It was a stormy evening that night in San Francisco. Piper and Mara were hurrying down the street in hopes of getting into Halliwell Manor before they got too wet. Their umbrellas only protected them so much thanks to the wind.
Piper glanced at Mara as they hurried along. Ever since Gram's death, she knew that Mara worried whether or not she'd actually have a home anymore. While Piper and Prue didn't understand why Grams took in Mara all those years ago – she was family now. Even if they weren't connected by blood.
When Mara's parents died in an accident, that's when Grams opened up her home to Mara. The girls were barely even teenagers at the time and found it odd that there was a strange little girl now living with their family, but Mara had grown on them. And Mara herself had grown to be a lovely young woman. Okay, lovely was a bit of a stretch. In Piper's opinion, Mara's personality could use some work. Mainly in the sass department.
Piper was pulled from her thoughts when they rushed up the stairs and into the Manor.
"I am soaked," Mara stated as she shook out her hair a bit.
"I told you, you should have worn a jacket," Piper replied as she set down her shopping bags and hung up her umbrella.
Mara handed hers over as well, saying "I did wear a jacket." She pulled off her leather jacket and waved it in front of Piper for emphasis.
Piper gave her an 'oh, stop that' look before taking it and hanging it up as well. "I meant one with a hood."
"Well, you should have been more specific." Mara was really getting her goat now.
Piper put her hand up in a 'just stop talking' way before calling out, "Prue?"
"In here, working on the chandelier," Prue called back from the other room.
Piper walked into the living room. "Sorry we're late."
Prue glanced over at Mara, muttering "What else is new." Turning her attention to her sister, she said, "You know, Piper, I would've been here to meet the electrician myself, but you know I can't leave the museum until six. I haven't even had time to change."
"If you weren't so fashion conscious, it probably wouldn't take that long." Mara couldn't help herself.
Prue was all the more annoyed now. "Not everyone is willing to throw on whatever's in the hamper." As she closed up the step ladder, she added "Whether or not it's clean."
Before either one of them could get out another word, Piper said, "I'm sorry. I didn't realize how long we were in Chinatown for." To change the subject completely, she asked, "Did Jeremy call?"
Prue sighed and gestured to the dinging room table. "No, but he had some roses and a package delivered."
Mara smiled playfully and went over to the roses, plucking the card from them and reading aloud in mock seduction, "My beloved Piper, my body aches with longing until we can be together again."
Piper gasped and quickly took the card from her. After giving it a quick glance she said, "It does not say that!"
"I know," Mara laughed and was about to say more but Prue beat her to it.
Prue crossed her arms as she looked at her sister. "Piper, what were you two doing in Chinatown? I thought you had an interview in North Beach?"
Piper set her bag on the dining room table as she answered, "I did, but then I picked up Mara from the library and went to Young Lee market after my interview to get the ingredients for my audition recipe tomorrow."
"An audition that you will kick ass at." Mara grinned and nudged Piper reassuringly.
"You eat anything, so forgive me if you're not my favorite critic." Piper was just playing and her smile let Mara know that.
"I won't eat anything," Mara emphasized. "Just anything that you cook."
Prue interjected into this conversation with something she felt was more important. "Piper, that Wolfgang Puck knock-off didn't hire you today?"
Piper opened up the package Jeremy sent over. "No, but this just may get me the job." She lifted up the wine bottle and looked at it with grateful pride.
Prue didn't get it. She took the bottle from Piper, asking "Jeremy sent you Port?"
Piper clasped her hands together and smiled. "It's the ultimate ingredient for my recipe."
"Nice boyfriend." Prue smiled and set it down.
Mara walked around the table and laughed. "Oh my god, is this the infamous Ouija board?" She gently touched the wooden board on the table.
"It's called a spirit board," Piper corrected as she picked it up and looked at the engraving in the back.
Prue joined them. "I found it in the basement while looking for the circuit tester."
Piper's fingers moved over the engraving before reading aloud. "To my three beautiful girls. May this give you the light to find the shadows. The Power of Three will set you free. Love, Mom."
Mara's brow furrowed a bit. "Translation, please?"
"Don't know," Piper replied. "We never figured out what this inscription meant."
"We should send it to Phoebe," Prue replied as she walked away. "That girl is so in the dark, maybe a little light will help."
Piper sighed. "You're always so hard on her."
Prue stopped walking and turned around. "Piper, the girl has no vision, no sense of the future."
"You used to say the same thing about me," Mara pointed out as she gestured to herself.
Prue had to give her credit there. "True, but you're getting your act together with your grades and seem to know what you want to do with your life. I can't say the same for Phoebe."
Piper interjected with, "I really think Phoebe's coming around."
Prue shrugged a little with a smile. "Well, as long as she doesn't come around here, I guess that's good news."
When Prue left the room, Mara looked at Piper with wide eyes. "You haven't told her?" she asked quietly.
Piper shook her head. "No," she whispered back and shushed her before taking her bag and going into the kitchen.
Mara had to press her lips together to keep herself from laughing as she went along with Piper – not noticing that the Spirit Board was moving all on its own.
Mara grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and made sure that Prue wasn't nearby before speaking. "You're gonna have to tell her eventually."
"I'm looking for the right time," Piper replied as she put her ingredients away.
Mara almost had a spit-take moment due to her sudden laughter. "Isn't she showing up like...any time now?" She closed up the water bottle and set it on the counter beside her.
Piper was going to say something but Prue came in through the kitchen to get to the circuit breaker in the back entrance laundry room off the kitchen.
Mara gently pushed Piper forward, mouthing 'Go'.
Piper shook her head in a 'not now' way, but after seeing Mara's 'GO' face, she went to go talking to Prue.
