Chapter Two

Ethan awoke first. He looked over had his sleeping wife. Cassie had some hair in her face, so he gently moved it out of the way.

She opened her eyes. "Morning." She said.

"Morning. I didn't mean to wake you." He said.

"I know." She leaned forward and gave him a kiss. She glanced at her alarm clock. It read, eight o' seven. "We have to get going. We're going to be late for our first class." She sat up on her side of the bed, slipped on her bra and underwear, and then made her way to her mirror. She snapped her fingers and a moment later, she was wearing a black skirt with a low-cut black shirt.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Cassie?" Professor Periwinkle called from the other side.

Cassie looked at Ethan. "You need to get out of here." She said.

"No problem." With one last kiss, he snapped his fingers and disappeared in a flash.

Later on that day, Marnie and Cody made their way into the laundry room. They walked over to the washers. They put their clothes baskets in the counter. Marnie looked at Cody. "This is going to take forever. Maybe with we just..." She said, about ready to snap her fingers.

Cody gave her a look. "I don't think that's such a good idea."

Marnie opened the lid to a washer and gasped. Her mother's image was floating in the water, going back and forth. Cody leaned over her shoulder and saw what she gasped about. "Hey, Mrs. Piper." He called.

"Hey, Cody, how have you been?" Gwen asked.

"Fine."

"Don't do that to me." Marnie said.

"I'm sorry. I just...I haven't heard from you and I wanted to make sure you were alright." Gwen said.

"I'm fine, mom. Dylan's Dylan, but he's fine too." Marnie replied.

"Oh, good. I'm fine, really. I'm fine." Gwen said.

"Mom, you can't do this to us. If we get caught using magic, we could get expelled." Marnie said.

"What, Expelled? I...sorry. I just knew that I'd find you guys here." Gwen said.

"You knew we'd be doing our laundry? Are you spying on us?" Marnie asked.

"No. When I was in college, I did my laundry on Wednesdays too."

"Great. We'll get expelled for being predictable." Marnie said, sarcastically.

Gwen rolled her eyes.

"Mom, do you know anything about a family heirloom? Some silver box?" Marnie asked.

"Silver box?" Gwen shook her head.

"Yeah, It's ancient, and filthy, and man, does it need washing." Marnie said, when the door opened and Ethan and Cassie walked in. She quickly shut the lid.

"Marnie." Gwen said, but was cut off.

"Wait! I love you." Gwen said in the toilet that she was using to scry and talk to Marnie. The toilet flushed and Gwen looked up. The couple that she was showing the house to was standing there looking at her.

"Yup, I love this plumbing." Gwen said, trying to cover her behind. She stood up. "It's really good plumbing. I just can't get enough of it."

Back in the laundry room in Halloweentown, Cassie and Marnie were chatting, while Cody and Ethan did their clothes. Marnie nudged Cassie and sent her a telepathic message. Go along with it.

"Are we seeing what we think we're seeing?" Marnie asked.

Ethan looked at Cody. "Yes, Marnie, you have spotted two elusive males doing their laundry."

"Rare creatures, indeed." Cassie said, smiling.

"So, you just want to zap this stuff clean and join Cassie and me for some coffee?" Ethan asked.

"I was just accused of using magic when I didn't. I'm not about to be accused of using magic when I did." Marnie said.

Cassie and Ethan looked at her funny.

"Why don't we zap the clothes clean?" Cody asked, referring to himself, Ethan and Cassie.

"We're just better off doing it manually." Marnie finally said.

Just then, the castle shook. Marnie Trainer, meet the Chancellor at the dig site.

"Sorry guys, have to go." Marnie said. "Rain check on the coffee. Cody, can you finish my laundry?"

"Yeah. You better get going." Cody said. He gave her a quick kiss.

"The Chancellor really need to get a cell phone." Cassie stated.

In the dungeon, where the dig site was, the silver box that was unearthed was sitting on the block of stone that had the name Cromwell on it. It was in some kind of red gooey stuff. The Chancellor and Marnie entered the dungeon. The Chancellor waved her hand over it and the red gunk disappeared. She picked it up. "It's beautiful." She tried to open the lid. She fidgeted with it. Admitting defeat, she looked at Marnie. "Let's open it."

