Chapter 66: Melinda's Ghost
All rights to the Halliwells and Charmed go to The Wb and Aaron Spelling.
This is a spin-off of his creation, of which we're all thankful for. Please
Do not plagiarize or anything. LOVE YA
"What are they talking about?" Chris asked, stunned at the Elder's news.
"They implanted Matthew inside me." I said, "For all intent and purpose..."
"He's my son, though." Bianca said quickly, "You knew he was ours and you didn't say anything? How could you do that?!"
"Put yourself in my shoes," I said loudly, "I carried him for nine months! I've been up with him since he was born! I've..."
"You hid this from us." Piper said, "You all did."
"We did what had to be done." Odin said, "It had to be this way."
"Get out." Wyatt said calmly.
"No, I'm not done asking questions." Chris said angrily.
"Get the fuck out!" Wyatt shouted, causing the Elders to nod and orb away, "Drake..."
"You lied." Chris said calmly, "How long have you known."
"Not long." I said.
"When you started being all secretive...that was because of this, wasn't it?" Chris said, trying to put all the pieces together.
Bianca sat down in her chair while the rest of the room was standing. Wyatt stood in the corner now, quiet.
I looked down in shame, "I had to lie. How could I tell you that? How could I possibly tell you something that made no sense to me?" I asked, "I'm sorry I lied, but I would probably do it again. Matthew is my son."
"Yeah, except he isn't." Bianca said quickly, "He's not your son."
The words made me shiver and shudder at the same time. Matthew was born from me and given to me. He was my son...was? He is my son. But he's not.
"Drake," Piper said, walking over and reaching out to me.
I recoiled, "I've got to get my son." I said walking to the stairs, but before I could get up the stairs, I was violently thrown backwards!
"Drake!" Piper said, hurrying to me. My dad and brother were right behind her.
"What the Hell!" I said standing to see Chris with his arm in the air, "You Bastard! I'm getting my son!"
"He's my son." Chris said quickly.
"I can't believe you're doing this to me." I frowned, "I have been his father for months and..."
"And now it's time for him to be with his real parents." Bianca said angrily, walking over to Chris.
I looked at the entire family and shook my head. I turned and walked out of the house, my brother and father right behind me.
A few weeks later...
Wyatt stood in the kitchen, fixing a pot of coffee. He was worried, just like he had been ever since the Halliwell Dinner a few weeks prior. Chris walked into the room with Matthew, who was wearing a tiny hat.
"Hey, look at you two!" Wyatt said enthusiastically, "You going out today?"
"Yeah, we're going to the fair with mommy." Chris said, kissing Matthew on the cheek, "We're going to have a good time."
"Have you, uh, talked to Drake?" Wyatt asked, sipping coffee, "I'm just asking because it's like he fell off the face of the Earth."
"The guy lied to us, and not for the first time, about something serious." Chris said, "I'm not even sure I want him around my son."
"Wow...that kind of hit home." Wyatt said, pained.
"Sorry, I know how much you love him."
"I'll just have to settle for being the uncle." Wyatt smiled, playing with Matthew.
"Hello, boys." Piper said, walking into the kitchen, "Where's your sister?"
"She went to the restaurant, something about a new recipe." Wyatt said.
"Have you heard from Drake? I'm worried." Piper asked.
"Nope. Me and Matty are going out." Chris said, leaving.
"He's still mad." Wyatt said, "Can't say I blame him, but I can understand why Drake did it."
"Me too." Piper said, "I think I'm going to see him today. Phoebe said he's not been showing up for work."
"I figured as much." Wyatt sighed, "He's technically still my husband."
"And you still love him..."
"Yes, mom, I do, but he's somewhere I can't go." Wyatt said.
"How are you dealing with this, Wyatt?" Piper asked, "It's got to be tough."
"It is. But I'm trying to do what's best for Matt and us fighting isn't what's best." Wyatt explained.
There was a clatter upstairs and Wyatt and Piper looked up, rushing to the scene. When they got to Chris' room, they found Peter and Caleb standing with diapers in hand.
"What do you think you're doing?" Piper asked, folding her arms.
"We just came to get the baby." Caleb said.
Wyatt and Piper looked at each other.
"We think Drake needs the baby." Peter said.
"You know you're not getting the baby." Wyatt said.
