The New Power Of Three

Copyright 2006 Julien Gregg
All rights reserved.
No part of this story may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author. This story is almost all fiction. Almost all of the characters depicted in this story exist exclusively in the imagination of the author. Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is, sometimes purely coincidental. This story is based on the television show, Charmed, and although the family name and a similar book of shadows appear in this story, there are no characters from the show in the story. They may be named, but they will never be portrayed.

Charmed is owned by Spelling Entertainment and Warner Brother's Television. Certain spell text borrowed from the television show. However, since no money is being made by this tale, I don't feel horrible about borrowing anything.

To read more of my stories go to my personal site.


Dear Sir:

I regret to inform you that your grandfather, Donald Peter Halliwell, has passed away. Please accept my sincere condolences. I am sending a plane ticket to bring you to Storyville to help in the matter of settling Mr. Halliwell's estate. My second reason for writing this is to inform you that Mr. Halliwell's last will and testament will be read the day after the funeral. Funeral services have been taken care of, and the funeral is Friday morning. That's one week from the date this letter was written. Please call my office if you have any questions.

Sincerely yours,

Danforth Pollock: Attorney At Law

* * *

Drake Halliwell

Drake Halliwell sighed as he read the short letter for the second time. His grandfather, who he only knew from letters stolen from his father's desk was dead. Drake had never met his grandfather. His father was always so secretive about anyone in their family that he didn't really know who his relatives were. He'd never met anyone with his last name, and his father always changed the subject any time that Drake asked about the family. He didn't know what it was that his father was hiding, but it had always made him more determined than ever to find out anything he could about his family.

Through the stolen letters to his father, Drake had learned very little about Donald Halliwell. What he had learned was actually kind of sad. His grandfather had to have been losing his touch with reality over the years, because in almost every letter that Drake had found the man was raving about demons and evil. The warnings that he sent to his son were always filled with fanciful stories about vanquishing this demon or that one and begging him to come to his senses and return to Halliwell Manor where he was safe.

He sighed again as he refolded the letter and slid it back into the envelope. With his father now dead, there was nothing stopping him from flying to Storyville to meet other members of his family. He just wished that his father was alive to try and stop him. He had read all of his grandfather's letters. Sure he'd dismissed the warnings as the ramblings of a troubled mind, but his mother and father were dead now. The way they'd died had left police baffled, and it lent credence to the rambling letters of his grandfather.

He stood up and scrubbed his fingers through his dark hair as he walked across the room to his closet. He couldn't believe he was actually going to go. What would Aaron say? He thought about how to tell his lover as he started putting clothes into his two suitcases.
Aaron would have to understand that he had to go and sort out family business. He kept telling himself that it was only family business. He'd be back in a few days, right? Then why was he packing two suitcases? He stopped and looked at the amount of clothing he'd packed.

"What am I doing?" He sat down beside his suitcases and raked his fingers through his hair again.

"Looking sexy, for one thing," said Aaron's voice from the bedroom doorway, startling Drake.

"You're not supposed to be here yet," he said lamely, pointing a finger at his brown haired boyfriend.

"Good to see you, too," laughed Aaron, coming the rest of the way into the room. "Packing?"

"I have to go to Storyville," Drake replied, getting back up and closing both suitcases. "My grandfather died."

"D, what?" Aaron rushed to his side, taking one of his hands off of the suitcase to clasp it in his own. "I didn't even know you knew your grandfather."

"I didn't," said Drake, turning to face his lover. "I got a letter today. Delivered by hand." He looked at the envelope on his desk. "I have to go to Storyville."

"Then I'll come with you," said Aaron. "You can't go alone, Drake. You'll need me."

Thoughts of his grandfather's strange letters filled his mind as Aaron spoke. What if the rest of his family was just like his grandfather? What would Aaron think of them? What would he think of him? He knew that he couldn't let Aaron come with him, but he didn't exactly know how to tell the six foot tanned young man that he had to do this alone. He instead put his arms around Aaron and sighed against his chest.

"You can't come with me," he said, thinking of things as he spoke. "You have work, and I'll be surrounded by family. I wouldn't be very good company for you on this trip, Aaron. Stay here and keep this place ready for me to come home." He didn't mention that he'd only been sent one ticket. That was pretty indicative that he was to come alone. What if he'd had a wife?

"You really shouldn't do this on your own, D," said Aaron, holding Drake at arm's length and gazing down at him. "You don't even know your family. What if you don't like them? Or what if they don't like you?"

"Why wouldn't they like me?" Drake asked, wrinkling his brow and looking up at his lover. "I'm a likable guy. Everyone likes me."

"They don't know about you, though," Aaron warned. "What if they don't like gay people?"

"Well, I'm not exactly going to introduce myself as Drake Halliwell: Homosexual," he laughed, hugging Aaron again. "Don't worry so much, big guy."

