Piper ran home through the rainstorm, holding her umbrella tightly as she went up the steps to the Manor door. "Prue?" she called when she entered, hanging her umbrella and putting down her purse.
"In here," her older sister answered, "Working on the chandelier."
Nervous, Piper put her coat on the hanger and went to see her sister. "I guess Perry didn't get a chance to fix it yet..."
"What else is new?" Prue tiredly said, "Piper, I told you we should have just called an electrician to fix it. I mean, where is Perry? Wasn't she home all day?"
"She's not staying in, Prue. She spends all day working in the garage."
"Yeah, well, she could still make time to work on this. She knows I can't leave the museum until six. I didn't even have time to change. You two can't just leave it all to me, Piper, you live here too."
"You're right," Piper conceded, "I'm sure she'll fix it when she's back. And I'm sorry I was late too, I just didn't realise how long I was in Chinatown. By the way, did Jeremy call?"
"No, but he had some roses and a package delivered," Prue answered, and the sisters went to look at the delivery from Piper's boyfriend, "What were you doing in Chinatown? I thought that you had an interview in North Beach."
"I did, but I went to Young Lee Market after my interview to get the ingredients for my audition recipe tomorrow."
"So, that Wolfgang Puck knock-off didn't hire you today?" Prue asked as Piper opened the package.
"No," Piper answered, raising a heavy wine bottle from the package crate, "But this just may get me the job."
"Jeremy sent you port?" Prue asked, surprised, looking at the bottle.
"It's the ultimate ingredient for my recipe."
"Nice boyfriend," Prue told her younger sister with a soft smile. But before she could answer, something caught Piper's eye.
"Oh my God," she said, "I don't believe it. Tell me that's not our old spirit board." She raised the wooden spirt board to look at it, a nostalgic smile on her face, and Prue joined her side.
"Yeah, I found it in the basement when I was looking for the circuit tester," the older Halliwell sister said.
Turning the board, Piper read the inscription on its back, "To my beautiful girls, may this give you the light to find the shadows. The power of three will set you free. Love, Mom. We never did figure out what this inscription meant."
"Well, maybe we should send it to Phoebe. That girl is so in the dark, maybe a little light will help," Prue mused, walking away from the spirit board.
"You're always so hard on her," the younger sister protested.
"Piper," Prue sternly said, "The girl has no vision. No sense of the future."
"I really think Phoebe's coming around."
"Well, as long as she doesn't come around here I guess that's good news," Prue joked, walking away before she could see Piper's nervous face.
Piper gathered up the courage to tell Prue that Phoebe's moving back home. Or at least, she thought that she did. Just do it, just do it, she told herself as she marched towards her sister.
"I don't get it," Prue said in frustration when she saw Piper from the corner of her eye, "I have checked everything, there's no reason why the chandelier should not be working."
"Ah... You know how we've been talking about what to do with the spare room?" Piper blurted, wanting to tell Prue before she loses her nerve again, "I think you're right, we do need a roommate."
"Good, if we rent out the room, maybe with the extra income Perry won't take so many orders and she can actually help around the house more like she keeps promising."
"Or maybe if she could spend time with her twin she won't work alone in the garage all day."
"Phoebe lives in New York," Prue reminded her.
"Not anymore," Piper said, glad to finally let it out.
"What?" her sister looked at her in surprise, suspicion finally setting in as she realised what Piper was getting at.
"She left New York. She's moving back in with us."
Prue sighed and walked away, telling her sister, "You've got to be kidding."
"Well, I could hardly say no," Piper said, already regretting telling Prue about it, "It's her house too, it was willed to all of us."
"Yeah, months ago and we haven't seen or spoken to her since," Prue said in anger.
"Well, you haven't spoken to her," Piper corrected her sister.
"No, I haven't. Look, maybe you've forgotten why I'm still mad at her –"
"No, of course not," Piper said, "But she had nowhere else to go. She lost her job, she's in debt..."
"And this is news?" Prue asked rhetorically, "How long have you two known about this anyway? I'm assuming Perry knows too."
"A couple of days," Piper said in an unconvincing defence, "Maybe a week... Or two."
"Thanks for sharing," Prue said bitterly, "When does she arrive?"
