Torn between Sides
A/N; This is becoming a theme for this round of updates. Completing stories. This might seem like a rather abrupt and open-ended finish to this story but it's what I always had in mind for this. Their lives don't end with this story but continue on with new challenges. I doubt they'll be a sequel and I'll leave picturing the future for your individual minds. Thank you to everyone that has read and reviewed this story and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved writing it over the last fifteen months.
Without further rambling, please enjoy the conclusion of Torn between Sides.
Chapter 7; The Gift of Choice
Damien's Lair – Underworld – Soon after
Damien stood in the eerie silence of his lair with the red mist creeping around his ankles and the red glow over his head from his telepathy boosting spell. His hood was down and it had been since the fight and he had little hope that the demons that had survived the battle and then Damien's outburst when he'd destroyed Nedra hadn't all see his face, Damien's face, and linked the two forever. It wouldn't be all that long before most of the demons in the Underworld knew who the Demon of Caete Ruin really was.
He'd shimmered away just before the first of the missiles had struck and then sent Veltin a telepathic pulse letting him know he was still alive. Surely his demonic friend would tell Chris the news but Damien didn't intend to go searching for him any time soon. Not until he knew what he was and what his place was in the world.
"You do realise don't you that you're the new Source of All Evil?" Veltin asked as he silently shimmered into the lair and leaned against the plinth. Damien didn't even look at him. "Nobody would contest it now."
"Follow me." Damien ordered before shimmering away, leaving a small trail that only Veltin's magic could sense. He reappeared a few minutes later on the lush green grass of the garden to Godric's Hollow. The place where Harry Potter died as an infant. "I want to do something that no demon has ever done before and I think I'll need your power as well to do it."
"What?" Veltin asked warily.
"I want to summon the Potters' ghosts from the afterlife." Damien told him. Veltin had long ago discovered the truth to Damien's own history, partly through working it out from clues Damien had slipped him from time to time and partly from Damien actually telling him straight out.
"Are you sure that's even possible?" Veltin asked as he looked at the grave of Harry Potter at their feet.
"We'll soon find out. James and Lily Potter are tied to their biological son's body and if we try they might hear us." Damien explained.
"Then why do you need me?" Veltin asked.
"I'm a Demon, Veltin." Damien said simply. "I have no link to the afterlife, you though, as a half mortal do."
"Oh." Veltin nodded. "I see."
Damien laughed before shutting his eyes and reaching out his magic. He couldn't just chant the spells like Wicca witches did to do this. He'd have to do it by instinct and provide the power and simply hope that James and Lily Potter would accept the call and use his power to come to him.
What happened wasn't what he expected, in fact it shocked Damien to the core. It wasn't James and Lily that came, in fact his power wasn't even used and what appeared didn't come from the afterlife. Orbs appeared and out of them, standing directly on Harry Potter's grave appeared a man.
He looked so much like Damien had used to yet older and more serene, somebody who knew that what they were doing was right. There was none of the pain in his green eyes that Damien had always carried around. Damien stumbled backwards in shock. "Hello, Damien." The man smiled at him gently, and with love.
"You're..." Damien gasped feeling fear.
"You don't have to fear me, Damien." He said as his eyes flickered to Veltin.
"That's a Whitelighter, Damien. I think we should get out of here before he calls the Elders." Veltin suggested.
"I won't call them." He assured Damien and Veltin.
"Then they'll sense you here and come. Either way it doesn't matter." Veltin told him. "Why did you stop our summons. What interest do you have in stopping this?"
"They are my parents that you are trying to summon from their afterlife." The man smirked lightly at Veltin.
"Harry." Damien finally managed to get out making Veltin look at him in surprise at the quiet voice. "You were only a baby."
"I was meant to be a Whitelighter from birth, Damien." A twenty-two year old looking Harry Potter told him simply. "I couldn't do that as a baby but my soul grew up in the afterlife with mum and dad when they arrived. When I was old enough I became a Whitelighter."
"But why?" Damien asked. "Why take you out of the afterlife?"
"Because of you, Damien." Harry smiled at him. "The Elders never knew much about you but you are important to the Angels of Destiny and it was them that sent me here to answer your summons. They can't control Demons like they can mortals, witches and wizards. Demons are an unknown variable but you were the only variable capable of changing the course of the world from this point onwards. The acceptance of magic and the integration of the mortal world and the Underworld."
