there stands Napoleon, once again on French soil, returned from his exile on
the island of Elba. With his Guardsmen beside him, he faces the 5th Regiment of
Louis XVIII, sent by the King to capture him."
Stuart stood up and looked out at the sea of white shirts
and blouses in the classroom.
"And now Napoleon, outnumbered," Stuart continued,
"walks away from his guardsmen, leaving them behind him, and confronts
Louis' soldiers alone."
Stuart had walked to one side of the classroom near the
windows. Now he turned around and spread out his arms.
"And what does Napoleon do?" he asked. "He
looks the soldiers in their eyes and exclaims
'You can shoot your Emperor if
you dare!'" As he said that, Stuart pointed with his finger at the
A hand went up.
"Yes, Naomi," Stuart said.
"Napoleon was dramatic," she said.
"Indeed he was," Stuart said. "Very dramatic.
Here is Napoleon standing alone, confronting Louis' soldiers. Challenging them.
And what do the soldiers do in response?"
Stuart paused, looking at the anticipation on the students'
faces. He could be dramatic, too, he thought.
"The soldiers look at Napoleon - and then shout Vive
L'Empereur! Long live the Emperor."
Another hand went up.
"So they didn't shoot him?" Mazal asked.
"They not only did not shoot him, they joined forces
with him," Stuart answered. "Napoleon now begins his march towards
Paris. Word gets back to Louis about what has happened. So Louis sends another
regiment of soldiers to capture Napoleon. And when this second regiment reaches
Napoleon...they too shout Vive L'Empereur! and join him on his march.
"So Louis sends more soldiers to stop Napoleon. And
each regiment that he sends meets Napoleon...and joins him. So now Napoleon has
a large army marching with him on Paris.
"And now Napoleon sends a message to Louis XVIII: 'There
is no need to send any more troops - I have enough'."
Stuart stopped and waited. There was silence for a few
seconds. Then one girl in the second row started to chuckle. A girl in front of
her did as well. Then the whole class broke out into laughter.
A boy's hand went up.
"Yes, Teddy," Stuart said.
"Napoleon was a comedian," the boy said.
"A comedian," Stuart repeated. "And also very
dramatic. A three-dimensional person.
"We look at historical figures in the text books as
two-dimensional people: Napoleon was a French Consul, Napoleon became Emperor,
Napoleon fought wars.
"But he was a living human being like everyone. He had
more to him that just these facts."
Stuart stopped and walked over to the right side of the
classroom and pointed to one of the girls.
"If I asked you to describe Zina, what would you
say?" Stuart asked. "Serious, studious?" He saw lots of nodding
of heads in agreement as Zina smiled in mild embarrassment.
"Who's a close friend of Zina?" he asked. A few
students pointed to a girl.
"Irina," Stuart said, "Zina is known to be
"Yes," Irina said.
"You're Zina's close friend," he continued.
"Have you ever heard her say something funny? Have you ever heard Zina
tell a joke?"
"Of course I have," Irina said.
"Exactly the point," Stuart said. "Zina is
known to be serious and studious. But she can also be funny. Zina is three-dimensional,
as we all are. As all historical figures were. As Napoleon was.
"And that's what I want you to take with you from
today's class. These are real people we are learning about, not two-dimensional
cut-outs. Dramatic, funny, impetuous, serious, driven, thoughtful. The way we
are. Don't think of them as one-note figures. Think of them as real people.
Think of Napoleon as a real person."
"Class dismissed," Stuart said when the bell
stopped ringing. Twenty-three students stood up, the boys in their blue slacks,
the girls in their maroon skirts and white knee socks, and headed for the door.
"Have a nice weekend, Mr. Weston," one of the boys
"Thank you, Ben," Stuart said. "Enjoy yours,
Stuart collected his notes and textbook and followed the
students out of the classroom.
"Oh, hello Miss Combs," he said, greeting her in
the hallway. "How was your drama class today?"
"Very nice," she answered. "I always find the
acting stimulating. I trust your class was equally interesting."
"Napoleon always is," Stuart replied, as they made
their way to the school office. Opening the office door, they came upon a woman
standing near a bookcase.
"Ah, Mr. Weston and Miss Combs," the woman said.
"I trust everything is in order."
"Indeed it is, Mrs. Hyde," Stuart said.
"As Principal, I must tell you how really fortunate it
is for Kew Forest Academy to have you on our staff," the woman said. She
was in her late fifties, short but not heavy, with rimless glasses on her
slightly square face, and light grey highlights in her dark hair.
"Though there are many teachers back from
World War II," she said, "it would still have been rather difficult for us to
fill two positions in the middle of the semester, had you not been available.
Especially for history and drama - it's hard even under normal circumstances to
find skilled teachers in those subjects who can motivate their students.
"And you both have been motivating them and
doing outstanding jobs with those classes," she continued. "The
school is fortunate indeed."
"Thank you, Mrs. Hyde," Stuart said. "That's
very kind of you. I believe I speak for both Miss Combs and myself."
"You're very welcome. Have a nice weekend," Mrs.
Hyde said with a small smile and left the office.
"It is indeed fortuitous," Stuart said, "that
the school had two openings that we could fill just when we needed the jobs.
Rather an odd co-incidence. Wouldn't you agree, Miss Combs?"
"Yes, I suppose it is," she said, "but I
shan't complain about it. And now that we have been working here
together for well over a month, I don't believe it's in-appropriate for you to
call me Holly."
"Very well," he said, "but only if you will
reciprocate and call me Stuart."
"Agreed," Holly said.
"With finding these positions, 1947 has certainly
started out as a good year," Stuart said. "And I think it will
continue that way. I have a feeling that the San Francisco Seals are going to
win the 1947 Pacific Coast League pennant for the fifth year in a row."
"I don't know much about baseball," she said.
"But our both having teaching jobs here is more than enough to make this a
"Well, then," Stuart said, "it is Friday
afternoon, the school week is over and it is the start of a beautiful April
weekend. Let's celebrate together with coffee at the luncheonette."
"Why yes, that would be nice," Holly said.
"Celebrate, indeed. There isn't anything I'd rather be doing, or anyone
I'd rather be, than Holly Combs, high school drama teacher at Kew Forest
♫ Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day.
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way,
Sitting in their booth, Stuart and Holly could hear the
music coming from the radio on the shelf behind the luncheonette's counter.
Stuart spread the whipped cream over the slice of cherry pie
in his plate.
"This pie is really good," he said, as he took a
piece. "Are you sure you don't want to taste it?"
"No, thank you," Holly said. "The coffee by
itself is just fine."
