The reason for sporadic coming and going is that some people are going to take longer than others to get to Sunneyhell if the military and the X-men were to get there first the others might have to back off or something for their individual secrecy so it all has to be timed right. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that.
Prue idly twirled the pen in her handas she looked at the stack of papers her new boss had given her to take care of. The young woman was still uncertain that she had done the right thing. Especially when it came down to the fact that they had told an ancestor of theirs not stick her head in their business. Why was she the one that had to deal with all of this? Why did she have to be the unofficial leader? She hadn’t even wanted to be a witch. Sure, she enjoyed the perks of being one and all, but that didn’t mean she had to just roll over and do whatever the ghost of an ancestor said. She was her own person damn it! And she was not going to let people, or things that weren’t supposed to exist, tell her what to do. Anyway, she really didn’t like being told what to do, she never had. Besides, Phoebe had been the one to cast the spell that unlocked their powers. Why couldn’t she act responsible every once and a while?
Now, instead of worrying about romantic problems, the only thing she worried about was getting her vacation time right. And that was proving more difficult than she originally thought it would be. She was now forced to struggle with what might be safe, and what was right. The decision was not one that she was enjoying right now. On one hand, there was the fact that a family member needed their help. On the other hand, was the fact that there were warlocks and monsters that were all coming to their town to cause all sorts of trouble. Did she really need to go someplace where she would find more? But she had made her call; now she just had to act on it. The woman sighed once more before returning to her papers.
“Why can’t they decide this time?” she muttered to herself, signing several papers and setting them in her out box. This was the part of her work she really hated. She would much rather be looking over some of the various finds in the warehouse for the next auction. Unfortunately, this was part of the job, so she might as well get it finished. Then she could go and examine some of the more recent pieces. She placed all thoughts of monsters and magic out of her mind as she concentrated on the papers in front of her. Since she was actually getting work done, naturally that was when her phone started ringing, interrupting her.
Groaning, she answered, “This is, Prue, how may I help you?” She listened, nodding as she looked at the unfinished paperwork. “Yeah, sure, I’ll be down in just a minute.” She hoped that checking whatever it was wouldn’t take too long. Maybe she could get back to work if it wasn’t too bad. She had a lot of paperwork to catch up on. Especially if she wanted to get this work done for her working vacation.
“One of these days, I’m going to find out why people think I’m the assistant director here,” she promised herself as she headed for the elevator. Flipping her hair out of her face, she put on her tough big sister face that only Phoebe dared argue with. She ignored the cold presence that she just barely felt near the door to her office. If she had noticed it, she probably would have dismissed it as nothing more than an air conditioning vent working over time in that part of her office.
The First smiled to itself as it watched the eldest of the Charmed Ones get up to take care of some petty little administrator’s detail. The oldest witch was going to be overworked at the rate she was going. And if she ever made it to Sunnydale, she would be so burnt out that it would only be a matter of time before she fell. And somehow, it knew that the sister witches were going to Sunnydale, despite it’s attempts to warn them off. Of course, that could work to its advantage as well, by having all of the various heroes on a battleground it had been cultivating for years. When the time was right, it could turn all of the great prophecies on their ears by ensuring the worst possible outcomes of each. The Source wouldn’t ever need to worry about the children of Charmed and Whitelighter descent. The Star Gods could forget the chosen warriors to Heaven’s Gate. The mark of the X would never spread as far as it could. And the Last Son of Krypton would not be around to form a trinity of power with the Bat, and the Princess of the Amazons. The Marked One would die, leaving all those that he cared about to die as well. It was all a matter of timing now. If the various champions and heroes got there too soon, then the pathetic children the Slayer led would have hope. And that was something that could not be allowed. An army that had no hope would die spectacularly as they were all destroyed. The only sad bit would be that Angelus would not be able to join its forces, and Angel would not be destroyed. But in one swift move, it would clear the board of all of the major pieces that had opposed it. Not even meddlers like the Elders could stop the darkness it would bring this time.