Veltin looked shocked but Damien didn't let him speak as he waited for Harry to continue. "The Angels hoped that you would aid their cause unknowingly by discovering your heart and your destiny to fall in love with Chris Halliwell just as mum told you in that letter. In case you couldn't find your heart I became a Whitelighter, to keep you grounded and help you see that being neutral was an option, even for you." Harry told him with a sad smile. "We are brothers you and I no matter where we come from. I have always watched out for you, protected you from Voldemort when I could and been there with you in the darkest moments of your childhood."
"Whispering in my ear in my cupboard." Damien whispered to himself though Harry heard him and his smile widened.
"And it was my powers that always protected you from Voldemort's touch, it was my powers that killed Quirrell when he touched you." Harry told him.
"Whitelighters aren't allowed to kill." Veltin argued.
"I am." Harry said simply. "Damien and I share souls. We are Soulmates you could say. His father sensed that and sought me out, hoping that if we grew up together I could balance out Damien's demonic nature. He arrived after my death but left me with the Potters anyway unknowing that his plan would work. I grew up knowing Damien and in a way he knew me, like twins can always sense the other's presence. I knew what that feeling was but Damien didn't."
"He's telling the truth, Veltin." Damien assured him, not even a Whitelighter could lie to him and Harry's mind, his Soul Twin's mind was laid open to him like a book. Every emotion and thought that pertained to his purpose here was open to Damien, all the love and concern for him. "Why did you come here today?"
"To tell you that you are not alone." Harry told him. "And that the future isn't so bleak as you think. The Angels have plans for the world and if you wish it you can become a part of that world."
"And if I do this what is to stop my instincts taking over again and me turning Evil again?" Damien asked, voicing his fear and Harry heard the unspoken concern there that he'd do something that would horrify even him.
"Now that you are aware of our bond do you think you could ever escape it?" Harry asked him gently and with love. "Even with all your power you couldn't close this bond and no matter what you do I'll be there to help you or to pull you back. That I swear to you."
Damien felt the bond growing within him, it wasn't actually getting larger but it was moving from the distinct edges of his mind to right in the centre of it. Damien bowed his head and shut his eyes wondering what all of this meant but he looked up quickly when Harry moved in front of him and took his hands in his own. Dark green eyes met emerald green eyes and Damien smiled a true smile for the first time when he wasn't alone with Chris.
"Damien, if I'm gone for much longer then the Elders may detect my presence and then yours and wonder what I am doing." Harry told him. "But remember something for me. My destiny to help your soul, our soul, is more important than my destiny as a Whitelighter. That is only a means to keep me close to you. If you ever have need of me you need only call me."
"What of being the Source of All Evil?" Damien asked as it looked like Harry was about to orb away.
"Why not think of it as a gift?" Harry asked with a twitch of a smile. "I haven't been told otherwise so I'd say it isn't the position that matters but how you use it."
Damien nodded just as Harry burst into orbs and trailed off into the bright morning sky. Damien turned to Veltin who was staring at where the orbs had been. "That was interesting." Veltin told him.
"I think this should stay between us." Damien pointed out.
"You think anybody would believe me if I told them?" Veltin laughed. "The Source of All Evil is soul bonded from birth to a Wizard-turned-Whitelighter!" Damien eyed him for a moment before shimmering back to his lair. He needed to start planning.
Halliwell manor – A week later
Chris leaned against the mantelpiece in a distinctly 'other' Chris kind of way and it was obvious by his unfocused eyes that he was paying as much attention to his internal voices as he was the external ones. Chris was becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of having another sentience in his mind and it was no longer a shock when he found out he wasn't the one reaching for a glass of water or defending himself from a demon.
In the last week they'd gone into the Underworld twice for intelligence. Or rather, Chris and Wyatt had gone into one of the Underworld bars, and been shocked by how quiet it was. It almost seemed like the Underworld was deserted. The only gossip around they could pick up on was that nobody had heard or seen from the Demon of Caete Ruin but they all knew he was still alive.
"Tell us again, Chris." Paige spoke up from the couch. "Who did you hear it from that Harry was still alive? I know you said Veltin seemed relieved but maybe he was being hopeful."
"A demon being hopeful!" Wyatt rolled his eyes.
"All I ever get from Veltin is an inner peace." Phoebe told them all. "He seems to accept what he is but I never get hate or anger from him like I do Damien or any other Demon."
