By: Garnet Sky
Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.
Rubies in Moonlight
Rubies in Moonlight
On the other side of the hematite ring, Sam found a garden enfrosted in ice. Over them, low in the sky, a full moon shown in purest glory. Her eyes were drawn by the beams to a wishing well, high on a hill.
Turning toward Magnolia, she said, " I suppose all we have to do is drop a penny in, make a wish, and something is supposed to happen?"
Magnolia's mouth twitched. "Not quite," she answered. "You must bathe in the spring over yonder."
Sam stared in shock at the frozen pool. "Absolutely not!" she exclaimed.
"Do you love the Lord of Light and Darkness?" came the sharp angry question.
"How do you know all this?" Sam shot back.
"Because like you, I am a ghost tamer," came the quiet reply.
Amaranth seemed agitated, Lady Bright noticed.
"I know," she murmured to her dearest friend. "what the old time meddler is doing and it won't bode well with the Zone. I don't want to lose my son again."
Amaranth waved her tentacles.
"Ah, so Magnolia has decided to take out the Rule Maker," Lady Bright's eyes brightened. "Then we haven't lost Dan'el after all."
Lord Phantom Grey jerked his head back in her direction at this statement. "Do we really have time for that, Mother?" he asked her.
Jack and Tucker exchanged glances. They had lost Danny to the ghosts, that was obvious as whip cream on strawberry shortcake, but when it had been explained to them where Sam had been taken, sourness hit their stomaches. Something bad was about to happen.
Lady Bright vanished.
Sam folded her clothes neatly and stepped into the spring. The coldness of the gold ring and chain against her skin made her shiver. She heard another splash beside her and turned in its direction. Magnolia remerged a few feet away.
"Wow, this is cold!" she exclaimed, her brown eyes laughing with delight.
Wait. Brown eyes? Were those streaks of bronze in the ivory tresses?
Sam blinked. "Your eyes and hair have color now."
Magnolia nodded. "The River is unbinding my very being. I am returning to being human."
Sam was alarmed at this new revelation. "It's not going to turn me into a ghost, is it?"
"No," Lady Bright's cool voice came the bank behind them. "That is an option to be considered though. Girls, come out of the water, please. We need to talk."
"Yes, ma'am," Magnolia answered, grabbing Sam's arm. "Come on."
Lady Bright's smile was making Sam more nervous by the second.
The rune-scribed ring on Danny's hand, shattered into tiny fragments and dissolved. Danny bowed his head in silence and clutched his hand to his heart. Tucker was worried for his best friend.
"Danny, everything okay, man?"
"No!" the Lord of Light and Darkness snarled. "Magnolia is no longer one of the Triads, so the bonding is undone. I may not take another in bonding."
"What happened to Samantha?" Jack quietly asked, as the glowing bands binding him and Tucker vanished.
Lady Bright reappeared a few moments later, holding a ring in her hand. She waved her other hand and the cage surrounding Phantom disappeared. "It's out of my hands, Dan'el. Go to her."
Dan'el took the ring from his mother. It was the same one he'd given to Sam, but changed. The ring no longer looked like a high school class ring, but sported a new rune-scribed slender gold band with tiny sapphires and amethysts dotting it in intervals. "I cannot," he whispered. "One bonding, as the law allows."
"The law has taken the recent events into account. You were not formally bonded to Magnolia, who is no more. She has gone to the Rule Maker."
Phantom Grey rose to his feet, searching his mother's eyes. "Are you sure about this?"
"Go," came the command. "Do not make me regret sowing your seed."
The Lord of Light and Darkness, a strange light shimmering in his eyes, saluted the Queen of the Triads, and vanished.
"Seed? A new bonding? These ghosts are giving me a headache," Jack grumbled to no one.
"I heard from Jade, who heard from Rose, who heard from Dodger, we have a new triadic ghost. What did Lady Bright do with the ghost tamer? The Mirror can't find her anymore," Goldenrod grumbled, refocusing the scene on Persimmon's post.
"Go back to your spying," Midnight smirked. "I can't wait to see this."
Persimmon examined the ring. "A true bonding of love this time," she said, smiling.
"Or my ashes, you will sweep up," Phantom told her cryptically, as he shut the door.
As before, a garden setting awaited him, but the element this time was of fire. Midnight and crimson, ruby and gold, deepest sapphire and silver all intermingled as he strode down the clear crysolite path to his destiny.
He found her sitting on a wood-and-iron bench with ornate scrollwork , watching the sunset. "It's beautiful, isn't it?" he asked, sitting beside her.
"Yes," she answered, turning her colorless eyes towards him. He smiled and slid the ring on her finger.
"I love you," he whispered, kissing her deeply.
"And I you," she murmured, wrapping her arms around him and drawing him in deeply.
He pulled backward after the sun had set and examined her closely. She was dressed in the deepest red, a dress of fall leaves and rose vines with bell sleeves. No shoes on her feet. Her hair was the deep red of her dress, cascading in waves to her knees, with tiny gold bloodcrystals woven into her hair. "Wouldn't wear white?"
"Not my color," she told him. "My name is Falu."
"Then Falu, it is," he murmured.
"She said your name is Dan'el, sir. I don't remember who I was, except that I was human before this," Falu said.
"You passed through the hematite ring," he explained. "It unbinds and steals."
She remained silent, digesting this information. "You should see to the ghost tamer and the other humans," she said. "Lady Bright said this was your task."
"The ghost tamer has been dealt with," Dan'el told her. "Mother has explained everything to the ghost hunters and has sent them back to their world."
Falu clasped a gold armband in the shape of a running wolf around his forearm. "My bonding gift to you," she told him.
Dan'el's heart ached for the fiery soul of Sam, but his heart burned for this quiet gentle spirit that stood before him. "I love you, Sam," he murmured, drawing her closer.
"I love you too, Danny," Falu whispered, wondering where the familiar name sprang from.
As the full moon rose behind him over the waters, the gentle midnight wind caressed the lovers and swept the glad tidings to Time's Last Gate, the dwelling of the first prince.
Falu-female, Darker Spectrum, Octarine Triad (replaces Magnolia, who is no more)
There will be 3 forthcoming side stories to address a few missing scenes:
(1) The Unbinding-conversation between Magnolia, Sam and Lady Bright-some background on the origins of the Spectral Triads and Lady Bright
(2) Afterwards-what happens when Jack and Tucker return home
(3) Time's Last Gate- when Dan'el and Clockwork next meet
I, for one, would like to hear Magnolia's story. I'll probably work on it for the winter, as I have more than enough to work on for the rest of this year.