Should I know who you are?" she questioned, imperious, yet almost wary of the answer.
"How can you not know who he is?" came Hermione's voice, and heads turned back to her, once more presentable appearance, eyes still slightly pink though. "He's saved the world several times. He's a Superhero! He even has a magical nemesis!" McGonagall's eyes widened then hardened and her lips tightened into a small white line.
"I think perhaps an explanation is in order." Danny sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, eyes closed, Hermione instantly joined him on his right.
"It's a really long story." Emma admitted "Professor, how much do you know about the significant events of the last year or so, outside of the magical community?"
Several hours later, after getting everything done and over with, Hermione had a question For McGonagall.
"Professor, um, may I, wave your wand? Just so I know what to expect at Ollivander's!" she rushed. McGonagall, gave her a scrutinizing look, as if judging if she were going to turn her hair blue when she got her hands on a wand, but finally, she gave a small nod and handed Hermione her wand. When it touched Hermione's hand a gold spark shot out the tip, and, emboldened, she smiled and waved it once, only to drop it again when it gave off a shriek that shattered all of the glass in sight and was quite painful to hear. In that moment, everyone had put their hands to their ears, and then looked at Hermione when they were sure no more horrid noise would be had.
McGonagall in particular gave her a shrewd look, and then a pointed one to where she had dropped her wand. Hermione blushed and moved to pick it up, only to find that Danny had beaten her to it. He was about to hand the wand back to its proper owner, but as he finished turning, his hand continued, almost in a sort of swish, which was when a small spear of Ice flew from the tip of the wand and missed the Professor's head by a hairsbreadth. This time, all eyes were on him and his surprised face. Once again, Hermione spoke. "I thought wands didn't react to muggles." McGonagall stood, slightly paler than before and reclaimed her wand, before repairing the damage and vanishing the spear.
"They don't." she said sternly "I believe we still have much to discuss." Looking to Danny, McGonagall gave him a look so he knew exactly what was expected of him and that it was expected now. Danny sighed.
"My core has a tendency to pick up powers it's been exposed to, and I've had an interesting life. A few months ago, I made a wish that Desiree interpreted as an invitation to magic me into her past and live her life, with her decisions, as a passenger, in her body, until she died. I still have some pretty big mental scars from that, but we don't hate each other now, she had to live my life too y'know? With my penchant for copycatting, I'm guessing her magic left an imprint on my core that was filled with my own power and then transformed into my own magical core or whatever wizards have, kinda like it was explained to me Vortex's weather powers did the same thing." For a while now, no one said anything, only sitting there contemplating what had been said. Of course, Hermione was the one to break the silence.
"Does this mean that Danny can come to Hogwarts too?" McGonagall mentally roused herself
"He is now a citizen of the United Kingdom, correct?" nods "Then, by law, he is required to attend Hogwarts or another such Magical school, until he reaches his age of majority, which would be seventeen, however, I would recommend a full seven years of schooling so that you may consider yourself a competent wizard in your own right. We may have some housing disputes, but I see no reason why you would not be allowed to attend Hogwarts. I'll just have to let the headmaster know that there is one more."
"Has anyone asked why I want to do?" this was, of course, Danny. Heads turned, but it was Emma he paid attention to
"Please, Danny, we know she has to go, but we won't be seeing her for ten months out of the year, it would help ease our worries if we knew there was someone there she knew to watch out for her. Please, for us?" Danny closed his eyes and knew right then that he was going to go. They didn't look or sound anything like each other, but he knew he was going to go because...she reminded him of his mother. It was just the way she acted, that typical mom mentality, and really, he wasn't about to let his baby cousin go off to parts unknown for basically the entire year and not go with her. What kind of guy would he be if he did that? He opened his eyes and winced, she was giving him the 'pleading woman' look, the one you couldn't deny and not feel like a schmuck later. Now he knew there was no other choice.
"Fine." She and Hermione perked up instantly, like nothing was wrong. "Sheesh," " he mumbled "I can face a tyrannical overlord with impunity but have girl pout a bit and I'm putty."
"So," Hermione asked, "what kinds of books do they have?"
April 17th 1991
The day was coming to a close, and the Granger family, Danny included, were gazing around the Alley with something akin to awe, or, in Danny's case, confused amusement. They had been to the apothecary to retrieve two sets of potions making equipment, the bookstore (for several hours) for quills and books and parchment and so Hermione could interrogate one of the workers until he broke down into tears, it was really quite funny, and to the robe shop for...well...robes. Finally, at the most important stop of the day, they had gone into Ollivander's Wand Shop, Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.
It had indeed been interesting, Hermione had ended up with a wand of Vinewood, ten and three quarters inches, with a dragon heartstring core while Danny had surprised them all by already having a wand. Ollivander had been suspicious and had nearly demanded to examine it as he 'wanted to be assured of its quality'. Surprisingly enough, he had deemed it a good match and asked where Danny had received it, to which Danny when pressed had replied-
"I have a very good friend who knows about these things, she crafted it for me personally." The wand had been made of sea watered black cedar, nine and a quarter inches, and contained a core of ethereal night mare tail hair (stolen from the Fright Knight's own steed, though only two people knew that). It was good for healing and charms. When the Grangers returned that evening, they were tired, but ready for Hermione to go to school, or as ready as they could be at least.
Soon enough though, the day was over, as was the next, then the week, then the month, and the next and all throughout that time, Hermione and Danny had gotten better at their silent communications gig. All they even needed to do now was to look each other in the eye and want to know what the other was thinking and they would; not so much in sentences or words even, but in pictures and feelings, sounds and impressions. They became rather good at this way of communicating, and, if they concentrated hard enough, could articulate coherent ordered thoughts to each other. They even found that they could do it to Dan and Emma, though neither of the adults knew it. Hermione was eager to explore the limits of their mutual 'mind reading' abilities, but Danny was more hesitant having known the darker side of some mind arts and, really, an eleven year old girl should not be in the mind of a traumatized fourteen year old boy. Before long, Hermione was speaking for Danny who kept his silent vigil, at first it was weird for the adult Grangers, but Danny nodded his confirmation enough that they just got used to it, and before any of them knew it, it was August 30th. Tomorrow, was September first, the day she left for the train, the day she would be gone for months on end, the day she would journey into the magical world.