The existence of magic was nothing new to Danny Fenton. He had, after all, known for years that both of his best friends were capable of it. He had known almost as long that he had no magical abilities whatsoever.
This, of course, didn’t stop him from attending their magic training. Sam’s grandmother had no problem encouraging him, going as far as to allow – and encourage – him to participate in activities that didn’t require actual magic. The rest, he usually still stuck around for, watching. Even if he couldn’t use the spells he learned, knowing what kind of magic Sam and Tucker could use to prank him was often convenient.
Not that they used magic to do so, usually. Not anymore. Sam had pointed out that it was a rather unfair advantage, their magic, and then Tucker had joked that he didn’t need magic to be better at pranks, and after that it never came up again.
It had become something of a sore point, after all. Between Sam, who technically comes from a magical family (even if her grandmother is her closest relative with actual magic), and Tucker, who is No-Maj-Born, Danny was the only one in their close circle of outcasts that couldn’t do anything special. In fact, the only reason why he even was an outcast wasn’t even his own fault, but his parents’. Their obsession with ghosts unfortunately had a rather negative impact on the way the town saw them, and with them, their children as well.
And, well. He had already been friends with Tucker before they ever met Sam. When they met, they clicked instantly; she fit in with them like fate had designed the three of them for each other. They had all been outcasts, if for entirely different reasons. Danny for his parents, Tucker for his love of technology, and Sam by her own choice. Bonding over this shared condition was almost instant, and their shared interests? An absolute bonus.
Sam was, of course, ecstatic to discover she had magic. She hadn’t been aware of its existence before, but Ida was more than happy to start teaching her when she showed signs of accidental magic. Apparently she was just as excited to see her grandchild with magic as Sam herself was; Ida’s son, Sam’s father, had been a squib, and had apparently decided that if he couldn’t be magical, he was going to be as normal as he could possibly be.
Compared to Sam, Tucker’s first accidental magic was a little more surprising, as it usually was for No-Maj-Born wizards. Still, Sam recognized it and explained it to him. Then Ida explained it to Tucker’s parents. Tucker joined Sam for magic training.
And if the two of them knew, then of course Danny couldn’t be left out, magic or not. Technically he’s not allowed to know, with the International Statute of Secrecy and all that. But everyone who knows the three of them knows that they wouldn’t keep secrets from each other. Not secrets like this.
So Danny was allowed to know.
That didn’t mean that anyone told the rest of the Fenton family. Because, really, who would? The adult Fentons were already quite fixated on ghosts, and no one wanted to find out how they would react to magic. And Jazz? She was too much of a skeptic for anyone to bother with.
Then, having somehow defied just about every law of science and magic, Danny’s parents cheerfully declared their Ghost Portal to be finished. And despite them knowing about magic and ghosts, and despite the fact that the Portal doesn’t even work, Sam and Tucker still convinced Danny to show them. He went along with their enthusiasm, wandered inside, and found out why it didn’t work.
After that, he wasn’t the only ‘perfectly normal’ member of their group of outcasts anymore.
Of course, being half ‘magical creature’ isn’t quite the same as having magic, but still. Having his own special powers was pretty cool, and it definitely had its upsides. Downsides, too, definitely downsides. Can’t have everything in life (half-life?). But, well. Gotta see things from the positive side, and all that.
So the three of them cleared some extra time in their schedules to fit in a new kind of training. And just like he attended the magical training of Sam and Tucker, despite not being able to do much, they attended his own ghostly training.
Then ghosts start attacking Amity Park, and, well… Sam and Tucker certainly get a lot more opportunities to use their magic, these days.
They start their own research, trying to find which spells would serve them best in the field. Sam and Tucker practiced them while Danny was training his own powers, although their work often overlapped. No one had ever studied how these spells affected ghosts, not real ones, solid ones. Definitely not how they worked on half-ghosts.
And so, barely two months after the Accident, Danny found himself in quite a dilemma. His hold on his ghost powers was still shaky, and his stamina still needed quite a bit of improvement. He’d lost his transformation – thankfully after he’d already caught the ghost – and couldn’t dredge up enough energy to use his powers in human form. Which, normally, would be fine.
