Ten months had come to pass and the day to turn back the clock had finally arrived. The people involved were at the abandoned warehouse prepping everything they needed. Hamelin was positioning 18 pocket watches in an octadecagonal shape, while Billy drew lines in chalk connecting said watches, avoiding the center. Meanwhile, Danny and Vlad would light 18 black and 18 red candles on specific points around the room, drawing a circle with them. Clockwork placed pillows at the center of the octadecagon, just to make sure the baby wouldn't hurt himself when he fell from Billy's height, while the humans waited for the rest to finish preparations.
Jazz and Sam waited patiently. Clockwork had said they needed equal amount of humans, halfas and ghosts, as well as equal amount of men and women. That's why Tucker had had to stay behind, considering the ritual had to be performed in solitude. William traced the last one of the 128 lines that made up the magic circle and dried a drop of sweat from his frow with his wristband.
-Done! Hamy, are all the clocks set at 3:52?
-Yeah! With 34 seconds.
-Why is that time important?-Asked Danny.
-That's my time of birth.
-Ok, if everything is ready, then Pocketwatch, you should go stand at the center. Daniel, Vladimir, you two should be on opposite ends at twelve and six. Jazmin, Sama-the goth glared-... Sam: you two will stand on the third watch to their right. Bell, you know where to stand, I'll be across from you, between Sammmmmm and Vladimir.
They positioned themselves, not before Hamelin flew to her boyfriend to give him one last kiss.
-If you don't look for me, imma mess you up, you hear me?
-Don't worry, I will. I also made sure dad and daddy understood when to take me into the ghost zone so I could mess up your recital.
She smirked and punched his shoulder. She floated back to her spot between the Fenton siblings and started conjuring along with Clockwork. They chanted the incantation in time language, making the chalk glow etherealy from the lit candles to the middle. When the glow reached the center, the fire in the red candles turned black, just as the fire in the black candles turned white. Clockwork raised his staff and stabbed the circle, causing the glow to creep up William's legs and he smiled softly.
-See you later, people.
The glow took over his face and his frame started to shrink. They all watched in wonder as the glow completely took over his body, turning him into a figure of light. No features, no sounds. Just a bright sun in the middle of the circle. And then it dispelled. They had to shut their eyes as the flash hit, slowly opening them again when the chanting stopped. Vlad watched as the figure in the circle was now nothing more than a small baby with skin never touched by the sun and hair as dark as the night itself. The baby slowly descended onto the pillows and his former clothes, making Vlad release a breath he didn't know he was holding. He looked towards the master of time, who only nodded reasuringly and the oldest halfa walked to the bundle of fabric in the middle of the room. He picked up the baby carefully and smiled honestly, without another emotion besides bliss, for the first time in decades.
-Welcome, William. My son.
A few years later:
-Happy birthday, Bill!!!
The twelve year old jumped in the air, hovering for like a second before realizing who had yelled and letting himself fall to the ground.
-Damnit, uncle D. You know I don't really like surprises!
-I know, Billy. I just couldn't help myself. It's so hard to sneak up on you!
It was a little wierd calling him uncle, considering the first few years of his life he had thought of Danny as his other dad. But a couple of years ago he had realized it was imposible, considering his age, Vlad's age and the fact that Danny had married Sam when they graduated college. There was no chance in hell his uncle was in a relationship with his dad. It even seemed to disgust both parties when he had suggested it when he was five. No. the younger halfa was simply the greatest most concearned uncle in the universe. He grinned despite his thoughts.
-Ok, so where's my present? Dad got me a new ghostly suit. Hope you can top that.
He saw Danny smirk and shake his head. This rivalry had started because of his father, always trying to top every gift he got, only to be utterly defeated when his uncle got him the best memories. He still remembered when he was snatched away from his dad and taken on a trip across the night sky when he was eight. That day had been amazing.
It's not that he didn't like the presents his dad got him, he did! But when your father is the most influential billionaire in the country, stuff gets old really fast. And Bill was sure his uncle counted on that to give him once in a lifetime experiences. In fact, he wondered what he'd come up with this time.
-Oh. You've been waiting for this for years. Remember that time you found out about your ghostly powers? I seem to recall you asking where all the ghosts were.
-... wait, what?-Danny wasn't hinting at what he thought he was hinting at, right?
-And I seem to recall saying that me and your dad would take you to meet the ghosts when you were older.
-You can't be serious. Really?!
-That's right, Billyboy. You, your dad and I are going -He revealed a slashed portal ripping apart the dimension- into the Ghost Zone!
The birthday boy was beside himself in exitement. The Ghost Zone! The realm where the dead walked! The other side of the coin of his own personal currency! He was finally going to see it! Hell, he might even meet his long lost friend, Youngblood. He was guided towards the shredded fabric of the mortal realm and the three changed into their ghostly counterparts.