"That's because he doesn't have to kill. Damien protects him from the other Demons and in return Veltin won't betray Damien." Chris said in a matter of fact way that told everyone it was the 'other' Chris speaking. His voice shifted back to the more familiar one. "And anyway we heard it from several Demons including one of the clan chiefs. An Upper Level who almost detected we weren't Demons."
"How do we know it's the truth?" Piper asked. "Unless somebody's actually seen him there's doubt he's still alive."
"You almost sound concerned, mom." Chris raised an eyebrow.
"As much as I hate to say it, it's better for our health with him controlling the Demons. He keeps them in check." Piper said.
"I agree though I'd rather see no Demons." Leo nodded. "Damien might be evil but any other Demon would have already attacked with the Demons under his command. Everything he's done so far as been for self-preservation."
"Aren't you forgetting that school?" Phoebe pointed out. "And the Wizards?"
"I never did show you what they did to him." Chris muttered. "Damien showed me once."
"Showed you what?" Phoebe asked.
"His childhood." Chris told them. "When he was a Wizard they forced him to be their warrior, to fight for them even at eleven. They turned on him at the smallest suspicion and when it came to light that he wasn't their Chosen One they turned against him. Even he didn't know he was Damien until he found a letter from Lily Potter. You know what they did to him after they found out he wasn't their saviour?"
They all shook their heads and Chris almost growled as he remember what Harry had shown him. When he spoke he drew from information given to both of his personalities. "They cast him out, started treating him like he'd tricked them all even since he was a baby, as if he'd schemed it all. They ignored the fact he'd never wanted the fame and they broke him. Even his friends who had sworn they would always stand by him turned on him."
"Chris, you can hardly expect us to feel sorry for him." Piper told him.
"You remember when we were in Diagon Alley?" Chris asked.
"It was destroyed before you were born." Piper answered automatically.
"I think this is the old Chris, Piper." Paige sighed but nodded for all of them even though Wyatt and Melinda hadn't been around then.
"Those four Wizards he held down in the middle of the fight?" Chris prompted and got nods again from his mother and Aunts. "The red head and the girl were his best friends. They'd been friends since they were eleven. The other boy was Neville Longbottom, as far as I know he was the only one that Damien ever let get away from him. He was the only other one that the Wizards believed could defeat Voldemort even though he was hopeless at spellcraft. They always treated Neville like he was useless until they turned on Damien. Suddenly they couldn't push Neville into the war fast enough. They'd lost Harry Potter so instead they turned Neville Longbottom into their saviour and ignored the fact he didn't want it."
"What happened?" Paige asked.
"No idea." Chris shrugged. "In my timeline Neville was part of the same conclave of Wizards as Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger but they were all still alive when I came back here."
"So they are strong?" Paige asked.
"Neville got away from Damien once because Damien couldn't kill what he saw as himself so many years ago." Chris frowned. "Weasley and Granger got away purely on luck. They were in a fight between Damien and Wyatt trying to garner credit with the Evil Wyatt for their own ends. I was there and it was there that Wyatt addressed me for the first time in front of Damien."
"Uh..." Wyatt put on with a wounded look.
"After mom was killed I tried to get close to Damien to find a weakness to get revenge but I fell for him and though I didn't know why he'd killed mom I couldn't find it in me to kill him." Chris sighed with a sad look at Piper. "In the battle Wyatt called me his 'Little Brother' and it didn't take much for Damien to put it together. He completely lost it, wiped out the entire fight. I just about managed to orb out, Wyatt was seriously injured and evidently Weasley and Granger were able to escape from the back of the Wizards in the fight. Nobody else survived."
"Oh my god." Melinda stared at her second brother in horror.
"It was hard times, Mel." Chris told her softly before shooting Wyatt a look that was clearly both Chris'.
"So, what do we do now?" Wyatt asked.
"You do nothing." A new voice spoke up making the entire room spin towards the hallway in surprise. Piper's hands flew up but the person burst into orbs evading the explosion which hit the wall behind them. "A little trigger happy there Piper Halliwell."
"You're a Whitelighter?" Piper stood up.
"That obvious was it?" The man brushed his fringe out of his eyes. His raven black hair was messy and it made his green eyes stand out in contrast. He was wearing black jeans and a dark green button up shirt.
"Do you have a message from the Elders?" Leo asked.
"Leo Wyatt. Ex-Elder." He smiled at the man. "I never did run into you in your stint 'up there'. And no, I don't have a message from them. In fact they don't even know I'm here."
