Charmed: The New Power Of Three
By Julien Gregg
Chapter Twelve:
Exposure Shock Part Two

© 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 is borrowed from the television show. However, since no money is being made by this tale, I don't feel horrible about borrowing anything.

"What do we do?" Damon asked, raising his hands. He was prepared to freeze everyone if he had to.

"That won't do any good now," said Xander. "They've seen too much. The news people are coming now."

Dean turned to look, and a female reporter, cameraman and several other people were advancing toward the rubble that had been Halliwell Manor. This wasn't good. He searched his brain for a spell that could undo this, but nothing came to mind. He thought of the book, but he knew that it was gone. The book had been destroyed along with everything else in the manor.

"There has to be something," Drake said, looking from Dean to Damon and back. "We can't just let this go on."

"We don't have a choice," said Dean as he watched the reporter stop right on the sidewalk just where the rubble began. "No spell will get us out of this. We don't even have the book anymore."

"We have to have the book," moaned Damon. "Without it, we're not charmed."

"We're still charmed," said Dean. "I can feel it. We just have to figure out how to restore the book."

"That doesn't help us with our current situation, Dean," reminded Damon. "The camera is rolling, and that reporter is listening to everything we're saying. We have to get out of here."

"Jason!" Drake cried, lifting his head to the heavens.

"He won't come," said David. "He can't expose himself. So far the only thing these people have seen are witches and demons. Let's keep it that way."

As he said that, the wind seemed to pick up. It didn't take them long to realize that the wind was coming from the center of what was left of the house. It blew debris all over the place. Each of them had to cover their faces and turn away. The people in the street backed up as did the reporter and her entourage. When the wind died and the witches turned to look for the source of it they saw a large bronze door standing in the center of what used to be the manor. As they watched in astonishment it opened and a red haired man was behind it.

"Get in here, all of you," he said quickly, eyeing the people everywhere. "Now!"

They looked at each other in shock. The glow that surrounded the red haired man told them he was magical and not evil, but who was he? As they watched the reporter recover from her cowed position after the wind, they walked through the door one after another until the door slammed shut behind them.

They were standing in an enormous hall. The floor under their feet was hard wood panels. Some of them had magical symbols engraved in them. A long desk sat across from them and two portraits of male witches that looked almost identical hung on the wall behind it.

"Welcome to Magic School," said the red haired man. He was dressed in a long white robe, and he looked like an angel. "My name is Cecil. I'm in charge of half of the school. My colleague, Gavin, will be with us shortly. We're going to try to help you sort out the mess you've found yourselves in."

"How did you . . ."

"Magic," said Cecil, cutting Drake off. "Today, magic is in serious jeopardy. You've been exposed as witches while at the same time, demons have exposed themselves. This is a truly dark day."

"We didn't intend . . ."

"It isn't important that you didn't intend to expose yourselves, Dean," Cecil said, cutting Dean off. "What is important is that you are alive." He looked at Xander and his brothers. "You three, though you have put magic in danger by traveling back through time, have saved them the fate that we foresaw today."

"You mean . . ."

"The demons would have succeeded in killing the charmed ones without your help," said another voice as a dark haired man came into the hall, cutting Xander off. "Though we do not agree with your method, we are happy that you took action to save your father and his cousins. Magic owes you a great debt."

"Gavin," said Cecil, "we need to summon the others."

"Soon, Cecil," replied Gavin. "I believe Drake has something that he would like to ask me."

Drake looked at the man in confusion. He didn't even know him. How was he supposed to have a question for him if he didn't know him? He said as much.

"My name is Gavin," came the reply when Drake voiced his question. "I am a Senior Guardian of Destiny. I believe you feel cheated. You said you would do no more good magic if you could not have Aaron in your life."

The realization dawned on Drake like a pile of bricks. This was a guardian, a Senior guardian. They'd taken Aaron from him, broken his heart and made it impossible for him to think of anything else. He suddenly had a river of questions for this man that he still didn't really know.

"Why?" he asked unable to think of anything else.