"Look, we can see how you guys might think Drake's the enemy..." Peter started.
"We don't." Wyatt said quickly.
"As a matter of fact, we're worried." Piper said, "Is he with you?"
"Yes, he's back at his place." Peter said, "He gave birth to the baby."
"His baby is Chris' baby." Piper said.
"No, Drake had him and has been raising him." Caleb said, "More of a father than Chris is."
"Listen, we're not trying to take anything away from Chris, he was a good uncle, but Drake..."
"Is the uncle." Piper said, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"Can't you see what this is doing to my brother?! How can you guys do this to him?" Caleb asked, "I guess you can only trust family." He said, walking past them with Peter.
Piper looked up at Wyatt, who was looking down at the floor.
At the park, Bianca and Matthew were playing on the slide. Bianca looked back and waved at Chris, who smiled warmly and took a sip of his coffee. Bianca and Matthew went back to playing, even managing to make new little friends.
"He's gorgeous." I said, sitting down on the bench next to him.
Chris looked over, stunned and almost spit out his coffee, "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I never thought he looked anything like me or Wyatt." I frowned, "I guess I know where the brown hair comes from."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Chris asked, "You knew how important this would be to me."
"Then why can't you understand how important this was to me." I said, "If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would because he's mine."
"But he's not yours." Chris said, "He was never `yours'"
I wanted to look at him, but I couldn't.
"Didn't me and Bianca at least deserve the truth? After everything we've been through, don't we owe each other the truth?" Chris said.
I rolled my eyes and sighed, "He's all I have left." I said, "My marriage was an epic fail, my career is less than fulfilling, and through all of it the only person I was secure in knowing loved me wasn't mine."
"Your marriage is only a fail because you're letting it be one. Your career is awesome, you have billboards and magazines! And just because he's my son doesn't mean that you have to give him up." Chris said, anger in his voice, "Doesn't mean that you would have to lie to me."
"You know, I had this whole scheme of getting him back. My dad and brother were going to go and get his stuff while I exposed magic and took the baby while you and Bianca were occupied." I said.
"What made you stop it?" Chris asked.
"Who said I did?" I asked.
Chris looked to Matthew and Bianca, who were still playing.
I was serious now, "What they did hurt me more than any demon. More than my mom dying." I said.
"I know and I'm sorry for the pain it caused you, but the sooner you come to the realization that he's your nephew, the sooner you can heal." Chris said, "Until you heal, don't come around me or my family."
I nodded, "I didn't intend to." I said, standing.
"What do you mean?" Chris asked, standing, "I don't want you out of our lives. What I just said was...not accurate in how I feel."
"But you're right." I called back, "You're right."
Bianca walked over with Matthew, "Was that...what'd he say?" she asked.
"He said something I was not expecting." Chris said quickly.
Piper walked into the attic to find her niece, Prudence, sitting on the floor with her sister Prue's camera. Piper smiled. That camera had been bought after Prue decided that she was going to be a photographer.
"Hey." Piper said, her arms across her chest.
"Oh, sorry Aunt Piper, I found it underneath some stuff. It's cool, it's got that retro feel to it." Prue smiled.
"You've always loved taking pictures, why don't you take it?" Piper suggested.
"Thanks." Prue smiled.
"No problem." Piper said, "How about you go downstairs and get some of the cookies I just baked."
"Cool, thanks auntie." Prue said, kissing her on the cheek and walking out.
Just then Chris, Bianca, and Matthew orbed in.
"Hey, look at you guys! How'd your family day go?" Piper asked
"It was good, all the way up until Drake found us." Chris said, putting Matthew in the playpen, "Then it got weird."
"Oh no! What happened?" Piper asked.
"Nothing." Chris said, "He showed up, we talked, and he left."
"You talked? About what?" Piper asked.
"His family's plan to get the baby back and how he couldn't go through with it." Chris said, "He also said he won't be coming by anytime soon."
"He said that?" Piper asked, rubbing her temples, "Is he serious? He can't be serious."
"Sorry, Piper, but he's been a little wacky lately. I feel safer without him around." Bianca said, "He's..."
"Just lost his baby." Piper reminded, "All logic goes away."
"Mom, I don't want him to not be around." Chris said, "We've been friends since before we could talk."
"I think he just needs time." Piper said, "I think maybe I should talk to him."