Prue was changing out the fuses with a frustrated sigh. "I don't get it. I've checked everything and can't figure out why the chandelier isn't working."
Piper looked back to Mara for a second before saying casually, "Hey, Prue, remember how we were talking about what to do with the spare room? I think you're right, we do need a roommate."
Prue walked back into the kitchen as she spoke. "Well, we could rent out the room at a reduced rate in exchange for help around the house. And for dealing with an obnoxious teenager." She grinned at Mara for saying that.
"Hey, I just turned eighteen," Mara defended. "So that makes me an adult."
Prue under hand pointed at her, saying "Hardly."
Piper was going to randomly get back on the roommate topic. "Phoebe's good with a wrench."
Prue scoffed a chuckle. "Phoebe lives in New York."
"Not anymore," Mara said with an accompanying cough, but coherent enough to be understood.
Prue looked at her unhappily. "What?" When Mara looked at Piper, Prue did the same and repeated, "What?"
Piper pulled onto her fingers as she said, "She left New York. She's moving back in with us."
Mara slowly moved away from where Prue was standing because she had 'angry face' on.
Prue couldn't believe what she had just heard. "You've got to be kidding me."
Piper followed after Prue with Mara right on her tail. "Well, I could hardly say no. I mean, it's her house, too. It was willed to all of us."
Prue knew that but it didn't change anything. "Yeah, months ago, and we haven't seen or spoken to her since."
"You haven't spoken to her." Mara may not be a Halliwell, but she's been a part of this family since she was a toddler so she gave her input in times like this. Despite how many times that it has been subtly and not so subtly pointed out that she wasn't really part of the family.
Prue looked right at Mara as he answered. "No, I haven't. Look, maybe you have forgotten why I'm so mad at her."
"Of course not," Piper replied, "but she had nowhere else to go. She lost her job, she's in debt."
Prue was waiting for the point. "And this is news?" A thought then came to her mind. She looked at Mara, asking "How long have you known about this, anyway?"
Mara was honestly afraid to answer. "You know, I think I'm going to pull the 'you're not really a member of this family' card myself and choose not to answer that."
Prue took a deep breath. "That long, huh? Thanks for sharing." Now looking to Piper, she asked, "When does she arrive?"
As if on cue, Phoebe walked in the front door. "Surprise! I found the hide-a-key." When she saw Mara, she laughed, "Get over here, you." Phoebe hugged Mara tightly and smiled.
"Welcome home, Phoebe." Mara had always felt closest to Phoebe. Maybe it was because their ages weren't that far apart, or maybe it was because she knew they both felt like outcasts. Don't get her wrong, Mara loves Piper and Prue, but it was always different with Phoebe.
After her hug with Mara, Phoebe went over to Piper.
"It's so good to see you," Piper sincerely said to her before saying to her elder sister, "Isn't it, Prue?"
Prue crossed her arms. "I'm speechless."
Just then a horn honked from outside, making Mara laugh. "Forgot about the cab?"
Phoebe winced a smile. "Maybe."
"I'll get it," Piper assured her then grabbed a purse off the end tabled and headed out the door.
Prue scoffed. "Piper, that's my purse!" When Piper just waved to acknowledge she heard her, she shook her head and scoffed again.
Phoebe smiled gratefully to Prue. "Thanks. I'll pay you back."
To break the awkward silence, Mara went over to Phoebe and asked, "This your only bag or are others going to magically appear?"
Phoebe laughed. "Nope, this is all I own. Well, this and a bike." As much as she'd like to continue on with talking to Mara, she had to say something to Prue. "Look, I know you don't want me here – ..."
Prue stepped forward, firmly saying "We're not selling Grams' house."
Now it was Phoebe's turn to scoff. "Is that why you think I came back?"
Piper was straight to her point. "Look, the only reason why Piper and I gave up our apartment and moved back here was because this house has been in our family for generations."
Mara crossed her arms in offense. "Hey."
Prue sighed. "Of course we came back for you, too, Mara."
Phoebe was getting back to the house topic. "There's no need for a history lesson, Prue. I also grew up here. So can we talk about what's really bothering you?"
Mara wasn't sure what that was about because she only knew the house stuff. "Time to pull the card?" she had the feeling that this was something Prue might not want her present for.
Prue heard Mara's question but paid no mind. With her eyes right on Phoebe, she said "I'm still furious with you."
Phoebe thought this was typical Prue. "So you'd rather have a tense reunion filled with boring chit-chat and unimportant small talk?"
"No, but otherwise we wouldn't have anything else to talk about," Prue replied with snark.
Phoebe wasn't messing around now. "I never touched Roger."
Mara wasn't expecting to hear that. "Whoa."
Prue turned to Mara. "Card."
Mara took her cue and headed into the kitchen, but stuck near the doorway to hear everything.
"Still using that Card? Really? You just can't let her feel like a Halliwell, can you?" Phoebe was really sick of the whole Card thing.
Prue adjusted her arms a bit more as she crossed them more firmly. "There are lines."
Phoebe had every intention of talking about that more later, but right then they were talking about Roger. "Like I said, I never touched Roger. I know you think otherwise because that's what that Armani-wearing, chardonnay-slugging, trust-funder told you. But – ..."
"Hey!" Piper said as she came back into the house. "How about Mara and I make us a fabulous reunion dinner?"
"I'm not hungry," Prue replied as she walked out of the room and Phoebe added as she too left, "I ate on the bus, and you guys should really stop using the Card on Mara."
Piper placed her hands on her hips with a sigh and called out "Okay, maybe we'll try the group hug later."