"Aaron is a very important man now, Drake," replied Gavin. His voice was soothing, and his demeanor was clam. He looked at Drake with pure love on his face. "His assignment was to save Sebastian from the curse. He succeeded in doing that, but he was never supposed to reunite with you. Destiny has called him to a wonderful life, and you would only distract him from his calling."

"That isn't fair," said Drake, but there was no anger in his voice. There was only sadness. "You expect me to fight evil when all I know about good is that it took the man I love away from me and broke my heart. You have to know that I will never do anything to help another guardian as long as I live."

"Drake," moaned Dean, but Gavin held up a hand to silence him.

"He is allowed to speak what is in his heart, Dean," he said. "You will fight evil, Drake. Not because a guardian is telling you to, but because it is in your blood to fight. Having Aaron with you would have distracted you as well. You would have never been on top of your powers, and innocents would have lost their lives."

"Don't give me that," said Drake, and finally a bit of anger sharpened his tongue. "You can take my powers away from me now, Gavin. What your kind has done for me is show me that goodness isn't as good as we thought. Its painful and cruel, a life filled with loneliness that your kind inflicted. I don't want to be charmed anymore."

The guardian looked at Drake for a long moment without speaking at all. Dean held his breath as he thought about what Drake had said. If the guardian took his power, then the three of them would no longer be charmed. Sure, he and Damon would still be witches, but the power of three would have been destroyed until it was reconstituted with Xander, Matthew and Tory in the future. It made him feel sick just thinking about it.

"Uncle Drake, think about what you're saying," warned Tory, stepping forward and putting his hand on Drake's shoulder. "Your asking a Guardian of Destiny to take away the power of three. Do you know how vulnerable you will be without it?"

"Do any of you really know how vulnerable I am with this pain in my heart?" Drake replied. "I can't think of anything else. All I know is that good took away my happiness and my reason to fight. If I can't have the love of the man that my heart belongs to, then what's the point? What's worth saving? I should just embrace the demonic blood in my veins. At least then I won't feel this pain anymore."

Just as he said those words a large white light spun around an empty space in the hall and two more guardians appeared. Neither of them were Aaron, Drake noticed. He went back to glaring at Gavin. Calling his fellow guardians would do no good. If he couldn't have Aaron, he was finished with good magic forever. He didn't know about actually embracing the demonic blood in him, but vanquishing demons would stop.

"Gavin," said one of the guardians that had just arrived. He didn't look to be a day older than sixteen with blond hair and blue eyes. His angelic baby face was tight with annoyance as he looked at Gavin. "You let this young man throw his tantrum when magic is threatened and everyone on Earth is hearing about what happened?"

"It is in his heart, Charles," replied Gavin. "I can not stand in the way of a heart's will."

"So we allow this witch to make demands of us?" said the other guardian. This one looked no older than Charles. He had dark hair and eyes, but the look on his face wasn't annoyance. It was anger.

"What else would you have me do, Raymond?" Gavin asked, turning to his fellow guardians. "Free will makes it impossible to force Drake Halliwell to do anything his heart doesn't want to do. You both know that. Saving magic is pointless if we lose a charmed one to the side of evil."

"Evil can't be allowed to claim another charmed one," said Cecil, who had stayed out of the discussion until that moment. "The balance would be tipped in the wrong favor permanently."

"I think it best if we discuss this without a white lighter present," said Raymond, eying Cecil coolly.

"Drake, we understand that your heart is broken," said Raymond. "We will discuss this matter amongst ourselves. Make no decisions until we return."

With that said the three guardians orbed out of Magic School. The witches were left to stare at Cecil. He didn't look happy about their leaving, but he smiled warmly at the witches. They wondered just what was going to happen next. Could Drake really be thinking about crossing the line between good and evil?

Cecil gave them a short tour of Magic School to keep them occupied while the guardians discussed Drake. He didn't show them everything. In fact he didn't show them much at all. What they saw were six classrooms with students learning different forms of magic in each one. The witches had many questions, but Xander and his brothers seemed bored.

"What's wrong, Xander?" Dean asked, stepping up beside his son.

"We've seen all of Magic School already," replied Xander. "We went to school here, and for Tory that wasn't but a year ago."