"When do you leave?" Aaron sighed, relenting but not liking it. He didn't want Drake going anywhere without him. He didn't know why, but something bothered him about letting Drake go to Storyville on his own. It was the cold chill he felt any time he even so much as thought of the city's name.

"In two hours," replied Drake. "I have a ticket. It came with the letter."

"They're working fast to get you there," Aaron said, letting go of his lover and picking up the envelope. "Why is it so important that you be there?"

"The letter mentioned the will, so I imagine something is being left to me," he said. "I can't think what it could be, though."

Aaron looked closer at the letter in his hand and smiled as a thought crossed his mind. "It could be a million dollars."

"I doubt that," laughed Drake. "If the Halliwell family was rich, then why didn't my dad have much money?"

"Well, you said that your dad left the family for some reason," replied Aaron. "Maybe he was cut out of the will."

"Then why would I be in it?" Drake reasoned. "If my father was cut out of the will, then that would mean that any of his offspring would be as well, right?"

"I guess you're probably right about that," sighed Aaron. "Still, it could be something cool."

"Which is a good reason for me to be there when they read the will, right?"

"All right," sighed Aaron. "I'll back off about this, but can I at least drive you to the airport? You won't want to leave your car in the lot there. Trust me."

"Of course I want you to drive me to the airport," gasped Drake, pretending shock. "I'm not going to see you for a few days, and I want to spend as much time with you as I can."

"I can think of one thing we could do to spend some quality time together before you leave," grinned Aaron, wagging his eyebrows suggestively.

"Are you kidding?" Drake laughed, shaking his head. "That would take longer than two hours."

"Yeah," chuckled Aaron as he sat down on the bed beside Drake's suitcases. "So what do you want to do?"

"Food," said Drake, coming over to grab one of the suitcases. "And we really should be heading for the airport. With security as tight as it is, we'd be stuck in the lines when my plane took off."

They were laughing as they walked out of the apartment, both carrying a suitcase. Aaron had no idea that this would be the last happy time he ever spent with Drake, and Drake had no idea what was in store for him. The skies were crystal clear, and the air was hot. The Hawaii sun was bright and free that morning as Drake and Aaron drove to the airport, trading mock insults and laughing like the youngsters they were.

* * *

Damon Halliwell

Damon was just coming in off the slopes when he was stopped by an older man in a dark suit. The man held out an envelope and blinked at Damon. At first, Damon thought he wanted money or something, but as the man smiled at him, all thoughts of money left his mind. His spine tingled when he touched the envelope, and the words the man said would ring in his memory for the rest of his life.

"Mr. Damon Halliwell, my name is Reginald Gaunt," said the man. "The firm I work for handles all of the Halliwell legal issues This letter is from Danforth Pollock, one of our partners. He represented Mr. Donald Halliwell. Please accept my condolences on your loss."

"Loss?" Damon asked as he opened the envelope and extracted the letter. "I haven't lost anyone."

As he read, he realized what the man was talking about. His grandfather had died, and he was being summoned to Storyville to the funeral and the reading of the will. He wondered what his father would say about this. His father had forbidden him to have anything to do with any other Halliwell, and especially any that said they came from Storyville. Though his father never told him why, he knew better than to try and ask. He'd made that mistake once only to listen to his father's three hour tirade about danger and insanity.

"Thank you," he said as he looked up only to find that the man was no longer standing in front of him. In fact, he couldn't find the man anywhere in the lodge lobby. He scratched his stocking cap covered head and headed off to the locker room to change.

"Hey, Halliwell," called Jason Neald as he walked into the locker room, "you looked great out there today. I guess I'd better do some heavy practicing before I face you next week."

"Don't worry," replied Damon. "I won't be here for the competition."

It wasn't until that moment that he realized that he was actually going to go home and secretly pack clothes to take on a trip that would be an out right act of defiance against his father. He was going to use the ticket in the envelope and fly to Storyville and meet these crazy relatives of his no matter what his father would think of it. He chuckled at that thought as Jason came sprinting across the locker room toward him. His over sized dick was flopping back and forth as he ran, and Damon tried very hard no to stare at it.

"What do you mean you won't be here?" Jason asked when his naked form was standing beside Damon. "You have to be here for the competition. I can't beat you if you're not here."

"I have to take a trip," he replied, pulling the zipper of his snowsuit down. "Just don't tell anyone, please."

"Where the Hell are you going?" Jason demanded.

"Storyville," replied Damon with another smile as he thought of how pissed off his father would be when he found out that he was gone and where he'd gone to.

"What the Hell's in Storyville? There's no snow there, Damon," laughed Jason. "What are you going to do there?"

"Hopefully become a millionaire," Damon whispered to himself before chuckling out loud. "Beats the Hell out of me. I tell you what, though, I will come back. If you can get them to reschedule the competition, you can beat me then."

"They won't reschedule anything, and you know it, Halliwell," spat Jason.

"Then you'll just have to wait for the next one," he replied as he pulled his coat out of the locker and put it on. "Now go get dressed or something."