"Maybe. Is Wyatt around?" Chris asked.
"Marie, I need more risotto!" Melinda shouted over the clatter of dishes and the voices, "Bart, I need some fresh produce."
Melinda turned to see Jackson, her old boyfriend. As a matter of fact, he was the boyfriend. The one boyfriend over all the others. He was a bad boy, though. He had his run-ins with the law but she had always seen the good guy in him. She was so happy to see him!
"Jacks!" Melinda said, dropping the food on the counter and walking to him. She tried to hug him and fell to the ground.
Marie rushed to Melinda, "Are you okay? I think maybe you've been here too long." She said.
"I was just talking to..." She looked up, searching for Jackson, "He was just here."
Marie looked back, "No, sweetie, there wasn't anyone there." She said, "Are you sure you're okay."
"Yeah, yeah...just cover me. I need to go home for a while." Melinda smiled, trying to hide her obvious shock.
"Of course." Marie said, still worried.
"Thanks." Melinda said, leaving quickly.
I shut the door to my loft and sat my keys down on the end table. I plopped down in a chair after going to the fridge and opening a bottle of champagne. I sat in the chair and guzzled the champagne. There was a knock on the door and I put the alcohol down and headed for the door. I opened it to see Carl standing in front of me with flowers.
"You missed our date." Carl said, "Hope you like these." He said, handing me the flowers.
I accepted the flowers, "I'm sorry. I had something to do." I frowned.
"Oh...are you okay?" Carl asked, looking at the open bottle on the table.
"I'm just fine." I mumbled.
"Are you drunk?" Carl asked.
"No, but I'm getting there." I frowned.
"Did something happen?" Carl asked looking around, "Is this about Matthew?"
"This is about me." I said.
"What about you?"
"Carl, I could have fought harder. I could have taken my son but I just let him go." I said, gesturing wildly.
Carl sat down beside me, "You couldn't have foreseen that he'd want the baby back." He said.
"Actually, funny story, I used to have that power." I smirked, taking another swig of my champagne.
"You're drunk." Carl said, snatching the bottle from me, "You just need to stop."
I rolled my eyes, "Why are you here?" I asked.
"Cause I care about you." Carl said quickly.
I put my hands on my face, "Carl, there are so many things wrong with what you just said. I'm a mess. Do you think I could really love anyone else?" I asked.
"Anyone else?" Carl asked, "You mean Wyatt?"
I looked at him, "And the baby." I said quickly.
"But mostly Wyatt." Carl chuckled to himself, "If you love him, then why are you dating me?"
I looked at him, my head tilted down, "I love Wyatt. I love Matthew. Everything else is just in the way." I chuckled, leaning back in my seat.
Carl looked hurt and sat the champagne on the table, "I can take a hint." He said, standing and walking to the door, "You're vicious, you know." He slammed the door.
I sat there, plagued with what might have been guilt. I ignored the guilt and snatched the champagne off the table and began to chug it! Suddenly, there was another knock on the door and I shouted that it was open and neglected to look back.
"Well," Piper said, causing me to sit up, "Look at you."
"Piper!" I said, wiping my mouth, "When I said come in, I kind of meant go away."
Piper arched an eyebrow, "Really?" she asked.
"What are you doing here? I mean, don't you have some super Halliwell thing to be doing?" I spat.
Piper smacked me on the back of the head, "Look here Junior, you may be able to talk to the guy who just left like that, but remember who I am." She said, obviously offended.
"How much of that did you hear?" I asked.
"Enough to know that you still love my son." Piper said, "And your nephew."
I looked away, "I'm not sorry I lied. I'm sorry I got caught." I said quickly.
"I know." Piper sighed, "Did you think we'd never find out? What if he got hurt and needed a transfusion, like you did?"
"I didn't think about it Piper...imagine Wyatt was Phoebe or Paige's son. How would you react?" I asked.
Piper nodded, "We don't want you to stay away from us." She said, "We want the opposite."
"How can I face them?" I asked, tears in my eyes, "I was humiliated in front of them!"
Piper grabbed my hand, "We're family." she said, "You have a family."
"How is Matt?" I asked.
"You saw him today." Piper smiled, "I think he misses you, though."
"And Wyatt?" I asked.
"I know he misses you." Piper smiled, "You should come to the Manor with me...unless you want to sit here and keep drinking."