Just then the front door opened behind the oldest Halliwell sister, and she heard Phoebe's voice happily say, "Surprise!"
Despite the tension from her argument with Prue, Piper smiled back brightly at her little sister.
"Perry's paying the cabby," Phoebe explained.
Of course, Prue thought, Perry wasn't here to fix the chandelier because she's been waiting for Phoebe at the airport. I bet she's also spent all day organising her room. And paid for her plane ticket... Their sister's blind loyalty to her twin was really infuriating sometimes, but no matter what Prue said Perry kept enabling Phoebe's behaviour.
"Phoebe, welcome home," Piper greeted their little sister with a hug, a mixture of happiness and nervousness in her voice and on her face.
"Hello, Piper," Phoebe said, smiling.
"It's so good to see you," Piper told her sister, "Isn't it, Prue?"
"I'm speechless," Prue said sarcastically, a coldness in her voice.
Just then the door opened again, and Phoebe's twin came in. Like her older sisters, Peregrine Halliwell had black hair and light skin, but she had many freckles on her face. Smiling hesitantly, Perry told her sisters, "We're all here together again. Great, right?"
Piper and Phoebe smiled back at her, and technically so did Prue but it was a bitter sarcastic smile. "Is that all you brought?" their older sister asked Phoebe, looking at her duffel bag.
"That's all that I own," Phoebe explained, "That and a bike. Look, I know that you don't want me here –"
Prue stopped her and said, "We're not selling Grams' house."
"Is that why you think I came back?" Phoebe said, hurt. Perry wanted to intervene in her twin's defence, but Piper put a hand on her arm to silently tell her to stay out of it.
"Piper and I gave up our apartment and moved back here with Perry because this house has been in our family for generations."
"No history lesson needed. I grew up here too. So can we talk about what's really bothering you?"
"No, I'm still furious with you."
"So, you'd rather have a tense reunion filled with boring chitchat and unimportant small talk?"
"No, but otherwise we won't have anything to talk about."
"I never touched Roger," Phoebe said, for the hundredth time. Perry wasn't even sure Prue really didn't believe her, but it didn't stop her from being mad at Phoebe.
"Whoa," Prue did not want to go there right now. Or ever.
"I know you think otherwise because that's what that Armani-wearing, Chardonnay-slugging, trust-funder told you..."
"Hey!" Piper finally stopped the tense conversation, making Perry sigh with relief, "I have a great idea. Why don't I make a fabulous reunion dinner?"
"I'm not hungry," Prue said coldly and walked away.
"I ate on the plane," Phoebe said, and walked off as well.
"Can I still get a grilled cheese?" Perry asked, hugging her discouraged sister.
A little while later, Piper and Perry came to Phoebe's room bearing food. Perry knocked on the door, and Piper said, "It's us."
"Come on in," Phoebe told them.
"Oh, God, I am starving," she added excitedly when she saw the food Piper brought.
"I figured," Piper said, bringing the food to their hungry sister.
"Hey, that's Jeremy," Perry told her twin, pointing at the TV screen, "Piper's boyfriend."
"What happened?" Piper asked, noticing his grim expression.
"Some woman got whacked," Phoebe told them.
"Whacked?" Piper echoed her in dismay, "Phoebe, you've been in New York way too long." Perry laughed, but nodded. She missed her twin sister.
"I should have stayed," Phoebe sadly answered, "Why didn't either of you tell Prue I was coming back?"
"I won the rock-paper-scissors," Perry justified herself quickly.
"I wasn't going to risk Prue changing the locks," Piper said, only half joking, "Besides, you should have been the one to tell her, not us."
"Good point, Chicken Little," Phoebe answered, "It's just so hard for me to talk to her. She's always been more like a mother."
"That's not her fault she practically had to sacrifice-"
"-her own childhood to help-" Phoebe and Perry recited the speech along with their older sister.
"-raise us," Piper finished the sentence.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah..." Phoebe laughed softly, knowing that it was true.
"And we're lucky she was so responsible," Piper reminded Phoebe, "The three of us had it easy, all we had to do was be there."
"Yeah, well, I don't need a mom anymore, you know, I need a sister," Phoebe insisted.
Just a second later a knock on the doorframe made them turn to look, seeing Prue carrying a blanket.
"Hey," she said, "This was always the coldest room in the house."
