Charmed: The New Power Of Three
By Julien Gregg
Chapter Fifteen:
Dead Man's Hollow

© 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.

Opening day of DH3 had been a lot more successful than the cousins had expected. By the end of the week, business was steady, and they were each thankful for that. Construction on the new manor wouldn't be complete for a while, and they were all still living above the coffee shop, so it was easy to just walk downstairs to open the place. Now that they were cleaning up after Friday's business, they were tired and ready for bed.

"This actually feels good," said Damon as he and Dean were both sweeping at opposite ends of the shop. "I actually expected to hate this part."

"I know what you mean," said Drake as he washed the last of the cups that they'd been drinking out of. "But this was a really great idea."

"I just hope business stays steady," said David as he and Aaron were stacking the chairs on top of the tables.

"I'm sure it will," said Dean. "I was thinking about letting some of the local musicians play here from time to time, too."

"That should bring people in," agreed Aaron. "Each musician should have at least some kind of fan base of their own. We'd have to advertise all week before they play, though."

"Exactly," replied Dean, smiling. "I see that we're thinking alike."

At that very moment, a white lighter orbed in on one side of the room while a guardian orbed in on the other. As they were all digesting this, another person appeared near the entrance in a shower of fire. They each stopped what they were doing and got as close to each other as possible. The knew was a flame in was and what it meant.

"Before you attack," said the Senior Guardian, Charles, "the Seer is here because we asked."

"Something very dangerous has happened," said the Elder White Lighter, Walter.

"What's going on?" Dean asked. "Since when does good consort with evil?"

"Since the Guardians of The Hollow have been attacked," said the Seer. The voice was neither masculine or feminine, and the being before them didn't look like either sex. But as they watched, it morphed into a beautiful woman with long fire engine red hair that lay in spirals over her nearly naked torso. "Is this better? Do you feel more secure when you can identify a sexual identity?"

"Who are the Guardians of The Hollow?" Dean asked, tearing his gaze away from the shapeshifter and looking at the guardian and white lighter.

"An angel and a demon," said David, looking pale. "They set aside their affiliations to team up to guard the greatest threat to the world."

"Very good," said the Seer. "At least one of you knows . . ."

"This isn't the time for that, Seer," said Walter firmly. "The Hollow has been released, and it is of outstanding importance that you return it to its prison."

"How are we supposed to do that?" Damon asked. "We don't even know what it is."

"'The Hollow is an ancient vapor and the most powerful force of unknown origin which absorbs all forms of magic it comes in contact with, whether it be good or evil. It appears in a swarm of vapor-like particles floating in mid-air that constitutes a power similar to a black hole, and it can also reside inside a magical living being, thus possessing their corporeal form. It cannot be destroyed by any known means, rather it can only be contained when powerful representatives from both sides of good and evil join forces . . .'" Dean read out loud, and Damon wished he'd at least warn them before using his new power to obtain the Book of Shadows before he began to read from it.

"This is not the time for a history lesson," said Charles. "You must understand that the Hollow will consume anything magical until there is nothing left of the world. I can't even begin to explain the danger."

"I think we have an idea," said Drake. "But how do we find it?"

"A recently killed warlock's spirit unleashed this evil upon the world in hopes of using it to regain his life and become immortal," said the Seer. "You must find that spirit . . ."

"How do we find a spirit?" Dean asked, looking at the entity (that's what he'd decided to call the Seer).

"Your magic can track anything magical," said Walter. "However, a living witch can not vanquish a spirit . . ."

"So you're saying that one of us has to die in order to fight this spirit?" Dean asked quickly.

"There is a potion in your Book of Shadows that will separate your spirit from your body," said Walter. "In this one case, we are willing to resurrect . . ."

"Wait," said David. "You expect one of the charmed ones to kill themselves just to fight this spirit? What about the Hollow? It can consume the spirit of a magical being."

"We'll be able to give some help . . ."

"Help?" Dean gasped, cutting the white lighter off. "What kind of help is there against the Hollow?"

An argument broke out amongst all of them as the Seer stood and watched. How could they expect the defeat the Hollow if they couldn't even unite long enough to listen to how it should be done? The Seer wondered if the cousins knew that they were showing their weaknesses in this argument. In all fairness, the Seer could report back to demons on how to disrupt the power of three long enough to kill the charmed ones forever. By the time the argument calmed down and the group was finally calmly discussing the plan, the Seer had decided that the charmed ones were much more valuable alive than dead. With what the Seer knew was on its way, the charmed ones were needed to keep the balance and save the world. If that meant letting good live, then so be it.

