Phoebe swung the bag by its handle as she walked the two
blocks to where she had parked the car. She
had made it to the store just before it closed and found the antique
picture frame that matched the frame broken by the Frubos demon during his
escape from The Manor, after having tried to kill her.
She was happy to have found a store that carried that frame
even though it had taken her all afternoon to find it.
It was easier on Charmed, she thought, when
prop people replaced whatever had been broken.
But the frame was an antique and she wanted to keep everything
in The Manor just as they had found it.
Phoebe turned around.
The scream had come from somewhere to her right and she quickly ran down
the empty street towards it.
There was a setback just before her, leading to the steps
built into the steep hill to allow people to walk up the street to the houses
above. Phoebe ran to it and saw a woman
on the ground. A man, his hand on her
throat, was standing over her.
"Hey!" Phoebe shouted and gave him two powerful
kicks. The man fell forward, away from
the woman, and rolled over on the sidewalk.
He got to his knees and looked at Phoebe when something in his hand
began to pulsate light.
"Witch!" he said to Phoebe. He stood up and aimed the pulsating light at
"Witch," he said again, with a smirk, and charged
at Phoebe. She swung around, giving him
a chop with her hand and another kick with her foot, sending him falling to the
As he looked up at her she saw confusion on his face. He got up quickly and ran away down the
street. Phoebe wanted to run after him but decided she shouldn't leave the
"Did he hurt you?" Phoebe asked the woman as she helped her up.
"N...no...I'm...oh..." Phoebe felt the woman shaking.
"It's all right now.
He's gone. He won't hurt
you," Phoebe told her, trying to calm her.
I'm...frightened..." the woman said.
"No one's going to kill you now." Phoebe saw the woman needed more help than
she could give her. She pulled out her cell phone from her pocketbook and
dialed a number. "Inspector
"It was strange," Phoebe said as she drank her
breakfast tea. "The way he looked
at me, as if he expected that light to have done something to me and it
"We're definitely dealing with a demon," Piper
said. "What about the woman?"
She had just come from a business meeting with a venture
capitalist. They had signed a contract
to back her specialty children's wear line.
This was going to let her do what she always wanted to do. She said it had been the happiest day of her
life. Until he attacked her."
"We're definitely dealing with a demon," Prue said
as she came into the kitchen, the open newspaper in her hands. "A demon who wants to cause major
destruction in the world."
"Another girl was killed last night," Prue said,
looking at the newspaper, "a half-hour after you saved that woman and
about ten blocks from where you were.
Pentagrams were found around her body."
"No," Phoebe said, closing her eyes. "If only
I hadn't let him get away...that girl would be alive."
"A demon that can cause major destruction is very
powerful," Prue said. "We're lucky you're alive. You did everything you could. You saved one woman's life."
"Who was the girl?" Stuart asked.
"Jodie Robbins," Prue replied. "It says she was a Stuartdent at Phoebe's
"Let me see," Phoebe said, walking over to Prue
and taking the newspaper from her. She
started to read the report as she went back to the table.
"EEYYEE!" Phoebe screamed.
A man was suddenly in the room. Light was pulsating from something he held in his hand. A door, a P3 sign above and a flyer
attached to it, was behind him. A car
now stood at the entrance to the kitchen.
"Witch!" the man shouted. He swung around, his hand catching Phoebe's
arm as he did.
Piper raised her hand to freeze him but it had no
affect. Prue waved her hand at the man
but nothing happened. Stuart lunged at the man but went right through him. Then suddenly it all vanished.
"What...was that?" Piper asked.
A visibly shaken Phoebe slowly sat down on the chair.
"Phoebe - are you all right?" Stuart asked.
"Uh...I'm...not sure,” she answered. “I...was holding the
paper...and I felt like I was getting a premonition. Only...the image wasn't in my head. It was...here. In the
kitchen. Outside of my head.
"And...it was more than an image. I felt his hand on my arm when he turned
"But I went right through him," Stuart said.
"Who was he?"
"He was...the demon I fought off last night,"
"That was the back door of the club," Piper
said. "And that was our car parked
"Something's happened to you Phoebe," Prue
said. "Maybe it's because of that
pulsating light he pointed at you.
Maybe he has some power through it and it did something to you after
"If this was a premonition, then he's going to be at
the club," Piper said.
