Title: Shadow

Author: Zeria

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I only own the ones you've never heard of.

Summary: Chris meets a special dog that will change his and his family's lives forever...if they survive.

WARNING: No animals were actually harmed in the making of this story; however, if animal death bothers you at all, skip this chapter.


Pet Cemetery


Piper Halliwell-Wyatt was the eldest of the great Charmed Ones. She and her two younger sisters were considered the most powerful witches to have ever lived. They had faced off against thousands of demons, vanquished three different Sources of Evil, saved the world countless times, and faced death nearly every week. However, as the nearly all powerful Charmed One looked down into the bright jade eyes of her youngest son, Chris, she felt none of the power or control she was known for possessing. She felt pathetic.

"Please, Mommy?" the little boy begged, his eyes switching focus from his mother to his father and back again.

Leo Wyatt, former elder, noticed his wife's strong front crumbling under the big, soft eyes of their son and shook his head, "Piper, we agreed that it was a bad idea. Remember?"

"But, maybe we didn't think it through," Piper hedged, "I mean, we wanted the boys to have a normal childhood."

Her husband let out a sigh, knowing that his partner had already crumbled, and it was just a matter of time before the big green eyes got to him too. Seeing the guilty look on her face then the hopeful one on his son's, Leo relented, "Ok, Buddy, we'll get a pet."

"Yesss!" Chris cried, jumping up into the air. His round face lit up with a smile as he started to ramble at light speed, "I want a puppy. All mine, not Wyatt's at all. A black puppy that's really big and soft and wags his tail when he sees me and doesn't bite and isn't messy and that I can play with and--"

"ā€“ Whoa, there, Buddy," Leo halted him with raised hands. "First of all, whatever pet we get is going to be everyone'sā€“ including your big brother's."

Said big brother, who was sitting on the couch playing video games, raised his blonde head and scrunched up his nose, "I don't want a pet. Johnny has a pet, and he said they take a lot of work and are messy and sometimes smelly."

"Ok," Leo amended, "I guess it will be just yours, Chris, which means that you have to be the one to take care of it."

"I will. Promise," the little brunette boy answered as solemnly as a six year old could.

Piper smiled lovingly at her little boy. He was growing up so fast. Still, he was just a little boy and a dog was a huge responsibility. Plus, truth be told, she wasn't fond of dogs. "Chris, sweetie, I know you want a puppy, but they take an awful lot of work, and your father and I think that you might still be a little young for one."

"But you said I could have one."

The mother shook her head, "No, we said you could have a pet. I just think something easier to take care of might be in order."

Chris looked ready to cry. His little lips were quivering, his eyes quickly filling with disappointment and hurt.

"How about a fish?" Leo quickly suggested, trying to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. "They're really easy to take care of and they can be really pretty and fun to watch swimming around. They're quiet so it won't disturb anyone, and they don't make a mess."

"How does that sound, Chris?" Piper asked, hopefully.

The little boy bit his lower lip, obviously thinking it over. After a moment, he grinned, "Can I name it Nemo?"

So, it came to pass that Nemo Halliwell, a purple betta fish was purchased at Pet's R Us, becoming part of the Halliwell family later on that very same day, finding a home on the family mantel.

The little male fish was showered with love by his little owner. Chris made sure to feed him a few pellets of fish food every day (though not too much. The man at the store said too much killed them.) He also made sure to clean the bowl once a week. In fact, the six year old was the most dutiful of fish owners, taking great pride in his beloved pet. It had been almost a year and everything was going so well for Chris and Nemo, until one fateful afternoon...

"Paige!" Piper called out as she flicked her wrists at a female demon, trying to blow the monster into tiny pieces with her power of molecular acceleration.

The blue skinned, dark haired demon only stumbled as a tiny blast hit her shoulder. She opened her mouth, fire spewing forth towards the Charmed One, who had to drop to the floor to avoid being scorched.

A moment later, bright blue orb lights filtered down from the ceiling next to Piper, shifting into the form of the youngest Charmed One. Taking in the scene, Paige frowned, "What do we got here? Where's Phoebe?"

"Dragon Lady and Wyatt's getting her," Piper answered shortly, flicking her wrists again before dropping back behind the already burnt couch just in time to avoid getting scorched. The blast she had fired missed as the demon flamed out and back in, causing her shot to hit the mantel. Piper peered over the couch to see if she had hit her mark, "Oh crap."

"What?" Paige asked, worried.

"I just blew up Chris' fish."

The younger sister pulled a face, "Uh oh."