San Francisco: Police Department
Phoebe slipped into the police station; she hoped Andy would be able to help her out with this. Sometimes it helped to have your sister doing some on again off again dating with one of the best cops in San Francisco. She made her way to his desk, and there was the man himself, talking on the phone, as usual, talking police stuff that she couldn’t understand. He waved her toward a chair as he finished his conversation about some case or another. Phoebe didn’t even bother trying to understand what Andy was saying sometimes when he went into his cop lingo. Besides, she really did not want to understand the tall, dark haired guy with a tan that always seemed to be there, despite the fact that he spent a ton of time inside behind a computer. Anyway, if she wanted someone to understand Andy, she would talk to Prue. She waited patiently as he finished his conversation.
“Hey, Phoebe, what’s up?” Andy asked, leaning back in his chair as he studied the youngest sister of the only girl that could really make him nervous.
“Well, I kind of need a favor,” the young woman admitted, looking at her hands for a moment.
“A favor? And do I even want to know what it you’ve done this time? Or how you and your sisters are going to appear at my next bogus crime scene? A crime, which will remarkably fix itself, I might add, while you just happen to be hanging around?”
“Somehow, I don’t think you’ll be the one we have to talk to the next time.”
“And why is that?”
“’Cause the next time we do something crazy, we plan to do it outside of home, sweet, home. It’ll probably be somewhere closer to L.A.,” Phoebe assured him.
“Really?” Andy asked. “And should I be worried that you don’t think you’ll be near here the next time something goes wrong?” Andy countered.
“Nope, no reason to be worried,” Phoebe again reassured the man. “I just kind of wanted to look at the police records for a relative of ours.”
“Really?” Andy asked, grinning in disbelief. “And just who might that be?”
“You remember our older cousin, Joyce?”
“Yeah, she used to come by and visit you guys every once and a while, as I recall. Even did some of the free family babysitting, too. She was a bit of an art nut, like Prue. Right?”
“Yep, that’s the one.”
“Didn’t one of you say that she had gotten married to some kind of office idiot or something like that?” Andy asked as he propped his feet up on his desk.
“Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, she had a daughter who’s a few years younger than me, and we kind of wanted to get some back ground information on her before we went down there.”
Andy rolled his eyes at the weak lie. “I really shouldn’t do this,” he said as he began typing to access the main database. “What’s her name?” he asked when he finally logged on.
Andy looked up, a small grin on his face. “If you tell me I’m going to find information on a blonde, California cheerleader, then I’m going to laugh.”
“Well, she is an L.A. native ,” Phoebe replied, shrugging. “As for her being a cheerleader, I think she was, but for only a little while,” She assured the cop, knowing he might use that bit of information to tease Prue mercilessly.
Andy looked at her oddly for a moment, but shrugged as the information came up. “Let’s see. According to these files, your cousin is a bit of a troublemaker. She was also mistakenly presumed dead at one time. They had a grave spot and everything it seems. It was set up sometime during the summer, a little over a year ago, and was evidently kept in tiptop shape. Or it was until someone damaged it a bit. But since your cousin came back, the younger sister didn’t seem too bothered by that. She didn’t care what the police found, and according to this, they didn’t find anything anyways. I can get the case report for you if you like, and we can see what’s up with that,” he offered.
“What about her teen record?” Phoebe asked, after shaking her head at the offer.
“Well, unless she was a troublemaker then as well, there probably won’t be a lot,” Andy told her as he searched farther back. “And I do believe I’ve just found the black sheep of your family. I think she’s even worse than you were when you were a teen,” Andy commented as he viewed all the information coming up on his screen. “According to this, she’s either the local unsung hero, or she’s one of the biggest menaces that has just about destroyed a small town, after she was transplanted from the big city.”
“What can I say? She got the majority of the troublemaking genes.”
“Seriously, Phoebe,” Andy cautioned, looking at the youngest Halliwell sister. “Be really careful with this cousin of yours. Anyone that has this many people turn up dead around them should be dealt with, with extreme caution.” The witch nodded as she took the computer printout with the information on it.
‘Too bad I couldn’t tell him the truth about why I needed the information. Of course, then he might not have told me anything. Especially if he knew that the real reason I needed the information was so my sisters and I could go and get ourselves involved in a mystical war that has been building for years,’ she mused to herself. Maybe she should stop at Quake later on and get a drink. She could also show Piper what she had found so far. With that in mind, she thanked her sister’s boyfriend, or whatever he was this week; it was sometimes hard to keep track. She had just gotten up to leave when Andy stopped her.