Except that Sam and Tucker had gotten themselves trapped in a locked building by the ghost. They had just recently learned a rather convenient unlocking charm, which was just brilliant timing, really. If it weren’t for the fact that the both of them had been disarmed during the fight, their wands left outside the building, away from their owners.
Danny bent down, picking up the wands and eyeing them rather judgmentally, like it was the fault of the wands that they weren’t with Sam and Tucker. They appeared to be fine, which was lucky, since none of them wanted to explain to Ida how they’d managed to damage them.
He dragged his eyes off of the wands, instead glaring at the lock. For the first time in years he found himself cursing his lack of magic. He knew the spell, had seen Sam and Tucker use it so often that he’d memorized the incantation and matching movements. It would’ve been so easy.
Just a matter of… shifting one of the wands wand to his right hand, his primary hand. Willow, he duly noted, like it mattered, must be Tucker’s. He made the swishing motion, smooth like he’d grown up holding wands, because to some degree, he had. For the sake of appearance, in some insidious cocktail of hope and hatred, he finished the spell with its customary incantation. Shouted “Alahomora!” at the top of his lungs, like sheer force of will would make it work.
The door swung open, noiselessly, revealing the surprised faced of Sam and Tucker. Danny felt himself stiffen in shock, fingers clenched around Tucker’s wand.
They stood there for what felt like an eternity, blinking dumbly.
Tucker snapped out of it first, gingerly prying his wand out of Danny’s hand and inspecting it. “Dude, how’d you do that?”
His question jarred both Danny and Sam back to life. Danny quickly handed Sam her wand back, answering Tucker at the same time. “I… don’t know?”
Sam, who’d pocketed her wand immediately, crouched next to the door to inspect the lock. The lock which Danny had somehow, impossibly, opened.
“Well, you didn’t quite nail the Unlocking Charm, but you somehow managed to explode the lock without damaging the rest of the door, so I gotta applaud you on that.”
“Hooray for not doing more damage than necessary?” Danny tried, smiling sheepishly.
“Why did you even have my wand raised if you were using some kind of ghostly power anyway?” Tucker put away his wand as well, brow creased. “Wait, how’d you even blow up that lock? New ghost power?”
“Uh, I guess it might be a new power? I dunno.” Danny shrugged, looking at the door. “I was kind of out of ghost juice and I was thinking about how convenient it would be if I had magic like you guys, so I just kind of… tried to mimic what you guys do for the Unlocking Charm?”
Sam frowned, apparently considering this as she turned back to the door. Even from where he was standing Danny could tell that it looked somewhat exploded and mostly molten. No clear tells of ectoplasmic energy, but admittedly those didn’t always exist.
“Well, based on what I’m seeing here, your new ghost power is either a really sad attempt at an ecto-ray,” she studiously ignored Danny’s offended yelp, “or you can make things explode with your mind.”
“Or,” Tucker said, “your new ghost power is magic.”
“Tucker, ghosts are magical. All of his powers are magic.” Sam rolled her eyes, standing up from her crouch.
“No!” Tucker denied, ignoring her eye-roll. He then corrected with, “Well, yes I guess, but that’s not what I mean.”
Danny shared a glance with Sam, both of them shrugging at each other. Decision thus made, they nodded at Tucker to continue.
“See, I was thinking, we don’t really know much about the relationship between ghosts and magic. Typical wizarding ghosts aren’t affected by magic, and most spells don’t seem to have much of an effect on the Ghost Zone ghosts either. Additionally, we know that wizarding ghosts can’t use magic, even though they were capable of it while they were alive.”
“Okay, thanks for the summary, Tucker, but we already knew this.”
Tucker tutted disapprovingly at Sam, and then continued like he hadn’t been interrupted. “Now, we don’t know anything about how magic works with half-ghosts. If ectoplasmic energy and magical energy are some sort of counterpoints, as suggested by the fact that they cancel each other out, then Danny should have both, right?”
“I… I guess? That makes sense, sort of,” Danny muttered, frowning in thought.
“So then why didn’t he show any signs of it until now?” Sam crossed her arms, clearly skeptical.