After getting her pajamas on and robe on, Piper went down to the kitchen and found Mara in her flying bat pajamas preparing something to eat. "You hungry?"
Mara shook her head as she looked at Piper. "Making something for Phoebe."
"You stole my idea," Piper said with a smile as she grabbed a few glasses for them. As Piper poured out the drinks, she looked at Mara. "You do know you're a part of this family, right?"
"Not biologically," Mara pointed out for the millionth time since it's been done to her.
Piper sighed because that wasn't what she meant and knew Mara knew that. "Mara."
Mara sighed and finished making the sandwich for Phoebe. "I know, Piper. It's just always felt like I've been living with older friends than older sisters. As much as I loved Grams, she was never my Grams. I think that's why the lines – the boundaries – have never really bothered me at my core. Do they annoy me? Yeah, but I get it."
"Is it our fault...That you don't feel like a sister?" Piper realized that they never really talked about it. It was just one day Mara wasn't in their lives and the next she was, and that was that. They figured it out as they went along, but it was never really discussed.
Mara hadn't ever really noticed that this topic might be bothering Piper. "Piper, I don't feel like a sister because I'm not. You three mean the world to me and I love you all so much. I don't have to feel like a sister or family because I know that when push comes to shove, we have each other's backs. Even if it's not always at the same time." She laughed as she putt he stuff on the tray. "Being Halliwell adjacent has always been enough for me."
Piper looked at Mara in awe. "You are far too wise for your years."
Mara grinned as she carried away the tray. "Maybe that's because I actually listened to Grams when she talked."
Piper gasped and followed after her, jokingly saying, "If you weren't carrying that, I'd throw something at you."
Mara laughed as they headed up to Phoebe's room. "Rain check."
Piper's 'of course' face was reply enough before knocking on Phoebe's door. "It's us," she informed her younger sister.
"Come on in," Phoebe called back and smiled when Piper and Mara came into her room.
Mara lifted the tray up for visual aid. "Thought you might be hungry."
"Starving," Phoebe emphasized as she took the tray from Mara and set it on the bed.
The TV was on the news channel and Piper recognized the man on screen. "Hey, that's my boyfriend Jeremy. What happened?"
Phoebe shrugged before answering. "Some woman got whacked."
Piper raised her brows at her choice of lingo. "Whacked? Phoebe, I think you've been in New York for too long."
Phoebe picked at the crust on her sandwich. "Yeah, well, maybe I should have stayed."
Mara narrowed her eyes in her signature 'don't you dare say that' way and Phoebe mockingly did it in reply before asking, "Why didn't either of you tell Prue I was coming back?"
Mara sat beside Phoebe and replied seriously. "And risk her changing the locks?"
Piper felt the same way and added as she turned off the TV, "You should have been the one to tell her, not us."
Phoebe took a bite of her sandwich before setting it back down. "Good point, Chicken Little. It's just so hard for me to talk to her. She's always been more like a mother."
Mara's face practically screamed 'you and me, both' but she vocally said nothing.
Piper went straight to Prue's defense. "That's not her fault. I mean, she practically had to sacrifice – ..."
Phoebe and Mara both knew what Piper was going to say so they all said in unison "Her own childhood to help raise us." Phoebe chuckled, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
"Hey," Piper replied, "we were lucky she was so responsible. We had it easy. All we had to do was be there."
Mara got that point of view, and even agreed with it, but alas...she was siding with Phoebe – even if she didn't say it.
Since Mara didn't speak, Phoebe did. "Well, I don't need a mom anymore, you know? I need a sister."
Prue appeared in the doorway at that moment with a blanket in her hand. She knocked on the door before entering. "Hey, this was always the coldest room in the house." Prue held up the blanket and set in on the vanity near the door.
"Thanks," Phoebe replied and that was that.
When Prue left, Mara looked at Phoebe and smiled, "At least you know she cares about you not getting pneumonia."
Phoebe and Piper both scoffed with laugh as they swatted Mara with pillows.
Phoebe went downstairs and almost couldn't believe that Mara was using the Spirit Board. "Is that what I think it is?"
"If you think it's a Ouija board, then no. Spirit board, then yes." Mara scooted her chair aside a little. "Wanna join?"
Phoebe didn't have to asked twice and quickly joined her.
Piper came out of the kitchen with a cup of tea in her hands. "Room for the third."
"Well your mom did say the Power of Three," Mara replied, referring to the inscription.
"Very true," Piper chuckled and sat down to join them and asked a question.
With their hands all placed on the pointer as it 'moved' around the board, Phoebe said, "I'm glad you and Jeremy are still together. Where did you meet him, again?"
"We met at the hospital cafeteria the day Grams was admitted. He was covering a story, and I was bawling over a bagel, so he handed me a napkin."
"How romantic," Phoebe slightly teased.
Piper nodded affirmative. "As a matter of fact, it was. The napkin had his number on it." When the pointer kept moving she said, "Stop pushing the pointer."
Mara thought Piper was talking to her. "I'm not doing anything."
"Not you," Piper replied with a little laugh and cocked her head to Phoebe, "her."
Phoebe laughed. "I'm not moving it."
Piper didn't believe her. "You always used to move it." Leaning closer to Mara, she said, "She would always move it."
"Hey, Mara's on Team Phoebe, don't try taking her away." Phoebe narrowed her eyes at Piper.
Piper stood and brought her tea cup to the kitchen. "I'm getting popcorn."
"Hey, what was your question again?" Mara called out. "I forgot."
"I asked if Prue would have sex with someone other than herself this year," Piper replied as she walked into the kitchen.