"I don't know if I'm ready." I said.
"I think you are." Piper smiled, "Besides, I miss seeing you around and I've been gone, oh, an hour, so there's bound to be a Charmed problem."
I nodded, "An hour? There's bound to be three." I chuckled.
"So, you saw your boyfriend...big whoop." Wyatt said unenthusiastically.
Melinda had come home a few minutes ago, talking about her boyfriend. All Wyatt heard was that he disappeared, which he immediately took to mean that he was a demon. His concern was even greater when she grabbed the Book of Shadows. Chris had put baby Matthew in the pen and walked over to Bianca, who was sitting at the table. They were both looking on with puzzled expressions.
"No! It's...he was there and then he wasn't!" Melinda said, searching the book.
"So, what, he's a demon?" Wyatt asked.
"No. He was like a ghost." Melinda said quickly, "I need the spell to call him."
"Why call him? Shouldn't we be able to see him?" Bianca asked.
"Depends, he probably doesn't know how to control his powers, so he could be anywhere." Chris explained, "So, what're you going to do when you summon him?"
"Ask him what happened." Melinda said quickly, "Hear these words, Hear my cry, Jackson from the other side, Come to me, I summon thee, Cross now the great divide!"
Suddenly, there was a large gust of wind but the candles she had lit were still burning. The whole room watched as a glimmering young man appeared before them. Melinda's face went from determined to sympathetic.
"Jackson?" Melinda asked.
"Melly?! Oh, thank God! I've been watching my family. They think I'm missing but I'm right here!" Jackson said, looking around.
"Jackson, calm down." Melinda said, "There's something you need to know." She stared back at her brothers.
"What? Something weird is going on!" Jackson said, thoroughly freaked out.
"You're..." Melinda paused, "You're dead."
Jackson looked positively shaken. He tried to sit in the chair and fell through the floor! Melinda tried to catch him, but was too late. Piper and I were just walking in when he fell right through me. It felt a little odd and Piper looked as if she were about to burst out laughing. I stood there, not knowing what to do as Melinda, Wyatt, Chris, and Bianca, holding Matt, came down the stairs. Bianca stood on the landing, looking down at me. The rest of them stopped a few feet away, except Melinda who flung her arms around me. It took a lot to not cry.
"Did you just see..." Chris began.
"...the guy fall through the ceiling? Yes. It looked like Melinda's old boyfriend." Piper said, hanging up her coat.
"It was." Melinda said, before turning her attention back to me, "You're here. How are you?"
"Your old boyfriend just fell through me." I said quickly.
"He's a ghost, am I right?" Piper asked.
"A newly dead ghost." Melinda asked.
"How'd he die?" I asked.
"We don't know, he fell through the floor when he learned he was dead." Wyatt said, a smile creeping across his face.
"Are you here to help?" Chris asked.
I looked to Piper, "I'm a little spacy, but I could chant." I smiled.
"Spacy?" Wyatt asked, "Are you alright."
"I am great." I smiled.
Wyatt moved closer, "Mom...is he...drunk?" he asked.
Piper looked at me, "He...ummm...well..."
"I did have a little champagne, but I'm totally lucid." I explained.
"Can I talk to you, in the kitchen?" Wyatt asked, grabbing my arm.
"This is going to get very shouty." Melinda said.
"No, it won't." Wyatt said, pulling me into the kitchen, "What are you doing?"
"Listen, your mom said it was okay to come here." I said quickly.
"That's not...I mean drinking!" Wyatt said angrily, "You don't drink."
"Wyatt, you care for me, I get it but I'm okay." I said.
"I love you." Wyatt said, "I don't know how many times I have to tell you that, I-Love-You! And this worries me."
"Don't worry." I smiled, "I'm trying to accept things."
"I know this is hard." Wyatt said.
"You don't know how I feel." I spat.
"Dammit, you're not the only one who lost something!" Wyatt said loudly, "You don't think I miss him? He's right there and I can't...I'm not his dad. Neither are you."
"Wyatt, I..." I started.
"This is what I hate about you! You only see how it affects you. You never once looked at it from anyone else's view." Wyatt said, turning to leave.
