By Julien Gregg
Book 1 - Chapter 1
Something Witchy This Way Comes
Dean Halliwell sat in his seat on the plane that was taking him back to San Francisco. His last memory of the city itself was foggy. He remembered the day his father was killed. That day was imprinted on his memory and filled his nightmares. A demon had killed his father. His mother had spent years trying to convince him that what he'd seen that night in Halliwell Manor was an ordinary intruder that had stepped out from behind the curtains in the living room.
Dean knew better. He'd seen the demon appear out of thin air. He'd seen the demon throw what looked like a ball of light at his father, and he'd seen his father fall to the floor. He remembered his aunt screaming about the children as she raised her hands and froze the demon. He remembered it all as if it were yesterday, yet he was then only three years old. He was now twenty-four years old and very confused about what he remembered. Demons didn't exist. He'd spent years trying to convince himself of this. He was never successful because each time he tried he'd remember the sight of the winged demon as he threw the ball of light at his father.
He sighed as he looked out at the clouds through the window beside him. Going back to San Francisco after all of this time spent trying to bury the past in his mind wasn't his idea. He'd received a priority letter from an attorney named Pollock. The letter had said that Dean's grandfather, Donald Halliwell, had died of a heart attack and that his presence was required for the reading of the will. He could only wonder what it was that his grandfather had left him.
He wondered how they'd found him. His mother had made every effort to hide from the Halliwell family. She'd joined a church in Daytona and become deeply religious. Dean had always suspected that was because she knew that demons existed, but she swore they didn't. She'd forbidden any contact with his father's family and even severed all contact with her own family. As far as Dean had known until the day that letter showed up the Halliwell's had no idea where he was. Yet now he was on a plane that would deliver him back to them after over twenty years.
He wondered about the cousins he could barely remember. He tried hard to remember their names, but all he could remember was that one of them was only younger than him by seven months. The other had been an infant the last time he'd been inside Halliwell Manor. He supposed he'd see them at the funeral. He wondered what they would be like. Would they have grown up knowing all about the family secrets and witchcraft? On one hand he hoped they had. On the other he hoped that his memories were nothing more than the confused dreams of a child's mind.
He was about to find out what he really remembered and what was merely nightmares. The pilot announced that they were about to land. Dean Halliwell was about to be in the city of his birth once again. His heart began to beat faster as he thought about it. He wondered just what was in store for him.
Damon Halliwell sat in his own window seat on the same plane thinking about what was life like in San Francisco. He'd spent most of his life in Alaska with his father. His father was probably well aware of the fact that Damon was on his way to San Francisco. He'd snuck away from the city and didn't tell anyone where he was going. For as long as he could remember his father had cautioned him to stay away from any other Halliwell and above all else he was never to travel to San Francisco. That was where they others lived, he'd been told. He wondered just what it was about the other Halliwells that his father want him to stay away from them.
He knew that once he landed in San Francisco he would meet family. It was strange to think of them as family after all the years he'd spent with his father evidently in hiding. Now he was on his way to meet them for a funeral. He'd received a letter from an attorney named Pollock that had said he must attend the funeral and the reading of the will to receive his inheritance. He wondered what that would entail. Were the Halliwell's rich?
His father had told him that his grandfather was disturbed. He'd said many things about his grandfather and even a few bad things about his uncles. His father had told him that the family had gotten involved in something that was very dangerous and that he had taken steps to make sure that he and Damon were safe. He would never tell him what it was that the family had gotten involved in. Every time that Damon had asked his father had gotten angry.
Now he was about to be face to face with members of his family. He was both nervous and excited. He knew that this was probably going to be a one way trip. Living with his father would be next to impossible after this. He just hoped that there was a place for him with the family that he'd been ordered to stay away from for most of his life.
Drake Halliwell was also on the plane. He was seated so far back that he wouldn't have noticed to the two dark haired young men sitting alone. He was busy thinking about what was in store for him in San Francisco. His father had recently died in Hawaii, and there had been some very strange things happening around the time of his death. He was happy for the distraction when the letter from the lawyer arrived. Then he'd read that he was to inherit something. That had made the trip worth while.