Mara and Phoebe had the same reaction. "Eww," Mara said and Phoebe added, "That's disgusting!" They shared a look with each other, just knowing they were thinking the same thing. Phoebe leaned closer to the board, saying "Please say yes."
Mara leaned forward as well and with a pleading tone said, "Please."
"What about you?" Phoebe asked, changing the subject a little. "Anyone you're having sexy time with?"
Mara rolled her eyes. "No one I'm interested in."
Phoebe was still fishing a bit. "So, does that mean you still haven't...you know."
Mara couldn't believe she was being asked that. "Phoebe!"
"What! I'm just curious." Phoebe smirked a bit and when they returned back to the Spirit Board, the pointer did move all on its own to the letter A.
Mara and Phoebe looked at it with gaping mouths. "Piper!" Mara called out and when the pointer moved to the letter T, Phoebe added, "Piper, get in here!"
Piper went over to them asking, "What?"
"What did you two do now?" Prue asked Phoebe and Mara as she joined them.
Mara stood up from her seat and looked as terrified as she felt when she pointed at the board. "Th – the board."
Since Mara couldn't get her words out, Phoebe clarified. "The pointer on the Spirit Board moved on its own."
Neither Prue nor Piper believed them. This was evident.
"I'm serious!" Phoebe exclaimed.
Mara nodded affirmatively. "It spelled A-T."
"Well, did Phoebe push it?" Piper asked, believing that was the case.
"No!" Phoebe answered defensively.
Prue thought the same thing Piper did. "Phoebe, you always used to push the pointer." If Phoebe didn't push it, maybe Mara did. Looking at her, she asked "Did you?"
Mara shook her head. "Our fingers were barely on the thing." She returned to her seat. "Look." When her and Phoebe's returned to the pointer, it did nothing.
Prue and Piper didn't see anything so they turned around to go back to what they were doing.
Once their backs were turned, the pointer moved and returned to T. "Ahhh!" they exclaimed together and Phoebe them, "It did it again. It moved!"
Prue wanted this to get over with, so she went over to the board to see for herself. Clearly Mara and Phoebe wanted some sort of attention. "It's still on the letter T."
"I swear it moved," Phoebe replied.
Mara basically said the same. "Cross my heart, it did."
Prue had enough of this and left the room. Just then, the pointer started to move to the letter I without any hands on it . Mara and Phoebe sprang to their feet because of it. Mara waved her hand frantically at it. "You saw that, Piper, right?"
Piper moved closer and nodded slowly. "Yeah, I think I did."
Phoebe looked at Piper seriously. "Told you we weren't touching it."
When the pointer started to move towards the letter C, Piper really believed them now. "Prue!" she called out, "Can you come back here for a second please?"
Prue was really starting to get annoyed. "Now what?"
Phoebe was writing down that the Spirit Board was spelling. "I think it's trying to tell us something." She turned around the envelope she had written on to reveal the word, "Attic."
The storm got worse as thunder crackled. All the lights in the house flickered before going out completely.
Piper had enough of this. "I'm staying at Jeremy's tonight." She headed for the door as Prue and Mara followed.
"Don't you think you're overreacting?" Prue asked as she followed after her sister. "We're perfectly safe here."
"Don't say that," Piper replied, still walking away. "In horror movies, the person who says that is always the next to die."
Prue thought Piper was being ridiculous. "Piper, it's pouring rain, there's a psycho on the loose, and Jeremy's not even home."
Mara decided not to stick around for the rest of the conversation and went into the kitchen to see Phoebe. "Whatcha doing?"
"Looking for a flashlight," Phoebe replied and when she found one, she said "I'm going up to the attic. Want to come?"
Mara was a bit freaked but was all for the adventure. "Sure, but we haven't been able to open it for months. Prue called a handyman to check it out."
Phoebe headed for the stairs as she replied loud enough for Prue and Piper to also hear, "Well, I'm not waiting for a handyman to check out the attic and I'm certainly not waiting until tomorrow. I'm going now."
Mara shrugged in an 'whatever' way before following her up.
They were far enough up the stairs to not hear Prue say, "Just when I thought Mara was becoming her own person, she's back to following Phoebe around again."
When they made it to the attic door, Mara said, "We should have some ominous music playing in the background or something."
"Feel free to hum it if you like," Phoebe replied as she reached out for the doorknob. When she heard what Mara hummed, she paused and looked back to her. "Is that the Jeopardy theme song?"
Mara stopped humming and threw up her hands. "I can't help it. Everything I try to hum always ends up sounding like that."
Phoebe was glad for this little comic relief. "I almost forgot how weird you were."
"I'm going to try and not take offense to that," Mara replied then waved her hands for the door. "Age before beauty. Get to it, missy."
Phoebe narrowed her eyes with a little smirk before trying the attic door. The doorknob rattled as she tried to get it open and she even tried pushing on it, but nothing. "Guess I'm gonna have to wait." Phoebe was a little bothered because of it.
When the girls started to walk away, the doorknob turned and the door opened on its own. Mara moved a bit closer to Phoebe. "Did that just..."
Phoebe nodded. "Yeah...yeah it did." With a 'let's go' expression, she grabbed onto Mara's shirt and pulled her along into the attic.
Mara looked around as Phoebe shown in the light then gasped and grabbed hold of Phoebe's arm when it looked like the chest near the window was glowing.
Phoebe quickly turned where Mara was looking and saw it too. The pair slowly walked over to it. As they did, Mara said, "I don't think I want to imagine horror movie music anymore."
Phoebe didn't respond to that and just set down the flashlight and opened up the chest. Inside there were a lot of books, but the large, green, leather bound one with a strange symbol on top caught Phoebe's eye. She pulled it out, sat down on the chest's lid, and blew off the dust from the book.