I grabbed his arm and he looked at me, then away. There were tears in his eyes and I wanted to dry them, to make them stop. I hated seeing Wyatt cry, to see him do anything but give that goofy grin. All I could do is cry with him. I put my arms around him, hugging him as tightly as I could. He cried onto the top of my head and I into his chest. I missed him. I pulled away and he said, "Yeah, you're dating..." but before he could finish, I grabbed his face in a kiss. It was the same warm, passion-filled kiss I remembered. It felt like the first time again. When we pulled apart, he looked mystified.
"I thought you were dating that Carl guy." Wyatt said.
I bit my lip, "I was." I said.
"What changed?" Wyatt asked.
"I did." I said quietly, "We need to get back and help Mel."
"Can we talk about this, about us, for one second?" Wyatt asked, frustrated.
"I don't know where we go from here. I love you. I miss you. I think we need each other." I smiled.
"I missed you, too." Wyatt said.
"We can talk after we help Mel." I said, walking into the sitting room. Bianca was playing with Matt. She immediately stopped, "Don't stop. I was just looking for everybody."
"They went to the attic." Bianca said indifferently.
I nodded, turning to walk up the stairs. I stopped, "I had less than a week with the knowledge." I frowned, turning to her.
"But you said if you had to do it all again, you would." Bianca said, "I don't trust you around my baby."
"I don't blame you." I said, "But you've trusted me more with less."
"Yeah, well, I can't imagine how it feels." Bianca said.
"It feels like a piece of you is torn and it can't be repaired. Even if I got him back somehow, he's not my son. I'm his uncle." I said. She nodded and I continued, "Sometimes, I can't breathe. I have to tell myself to keep breathing and when I take that breath, it feels like my whole world ended."
I noticed she was looking behind me and turned to see Chris, Wyatt, and Piper standing behind me. Piper and Wyatt looked at me with sympathetic eyes. Chris looked at me with an unfamiliar face. It was as if he was hearing me for the first time. Bianca stood up and looked at Chris, who nodded. Bianca handed me Matthew. I smiled and played with Matthew.
"I'm dead?!" Jackson asked. Melinda had re-summoned him and now she was sitting silently while she let him sort out his emotions. Melinda felt spent. Cooking at the Restaurant was something she loved to do, as was be a witch, but when she did both of them too long they became a problem. She also hated when her personal life was introduced into the magical fray. Jackson now looked calm, "I'm dead."
"Yeah, that's the general consensus." Melinda sighed, "How'd this...I mean..."
"Last thing I remember I was, I was acquiring some artifacts from a curator..." Jackson started.
"...'Acquiring'? Do you mean stealing?" Melinda asked.
"...Acquiring, an artifact and from nowhere some guys appeared. The last thing I remember is leather, robes, and fire." Jackson said.
"What was the artifact? Was it powerful?" Wyatt asked as we all walked in.
"I don't think so, it was a scroll." Jackson said.
"A scroll? What kind of scroll?" Chris asked.
"A prophecy, foretelling a huge battle between Humanity and everyone else." Jackson said, "Some supernatural threat."
"You mean good versus evil, right?" Piper asked.
"No." Jackson replied, "The beings will be at war."
We all exchanged anxious glances before anyone spoke again.
"This war...when will it be?" Chris asked.
Before he could say anything, a demon shimmered into the room and raised his hand to Jackson, who disappeared into him. The demon smirked and shimmered out.
"What just happened?" Melinda asked, looking around.
"Soul snatcher." Piper stated.
"We need a summoning spell." Melinda said.
"I'm on it." Chris said, walking over to the table.
"I'll help mom with the potion." Wyatt said, leaving with Piper.
"I can't believe he's dead." Melinda said.
I hugged her, "I'm so sorry." I said, "We're going to find the demon though."
"He'll still be dead though." Melinda frowned.
"Did I ever tell you about the last time I went to the past? I saw my mother." I smiled.
"I'm sorry." Melinda sniffled.
"No! No, it was great. I got to see how proud of me she'd be. Like your ghost friend, which we are so gonna talk about later, She died, but she's not gone." I explained.
"You're right." Melinda nodded.
"Of course I'm right!" I smiled, "Now, let us go and kick some demon ass."
"I think I should be there." Melinda said.
"No dice." Chris said, "It's too dangerous."
"Chris!" Melinda whined, "I've got to go."
"Maybe she's right." I said quickly, "It would increase our chances of not dying."