"As much as I'd rather be doing something else, I have
one piece of preparation for my American History class that I have to fit in
some time this weekend," Stuart said. "I'm doing a lesson on generals
who became Presidents, comparing how well they served in the military to their
years in the White House."
"Like George Washington," Holly said.
"Washington, of course," Stuart said. "And
others who were in charge of the whole army or a major part of it: Zachary
Taylor in the Mexican War, Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War and Dwight Eisenhower in
World War II."
"Did you say...Eisenhower?" Holly asked.
"General Eisenhower isn't President."
"Did I say that?" Stuart asked, surprised.
"I...did...didn't I." He stopped, confused.
"No...of course not," he said. "Harry Truman
is President. Of all people, as a teacher I shouldn't make that mistake. Uh...I
don't know what possessed me to think that Eisenhower had been President."
"Maybe you were just thinking about what might be in the future,"
Holly said with a small smile, trying to ease Stuart's embarrassment.
"There's been talk of his running. It's a possibility."
"The...future," Stuart said slowly, a perplexed
look on his face, his mind trying to understand why he said what he had.
♫ Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay,
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!
"That new Disney song is a really catchy tune,"
Stuart said, thankful for the opportunity to change the subject from his
incredible mistake. "I expect that it will win some kind of award and
"Yes...it has." Holly said, a bit surprised
at his not knowing that. "It just won an Academy Award last month for Best
Original Song of 1946."
"Did it?" Stuart asked. "Hmm...I wonder why I
didn't remember that." He paused and thought about it for a moment.
"Well, as you are involved with acting, you probably paid more attention
to the Oscars than I did," he said, though not sounding convinced of his
Stuart took a sip of his coffee.
"Speaking of acting, I stopped into your drama class
the other day," Stuart said, "and stood in the back of the room
"Oh...I'm sorry I didn't notice that you were
there," she said.
"No need to be," Stuart said. "You were
thoroughly engrossed in acting out the part of Mary Mathews for the class. But
I didn't catch the name of the play you were doing."
"That was State of the Union," Holly said.
"It's on Broadway and I like to use a play that the students could go to
see with real actors, and then compare it to how we do the play in class."
"Seeing you teaching them by performing that
part," Stuart said, "I say that they already have seen a real
actor. You were so natural, so perfect, your timing and inflections so exact.
It was as if you have been acting all of your life."
"In my dreams," she said in a distracted tone, her
eyes suddenly staring blankly un-focused.
"Ah...you have dreams of becoming an
actress," Stuart said. "Good for you! It's wonderful to have dreams
to aim for in life."
"No, uh...not those kinds of dreams," Holly
said, her eyes snapping back and focusing on Stuart. "I mean my dreams at
night...while I'm sleeping."
"Oh...that's interesting," he said.
"Not interesting...just weird," she said.
"Most dreams are," he said. "I sometimes have
weird dreams, myself."
"But these are...no, never mind," she said.
"No, please," Stuart said, "tell me about
"No...you'll think me silly," Holly said.
"Holly," Stuart said, "you are a responsible,
intelligent and mature woman. I could not possibly think of you as being
Holly blushed, then took a sip of her coffee.
"I had a dream...that I was in Hollywood," she
began. "At least, I think it was Hollywood because I was in a movie
studio on a movie set. There were cameras, directors...and two other women. And
scripts to memorize. We were in a house...I mean the set was made to look like
a house. And we were looking for ...demons."
"Demons?" Stuart asked.
"Yes...I told you it was weird," Holly said.
"We had to find them and...and...uh, vanquish them." Holly stopped.
"Please go on," Stuart said.
Holly hesitated for a moment and then continued.
"I had another dream...it was the same. The same two
women, the same house, vanquishing demons - the demons had a different name but
we were still looking for them. It was all the same, except...except that it
was all real. There weren't any cameras or directors or movie set or scripts.
The house was real. Everything was real." Holly paused then exhaled.
"And...I'm afraid you'll misunderstand this...you were
"You dreamt about me?" Stuart asked.
"There...you're misunderstanding," Holly said
defensively. "I didn't dream about you because I had been thinking about
you. I mean...I do think about you. We teach together. We see each other
in school. Of course I think about you...you're an especially nice, thoughtful,
warm and kind person. But..."
"It's OK," Stuart said, "I'm really flattered
that you dreamt about me."
"And it's not just one time that I've had these
dreams," Holly said. "They keep coming back. A little different each
time - the same women, the same house but sometimes in different rooms,
sometimes on the front porch."
At those last words, Stuart put down his fork with a piece
of pie on it. A serious look came over his face.
"A porch?" he asked. "Can you describe
"I...I think I can," she said. "It was high
up. There were steps leading up from the street. They stopped half-way up for a
small landing then continued to the small porch at the front door. And...there
was a small stone wall separating the steps and front lawn from the
"I told you I've also had weird dreams," he said.
"In one of those dreams...I...I was standing on a front porch. A porch
high above the street below. And there was a woman with me."
"Uh...that's a co-incidence," Holly said. But
there was little conviction in her voice. "Who was the woman?"
"I don't know," Stuart answered. "She was
short and slim, with brown hair."
"One of the two women in my dreams was short and slim
with brown hair," Holly said.
"I've had this same dream more than once," Stuart
said, and paused. "A lot more than once."
Holly stared at Stuart. She wanted to say something but was
afraid to say it.
"No...they can't be connected," she said.
"That would be ridiculous. Dreams connected."
"Yes...I suppose that would be ridiculous,"
Stuart said. "And yet...this dream has been bothering me. And...I can tell
that your dreams have been bothering you, too."
"They've been..." Holly stopped, closed her eyes
for a second and shook her head. "What do they mean?" she asked,
opening her eyes. "Why do I keep having them?"
Stuart saw the distressed and troubled look on Holly's face.
Without thinking, he extended his hand across the table, took Holly's right
hand in his and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
"Oh...I'm sorry," he said, realizing what he had
done and letting go of her hand. "I didn't mean -"
"It's OK," she said. "I...needed that."
She stared silently into Stuart's eyes for a moment.
"Maybe...we should try to see if this house really
exists," he said. "Though I don't know how to go about that. It could
"Not anywhere," Holly said. "The name of a
street was in some of the dreams. Prescott Street."
"Prescott Street," Stuart repeated. "That's
not far from here. Well, it's a lovely April afternoon. Let's...take a
They had started at about the middle of Prescott Street,
walking up the street and looking at the houses on both sides. Stuart twice
thought that a house they were standing by may have been the one in his dreams
but Holly had disagreed both times.
