Chapter 11

"Prue! Are you out of your mind?" Piper yelled at her big sister while rushing over to an unconscious Phoebe.

"I – I…" Prue was too stunned to by her own actions to speak clearly. "I didn't mean-"

"Well, don't just stand there! MOVE your ass and heal her!" The tone in Piper's voice expressed both anger and anxiousness.

Prue knelt at her fallen sister's side and held her hand over Phoebe's wound. Her hand shook and failed to emit its healing powers. She clenched her fists and willed herself to calm down. "I'm so sorry," she whispered softly. She took a deep breath and tried again. Much to her relief, her hand began to glow and the wound slowly healed.

Before she had a chance to see Phoebe re-gain consciousness, Prue tensed suddenly, feeling an unbearable pain within herself. She groaned and her body convulsed as she began to de – corporealise involuntarily. Because it was happening more slowly than usual, it felt like her whole body was being torn apart, piece by piece. She had never experienced such pain in life or death and she could do nothing but scream in agony as she was orbed out against her will.

Piper stared in shock at what she has just seen and dropped to her knees. She could feel her panic rising, but quelled it when she heard Phoebe moan. She crawled toward her sister, who was lifting herself up with her hands. Piper threw her arms around her, clumsily bringing Phoebe into sitting position on the floor. "Oh Phoebe!"

The scene Piper had just witnessed brought old memories to the surface, triggering emotions that she had been suppressing and she cracked, breaking down on Phoebe's shoulder. "They took Leo, Paige is dying, and now they took Prue. I can't take anymore. I can't, I can't!"

Phoebe, although feeling like her circulation was being cut off from Piper's tight grip, and struggling to remember what had happened, remained silent, allowing Piper to cry on her shoulder.

The girls held onto each other for several minutes, Phoebe running a soothing hand up and down her sister's back to comfort her. The attic was quiet except for the sounds of Piper's anguish. Phoebe relived the argument between herself and Prue in her head and pieced together what had happened to her big sister. She should have been angry with Prue for attacking her, but she wasn't. She felt only her own sorrow and Piper's pain.

Phoebe rocked a little back and forth, gathering the strength and the words to speak. When she finally found her voice she spoke in a low gentle tone.

"We'll make things right again and Prue will be back. She has to be. The Elders sent her to us for a reason. They won't keep her away from us for long. They know we need her."

Phoebe was attempting to pacify herself as much as her sister with her own words. Part of her feared they might never see Prue again, and if that were indeed the case, she wondered if they would be able to save Paige on their own, but she couldn't let Piper know she was scared. Phoebe felt remorse now for her actions. She should have listened to her big sister and not gone off on her own. Maybe Prue was right, maybe she was an idiot.

"Piper, are you up here? Wyatt orbed out, is he with you?" Victor blurted out as he burst into the attic, startling both of his daughters. He stopped in his tracks when he saw his girls clinging to each other. "What –"

Phoebe cast her father a warning glance, silencing him, but it was too late.

Distracted by Victor's words, Piper released her iron grip on her sister. "What?" she questioned, wiping tears from her face as she jumped to her feet.

Phoebe channelled her sister's rising panic and feeling like she was on an emotional roller coaster, she thought she was going to be sick.

"Have you-"

"I looked all over the manor, I can't find him anywhere," Victor cut Piper off.

"No. No, this can't be happening," Piper shook her head in disbelief and then her eyes went wide with realisation. "He orbed to his father! That's where he went. All we need is for Prue to-" Piper cut herself off. "Oh, right. She's gone."

"What happened? What's going on?" Victor questioned.

"Uh, I'll explain later Dad." Phoebe put an arm around Piper to console her and guided her toward the old couch. "Honey, if Wyatt can find his father, he'll find his way home. Your son is a very clever boy."

Piper smiled weakly. "Yeah, he's a genius."

Prue slowly opened her eyes to find herself lying on her side on a cold, hard white floor. She was shaking all over and her clothes were damp with sweat. Her breathing was ragged and for a moment she focussed all her energy on it, taking in air and exhaling until she had calmed herself. At some point while she was being orbed, she had lost consciousness from the excruciating pain. She must have experienced the unspeakable wrath Leo had felt when he and Piper had defiantly attempted to marry against the will of The Powers That Be and had been discovered. She never wanted to experience it again.