"And he'll probably try to kill somebody there,"
Prue said. "Or one of us, from
that look on his face."
"At least we know where he'll be," Stuart
said. "If only we knew when."
"Tonight," Piper said. "There
was a flyer on the door. I made them up for Sarah McLachlan's performance. Tonight's the only night she'll be at the
"OK," Stuart said, "so we know when and
where. But how do we stop him? And how do we undo what he did to
"I don't know," Prue said. "We'd better have a look at the Book of
"Nothing on pulsating lights, nothing on premonition
images becoming real," Piper said, closing the Book of Shadows.
"We don't know anything about him, other than what
we've seen,” Prue said, “so we're going to have to find out before tonight. We're going to have to find him now and see
what we can learn about him."
"How do we find him?" Stuart asked.
"We'll try scrying," Prue said. "That's a way witches-"
"I know," Stuart said. "I saw Phoebe do it on Charmed. Which means that you should know where the chain and crystal
are," he said turning to Phoebe. Phoebe thought for a moment.
"I do know," Phoebe said, slightly amazed
that she in fact did. "It's...in the second drawer in the chest. I'll get
it." Prue pulled out a map and
laid it on the small table as Phoebe brought the chain and crystal.
"This is how I remember doing it," Phoebe
said. She held the chain between her
thumb and forefinger and let the crystal begin to swing across the map.
"It's working," Piper said. The crystal began to
swing irregularly, first in a circle, then from side to side. Phoebe could feel
her fingers being pulled by the crystal to one part of the map when the crystal
Piper looked at the map under the crystal. She looked up at Phoebe then again at the
"Where is it pointing?" Stuart asked.
"Right here," Piper said. "It's pointing to our block. It's pointing to The Manor."
"That can't be," Prue said, taking the chain from
"Maybe when the premonition vanished, it really didn't,"
Stuart said. "Maybe he's on...some
other plane, but still in the house."
"Abraxas...he...stole the Book of Shadows and took it
to another plane, right?" Piper
asked, recalling the Charmed
episode. "If this demon is on
another plane, what's he going to do there?"
As Prue held the chain, the crystal swung around and
around. "He's not on another
plane, at least not here," Prue said as the crystal suddenly stopped and
they looked at the map.
"Marin County," Prue said. "It looks like it's on a hill
"How can you get a different location than Phoebe
did?" Stuart asked.
"Try it Piper," Prue said. "See what you
Piper held the chain and they watched the crystal go around
and then stop.
"Same place," Prue said. "Sausalito. Whatever this demon did to you Phoebe affected
more than just your premonitions."
"Piper and I will go there and see what we can find
out," Prue said. "Stay here with Phoebe and watch her. We don't know what could happen if she gets
"I have to come with you," Phoebe said. "You may need the Power of Three."
"No, it's too dangerous for you to come," Prue
said. "We don't know how much you've been affected, whether we still even
have the Power of Three. And we don't
know what else he could do to you if he sees you again."
"But-" Phoebe began.
"No!" Piper said.
"We'll be all right. Stay
here with Stuart."
Phoebe exhaled and nodded her head.
"Be careful," she told them.
"This is the block," Prue said, pulling the car
over to the curb.
"It came from that house across the street," Prue
said and she and Piper quickly ran to it.
A young woman lay on the ground to the side of the front
garden. An older woman was kneeling
next to her, holding her.
"Where did he go?" Prue asked her.
"What?...he ran around the house," she said,
starting to cry.
Prue and Piper ran to the back of the house. A path at the edge of the yard split off in
"Take that one," Prue said to Piper. "I'll take the right one."
The right path turned sharply after a few yards and as Prue
turned the corner she almost ran into the man. The path ended abruptly behind
him and he had no place to run.
Prue waved her hand and he went flying backwards into the
bushes. He fell to the ground, looked
up at Prue and pulled out something from his pocket.
"Witch!" he shouted as he pointed it's pulsating
light at Prue. He picked himself up and
starting walking towards her.
"Didn't get it the first time?" she said to him
and waved her hand again. Suddenly,
Prue went flying backwards. She slammed
into a tree a few feet behind her and fell to the ground.
"No, you didn't get it," he said, walking
past her as she lay motionless.
Piper didn't see any trace of the man so she doubled back
and went looking for Prue.
"No!" she shouted as she came upon Prue lying on
the ground. She lifted her head and
held her in her arms as Prue started to come to.