“Um, Phoebe, when you see Prue, could you…”
“Tell her you said hello?”
“Yeah.” Phoebe gave him a quick thumbs up before she left.
England: Zabini Manor
The richly decorated room was impressive, to say the least. Bellatrix and Peter, a portly rat faced man known more commonly as Wormtail, stood to the side of the room, one as a guard, the other as a servant, a caretaker to the giant snake that slithered around the room. The two stood at the beck and call of the person currently sitting in front of a pair that he had only recently gotten the chance to speak with.
Voldemort looked down his nose at the two people in black robes kneeling in front of him. On the right, the larger form of Severus Snape kneeled on a crooked knee. Next to the greasy haired man, and practically laying on the floor, was his pupil, Draco Malfoy. Voldemort’s red eyes narrowed darkly as he examined the boy before him, for to call him a man was ridiculous. When he had first inducted the pale haired boy into the ranks of his Death Eaters, he had had such high hopes for him. Wasn’t this boy a Malfoy? The heir of one of the most proud and noble pureblooded families? True, the child had needed threats to agree to take the mark, and to agree to the mission, but he had too great a potential to let the old fool get his hands on. Or so he had originally thought. The boy had been trained for years to do his duty, yet when the time came he failed the pureblooded wizards. It was truly a shame that the youngling had turned out to be such a grave disappointment to him. Still, the boy had gotten to the real Death Eaters into the school. The job had been done, and done with a craftiness that would have made his ancestor Salazar proud. In that way, the boy had proved his breeding. He hadn’t missed the slyness in using Potter and his companion’s own tricks against them. The use of the coin and the darkness powder had indeed been great, and was actually a a bit amusing to him. Not that he would let anyone know how proud he was of the methods that the boy had used.
“Well, Severus, it appears that great honor is yours at this time,” the Dark Lord told his servant. The man nodded slightly, but was not foolish enough to raise his head. Unfortunately, the boy’s sire had at least taught him proper behavior before ones betters, since the boy didn’t even twitch while his teacher was being addressed. “As for you, young Malfoy,” the Dark Lord said, turning his attention to the child before him. “I understand that you couldn’t even take care of one wandless, old, crack-potted, muggle loving fool!” The boy swallowed, but didn’t say anything. “I will deal with you later, child.” The wizard waved dismissively at the boy. The boy nodded, a small bit of color returning to his face as he backed toward the door of the chamber, but Voldemort was not about to let the simpering child off so easily. “Until then, perhaps your aunt can demonstrate proper loyalty to you, and what a painful disappointment you are to the rest of us.” The already pale boy’s face returned to the shade it had been a few moments ago. He must have honestly thought that the Dark Lord was going to be satisfied with what happened. His pale blue eyes darted toward the woman in question before returning to the Dark Lord.
The boy opened his mouth to whimper, or possibly to make some pathetic excuse, but a blonde female that stepped out of from behind a pillar interrupted him. She had been leaning almost casually in the shadows. Voldemort stopped any words or spells he might have thrown at the obviously muggle girl that had entered his current headquarters. The words of a dark curse had been on his lips, but then he had felt the intoxicating flavor of darkness that was practically falling off the small girl. Her very essence was darkness in its truest form. Only once had he ever felt power like he was currently feeling. “It has been a long time, Voldemort,” the girl greeted, adjusting the hem of her jacket. “How are my pets serving you this time around?”
Voldemort grinned at the figure before him. He got up off his chair and gave a courteous bow to the figure. “Greetings, Dark One. It is a refreshing and terrifying thing to be in your presence again.”
“Thank you, Voldemort,” the woman replied, smirking. “Though you never did answer my question.”
“Your pets are remarkable beings. I am just honored that you were willing to put them under my care again.”
The figure shrugged. “You do let them exercise their unique abilities, more than that bowler-wearing idiot ever did. Besides,” she added with a feral grin. “They are good for making total chaos.”
“Should I summon them for you to oversee?” The Dark Lord questioned. “I’m sure they would love to have a moment or two with their maker.”
“Shall we take our leave my Lord?” Severus’ silky voice asked from his spot on the floor.