"What is it?" Mara asked as she moved closer to see.
Phoebe opened the cover and read aloud, "The Book of Shadows." She flipped the page and came to some sort of incantation. "Want to read it with me?"
Mara raised her brow in a 'now way' manner.
Phoebe egged her on. "Come on, what's the harm?"
"The last time you said that, I got grounded," Mara replied and leaned over to see it anyway. They read together, "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 is sought. In this night and in this hour, I call upon the ancient power." When it came to the next part, Phoebe read it alone because Mara didn't feel right reading it. "Bring your powers to we sisters three. We want the power..." Phoebe looked at Mara and finished, "Give us the power."
"What are you doing?" Prue asked as she and Piper walked into the attic.
"Uh, reading," Phoebe replied as she closed the Book and brought it over to them, "an incantation. It was in this Book of Shadows. We found it in that trunk."
Prue took the Book from Phoebe, saying, "Let me see that."
"How did you get in here?" Piper asked them.
"The door opened." Mara knew how crazy it sounded but it was the truth.
What Phoebe said about the Book clicked with her. "Wait a minute. You two read an incantation? What kind of incantation?"
"It said something in there about three essentials of magic," Phoebe replied, gesturing to the Book. "Timing, feeling, and the phases of the moon. If we were ever going to do this, now, midnight, on the full moon is the most powerful time."
Piper had no idea what Phoebe was talking about. "This? Do what this?"
Now it was Phoebe who thought it was crazy but believed it to be true. "Receive our powers."
"What powers? Our powers?" Piper couldn't believe it. "What? You included me in this?"
"She included all of us," Prue interjected, showing her the book. "Bring your powers to we sisters three. It's a book of witchcraft."
"Let me see that." Piper wanted to take a look at the Book now.
Mara just left the attic at that point and went down to her room. If she didn't feel like a sister before, she sure as hell felt that way now.
Mara left early the next day for school and managed not to run into any of the sisters. What Phoebe told her the night before about Melinda Warren having the ability to see the future, stop time, and move things with her mind kept going through her head. She found herself envious of Phoebe and her sisters now. Mara couldn't explain it, but she believed the whole magic thing to be real. She believed that the Halliwell sisters were witches – The most powerful witches the world has ever known. She believed they were indeed – as Phoebe said – Charmed. And there Mara was...nothing.
It was last period with her least favorite teacher. Ms March said Mara's name so loud that it made her jump fifty feet. "What?!" Mara exclaimed. Yeah, she knew she was lost in thought, but jeeze.
Ms March didn't appreciate the attitude. "Clear your desk. Pop quiz."
Mara rolled her eyes and cleared off her desk then found she didn't have a pencil. She leaned over to ask the student next to her for one. "You got something I can write with?"
Ms March perceived this as something else. "The test hasn't even begun and already cheating?"
"I'm not cheating!" Mara shouted back. "I just asked if they had a pencil." She spoke with her hands when she said that and upon the word pencil, every pencil in the room seemed to have been flung at her. She looked around the room with glares. "Seriously?!" she thought all the students had thrown them at her, but in reality...it was as if she was a magnet that pulled them to her.
"Enough!" Ms March shouted. "Get out of my classroom."
Mara scoffed and grabbed her things. "Gladly." She headed down the hall to her locker when one of her classmates sprinted over.
"Hey," he said, "what happened back there, not cool."
"I've never been a favorite," Mara replied and started on the combo for her lock. "Granted I never thought they'd throw stuff at me."
"I didn't," he assured her with a smile and extended his hand in greeting. "I'm Jasper."
"Mara," she replied, but didn't shake his hand and just got her things from her locker. Before Jasper could say anything else, Mara said "Thanks for the chat, but I have to go deal with the wrath of my guardians when they find out I've gotten kicked out of class again. Later." She closed the locker and headed down the hall.
Jasper looked at her as she went and had a gut feeling that there was more to her than met the eye.
Mara went home and found Phoebe in the dining room. "Hey," she greeted as she dropped her bag off to the side.
Phoebe looked at the time before replying. "Not to sound all responsible, but isn't it a little early for you to be home?"
Mara sat down at the table with a huff. "Ms March sent me home...again. I've been trying so hard to behave and keep my grades up, but today..." she crossed her arms and shook her head, "the entire class, except for maybe one, threw their pencils at me."
Phoebe couldn't believe it. "They did what? And you were the one punished?" She felt protective towards Mara and planned on doing something about it. "That's not right. I'm going to call that school."
Mara wasn't used to this sort of reaction but didn't want Phoebe to call them. "No, please, just let it go before I get suspended."
"If I make it worse we'll have Prue take care of it," Phoebe replied and picked up the cordless.
"Phoebe, will you please just put down the phone?" When she said the word 'phone' it flung itself from Phoebe's hand and went straight for Mara. Unlike the pencils, she managed to catch it. Her eyes went wide when this happened. "Did...did you just throw the phone at me?"
Phoebe was just as surprised as Mara. "No...no I didn't..." She held out her hands as she walked over to her. "Oh my god, Mara..."
Mara was waiting for Phoebe to finish her thought but she didn't. "What?!"
Phoebe's brain kicked back into gear. "What if because we said that incantation together...you got powers too?"
Mara thought Phoebe was kidding so she laughed. However, when Mara saw the look on Phoebe's face, she realized she wasn't. "Hold on...are you saying that you think I'm also a witch? But – but I'm not a Halliwell!"
"You really think Halliwells are the only witches in the world?" Phoebe replied excitedly. "Come on! Let's test it." She took Mara's hand and started pulling her for the kitchen but realized that probably wasn't the safest place to experiment so she brought her into the living room instead.