"Are you all right?" Piper asked.
"No...I'm not," Prue answered.
Phoebe picked up the
remote control and turned on the television. A man on a news set came on.
"The snakes escaped when the truck transporting them
turned over," the man said. "Authorities in protective gear have been
searching for them but so far have not-"
Stuart came running into the living room. Two snakes coiled under a bush were next to
"Don't move," he told her. "Don't even breathe." But before Stuart could do anything the
snake closest to Phoebe lunged at her leg.
"EEYYEE!" she screamed.
Stuart jumped at the snakes but he went right through
them. Then they and the bush
Stuart rolled up Phoebe's pants and saw the fang marks on
"Oh, no!" he cried.
Prue and Piper threw
open the doors to the hospital's Emergency Room and rushed over to the nurses'
"We're looking for Phoebe Halliwell," Piper said.
The nurse looked at her charts. "Uh, she's...oh, there she is. She's coming out."
They turned and saw Phoebe and Stuart walking out from a
partitioned area and rushed over to them.
"How is she?"
Prue asked as she hugged her.
"She's OK," Stuart said. "The doctor said there was no trace of poison in her so the
snakes weren't venomous."
"Hi Cindy," Piper said, seeing her sitting off to
the side. "Thanks for getting
Phoebe here so fast."
"No thanks needed," Cindy said. "I came by The Manor to pick up that Pear Belle-Hélène Piper made that you had left
over. Stuart didn't have the car
and it was faster for me to take Phoebe than to call an ambulance. I still don't understand how a snake got
into your house."
"You never know what can turn up in an old house,"
Piper said. "Right?"
"I suppose," Cindy said. "But odd things seem to happen to you."
"It's a family tradition," Piper said.
"And you always manage to be there when we need
you," Prue said.
"That must mean that we're meant to be close,"
"And we will be," Piper said.
"Now that Phoebe is OK, I'll be going," Cindy
said. "She should get some
"'Bye," they said to her.
"Thanks again, Cindy," Phoebe said. "You're a good friend."
"I don't understand it," Stuart said as they
headed back to the car. "The snake
was real to Phoebe but when I tried to grab it, it was just an image to
"I think I know what's happened," Prue said. "This demon may be able to reverse
witches' powers. I used my power
against him to send him flying into the bushes. After he pointed that pulsating light at me, I tried to do it
again but this time I sent myself flying.
My power worked against me.
"And if that's what happened to Phoebe, too, then he's
neutralized our powers, because now we can't use them. We have to get home and look through the
Book of Shadows again. This time we
know what we're looking for."
"I found it," Prue said. "He isn't a demon. He's a warlock named Ethan. His power is to reverse good witches' powers
so that they work against themselves whenever they use them. That
neutralizes their powers against evil.
"It's in Grams' handwriting,” Prue continued. “She must have come up against him or
somehow knew about him and wanted to warn us."
"That explains why Phoebe's scrying pointed to The
Manor," Piper said. "Her power
was reversed so that the crystal found her instead of Ethan."
"Wait a minute Prue," Phoebe said. "How do you know that was Grams'
"What do you mean?" Prue asked. "I grew up in
The Manor with Grams so I saw her write-"
Prue stopped, realizing what she had said.
"I'm getting...more of Prue's memory," she said.
"Or what would be Prue's memory.
It's part of my becoming her."
"The longer we're here..." Piper began to say unhappily.
"How does this explain Phoebe's
premonitions?" Stuart asked,
trying to get back to the warlock.
"Phoebe's power is to have a premonition as an image in
her mind," Prue said. "By reversing her power, Phoebe was in
the premonition instead of the premonition being in her. So instead of it being just an image to her,
it became real."
"But it was real to no one else because it was her
premonition," Stuart said.
"That's why I couldn't grab the snakes."
"This means he's not one of the demons trying to
destroy the world," Phoebe said.
"No, he's not," Prue said. "And that means
he's not related to the killing of the college Stuartdent last night. So your
letting him get away, Phoebe, didn’t cause that girl’s death.”
"Is there a spell to vanquish Ethan?" Piper asked.
"Yes," Prue said. "But Phoebe and I can't say
it. If we did, the spell would be
reversed against us."
"We'd vanquish ourselves," Phoebe said.