His father had always been a nervous person. He was always looking over his shoulder. He was quick to check every noise in the house and each time that Drake had stayed out late his father had become panicked. This had turned Drake into a very rebellious teenager. His father was always anxious about something, and every time that Drake even mentioned another Halliwell his father freaked out.
The day he died, Drake was sure that his father looked more scared than he'd ever seen him. He'd insisted that Drake spend the day with friends and wouldn't tell him why. When Drake had returned to the house later in the evening he'd found police everywhere. They asked him all kinds of questions about where he'd been and who he had been with, and Drake was sure that they were suspicious of him. His father had just been killed and they wouldn't leave him alone.
For days they showed up to ask more questions. He learned that his father had locked himself in the bathroom on the second floor of the house. The door locked from the inside and there was no other way in or out of the room other than the locked door. Somehow someone had gotten into the bathroom and killed his father. Drake didn't know exactly how he'd been killed but he was sure that it had to be grisly if the police wouldn't tell him.
Two days before the letter arrived, Drake was told by a detective that the case would remain open but he was no longer under suspicion. Drake had been relieved, but he'd seen police officers several times after that and he couldn't shake the uneasiness that he felt when he saw them. The letter and its contents were just the ticket. Sure his father had wanted nothing to do with the family, but Drake thought that going to San Francisco and getting away from everything in Hawaii was exactly what he needed. As the plane began to land he hoped he'd made the right decision.
The baggage claim area was filled with people as Dean made his way to the revolving carousel of suitcases and packages. He stood next to a younger man with close cropped dark hair. They smiled at each other and Dean was sure he'd seen him somewhere before. The hazel eyes looked familiar to him. He almost said something about it when the young man spoke.
"Do I know you?" he asked, smiling uncertainly up at Dean.
"I'm not sure," replied Dean, returning the smile with one of his own. "I was about to ask the same question."
"Drake Halliwell," said the young man, extending his hand. "I'm here because my grandfather passed away."
"Well this is probably the mother of all coincidences," laughed Dean as he shook Drake's hand. "My name is Dean Halliwell, and I'm here for the same reason."
"Did you just say your last name was Halliwell?" said another dark haired young man as he made his way through the throng of people to stand in front of the two.
"That's right," said Dean. "And you are?"
"I'm Damon Halliwell," replied the newcomer. "I think we're each here for the same reason."
He reached out and as his hand touched Dean's arm the three of them were essentially touching each other. The hand at the end of the arm with Damon's hand on it was still clutching lightly to Drake's hand. The entire room seemed to brighten. Each of the young men thought they heard chimes from a distance as they looked at each other. Then the phenomenon was over as soon as it started. Drake pulled his hand out of Dean's and the room returned to its normal brightness, the chimes stopped and each of the three were wide-eyed and staring.
"What just happened?" Drake asked as he looked back and forth between his two cousins.
"Search me," said Dean as he did the same. However he was almost sure he knew at least a part of what it was that had happened. He believed that his memories of his father's death were now proven to be reality. They were magical. At least there was something magical about their meeting each other.
They were each a little unsettled but agreed to stick together as they claimed their luggage and headed for the main entrance to the airport. They got to the main terminal and stopped when they saw a man in a charcoal three piece suit, holding a white sign with their last name printed on it. He appeared older but not elderly with almost white hair. His eyes were covered by thick black sunglasses.
"I think that's us," said Drake as the three made their way over to the unknown man. "I'm Drake Halliwell."
"Yes," said the suit. "My name is Randal Pratt. I was sent here to meet the three of you."
"Are there more members of the family arriving?" Damon asked as he looked at Randal.
"No," replied Randal. "The rest of the family lives here in San Francisco. You were the only members of the family to be met at the airport."
The three young men were silent as they let that little bit of information sink into their heads. They followed Randal out of the airport and to a waiting limousine. They were each wide-eyed as they climbed inside after helping Randal put their suitcases in the trunk of the car. Moments later they were riding out of the airport lot and merging with traffic. They were silent as they watched the passing buildings. Each of them were trying to see all they could. They couldn't remember San Francisco. Dean had been four when his mother had taken him to live in Daytona. His memories of the city were almost nonexistent. Damon was having similar trouble remembering anything about the city that he hadn't seen in pictures or on television. Drake was only an infant when he lived in the city so he'd never really seen it.