Fire flew towards Paige, who quickly stepped aside to miss it. She called out for a vase, which was immediately surrounded by the same brilliant blue light that had brought her to the manor. When she gestured toward the demon, the vase reformed just in time to hit the attacker in the head, causing the strange demon to fall to the floor.

However, the creature did not stay down for long, and in a counter attack, flung what appeared to be her finger nails out towards the sisters. Piper quickly pulled her baby sister down next to her behind the sofa, and the dagger sharp nails imbedded themselves harmlessly into the couch and wall behind them.

"She's just a bundle of joy isn't she?" Paige commented bitterly.

"I can't believe I killed Nemo. What am I gonna tell Chris?"

"Piper, I really think that's the least of our concerns at the moment."

Piper scoffed, "If that's what you think then you tell Chris his fish is dead."

"No way, Lady. I'm his favorite Aunt, and I'd like to stay that way thank you very much."

Flames soared just above their heads, the heat so intense they could feel it on their cheeks. Piper crawled to the end of the couch and around it, flicked her wrists and smiled in satisfaction as a blast hit the demon in the stomach, sending her crashing backwards into the wall. "That's more like it."

Orb lights appeared on the opposite side of the room, taking the shape of Wyatt and the middle Charmed One. Having deposited his aunt, Wyatt orbed away to magic school as per his mother's orders.

Phoebe took in the sight of the demon, who had already recovered from the last blast, and didn't hesitate to join the fray. Running and levitating into the air, the petite woman landed a hard kick to the demon's head. When the demon fell back down to the ground, Phoebe ran over to her sisters, joining them behind the sofa.

"What the hell took you so long?" Piper demanded.

"Coop was gone, and I couldn't find anyone to watch Melinda on such short notice. I had Wyatt take us to magic school first so Leo could watch her."

Paige telekinetically-orbed a chair into the Dragon Lady, "Can we just say the vanquishing spell already? The hubby and I had plans."

"There wasn't one in the book for a Dragon Lady," Piper explained, "so we'll need to wing it."

Both she and Paige turned to Phoebe, who rolled her eyes, "Ok, fine. Uh...Ancient powers hear my rhyme, erase this evil from space and time."

With a satisfying cry of anguish, the Dragon Lady burst into flames, leaving only a pile of ash on the floor.

"Wow," Paige commented, "we've really gotten good at this. We kicked demon ass so fast I still have time to do my hair before my dinner date with Henry."

Piper sighed as she rose from her hiding place, "If only telling Chris about Nemo were so easy."

A few hours later. . .

"I'm so sorry, Sweetie," Piper apologized.

Chris sniffled but didn't cry, "It's okay, Mommy. Daddy told me about death when we found that dead bird in the back yard. He said heaven is a real nice place. Nemo's in heaven, right?"

"Of course, he is, Peanut."

Piper was more than a little surprised at how well her son was taking the news. Granted he was still one very sad little boy, but at least he wasn't throwing a fit or in hysterics. This was good. She should have known her little boy would have been ok. He was tough. She had always known that about her youngest son. She had learned that six years ago when his futureself had come to the past in order to save his brother. He had endured so much, sacrificed so much, and still did what had to be done. Sometimes Piper missed his older version terribly, but she knew that he still existed. . .in her strong little boy.


The eldest Charmed One smiled sympathetically, "Yes, Peanut?"

"Can I get a puppy now?"

"You're still a little young for one," Piper reminded him, "plus dogs are expensive, hard to care for, loud and messy."

Chris stuck out his lower lip, "You killed Nemo."

Piper almost teared up with guilt until she realized she was being played by a seven year old child. She sighed, "How about another fish?"

"I don't want another fish."

"Um...ok..." Piper was trying to think of another easy to care for animal, but couldn't for the life of her come up with any.

It was at this point that Wyatt walked into the room. Flopping down on his bed, he noticed his brother working some sort of guilt trip on their mother and frowned, "What's goin' on?"

"Mom blew up my fish, and she won't let me get my puppy," Chris answered, playing up the quivering lip and big sad eyes.

"I'll let you get any other kind of pet," Piper offered. Then quickly amended, "except spiders."

Wyatt turned to his little brother, "Hey we should get a bird. Amy Benson just got one and it's really pretty and really smart. It sings and talks."

Chris' green eyes doubled in size, "It talks?"

"Mhmm," the blue eyed boy answered, "and since birds aren't that gross, I'd help you with it if you want."