He didn't wait for him to reply. As soon as his coat was on, he was walking back across the locker room and out the door. He had two hours to get packed and ready before he had to figure out how to get to the airport without anyone finding out. He just hoped that Jason would keep his mouth shut until after the plane was in the air.

Twenty minutes later, he was stuffing clothes into his duffel bag and praying that his father wouldn't come home from work early. He
formulated a little lie in his mind just in case he was caught coming out of the house with his duffel. He could say that he was going to
stay at the lodge. He'd stayed there before when a big competition was coming up, but this time it was only a local competition. Nothing really important was riding on it, and his father would never believe he would stay there for such a small competition.

As it turned out, he had nothing to worry about. Elise, the housekeeper, called up to him that his father was going to be late getting home from the office. That gave him plenty of time to get to the airport and in the air before his father even knew what was going on. It was perfect. He couldn't believe his luck. It was almost as if wishing for a way to get out of there without being caught had done something magical or something.

Not trusting the would-be magic any further, Damon grabbed his duffel bag and the letter with the ticket inside and headed out of the house. He was careful not to run into Elise. She would ask too many questions, and if she didn't like his answers, she'd call his father. Then he would be caught for sure. Luckily, he was out of the house and in his car before Elise could so much as leave the kitchen to inquire as to where he was headed.

He drove to the airport wondering just what was in store for him in Storyville. His father had called the Halliwells crazed people who believed in nonsense. He'd never tell him what it was that they believed in, or why it was that he'd adopted their last name instead of having his wife take his own. Adam Halliwell wasn't born a Halliwell. He was born Adam Franks, but on the day that he married Shae Halliwell, he'd taken her last name instead of the other way around. When Damon had asked about it, he'd been told that Halliwell women didn't believe in changing their names, so he'd been asked to change his. He'd been so in love with the late Shae Halliwell that he'd done exactly as she asked.

His mother, Shae, was just another Halliwell that Damon had never met. She'd died in childbirth, and it was then that his father had taken him and moved to Alaska, forbidding Shae's father or brothers any access to Damon as he grew up and withholding any further knowledge of the family from Damon. Now he would find out exactly what it was that his father had hidden from him about his heritage for so many years. When he got off the plane in Storyville, he hoped that the other members of his family that would surely be there for the funeral would tell him everything.

* * *

Dean Halliwell

"Again!" Marla's hateful voice called out, making Dean Halliwell sigh along with the other six dancers who'd been rehearsing for eight hours already.

Marla Hutchins was a hard woman in her late forties, but she'd cut off a man's balls for pointing that out. She had a tight muscular body from her years of dancing. Her fire engine hair was always pulled severely back from her face and tied behind her head. Dean thought it was ludicrous that she wore the flame red leotard that so closely matched her hair. He hated her biting sarcasm whenever they made simple mistakes, too.

Dean Halliwell was the oldest of the dancers that performed at The Sea Crest in Daytona. It was a club that catered to gentlemen with a particular taste, and Dean couldn't believe that he'd ended up working there. All the men that came there cared about was seeing the dancers' tightly packed crotches and bare asses on display as they danced around on stage to collect tips. Still, Marla always liked to start each Saturday night with a huge production that had them all fully clothed when it began and nearly nude when it ended.

Her numbers were always ridiculously long and complicated with flips and lifts and all sorts of other things. He'd nearly broken his neck on more than one occasion when a really difficult move that she wanted done flawlessly proved to be impossible. Still, he made two hundred a night plus the tips that the drunk "gentlemen" stuffed into his jock as he danced through the bar.

Sitting at the center table in the otherwise empty club was an older man in a dark business suit. He had thinning grey hair and a smug look to him that Dean didn't like. He wished that the perverts would stop trying to look so presentable. What he didn't understand was why the man was in the club on a day that it was closed to the public for the rehearsals. He supposed he could be a friend of Marla's. That was if she really had any friends. He couldn't picture her having any sort of fun at all. Naturally then, he couldn't see her with any friends.

He performed the move she wanted perfectly without even thinking about it. His concentration had been broken by the discovery of the silver haired goon at the center table, so he almost missed her praising him for a change. Praise was so rare coming from Marla that he almost thought she was ill. Then he heard a tinge of disappointment in her words and he almost thought everything was normal again until he heard what she was saying.

"I hope you all saw that," she barked at the others. "Its a pity that the only one of you who got the move correctly done was the one person who won't be on stage this Saturday. That's right you sniveling ingrates. Dean, my star dancer, won't even be in Daytona this Saturday night. That means that more of you had better take his example and get the damned move done correctly. That's it for today, though. Now get the Hell out of here. Dean, stay put."

He hadn't planned on going anywhere until he found out what she was talking about. He hadn't made any plans to be out of Daytona on Saturday. If she'd booked him for a private dance, she could have at least told him in private without announcing it to the other dancers. They would be sour enough when they found out about it without her broadcasting it to the entire group.