“Uh, duh? It works like his ghost powers. Haven’t you noticed that he accesses those way more easily when he needs them? His magic must work the same, or at least for the initial use. Maybe he’ll start using accidental magic all over the place now that he knows he can do it, or has unlocked it, or whatever. Like his powers.”
Danny glanced at the two of them, then decided to jump in before they could start a real fight. “Well, in that case, I should probably start paying more attention during your training with Ida.”
“We’ll have to make room during your ghost training to practice magic as well,” Tucker added, a thoughtful expression on his face. His fingers rattled on the pocket where he kept his PDA, although the device was currently useless – despite years of trying, he still hadn’t found a way to make it work around magic.
“If this really is some sort of ghost-powered magic, you’ll probably need a wand, too.” Sam turned to Danny, brow creased.
Danny blanched. “Oh no, I hadn’t even thought of that.”
“Yeah, where are we even supposed to get a wand for you?” Tucker seemed to think something over for a moment, then added, “There are no wizarding cities nearby, and we can’t ask Ida, either.”
“We don’t even know if this is actual magic,” Sam pointed out, quirking an eyebrow. “Why don’t we start with that? We can use out wands to figure that out, at least.”
That sounded good, at least. It would really be rather convenient, if he got magic as well, even if would be hassle to deal with. But…
“Hey, uh. Not to interrupt this really important conversation, but,” he glanced around them, then at the sun, pointedly. “Maybe we should get going?”
“Oh, crud.” Sam jolted into movement, grabbing him and Tucker by the elbow and bodily dragging them away. “Magic training starts soon. We gotta hurry!”
Once the training with Ida was over, the three of them moved to a quiet clearing in the forest. Really, Danny was glad that Sam and Tucker had had magic for years before he’d gotten his powers, since it meant that they had all kinds of convenient spots like this one already picked out.
Which, of course, now left him standing in said clearing, fidgeting with his friends’ wands. He felt rather awkward, both of them watching him, waiting for him to be ready.
“I don’t know guys. Aren’t you supposed to feel some sort of connection with a wand to be able to use it?”
Sam rolled her eyes at him, but Tucker answered him before she could. “Nah, that only applies if the wand has chosen you. These wands chose us, so they won’t react to you like that, but you should still be able to use them. Probably.”
“Wow.” Danny glared at him, flashing his eyes green for a moment. “Thanks for the vote of confidence, Tuck.”
“Hey, always happy to help!” Tucker grinned, wide and mocking.
Sam kicked him in the shin, then turned to Danny like nothing had happened. “So, which one are you going to use?”
“Uh, I don’t know. Tucker’s, I guess, since that worked last time.” He shrugged, handing Sam’s wand back to her. “If it doesn’t work I guess I can try yours too.”
“Well, do you know what spell you’re going to try, at least?” Sam asked as she accepted her wand back, the deep black a sharp contrast to her pale skin.
“Dunno. Some basic charm, I guess, something that isn’t dangerous to you guys. Any suggestions?”
Sam and Tucker glanced at each other, and Tucker shrugged. Rolling her eyes, Sam turned back to Danny. “Maybe the Softening Charm, Spongify? The pronunciation and movements are fairly easy, and it doesn’t require anything specific to try it on.”
“It’s also almost impossible to blow something up while you’re trying to soften it,” Tucker added in, grinning widely. “So that’s a bonus.”
Danny huffed, ignoring Tucker. “Sounds good to me. Can you show it to me?” His hand curled tighter around the wand. Once again his nerves were coming back, but… there was really no need for them. Either he had magic, which would be cool, or he didn’t, which was fine too. There was no pressure.
His mind still refused to catch on, though.
“Yeah, sure.” Sam whirled her wand around, twirling it in her fingers, before pointing it at a fairly large stone that laid in the clearing. She made a swirling move with her wand, somewhat like an S, and forcefully said “Spongify!”
A ray of pink light launched from the tip of her wand, hitting the rock.
Nodding approvingly, Sam wandered over to it, pressing down on the rock. It squished down like it was made out of rubber, bouncing back to its original shape when she released it.
“Alright, now you try.” She shot him an encouraging look, which he answered with a doubtful one of his own.