Mara didn't think this was a great idea. "Phoebe, this is ridiculous. I'm not a witch."
"How did it work before?" Phoebe asked, not acknowledging what Mara just said.
Mara knew when Phoebe got an idea in her head, there was no getting out of it. She sighed and gave in. "I got emotional and said a word and what that word was got flung at me."
Phoebe nodded as she looked around the room. "Okay...okay. Ah!" She rushed out of the room for a moment and when she came back, a cookbook was in her hands. "Take this from me." When Mara stepped forward, she pulled it back with an "Ah, ah, ah. With your magic."
"Phoebe, just give me the book." Mara held out her hand but nothing happened.
"Not emotional enough," Phoebe determined. She opened up the book to a random page and made it seem like she was going to tear it.
Mara couldn't believe what she was seeing. "Piper is going to kill you if you do that."
"I'm actually hoping that you'll feel that way," Phoebe replied, grinning and just barely tore the top of the page.
Mara's eyes widened and she gasped. "Give me the damn cookbook!" Just then, it flew out of Phoebe's hands and into Mara's with a heavy thump that almost knocked Mara over.
Phoebe looked at her proudly. "Think you're not a witch now?"
Mara was processing what had just happened but thought it was the coolest thing ever. "Not at all."
To sort of process what had happened, Phoebe and Mara decided to go for a bike ride. "Has anything happened to you, yet?" Mara asked as they biked down the road. "There were three possibilities, right?"
"Yeah, moving things with your mind...which I'm starting to think you got instead," Phoebe laughed and kept going, "Stopping time and seeing the future."
"I'm not going to be one of the Charmed ones or whatever you said they were called," Mara pointed out. "I'm not your sister, but apparently I am a witch so I guess that makes me...Charmed Adjacent."
Phoebe thought that was a great name for it. "Love it." She was going to say more but something happened that made her stop. Flashes entered her mind – images. She saw a couple teens rollerblading down the street then getting hit by a car.
Mara saw Phoebe zone out a bit and worried. "You okay?"
"I think I just had a vision..." Phoebe replied and when she saw the same car and the teens rollerblading, she quickly added, "Of them getting hit." She picked up her speed and called out, "No! Wait!"
Mara sped off after her and they both ended up wiping out to stop the teens from getting hit by making the car swerve around them.
Mara groaned and looked up to see Jasper from school standing over her. "You," she said almost accusingly.
"Me," he replied with a grin then got serious. "Don't move, you could be hurt."
The other teen said, "I'll get some help," and sped off to do that.
Phoebe and Mara were both okay, but Jasper made sure they didn't move until help arrived.
Phoebe and Mara were brought to the hospital to get checked out and Jasper went along with them, but left as soon as they were admitted. While they were waiting for X-Ray results, Phoebe said to Mara, "So...who's the guy?"
Mara needed a second to figure out what Phoebe was talking about. "You mean Jasper? He was the one who didn't throw a pencil at me. Then again...maybe none of them did." Finding out she had magic certainly changed her perspective on that.
"He's cute." Phoebe was definitely dropping hints now.
Mara caught right onto that. "Not interested. Today was the first time I've even spoken to the guy."
"So...you haven't had the time to figure out if you're interested in him or not." Phoebe wanted Mara to get out there and meet people. In her eyes, Mara was too much of a loner.
"Since when are you playing matchmaker?" Mara asked with crossed arms and raised brows.
Phoebe had an answer for that right off. "To repay you for all the times you helped me get a guy."
Mara had no idea what she was talking about. "Uh...Pheebs, I never helped you get a guy."
Phoebe knew this and smiled with a wave of her hand, "Well, get to it then so we'll be even."
Mara laughed because she so felt like she had just walked right into that one. Speaking of walking in, that's what the doctor just did to tell them they were both free to go.
Prue picked them up from the hospital and took them to a restaurant so they could talk. The three of them sat at the bar while Phoebe filled Prue in on everything – Mara's newfound powers included.
Of course, Prue thought this was insanity. "Charmed ones? Witches? Phoebe, this is insane."
Mara just had to chime in now. "So nothing strange happened to you? You didn't stop time or move things with your mind?"
Prue didn't even attempt to humor them. "Roger took an exhibit away from me." After seeing their expressions, she said, "Look, Phoebe I know you think you can see the future, and Mara, I know that you think you can...call things to you or whatever, but – ..."
Phoebe cut her off, saying "Even if you don't believe me, for once can you at least trust me?"
Prue looked at her seriously. "Phoebe, I do not have special powers. Now where's the cream?" As soon as she asked for it, the cream holder moved down the bar on its own.
"Really?" Mara laughed. "Because that looks pretty special to me."
Prue kept looking at the cream and felt unnerved when it seemed to transfer from its container straight into her coffee like she wanted. Now, she believed them. "Oh, my god. So, um, I can move things with my mind?"
Phoebe nodded. "With how much you hold inside, you should be a lethal weapon by now."
Prue rubbed her forehead because she couldn't believe this was happening and said as much, "I can't believe it."
It then clicked for Mara. "That must mean Piper can freeze time, right?"
"That's right." Phoebe smiled at Mara because she was so glad that she was able to share this witchy stuff with them.
Prue reached over and took the shot that Phoebe had ordered and downed it. Phoebe saw this and asked, "You okay?"
Prue placed her hand on her chest and emotionally answered, "No, I am not okay! You've turned me into a witch."
"You were born one," Phoebe calmly retorted. "We all were – Mara included. We're Charmed and she's Charmed Adjacent, and I think we better learn to start dealing with that."