"I'm the oldest," said Dean. "I should be the one to drink the potion."

"You'll resurrect him once this is done?" David demanded of Charles. He eyed the guardian wearily. He knew nothing about them other than what Aaron had told him, and that wasn't much. What he did know about them was that they'd tried to keep Drake and Aaron apart. He didn't want to be caught in the middle of one of their little games.

"Dean will be resurrected," assured Charles. "The charmed ones must be alive to fight the evils of the world."

"Its settled," said Dean in a voice that told David not to argue.

He began to search through the book until he found the potion he was looking for, and David didn't like it when Damon and Drake moaned. He wanted to stop the love of his life from doing this. They had future sons to think about. He hoped that Dean truly knew what he was doing. Trusting white lighters and Guardians of Destiny weren't high on David's list of sane things to do.

"Plug in the hot plate," said Dean as he got a small sauce pan out from under the counter. "I'll need Oleander, St. Jensen Weed, Blood Wart, mandrake and liverwort."

Damon gathered the ingredients while Drake plugged in the hot plate. David and Aaron sat at a table and watched as the cousins began to mix the ingredients for the potion of death. As they let it come to a boil, David thought several times of putting an end to this, but he knew about the Hollow. It was feared by all who knew about it. If this was the only way to stop it, could he really afford to stop what they were doing?

"Hot plates and sauce pans," mumbled the Seer as Dean glared at the entity. He was in no mood for more arguments.

He had the assurance that the guardian would resurrect him as soon as they had the spirit vanquished, so he wasn't going to back out. The potion was cooling, and it was already turning red. All that was left was to talk to David. How could he tell him everything that was in his heart?

"You don't want me to do this. I know," he said as he stepped in front of David, who had stood up as he approached.

"It isn't a matter of not wanting you to do it, Dean," said David as he reached out and enveloped Dean in an embrace. "I just don't want to lose you."

"You're not going to lose me, David," assured Dean. "I love you, and I refuse to let my life end tonight. We have a future."

"Just make sure you can come back to ensure the existence of that future," said David as he held him tight.

"Marry me, David," said Dean, shocking even himself with his words. "When this is all said and done, tell me you'll marry me. We can start to plan later."

David was stunned to silence as he stood back and looked into Dean's eyes. He saw the love in them, and that was all he needed. He knew that this was what he wanted, but were they rushing? In the future they were married, so he didn't really think there was any rushing involved. He loved Dean Halliwell with all of his heart and soul. Marrying him was exactly what he wanted.

"We'll start planning as soon as this is over," agreed David. "I can't wait to be your husband."

The couple shared a kiss while the others smiled at them. The Seer merely watched with interest. Their love would survive this. Charles was sure of it. The Guardians of Destiny knew how important their bond was. They had no intention of doing anything to stand in its way.

"Are you ready?" Damon asked, holding out a vial of the cursed potion to Dean.

"As I'll ever be," said Dean, taking the vial. With one last look at his lover, Dean drank the entire vial.

They all watched as Dean collapsed into David's arms. They'd been prepared for this. They'd located the spell in the book that would allow them to see Dean's spirit, and from their positions in the room they began to recite it from memory.

"In this time, and in this hour, we call upon the sacred power. We together stand alone, command the unseen to be shown. In innocence we search the skies, enchanted are our newfound eyes," they said at the same time, and then they saw a miraculous sight.

Dean felt like his entire body was on fire. It was as if he'd drank liquid heat, and it spread throughout his body. His limbs grew heavy, and then a curious sensation began in his stomach that spread throughout his body. Before he realized what was happening, he was actually lifting out of his body. He could see his cousins and the guardian and white lighter to one side. As he looked behind him he saw David holding his body in his arms and the Seer standing behind them.

"Can you see me?" he asked them, and was instantly filled with happiness when they all smiled.

Then a blinding white light appeared in front of him, and he could feel it pulling at his soul. He knew that inside that light would be the souls of all of his family. The entire line of Halliwell witches were inside that light, and a part of him desperately wanted to join them. It took all of his strength to pull back as the white light's pull grew stronger and stronger.

"Fight it, Dean," said Charles. "It isn't your time. You have a job to do. Fight it."

