Chapter Three

Paige walked into the shop smiling slightly as she heard the tinkle of the bell over head. "Well back to the ole grindstone." Autumn said cheerefully as she walked in behind Paige. "Yep." Was Paiges only reply as she headed back to the book shelf she had been working at before lunch. The rest of the day passed in a blur of books and price tags and before she knew it it was closing time. It didn't take much to clean the shop up, the hard wood floors hadn't needed much sweeping and the shelves had been dusted through out the day. As Paige pulled her keys out of her pocket and grabbed her purse she met Autumn at the door.

"Well how'd you like your first day?" Paige smiled at the curious tone in Autumn's voice. "Ah piece of cake. Is it usually this slow though?" After waiting for Paige to walk out Autumn locked the door from the outside before replying. "No, it was just one of those slow days little shops like mine get everynow and then." Nodding Paige shouldered her purse and fell into step with Autumn as they walked to the street. "Well what time do you want me here tomorrow?" Autumn stopped at what Paige assumed to be the woman's canary yellow Chevy Nova and looked thoughtful for a moment. "Ten sound ok?" Paige smiled, she was liking her new boss already.

Sure it was part time hours from 10 to 6 pm but it was another flow of income coming into the Halliwell house. "Sure sounds great, I'll see you then." She gave the shop keeper a small wave before turning towards her bug. "Ok see you then, oh and Paige?" Paige turned and quirked a curious brow as she took in Autumn's worried look. "Yeah boss?" Paige watched as Autumn chewed her lower lup nervously. "Be careful with that stave ok?" A mischevious smile appeared on Paige's face but in a reassurring voice she replied, "Sure thing Boss." Once more she turned and walked to her car and unlocked the door.

The street behind her was alive with evening commuters. "Well this job seems like it's going to turn out preeeety nice." She said to herself as she sat down in the car and started it up. After going through the ritual of saftey belt fastening, mirror adjusting and radio tuing she stuck her hand out the window and gave Autumn a wave as she pulled away from the curb and carefully pulled out into the flow of traffic. The ride home took a bit longer than the ride to work due to frequent stops by the various motorist infront of her. Around 6:25 p, she pulled up infront of the manor and turned the car off. After taking her stuff out of the trunk and locking the car back up she headed up the walk and to the door.

A loud crash from inside sent a wave of panic through Paige and she quickly opened the door and ran inside. The scene infront of her when she arrived in the living room left her speechless. There was glass everywhere on the floor, Piper was standing on the couch looking disheavled, Leo was leaning against the wall with a small smile on his face and Phoebe was no where to be seen. "What the hell is going on here?" Paige asked looking around the room. Quirking a brow as she heard Leo snicker she turned and gave him a puzzled look. "Piper saw a mouse." He told Paige nodding to his wife who was posed in a fighting stance on the couch.

"A rat! A huge Deamon Rat!" Came Piper's reply from her spot on the couch. Paige rolled her eyes and walked further into the living room. "How bad can it be?" The words had barely left her mouth when a brown fire breathing rat the size of a St. Bernard came strolling into the living room as if he owned the place. "Oh Goddess you weren't kidding!" Paige exclaimed as she jumped on a nearby chair. "Vanquish it Piper, blow it up!" Paige looked from the rat to her sister. "Yeah sure, if it was that easy I would have done it 30 minutes ago. Watch!" Piper moved to vanquish the rat but in a blink of an eye the furry fire breathing rodent had moved from the doorway to the other side of the room near Paige's chair.

'Shit.' Her mind screamed as the rat torched the chair. Orbing from that chair to another she breathed a small sigh of relief as she looked down at herself. 'Good no scorch marks!' She thought happily as she looked back up at the rat.. Suddenly she realized her hands were empty. Looking at the chair she just left she gave a groan of dismay as she saw her bag and purse sitting on the flamming chair, still untouched for the moment. Extending one hand she shouted, "Bag!" and extending the other hand she added, "Purse!" She smiled as the objects appeared in her hands. "See I told you." Piper told her as the rat moved from the flamming chair as Leo stepped forward with a fire extinguisher.

"Where's Phoebe?" Paige asked Piper as the elder Halliwell turned with the rat to follow it's movements. "Here I am." Called Phoebe as she ran into the room holding three vials of potion with a slip of paper tied around each vial. "Here Piper, Paige. You know the deal." She sad as she tossed a vial to each sister. Dropping the bag and purse on the chair Paige caught the vial and slipped the paper off as Phoebe jumped in a chair on the other side. The three sisters had now formed a circle around the rat with vanquishing potions and spells in hand. "Ok all together now." Phoembe called out as she took her own paper off.

In the smoke filled living room three femal voices call out in unison:

Be gone from here you beast of fire. Free us from these straights of dire.

From our sights you now must flee. Leave this house let us be.

By the power of three So mote it be!

With a flick of their wrist they threw the vials at the rat and Paige watched as the rat was incased in ice and her eyes widened slightly as it blew apart. Jumping off the chair she caught herself as she slipped on a chunk of ice. "who." She said as she pushed the bag along with her purse out of the way before sitting down in the chair. "I swear, I get a job and while I'm at work we get infested with rats!" She said sarcastically as she watched Piper slowly step off the couch. "Rat." Piper told her putting an emphasis on the "t". "If we were infested their would have been more than one." She added in a weary voice as she sat down on the couch. Slidging down to sit in her own chair Phoebe shook her head. "I don't even want to think about that." She said as her gaze fell on the foam covered blacken chair.

With a smirk Paige looked around the room at the destruction their little "guest" had ensued. 'Well atleast we're all safe.' Paige thought to herself as she closed her eyes. A thought occurred to her and opening her eyes she looked at Piper. "Where's my nephew?" Out of the corner of her eye she saw Leo orb out and then a moment orbed back. "Right here." He stated sitting down beise Piper, his son in his arms. Relief washed over Paige as she saw Wyatt was safe and sound. "What's in the bag?" Phoebe's question startled her and Paige rased a curious brow. "Bag? What bag?" Realizing what her sister was talking about Paige grabbed the bag and her purse and stood up. "Oh just a book I picked up from work." She said nonchanlantly and walked towards the stairs.

"How was your first day?" Piper asked her as she snuggled in closer to Leo and checked on her son. "Oh it was ok, you know the usual, fill out this form, fill out that form, put books away, take money from people. All that boring stuff." She gave her family a small smile as Piper replied with an, "Ah." Turning back to the stairs she started up to the room but Phoebe's voice stopped her. "So what's the book about?" Paige felt like a teenager and her parents were grilling her about her first day of school and her homework. All she wanted to do was go up to her room and check out her stave and book. 'If they know I want to call on a Djin they'll say it's for personal gain but it's not, it's research, yeah that's it, research.'

She had to come up with something fast, something that wouldn't intrest either one of her sisters or Leo. "I belive it's about the mating rituals of garden gnomes." She winced slightly, her back to them as she waited for a reply. "Oh." Came Phoebe's answer in a 'um that's nice' time. "Yeah it was free so I really can't complain right?" She didn't wait for an answer before going up the stairs to her room. Locking herself she slid down the door and sat down on the floor, back propped up against the wooden structure. Pulling the stave and book out of the bag she studied them as she chewed on her lower lip in thought. "Where do I start?" She asked softly outloud as she placed the stave in her lap and opened the book to the first page.

End of Chapter 3

Ok I know it's taken me forever but I hope this chapter was worth the wait. Now I have to work on my VD fan fic A Tale of the Stars. As always, comments, questions, all that lovely stuff is welcomed.