Phoebe told her, "Thanks," but neither of them said anything else as Prue left. I guess at least their being polite? Perry tried to look at the bright side.
"I'm glad to hear you and Jeremy are still together," Phoebe told Piper while the three of them sat around the table in the conservatory, playing with the spirit board, "Where did you meet him anyway?"
"We met in 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."
"As a matter of fact it was. The napkin had his phone number on it."
"Stop pushing the planchette, Phoebe," Perry told her twin.
"The pointer thing, you're pushing it."
"I'm not touching it," Phoebe said, "Tell her, Piper."
"You always used to push the pointer," their older sister said, and Perry smiled victoriously at Phoebe, "More popcorn?" Piper asked, getting up and heading to the kitchen.
"Hey, I forgot your question!" Phoebe called after her.
"I asked if Prue would have sex with anyone other than herself this year."
"That's disgusting," Phoebe told her. "Please say yes," she whispered to the board.
Suddenly the planchette moved to the letter A. At first Perry thought Phoebe was pushing it again, but she could see her twin was as surprised as she was. As they stared at each other in shock, the pointer moved on its own again, this time to the letter T.
"Piper..." Phoebe said, suddenly worried, "Piper, get in here!"
"What?!" Piper said, as she came, hearing the urgency in Phoebe's voice. The twins moved their hands away from the spirit board, just as Prue came in asking, "What did you guys do now?"
"Me? I didn't do anything," Piper said, still wondering why her younger sisters called her.
"The pointer on the spirit board, it moved on its own," Phoebe said, and their older sisters looked at her in dismissive amusement.
"It really did, guys," Perry said with concern.
"Why do you always let her drag you into this nonsense?" Prue wearily asked Perry.
"I'm serious," Phoebe insisted, "It spelled A-T."
"Well, did you push it?" Piper asked, joking.
"You always used to push the pointer," Prue reminded her.
"My fingers were barely touching it, Perry saw it too, just look," Phoebe told them, putting her hands on the planchette again. But it didn't move, and their sisters went away.
Their backs were turned for barely a second however, when the pointer moved on its own again, going to the bottom of the board and then returning to the letter T.
"Ah, it did it again!" Phoebe said, "It moved!"
Prue and Piper turned back, but their oldest sister quickly smiled mockingly and noted that, "It's still on the letter T."
"I swear it moved," Phoebe told her.
"We're being serious, Prue," Perry supported her twin, but Prue was already walking away. As she did, the pointer started moving again, and Phoebe quickly let go of it and stood up to prove it wasn't her.
"There, look," she told Piper as it moved to the letter I, "You saw that, right?"
"I think so, yeah," Piper said, not sure what she saw.
"I told you I wasn't touching it," Phoebe said, "We both did."
The pointer started moving again, and Piper called out, "Prue! Can you come in here a sec?" The pointer stopped on the letter C.
While Phoebe grabbed a pen and an envelope and started writing, Prue returned to the conservatory.
"Now what?" she said, clearly annoyed.
"I think it's trying to tell us something," Phoebe said while writing. Turning the envelope, she showed her sisters the word the spirit board spelled, saying, "Attic."
Piper and Perry looked as concerned as she was, but Prue was definitely not convinced. Either way, just that second they heard a loud thunder, and the lights flickered before the power went out.
"Don't you think you're overreacting? We're perfectly safe here," Prue told Piper, following her as she marched towards the front door.
"Don't say that," Piper told her, her voice very agitated, "In horror movies, the person who says that is always the next to die."
"It's pouring rain, there a psycho on the loose, Jeremy's not even home..." Prue reminded Piper of a few very sound reasons not to go to her boyfriend's apartment.
"Well, I'll... I'll..." Piper tried to come up with a counter argument, but the best she could find was, "I'll wait in the cab until he gets home from work."
"That'll be cheap..."
"Prue, I saw that pointer move!"
"No, look," Prue said, trying to get Piper to calm down, "What you saw was Phoebe's fingers pushing the pointer. There's nothing in the attic, she's playing a joke on us."
"Perry saw it too," Piper insisted.
"When has Perry ever not taken Phoebe's side?"