Reaching the end of Prescott, they reversed direction,
walked back to where they had begun and then continued down the other half of
the street. They were in the middle of the second block when Holly stopped and
stared at a house on the other side of the street.
"There...that one," she said. "That low stone
wall, the steps, the porch."
"I don't know," Stuart said, as they crossed the
street and stood in front of the house. "It could be the one or it could
just be similar to it, like the house on the left next to it. From this angle I
can't tell. In my dreams I was up on the porch looking down."
"This is it," Holly said. "I...I can sense
it. I don't know how or why. But...this is the house."
She stared up at the porch and the house behind it. Then she
took a deep breath and gingerly went up the first two steps.
"Wait!" Stuart said. "Look." He pointed
to an upstairs window. The curtain had parted and a face was staring down at
"I think we'd better go," he said.
Holly looked up at the face in the window, exhaled and
reluctantly stepped back down the steps.
"Let's go," he said to her and started to lead her
away from the house. Holly slowly started to leave, turned back and gave a look
over her shoulder at the house and then quickly followed Stuart.
Dinner had been a pleasant surprise for Stuart. Riding the
O'Farrell, Jones & Hyde cable car on the way back from their excursion on
Prescott Street, he had casually mentioned that dinner might be a good place to
further discuss the matter. To his delight, Holly had immediately agreed.
They had not been able to make any more sense of their
dreams as they waited to be served at the small, Italian restaurant on Columbus
Avenue. After ten minutes, they dropped the subject and went on to talk about
other things during their very pleasant meal.
It was not quite eleven o'clock as they approached the house
where Holly had an apartment. As they stood outside her door, she brought up
the subject again.
"I...have to know," she said. "I don't know
why but...I just have to know." She turned to Stuart. "I have to go
back to that house. I have to find out what...what this all means."
"Then...I'll go with you," he said. "We'll
find out together."
"Thank you," she said, inching closer to him.
"And thank you for a wonderful dinner."
Holly moved still closer, their bodies now touching, only a
small separation between their lips. She tentatively put her arms around him
and slowly brought her lips closer...and the separation was gone.
Stuart put his arms around her and they kissed gently but
with feeling. Then their lips separated and they looked into each other's eyes.
"I'll come by for you tomorrow morning at ten,"
"At ten," Holly repeated. They were still looking
into each other's eyes and now their lips came together again, this time in a
more assured kiss, their arms strongly embracing each other.
When their kiss finally ended, they let go of each other.
"Until tomorrow," Holly said with a smile.
"Good night, Stuart."
"Good night, Holly," Stuart replied, a smile on
his face as well. He waited until she was safely in her apartment. Then, with a
warm feeling inside of him, he turned around and went home.
The thick San Francisco fog coming in from the bay made for
a grey morning. Holly and Stuart stood at the small stone wall along the lawn
of the house they had been to the previous afternoon.
"I don't see anyone," Holly said, looking up at
the windows. "Let's go up the steps." She glanced at Stuart who gave
her a re-assuring nod of his head.
"I'll go first," he said. "Stay behind
"Stop!" a voice behind them commanded. They turned
their heads and saw a woman with a small girl. The child could not have been
more than two, Holly thought. But the woman's face - she was sure that was the
face she had seen in the upstairs window the day before.
"You were here yesterday looking over my house,"
the woman said, "and you're back again today." She quickly placed
herself between them and the little girl.
can't move as in a trap,
Until my hands
shall make a clap."
"What...what's that silly rhyme for?" Stuart
asked. He tried to step forward but he could not move his feet.
"Uh...what...I can't move," he said.
"Neither can I," Holly said, struggling.
"What's happening?" she asked, panic in her voice.
"You can't move because I've stopped you from
moving," the woman said.
"That's absurd," Stuart said. "You
can't...can't stop me from moving with your gibberish."
"Really?" the woman asked. "Then try
"I...I can't," Stuart said.
"I can't either," Holly said, sounding desperate.
"Well, as you can't move then it can't be
absurd," the woman said, sounding quite logical. "And you won't move
until I find out what you are doing here."
"This...this must be some kind of mind control,"
Stuart said, "making us think something that isn't really happening. Some
kind of hypnotism."
"Think what you like," the woman said,
"you're still not moving. Now...what are you? Warlocks?"
"Warlocks?" Stuart asked. "What's a
"Easy enough to check," the woman said. "She
opened her small pocketbook, pulled out a pin and stuck it into Stuart's hand.
"Ow!" he screamed.
"What did you do to him?!" Holly demanded.
"There's blood," the woman said. "Not a
warlock. At least he isn't. I'll have to check you," she said to
"Don't you lay a finger on her!" Stuart warned
"Or what?" the woman asked. "Well, as you're
not a warlock it's unlikely that she is. So that means you're demons"
"Demons," Holly repeated.
"uh...Frubos...demons," she said slowly, her mind somewhere else.
"You're Frubos demons!" the woman repeated.
"No, no!" Stuart protested. "That's the name
of the demons in the dream."
"What dream?" the woman asked.
"Look, I'm Stuart Weston and she's Holly Combs. We're
high school teachers at the Kew Forest Academy."
"I've been having dreams," Holly said, re-focusing
her mind. "About this house, about what happens inside of it. And
about...vanquishing demons, like the Frubos demons. We came to...to try to
understand what it all means."
"This is the house that's been in Holly's dreams...and
mine too," Stuart said.
"Many Victorian houses look alike," the woman.
"No, I'm not," Holly said emphatically. "I
can feel it...this is the house. There's a parlor and a...a conservatory."
"Most of these Victorians have them," the woman
said. "That means nothing."
"And there's an attic," Holly continued.
"And...there's a book. A big book on a stand. With some strange design on
The woman stared at Holly silently. Wisdom and experience
showed in her eyes as she carefully looked Holly over. Distracted, she didn't
notice the little girl pull her hand away and walk over to Holly.
"Patty get back here!" the woman shouted and
grabbed the little girl's arm. But the little girl wouldn't stop and came over
to Holly and grabbed her skirt with both hands. The woman looked on in
amazement as Holly, with difficulty as she could not move her feet, slowly
knelt down. The little girl put her hands around Holly's arms and hugged her.
"Patty...Patty never goes over to strangers," the
woman said, complete surprise evident in her voice. "And even if they go
to her, she never hugs them."
Holly, unable to move her feet to keep her balance,
awkwardly embraced the little girl, then looked up at the woman.
The woman took a deep breath, then clapped her hands.
"Uh...I can move my feet," Stuart said.
Holly tried moving her foot. Seeing that she could, she took
Patty's hand and slowly stood up.