"Why not?" Paige asked.
"Let's just say it would draw too much attention to me." He laughed slightly.
"What are you?" Melinda asked. "A rogue?"
This time the man laughed properly. "I suppose you could say I'm working for the Angels of Destiny and with a Demon."
"With a Demon!" Piper gasped lifting her hands again.
"You can't kill me even if you wanted to Piper Halliwell." The man smirked. "And you seem to have bypassed the first part of my statement."
"How can you work for both?" Leo asked.
"What if the Demon is working for the Angels?" He pointed out. "Not directly of course. Let's just say I have a close bond with the demon in question."
"And which demon is that?" Chris asked with a frown.
"Ah, Chris and Chris. It has been a long time." The man smiled. "We never really met before you came back in time."
"Wait!" Piper frowned. "You're from the other timeline? I thought that disappeared."
"I am an oddity, I suppose." The man shrugged. "When the other timeline was destroyed I was combined with the me from this world so that I could better understand the possible outcome of this battle."
"What battle?" Wyatt asked.
"The one that started with your turning Evil and finishes with the creation of peace between this world and the Underworld." The man told them. "That is why I became a Whitelighter after I died."
"I thought you were familiar." Chris took a step forward. "But how?"
"It was decided that keeping him in check was more important than breaking the Elders rules." The man said. "I am here to guide him and always have been, I grew up helping him here and there. I am his twin."
"Who's twin?" Piper demanded.
"Damien Caete Ruin's twin." The man turned his emerald eyes on here and she gasped and stood back.
"How does the twin of a demon become a Whitelighter?" Wyatt asked.
"There are many meanings to the word twin, Wyatt Halliwell." The man told him. "In my case it is not bone, flesh and blood that twins me with Damien Caete Ruin but our souls. Ever since we were born."
"Who are you then?" Phoebe asked.
"I am Harry Potter." The man smirked at their surprise.
"But wasn't Damien Harry Potter once?" Paige asked.
"For a time he took that name and looked like me." Harry nodded slowly. "Darius Caete Ruin tracked Damien's soul twin and found me but only after I had just died as a baby. He left Damien with my parents to raise and so Damien became Harry Potter. I was raised in the afterlife and helped Harry when I could even if it was just words of love in his ear."
"So why are you here now?" Piper asked.
"I've already told you that." Harry Potter smiled at them before bursting into orbs and flowing up out of the ceiling.
They all looked at each other before Wyatt spoke up the answer to his original question. "We do nothing?"
A month later - Underworld
Damien stood on a small raised area in the massive chamber that seemed to stretch out into the darkness around him. For the first time since the attack he was addressing the Upper Level Demons and for the first time ever he was doing it without his hood up. Many of those here had just taken up the role of clan chiefs after their Masters had been caught up in the battle, either killed by the enemy or by Damien himself.
The only other person at Damien's own height was Veltin but he wore his hood to cover his identity and Damien was careful to cover his magic carefully so that the Upper Level Demons in the room didn't know that a 'mere half-breed' stood at Damien's side.
"You may have been curious about why I've called you here." Damien spoke up, his voice echoing to the far reaches of the cavern and the less powerful Demons that had managed to sneak in without irritating a more powerful Demon enough to kill them. "It's also become evident to me that even though you all knew I was still alive some decided to try to usurp my control over this Underworld. You can try all you like but until you have the power to face me head to head you might as well not bother."
Veltin snorted in amusement. In the last few days Damien had helped Veltin gain a few more powers and he probably stood as the fourth most powerful Demon in the room and the two others stood only just more powerful than him. The point was that Veltin didn't stand a chance against Damien in a full out fight. Too many of the powerful Demons had been targeted by firstly the Charmed Ones, then the Chris from the past to protect baby Wyatt. Then it was the Avatars' massacre and the almost civil wars between Demons in the time after that. Finally had been the targeting of powers by the Mortals for Nedra or just on their own back. There was a rather hefty gap between Damien and the other Demons now and only a few came close. One in the European Underworld and one in the Chinese part of the Asian Underworld. Both Harry had visited in the last month to force under his thumb with the promise of their continued local authority in turn for their survival.
"So, have you brought us here to chastise us, Source?" Damien turned to eye the most powerful Demon there apart from himself. Saimarnen was very smart and had come to Damien's attention a long time ago when he noticed he was playing the civil war to his own benefit. Saimarnen was his choice for governing this Underworld, if there was anybody there with the ambition to rule but the common sense not to try to take Damien's position then it was him. That and Veltin refused to take any position in Damien's hierarchy.