"Uhhh…" she mumbled. She struggled to sit upright and orientate herself. It was then that she saw five Elders standing in front of her, glaring down at her.

A set of arms helped her to her feet and supported her. "Prue, honey, are you okay?"

Prue recognised the figure beside her. "Mom? I'm okay, I think." The truth was that she was glad for the support. She doubted she could have stood on her own. She was still trembling in her mother's arms.

Patty nodded earnestly. "The Elders summoned me here. I know what happened."

"Prudence, what you did today was irresponsible and unacceptable," one of the male Elders scolded her.

Prue hung her head in shame, feeling like a punished child. "I know. I'm so sorry. I acted out of anger. I never meant to hurt my own sister. I don't know what got into me." Tears filled her eyes.

"This is very serious Prudence." The sole female Elder continued to lecture her. "In harming your own sister, you misused your power. Your sisters are innocents you were assigned to assist and protect. Some of us are of the opinion that you should not be allowed to set foot on the mortal plain again and were reluctant to let you go in the first place, but we decided it was necessary. As it is, your status as an Elder is at risk."

Prue's eyes widened in shock at the thought of her sisters never being able to see her again, just as they were getting used to her being around. "Oh please, don't punish my sisters because of a mistake I made," she pleaded.

The Elders exchanged glances and stepped back to consult amongst themselves. Another of the male Elders spoke up. "We will allow you to return to your sisters for now due to the seriousness of the situation, but we will discuss the matter further once this is over." With that the Elders orbed out, leaving Prue alone with her mother.

"Oh Mom, you must be so disappointed in me. I didn't mean to hurt Phoebe, I was just so scared. She nearly got herself killed."

Patty shook her head. "I'm not happy that you hurt Phoebe, but I'm not disappointed in you. I could never be disappointed in you, honey. You were right to be upset with your sister. She shouldn't have gone off by herself, but don't let your anger control you, Prue. You saw what happened when it did. Your powers can be very dangerous if let your negative emotions influence them. That's why the Elders were so harsh with you."

Prue nodded in understanding.

"How are you feeling?" Patty asked, still holding on to her oldest daughter.

"I feel terrible. I deserved it though. Phoebe is never going to forgive me. Neither is Piper for that matter." Prue sighed. She let go of her mother and wobbled slightly as she tried to stand on her own. She felt a little dizzy and leaned a hand on her mother's shoulder until it subsided.

Patty put her arm around her daughter's shoulders again and brushed a stray hair behind Prue's ear. "They will honey. In fact, they're probably worried about you right now."

"I hope Phoebe's okay."

"She is. You healed her before they took you," Patty reassured her. "Do you feel strong enough to orb?"

"I think so." She took a probing step back from her mother. Her vision remained clear this time and her feet, although still somewhat shaky, were steady enough beneath her.

Patty stepped forward and hugged her daughter. "I love you, my darling."

"I love you too, Mom."

Upon hearing that her father had laid Chris in his crib before running up to the attic, Piper walked into the nursery to check on him. Watching him sleep peacefully brought her comfort. Satisfied that he was okay, she made her way through her bedroom, bumping into Paige in the hallway. "Oh!" both girls exclaimed simultaneously

Piper took her sister's hand. It felt clammy and cold. "Sweetie, what are you doing out of bed?"

"I heard the commotion in the attic," Paige answered, releasing her hand from her sister's grasp to tighten the belt on her bathrobe. "What happened?" she continued.

"Oh, nothing to be worried about, just a little sibling rivalry," Piper answered, biting her lower lip and rolling her eyes.

Paige gave her older sister a sceptical glance. "That sounded like more than a little rivalry to me. I heard ear piercing screams."

"Uh, well, Prue and Phoebe had a little fight, but they'll sort out. Don't worry about it, honey. You should get back to bed."

Paige opened her mouth to speak, but a wave of dizziness hit her, and she swayed slightly. She leaned on the wall behind her, waiting for her vision to clear, but it seemed to blur even more. Her sister swam out of focus before her. Walls and doors merged into each other and the ceiling appeared to Paige to be descending on them, alarming her. "Pip-"

"Whoa!" Piper exclaimed, grabbing Paige's arm to steady her as she began to slide down the wall.

"Maybe you're right," Paige mumbled, just as blue orbs appeared before the girls, temporarily illuminating the dimly lit hallway with scintillating blue light.

Piper's jaw dropped at the sight before her.

"Mommy, look, I found Daddy."