"I'm Penny Halliwell," the woman said. "Patty
is my daughter."
"Halliwell," Holly said. "That...sounds
familiar. One of the women in my dream...her name was...uh...Prue
"Prue," Penny said. "That's short for
Prudence. I had an ancestor named Prudence." She took hold of Patty's hand
again. "Come inside with me," she said to them.
Penny led them up the steps. As she took out her key to open
the door, Stuart turned around.
"This is the porch in my dreams," he said.
"This is the same view."
"This is the Halliwell Manor," Penny said as she
led them down the hallway into the living room. "It's been in my family
for a long time."
"Oh my goodness," Holly said, shock in her voice.
"This...this is the house. Most of the furniture is different, but...this is
the same house that was in my dreams."
Holly looked around and walked over to a tall, wide wooden
unit, a small screen set in its top.
"That's a television set, isn't it?" Stuart asked.
"Yes, it is," Penny replied. "Not many people
have them. But I know someone who sells them. He gave me a good deal on
"That must be what I saw in my dream," Holly said.
"A television set. But it was different. It didn't have a cabinet. And the
screen was about five times bigger."
"And you saw it here?" Penny asked.
"Yes," Holly said. "But...I don't understand
this...any of this." Her eye caught the staircase at the far side of the
room. "That leads to the attic," she stated, rather than asked.
Penny looked at Holly again, thought for a moment then
"Go upstairs," she told them. Holly led the way,
with Stuart right behind her. Penny, now holding Patty in her arms, followed.
Glancing at the bedrooms on the second floor, Holly paused for a second, then
continued up the stairs.
Holly pushed the attic door open and they walked inside. As
she looked around the room, she started to shake, turned to Stuart and held
onto him tightly.
"What's wrong, Holly?" Stuart asked.
"This room...I've been here," she said.
"It's the same one that was in your dreams?"
"Yes," Holly said, "but it's more than that.
I...I feel...like I've been here. That I've really been here, not just
in a dream. I can't explain it..."
"Come over here," Penny said. Putting Patty down
but holding her hand, she directed Holly to a large, old book sitting on a
"That symbol on the cover," Holly said slowly,
"The book from your dreams," Penny said. "The
Book of Shadows."
As if in a trance, Holly slowly extended her hand to the
Book. As she touched it, the symbol on the cover lit up.
"Uhh!" she gasped and pulled her hand back. The
Penny was silent for a moment.
"That symbol is the triquetra," Penny finally
said, unable to suppress her amazement. "It lit up because you're
connected to the Book of Shadows. And...only someone from the Warren-Halliwell
line can be connected to the Book."
Penny paused for a second.
"The question is," she continued, "the same
question that I asked you outside. Who are you?"
"I'm Holly Combs, high school drama teacher,"
Holly answered. Her voice was unsteady and Stuart put his arm around her.
"You're more than that," Penny said. "Much
more. Touch the Book again."
Holly looked at Stuart and he nodded his head. Slowly Holly
stretched out her arm and touched the Book. The triquetra lit up again.
"Keep your hand there," Penny ordered her. Stuart
put his arm down and took hold of Holly's free hand.
"What is all of this?" he asked. "And what
"A witch," Penny answered. "From a long line
"A witch?" Stuart repeated, with disbelief.
"What do you mean a witch?"
"Exactly what the word means," Penny said.
"You're a real witch?" he asked.
"Uh...witches are evil. I saw The Wizard of Oz. They hurt people. Just
like you did to us in the street."
"I didn't hurt you," Penny said. "I was only
protecting Patty and me because I was afraid you might have come to hurt us.
I'm what you would call a good witch, from a long line of good witches. The
Book of Shadows is what we use to protect innocents and to vanquish demons and
"That was in my dreams," Holly said.
"Somehow...you are a Halliwell," Penny said.
Slowly, Holly opened the Book and looked at what was written
on the page.
"Power of Three?" Holly asked. "What's
"A combination of powers given to three Halliwell
sisters, who will be the Charmed Ones," Penny said. "They will be
powerful and able to defeat evil in ways that ordinary witches cannot."
"Holly...in your dreams you said there were two women
with you," Stuart said.
"Yes...there were," Holly said. "One I
remember now was Prue Halliwell. But I don't know the other woman's name."
"Tell me what else you remember about the dreams,"
"Not much," Holly said. "Uh...some kind of
telephone. I think it was a telephone. But it didn't look like one. It wasn't
black and heavy sitting on a table and it didn't look like a telephone in a
phone booth. It was small and fit in my hand. I remember Prue Halliwell had
one...and I did, too. But it didn't have a dial on it. I...pressed buttons with
numbers on them...and I would talk to someone."
"A television set that doesn't exist yet and a
telephone that doesn't exist yet, either," Penny said. "All from the
"How would that get into Holly's dreams?" Stuart
asked. "And why?"
"For the same reason that she has a connection to the
Book of Shadows," Penny said. "But before I say any more, I want to
check something. What was the name of the demons from your dream?"
"Uh...The Frubos," Holly said.
"All right," Penny said, "why don't you both
sit down. This may take a while."
Stuart and Holly found a couple of chairs and pulled them
together as Penny started turning pages in the Book of Shadows. Her hand free
again, Patty walked over to Holly who picked her up and sat her on her lap.
Stuart tried to play with Patty but she pulled away from him and grabbed a hold
of Holly's arms. Penny gave a sharp look at them, then went back to the Book.
"Here it is," Penny said, after a few minutes.
"The Frubos." She read the page silently to herself. "Come here,
Holly Combs. You should read this for yourself."
Holly gently put Patty down and together with Stuart walked
over to the Book.
"Calligraphy," Stuart said. "Beautiful
"Though we each have had our own distinctive
handwriting," Penny said, "my family has always taken great care to
use a similar style when writing things in the Book."
"The Frubos have three matching daggers and use them
for killing people who do good for others," Holly read. "If the
Frubos place all three daggers together in their triple scabbard on the eve of
the long sun, they become invincible."
"What is the eve of the long sun?" Stuart asked.
"The summer solstice," Penny said. "But read
"But this can only happen in the year...of...the
millennium," Holly finished, saying the words slowly.
"The year of the millennium is 2000. Over fifty years
from now," Penny said.
"No, no," Stuart said, "this doesn't make any
"I'm afraid it does," Penny said, "if Holly
is dreaming about something that already happened, something she already did - vanquishing
the Frubos. Something she did in the future."
"No," Holly said, "I'm not from the future.
I'm from right now - 1947."
"Holly Combs is from 1947," Penny said. "But
who are you really?"