"These orders are being given to all Underworlds." Damien said simply. "And I leave it up to you to enforce this rule throughout your own clans and overall responsibility to a clan of my choice who's leader will take the position of Governor of the Western-American Underworld."
"And this order?" One of the others asked.
"I am ordering all actions against mortals and Witches to stop immediately." Damien said and waited out the uproar without moving a muscle.
"Why!?" A few Demons yelled.
"I have plans that will change the way this world works." Damien said simply. "Plans far more complex than you can comprehend. Make your choice now whether you will abide by my laws, if you decide not to than expect to be dead the next time we meet. I leave it to you to spread this law to all reaches. Get going."
The occupants looked around the room nervously but Damien's magical Aura spread around him in almost visible waves and they knew they'd have to abide by his laws. In groups they began to transport away and just as Damien sensed Saimarnen gathering his powers to shimmer out he reached out and wrenched the Upper Level Demon back into the chamber. Only the three of them were left as Saimarnen fell to his knees in surprise.
"Just wait a moment, Saimarnen." Damien told him before releasing his magic. "I trust I won't have to prove my strength again. A demon of your skill doesn't need much to assess another Demon's power and skill does he?"
Saimarnen stood and shook his head looking properly cowed for the first time, only acceptable to Saimarnen because there were no witnesses. "You might have already guessed that I'm placing you as Governor to the Western-American Underworld. If you do well and the Demons I'm placing in charge of the Eastern and Southern Underworlds annoy me your area of authority may get larger. Piss me off and you'll want to run to the Elders and ask them to kill you as unpleasantly as they can because it will be like bliss compared to what I do to you."
Saimarnen was torn between worry and satisfaction at this news and Damien didn't try to cover his mind as he slammed into the Demon's mind and thoughts and searched around in that instant of emotion for what he wanted. If Saimarnen had had a single thought moving towards betraying Damien he'd be dead before Damien retreated. As it was there was only small thoughts of how this could benefit Saimarnen. "Very good, Saimarnen. Do this well and your own goals may well be satisfied but remember this; your chances of survival if you betray me are nil."
"I understand." Saimarnen spoke up for the first time since Damien had held him back. "What are my orders?"
"Veltin will be spreading word that you are my Governor." Damien told him. "Your only task if selecting those you trust more than the others to act as your Council. What you do within the Underworld is your choice. I only set three rules that you must follow and enforce. Use your position to strengthen the Underworld and not just yourself. Never try to harm myself or Veltin and lastly, do not allow any Demon to attack those on the surface, be they mortal, Wicca or even Whitelighter."
Saimarnen's mind changed slightly there and confusion was easy to pick out of his head. Veltin stepped forwards and walked past Saimarnen's shoulder. "Don't question him on it, Saimarnen or your time as Governor may be the shortest in the Underworld's history. He has his plan."
With that Veltin shimmered out of the chamber to begin announcing to the Underworld what was happening. Saimarnen promised to carry out his orders and shimmered back to his clan to tell them the news of his promotion and Damien turned to the second stage of his plan. Getting his allies and that had to start where his appearance would cause the most concern.
Magic School – Two days later
Paige sighed as she leaned back in her chair, she'd only agreed to watch Magic School for a few weeks while the Elder in charge was 'up there' doing lofty things but it had turned out to be interesting. Chris and Wyatt had learned from forays into the Underworld that Damien had taken complete control of all of the Underworlds and had set Governors to rule each area. It concerned both Chris' that Damien had chosen Saimarnen to rule this one since they all knew that it was that Demon that had ordered the capture of Melinda's powers.
Her eldest nephews were lounging around in front of her right at that moment and they were confused about something or other. "I'm telling you there's something fishy about it all." Wyatt told her. "We were spotted by a group of Demons with three Upper Level Demons with them but the Upper level ones just reigned in the others when they went for us and just shimmered away. They could have seriously hurt us!"
"That'll teach you to not be careful." Paige told them though the news troubled her. They'd seen this sort of decrease in Demonic activity a few times and it was normally just before something big hit them. "Maybe we should get everyone together and see what they think. Chris, go get your mother and sister, Wyatt, go and get your Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Coup. I'll get Henry."