Private dances paid big bucks, and Dean had been on six in the last three months. That was four more than any of the others, so if he was booked again, they would be more than sour. They'd all be pissed off. There wasn't much to the private dances, really. They paid a grand, and all you had to do was dance nude for a few hours. Nothing sexual had to happen unless you wanted it to, and even then it was only with one person. They never required for any of the dancers to do anything they didn't want to do.

"That was really shitty, Marla," he said as he took the towel that she offered him and wiped his sweaty face. "You could have waited until they were all gone to tell me."

"Tell you what, dear?" Marla asked pretending innocence.

"The private dance," he said. "What I can't figure out, though, is if it isn't here in Daytona, where is it? And how am I getting there?"

"There's no private dance, Dean," she said with a chuckle. "So full of yourself all of the time. Its a pity. Mr. Rallings will explain everything to you."

"Mr. Rallings?" He looked out at the dimly lit man again and then back at Marla. "The suit?"

"He's a lawyer, dear, and he's here to talk to you about something important," she said dismissively. "I'm late for a massage. Have a safe trip and call me if you're going to be gone long, Dean. I mean it."

"Who said I was going anywhere?" Dean demanded impatiently.

"Go talk to Mr. Rallings," Marla replied with a sigh. She was mumbling about defiant children as she walked backstage.

Dean looked at the man again and sighed. He couldn't figure out what the man might have to say to him that would convince him to leave Daytona for any amount of time. There was no one for him to rush off to. His parents were dead, and the rest of his family didn't have anything to do with him. It wasn't as if he didn't like it that way, though. He knew far too well what the rest of the family was about and what they believed about any blood Halliwell. He was sure that it was best that they had nothing to do with him. Perhaps they believed that he wasn't his father's son after all.

There'd been an argument when he was seven years old that he didn't look much like his father. Sure he had the Halliwell dark hair and eyes, but his grandfather had said that he didn't look anything like the rest of the Halliwell men. His father insisted that Dean looked like a distant relative. Some long dead aunt named Prudence or something, but his grandfather was never fully convinced.

The lawyer, Mr. Rallings, was standing up now. Dean looked at him again and wondered what the man had to say. He supposed that there was only one thing that he could do to find out. He walked over to the side of the stage and down the steps to the floor. He had a sinking feeling as he got closer to the man. He thought he'd actually seen him somewhere before once he got close enough to get a better look at him.

"Mr. Halliwell, I'm Milton Rallings," said the suit as he thrust out his hand. Dean nearly shook his hand before he saw the envelope the suit was trying to hand him. "I come with news about your grandfather."

"What has my grandfather done now?" Dean asked as he took the envelope.

"He's been killed, Mr. Halliwell," replied Rallings. "The letter explains why I'm here, and there's a ticket for you in there."

"A ticket?" Dean asked, opening the envelope to find a plane ticket and a folded sheet of paper inside. "What's this about?"

"You're not the smartest of the Halliwell's I see," replied Rallings with a slow shake of his head. "As I said, the details are in the letter. I must go now, there are important things to be done, and I'm not even half finished with my work. You'll meet with Mr. Pollock when your plane lands in Storyville."

With that, the man walked down the isle of tables toward the door. Dean watched him go before he sat down at the table and pulled the sheet of paper out of the envelope. He already knew what the letter was going to say. If his grandfather was in fact dead, then that meant the Halliwells were looking for the next generation of witches to carry on the legacy, or whatever they called it. He didn't remember much from his childhood in Halliwell Manor, but he remembered enough to make his stomach crawl as he read over the contents of the letter.

The reading of the will. That's what made his skin crawl. His grandfather was indeed dead, but what did that mean for him? What inheritance was waiting for him in Storyville? What secrets would be uncovered inside the walls of Halliwell Manor, for he was sure that was where his grandfather's urn would be, and the reading of the will would no doubt take place in the sun room.

When his father died, Dean was only six years old, but he still remembered the urn on the table in the center of the dining room of Halliwell Manor. He remembered the strange looks that everyone gave him when he walked up and put his hands on the sides of the urn and nodding his head. He was sure that the rest of that memory had been his imagination, but he believed at the time that his father's spirit had spoken to him. He believed that his father told him not to cry, that death was not the end, and soon he would be one of the most powerful witches in the Halliwell family.

It had taken him a year to tell his mother about what he'd believed had happened when he touched his father's urn. When he did tell her, she became so scared that she packed everything she could and took him away from Halliwell Manor and away from Storyville. They'd moved to Daytona, and she'd told him not to tell anyone what he'd thought he heard, and she'd told him to forget that he was a Halliwell, forget that his family was so heavily into the occult. He hadn't even known what that meant at that age, but she'd made him say that he would forget, and in a way he actually did for a while.