"That means only you can vanquish him, Piper,"
"But it's not that simple," Prue said. "He can only be vanquished if the spell
is cast while he's using his reversal power.
The spell will turn it on him so that his own power will be reversed and
undo what it did." Prue thought for a moment.
"This is very dangerous," she said. "For the
spell to work, we have to get him to use his power. But if he uses it on you, Piper, before you say the spell your
power will be reversed just like ours.
And we'd never be able to get our powers back."
"Seems like we need an extra witch to make this
work," Phoebe said. "At the
moment, we're a little low on spare witches."
Piper was silent for a moment.
"Maybe...I'll let him use his power on me," she
said. "Then none of us will have powers that we can use. And if we don't have powers, then they'll
have to send us back home. Before I completely forget who I really am."
"No, Piper. I
know you want to go home and be normal again," Prue said to her
gently. "But you can't do this. We
don't know when they'll send us back.
We could be Stuartck here without any defenses against whatever demon wants
to destroy The Charmed Ones. And Phoebe will be in danger every time she gets a
"The demons that want to cause major destruction have
to be stopped," Phoebe said.
"We have the responsibility, and the powers, to save
innocents. We can't walk away from
Piper turned her head to the side and closed her eyes. After a moment she opened them, took a deep
breath and looked back at Prue.
"OK," she said. "I'll...vanquish him."
Phoebe took her around and hugged her.
"Did Grams write anything else?" Piper asked Prue.
"She wrote that Ethan likes to kill people when
something very good happens to them," she said. "He enjoys destroying
their dreams when they're on the verge of success and happiness."
"That explains his attacking Karen last night,"
Phoebe said. "She was on the verge
of success and happiness in getting the backers for her company."
"And Melody today," Stuart said. "She was
just crowned Miss Marin County."
"Ethan will be at the club tonight," Prue said.
"And that's your introduction to him, Piper. The newly successful owner of a hot club."
"Then what?" Piper asked. "You and Phoebe have to both stay away
from the club. If he spots you there it
will make him suspicious. And besides,
you can't use your powers."
"We'll have to think of something," Prue said.
The club was jam packed, even more than Piper had
expected. Sarah Mc Lachlan had just
finished a number and was taking a break.
A few people greeted Piper as she made her way through the crowd but her
mind was elsewhere and she barely acknowledged them.
She had seen Ethan for only a few seconds in Phoebe's
premonition and she worried whether that would be enough for her to recognize
him again. As she circled towards the
stage she saw a young woman she knew talking to a man. His back was to her and she couldn't see who
Courtney Young was an up-and-coming executive on the fast
track at a media buying firm. Just at
the point in her life where Ethan would be attracted to her and want to kill
her. Piper had met her the previous
weekend when she came to the club.
Gina, balancing an order tray, stopped Piper to ask her
something about one of the booths.
After telling her what to do, Piper made her way over to where Courtney
and the man were standing.
"Hello Courtney," Piper greeted her. "Glad you came back."
"Piper - hi!" Courtney said, smiling. She had
dirty blonde permed hair that reached the shoulders of her electric blue
tailored blouse. "I wouldn't miss
this for anything. Sarah Mc Lachlan is
the best. Oh, let me introduce you.
Piper, this is Ethan."
Even without the introduction Piper realized she would have
recognized the warlock. She felt a
tingle of fear trickle down her spine.
"Piper is the owner of P3," Courtney said to him.
"Indeed," Ethan said. "How nice to meet
"My date is somewhere lost in this crowd,"
Courtney said. "I think I'd better find him before someone else does. Nice
to have met you, Ethan.
"Piper, P3 is great."
"Thanks," Piper said. "Enjoy."
"So, you own P3," Ethan said to her.
worked in other places before this. But
having my own place has always been my dream. And finally, recently, I realized
"You haven't been doing this long?" he asked.
"Based upon the crowd I would have thought you'd been at this for some
"Actually, it was very tough until just a short while
ago," she said. "Then, over the past couple of weeks, things just
came together. Success is very new to
"This must make you very happy," he said.
"Very!" Piper said. "I'm finally successful at something I
love doing. I've never been so happy in
Sarah McLachlan was back on the stage and the music started
"The music is nice but it can make for difficult
conversations," he said.
"I need a break and some fresh air," Piper said.
"Why don't we continue our conversation out back where its quieter."
"I'd like that," Ethan agreed.
