Chapter 9 - Stand Strong, Together
Mum caught my eye as we recited the spell again, and she gave me a strained smile. I knew then that this was bad. That's when I was really scared. I've vanquished demon's before, but ... this had to be a big one. Or aunt Phoebe had had a bad premonition. Or both.
"... We vanquish you with our Charmed power."
"And again." Aunt Paige said nervously.
"We call upon our magic line, to vanquish this demon through space and time, in this night and in this hour, we vanquish you with our Charmed Power." I shivered, and wondered if that was a bad sign or not. Are we going to survive this?
Is it normal for a twelve year old to be wondering if she'll be alive tomorrow?
"When is this going to happen?" I asked Dad, who was stood behind me.
"Quarter to seven, tonight." He told me quietly. That's one of the things I like about him - he doesn't try to hide stuff like this from me. He knows I can handle stuff, and that there's things I need to know, even if I'd rather not. "Are you OK?" He asked. I nodded.
"Are we going to be OK?" I asked. He looked at me seriously for a long time, and just as I was about to repeat my question, he answered it.
"We don't honestly know." He admitted. "But I have faith that you will. You guys might be young, but you're strong, and you are smart." My cousins and brothers and sister were still chanting the spell to each other, under uncle Coop's supervision, and my mum and aunts were talking. Dad hugged me. "I love you."
"I love you too, Dad." I whispered.
"We wont let anything happen to any of you." He said, and I remembered his words, from when I'd been kidnapped. "I will move heaven and earth to get her back ..."
"I know you wont." I said, pulling back. We'd be OK. We have the best parents, and aunt and uncle's anyone could ask for. And I know that they'd protect us, at any cost.
"OK, you all know it?" Mum asked. "Say it one more time without any help."
We all repeated it, then aunt Phoebe nodded. "OK, you know it. Well done, well done." She picked up Laci and uncle Coop wrapped his arm around her. Aunt Paige and Uncle Henry were hugging Holly tightly. Aunt Prue, uncle Andy, Matthew and Carson we tangled in a hug too - which of course meant that mum and dad pulled the four of us into a giant hug.
"Are you all OK? Do you all understand?" Mum asked anxiously.
"We'll be OK, mum." I said.
"I - I know."
"But you're going to worry anyway." Wyatt said.
We will do this. I know we will.
Six forty. Just five more minutes. We're going over the spell again and again - I don't think I'll ever forget it now. Unless, of course, I die today.
Oops. I promised I wouldn't think like that.
Mum hugged me, then Wyatt, then Chris then Cassie, as I was hugged by Dad, aunt Paige, aunt Phoebe and aunt Prue, Uncle Andy, uncle Coop and uncle Henry. A lot of hugging - and it didn't reassure me in the least. It was almost like we were saying goodbye ...
"OK, everyone ready?" Aunt Phoebe asked, her voice shaking. My aunts and uncles gathered in the parlour, my aunts at the front, dozens of potions clutched in their hands. They'd tried to get dad and my uncles to hide away for their own safety, but they'd all refused.
"Three ..." Aunt Phoebe said shakily. "Two ..." She looked over at the clock, and instead of saying "one" just closed her eyes for half-a-second.
I heard someone scream as the demon shimmered in, right on time. Or should I say, demons.
There must have been twenty he-demons, all wearing some kind of raggy leather, and a she-demon right in the middle of them all. She looked around, looking slightly confused, taking in the sight of us all stood clutching each others hands, and mum and my aunts ready with the potions
"How cute." She drawled, a sneer playing around her mouth. "Attack." She didn't shout the word, didn't even say it loudly, or with any emotion in her voice. Her tone was flat, her voice not a decibel louder than her first remark. But the demons all sprang forward, launching fireballs at us. As we set to work, fighting back, fireballs were being telekinetically moved to hit the demons by aunt Prue, Chris and Matthew, aunt Paige and Wyatt were tele-orbing the fireballs to do the same.
Cassie turned several to ice, Carson was deflecting some, from his hiding place behind Matthew. Laci was fighting the same was as aunt Phoebe - using the marital arts skills her mother had been teaching her for years. Holly was orbing all over the place, occasionally pushing a demon into the path of an oncoming fireball, and mum and I were freezing a blowing up fireballs and demons. Slowly, the room was less and less crowded, and demons were bursting to flames all over the place. And suddenly, there was only the female left.
She looked a little surprised to see us all standing, albeit a little shakily with blackened faces and cuts and bruises.
"Well well." She murmured, and next second she'd shot something static at us.
"No!" Aunt Prue jumped in front of us, and the electricity bolt or whatever it was hit her instead. Mum tried to blow the demon up - it didn't work, we all knew it wouldn't, but it succeeded in making her stumbled back unsteadily, causing a slight diversion.
"Mum!" Carson yelled - his face was streaked with tears.
"Say the spell!" Aunt Paige yelled, before orbing to her eldest sisters side. She started to heal her, as the lot of us clasped hands again, as the demon regained her balance.
"We call upon our magic line, to vanquish the demon through space and time, in this night and in this hour, we vanquish you with our charmed power!" She seemed rooted to the spot, unable to move, but no flames sprouted at her ankles, and I knew we'd have to say it again.
"We call upon our magic line," I said again, and the others quickly joined in. "To vanquish this demon through space and time, in this night and in this hour, we vanquish you with our Charmed power." I felt so emotionally and mentally drained, standing on my feet was hard, but I carried on, knowing that these few words were what stood between life and death, for us.
"WE CALL UPON OUR MAGIC LINE, TO VANQUISH THIS DEMON THROUGH SPACE AND TIME, IN THIS NIGHT AND IN THIS HOUR WE VANQUISH YOU WITH OUR CHARMED POWER!"
There wasn't the fire I was expecting - instead she exploded in a thousand piece, which all burst into flame in mid-air, and turned into dust, which settled on the floor in a neat pile.
We'd done it.
"We did it!" Matthew yelled. "We vanquished her!"
And everyone was tangled in one big hug - yes, more hugging - one huge hug in the middle of the conservatory, all of us laughing hysterically, crying hysterically, so relieved, so proud, so ...
Unbelievably, blissfully happy.
It was a whole day later before I got a chance to talk properly to mum and dad - we celebrated almost all of the night, then all fell asleep in the living room, to wake up at one o' clock the next afternoon, still with that blissed-out feeling. We'd lazed around all day, updated the book of shadows, writing down our spell and what we'd done (like we were going to forget it!). Then we had a celebratory dinner, ate until we were all about to explode - and now I was sat with mum and dad in their room, finally ready to talk.
"What do you want to ask us?" Mum asked softly, and I bit my lip. I had so many questions, and yet right now, I couldn't think any of them into a proper sentence.
"Did you ever love him?" IO asked finally. From what I'd seen, she hated him so much - and vice-versa - but I hadn't seen the beginning, when they first met.
"I ... I thought I did." Mum answered after a while.
"And now, you hate him?"
"I don't feel anything about him." She said. "He's gone, out of lives forever - finally. I don't give him any of my thought or time or emotion."
"Do I - do I look like him?" I asked after a little while.
"No." It was dad who answered this time. "You don't resemble him in the slightest, you look like just like your mother." I smiled at that.
"So does Chris." I said.
"Yep. And Wyatt and Cassie look like your father." Mum said.
"So are - are you happy now?" I asked.
"Yes." She nodded. "Are you?" I smiled at her.
And that was the end. Wow, I'm so sad! Well, I hope you guys loved this as much as I loved writing it, and that you'll continue to read my stories. Thanks to everyone who read, and more thanks to those who reviewed, and those who'll review this chapter!