Still, he straightened himself out, pointing his borrowed wand at a different rock. He exhaled, focused, tried to grasp onto any magic he might contain. With all confidence he could muster he repeated Sam’s movement, calling out the incantation, and he felt the power move from his chest, down his arm, and into the wand.
The light that shot out of his wand was a weird mix of pink and ectoplasm green, however, and the rock shattered into tiny pieces when the spell hit it.
Sam shook her head but didn’t comment. Instead she approached what was left of the rock, crouching down briefly to pick up one of the shards. She curled her hand into a fist and, incredibly, the shard gave way easily, squashing down as if it were made out of rubber.
“Well, it worked, more or less,” she said, rather unnecessarily.
Tucker snorted. “Must’ve somehow mixed in ecto-energy, then. Maybe it’s a side-effect from being half-ghost?”
Danny frowned at them, but walked over to Sam to take a closer look as well. He ducked to pick up a different piece of rock. Just like the other shard, it had turned rubbery and bouncy. His spell had had the desired effect, it had just… also shattered the rock in the process.
“So I guess you were both right, sort of. It’s magic, like Tucker suggested, but also an ecto-ray, like Sam thought.” He tossed the shard up, catching it again before it hit the ground. “Maybe I can learn to filter out the ecto-energy when I’m trying to do magic.”
“And I guess we’ll have to add in magic training for you, in addition to your regular ghost power training.” Sam heaved a dramatic sigh. “Geez, Danny, overpowered much?”
But she grinned as she said it, and Danny smiled back.
“Yeah, well, wait until I get around to using my powers to prank you guys back.” The smile on his face turned into something wicked as he said it, and Tucker visibly repressed a shiver.
“Okay, well.” The boy cleared his throat, clearly trying to drag the conversation to a different topic. “Now that we’ve proven that I was right and Danny somehow got magic despite being a No-Maj before the Accident, how are we going to get him a wand?”
Sam frowned pensively. “I don’t know. I guess I can look into the nearest wandmaker, and how we could get there without anyone noticing.”
“And if this is anything like my regular ghost powers, and I bet it will be,” he made a face, hopefully expressing now not-enthused he was about the possibility, “I’ll probably have to deal with a bunch of accidental magic as well. Hooray.”
“Well, Danny, at least your parents will probably just blame it on a ghost.” Tucker winked theatrically.
Danny groaned. “Tucker, I am a ghost.”
Sam rolled her eyes in fond exasperation. “Boys, boys, you’re both pretty. Can we please focus again?”
“Aw, Sam, you think I’m pretty?” Tucker laid a hand on his chest and gasped dramatically. “You should tell the other girls at school, maybe one of them will agree and ask me out.”
She punched him in the arm in response, not dignifying him with an answer. Danny chuckled, but immediately wiped the smile off of his face when she turned to glare at him.
“Right, uh.” He cleared his throat, attempting to steer the conversation back to the previous topic. “I guess we should go through all the spells that Ida has taught you two, and somehow sort them on how easy they were to learn, and how useful they’ll be. That way we can figure out the best order for me to learn them in.”
Tucker hummed. “Since Sam is going to look into getting you a wand, I guess I can take care of assembling the initial list. We’ll have to go through it together to figure out which spells are must useful, though. And yes, that includes you, Danny.”
“Yeah, alright, that makes sense.” Danny nodded, then stretched and yawned. “It’s getting late, we should probably start heading home. We can do a last patrol along the way.”
Both of his friends nodded their approval, and thus they set off through the woods again.
Danny woke up surprisingly well-rested. In the past week, ever since discovering his magical abilities, he’d been even more prone to being tired. After all, as the others had predicted, his magic had started manifesting as it did for any untrained wizard – with accidental bouts of magic.
Considering that these bouts of magic drew heavily from his ghost powers, they were not only annoying, they were also, quite frankly, exhausting. Without a wand, his magic was even shakier than his ghost powers.
Unfortunately, acquiring a wand proved difficult. Sam and Tucker had continued to teach him using theirs, but his spells remained lackluster and, for lack of a better word, explosive. And the search for a wandmaker hadn’t gone much better, because even the closest were still too far away for the three of them to reach. Danny could probably make it if he flew, but he didn’t trust his ghost powers enough to try. Not yet, at least.