"Yes, Aunty Paige." They smirked at her as they vanished into orbs. It didn't take long before they returned with their extended family in tow minus those too young to really be of any help. Chris quickly outlined what had happened and after being told off by their mother they threw around some ideas
"What about the Elders?" Piper asked her husband, "Do you think they could know anything?"
"We could try them." Leo shrugged. He frowned before looking up at the ceiling. "Azriel!"
There was a pronounced pause before a series of gold orbs flooded into the room as the Headmaster of Magic School appeared in the middle of their group. Moments later another set of orbs appeared and a normal Whitelighter appeared beside Chris. Harry Potter.
"You were not asked to come." Azriel told Harry simply.
Harry smiled at him. "Forgive me, Azriel, but I had knowledge of this that they may find useful."
"So do you guys know why the Demons didn't attack us?" Wyatt asked the Elder as Harry sat on the top of Paige's table.
"Because the new Source of All Evil has ordered that all Demons under his command stand down from action against Good." The Elder told him.
"He actually quite neatly took apart a small rebel group of Demons in Australia that ignored the order and attacked a Witch." Harry put in with a grin.
"He is the Source of All Evil, Whitelighter." Azriel told him with a frown.
"Source of All Demons maybe but I wouldn't say he's Evil." Harry shrugged nonchalantly.
"I think we've heard enough of your ranting about that." Azriel reprimanded the cheeky Whitelighter. "Your attitude impresses nobody."
Harry shrugged. "What's a boy who grew up already dead to do?"
Melinda, Wyatt and Chris all choked in their laughter and looked at their mother apologetically when she glared at them. "I think it's time for you to return to your work, Evans."
"Evans?" Chris frowned in confusion. Harry shot him a look that silenced him.
"I am working." Harry told the Elder. "Besides, I don't want to miss this."
"Miss what?" Paige asked him.
"Can't you sense it already?" Harry asked. "Shame on you, he's been battering through the School's wards for hours now. I would have thought that people as powerful as you all would have realised that by now. And you, an Elder!"
"Evans!" Azriel almost shouted at him. "That's enough. The School Wards..."
He was stopped as the ground shook and the bright magical sunlight coming through the windows darkened. Harry smirked at the Elder. "Told you so." He said simply.
"Who is it?" Chris asked.
"Who do you think could get through the wards?" Harry asked him loud enough for them all. "He's been probing them and working on them for a day or so now. I was wondering if anybody would notice but then again I have been helping him out."
"What!?" Azriel went pale but couldn't continue to brand Harry a traitor when a column of shadows erupted through the floor in front of the doorway. The force of the entry smashed through the doors, sending the wooden panels flying into the corridor while the tables and chairs flew away from the shadows. When they fell back onto the floor as Damien Caete Ruin stood there rather regally.
He was clearly a little tired from the challenge but he dusted imaginary dirt from his black cloak before looking up. A faked look of surprise spread across his face. "Thanks for the help, little brother." Damien said with a smirk.
His words didn't seem to matter in content but only that he'd spoken. The Elder lashed out at him and lightning struck him in the shoulder before Damien put up his hand and the lightning cracked apart and struck the book cases and walls around him. The others took cover but Harry just sighed and sat back on the table, smirking at Chris until the other man stood up again, ready in case something came his way.
The Elder stopped his attack when it was obvious that it would take too long to get through Damien's defences and he burst into orbs, presumably going for reinforcements. Piper stood up with Wyatt on one side and Paige and Phoebe on the other. "Give us a good reason not to blow you apart."
"Because you don't have the magic necessary?" Damien asked cheekily. "And also because right now I am the cause of the greatest armistice in the history of Good and Evil?"
"He has you there." Harry put in from the table top. "Kill him and the Demons have free reign to attack you again."
"You be quiet." Piper told him.
"Oh and Damien." Harry continued regardless. "You are not my big brother. I was born two minutes before you."
"But you're also technically only nine months old." Damien retorted in amusement. "So, how long till the Elder comes back with more targets for me?"
"Don't really know." Harry shrugged before looking at Leo. "Any idea?"
Leo frowned at him. "Any moment now."
"Great." Damien nodded. "So basically if you stop them from killing me I'll tell you of a plan to remove the Demons as a serious threat."
They all looked at him as if he'd gone mad but didn't really have a chance to understand what he meant when the room filled with golden light and no less than eight Elders appeared, filling the room with lightning.