Strange things continued to happen as he grew up, but knew better than to tell her about them. He'd talked to the spirit of Billy James, his seventh grade best friend after he'd been killed by a drunk driver driving in front of the school. Billy's spirit had told him to help his mother deal with his death, but Dean knew that if he told Billy's mom about it, she'd think he was crazy and tell his mother. He couldn't risk that.

Now, waiting for him in Storyville was something that he'd tried so hard to deny to himself for over ten years. The truth waited in Storyville inside Halliwell Manor, and he knew that he wouldn't rest until he stood inside that house again knowing every ounce of that truth. He wouldn't rest until he knew if he really was crazy or if something more unbelievable was going on in his life. He had to go to the reading of the will.

* * *

The sun rode high in the sky in Storyville as three strangers walked out of different boarding ramps and into the airport to get what little luggage they'd brought with them from their homes. The first time they saw each other, they were just bending over the luggage carousel to pick up bags with the name Halliwell printed on the tags. When each of them noticed that the bags that the others chose also said the same name, they looked at each other for a moment without moving.

The shortest of the trio smiled and shook his head. He looked to be no older than eighteen, but there was life in his eyes. Life that was
full of experience. Anyone could see the intelligence when they looked into the twin pools of onyx. "This isn't the way I thought I'd meet my family," he said with a chuckle. "I'm Drake Halliwell."

The oldest of them smiled uncertainly and put out his hand. He was covered in muscles and a very large, black tribal tattoo covered his right arm from shoulder to elbow. He had the same dark hair and eyes as the other two, and there was no doubt for either of them that he was family. "Dean Halliwell," he said as Drake shook his hand.

"That just leaves me, then," laughed the third young man. His pale skin was framed by the Halliwell dark locks and centered with the same family dark eyes. "I'm Damon Halliwell."

"Well, I can definitely see the family resemblance in both of you," said Dean with a smile. "Its nice, actually. After being told I probably wasn't even a Halliwell for so long, its nice to see that I look like someone in the family."

"Oh, you're all three definitely Halliwell men," said another man who had just walked up to the carousel. "Dean, Drake and Damon Halliwell, I'm Danforth Pollock, your attorney."

The man looked to be at least eighty years old. He had very thin silver hair and large, watery blue eyes. His skin was extremely wrinkled, and his jowls sagged slightly. Dean couldn't help thinking that the man had a grandfatherly appearance. He instantly liked him, which was strange for him. He was never one to like anyone at first. He'd always had to get to know the person before he'd commit himself either way.

"Attorney? What do we need an attorney for?" Drake asked, looking from one of his newly met cousins to the other and back.

"Perhaps I should explain myself better," said Mr. Pollock. "I am the Halliwell family attorney. I represent all of your family's interests."

"Are you here to take us to the manor?" Dean asked, stepping forward with his suitcases.

"You know of the manor?" Pollock replied, openly shocked. "I was under the understanding that none of you knew much about the family."

"I lived at the manor until I was seven years old," explained Dean."My memories of it are patchy at best, but I do remember living there. I just thought that we would be staying there while we're in town."

"Yes, of course," said Mr. Pollock. "If you'll follow me to the car, I'll take you to the manor to get settled."

The drive through Storyville was spent in silence. The three cousins sat in the back seat of a limousine with Mr. Pollock. None of them wanted to talk much as they were all watching the scenery pass by the windows of the car. They drove through a very nice section of Storyville with streets lined with dogwood and spruce trees. Here and there they saw a sycamore or a pine tree. The houses were all moderately sized and very beautiful with dark brick construction and white and dark brown stucco.

Children played in yards as they drove by, and Dean had trouble thinking of the horrible things that he remembered hearing his grandfather telling his father about when he was younger, as he watched such joyous expressions pass by his window. He hoped that everything he remembered was only his imagination and not real. How could anything bad be true when the children ofStoryville looked so obliviously happy?

Their first look at Halliwell Manor would have silenced them if they hadn't already kept their silence. The house was three stories tall, constructed of deep red bricks. Each corner of the the house had white bricks to form the crease. The windows were obviously floor to ceiling, and the trees in the yard were all young spruce and sycamores.

The car pulled into the long driveway and stopped just in front of the two car garage at the back of the property. The cousins waited, after gathering their luggage from the trunk, for Mr. Pollock to get out of the car and walk them into the back door of the house. The back door brought them into the spacious kitchen with its pale yellow walls and hip high white tile. Cabinets lined almost the entire kitchen, and the first thing they really noticed was the dishwasher.

From the kitchen, they entered the huge dining room with its long mahogany table and eight chairs. A crystal chandelier hung above the table with a mantle behind the table. The floor was hard wood and so polished that you could almost see yourself reflected in it. But what they noticed right away was in the hall through the double french doors. There on a small round table stood an urn with a name plate sitting in front of it.

"Your grandfather's remains," said Pollock when all three of them had stopped to stare at the urn. "After the reading of the will, I'll be flying to San Francisco to deliver the remains to the family crypt."

"San Francisco?" Drake asked, turning to face the lawyer.