"You went to school here at Magic School?" Damon asked, coming up on Xander's other side.

"Well yeah," said Xander with a shrug. "You can't really send magical children to a public school, can you? I mean if any of us had actually used magic in front of a teacher or the other children . . ."

They continued on the tour of classrooms as Dean and Damon tried to get more information about Xander's childhood. He wouldn't tell them much of anything. He kept telling them that it was dangerous to reveal the future. He'd already said too much as it was. He wished that Sebastian had come back with them.

They came to the great library of Magic School and David was in awe. Cases of shelves lined the entire library with two long tables in the center of the room. Another desk like the one in the hall sat in the library, and a creature they couldn't identify on sight was seated behind the desk. It smiled at them when they came in.

"The charmed ones," said the creature. His voice was like sandpaper, and when he stood, they saw that he was no taller than three feet. "I'm honored."

"Hanz," said Cecil, "I'm giving the charmed ones a tour of the school." He turned to the witches and said, "This is Hanz, he's our librarian."

"Forgive me, Hanz, but what race . . ."

"I'm a gnome," said Hanz, cutting David off. "I'm surprised that you don't know of us."

"We're new to the craft," explained Dean quickly. "We only received our powers recently. We didn't mean to offend you."

"No offence taken, Dean," said Hanz, surprising Dean. He knew his name. "My family has been at Magic School for generations. You'll learn much about us in the future."

"The future," said Damon in wonder, staring at Hanz. Hanz's attention was sieged by Xander, Matthew and Tory.

"What are you three doing here?" Hanz asked. "You're not supposed to be adults. You haven't even been born!"

"You know who we are?" Matthew asked in astonishment.

"I am a gone, Master Matthew," replied Hanz. "We see all time and everything in it. You have not answered my question."

"We cast a spell and came back in time to save our father and our uncles," Tory said quickly.

"Messing with time is not safe," muttered Hanz, but Cecil was already ushering the witches out of the library. David wanted to stay and read some of the books, but Cecil nearly shoved him out of the room.

"We'll need his help later," said Cecil. "What we'll need to change the memory of the world is likely in one of the books in the library. Then we'll have to send Xander, Matthew and Tory back to their time."

"You're going to send us back?" Matthew asked, stopping to look at Cecil in amazement.

"Of course," replied Cecil. "We can't have future witches running around in our time. You are needed in your own time. You've succeeded in saving the charmed ones, so you must go back."

They were back in the grand hall by then, and Drake saw that the three guardians had returned. They looked at him calmly, but his stomach was in turmoil. He was serious about leaving his charmed destiny behind if they continued to keep Aaron from him. He didn't see Aaron in the hall, so he was ready to shimmer out of Magic School.

"We have come to a decision," said Gavin when they were all back to where they started. "There is a great trial coming for the charmed ones. If you succeed in stopping the great threat to destiny, we will return Aaron. Be warned, however, your relationship with Aaron can not be the cause to the detriment of one single innocent life or a shred of destiny being changed."

"You want us to vanquish the demons that exposed us?" Drake asked, looking at each of the guardians in turn. He wasn't sure about this. What if they did what was asked of them and Aaron wasn't returned? Could the guardians be trying to trick them into doing something to save destiny?

"No demons," said Raymond. "What you are about to face is something even more powerful than demons. This threat concerns all of magic. The charmed line doesn't belong exclusively to good magic, Drake. There are equal counterparts for every facet of good magic."

"Evil charmed ones?" Dean asked in shock. He'd put it together from what they'd said, but he couldn't believe it.

"Yes, Dean," said Gavin. "There are three warlocks who also have a version of the power of three on their side. They'll come for you soon, and you must stop them at all costs. Their magic is just as great and powerful as yours, and they intend to use it to destroy everything good."

"They're coming here?" Damon gasped, looking around him nervously.

"Evil can not come to Magic School," explained Gavin. "Enchantments safeguard this school from evil. If evil ever learns where the school actually is, the school simply moves again."

"We can't fight them if they can't get to us," said Dean. "We don't have a home left."

