By: Garnet Sky
Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom."
"Dan'el?" his mother called, rising to her feet as he picked his way carefully past the crystalmine shards littering the floor.
"I am here," he answered back, wincing in pain as Magnolia pinched him. Before him, on either side of Lady Bright, the other two members of the Octarine Triad stood watchful guard. Viridian, he already knew, but the new ghost wasn't even remotely human. It was a cephalopod, glowing a soft pure white. It was ivory in color with cherry pink eyes.
"What is that?" he murmured to Magnolia, who looked up at him.
"Who, you mean. That's Amaranth, the silent guardian of our people. She was the first of our kind," Magnolia explained.
"Amaranth whispers of a ring given to the ghost tamer. Is this true?" Lady Bright was border-line furious, he could tell.
"Mother, I know not of a ring, let alone met my tamer," Magnolia heard the Lord's trembling. He was frightened by even the suggestion. "I would be mist on the wind methinks had we met anon."
"Amaranth says otherwise. She whispers of the time you spent in the human world, trapaising with the mortals. Did you give a bonding gift to the human or not?"
Lord Phantom Grey had to think and think fast. He no longer thought himself as a halfa or even remembered being human. He was a pure creature of the Ghost Zone. What had he done while in the mortal realm? Who had he given gifts to?
I gave Tucker various computer games. To Sam, I gave a pewter bat charm bracelet for her last birthday. I wanted to give Val the ring...the ring...Oh no!
"The ring! Sam's still holding it for me after Val and I broke up, but that can't be possible. She can't be my tamer," Danny protested. Okay, so he did retain some of his memories from the time he was human.
"Who gave you the ring?" Lady Bright questioned angrily.
"The mortal I called father," he replied, a tall burly man flashing in his mind. The name escaped him.
"By giving the ring to the ghost tamer, Dan'el, you have half completed the bonding ceremony. The girl has first claim to your heart. By completing the full ceremony with Magnolia, you have splintered it. You must rejoin thineself with thine heart, Dan'el," her eyes glittered dangerously.
Amaranth waved her tentacles.
"And you will do it now. Dan'el Phantom Grey, choose this day whether you live or die," she proclaimed, raising one hand.
Three misty forms, undeniably human, rose from the floor tiles.
Magnolia felt the Lord of the Spectrum's fear.
Would he choose her or the ghost tamer?
Jack was the first to open his eyes. Cautiously scanning the room, he felt the acid glares of various spectral entities. The danger level was off the charts. Standing off to one side, he saw the older form of his son-still a teen, but filled out more.
Danny still looked human, that he was thankful for.
"Daniel Fenton, you are grounded when we get home, young man," he sternly told his son.
Danny's eyes flashed emerald. "I am not your son," he acidly answered the ghost hunter.
One of the women in the room, pursed her lips thoughtfully. Danny shot her a look. She nodded.
When Jack stepped forward to within arms length of him, Phantom transformed. Now in his full height of power, the Lord of Light and Darkness cast no shadow. "I am not your son," he repeated. "I am the only scion of the Lady. You have no business here in our world, human."
"Danny? Is that you, man?" Tucker's sleepy voice murmured. "Wake me up when the test is over." His arm flopped back down.
Phantom mentally rolled his eyes. Tucker was the smartest kid in their class, but he was an adept when it came time for goofing off. Sleeping through class was his job, especially after a late night of fighting ghosts.
Jack watched as his otherworldly son squelched a memory. "You are still in there, Danny-boy. I believe that. Come home with us."
Do you love him?
Do you love him?
Do you LOVE him?
DO YOU LOVE HIM?
The words echoed screamingly through Sam's mind, as she realized she was awake in a very bright place, her eyes wide open. She could hear Mr. Fenton trying to reason with Danny, who was acting more ghost-like than human. She raised herself to her elbows and sought out the object of her search.
A wave of intense hatred and fear shoved her hard back into the ground. She winced in pain. Suddenly, she was wrenched from the floor and her arms bound behind her back. A girl dressed in an old-fashioned chiton from the Classical period, forced her to her feet.
"I cannot take the ring from you, ghost tamer, but you will come with me," she ordered.
"I am not going anywhere," Sam growled at her.
"We do not want our Prince to die. We lost him once, but never again," the ghost responded.
"Where are you taking me?"
"We are going to the Halls of the Darker Spectrum, where you will pass through the hematite ring," the ghost said.
"Do you love him?" Sam asked without warning.
Magnolia shoved her forward in reply.
Amaranth, more specifically, is a cuttlefish.