"This is crazy," Holly said. "Stuart, let's
"Wait," Penny said. "What did you feel when
Patty put her arms around you?
"What...." Holly paused and thought for a moment.
"I felt...content. And I felt...secure. Very...secure."
Penny stared at Holly in silence. After a long moment she
"That's what Patty should feel when she's being held by
me." Penny said, "by her mother. But it's not what you should
be feeling when Patty was holding you." Penny looked straight at
"What are you trying to say?!" Stuart demanded.
"Your dreams are all from the future," Penny said.
"You have a connection to the Book of Shadows that only a Halliwell could
have. And your feelings about Patty...you are...somehow...a future
Holly put her hands to her head and shook it from side to
side. Then she turned around and ran out of the attic and down the stairs.
Stuart looked at Penny, at the Book of Shadows and at Patty. Then he turned and
ran out of the attic after Holly.
"We protect the innocent. We are...The Charmed
Ones," Holly said, in the living room of that same house she had been in.
Penny Halliwell's house. She saw Prue Halliwell and a short, slim woman with
brown hair listening to her.
Holly was facing a black metal door. A large orange circle
was in the door's center. "I am Piper Halliwell, I am Piper
Halliwell." Holly said, her hand on the door. "OK...let's do
it," she said and pushed the black door open. "Let's vanquish the
"What it comes down to is that there is a world of
innocents to be saved," Holly said, standing in a kitchen, the afternoon
sun shining in. She was talking to Prue Halliwell and to that same short, slim
woman with brown hair. "And we're the only ones who can, and still
have to, save them."
"Tell me about Holly Combs," a teenage girl said
to her as they stood together in a small cottage. The girl's hair was a deep
gold, tied in a braid, her face fair but with a similar deep golden tone to it.
"What...what did you say, Ceres?" Holly asked.
"Holly Combs," Ceres repeated. "That is who
"I was Holly Combs...I became Piper Halliwell,"
Holly said. "I've accepted the reality of who and what I am. And that I
have to save innocents."
"AARGHH!" Holly screamed and sat straight up in
bed. The images had been flipping through her dream, one after another, like
film clips stitched together in a movie trailer. And the words...the new words.
The words she was saying. Words she hadn't dreamt before.
Holly was shaking and hyper-ventilating. As her breathing
slowly returned to normal, she got out of bed, went to her closet and grabbed
her light coat.
"OK, OK, I'm coming," Stuart shouted. He got to
the door and opened it.
"Holly!" he said. She rushed in and threw her
arms around him.
"It's three o'clock in the morning," he said,
managing to reach the open door behind her with one hand and slam it shut.
"What happened? What's wrong?"
"The dreams," she said, starting to shake again.
"New dreams....more dreams. Hold me, Stuart. Just hold me."
"OK, I'm holding you," he said. "What did you
Holly started to sob.
"I don't know what's happening to me," she said.
"It's all going to be OK," he comforted her.
"It's the middle of the night. I have bad dreams, too. I just dreamt that
I was teaching my class and one by one each of the students just disappeared
from their desks. And I couldn't stop it. So it's not just you who has
Stuart took his right hand and gently brushed Holly's hair
back off of her eyes.
"What you need now is sleep," he said. "We'll
talk about it in the morning."
He took her hand and led her to the bedroom.
"Take my bed and get some sleep," he said.
"I'll sleep in the living room on the sofa."
"I won't sleep. I can't sleep," she said.
"You have to try," Stuart said.
Holly took Stuart's hands in hers.
"If you hold me tightly," Holly said. "If you
hold me tightly the rest of the night, I'll try to sleep."
Stuart looked into Holly's eyes. They drew closer until
their lips touched. And they kissed.
Their kiss ended and Holly took hold of Stuart's hands.
"Please," she said.
Stuart looked into Holly's eyes, again. He pulled away one
hand and wiped a teardrop from her left cheek. He opened her coat and gently
slipped it off her. She was wearing only her nightgown, not having taken the
time to get dressed. Stuart exhaled, then squeezed her right hand that he was
still holding. And went with her into the bedroom.
Penny opened the front door.
"You can't hide from it," she said in a knowing
tone to Holly. "I knew you would have to come back. Come in."
"Holly had more dreams last night," Stuart said,
as they walked into the living room. "They were about her becoming someone
named Piper Halliwell."
"That must be the future Halliwell that you're going to
be," Penny said. "That you already have been."
"How...why?" Holly asked.
"Sit down," Penny said, "and I'll try to
explain it to you."
Holly and Stuart sat down on the sofa as Penny sat down on the
arm chair to their side.
"You have two lives," Penny said.
"You mean this is about re-incarnation?" Stuart
"No," Penny said. "Your dreams are not about
things that you've done and lived through in the past, in a past life. They're
about things you're going to do in the future. That you've already
done in the future."
"Wait," Stuart said, "you're talking about
the future as if we've been there. That's something out of
H. G. Wells. And
even he didn't write about...about time travel. There's no such
"Oh, there can be time travel...with a
spell," Penny said.
"A spell?" Holly asked. "You mean...a witch's
"You're not still trying to tell us that you're a
witch," Stuart said.
"You saw the spell that I used on you yesterday,"
"That...that was...that doesn't prove anything,"
Penny looked at both of them, then looked down at a
newspaper lying on the coffee table. She raised her hand up straight and
extended her arm towards the paper.
"Newspaper be gone!" she commanded.
The newspaper took off towards the front door, which
suddenly opened. The paper flew outside and the door shut behind it.
"How...how did you do that," Holly asked in
"With my witch's powers," Penny answered.
"That's...not a spell," Stuart said. "At
least, it didn't sound like I imagine a spell would be."
"All right," Penny said. "Let me use a simple
spell and show you." She thought silently for a moment.
"Hear now the words," Penny began, "as
"Hear now the words...of the witches," Holly said
slowly, interrupting Penny, her eyes staring ahead. "The secrets we hid in
"Holly...what is that?" Stuart asked, fear in his
"Bring our powers...to we sisters three," Holly
finished. She stopped and looked at Stuart, confusion on her face.
"I...heard you say those first words," Holly said,
turning to Penny, "and...I remembered something...from my dreams."
"You remembered a spell," Penny said. "The
spell that will give you - that did give you - the powers of The Charmed
Penny was silent. Stuart saw that she was visibly shaken by
what Holly had said.
"Can you recall how you looked in your dreams?"
Penny asked, regaining her composure.
"Uh...I...saw myself in the mirror a couple of
times," Holly said. "I looked the same as I do now. Uh...my hair...the
style was long, not pinned up as it is now. But...otherwise...I was exactly the
way I am now."
