A/N: So far I've only found one Practical Magic fanfic on all of ff.n. So, I decided to write my own. If anyone else out there loves this movie, write fanfic for it! I get tired of reading my own creations. *g*

This story takes place before Gillian and Sally are born; even before their mother is born, as a matter of fact. So I'd say that puts the date around 1950; Frances and Jet are still young. Yes, I know that they're technically in their early 100's and just look to be in their fifties, but I wanted them to be young-looking 70 year olds when the movie takes place. So sue me. You won't get much if you do. Forgive me if parts of this don't make sense; it was written very early in the morning. If any of you care to know, I had a very hard time deciding on who was the older sister. If you disagree with my decision, let me know and tell me why....I'm still straddling the fence and there's a distinct possibility I could go back and change it around. I may think about continuing this in another chapter if I get three legitimate reviews that want me to. Yes, I'm just asking for three reviews. I don't think more than four people are going to read this......


Frances stared with red-rimmed eyes out the window of the tiny house she shared with her husband. Rather, the house she used to share with her husband. Less than half an hour ago, she had stood on the pier and watched, horrified, as Ethan's fishing boat went down under the angry waves of the Atlantic, consumed in flames. She had known it would happen. The beetle had been ticking ever since her husband of two months had left out on his boat that morning. There was no way to reach him, no way to warn him. All day long, she had waited by the pier, hoping she could save him even though she knew in her heart that it was impossible. And then his boat caught fire and sank before her very eyes, not a mile away from shore.

Of course a rescue crew was sent out immediatly, but Fran knew it was of no use. He was gone. The beetle silenced moments after the boat disappeared under the water. Numbed, she turned and went home, ignoring the cold rain that was beginning to fall and the people that whispered as she passed. She didn't have to hear their words to know what they were saying. It was the curse of the Owens women. Any man who loved one of them was doomed to die.

They weren't even entirely finished unpacking. Half of Fran's things were still at the large Victorian house she'd grown up in -- the house she knew she'd be returning to shortly. Alone in the barely-furnished kitchen, she watched the raindrops sliding down the windowpane and saw her own face reflected in the glass. It was hard to tell if she was really crying, or if the reflection was just becoming one with the rain. A few seconds later, a salty drop hit the bare wooden table she was sitting at; it definately was not the rain. Fran sighed, looking down at where the tear had hit the table's surface. She had known all along, of course. It was foolish for an Owens woman to fall in love. But she had fallen just the same, hoping that somehow things would be different with her and Ethan.

Silently, a hand was laid on her shoulder, interrupting her thoughts. The touch didn't startle her; she had sensed her sister was on her way over. With a shuddering sigh, Fran reached her hand up to grasp Jet's tightly. The older woman knelt down by the kitchen chair without removing her hand, resting her head on her younger sister's knee. They stayed like that for a long moment before Jet said softly, "I came as soon as I knew."

Never taking her eyes off the window, Fran nodded silently, biting her lip to stop it from trembling. She gently twined the fingers of her free hand through her sister's long, sand-brown curls, as if the hair would anchor her to reality. Nothing seemed real anymore; she wasn't even sure if she wanted anything to be. Neither of the women spoke as they sat there together.

Nearby, rescuers were beginning to come back to shore after searching the sea surrounding Ethan's little fishing boat, shaking their heads as the last burning bits of debris smoldered in the water. The storm outside began to pick up it's pace, as did the gossip in William's General Store and various sitting rooms throughout the town. Women clicked their tongues in artificial sympathy and talked of how it was bound to happen sooner or later; poor Ethan had the misfortune to fall for an Owens woman. Men took off their caps and scratched their heads, unwilling to give in entirely to "women's talk" but unable to keep themselves from muttering their own opinions on the matter. Children just listened , whispering to themselves now and then, as the seeds of mistrust for the Owens family were planted more firmly in their little minds. "Witches, all of them......never married to a man more than five years...that's why they always keep their maiden names, to pass to their children......like black widows....." The children heard all of this, and every one of them believed.

But Frances and Bridget Owens didn't hear. They were shut off in Fran's one-bedroom house with only each other and the pounding rain for company. It wouldn't have done them any good if they had been able to hear the whisperings; they couldn't defend themselves. Owens women had been persecuted for two hundred and fifty years because they had a gift. The fact that all their lovers ended up dead didn't help, either. And it was true that they kept their maiden names to pass on to their daughters; no Owens woman had ever borne a son, so that was the only way the family heritage remained. Most of the time, they wore their name proudly because of the powers it brought to mind. Today, Frances Owens cursed it in her heart.

As though reading her thoughts, Jet raised her head from her sister's lap to look at her face. "Everything will be all right, Franny." she said gently; her sweet, almost girlish voice brought Frances out of her trance, and she looked down at the heart-shaped, upturned face. Her own features began to crumple, and she buried her face in her arms on the table, giving in to grief. Jet stood up, gently placing a hand on her sister's back and rubbing lightly.

"Come on, Franny. Let's go home."