"Small problem. No key." Marnie said.

"Piffle. That's what magic is for." Dr. Goodwin said.

Marnie scoffed. "Are you kidding?"

"I'm Chancellor of this University. If I say its okay, then it's okay." Dr. Goodwin said, taking a step forward.

"Is this a trap?" Marnie asked.

Dr. Goodwin laughed. "Marnie. You're young. You're a witch. Have a little fun." She handed Marnie the silver box.

"Don't have to tell me twice. Or three times." She closed her eyes and snapped her fingers. She tried to open the lid, but it didn't budge. She took it over to a desk, set it down, and then sat down herself. She waved her hands all over it. Nothing. She wiggled her nose. Still nothing happened. The Chancellor looked on with hope. Marnie crossed her arms, closed her eyes and nodded her head. Again, the lid didn't pop open. She tried again. This time, she squinted her eyes and concentrated real hard. Close to giving up hope, she rested her head against her hand. "Open Sesame."

"Well, that was a bust." Dr. Goodwin said, from behind her. She was furious.

Later on that night, Cody, Ethan, and Cassie all went on a nature hike to identify herbs and magical flowers for their herbology class. Marnie and Aneesa were sitting on the steps of University's buildings.

"Goodwin actually asked you to..." Aneesa started.

"Shh." Marnie shushed her.

"...use magic to open the box?" Aneesa finished.

"Yes. I couldn't believe it. But nothing worked. Nada."

"Why didn't she open it?"

"She said it belonged to a Cromwell, so only a Cromwell could open it." Marnie explained. "If only I had the key. Hey, you think maybe you could do that smoky-smoky thing and just take a peek inside?"

Aneesa shook her head. "That only works with my own lamp." She sounded disappointed.

"Shoot."

"Yeah."

"S. Cromwell would know where the key is.. I wonder what the S stands for. My grandma would know She knows everything about Halloweentown. I wish I could talk to her I don't know where she is. I don't know when she is." Marnie said, referring to the fact that Sophie and Aggie were time traveling.

The next day, in Professor Periwinkle's class, the class was having a discussion. After Marnie found Cody, Cassie, and Ethan, she told them about the night before with Dr. Goodwin.

" So, what do Shakespeare's characters in Midsummer's Night Dream teach us about love?" Professor Periwinkle asked.

Burp-urp-snurt-pfsfsfsfst the third was the first to speak up. "Well, Helena knew that her boyfriend was a jerk, but she loved him anyway."

"Only because that freaky little fairy cast a magic spell on them." Marnie said.

A row over, at the beginning, A fairy got mad and raised her wings.

"Fairies are not freaks." The troll said.

"Sorry. I'm just saying it's not love If he's forced to like her." Marnie said.

"Maybe she likes controlling him." Scarlett said from behind Marnie.

"But you don't control someone you love. That would be a nightmare, not a dream." Marnie said.

"Yeah." Cassie agreed.

"That's a wonderful discussion, students." Professor Periwinkle said. Just then, the bell rang. "We'll pick this up on Monday. Have a lovely weekend, all." She walked behind her desk.

"Cody, can you hang out with Cassie, Ethan, and Aneesa. I need to talk to Professor Periwinkle."

"Sure." Cody said. He grabbed his books and joined his other three friends.

Marnie walked up to the Professor's desk. "Professor Periwinkle?" She asked.

The kind, elderly witch looked up. "Yes dear?"

"Do you think I could talk to you sometime?"

Professor Periwinkle opened the door to her office. It looked like a potion's closet.

'This is your office?" Marnie asked when she saw it.

"Oh, it's larger then it appears" Professor Periwinkle said, clapping her hands. Just then, two doors opened up to reveal a nice spacious office. Complete with couches and comfy chairs.

They walked in. Marnie looked around. "This is wonderful."

Professor Periwinkle waved her arm at the fireplace. Instantly there was a warm fire going.

"So, you obviously don't adhere to the no magic rule in here." Marnie said, as a floating tray with a silver teapot and matching silver cups made it's way over to them.

"Oh, heaven's no. I refused to sign that pledge." Professor Periwinkle said. "What is it you kids say these days? Not going to let the man keep me down.