"So was I," Stuart interjected. "I remember
one time the brown-haired girl had a pocketbook mirror with her on the porch
and I saw myself in it."
"The year 2000 is some fifty years from now,"
Penny said. "Time enough for Patty to grow up and have children. One of
them, a child who would be the same age as you are now, Holly."
Penny leaned over to Holly and took her hands in hers.
"You're my child," Penny said, emotion breaking
through into her words. "You are...Patty's child."
Holly and Stuart stared at Penny in disbelief.
"That...that can't be," Holly said.
"I'm...I'm Holly Combs. I know I am. I remember...my life."
"Do you remember all of it?" Penny asked.
"Remember..." Holly repeated. "Of course I
remember..." She hesitated, her mind racing through her life.
"Uh...most of it."
"You remember the essence of Holly Combs - whoever she
really is," Penny said. "And Holly Combs had some strong connection
to acting - therefore you're a drama teacher. Then someone added the pieces you
needed to live and work here. The pieces that lead specifically to this point
in your life."
Holly closed her eyes and started to shake. Stuart quickly
put his arms around her.
"And you, Stuart?" Penny asked. "What do you
Stuart was silent for a moment. Then he exhaled.
"A lot of history," he said. "And
"Whoever Stuart Weston really is, those are part of
him," Penny said. "Again, someone saw to it that you had only the
other memories you needed for you to fit in and live in 1947 San
"I...don't know some things that...I should know. That
other people know," he said, thinking back to the luncheonette and his
surprise at not knowing who had won the Oscars.
"Because Stuart Weston, wherever and whenever he's
really from, didn't know them," Penny said, "and didn't need to know
them here to survive. But what you and Holy did know brought you both to
Kew Forest Academy. So that you would stay together."
Tears were forming in Holly's eyes.
"I am all confused," she said, as Stuart held her
tighter. "I can't be somebody else."
Penny let go of Holly's hands and sat back in her arm chair.
"Every person has a pathway in life," Penny began,
"through which life flows. Everything you do, every place you go,
everything in your life - when you do it, when you live it - you are going
through this pathway of life.
"Picture a very narrow tunnel and a ball being hit down
through it. The narrowness of the tunnel would keep the ball's momentum going
straight until it came out the other end of the tunnel.
"If someone came along, someone who could access your
pathway, the pathway of your life, and hit you very hard back down your
pathway. Back through the life you had lived. Just like the ball in the tunnel,
you'd be going backwards through your life. And the momentum would carry you
all the way and out the other end. Before you were born."
"Before being born..." Stuart said, trying to make
sense of it. "I wouldn't exist. I wouldn't...be alive."
"That's right," Penny said. "You would not be
alive. And that's exactly what a demon would want to happen to Holly. To happen
to Piper Halliwell. To happen to one of the Charmed Ones.
"But what if you had another life," Penny
continued, "a life that somehow existed for you at the same time. A life
with its own pathway that could catch you when you fell out of Piper
Halliwell's pathway. A life...as Holly Combs."
"How...is that possible?" Holly asked, tears still
in her eyes.
"I don't know," Penny said. "And I don't know
why you're Holly Combs. Nor the connection between this life and Piper's."
"And me?" Stuart asked.
"I don't know that, either," Penny said. "You
didn't dream you had another name. I don't know how there are two Stuart
Westons. But...there are."
"What I do know is that it is the only
explanation that fits the circumstances...and that makes sense," Penny
said. "Your dreams...that's your future. And your past, because you
already lived it. And there have been more of those dreams lately, haven't
Holly nodded her head.
"And new ones, too," Holly said, sobbing slightly
"It's kept an attachment to you," Penny said.
"It's calling you back. Stronger and more often as time goes on. And
someone was watching out for you. Somehow giving you what you needed to live
here - and to find Stuart."
"If...I'm not really from this time," Holly said,
slowly, "then...how long have I been here?"
"When did you start having the dreams," Penny
"Just before I started teaching at Kew Forest,"
Holly said. "And that was about six weeks ago."
"Then that's probably when you came here," Penny
"For argument's sake, let's say what you've said is
true," Stuart said. "That could explain the two positions at Kew Forest
suddenly becoming available just when Holly and I needed them.
But why did we come to 1947? Why not right before
this Piper Halliwell was born? According to you that should be in what...about
twenty-five years from now?"
"To knock you back down your pathways would have taken
a lot of force and power," Penny said. "You wouldn't just stop when
you both fell out of your pathways. It would take time for that momentum to
slow down and run out. Apparently until 1947."
"Look...do you really expect Holly and I to believe all
of this?" he asked.
"It is the only thing that will explain the
dreams," Penny said. "And explain Patty's attachment to Holly."
She turned to Holly. "And what you feel when Patty holds you. And you
know, inside of you, that it does explain all of it. You can feel it in
your mind - and in your heart - that it's all true. That it does make
sense out of your dreams."
Holly was still sobbing slightly. She exhaled and closed her
eyes. After a moment, with her eyes still closed, she nodded her head in
Stuart looked at Holly, then pulled her closer to him. As he
did, she let her head fall on to his shoulder.
"And which demon are you saying did this to us?"
"No ordinary demon could do this," Penny said.
"This had to be an extremely powerful demon. And who knew how to open
someone's pathway without being in it himself. There's only one demon that
could be. Joris." Penny paused.
"I remember my mother Patience going up against
him," Penny continued. "She trapped him and tried to vanquish him but
he was too strong and her spell didn't work. She just
managed to get away from him. But not before he almost killed her and severely
hurt her." Penny paused for a second. "She never fully recovered from
"I'm sorry," Stuart said. "That must have
been difficult for both of you."
"It's the risks that come with being a witch,"
Penny said. "We have to try to vanquish demons and warlocks in order to
protect and save innocents."
At those last words, Holly lifted up her head and sat up
straight. Those were the words in her dream. The words Holly herself had
said in her dream. Penny was right about her.
"Joris thought my mother had died and didn't know about
me," Penny said. "But if he found out that the Charmed Ones were her
decedents, he would come after them. Come after you, Holly."
"And how do you explain my being here?"
Stuart asked, "and my dreams? I'm not one of the Charmed
"Isn't it obvious?" Penny asked. "You're
close to Holly here. You must have been close to Piper, too. When she was
attacked, you must have been with her. In your dreams you're also in The Manor.
The demon attacked everyone who was there, in The Manor. You were with Piper so
you were knocked back through your pathway, as well."
"Then where is Prue Halliwell," Holly asked,
"and that short woman with the brown hair?"
"She would be the third sister," Stuart said.