As they passed through the business district and the industrial parks to the residential district of the city the young men were impressed by the house. When they laid eyes on the three story pink house with its striking white trim and stained glass windows they were in awe. As the car pulled into the drive of the house they looked out the window at the many people who were entering the house and wondered if they were all family. With so many of them they weren't sure they would get to talk to them all while they were staying in the city. When the car stopped and Randal started to get their luggage they were confused.
"It was decided that the three of you would be staying here in the manor," he explained as two more men in suits came out the side door to help him with the luggage. "We'll be putting your things in the rooms your parents used to sleep in."
Dean shuddered as he thought of the last memory of his father lying dead on the floor of the very room that his suitcases were being taken to. His father's lifeless eyes were firmly in his mind as they followed Randal into the house through the side door. He was going to have trouble keeping that memory out of his head as long as he stayed in that room.
His thoughts stopped when they were inside the house. All the way from the car they could hear the talking and visiting that was going on inside the house. All of that stopped when the three of them were inside. Everyone was silent as they looked at them. Dean felt a little nervous under the scrutiny of so many eyes. Then suddenly they went back to what they were saying to each other and pretended to ignore the three newcomers. They were still watched as they followed the men in suits to the second floor of the house.
Dean could almost see his father as he entered the room that he was to stay in. There were pictures of him all over the room from birth to the age of three when they suddenly stopped. He knew that the rest of the pictures of his life were still in his apartment in Daytona. To see the early pictures here was almost unsettling. As he sat on the king sized bed and looked around the room he could almost hear the last things his father had ever said to him about being strong and standing up to face evil. He was shaking as he thought about it.
Damon was having a similar experience in the room that had been his mother's. Her picture was on the night stand and he picked it up as he sank to sit on the bed with a sigh. She was a very beautiful woman with long flowing raven hair and the same hazel eyes as her son. Shae Halliwell had died to save her son but Damon had no clue about that. He had no idea of the sacrifice that the gifted young witch had given so that he could be in the world and thriving.
He looked around the room at all of the pictures on the walls and was shocked to see pictures of himself at a very young age. There was even one picture of his family. His mother and father stood together on the lawn in front of the manor. Shae was holding Damon in her arms with a radiant smile on her face. Abraham was gazing at his wife with such a look of love in his eyes that it was painful for Damon to look at the picture.
Drake was having trouble picturing his father in the room he was standing in. The evidence that the room had once belonged to Adam Halliwell was there though. His pictures were on the desk. There were pictures of Drake's mother, Eliza, as well. This was the first time that Drake had ever seen a picture of his mother and he was drawn to the striking difference between his looks and those of his beautiful mother. His dark hair and hazel eyes hadn't come from the radiant blond, blue eyed woman in the photograph. He looked almost exactly like his father.
He looked around the room at the old trophies from his father's high school days and the letter jacket that was placed over the back of the desk chair. It was strange to be standing there and it almost felt as if he had stepped into the past. The room was preserved so well that he could almost feel his father in it.
Drake met his cousins in the living room a few minutes later and the three young men sat on the couch as people came to introduce themselves again and again. Not all of them were family but it was clear that there was a lot of family in the house. As they were seeing the last of the well wishers out they were each lost as to what to do. Thankfully the men in suits were still there. They sat around the dining room table to talk with them about what was going to happen the next day.
"Your grandfather's funeral is going to be held tomorrow morning," said Randal. "One of us will come in the morning to pick you up. Afterward we will return here to meet with Danforth Pollock for the reading of the will. The three of you are the only ones named in the will, so you will be the only ones in attendance."
"Grandfather didn't leave anything to the other members of the family?" Dean asked when Randal was silent.
"His instructions were quite clear," said Randal. "Only the three of you were to be in attendance when the will is read."
He told them that the kitchen was completely stocked with food and everything they could need for the night had already been seen to. They were encouraged to get to know each other while they relaxed. Each of them excused themselves to take showers and get into comfortable clothes as the sun went down. They met a half hour later in the living room to sit and talk.
"What are you thinking about?" Damon asked Dean as he and Drake came into the living room to find Dean staring off into space.