Upon arrival, the boy was completely mute. The green swirls of ectoplasm sprinkled with violet doors and windows took his breath away. He watched as glowing people flew around chatting, a couple of ghostly kids playing on a floating island and was that a ghostly giant dog talking to his uncle in esperanto? The giant waved grinning and started running in the other direction, leaving them alone.
-Wulf says to call him when we are ready to go back.
-So what are we doing now?
-Well, there is this recital held by Ember McLain. She's pretty good when she's not trying to take over the city. What do you think, Vlad?
-I'm thinking you should take William while I pay a visit to my allies. Wouldn't want them to mistake us for unfriendly.
-You sure? It's your son's birthday after all.
-Indeed it is, but I can have him all to myself when we get back home. Don't hesitate to call shall anything go awry. Ta.
Vlad used teletransportation, shocking the wits out of his son. Danny, on the other hand, just shook his head motioning for Billy to follow him. They flew calmly towards what looked to be a stadium, a long line of ghosts serpenting towards the entrance. Suddenly a ghost shrieked.
-It's Phantom!-All the other specters turned in horror at the mention of his name and Billy had to wonder how terrifying might his uncle be if the ghosts shrieked at his sight.
-Take it easy, fellas! As long as you are not interfering with the life of mortals, he doesn't care.
A ghostly woman with green hair made her way towards them. She had red eyes, dreads and wore a red outfit. She greeted Danny like an old friend and then she glanced down at the boy with the flaming white hair.
-So this is Billy Plasmius. Rumours say you are training him, ghost boy.- Said halfa blushed at the old nickname.
-Well, I don't expect him to follow my steps. I'm just teaching him how to control his powers in case he needs them. We came to celebrate his birthday.
-Oh, I see. Say, Billy: did you come to watch the show?
-Um, yeah. Miss....
-Oh, call me Kitty. Here, follow me, you two.
The two halfas followed her towards the entrance, the ghosts making way for them. Some in fear, some in respect. The youngest in the group wondered about that. Was this lady feared? She didn't strike him as much. Then again, daddy(I mean, Danny) always said not to be fooled by appearances. Particularly his own. One time, he had gone trick or treating with his classmates and the older kids had made fun of their costumes, stealing their candy because ''they weren't frightening enough''. He had stayed behind, transformed and spooked the older kids so much with the fangs, the red eyes and the flaming hair they had literally shat themselves. That didn't mean he was strong, though.
They reached a backstage door leading towards the VIP sector. Danny fussing over it, saying they could wait in line like the rest, only to be shushed by Kitty, saying Vlad had made sure everything went acording to his expectations.
They stayed there for the show, albeit reluctantly from Danny's part, and left once it was over. He had been right. That Ember was actually pretty good. But what had really captivated him was the other performer. A ghostly girl playing the violin. She had only played for a bit and had recieved something like a glare from the older musician upon doing a goosebumping solo. Billy jumped down the stairs, dodged people, snuck into backstage and went looking for this angelic girl. He heard a violin and followed it, almost enchanted. He reached a door with an ornamented H engraved, waiting no second to knock on it. the music stopped, firey green hair and toxic green eyes greeting him from the other side.
-If you're looking for Ember, she's in the room next door.-the girl was about to close the door on his face.
-No! I … was actually looking for you.-At this the girl's eyes widened.
-Really? You … like my music?
-I find it hipnotizing.-The girl smiled with her purple lips.-Name's William. What's yours?-and just like that, it vanished again.
Danny ran through the hallways from backstage. Billy had just run like a madman and now he had lost him. Ghosts. If Vlad heard about this he was so fully dead. Vlad was more the mother hen and Danny did NOT want to learn what the older halfa would do to him if he lost their child. He saw firey blue hair and sighed.
-Ember!-The guitarrist turned around, her hair a little bigger.-Have you seen a kid with flaming white hair?
-Oh? You lose your son, dipstick?-she asked with a smirk.
-I got no time for your teasing. Vlad's going to make me full ghost if I don't find him. Please! This is your lair, you know it like the back of your hand!
-Ok, chill. Geez, babypop. You freak out more than Skulker when he accidentally trapped Hamelin once. Now, let's see.
She looked to one side and then the other, before guiding the nervous halfa around. A couple of turns later they heard a crash. They ran towards the sound and stopped abruptly when they found the source. A girl with green hair in a raging flame was using her violin to make a boy with dimming hair slam himself over and over against a wall. She was screaming at him.
-How dare you NOT KNOW MY NAME?!?!?
Miles away, on a tower drowned in the sounds of ticking, a caped ghost with blue skin smiled at the scene.
-Guess he did make the same mistake twice. Go figure.