"I don't think so." Piper said, walking back in the room with Wyatt.
"That was a quick potion." I smiled, watching Wyatt.
"I know my way around a pot." Piper smiled.
"Of course." I said quickly, "Bianca, Piper, stay close to Matty in case the demon doubles back."
Piper and Bianca nodded.
"Ready guys?" I asked.
"Wait, then what was the summoning spell for?" Piper asked.
"In case we can't find him. Last thing we want to do is have a fight here." I explained, "Let's go."
Chris and Wyatt grabbed my hand and we orbed out. As we orbed out, Melinda hijacked the orb!
We all materialized in a field, where there was a section of water and mud in a circle where there was no crops.
"This can't be right." Wyatt said, looking around.
"Wyatt, Melinda is here." Chris frowned.
"Mel!" Wyatt said.
Melinda looked around, "Are you sure we're in the right place?" she asked.
The crops moved around us.
"I don't think we're in the wrong place." I said, shivering.
"You aren't." The Soul Snatcher said, stepping out of the crops.
"Why does every bone in my body say we should leave now?" I asked.
"We need to watch each other's backs!" Wyatt said.
We got back to back, watching the crops around us move.
"This does not have to end in bloodshed." An avatar said, coming from the crops on Melinda's side.
"Just surrender." A whitelighter said, appearing before us in a swirl of orbs.
We were all shocked, how could the whitelighters, demons, and Avatars all be on the same side?
"The demon, go for the demon." Melinda said.
"I wouldn't." The whiteligher said, an energy ball in his hand.
"What is this?" I asked.
"The Collective." The Avatar said, "We are all tired of being labeled by our following. It's time we come to power."
"All that exists is power." The Avatar said.
"We needed your attention. Now that we have it, we would like to make you an offer." The whitelighter said.
"What kind of offer?" Chris asked.
"Be one of us." The avatar said.
Chris, Wyatt and I looked to each other. I didn't know what Chris and Wyatt were thinking but I could guess. They were obviously not even considering this and neither was I.
Melinda was the first to speak, "Not on your life." She said quickly.
"So say you all?" The Avatar asked.
"We want the soul." I said blankly.
"Fine, we only captured him to lure you here." The whitelighter said, "We are above such petty gains."
The soul snatcher released Jackson's soul.
"It is a pity, we could have used your power." The demon said, disappearing with the others. Wyatt, Chris and I looked at each other, the same worried look expression on our faces. Melinda walked out front, surveying the ghost.
"Do you have to go?" Melinda asked, standing before Jackson's ghost.
"I think so." Jackson said, "I'm dead."
"I know." Melinda said, getting choked up.
"No, Melly, don't." Jackson said, reaching out to touch her. His hand passed through her.
Melinda sobbed more, "I just can't...I always thought we'd find our way back to each other and get married and have kids." She cried.
"Baby, we did find our way back to each other." Jackson smiled, a tear falling from his eye, "And I'm always going to be with you. Sounds so corny and cliche but nothing can remove me from you."
Melinda smiled, "You always knew what I wanted to hear."
"I did." Jackson nodded. He reached out once again, this time she felt his hand against her cheek, "I think it's time to go."
"Why?" Melinda asked.
"This guy...he's telling me I have to go." Jackson frowned.
"Then go." Melinda said, taking a step back.
Melinda watched while he disappeared, sobbing to herself. I leaned on the doorway, watching with folded arms. I decided to step away and walked down into the sitting room, where the whole family was sitting, waiting on Melinda and I. Leo stood and I took a seat on the arm of the chair Wyatt was sitting in. Chris stood with baby Matthew and Bianca behind us. Piper stood next to Leo and Phoebe and Coop and their group were scattered in with Paige and Henry's group. Melinda joined us a few minutes later, wiping the last of the tears from her eyes. Piper walked over and comforted her.
"I called this family meeting because I believe that something bad is coming. The boys were approached by something called the `Collective'. They are a big collaboration between Demons, Whitelighters, and Avatars. They are the biggest threat we may ever come up against. I don't think there's ever been a time that we may need each other more than we already do now." Leo spoke, "We need to be strong and stand together, as a family. Alone, we can be defeated, but together we are the strongest force of good that magic could assemble. Every witch and demon knows our name, let's remind them why."