"If everything you said is true."
"It is true," Penny said. "The three
sisters are The Charmed Ones."
"Then what happened to them?" Stuart asked.
"Did their momentum carry them to some other year?"
"Your momentums brought both of you to the same exact
time," Penny said, "so theirs would have brought them here, as
well." Penny thought silently for a moment.
"Unless...unless they weren't in The Manor when you
were attacked," she said. "Then they're still in the future. And that
demon is still waiting to attack them, too."
"What can we do?" Holly asked. She had stopped
sobbing and her voice was very calm. Stuart sensed in her tone an acceptance
that they had to do something to stop the demon.
"I have to get you back into your future pathway,"
Penny said, "and back to when you came from...and who you are then."
"I'm not sure about all of this," Stuart said, and
gently turned Holly's face towards him. "Are you?" he asked her.
Holly took a deep breath.
"Yes," she said. "Penny's right. I can feel
that she's right. And that...my dreams were right, too."
Stuart looked into Holly's eyes for a moment, then gently
kissed her. Holly put her arms around him, holding him tightly until they ended
"Holly is sure," he said. "That's good enough
"Good," Penny said. "We have to work
"How are you going to send us back?" Stuart asked.
"You said this demon had to be extremely powerful to send us through our
"Time flows forward," Penny said, "and you'll
be going forward in time. It doesn't need as much power to do that. It's like
swimming upstream. The current helps to move you along.
"But I'll still need help to do it," she said.
"And I know where to get it."
Holly was looking into Patty's eyes, the little girl's hands
on Holly's arms, when the doorbell rang. If there was one thing she would miss
being sent back, Holly thought, it was the contentment and security she felt
when Patty held her.
"This is my good friend Gail," Penny said, coming
into the living room. "She's just like family to us. And she's also a
witch. Gail, this is Holly and Stuart."
"Hello," Stuart said.
Holly reluctantly turned away from Patty and looked up at
Gail. "Hello," she said, and slowly stood up.
"These are the two we're going to send back to where
they came from," Penny said.
"I told you I don't know if we can do this," Gail
said. "It would take a very powerful spell. And even then I'm not sure it
"I have a powerful spell," Penny said.
"From The Book of Shadows?" Gail asked.
"Not exactly," Penny said. "I couldn't find a
spell to do this in the Book."
"I'm not surprised," Gail said. "No witch has
ever attempted this before."
"I made up the spell," Penny said. "And I
included parts of two different spells from The Book in it."
"Then you don't really know whether this will
work?" Holly asked.
"And what happens if it doesn't work?"
Gail looked at Penny with a look of apprehension
"Never mind," Penny said, "it will work."
"Assuming it does work," Stuart said,
"what's to stop the momentum from taking us way into the future, past the
time we came from?"
"This," Penny said. She picked up two rolled up
pieces of paper from the coffee table and gave one each to Holly and Stuart.
"Hold the paper tightly in your hands," Penny
They took the papers and opened them.
further than whence you came
So that the
future will remain the same," Holly read aloud
"This will really stop us at exactly the right
time?" Stuart asked.
"It should," Penny said.
"It should?!" Stuart repeated.
"Well, at least close to it," Penny said. "It
may take some time for the brakes to kick in"
"The brakes?" Stuart asked.
"No one's done this before," Gail reminded him.
"But it sounds good."
Stuart exhaled and shook his head.
"What's this on the bottom of the page?" Holly
"It's a spell from The Book of Shadows that will
vanquish Joris," Penny said. "He's going to be waiting for your
sisters. He's going to be somewhere in The Manor. But you probably won't see
him. He'll be invisible."
"Invisible?" Stuart asked. "Now that is something
out of H. G. Wells. But he could be anywhere. How will this spell help?"
"You don't have to see him for the spell to work,"
Penny said. "Just use it as soon as you get back. As long as he's in The
Manor, which he will be, it will work. Trust me."
Gail gave Penny a quizzical look.
"Yes," she said, nodding her head, "trust
"But you said Patience...your mother, wasn't strong
enough to vanquish him," Holly said.
"But you are The Charmed Ones," Penny said.
"and you have the Power of Three. Using it will make the three of you
strong enough to vanquish Joris."
"You wrote that just above the spell," Stuart
said, "to use the Power of Three immediately. Don't you trust Holly to do
"Holly is not going to remember to do it," Penny
said, "and neither will you. You somehow have these two lives...and two pathways.
When you return, you won't remember anything that's happened here. Just like
you don't remember anything here from that life in the future."
"Except in my dreams," Holly said.
"Yes," Penny said. "Your future was attached
to you and trying to get you back. It's unlikely this past will do the same.
And anyway, you must use this spell as soon as you get back. You'll all
be in danger. There isn't time to wait for a dream that will likely never even
Penny picked up two more pieces of paper from the coffee
table and handed one of them to Gail.
"We can't wait any longer," Penny said. "Are
Holly looked down at Patty, then knelt down and took her
hands one more time.
"OK," Holly said, standing up.
Penny walked over to Holly, looked into her eyes, then put
her arms around her and squeezed her. Then she gave Holly a small kiss on her
head and stepped back and away from her.
"Roll up the papers and hold them tightly in one
hand," Penny said. "And hold on to each other with your other hand.
This will probably hurt...a lot."
"What...what do you mean it will hurt?" Stuart
But Penny was not paying attention to Stuart. She and Gail
took each other's hand and began the spell.
words, Hear this rhyme
this their future selves they'll find,
pathways into their time
return safe and sublime."
There was a loud roar. Holly and Stuart felt as if they had
been punched in their stomachs. They held tightly on to each other as they felt
themselves hurtling forward, There was a loud bang as they felt themselves
hitting a large hump. Then what felt like another punch to their stomachs and
they were over the hump. And rushing forward.
"I haven't been able to reach Piper since I left this
morning to go to Four One Five," Prue said. "It's almost eleven
o'clock at night and she's not here. I am more than worried about
"I am too," Leo said. "I can't sense her
They heard the front door open, then close and footsteps
heading towards the living room.
"Piper?" Prue called out.
"No, it's me," Phoebe said. "I got stuck at
school trying to straighten out my records. And then I stopped by Lorna
Palmer's house and she insisted I stay for dinner with Nicole and Marion."
"Piper's missing," Prue said. "I haven't
heard from her since eight o'clock this morning."
"Uh...neither have I," Phoebe said, "nor from
Stuart. Is he upstairs?"
"He's not here either," Leo said.
"This isn't good, Leo," Phoebe said. "They're
in danger and we've got to find them."
"What was that?" Prue asked.