Voldemort turned toward the figures on the floor. Snape shifted uncomfortably as he too felt the darkness coming from the being before them. The little boy who would be a man, on the other hand, was watching the whole scene with indifference. He seemed incapable of feeling the dark power that this being was just barely containing. Voldemort frowned at this; perhaps he would need to make the boy into more than one type of example.
“There is no need, Severus Snape,” the blonde answered for him. “You and your charge, Malfoy, may stay where you are for now.”
Snape looked livid, as if he wanted to respond to the young woman, but the darkness he felt was keeping him from saying anything.
“Ah, Severus, I have been meaning to one day take you to meet this one. It was instrumental in helping me find a number of sources for power when I was younger. May I be one of the first to introduce, the First Evil.”
“The First?” Snape asked in awe. While it was true that Snape was only a half-blood like Potter, he, at least, had had the privilege to grow up knowing about magic, and had also spent his years studying the methods of darkness.
“Yes, though I must admit this is an odd way to communicate,” Voldemort said, his red eyes taking in the form of the blonde before him. He, almost hesitantly, placed his hand through the figure, withdrawing his hand as he felt a slight burning sensation.
“Impressive. There are few who can stick their limbs into me and actually survive,” the First complimented the wizard. “You have truly come far, Voldemort.”
“Thank you, Dark One.”
“I thought the only way to contact the First was through one of the wells of death, though,” Severus said, his sharp mind examining the short figure before him.
“Well, that would be true, wizard, if the balance of the world had not been tipped and I gained the power to be here because of it.”
“So you have been directing your various servants in their endeavors then?”
“No, I have been busy taking care of other business, that has been proving to be a bit of annoyance to my various warriors. Some what like your own endeavors with that boy that keeps on beating you,” the First added, a slight smirk on its face.
“The ancient magic the mudblood invoked caught me by surprise,” Voldemort defended through clenched teeth. “As for his other heroics, he has always fought me while I was in a weakened state. But you did not come here about my problems,” he said, coming to his senses. “What is it that I can do for you?”
“Our problems are converging into one,” the First explained to the Dark Lord. “And with one mighty sweep, we can destroy multiple so called ‘Chosen Ones’. They will all be gone and out of the way, and I can watch my warriors do their duties without worrying about some prophesied one getting in the way.”
Voldemort smiled at this. A world with no heroes would be a good one. “Severus, send word to forty of my Death Eaters. I believe we have places to be.”
“Of course, my Lord,” Snape replied as he backed up to the door and then turned to leave.
“Leave the child where he is, Snape. I have something I want him to experience first,” Voldemort said. Snape nodded and strode out of the room, ignoring the suspicious gaze of Bellatrix and the hateful glare of the former Marauder.
“Perhaps your pets can instill the appropriate amount of fear in this child,” Voldemort suggested to the First. “That is, if you have the time to see them at work.”
“I suppose,” the First replied, almost bored. “You think this piece of wizarding weakness can still be of some use to the Dark?”
“Yes,” he assured his Master. “If for nothing else, then as a way to show people what happens to families that fail me, and by extension, you.”
“Of course,” the First agreed as it summoned its creations. Creations that had been made when it was new to this dimension and it had been trying various things. The few torches that were lit flickered weakly as the four beings that guarded the manor passageways floated into the room. Draco Malfoy quivered in fear as the things passed him.
“These, young Malfoy, are merely shadows of what the First is capable of,” Voldemort told the boy as the creatures bowed low to their creator and it’s chosen warrior of the Dark. It had been a long time since they had been able to pay their respects to their creator.
“Yes, I sense the souls in you,” the First said, observing the creatures. “You will be more powerful for the nourishment. Do you still need the boy whole?” it asked, turning towards the shaking mass.
“Possibly. If for nothing else, he will make a good scapegoat that I can use.”
“Then let my pets have their way with him; they won’t have to drain him of his soul to make him wish for death.”
“Well, since they are yours, I suppose letting you watch them in action is your right,” Voldemort said, not bothering mentioning that he had already suggested this.
Blaise Zabini was glad to be home after the annoying train ride. After the scar heads little show, the ride to the platform had been bittersweet. The house elf opened the door, just in time for the young man to hear the terrified screams of his former housemate echoing throughout the Manor. The boy merely swallowed in fear as the door that led to the lower levels of the manor slammed shut, silencing the screams. All that was left was the memory of the sound.