Piper made her way to the back as Ethan followed her. She opened the back door and they went
She closed the door, the Sarah McLachlan flyer attached to
it and the P3 sign brightly lit above it, and walked to her right. On
the opposite side sat her car.
Piper turned around and found Ethan on top of her. His left hand was suddenly around her
throat, cutting off her air. Choking
her, it blocked any sounds she tried to make.
He put his right hand into his pocket and pulled something
out. A light on it began pulsating. He
looked at the light and then stared at Piper.
"Witch!" he shouted. He let go of her and stepped back just enough to lower the light
and aim it at her.
"Looking for a witch?" the voice asked. "I'm
right behind you!"
The warlock swung around and saw Stuart standing a few feet
in front of him.
"I'm a witch and that's warning you that I'm
nearby," Stuart said, pointing to the pulsating light. "But it won't do you any good."
Then suddenly, Ethan saw that Stuart was standing to his
left in front of the back door.
"Over here, warlock," Stuart said. "Oh, you
don't have the power of blinking? What
a shame," he added in a mocking tone.
"You could have used it tonight.
Suddenly, Ethan saw Stuart standing behind the trunk of the
"Your powers are so limited," Stuart said.
"But you won't be needing them any more.
Your days of killing innocents are over.
"Come, warlock," Stuart said, slowly stretching
out his arms and holding up the palms of his hands.
Ethan became filled with anger at Stuart's taunts and began walking very deliberately towards
him. When he was a few feet from the
car he stopped. With fury in his eyes,
he aimed the pulsating light at Stuart and concentrated.
"No, you come," the warlock said.
Piper had backed away as far as she could from Ethan so that
he could not hear her begin the spell.
this destroyer of dreams
there be a curse,
Now and forever, reverse."
Ethan heard Piper saying something but before he could turn
around the pulsating light started to pulse stronger and brighter. It seemed to grow larger and larger.
And then it burst.
Piper and Stuart saw the warlock's body shake uncontrollably
as he screamed. And then, with a final
agonizing cry, he was gone.
Stuart stood for a second in relief that it was over but
then ran to Piper.
"Are you OK?" he asked her. "Did he hurt you?"
"I'm OK," she said. "But that was closer than
I ever want it to be again."
Seeing that she was trembling, Stuart he put his arms around
her and held her to him.
"I saw that thing he had when he tried using it against
me," Stuart said. "It was a sharp pick under that pulsating light.
That pick must be what he used to kill with."
Pipers arms were around Stuart, too, holding him tightly. After a minute he felt
her calm down and loosen her hold.
"Come on," Stuart said. "Let's go home and
see if Prue and Phoebe are all right."
"It's good to have our powers back," Prue said,
waving her hand to adjust the replacement picture frame Phoebe had hung on the
wall. "I felt so helpless. Not to mention how dangerous it was for
"But now everything Ethan did to us has been
"Not everything," Stuart said. "What he did to me wasn't undone."
"What?" Piper exclaimed.
"I've lost my power to blink," he said.
Prue and Phoebe laughed.
"We have the Charmed episode with
great-great-grandmother Melinda Warren to thank for our knowing that there is
such a power as blinking that some witches and warlocks use to instantly go
from one place to another. And Piper
made Ethan think that you had it too, so he'd use his reversing power against
you and she could vanquish him."
"Your hand must have been tired," Stuart said to
Piper. "First you had to raise it
to freeze both of us. Then again to un-freeze just me so I could move to the
door. Then again to un-freeze Ethan so
that he would think that I blinked to move there. Then repeating it all over again so I could move to the
"After he choked me I wasn't worried about my
hand," Piper said. "But I was afraid he would catch me doing
"Ethan was so incensed at me for taunting him that he
forgot you were even there," Stuart said.
"Well, we've vanquished a warlock but this hasn't
helped us get any closer to finding those demons who want to bring about major
destruction," Phoebe said.
"No," Prue said, "but maybe it's helped us in
another way. Maybe we're more aware now
of just how important our powers are and how careful we have to be in
"You know, I felt useful tonight," Stuart said,
"finally being able to take on evil, the way you do. It felt good being a
witch like you for a little while, even though it wasn't real."
"It's just like being a witch on Charmed," Phoebe
said, smiling. "Welcome to the
"To the Power of Four," Prue said, raising her
glass and smiling.