"We kids haven't said that in a while." Marnie pointed out. She accepted a teacup that Professor Periwinkle offered her. Marnie stared at her.

"What is it, dear?" She asked.

"It's just... you just remind me of someone. I really miss right now." Marnie explained.

Professor Periwinkle motioned for her to sit down. Marnie slipped off her shoulder book bag and sat down. "Well, you are welcome here anytime." Once Professor Periwinkle was comfortable, she turned back to Marnie. "So, how is your grandmother?" She took a sip of her tea.

"You know my grandmother?" Marnie asked.

"Our families have been friends since before Halloweentown existed." Periwinkle informed her.

"Well, do you know an S. Cromwell? A Susan, or Sarah, or a..."

"Splendora. I wondered when you were going to ask about her. I haven't heard that name in years."

"So, you know her?"

"Oh, yes, I knew her. A very long time ago." Periwinkle said.

"You're not about to tell me Splendora is you, are you? Because I'm having a very strange Star Wars moment." Marnie joked. Behind her, a levitating watering can watered a plant.

Periwinkle laughed. "No. Splendora was my friend. We met in the early days of Halloweentown."

"Well, what can you tell me about her?" Marnie asked.

"Nothing." Periwinkle said.

"Nothing?" Marnie asked.

"I've said too much already. Now I made a promise to keep Splendora's identity a secret."

"But you can tell me. I can keep a secret."

"No. it's too soon. You're simple not ready." Periwinkle said.

"Not ready for what?"

"When you can answer that yourself, then you'll be ready." Periwinkle said. "Now I'm sorry Marnie I can say no more."

Marnie cocked her head at her teacher, and her new friend.

In Dylan's room, he was combing his hair. Natalie called him up and asked if he wanted to go shopping with her. He had some time off and since he hadn't been able to spend sometime with her, he agreed.

Just then, he heard screaming and shrieking. "I've got to chance that ring tone." he said, picking up his cell phone. "What?" He asked.

"Dylan, I need your help." Marnie said. She was in her dorm room.

Cody and Marnie were waiting when Dylan ran up. "What took you so long?" Marnie asked.

"I was in the middle of something. I have a date tonight." Dylan said.

"You can't have dates. You're married. They're more like romantic evenings." Marnie argued.

"Is that cologne?" Cody asked.

"Too much?" Dylan asked.

"Just a tad." Cody replied, slapping him on the back.

Where are we going?" Dylan asked.

"This way. Just stay down wind." Marnie said.

When they reached the library, Marnie turned to Dylan and asked, "Ever wondered about our family history?"

Dylan opened the doors, Marnie was the second one in. Cody shut the doors since he was the last to enter.

"Here's the place to find out about it. History of the Cromwell's, The Cromwell Women. Cromwell's Inferno."

"All these books are about our family." Marnie said.

Dylan turn back to look at her. "Yeah, I caught the theme."

"One of them has to tell us who Splendora Cromwell was and what she locked in that box." Marnie said.

"Just give me a minute."

"A minute? I know you're fast but..." Marnie teased.

Dylan looked at her. "I'm more then fast. I'm magic."

Cody's jaw dropped. "Did you just use the M word?"

"I use magic to speed read okay? Not here, but in high school." He explained.

"No wonder you skipped a grade." Marnie pointed out.

"It's the only thing I used my powers for, I swear." Dylan said.

"But the rules." Cody pointed out.

"Oh, okay. I won't use magic to read." Dylan grabbed a book off the one table and he, Marnie, and Cody made their way over to another table. They all took a seat. Dylan opened the book and began to read slowly.

Cody sent a telepathic message to Marnie. We're never going to find anything out this way.

Cody nodded at Marnie. She rolled her eyes. "Okay, just do it." She said.

Dylan closed the book and raised his hands. Soon all of the books in the library flew all around the trio. Words appeared. Dylan lowered his hands and began to read the words that were flying by. A word ran into Marnie's arm and disappeared. Cody looked on in awe. This family never ceased to amaze him.

When Dylan couldn't take anymore, he jumped forward and all of the books fell to the floor. "I know what's in the box."

Outside, Cody and Marnie followed Dylan.

"What? What's in the box?" Marnie pushed.

"Power." Dylan responded.

"What kind of power?" Cody asked.