Prue pulled out some money to pay for the bill. "Let's get started then."
The three of them walked out of the restaurant and Phoebe started saying what she knew. "When I was looking through the Book of Shadows, I saw these wood carvings. They looked like something out of a Bosch painting. All these terrifying images of women battling different incarnations of evil."
Prue crossed her arms. "Evil fighting evil, that's a twist."
"Actually," Phoebe retorted, "a witch can be either good or evil. A good witch follows the Wiccan reed; An it harm none, do what ye will. A bad witch, or a warlock, has but one goal: To kill good witches and obtain their powers. Unfortunately, they look like regular people. They could be anyone, anywhere."
Mara didn't like the sound of that. "That's comforting," she sarcastically muttered.
"And what does this have to do with us?" Prue asked, needing to know the answer to that.
"Well," Phoebe replied, "in the first wood carving, they were in slumber, but in the second one they were battling some kind of warlock. I think as long as we were in the dark about our powers, we were safe. Not anymore."
Mara was about to say something but Prue cut her off before she began. "Mara, if you say 'that's comforting' one more time..." She knew she didn't have to finish that sentence because Mara knew what she was saying.
With her hands help up in innocence, Mara replied, "I wasn't going to say a word."
Mara decided to wait outside while Prue and Phoebe went into the drug store to get the prescriptions and such. She figured they needed to talk to each other as much as she needed some time to think. Mara was so young when her parents died. How they died, she didn't even know. Grams always told her it was an accident but never explained beyond that. Mara kept wondering if her mom was a witch, if her dad was...if they both were. She wasn't like Phoebe and her sisters – she didn't have a spell book to explain everything to her. Mara was going about this blind. At least the Charmed Ones had an instruction manual.
Mara didn't realize that she was crying until she felt a tear move down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and started looking through her pockets for a Kleenex. "Where's a tissue when I need one?" she said to herself and the next thing she knew, one had floated its way over to her. Mara snatched it out of the air and hoped no one noticed.
Mara used the cloth tissue to wipe the tears and running makeup from her eyes and set it on the newspaper box in case anyone went looking for it. After composing herself, she headed into the store. Because her back was turned, she missed it when Jasper walked over to the newspaper box and picked up the handkerchief with an embroidered J on it. With a bit of a smirk on his face, he slipped the cloth back into his pocket and went on his way.
Mara was looking for the sisters and found them in aisle three with almost all the contents on the shelves on the floor around them. With a raised brow she just about laughed, "Okay...what did I miss?"
After the pharmacy, the three ladies headed home. Mara planned on going up to her room, but a pretty little feline on the stairs stopped her. "Hey, you," she said in a cooing sort of voice and picked up the cat. "Aren't you a pretty little kitty." Mara has always had a liking to cats.
She carried the kitty down to the sisters. "When did we get a cat?"
"We didn't," Prue replied, having no idea where it came from. "Someone must have let a window open."
That didn't change anything for Mara, but she did set the cat down so it could run around a bit. She'd worry about finding the owner later. "Did Piper call?" As if on cue, Piper ran through the front door and locked it behind her.
Phoebe suddenly felt worried. "Piper?" Prue felt the same, "Oh my god, what's wrong?"
Piper was frantic as she ran over to them. "Quick! Lock the doors, check the windows. We don't have a lot of time." She took Phoebe's hands and just as frantically said, "Phoebe, in the Book of Shadows, did it say anything on how to get rid of a – ..."
Phoebe had a feeling she knew exactly what Piper was trying to say. "A warlock?"
Mara couldn't believe it. "Oh, my god."
"Come on," Phoebe said to Mara and pulled her up the stairs to check the Book with her while Piper and Prue checked to make sure everything was locked up.
"Phoebe I'm too freaked out to be of any help here." Mara often kept a strong front on but she couldn't keep it up in this situation.
"I hope you don't think I'm taking advantage of how you're feeling right now, but I think you're the only one who can do this quickly," Phoebe replied as they walked into the attic and over to the Book.
Mara had no idea what Phoebe was talking about. "I don't get it, Phoebe. What are you saying?"
Phoebe held the Book in front of her. "Call for a spell to help us."
Mara looked at her like she was insane. "I can't do that!"
Phoebe believed otherwise. "Please, Mara. You can."
Mara whimpered and looked at the Book. "A spell to help us." She had no idea what else to call it. When the Book didn't move, that just made her all the more upset. "A spell to help us, dammit!" That kicked her power into gear and the pages flipped to the first spell of that variety.
Phoebe turned the Book around so she could read it and smiled gratefully at Mara. "I knew you could do it." She set it down and rushed out to tell the others they had a spell.
Mara looked at the spell and almost couldn't believe it worked, but it did. She smiled and quickly started to gather the ingredients she could find up there to get it ready for the sisters to cast.
Mara waited downstairs and paced back and forth as the sisters cast the spell up in the attic. She felt that was more of a Charmed One situation, so she pulled the Card herself and stayed out of it. "Please work, please work, please work," she repeated to herself as she paced and stopped when the sisters came running down the stairs. "What's wrong?"
"Spell didn't work. We're getting out of here," she explained as they rushed for the door. When Prue opened it, Jeremy, who had grotesque thorns protruding from all over his body, appeared with an athame in his hand. This sight made Piper, Phoebe, and Mara scream.
"Hello, ladies," Jeremy greeted darkly as he moved his athame around.
Prue quickly stood protectively in front of Mara and her sisters. "Call for the knife, Mara."
Mara held out her hand and tried, "Knife...knife!" She felt like she was trying to pull it to her but something was pulling it back. "I can't!"