"The night my father died," he replied. "He died upstairs in the room I'm staying in."
"That's creepy," said Drake as he sat down beside him on the couch. "I don't think I could sleep in the room where my father died."
"It remains to be seen if I can sleep there or not," sighed Dean. "I just can't get the memory of the day he died out of my head."
"You remember his death?" Damon asked as he sat across from them on the sofa.
"Yeah," replied Dean without looking at either of them. "I was playing with you on the floor."
"Me?" Damon asked quickly. "I was in the room when your father died?"
"Yes," he said. "We were playing with toys while my father wrote a letter. Your mother came in to get you just as the demon appeared."
"Demon?" Drake asked. "What are you talking about?"
Slowly Dean began to tell them about how the red skinned demon with wings had appeared out of thin air right in front of them as they played on the floor. He told them about the shrill sound of Shae's voice as she called out to Jase about the demon, but it was too late. The smiling demon threw a ball of light at his father and then he was dead. He was about to tell them about how Shae rose her hands and froze the demon when Damon spoke up.
"Why don't I remember this?" he asked. "Dean, are you sure it was a demon? Maybe you're just remembering a dream."
"It wasn't a dream," sighed Dean. "I know it sounds incredible but it was a demon that killed my father. I know what I saw."
"I can't believe that you saw a demon," said Drake. "Demons don't exist, Dean."
"Don't they?" he asked, turning to face his cousin.
"No, they don't," replied Drake. "Look, a very bad man killed your father. It wasn't a demon though. I agree with Damon. You were so traumatized by what you saw that you're confusing the reality of what happened with the nightmare it caused."
"I didn't dream it," sighed Dean, running his fingers through his hair. "You don't have to believe me, but you were both there at the airport. You know what happened when the three of us were touching."
"That was strange," said Damon. "It doesn't mean anything though. Things like that happen all the time."
"Not to me they don't," said Dean.
"Well they do to me," replied Damon. "Trust me."
Dean wondered what other strange things happened to Damon. He was about to ask that when Drake suggested they get some sleep. They still had a funeral to attend in the morning and it was getting late. Dean sat in his father's room for almost an hour before he finally went to bed. He couldn't stop thinking about his father.
The funeral was held in the Halliwell Mausoleum. It was easily the largest mausoleum any of them had ever seen. Everything was white marble. There were torches on the walls between the tombs. The torches looked like gold. Dean, Damon and Drake sat in the front row where the immediate family was supposed to be. Dean thought it was a mistake until he realized that all three of his grandfather's children were gone.
The funeral itself was like nothing any of them had ever seen before. The woman who performed the ceremony talked about elements and lit candles before she untied a knotted cord and bid Daniel Halliwell farewell. The whole thing lasted for nearly three hours before they were standing in a line to shake hands with people who came to offer condolences. Dean thought it was strange to accept condolences for a man he barely remembered.
They were seated in the kitchen having lunch when Danforth Pollock arrived at the manor. He was an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair and dark eyes. He was dressed in a tweed suit that looked both casual and formal at the same time. He smiled at them, offered his condolences and then asked them if they were ready for the reading of the will.
They followed him to the attic where there was a circle of eight white candles in the center of the room. They wondered about that, but Mr. Pollock told them that it was something that had to be done. He had them stand just a few feet away from the candles as he lit each one. When he was done he stood across from them on the outside of the circle of burning candles.
"Guided spirits, hear these words. Hear my cry. Spirit from the other side cross now the great divide," said Danforth and the cousins gasped as a white light appeared in the center of the circle of candles. It grew until it was a large as a man and they were in awe as their grandfather stepped through it.
"Blessed be," he said as he smiled at them. "It is good to see you together again at last. So much has been taken from you and there is so much for you to learn."
"How is this possible?" asked Damon as he looked from the ghost of his dead grandfather to Mr. Pollock and back.
"Magic," replied his grandfather. "Good magic. You are all three home now where you belong."
"Grandfather," said Dean. "Does this mean that we're witches?"
"Of course you're witches, Dean," said Daniel. "You were born witches."
"But I'm not a witch," said Damon. "I don't have powers."
"Yes you do," argued Daniel. "They were bound by your parents to keep you safe. There is no one left to fight for you now so you must unbind your powers and learn to use them. Demons will come for you and you must be able to fight."