"Yes," he replied. "The family crypt is in California. Almost all of the Halliwells are entombed there."

"Entombed?" Damon asked.

"The accepted way of burial in this family," explained Pollock. "Only your own parents aren't entombed where they're supposed to be."

"Will there be many people here for the funeral in the morning?" Dean asked, turning to face them all finally. "More family?"

"You three are the last of the Halliwell family," said Pollock sadly. "Other than your surviving parents. The Halliwell bloodline is now up to the three of you to continue."

That statement made each of them swallow hard. For each of them to have to sire offspring, that would require something that was almost completely alien to them. They each wondered what the others would think when they learned the truth. How disgusted would the others be when they learned? That was the thought that ran through each of their minds.

"Well, perhaps I should have waited to say that," the lawyer said with a slight blush. "Let me show you to the rooms you'll be using, so you can unpack and settle in. The funeral will be at ten tomorrow morning, and the reading of the will the day after. I advise you all to prepare yourselves for the ritual of the reading."

The ritual of the reading? Dean wondered just what ritual that would be. He wanted to place his hands on the urn and see if his grandfather's spirit would actually talk to him, but he didn't want his new cousins to see him do it. They would think he was crazy for sure then. The room Pollock left him in was huge. There was a queen sized bed and a spacious walk in closet. He put his clothes away in the chest of drawers and sat on the bed. As he looked around the room, memories flashed before him. He could remembered playing with toys on this very floor as a child. His own bed had sat in the corner across the room. And the bed he now sat on was where his mother and father had slept. This was the room that he'd spent the first seven years of his life living in.

Drake loved the room he'd been left in. The bed was huge, bigger than any he'd ever slept in, and it looked so comfortable and inviting. He couldn't wait to climb into it and lose himself in the fluffy comforter. There was a bathroom connected to his room, and inside was a large claw foot tub. He thought about soaking in that tub, and a moan escaped him. He wished that Aaron was there with him to see the place. He couldn't wait to call him and tell him all about it. After he'd put his clothes away, he sat down on a bench in front of the window, and looked out at the street. There were kids playing in the yards across the street, and cars traveled up and down in front of the house. He had no idea how he would ever be able to sire a child, but he knew that he wanted to do whatever it took to keep this house.

Damon sat on the queen sized bed in his own room, staring at an eight by ten framed photograph of his mother. He knew it was her, because a little silver plate at the base of the frame had been engraved with "Shae". He'd never seen pictures of his mother before. His father had disposed of them all long ago. He saw himself in her face, and he couldn't help the tears that sprang to his eyes as he gazed at the picture.

The house was too much to be true, and with the picture of his mother in his room it just seemed like he was destined to be there. How could his father have denied him this house for so long? What craziness had happened here to make him run away? He supposed he'd find out soon enough. There was much more of the house for him to explore.

The sun had gone down by the time the three cousins came down the stairs in search of food. All three were yawning and it was clear that each had sleep on their minds after they had eaten. Knowledge of what lay ahead of them in the morning was definitely somewhere on their minds. A funeral for a man that two of them had never meant and the other could barely remember was not something any of them were looking forward to. They'd wanted to meet family, but it seemed they were the only family they had left.

They found two whole chickens in the refrigerator. All that was needed to do was to put them in the microwave and heat them. Soon they were sitting at the bar in the kitchen, happily eating away and talking. The talk was slow at first, but as they ate together they became more comfortable with each other, and the words came more freely.

"What kind of ritual do you think he was talking about for the reading of the will?" Damon asked as he pulled the meat off the bones in front of him. "I mean, my dad says that all sorts of crazy things happen in this house. That's why he didn't want me to have anything to do with this place."

"My father said the same thing," said Drake. "I even saw letters that Grandfather had written to him begging him to come back here. He talked about vanquishing demons and all kinds of strange things."

"So its all true then," sighed Dean, putting down his glass of milk and staring at his plate. "All of the stories my mother used to tell me about powerful witches and magic, the things that I thought I imagined and all of the things my own father was so against. They're all true."

"What are you talking about?" Damon asked. "What's all true?"

"I think I know what we stand to inherit once the will is read," he replied instead of answering.

"The house?" Damon asked excitedly.

"Not just the house," Dean said slowly. He didn't want them to think he was crazy. Especially not now that he knew he wasn't. "There's a Halliwell legacy that we'll inherit along with it, if what I think is true."

"What do you think is true?" Drake asked. "You don't seriously think that Grandfather was telling the truth about demons and the like."

"Why don't we all just wait until the will is read to say what we really think is true," counseled Dean. "That way, you'll both know as much as I do. But understand one thing. We are intended to live in this house. Together."

They were each silent after that. Drake and Damon were trying to puzzle out what Dean was talking about. Damon thought Dean may actually be as loony as their grandfather had been. There was no way that demons really existed, and witches were for fairy tales. He didn't care what the will had to say about it. There was no way he would believe in such things.