So until then, he just had to… suffer through this. The ghosts that normally disturbed his day, and night, and really any time of day, they didn’t help. But for once none had come during the night, so he’d slept well.
He stretched and yawned, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes with his hands. He hoped he would get more nights like this. They were a nice break.
Quickly, he dressed himself, grabbed his homework from his desk, and went to leave for breakfast.
He stopped. Frowned. Turned back to look at his desk again.
On his desk laid a narrow rectangular box, a folded note lying on top of it. Hesitantly, but damnably curious, Danny walked back over to it. He picked up the note, folding it open to read it.
I have heard of your magical problems. This wand should alleviate some of your troubles. It is yew, with a thestral tail hair as core, 11.5” and fairly flexible. May it serve you well.’
The handwriting wasn’t one that Danny recognized, and the note wasn’t signed in any way. Really, there was no way of telling who had written it.
Turning his gaze back to the box, Danny hesitated for a moment. Then he grabbed the lid and pulled it off. Lying inside the box was a rather elegant wand, its wood not overly light, but still standing out starkly against the dark fabric it laid in.
He frowned to himself, but reached out towards it regardless. It might not have been a smart idea, but, well. Danny wasn’t exactly known for those, was he?
The moment his fingers touched the wand, he shivered, immediately pulling his hand away.
“Alright, that’s… strange,” he muttered to himself, hand clutched to his chest but eyes still on the wand. Somehow, someone had brought him a wand in the middle of the night. No one in his family knew about magic, so they couldn’t have done it. Sam and Tucker wouldn’t have kept it a secret if they had found one, and they couldn’t have gotten in his room without him noticing, anyway. A ghost, then? But his ghost sense hadn’t gone off all night.
Danny put the lid back, tapping his fingers on the outside of the box as he considered his options. He had no way of knowing how it had gotten to his room, or why. Was it a trap? A genuine helpful offer? Was this really the solution to his wand problem?
In the end he shoved the box, and the note it had come with, into his backpack. He would have to talk it over with Sam and Tucker sometime during school.
“Woah dude, hang on.” Tucker shot Danny a rather disbelieving look. “You’re saying that a wand somehow ended up on your desk, but your ghost sense hasn’t gone off all night? Yeah, that is pretty suspicious.”
Sam nodded, her expression equally fierce. “Yeah, if we can find a quiet spot we’ll check it during lunch. Do you know anything about it?”
“Well, the note listed its materials, but that’s it. Yew, with a thestral tail hair as a core.” He shrugged. “Not that I know what a thestral is. Or, y’know, if the note is right or not.”
“I think a thestral is a type of magical horse, but I’m not sure…” Sam trailed off, before snapping back into focus. “Anyway, we should figure out if the wand is safe to use, and if it works for Danny. The details don’t matter.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Tucker agreed, darting a glance at Danny’s backpack like he could see the wand through the box and the bag. “Let’s get to class before we’re late.”
“Yeah, last thing I need is another reason for Mr. Lancer to give me detention.” Danny paused, then added, drily, “Again.”
“So, looks like your wand is, in fact, safe.” Sam frowned at the wand in her hand. “Tucker and I can both use it, although the results are…”
“It reacts as unpredictably to us as our wands do to Danny. So it should work like a charm for you!” Tucker cut in, grinning at Danny. “Give it a shot, Danny!”
“Yeah, yeah, calm down already.” He accepted the wand from Tucker, rolling it around in his hand. It felt right to hold it, like it somehow connected to him, to his energy and his ghost core. But it wasn’t… not in an unpleasant way. It was kind of like his ghost sense, similarly weak, but it was warm and pleasant, as opposed to the cold that came with his ghost sense.
He straightened himself out, holding out the wand like the weapon it was. It was pointed right at the target they had brought, now, almost unwavering despite his nerves. He took a moment to focus, pulling back his ghostly energy as much as possible.
The light that came out of his wand was almost flawless pink. The target shuddered when it was hit, but not even a scorch mark was left.
Sam nodded her approval, already walking over to check the results. Even from the other side of the clearing, it was clearly visible to Danny. The spell had worked.
