Charmed Role Reversal



Neutral Powers

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.

"EEYYEE!!"

Phoebe turned around. The scream had come from somewhere to her right and she quickly ran down the empty street towards it.

"EEYYEE!!"

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 her.

"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 sidewalk again.

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 woman alone.

"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.

"He...wanted...to...kk...kill me. 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 Morris, please."



Click speaker for Opening Credits Theme Song

"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 hadn't."

"We're definitely dealing with a demon," Piper said. "What about the woman?"

"Karen Wingate. 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."

"What?" Piper said.

"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 college."

"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 around."

"But I went right through him," Stuart said.

"Who was he?" Piper asked.

"He was...the demon I fought off last night," Phoebe answered.

"That was the back door of the club," Piper said. "And that was our car parked there."

"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 all."

"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 club."

"OK," Stuart said, "so we know when and where. But how do we stop him?  And how do we undo what he did to Phoebe?"

"I don't know," Prue said.  "We'd better have a look at the Book of Shadows."


"Nothing on pulsating lights, nothing on premonition images becoming real," Piper said, closing the Book of Shadows.

"Any ideas?" Stuart asked.

"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 suddenly stopped.

Piper looked at the map under the crystal.  She looked up at Phoebe then again at the map.

"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 Phoebe.

"Maybe when the premonition vanished, it really didn't," Stuart said. "Maybe he's on...some other plane, but still in the house."

"Like Abraxas?" Phoebe asked.

"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 overlooking Sausalito."

"How can you get a different location than Phoebe did?" Stuart asked.

"Try it Piper," Prue said. "See what you get."

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."

"What now?" Stuart asked.


"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 another premonition."

"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.

"EEYYEE!"

"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 two directions.

"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-"

"EEYYEE!" Phoebe screamed.

Stuart came running into the living room.  Two snakes coiled under a bush were next to Phoebe's chair.

"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 disappeared.

Stuart rolled up Phoebe's pants and saw the fang marks on her skin.

"Oh, no!" he cried.

Prue and Piper threw open the doors to the hospital's Emergency Room and rushed over to the nurses' station.

"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," Cindy said.

"And we will be," Piper said. 

"Now that Phoebe is OK, I'll be going," Cindy said. "She should get some rest. 'Bye."

"'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 me."

"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' handwriting?"

"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," Stuart said.

"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 premonition."

"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 that."

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 he was.

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 you."

"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.

"Yes. I'd worked in other places before this. But having my own place has always been my dream. And finally, recently, I realized it."

"You haven't been doing this long?" he asked. "Based upon the crowd I would have thought you'd been at this for some time."

"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 me."

"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 my life."

Sarah McLachlan was back on the stage and the music started up.

"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 outside.

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. Against me."

Suddenly, Ethan saw Stuart standing behind the trunk of the car.

"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.

    "Upon this destroyer of dreams

          Let there be a curse,

     Make his powers,

           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.

"Arrgghh!! Arrgghh!!"

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 Phoebe.

"But now everything Ethan did to us has been undone."

"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 car."

"After he choked me I wasn't worried about my hand," Piper said. "But I was afraid he would catch me doing it."

"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 protecting them."

"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 cast."

"To the Power of Four," Prue said, raising her glass and smiling.