"It came from the parlor," Leo said.
They looked at each other for a second then ran to the
parlor to see what had happened.
"Piper! Stuart!" Phoebe exclaimed. They were both
starting to get up from the floor and Phoebe rushed over and hugged them.
"We were so worried about you," Prue said, as
Phoebe helped them up and Leo ran to Piper and hugged her.. "Where have
you been since breakfast? And how did you suddenly get here in the
"Uh...I...don't know," Piper said. "I...don't
"Neither do I," Stuart said. "I remember you
leaving to go to the magazine and Phoebe leaving to go to school. I was taking
care of something in the parlor and getting ready to go with Piper to the club.
I think there was a rumbling sound. And...that's the last thing I
"And neither of you have any idea where you've been for
the past thirteen hours?" Leo asked.
"No...uh...I..." Piper said. Then she realized she
was holding something in her hand.
"What's this?" she asked, opening the rolled up
piece of paper.
"I...have one, too," Stuart said, opening his.
"Go no further than whence you came..." he read. "What is
"Mine says the same thing," Piper said, as Phoebe
looked at the paper.
"Look here in the middle of the page," Phoebe
said. "It says to use the Power of Three immediately."
"Let me see that," Prue said to Stuart and took
the paper from him. "That's a spell underneath it. In Gram's
Suddenly there was a rumbling sound. Everything in The Manor
started to bend and become wavy.
"What's happening?" Phoebe asked.
"It's a demon doing something," Leo said.
"Who is it?" Phoebe asked. "How do we stop
"I feel something starting to push me backwards,"
"We have to do something quickly," Phoebe said.
"And we don't have time to look for a spell."
"This spell, on the paper," Prue said, as
everything around her bent even more. "I don't know what it's for but it's
all that we have. Hurry and hold hands."
Phoebe grabbed a still confused Piper and pulled her over to
"Now...together," Phoebe said.
circle that is home,
gone and evils roam,
beings from these walls,
sisters three now heed our call."
There was a loud noise that sounded to them like an
"Aghh!" Phoebe screamed as she too felt something
Suddenly, The Manor stopped waving and bending. Everything
around them was back to normal.
"It worked," Prue said. "Whoever that demon
was, he's gone."
"And this spell did it," Phoebe said. She looked
at the words again. "This spell is familiar. I...know I've used it
"How did you get these?" Prue asked.
"I...don't know," Piper said.
"I don't either," Stuart said, too.
Prue read the top of the paper.
"Whence you came," she said aloud. "This
looks like a spell, too. And it was somehow sending you back here...where you
"But where were you that you came back here from?"
"With Grams," she said.
"That can't be," Phoebe said. "Grams didn't
"Send people through time," Prue said, cutting
Phoebe off. She motioned slightly towards Leo, reminding her to be careful what
she said about what wasn't real with the Halliwells.
"You're saying that we...went back in time?"
Stuart asked. "How...why?"
"I don't know," Prue said.
"I'll see what I can find out from The Elders,"
Leo said, and orbed out.
"You and Stuart going back in time to Grams would
explain the spell," Prue said, "even if it doesn't explain why you
"But there wasn't really any Grams," Piper said.
"Piper, you know we have a whole history here as
Halliwells," Prue said. "And we saw that even included Mom. It isn't
any more difficult to believe that Grams existed here. And that she wrote these
spells for you and Stuart."
"That spell," Phoebe said, "I remember it
now. It's from an episode from Charmed's first season. There were supposed to
be some demons in The Manor. And we said this spell to protect us and vanquish
"Another Charmed script's spell working in real
life," Piper said. "I guess I'm not surprised any more."
"Whatever happened, I'm just glad that we're all
safe," Prue said.
"Thanks...to Grams," Piper said.
Piper was in the kitchen with Stuart the next morning. She was sitting
at the kitchen table, having just finished her breakfast. Phoebe had gone out
on an errand and Prue had left to go to Four One Five.
"Leo had no explanation from The Elders of what
happened to us," Piper said.
"Either they didn't know or they made believe they
didn't know," Stuart said. He noticed Piper looking at him intensely as he
put away the last of the breakfast dishes.
"Uh...is something wrong?" he asked.
"Wrong? No, nothing's wrong," Piper said,
continuing to look at Stuart intensely.
"Uh...you look like you're trying to look inside of
me," he said.
"Was I?" Piper asked. "Uh...it's just...a
dream that I had last night. And you were in it. But it's only a dream so it
doesn't mean anything."
"You dreamt about
me?" Stuart asked. "I'm really flattered that you dreamt about
Piper's expression turned
serious and she stared at Stuart.
what you said in the dream," she said.
"You mean it was a dream
about a dream?" he asked.
"It was complicated and
I don't remember all of it," she said. "Just
"I'd love to hear
about," he said.
"Uh...I think I'll keep
it to myself," she said.
A dream about what I did with
Stuart is not something anyone need know about, she thought, as the dream
played in her mind. How exciting it had felt in her dream kissing Stuart, how
secure she had felt when he held her in his arms, and how marvelous it had been spending
the night with him. And then waking up in the morning with
her head on his shoulder, feeling him next to her - and then being together
"Uh oh...it must have
been a really bad dream," Stuart said. "I must have done something
terrible to you."
"No, it was not bad at
all," Piper said. "And you certainly didn't do anything terrible. Quite the contrary. It was...interesting."
A lot more than just
interesting, she thought..
But it would be awkward to
tell him of the dream, given Stuart's relationship with Phoebe and her
relationship with Leo. Yes...her relationship with Leo made her feel awkward
even thinking about the dream. Especially as it had all felt so wonderful
in her dream. And, she realized, even though she was
awake...it still felt wonderful, now.
"But that's the good
part about dreams," she continued, trying to ease her conscience.
"Anything can happen in them but since it's all a dream it didn't really
happen. I don't have to worry about any consequences."
Stuart thought he saw the
small smile on Piper's face again as she said that.
"Yes, that's certainly
good that our dreams never happen," Stuart said. "I've had a very
stressful dream a couple of times, recently. About teaching a
Piper's expression became serious
students...they suddenly disappeared, one at a time, from their desks in your
classroom," she said, sounding rattled.
said. "How...how could you know that?"
Piper exhaled and regained
always just dreams," she said, slowly.
"That's a disturbing
thought," Stuart said. "Imagine what it would be like if what you
dreamed about became real and had actually
Piper said. A small smile returned to her lips as she looked intensely at
Stuart as he closed the pantry door.
As long as no one knew about
it, she thought, her smile getting a little bigger. As long as no one knew
about it, then the dream being real and having really happened would be just