“Looks like your mysterious wand donor knows what they’re doing.” Tucker was turned towards the target as well, but Danny was sure he could watch him from the corner of his eye.
He snorted. “Yeah, guess so. I wonder who it was, though.”
“Well, if you ever find out, you should thank them.” Sam rejoined them, having straightened out the target.
“Definitely,” Tucker agreed. “Anyway, Danny, you up for some more magic training?”
“Heck yeah, let’s do it!” He grinned, wide and enthusiastic, and they both grinned back.
“Sooo, I figured out something new related to magic and my ghost powers,” Danny said, rather unexpectedly, one random day early next year.
“Really?” Sam sat up, quirking an eyebrow. “What did you find out?”
“I think I can sense magic.” He saw both of them silently ask for more information, so he continued explaining. “It’s not like my ghost sense, it doesn’t trigger automatically when I’m near it. And I can only feel it, there’s no visual thing. Just… sense.”
Tucker also sat up, looking at Danny. “How’d you figure that out, dude?”
“I was looking for one of my magic books yesterday, and I couldn’t find it.” He shrugged. “So I was kind of complaining to myself that I could sense ghosts but not magic, and then I realized that I could suddenly, I dunno how to describe it, ‘feel’ certain things in my room. And when I looked into it, I realized that everything that stood out was magical.”
He smiled at them, rather sheepishly. “And I tried to trigger it again just now, and I can sense you two as well. So, yeah, I think I can sense magic.”
Tucker had already whipped out his PDA the moment Danny started talking, and was now writing up a storm. Danny was glad that they’d found a workaround to keep their tech working; seeing Tucker without the machine had been weird.
“I’ve added it to our files,” the boy said, not looking up from the screen. “Do you think this is something you should practice during training as well?”
Danny frowned, considering it for a moment. He nodded. “Yeah. It’s kinda tough to trigger it on purpose, and maybe I can hone it to be more specific. It might be useful if I can sense wards and magical objects and stuff.”
“You’re right, that could be pretty handy.” Sam leaned back, a thoughtful look on her face. “Who knows what kind of magical stuff we’ll run into now that more and more people are finding out about Amity Park ghosts.”
“Alright. I’ll plan it into our training schedule, then.”
Sam snapped her fingers, jerking upright again. “Actually, speaking of magical mysteries. Danny, did you ever figure out who gave you your wand?”
“Uh, yeah, actually.” He blushed, grimacing at the same time. “Clockwork said he gave me the wand, but he was his usual vague self, so he refused to tell me why or how he got it.”
Tucker frowned at him, but shrugged. “I guess that that makes sense. He would’ve known which wand was perfect for you.”
“Yeah, and he could have frozen time to deliver it, so you wouldn’t have sensed him,” Sam agreed with a nod.
“Not sure why he didn’t sign the note with CW though, but I’m sure he had his reasons.” Danny looked at his wand, twirling it between his fingers. In the months since he’d gotten it he had quickly adjusted to it. His magic still needed work, but, well. Only so much they could accomplish as a group, between the three of them and Ida.
“I’m glad he went out of his way to give it to me, though,” Danny continued, dismissing his train of thought. “We know now how much of a hassle it would’ve been to find a wand that works for me, and that’s not even taking into account the fact that we had no way of traveling around without telling Ida about my accident.”
“Man, Danny, you must be pretty important if Clockwork went out of his way to break the rules for you.” Tucker grinned, having clearly meant it as a joke.
But Danny couldn’t help but be reminded of the fact that this wasn’t the only time that Clockwork had interfered. Tucker didn’t know, of course. Neither of his friends knew how close they had really come to that future.
Instead he grinned at his friends. “Yeah, guess so. We better get going, don’t want to be late for magic training.”
Sam snorted. “Especially you, mister ‘no Ida I don’t have any magic I don’t know what you’re talking about’.”
Danny glared at her, playfully flashing his eyes green, then rolled them. “I hear you. But, seriously, I’m glad that Ida is fine with it. Training with you guys is fun, but having an actually experienced wizard there to help is pretty great.”
“Amen to that, Danny.” Tucker slung an arm around his shoulder, grinning widely. “Amen to that.”