Thus, Chris got a myna bird named Tootles because both he and Wyatt thought the name was hilarious. Tootles quickly became a hit with the family as she repeated anything anyone said to her, and when she sang it was usually soft and relaxing. Chris, in particular, loved the brightly colored bird because no matter what, Tootles always greeted him with a cheery, 'hel-lo.' So, he took great pride and care in her, always doing whatever task needed to be done to ensure a happy healthy pet. Two years passed before disaster inevitably struck again...

A low level demon shimmered into the livingroom in the middle of the night, wanting to kill the Twice Blessed while he and his guardians slept. Such a kill would allow him great power in the underworld. Unfortunately, his element of surprise was ruined when he accidently bumped into a towel covered cage. The towel slipped off and a high pitched voice called out, "Hel-lo."

The demon spun around in the dark, confused as to where the voice had come from. When he spotted the bird he glared at it, waiting to see if it had woken any of the family. No noise came from upstairs. He let out a breath of relief. Until...

"Hello, dummy," the bird repeated one of Chris' favorite sayings.

Lights flicked on upstairs.

In a fit of rage, the demon threw an energy ball at the offensive creature. He never got the satisfaction of seeing it die. He was blown up from behind just before his attack struck the helpless bird.

"Damn it," Piper cursed seeing the scorched cage and the ashes that she assumed belonged to her son's former pet.

Leo came down the stairs, still groggy, "What is it? What's wrong with Tootles?"

Piper gestured vaguely at the cage, "The damn demon fried her."

"Not another one," Leo said, instantly awake. "Poor Chris...that's two pets that have died without it even being his fault. How are we going to break the news to him?"

"Oh, no, Leo," his wife shook her head, "it's your turn. I told him last time." With that she headed back to her room, leaving her husband looking mortified by the task presented to him.

The next day. . .

"A demon killed Tootles?" Chris asked, his voice quivering as he refused to cry.

Leo nodded, his heart breaking for his son's loss, "I am so sorry, Buddy. At least she's with Nemo in heaven."

The nine year old nodded his head, "Yeah, I guess so." He sniffled, wiping his eyes with the back of his sleeve, "I'm really going to miss her."

"Yeah, I know, Son," Leo replied as he wrapped his son in an embrace.

It was another two years before the young Halliwell was ready to try again. This time, since dogs were still off-limits due to his mother's distaste for the large, messy, loud animals, Chris got a little brown and white hamster named Harry. Unfortunately, fate was against the boy and it was only two weeks before something terrible happened. . .

Phoebe shook her head, "I just don't know what to do anymore, Piper. He's never around. I know he has a job to do, but sometimes I think he enjoys it a little too much if you know what I mean."

Her big sister frowned, as she handed her a cup of tea and took a seat across from her, "No, what do you mean? You think Coop is cheating on you?"

"I don't know. I mean, I know it's part of who he is to have women fall in love with him, so that they can then fall in love with whoever they're meant to love, but it's different lately."

Piper took a sip of her own tea, "How so?"

"He's gone all the time, and he never tells me what he's doing anymore, and we aren't as close as we were." Phoebe lowered her head, "I think I'm losing him, Piper."

"Oh, honey, I'm sure that's not true. Have you tried talking to him about how you feel?"

Phoebe shook her head, "No, not yet. I want to have a night alone with peace and quiet where we can really talk. So far, he's either too busy or I am."

"Maybe you both need to make the time," Piper advised. "And soon. You don't want to let these things go for too long."

"You're absolutely right," the younger sister agreed. She smiled, "and thanks for listening."

Piper waved her off, "What are sisters for?"

The middle Charmed One was about to take a sip of her tea when she suddenly realized something, "Is it just me, or is it awfully quiet? That's not a good sign."

Rising from their seats at the table, both women moved into the livingroom where Phoebe's oldest daughter, Melinda was watching the movie they had put on for her and her little sister, who was currently missing in action. The sisters exchanged worried looks. Until they heard a tiny voice singing upstairs.

Rushing up the stairs the two mothers tracked the source of the singing to the bathroom. Phoebe knocked lightly on the door, "Sweetie, are you okay?"

"Yes, Mommy."

Piper frowned, "Do you hear splashing?"

Phoebe's deep brown eyes went wide, and she hurriedly opened the door. To her and her big sister's utter dismay the four year old girl was leaning over a water and bubble filled bathtub singing and splashing and washing something brown and furry.

"Oh no..." Pheobe uttered realizing exactly what that little brown furry thing was. "Prue, you didn't."

