Chapter 6- The Cold Truth

"Good afternoon," Prue yawned as she sat down at the kitchen table the next day.

Piper laughed, setting a plate of sandwiches in front of her.

"So, is there a reason you slept all through the morning?" Piper asked jokingly.

"Yes, actually, it's nice not having to get up and go to work. Still, it's boring," Prue replied.

Piper nodded, remembering a time when Prue was alive, but not employed. She nearly went crazy with nothing to do.

"Hey, where's Leo?" Prue asked, suddenly realizing he wasn't around.

Piper tilted her head a bit and admitted, "I don't know. I haven't seen him all day."

"Hmm. Where's Phoebe and Paige?" Prue asked curiously.

"I think they went shopping. Phoebe feels guilty for yelling at Paige. I'm the one who should feel guilty," Piper said sadly. Prue sighed.

"Piper, don't do this to yourself. You were just frustrated. And if I'm not wrong, I'd say you're a bit angry at me for dying," Prue said quietly.

"Prue, it's not your fault. I know that now. I'm sorry I blamed you at first. I was just so...scared," Piper admitted, tears in her eyes.

"Awe, come on. Let's not get all mushy," Prue joked, getting up to hug her.

They heard Phoebe and Paige come in through the door. Their giggling and excited chatter brought smiles to Prue and Piper's faces. Just then, Leo orbed in.

"Hey, honey," Piper said, going over to him and kissing him.

"Hey," he replied. "I'm glad you're all here. We need to talk."

Since they were so curious as to what they had to do, they eagerly agreed. Leo wasn't in a good mood; Piper could sense it. On her way to the living room, she heard Wyatt cry, so she went upstairs to get him.

"Good afternoon, sweetie. Done with naptime already?" she cooed. Wyatt smiled as she carried him downstairs.

Prue and Phoebe practically skipped to the living room, their arms linked. Piper smiled. Just like old times, she thought. Even Leo had to smile at them. The four girls looked at Leo expectantly. He took a deep breath and began.

"There is a demon who plans to take over the world."

Phoebe snorted with laughter.

"Sorry, Leo. But that's pretty much what every demon wants." Prue brought the back of her hand to her mouth to cover a smile. However, Piper's heart fluttered. She knew Leo, and something in his eyes told her this was no ordinary demon. She glanced at Paige, and she could see the hint of worry in Paige's expression as well.

"Go ahead," Piper told Leo, casting her sisters a look that said, "Shut up".

"You'll have to look it up in the Book of Shadows. The Elders don't know much about it. The Source has always taken care of her before now," Leo explained.

"Her?" Paige asked. "It's a her? We're up against a chick?"

"We've been up against other women before, Paige. It doesn't make it any easier," Piper pointed out.

"Yeah, I know," Paige protested. "I just meant, usually it's men who are the stronger ones."

"Well, Leo, how do we know what to look for?" Prue asked.

"All I know is she comes around every 100 years for another try at taking over. The Source and the Triad have always taken her out before. Now there's no Source or Triad. It's up to you guys," Leo said.

"Ok, let's go look in the book," Piper suggested.

They went upstairs and gathered around the book, while Piper started flipping through the pages. This feels familiar, Prue thought. As much as she resented not having a normal life when she was alive, it felt good to be helping her sisters save the world.

"I think I found something," Piper said, tearing Prue away from her thoughts. "What is it?" she asked.

"...Ice?" she answered, a question in her voice.

"What?" Phoebe asked.

"Ice," Piper said, more firmly this time. "Ice is a demon. She possesses many powers including cloning, shimmering, ice balls, telepathy, telekinesis, body possession, and ice breath," she read. She looked at her sisters and smiled at the looks of amusement.

"What is this, a fairy tale?" Paige asked sarcastically.

"No, it says 'Ice emerges every century from her secret ice hollow to attempt to turn the world into a winter land. Her body is immune to extreme cold.' "

Prue's mouth was agape. "This is ridiculous. I feel like I'm in a storybook!" she cried.

"I thought demons were all...fiery," Paige said. "Whoever heard of a demon with ice and cold powers? What's an ice ball? Like a fire ball?"

"I guess," Phoebe said. "And being that this is such a 'dangerous' task, I'm guessing we can't just melt her," she quipped.

"And of course, there is no spell or potion to vanquish her," Piper finished.

"Well, we haven't even met her yet, so what do we do?" Paige asked.

They looked questioningly at Leo. "Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to help unless someone needs healed," he said, reading their thoughts.

"Well, it makes sense that she's so dangerous," Prue said. "If only the Source and the Triad could get rid of her before, it must be pretty hard."

"Wait, does this mean we'd be on the same side as evil?" Phoebe asked warily. "Remember, we worked with evil before. Cole, the Seer, and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It brought more trouble."

"Ice is nuetral. She's harmful to both sides. You're defeating her by yourselves, so you don't have to work with evil. You're just kinda...defending them. You're defending the whole world," Leo explained.

Piper let out a long breath and looked at her sisters. Just then, the doorbells sounded. "I'll get it," Prue volunteered.

"No, you're supposed to be...well, dead. I'll get it," Phoebe said. "Right," Prue said, smiling nervously.

Phoebe made her way to the front door and swung it open. A cold breeze swept through, chilling her. She wrapped her arms around herself. At the door stood a very beautiful African American woman. She had bright, unusually blue eyes, and chocolate brown hair that curled in an almost pretty way around her shoulders. She was very unusually dressed: she wore a long robe-like gown made of periwinkle blue silk.

"Can I help you?" Phoebe asked, confused by the stranger's presence.

"Yes, I'm looking for the Charmed Ones," the woman replied. "I believe they're late for an appointment with Death."