"Construction on your coffee house is complete. There are rooms above the shop for you to stay in while Halliwell Manor is rebuilt," said Gavin. "What we need to deal with first is changing what the world believe's they saw."

"What do you mean?" Damon asked. "I thought no spells could change . . ."

"You are not ordinary witches, Damon," said Raymond. "You are the charmed ones. What won't work for some will work for you. The power of three can do many things. This it cannot do alone, but with our help, and the help of Elder white lighters, we will change the world's memory."

"Cecil, it is time to summon the Elders," said Gavin, looking at the red haired white lighter.

Cecil closed his eyes and tilted his head back. The witches watched him closely, but nothing happened for a few minutes. Then, behind them, two more white lighters orbed into Magic School. They wore white robes, and they glowed like Cecil. One was a black man with close cropped black hair. He looked to be young almost as young as the guardians. The other was olive skinned with dark hair and brown eyes. He looked no older than the other.

"Franklin and Walter, welcome," said Gavin, looking behind the witches and causing them to turn around.

"It is time," said the black white lighter. "Summon Hanz."

"No need, Elder Franklin," said the gnome, coming into the hall, carrying a dark circular disk. "I've brought the cartouche. All that is needed is for everyone to touch it while I say the spell."

"Very well," said Franklin. "If everyone would gather around and place their right index finger on the cartouche, we'll get started."

"This will take a lot of power," said Gavin when the witches only stood there. "Our collective powers coupled with yours will be enough to change what the world remembers."

Each of them stepped up to the gnome as he levitated to a height that made it easier for them to touch the cartouche. They each placed their index finger on the cartouche. It was decorated with magical symbols carved into its surface. It felt like glass, and it was cool to the touch. White light enveloped them as soon as everyone had their finger on the cartouche, and the gnome began to speak in a language that the witches had never heard before.

"Antok novik du plat nog," he said, and a bright blue light burst from the center of the cartouche. It extended to the ceiling and beyond.

In homes around the world, the news reports suddenly changed to say that the bombing of the house in Storyville was suspected to be the work of terrorists and people should take precautions to safeguard themselves and their homes. Memories changed, and everyone forgot about what they'd seen before. The spell was complete.

"It is done," said Hanz in english when the blue light disappeared.

"Let me warn you that this isn't a permanent fix," said Cecil as they all stepped back from the circle. "The memories we implanted only cover the real ones, and any further reminders will break the spell we've just cast. Be careful and secretive in the future."

"So that's it?" Dean asked, looking at each of them in turn. "Everything is all right again?"

"Nothing is all right as long as there is still evil in the world, Dean," said Franklin. "Your secret is once again safe so that you can fight the evil in the world."

"Drake, remember what we've said here," said Raymond. "If the three of you face this dire threat and stop what is about to happen, Aaron will be allowed to return to you."

"However," said Charles, "it will only be on a trial basis. If you lose one innocent life or destiny is threatened in any way, Aaron will be recycled and assigned to another charge."

Once the words were out of his mouth, Charles, Raymond and the Elder white lighters orbed out of magic school, leaving the witches to look at Gavin and Cecil. They didn't help to send the children back to the future. Dean had no idea how they were going to manage it. It had taken so much power just to send Xander back the first time.

"It is time," said Cecil. "You must send the young witches back to their time."

"But how?" Damon asked before Dean could speak up. "We don't have a spell that will do it. We need . . ."

"The Book of Shadows was destroyed with the manor," said Drake, interrupting Damon.

"Your Book of Shadows is a magical tome," said Cecil.

"It can protect itself from great evil, and it surely survived the destruction of the manor," said Gavin. "All you need do is call out to it with magic, and it will recognize you and come to you."

Dean looked at them both for a second. His mind filled with words, but he couldn't think of the right ones to put together to call the book. A look at his cousins told him they were both baffled as well. Then, slowly a spell formed in his mind. Suddenly it was as if the right words placed themselves in order and he smiled.

"From every cranny and nook, restore the magic, bring me the book," he said, and in a flash of white light, the Book of Shadows appeared in his hands. He looked down at it in amazement. "It worked!"

"There is spell inside that book that will send your children back to their future," said Cecil, walking over to stand in front of Dean.