The pig-tailed child smiled happily, oblivious to her mother's distress, "Harry was dirty, so I'm giving him a bath."

"But honey, Hamsters don't get baths like people do," Phoebe tried to explain without hurting her little one's feelings. After all, she thought she was helping her favorite cousin. It was an accident.

"Why not?" Prue asked.

Her mother knelt down next to her, "Because it kills them, honey."

"Kills?" The little girl looked down at the hamster realizing for the first time how it wasn't moving anymore. She immediately started to cry, then got up and ran away sobbing, "I k-killed C-chris' h-hamster!"

"Mom, I'm home!" Chris' voice resounded through the manor.

Piper sighed, "Here we go again."

The oldest Charmed One left the bathroom and headed to find her son, who was currently downstairs, looking at his hamster's empty cage in confusion and concern. He turned as he heard his mother approaching from behind. As soon as he saw her face, his own fell, "He's dead isn't he?"

"Prue thought she was helping," Piper began, "she gave him a bath."

Chris nodded numbly, "Oh."

"She's really upset about what happened. You know it was an accident right, Peanut?"

The boy nodded again, "Yeah, sure."

"Chris? Are you okay, Sweetie?" Piper asked, noticing how distracted her youngest was acting.

"I guess so," he replied with a sigh, giving his attention to Harry's vacant dwelling, "I'm just cursed. Every pet is going to die one way or another."

Piper shook her head, "That's not true. You're wonderful with animals."

"Doesn't matter. They still always wind up toast," Chris answered still staring into the empty cage. "I'm a murderer by buying them, and bringing 'em here. If it isn't demons that get 'em, it's cousins."

"No," Piper argued, almost desperately trying to convince her child he wasn't a killer of pets, "you are not responsible for what has happened to Nemo, Tootles or Harry. Just to prove it, I'll take you down the pet store right now, and you can get a puppy. I know you've always wanted one, and now, I think you're old enough, and you've earned it."

Chris shook his head, "No. It'd die, and I don't think I could deal if I killed an innocent little puppy." He finally turned to look at his mother, "I will never own another pet as long as I live."

It was a solemn vow. He would not be responsible for another innocent animal's death. He knew magic existed, therefore curses also existed, which meant that he obviously was cursed. It was his responsibility to never have another pet, and he followed this rule strictly. As much as he loved animals, he didn't even go into a pet store to look. Chris Halliwell was done losing things he loved.

5 years later. . .

"Ryak has managed to escape from hell. We all know what this implies," Odin, the narrow eyed head of the Council began.

The elder known as Sandra nodded, "Yes, the end of all if the Charmed Ones are not able to defeat him."

"It is not the Charmed Ones he is after," a third elder, Ben argued. "He seeks to destroy the destiny of the youngest son. By throwing off the boy's fate, he will inevitably create a downward spiral from which the world may never recover."

"Don't you mean the older son? The Twice Blessed?" Sandra questioned.

Ben shook his head, "No. I speak of Christopher. The Twice Blessed may be the most powerful source of good magic, but his brother is a leader. It will be up to him to stop the darkness when it falls upon us all. I have seen it in a vision. The mighty Excaliber was not meant for young Wyatt."

"Chris is King Arthur?" Sandra questioned, her shock apparent. "How is that possible? Wyatt is able to hold the sword."

"I am not sure of this," Ben answered, "but I know what I saw as truth. This is why Ryak will try to destroy the boy. He knows that young Christopher has the ability to unite the magical community and destroy him. After all, he did it before against his own brother."

Odin shook his head, "That was another time line. Whose to say this one has the same strength of character?"

"He is the same man," Ben countered, "it is his destiny."

The head of the council's beady eyes grew colder with doubt, but he remained silent. He knew as well as anyone that Ben's visions, though few and far between, were never ever wrong.

"We must warn the Charmed Ones," Sandra said.

"They will not be able to stop Ryak," Ben argued, "No witch has ever been able to even harm him. Their powers are useless against him. Only two beings have ever gone up against Ryak and lived. The Source, who was responsible for banishing Ryak to hell and..." Ben faltered, looking uneasy.

Odin frowned, "Who?"

"Belthazor," Ben answered. "Belthazor fought Ryak and survived, though barely. He was, however, able to weaken Ryak enough that the Source was finally able to banish him to one of the deepest pits of hell."

Sandra turned to Odin, "What action should we take?"

"Well, I have an idea," Ben started hesitantly, "but you are not going to like it. . ."

tbc. . .

Should I keep going? Any takers?