Damien got seriously singed before he could deflect a few strikes but a few still hit him square in the chest throwing him backwards into a pillar and holding him there. His magic struck out forming a bubble of dense waves that deflected small amounts of the lightning around the room but still some hit him and held him up as all the Elders tried to kill him.
"They'll kill him." Harry Potter pointed out loudly yet calmly directing his voice at Piper more than anybody else before he moved to her side. "What do you think will happen to Chris' heart if Damien dies? Shouldn't you protect the man your son loves? I assure you, Piper, that he is a man, he rejoices and fears just like you or I do. I know him better than he knows himself, I grew up with him on other sides of the wall between life and death. He is not your enemy."
As if to finish off his oratory, heard by all of the family, Damien screamed in pain and his defences fell. Harry closed his eyes and threw all his magic into his Soul, into their Soul, protecting Damien from being killed by the Elders and giving him the needed type of magic to get out of the School and to safety in case this didn't go to plan.
His worry was for nothing though as Piper cracked. Just before Chris was about to attack the Elders she screamed. "Stop!" Her voice rose above the sound of lightning and Damien's pained gasp and the eight Elders stopped their attack though they didn't turn away from Damien as he fell to the ground and pushed himself up against the pillar.
"Piper?" Azriel frowned at her.
"You can't kill him." Piper told them.
"Why not?" Azriel asked.
"Because you'll lose the only chance you have to finally stop this war between 'Good' and 'Evil.'" Damien rose up to his full height again and folded his cloaked arms across his body. He was smoking and Chris winced at the sight of burnt flesh through the tears in his clothing and the fact that the scars on his face were visible. His normal illusion had fallen in the attack.
"And what does that mean?" Wyatt asked even as Harry crossed the room, passing the Elders even though they told him to stop. Harry stopped an inch from Damien before turning to stand at his side. He placed a hand on Damien's shoulder and his hand glowed silver as he brought forth his healing powers. The group all gasped as they watched the magic heal the Demon even though it wasn't supposed to.
"How?" Leo gasped out.
"I didn't heal his body." Harry told him. "I healed his Soul. Proof better than anything else that he indeed has both a Soul and a Heart."
"That matters not." Another Elder told them. "A Demon is a Demon and he always will be."
"Ah!" Damien chuckled. "That brings me to the purpose of this little visit. I didn't batter through these wards to meet you on your ground for nothing and I definitely didn't stand by and let you try to kill me without good cause. I'm here to offer you what you've always worked towards."
"And what is that?" Wyatt asked.
"You might be aware that I've ordered all Demons under my control, which is all of them, to stand down and not attack any mortal, Witch or even the damn Wizards." Damien told them. "That all comes with a reason that I'm sure you'll want to hear."
"Stop being so melodramatic and tell them your idea, Damien."
"Our idea, little brother." Damien corrected. "Don't think I haven't noticed you plodding around in my head helping me form this idea."
"Just tell them." Harry rolled his eyes.
"I'm offering to help you to invade the minds of all Demons and change their core instincts." Damien told them. "To remove their Demonic instincts. In particular the one that stops them from being able to resist killing."
"That's not possible." Azriel frowned.
"Maybe for me, or even for you, or even for the both of us working together but there are a group of people capable of influencing mortals all at once if they have enough power." Damien pointed out. "I helped to fight them off on their last visit and it was the Order of Caete Ruin that helped defeat them in the first place."
"The Avatars cannot influence Demons." Leo frowned.
"But they could if they had a Demon on their side." Damien said simply and saw that settle in their minds. "It will take all of the power of the Elders, Whitelighters, Avatars and yourselves as well as all the magic I can give you to overcome the Demons' natural defences and you'll need a neutral Demonic mind to use as a template."
"And who would that be?" Wyatt asked.
"Veltin." Chris frowned coming to the right conclusion. "He's half mortal and he's already beaten his demonic half's instincts."
"Right." Damien nodded.
"We cannot so simply ally ourselves with the Source of All Evil!" Azriel argued and the other Elders seemed to agree.
"Without your power it won't work." Damien said simply. "I will be summoning the Avatars to the Wastes of Caete Ruin tomorrow and while they are there the wards will be open. Come if you like. The Avatars will most likely agree to the plan."
"What exactly will this do to the Demons?" Melinda spoke up talking directly at Damien.
"They won't stop being Demons but they won't have the desire to kill that they've always had." Damien told them all.