"The magical kind." Dylan answered.

"That's my favorite kind." Marnie stated.

"inside that box is power called the Gift, capital G. It's a magical power that no other witch in Halloweentown has. A thousand years ago, Splendora Cromwell locked the Gift inside that box and buried it."

"And?" Marnie asked.

"And nothing. That's all I know. There were pages missing." Just then, Dylan spotted Scarlett Sinister walking on to the grounds. He followed her. Cody and Marnie followed him.

When Scarlett reached her destination, Dylan tried talking to her. "Hey, Hi, Scarlett. We're still on for tomorrow's study lesson, right?"

"Sorry. Doesn't ring a bell." Scarlett said, cruelly.

"Oh, well that's fine if you don't remember." Dylan said. "I'd like to study with you."

"And I'd like a unicorn for a pet, but that ain't gonna happen either, is it toad?" Scarlett asked.

"Hey, you can't talk to my brother like that." Marnie said.

"Yes she can. Talk to me like that, or any way you want actually." Dylan said.

Cody could tell something was wrong.

Just then, a warlock walked out of the building. "Scarlett. Let's go baby."

In Silas Sinister's office, Silas, Dr. Goodwin, and Dr. Grogg were all standing around a cauldron. Dr. Goodwin was stirring the potion in the cauldron. "In a moment, she will appear in the cauldron." She said.

When the image of Dylan, Marnie and Cody shone up, Silas smiled.

"Don't say anything." They heard Dylan say.

"Dylan." Marnie said

"I don't want to talk about it.:

"But something needs to be done. She's using her powers to terrorize the whole school." Marnie said.

"Most definitely." Cody agreed.

"That what people with powers do. They wield them. Just leave it alone." Dylan said.

Something weird is going on with Dylan. Cody sent telepathically.

Tell me something I don't know. He's married to Natalie. He loves her. It must be a love potion or spell. She sent back.

Just then, they all heard screaming and shrieking. Marnie jumped, and Cody looked around. "Relax. It's mom." Dylan said, pushing in the button on the side of his watch. The glass part opened up and Gwen's image appeared. Cody noticed that it looked exactly like the same one that Gwen gave him.

"You got to change that ring tone." Marnie said.

"Dylan, you're there." Gwen said.

"Where else would I be?"

"How are you?" Gwen asked

"I'm fine. Still a dork, still friendless."

"Dylan, hand on a sec." Gwen said into the sink full of water that she was using to talk to her son.

The family that she was showing the house to walked into the kitchen. "Now, now, sweetie. Your father and I just thought that you and Princess could share a room." The mother said. The daughter was carrying a white dog in her arms.

"Princess needs her own room." The daughter said, bossily.

Dylan listened to the conversation that was taking place. Man, what a spoiled child.

"Okay, cupcake. We'll just keep looking. After all, this is just a two-bedroom." The mother said.

Gwen made a movement with her finger. Suddenly, the wall disappeared, creating a huge living room. "I'm sorry. Did I say two-bedroom? No. This is a large three-bedroom. Go look." As the family left, Gwen turned back to the water.

"Dylan, how's Marnie? She seemed a little distracted when I talked to her."

Marnie and Cody were listening the whole time. When her mother asked about her, she made a signal with her hands, letting Dylan know that she didn't want to talk.

"Uh, She's uh..." He started. He looked up, pretending to look for her.

"She's right there with you, isn't she? Yeah, put her on."

"Hey, mom, I got a ton of reading to do, so I gotta run, bye." Marnie said, closing the glass on the watch.

Gwen watched as the water drained out of the sink.

"You shut the pumpkin of mom." Dylan said.

"I can't lie to her and I can't tell her what's going on here." Marnie stated.

"Why not?" Dylan asked.

"The last thing mom wants me to have is more magic." Marne said, walking away.

"Marnie." Cody called after her.

"Marnie." Dylan called. "What ever is in that box was buried for a thousand years and I have a feeling it's supposed to stay that way."

The Dominion watched this from the cauldron.

"Time is running short. Her brother is becoming a problem." Silas said.

"Then he must use him. Make him part of the solution." Dr. Grogg. Said.

"But he's her family." Dr. Goodwin said.

"That just means that she will do anything to save him. " Scarlett said, walking in.