"Demons?" Drake asked. "You mean they really exist?"
"Demons and all sorts of magical beings exist, Drake," he said. "Your father did you a disservice by taking you away and trying to shield you from the family and witchcraft."
"What if I don't want to be a witch?" Damon asked, and it occurred to him that this entire thing could quite possibly turn out to be a dream. He'd never been more terrified in his life.
"I'm afraid you can't change what you are, Damon," said Daniel. "You were born a witch. Your mother was a witch."
"How will we learn?" Dean asked. There was no doubt in his mind that he was a witch. He remembered the demon. He just wanted to know how to defend himself.
"You will learn quickly," said Daniel. "Your powers will manifest as soon as you perform the spell to unbind them."
"What spell?" Damon asked.
"The spell is the first spell in our family's Book of Shadows," said Daniel. "It belongs to the three of you now along with this house and various pieces of real estate that the family owns."
"Are we expected to live here in the house?" Drake asked, thinking about his life in Hawaii. With his father dead there really wasn't anything to go back for.
"You are not expected to do anything but fight for your survival," said Daniel. "The day I died the underworld became aware of you again. I cloaked you from them while I was alive, but at the minute of my death your cloak failed. The entire magical community will know of you soon."
"What are our powers?" asked Dean.
"I'd imagine you would have the same powers as your parents," said Daniel. "It doesn't always happen that way though. I'm afraid I don't really know what your powers are."
"But you know we have them?" Drake asked.
"You have them," he said. "Blessed be, my sons. Danforth will tell you all about the properties and see to the signing of the deeds. He'll also give you the book."
With that the white light enveloped Daniel and he was gone. The cousins stood there staring at the space where he had been. Dean couldn't wait to say the spell and unbind his powers. He was completely accepting of the situation. He'd known in the back of his mind that his father and aunt were witches. Naturally that would mean that he was a witch as well.
"You'll find the spell to unbind your powers on the first page of the Book," said Danforth as he handed Dean the Book of Shadows. "Guard it well. Evil will always want to take this from you. Without the book your powers are useless."
They sat at the dining room table to go over the deeds to the house, a bakery and a night club that had been closed for over twenty years. Damon and Drake were in shock over learning that they were witches and didn't volunteer much while Dean and Danforth talked about the family holdings. By the time the lawyer left the house the pair were staring at Dean with shocked expressions.
"You're all right with this?" Damon asked him as he came back to the dining room and sat down.
"Yes," said Dean. "I knew that my father and your mother were witches, Damon. That had to mean that we were. I don't remember Drake's father, but if they were siblings it stands to reason that he was a witch too."
"You're going to say the spell aren't you?" Drake asked.
"Of course," replied Dean. "I'm hoping that the two of you will say it with me."
"What if we don't want to be witches?" Damon asked. "What if we want to go back to our homes and forget about all of this?"
"You heard our grandfather," said Dean. "Demons will come for us. If we don't say the spell and unbind our powers we won't be able to defend ourselves. They'll kill us all."
After at least two hours of arguing about it the cousins were back in the attic with the book opened to the first page in front of them on its stand. They stood side by side as they looked down at the words of the spell. Damon was shaking as they stood there in silence. Dean counted to three and they began to speak.
"Hear now the words of the witches. The secrets we hid in the night. The oldest of Gods are invoked here. The great work of magic sought. In this night and in this hour we call upon the ancient powers. Bring your powers to we cousins three. We want the power. Give us the power," they said together and the windows were suddenly filled with light. It was as if the sun had come up and it was shining down on them.
Then a ball of golden light floated above their heads. It floated across the room until it was right in front of the stand and Book. Then it became a shower of golden sparks that seemed to spiral around and reveal a woman with brilliant golden hair that hung to her waist. Her eyes were the brightest blue they'd ever seen and she was dressed in a white dress.
"My name is Narise," she said. "I am the Angel of Destiny. I come to tell you of your destiny."
"Our destiny?" Dean asked.
"You are the most powerful witches the world has ever known," she said. "With the spell you've just cast you have unbound your powers. Your inherited powers as well as the Charmed powers. You are the Charmed Ones."