Dean walked over to the desk and placed the book on it. He flipped through the pages until he found a spell written by his great great great great grandmother, Penelope Halliwell. He read it silently and then looked at his sons. He was so proud of them. The powers that they possessed were remarkable, and they'd come back in time to save him and his cousins from death.

Xander with his raven black hair and dark eyes stood smiling at him. He looked so much like both of his fathers, and Dean wondered again just how it was possible for David and himself to biologically be his fathers. Perhaps the answer was here at Magic School. He smiled at Xander as he thought about it.

Tory with his Halliwell dark hair and eyes looked a bit nervous. His glasses were a little crooked, but he tried to smile though his nerves. He looked so much like David. Dean couldn't believe that he had three such remarkable children, but Matthew stood beside his brothers, grinning at him. His dark hair was cut short, and his dark eyes sparkled with life and mischief. Dean knew that he would be a hand full.

"My boys," he whispered as he looked at them. Then he felt David's hand on his shoulder and the two of them gazed at their sons together.

The boys stepped closer and Xander drew Dean into a tight embrace. He whispered his love into Dean's ear and promised to return if there was ever a need. Dean held him tight and told him how proud he was of him. It hurt to say goodbye, but Dean knew that they couldn't stay in the past. They had to return to the future.

They hugged each of the boys and promised to be there in the future. The promise to be careful seemed ridiculous, but they made it. Their three boys stood before them, holding hands as they smiled at them. Drake and Damon stepped up beside Dean, and the charmed ones clasped hands as they read the spell.

"A time for everything, and everything in it's place. Return what has been moved through time and space," they said together, and white light surrounded the boys. When it dissipated, they were gone. They'd been sent home.

"They're remarkable," whispered David as they all stood and stared at the space where the boys had been.

"They are," agreed Dean. "I'm so proud of them."

"When I conjure the door again, it will open in the coffee house," said Cecil, stepping in front of them. "There is no one there, and the lights aren't on, so no one will see you."

"Thank you, Cecil," said Damon. "For everything."

"Remember to take caution when using magic," warned Cecil. "Exposure could lead to the death of all magic, both good and evil."

He waived his hand, and the door appeared again. This time there was no wind that came with it. With one final warning to be cautious, Cecil ushered the witches back through the door and into DH3. The door completely disappeared as soon as it closed behind them.

The coffee shop was more than just constructed. Tables, chairs, barstools and lighting had all be installed. Drake found the bank of switches to control the lights and turned them all on. Light flooded the coffee house. There was a couch along one wall with a long coffee table in front of it. Fluffy easy chairs flanked the couch.

"This is incredible," said Damon as he turned around in a complete circle to look at everything.

Behind the long counter, tapestries with Dean, Damon and Drake as their subjects hung on the wall. All that was needed was to buy supplies for the coffee house. Dean didn't think it would take long to buy everything they needed. He wondered what the upstairs looked like.

When they took the stairs that they found in the office, they saw a long hall with four doors. Three of the doors led to bedrooms that already had beds, dressers and night stands in them. The fourth door was a full bathroom with a bathtub, sink, toilet and shower. Dean wondered just how all of this had been completed so soon, but he realized that magic had to have been involved. Construction had stopped when Sebastian was killed, and nothing much had been completed.

In the days that followed, they bought coffee house supplies from vendors. They had plenty of mugs, cups, saucers, spoons and stir straws within a matter of days. Then it was time to start buying the machinery they needed. Industrial sized coffee pots, a dishwasher, small freezer and cappuccino and espresso machines came only days later. Once Dean and David sat down and ordered all of the coffee, ice cream and flavorings they needed, the coffee house was ready to open.

They were putting everything away when Gregory orbed in. He wasn't alone, though. A young man with dark hair and green eyes was with him. The charmed ones stopped what they were doing and turned to look at him. He looked terrified, and they wondered why Gregory had brought him.

"This is Pete," said Gregory. "He's in terrible danger, and he needs your help."

They stood still in shock. Dean wondered if this was part of the threat that the guardians had warned him about. Could the evil charmed ones be on their way?

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