He fought with his entire soul, and it was the hardest struggle of his life. He could actually feel the peace radiating from inside that light, hear his ancestors beckoning him. His own father's voice was among them, he knew, but he couldn't make it out. He was happy for that, because he was sure that he'd lose the battle if he heard his father's voice.

He saw movement out of the corner of his eye and heard David gasp. He looked away from the light, and it was that simple. The light winked out of existence as soon as he took his eyes off of it. There was no time to ponder that development, for at that time he saw what he'd glimpsed in his peripheral vision.

There were two of them, and they were moving fast. If he'd been asked to describe them, he'd have said that they looked like rail thin Grim Reapers. They had dark cloaks that barely covered their skeletal bodies. They carried sickles in each hand, and their eyes glowed, not the famous red of the Reaper, but blue. He instinctively brought his left hand to his mouth and blew the icy kiss at them.

He was shocked to see that his powers had come across the line of death with him, but he was happy with its effect on the reaper things. As soon as the icy wind hit them, they shrieked and sped away from him until he couldn't see them anymore. Relief flooded him, because he instinctively knew that they'd come for his soul. He had no idea what they were, and he was momentarily angry with Charles and Walter for not warning him of their existence.

He heard his cousins and David gasp, and he turned around to look at them, smiling. He was about to tell them that everything was fine when he felt the unmistakable pull of another spirit close by. He wondered if this was the ghost he was looking for, and as soon as the though registered in his mind, he vanished.

"Where did he go?" David demanded spinning around to face Charles. "You said . . ."

"Relax, David," said Charles, holding a hand in front of him as if to ward him off. "Dean is fine, he is simply searching for the spirit of the warlock. The trappings of humanity do not apply to spirits. He can move with the speed of light and sound now. We'll simply have to pay attention to track him."

"While we find Dean, it is important that you find the body of the warlock," said Walter. "Destroy his body, and his plan can not be implemented. If he has no body to return to, then he can't bring the Hollow into this plane of existence."

* * *

Dean was floating in nothing and nowhere for what seemed like an eternity before he saw the body of the slain warlock lying on the asphalt of a deserted ally. A look around told him that he wasn't far from the coffee shop and his cousins. He wondered if they'd understood what was happening when he'd vanished. He had no idea how much time had passed. He didn't even know what time was like for a ghost. He could only hope that it wasn't like a minute passing to him when years passed for the living.

The warlock couldn't have been much older than twenty. He had blond hair, and Dean couldn't see his eye color, because his eyes were closed. He was nicely built, and it looked like he had worked out regularly in his life. His clothes were filthy and tattered, though. A life on the street was probably what he'd claimed when he'd still be among the living. Dean was staring at him for a moment before he realized that what he was feeling was pity and looked away.

Then he saw them. The Reaper things were coming for him again, and as he prepared to use his icy kiss to repel them he saw another ghost. Looking down at the body at his feet told him that it wasn't the ghost of the warlock. When he looked up again, he was astonished by what he saw. The Reapers attacked the ghost and tore it apart as he watched. He could hear the wailing of the spirit as it died, and the sound made him sick with despair. He'd heard that sound only once before, but he couldn't remember where or when.

As they finished with their ghostly victim, the Reapers turned their attention on Dean. He was ready, however. As soon as they started to move he brought his left hand to his mouth and sent the icy wind after them again. They moved out of the way just in time, and they were still coming. Panic tried to grip him as he once again prepared to perform his special ice kiss. This time when the icy wind shot from his hand, it struck one of them and he watched as it froze solid.

The second Reaper continued to come for him, though. He had no time to use the ice kiss to repel it. Instead he did the only thing he could think of. He jumped inside the body of the dead warlock. He was surprised to find that he could actually feel and hear his spirit melding with the cold dead body. The agony of the wound where the energy ball had hit him met him head on, and he screamed from the pain of it.

Standing on shaky legs that didn't belong to him, Dean raised one arm palm up and was so surprised when a ball of fire appeared in his hand that for a second he nearly didn't use it. His mind clicked and he remembered what was about to happen to him. He threw the ball of fire at the Reaper and smiled as he heard it shriek in agony as it was consumed. This time when he brought the hand of the warlock to its mouth, the ice kiss was perfect. Perhaps it was more powerful. He didn't know for sure, but it was as if the power of the dead warlock mixed with his own. When the two Reapers shattered into tiny shards, he pulled himself out of the body and closed his eyes as it hit the asphalt at his feet.