As tired as they were, they each slept fitfully that night. No matter what they thought they believed to be the truth, they were each worried about what was in that will. They'd have another whole day to wait before they found out, and that would be agonizing. They'd each resigned themselves to the fact that there was probably no money, very little if any at all. The house would be a great inheritance, but none of them were sure about living with each other. They each had their secrets that they wanted no one, especially cousins, to learn of.

Pollock was there bright and early at six to wake them up. They each showered and shaved before putting on the suits that the lawyer had brought with him. No one commented on the fact that he'd known their sizes without having to ask. Breakfast was a silent affair as each of them were worried about who would be coming to the funeral. It was strange enough to have the funeral in the manor, but if there was no family to come, then who?

The funeral turned out to be some kind of wiccan thing that was actually held in the sun room off the dining room. The entire law firm had turned up as well as neighbors and friends of their grandfather's. There were questions for each of them from various neighbors. Most wanted to know if they would be living in the manor, or if the estate itself would be sold. The three cousins had no answers for those questions. They didn't even know if they would inherit the manor.

Each of them were treated to more condolences from strangers before the house was free of mourners. They each retired to their rooms to change into comfortable clothes before coming downstairs again for a light lunch of things that mourners had brought with them that morning. The question of who would inherit the manor was still on their minds, and each hoped that he would be the one to inherit. Of the three, only Dean had actually lived in the manor at all. He naturally believed that he was the one who should inherit, but he wasn't sure that he was prepared to move back to Storyville even if he did.

After lunch was eaten and cleaned up, the three sat in the living room and tried to get to know each other a little better. They each had
things they didn't want to tell the other two, but condensed versions of their lives seemed safe enough to share. Dean was worried about what his cousins would think if they knew what kind of dancing he did as well as the "extra services" he performed on occasion. He didn't want them to think badly of him, because, he realized, he wanted them in his life. He just didn't know how he would fit them into his life without letting them know what he did for a living.

"My father has no idea that I'm here," said Damon when they started to talk about their families. "At least, I hope he doesn't. He didn't know I was coming here. I know that much, but I suppose he could know that I'm here by now."

"You didn't tell him where you were going?" Dean asked.

"My father would have had a fit if he'd know I even got the letter from the lawyer," replied Damon. "He hates the Halliwell's for some reason. You should hear him rant about the family when he's drunk."

"My parents were pretty much the same," offered Drake. "I read letters that Grandfather sent to my dad, and I have to say that what my dad said about the family seemed pretty true from the letters I read."

"What was in the letters?" Dean asked, leaning forward in his seat. He was very interested in what his grandfather had written to Drake's father; his uncle he supposed. If magic was mentioned, then he wouldn't feel so stupid when he brought up his life inside the manor as a child.

"A lot of stuff about his only being safe here at the manor," replied Drake. "That and ramblings about demons and curses. It was all really strange. My dad said that Grandfather wasn't mentally stable, and from those letters, I think he was probably right."

"You think that Grandfather was crazy because he talked about demons and curses?" Dean asked. "You don't believe in magic, do you?"

"Magicians are just tricksters," Drake replied slowly. He didn't know where his cousin was going with this. "As for demons, I've never seen one before, so . . ."

"Just because you've never seen one doesn't mean they don't exist," said Damon, who had been silent until that moment.

"You believe in demons?" Drake responded, looking at him.

"Well, if you believe what they teach in church, then demons have to exist," he reasoned.

"Well, I don't go to any church," Drake said slowly. "We've never really gone to church."

"Lucky you," mumbled Dean, thinking about how religious his mother had become after leaving Storyville.

"What about you, Dean?" Damon asked. "Do you believe in demons?"

"I don't really have a choice," he said before he could stop himself. He hadn't planned on telling them just how his father had died. After hearing Drake talk about how crazy he thought their grandfather was for writing about demons, he wasn't sure he wanted to tell them anything about what he knew was truth.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Drake asked.

"My father was killed by a demon when I was six years old," he said, throwing caution to the wind. If things went badly, he could always just go back to Daytona and forget he ever met his cousins.

"An actual demon?" Damon asked. "A demon killed your dad?"

"Yes," he said with more conviction. "He was killed right here in Halliwell Manor."

"And you think it was a demon that killed him?" Drake asked, looking at him with disbelief clearly stamped on his face.

"I know it was a demon," replied Dean. "I saw him appear out of thin air and throw some kind of ball of light at my father. I ran from the room and screamed for my mother, but I know what I saw. My dad was dead by the time Grandfather got to the sun room, and the demon was gone."

Maybe it was just being back inside the manor. Dean didn't know, but he remembered so much more now than he did in Daytona. He remembered the things he'd seen his father do before the demon killed him. When the demon first appeared, his father had yelled for him to run, but Dean was paralyzed with fear. He saw his father hold out his hands as if to ward the demon off, and then what looked like lightning shot out of the center of his palms and shot across the room toward the demon, but the demon opened his right hand and a ball of light appeared in it. Dean saw the ball of light hit his father at the same time his father's lightning hit the demon. Then he ran.