"We don't know what's in the attic, Prue. We've lived in this house for months and we've never been able to get that attic door open. Even Perry couldn't open it." She tried to use the phone to call Jeremy, but soon realised, "Great, now the phone doesn't work!"
"Yeah, the power's out," Prue reminded her, "Look, just don't go anywhere while I go with Perry to the basement."
"She needs me to hold the flashlight while she checks out the main circuit box."
"Nope, we're going to the attic," Phoebe said, holding a flashlight in one hand and pulling her twin upstairs with the other.
"No, you're not. We already agreed," Prue told her, "And besides, we need Perry to get the power back on."
"And I need her to go with me to the attic," Phoebe insisted, "That's where the we need to go, and we're not waiting until tomorrow. We are going now."
The twins went upstairs, Prue pointing at them and telling Piper, "See? That's how it always is with these two. I'll go to the check the circuit box myself, can you come with me?"
Meanwhile, Phoebe and Perry reached the attic door. "It won't open, Phoebe," Perry tried to convince her twin, "I already tried picking the lock, using my tools to force it open... Nothing even makes it rattle."
But Phoebe wouldn't listen, she pushed and pulled, until she finally gave up. But just as Phoebe turned away from the door, the twins heard the lock click. On its own. Creaking, the attic door opened. On its own.
"Do we have to go in there?" Perry asked, whispering, but she already knew Phoebe won't stop now.
Walking slowly, they went into the attic. After they walked a couple of steps in, a strange light shone through the window on a trunk. They walked over to the trunk, and Phoebe opened it, seeing an old-looking book inside. It had the same symbol on its cover as the spirit board.
Phoebe took the book out from the trunk, and the sisters closed the empty trunk and sat on it. "How is this supposed to bring the power back on?" Perry quietly asked her twin. But Phoebe just shrugged before blowing the dust off the book and opening it.
"The Book of Shadows," Phoebe read out loud the title written in large ornate letters on the first page. Turning the page, she read from the next one, "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. Bring your powers to we sisters three. We want the power. Give us the power."
"We sisters three?" Perry echoed after Phoebe finished reading the strange text, wondering what it meant, "There's four of us." But Phoebe didn't seem to hear her, she was too absorbed silently continuing to read the book.
However Prue's voice was enough to snap her out of it, as their older sisters walked into the attic and she asked accusingly, "What are you doing?"
"Reading..." Phoebe said nervously, closing the book and going towards them, "An incantation. It was in this Book of Shadows, we found it in that trunk."
"Let me see that," Prue demanded, taking the book from her hands.
"How did you get in here?" Piper asked the twins in astonishment.
"The door opened," Phoebe said, and Perry elaborated, "First the lock opened on its own, then the door itself."
"Wait a minute," Piper backtracked, "In incantation? What kind of incantation?"
"It said something about there being three essentials of magic," Phoebe explained, "Timing, feeling and the phases of the moon. If we were ever gonna do this, now - midnight on a full moon - is the most powerful time."
"This?" Piper asked, losing patience, "Do what 'this'?"
"Receive our powers," Phoebe answered, smiling.
"What powers?" Piper demanded, "Wait, our powers? You included me in this?"
"No, she included both of you," Prue corrected her, "Bring your powers to we sisters three? It's a book of witchcraft."
"Wait, how do you know it's Piper and me?" Perry asked Prue.
"Let me see that," Piper said, taking the Book of Shadows from their older sister.
"Spirit boards, books of witchcraft... Figures all this freaky stuff started when you arrived," Prue complained as the four sisters went back downstairs with flashlights.
"Hey, I wasn't the one who found the spirit board," Phoebe reminded her.
"But it wasn't my fingers sliding around on the pointer."
"It doesn't matter," Piper said, "Because nothing happened, right Phoebe? When you did that incantation?"
"Well, my head spun around and I vomited split-pea soup. How should I know?"
"Of course nothing happened," Perry said, "Magic isn't real. And even if it was, there's four of us. The incantation is only for three sisters." But she couldn't forget all those stuff moving on their own.
"Well, everything looks the same," Piper said.
"You're right," Phoebe said, but she didn't sound convinced.
"But the house still needs work," Prue said, "Can you come look at the circuit board now, Perry?"
Nodding, Perry followed her older sister.
"Everything feels the same, so nothing's changed," Piper said, "Right?"