"So you're a witch too?" Jeremy was pleased to discover this. "Excellent."
"Piper, Phoebe, get Mara out of here, now!" Prue used her power against Jeremy to push him back into the wall.
Phoebe and Piper ran upstairs with Mara while Prue tried to hold Jeremy off. After throwing him back again, she ran up to the attic as well. Upon entering, she said "Phoebe, you're right. Our powers are growing."
"Put as many things against the door as you can," Piper told them and they all quickly did as such.
Jeremy's voice sounded so twisted from the other side of the door. "You can't keep me out, Prue. My powers are stronger than yours."
Prue went over to Mara and brought her towards the back of the attic while Piper placed a chair in front of the door. "Mara, you listen to me. Stay back here, okay? We're not going to let anything happen to you." She cupped Mara's face and made it very clear, "We have your back." She nodded to affirm this then joined her sisters when Jeremy laughed evilly.
Jeremy was able to move the objects away from the door with ease, even though he couldn't see them. "You don't think a chair can stop me. You don't think a dresser can stop me. Haven't you witches figured it out? Nothing! Nothing can keep me away!"
"What do we do?" Piper asked her sisters. "We're trapped."
Jeremy used his magic to blow away the attic door, making all the ladies scream.
"Come on!" Prue said to her sisters. "We'll face him together. Remember the Spirit Board – The inscription on the back? The Power of Three will set us free."
Jeremy used his magic to throw fire to create a circle of such around the sisters and Mara.
"Come on, we have to say it together." Prue took her sisters' hands and they all started to chant "The Power of Three will set us free."
Mara wrapped her arms around herself and jumped when the circle of fire disappeared and a cyclone or something of the like started swirling around them. She closed her eyes and tried to focus on listening to the sisters, believing in what Prue said that they wouldn't let anything happen to her.
No matter how hard she tried, though, Jeremy's words of how he was just one of many who existed in hell on earth who would be coming for them kept breaking through. She almost believed him when he said they would never be safe, but when she opened her eyes and saw Prue, Phoebe, and Piper all standing in front of her with their hands linked, still chanting, that feeling went away. Mara knew that they were prevail. After all, they had her back.
Suddenly, Jeremy's body magically exploded and turned into a cloud of smoke. Mara felt a wave of relief move over her and she actually laughed. "The Power of Three, baby."
The next day, Mara sat out on the steps in front of the Manor with a cup of coffee in her hands. She hadn't even taken a sip of it, but found it oddly comforting to just hold it. She was just about to head inside when a familiar face came up the walk. "What are you doing here?" Mara asked as she set her mug on the step beside her and stood.
Jasper held up a book and folder in his hand. "You didn't come to school today, so I offered to bring your work. You alright?"
Mara thought for a second before replying. "Actually...yeah, I feel pretty good. Thanks."
Jasper smiled as he handed the stuff over. "No problem. So, I was wondering if..."
Mara assumed where this was going and cut him off. "I'm not dating if that's what you're asking."
"I wasn't," he replied. "I think people should be friends before they start dating. So, you interested?"
Mara's brow furrowed. "In what?"
Jasper chuckled. "In being my friend."
Part of Mara wanted to say yes but the other part said no. She sided with the no part. "I'm not really looking for friends right now."
Jasper wasn't about to give up that easily. "You sure about that?"
Mara nodded and bent down to pick up her coffee. "Yep, I'm sure."
He didn't believe her and his smiled said as much. "Whatever you say, Mara. But I'm sure that I'll wear you down eventually." With a grin and a wink he said, "See you at school," and headed on his way.
Phoebe came down the stairs to join her and smiled. "First Prue gets a visit from Andy this morning and you a visit from a Jasper this afternoon? My my, the ladies of the house are getting lucky aren't they?"
Mara rolled her eyes and headed back up to the house. "Not interested. Besides, I have enough to worry about and with the witchy stuff on top of it all? I really don't want to have a boyfriend."
Phoebe shrugged and not so subtly stated, "Well, from what I heard, he wasn't looking to be your boyfriend. He was looking to be your friend."
"Yeah, sure, a defenseless friend who could get killed by a warlock or whatever might be coming after us next?" Mara scoffed. "I'll pass."
Phoebe gently grabbed Mara's arm to stop her. "You can't put your life on hold because things have changed."
"What am I putting on hold?" Mara honestly asked. "I'm going about my life the way I would have anyway. I've always been a loner at school, so why change that now? Besides, when I graduate I'll never see any of them anyway, so what's the point."
Phoebe crossed her arms and got a little serious with her. "Sounds to me like you're making excuses to keep people at arm's length. Not everyone is going to leave you, Mara."
Mara scoffed in disbelief. "You did."
Phoebe took that shot because she believed she deserved it. "That's right, I did. But I'm back now. You have me, Piper, and Prue, but that's not enough, Mara. You still have a lot of growing up to do and you should have someone to experience it with."
Mara thought this was way out of character for Phoebe. She looked up to the house before looking back to Phoebe. "Prue told you to say that to me, didn't she?"
Phoebe looked like a deer caught in the headlights. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Mara laughed at that, "Yeah, sure. How about you guys just let me process being a witch before I think about making new friends that I have to keep secrets from right off the bat, okay?"
Phoebe thought that was a good compromise. "Okay."
When they walked into the house, Mara closed the door and smiled as she saw the three sisters standing together and thought to herself with a sudden feeling of pride, 'Charmed adjacent, baby.'
End Season 1 Episode 1
A/N: Hey readers, this is an idea that I've had floating around in my head for awhile now. I have no idea if it'll make a good story or how anyone will like it, but it's something I finally decided to create. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned for more to come, Thanks for reading!