He didn't even want to think about the sound it made. He just wished his cousins would find him. He was starting to worry that the spirit of the warlock would come before his cousins. Then what would he do? He decided to think positive. He wondered if his new power would be of any use in getting them there. He thought hard about it and closed his eyes. He could almost see them, but he couldn't do much more than that.

He was ready to give up when he heard them coming. He nearly wept with joy when he saw them come around the side of the building at the other end of the ally. He wanted to run to them, but it was that very moment that the ghost of the warlock decided to come for its body, too. One look at the ghost told Dean all he needed to know. The pulsing black orbs that stood in place of his eyes let him know that he'd already taken in the Hollow. Luckily, his cousins got to him before the ghost did.

"Let the object of objection become but a dream as I cause the seen to be unseen," said Damon and Drake together, and the body of the warlock disappeared.

The ghost roared in anger, its voice magnified by the Hollow. Dean worried that Reapers would come just from the sound alone. He stared at the ghost as it seemed to grow larger. He was almost too stunned to think as fire shot from its hands. It didn't come close to the cousins, though.

"Read this with us, Dean," said Damon, holding out a piece of paper. Dean looked at it and began to speak as soon as his cousins began the spell.

"Nos dico super inconcesses, vox bonus quod malum. Ultirusque a profugus, addo is hic, addo is iam," he said, and then the ghost began to scream as what looked like millions of tiny black beads shot out of its eyes and mouth. Dean stepped forward, and the beads flew into him.

He could feel the Hollow filling him, and with it came more power than he'd ever known in his life. He felt vibrant and alive for a second before he realized what was happening. It was seducing him. He quickly recalled the spell to vanquish a ghost.

"Ashes to ashes, spirit to spirit. Take his soul, banish this evil!" he cried, holding his hands out in front of him.

Electricity shot from his hands into the ghost before him, and it twisted and shivered in agony. He watched with rapt attention as it seemed to explode into billions of tiny pieces. He looked at his cousins as another wave of the ecstasy of the power washed over him. He quickly thought of his promise to David, the promise of marriage and a life filled with real love, and he vanished from the ally.

As soon as he appeared in a cloud of black smoke inside the coffee shop, Reapers came at him from every direction. They tried to tear at his soul, but for some reason they couldn't touch him. He embraced the Hollow and took each of them into his body, feeling them die as he did so. This went on for what seemed to Dean an eternity. As soon as he'd absorbed two, four more came at him. On and on it went until he was standing there drenched in the power of the Hollow and shaking from the fight he was putting up to keep it from consuming him.

He didn't know when his cousins had gotten back, but when he saw them standing in front of him part of him was happy. It was the part of him controlled by the Hollow that scared him though. He wanted to consume them just like he had the Reapers.

"Quickly," snarled the Seer, grabbing Drake's hand and pulling him close to the entity. "Read this with me, or you'll lose your cousin forever!"

Drake looked at Dean's ghost one last time before he paid attention to the words etched into the side of the black metal box the Seer held in its hands. He didn't understand the words, but he hadn't understood the words they'd said to get the Hollow out of the warlock's ghost and into Dean's either.

"Iam et ago, hic et ago Malus ot bonus, Mos inconsessus, Superdico nos," he read out loud with the Seer, and then he watched his cousin's spirit convulse.

Dean's ghost screamed as the tiny black beads erupted from him and flew into the black metal box the Seer held open. Dean's ghost staggered and shook as the last of the Hollow was expelled from him. Charles walked over to where they'd lay Dean's body on the floor and held both of his hands over his heart. Bright white light enveloped Dean's body, and slowly his ghost disappeared. David was nearly taken with worry until he heard Dean start to cough. As soon as Charles backed away from Dean, David had him in his arms, covering his face with kisses and moaning words that none of them could understand.

"Be on your guard, charmed ones," the Seer said as it opened its hands and the box disappeared. "A great evil has come into its own, and it will be coming for you. You'll need more than luck to defeat it."

With that said, the Seer flamed out, leaving them all to look at each other and ponder what it had said.

Feedback is always appreciated. Flames will be ignored of course, but constructive criticism is always accepted. As you all probably know by now my site is down. I'm working on a new temporary location for the site until I get my finances in order and can afford to have the domain hosted again. I don't know how long that will be. Anyway, I hope you liked this chapter. I'll post the next chapter some time next week.