"A ball of light?" Drake asked, and Dean was sorry he'd said anything when he saw the look on his cousin's face.

"I know what I saw," he said. "You don't have to believe me. I don't care. It doesn't change what I saw. I know you don't believe in real magic, but you probably will soon enough."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Damon asked. "What makes you think that we'll believe in magic soon?"

"Look, Grandfather, my father and probably your own parents were witches," Dean said, deciding to not coddle his cousins. "Real witches. I don't mean the kind you read about in stories and see on television. They were good witches. They fought demons and evil every day. I don't know why your parents left the manor, but my father died, and my mother couldn't handle knowing what she knew, so she took me and left Storyville. Don't sit there and tell me that you think I'm crazy, either. If you don't believe me, just keep it to yourself."

"My mother was murdered," Drake said slowly. "I don't know who did it, but I remember my father ranting about how they hadn't gotten far enough away. The police never found out who murdered her, but my dad always seemed like he knew. He cursed Grandfather over and over again, and he said that running away hadn't saved them."

"Why didn't he just bring you back to the manor?" Dean asked, forgetting all about the little speech he'd given his cousins about keeping their disbelief to themselves.

"Grandfather begged him to," said Drake. "I read a letter from him, and he tried to tell my father that we'd only be safe in the manor. My father wouldn't even talk to Grandfather, though. He told me never to open the mail, and I was never to talk to another Halliwell again. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. I never saw anymore letters from Grandfather after that."

"My mother was killed in a car accident three years ago," said Dean. "No demon got her, but do you think demons got your parents?"

"I don't believe in demons, Dean," sighed Drake. "My mother was murdered by some maniac or something. My father was murdered by someone who worked for him. No demons there."

Dean wanted to say that he shouldn't be so sure that the man who killed his father hadn't been a demon, but he didn't want to fight with Drake. He felt sorry for him. His own parents had been murdered were dead, so he knew how painful it was. His mother's killer hadn't been a demon, but that didn't make it any easier for him to be without her than it had been to go without his father.

"My mother died in childbirth," Damon said softly. "My father isn't a Halliwell, he just took the name when he married my mother. He didn't want anything to do with the rest of the family, either, but he never said anything about demons. He did say that Grandfather was crazy, but he never told me why he believed that. He just made me go to church every Sunday, and he never let me have anything to do with any Halliwells. Not that any came to Alaska to look for us."

They were all quiet after that, and they went their separate ways. Dean went back up to his room. He kept remember more an more the more he thought about his time in the manor as a child, and he was pretty sure what the will would say now. He believed that they each would inherit the manor, and they would be expected to live there. He didn't know what help he would be if a demon ever came. The only "power" he had he'd only used twice, and it wasn't something that would kill a demon. Talking to the dead wasn't something that would help anyone really.

They each slept fitfully that night. Drake had nightmares about demons throwing balls of light at him. He woke up three times before he finally decided that sleep wasn't going to be a part of his long night. Luckily, the sun was just starting to come up when he started to get dressed. He was surprised to see both of his cousins sitting at the kitchen bar when he came down to find something to eat.

"Didn't sleep well either?" Damon asked as Drake went to the refrigerator.

"Not really," he replied.

"There are scrambled eggs and bacon on the stove," said Dean. "Help yourself."

They were just finished cleaning up when the doorbell chimed. They looked at each other wondering who would be there so early in the morning. Dean went to the door with his cousins close behind him. Pollock, Rallings and Gaunt were on the other side of the door. Dean simply moved aside to let the three lawyers into the house.

"Good morning, Mr. Halliwell," said Mr. Pollock. "How are the three of you getting along?"

"Fine, thank you," replied Dean. He didn't know what to say about the other two, though.

"Very good," said Pollock cheerfully. "Shall we go to the sun room? Its time to read the will."

The cousins followed him silently with the other two lawyers tailing them. Each took a seat when they entered the sun room. Their grandfather's urn still sat on the table with flowers all around it. Mr. Pollock took the urn and placed it on the mantle. He told them to keep an open mind as he pulled items out of his bag. He made a large circle of seven white candles on the floor in the center of the room, lit each one and then stood in front of the urn. Dean knew what he was doing, but he didn't know if it would work. Damon and Drake thought the lawyer had cracked, but they knew better than to say anything before the will was read. They had to just sit and wait for whatever he was attempting to fail before they'd find out, at last, what was in the will.

"Hear these words, hear my cry. Spirit from the other side. Come to me, I summon thee. Cross now the great divide," said Pollock, and each of the young men looked at him like he was crazy for a second before a flash of spiraling white lights lit up the center of the circle of candles.

Coming up . . .

What will happen next? Who is Mr. Pollock summoning, and when do the cousins find out that they are witches? These questions will be answered in Chapter One: Something Witchy This Way Comes. Coming soon!