"So they'll all stop killing?" Phoebe asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Don't be daft." Damien laughed. "At best all you'll get is that some of the Demons who once were slaves to the instincts will realise that they can live in peace whereas before their instincts stopped them from thinking that. They'll have the choice whether to kill or not."
"Basically they'll have the same choice as any human or Witch whether to be Good or Bad." Harry spoke up.
"That's why I've ordered a stand down of all Demons. Their instincts won't allow them to follow my orders for long, that's why I need this to happen soon." Damien explained. "Once that desire is gone from their bodies any who break my laws will be killed."
"That's a rather brutal way to do it." Wyatt pointed out dryly.
Damien laughed. "I'm a Demon."
"No, it's because you don't like Demons." Chris spoke up and it was clearly both of them that spoke.
Damien laughed again before turning to the Elders. "Make your choice. You'll feel the wards around the Temple go down. Obviously giving you my word that I won't harm you is pointless but you'll seriously out power me with the Avatars there as well. Wait for them to arrive and then you can arrive under their protection."
Damien waved his hand in Chris' general direction before shadows erupted from the ground again as he let the trail of magic that he'd left through the wards pull him back out of the School's wards and back into the Temple of Caete Ruin.
The next day – Wastes of Caete Ruin
"I'm still not sure this is a good idea, Damien." Veltin told him softly from where he stood on Damien's left as Damien took down the wards around the Wastes, opening them up to anyone that wanted to enter.
Almost instantly a cloud of silver orbs appeared and floated down to Damien's right and took the form of his Soul Twin. "It'll be okay, Veltin." Damien told him. "The Avatars will hear me out before they do this and they'll know they'll have an easier time at killing me later when my powers are linked to theirs. They have nothing to lose in agreeing to see this through."
"He's right." Harry told Veltin. "Relax a little."
"Oh, now he's telling me what to do." Veltin growled out. Damien and Harry both looked at him and Veltin muttered something rude under his breath. "Just get on with it."
"Now who's telling somebody what to do?" Damien laughed before turning back to the front and raising his arms. His power leeched out filling the Wastes with the power of Caete Ruin. The cracked and bleeding Crystal ebbed with the power, thrumming like music to Damien. "Avatars. Tied to the Order of Caete Ruin throughout time, I summon you here to me in peace. Come before me!"
"A little presumptuous wasn't it?" Veltin asked.
"The Avatars listen to the world from outside Space and Time. I had to get their attention and the name Caete Ruin will definitely do that." Damien explained. They didn't have to wait long as six green heads erupted from the ground and spiralled around them a few times, assessing the possibility of a trap even though Damien would have a hard time defending against that many Avatars.
They sunk towards the ground before rippling into their black clothed figures, including their spokesman, Alpha. "Tell us why we shouldn't simply kill you."
"And set yourselves back another few millennia?" Damien asked. "I do not believe you are capable of that any longer."
"What do you mean?" Alpha asked him.
"My power is a third again what it was before you were forced to trap me because you couldn't kill me and not only that but I now have access to the powers of a Whitelighter." Damien told him and raised his hand to prove his point. White orbs surrounded his hand as Harry fed him power across their Soul bond and even though the Avatars would know it was Harry's powers he was accessing it still gave them pause for thought.
"Very well, Damien Caete Ruin." Alpha nodded. "We shall hear you out."
"Before we start I invited the Elders and the Charmed Ones to this meeting." Damien told them. "They seem to have decided that staying away is in their best interest."
"We cannot summon the Charmed Ones here. We are neutral and this could be an elaborate trap." Gamma told Damien simply.
Harry Potter straightened up and raised a hand, drawing on Damien's power just like Damien had drawn on his. "Powers of the Witches rise, course unseen across the skies. Come to us I call you near, come to us and settle here!"
His and Damien's power went straight to Chris and dragged him down into the Underworld even though they felt Paige and Wyatt try to orb him back. Orbs appeared between Damien and the Avatars and he smiled at Damien. "The Elders ordered us not to come."
"I thought they might." Damien nodded. "We need them and your family though and only your family can convince the Elders I'm on the level."
Orbs trailed around Chris and he sighed and fought his family's summoning spell. Damien put his own magic into keeping Damien there and the spell ended. Chris turned to look at the Avatars warily, having only spoken to one of them before. "You may call the Charmed Ones, Christopher Halliwell." Alpha told him. "We may not have the power to vanquish Damien Caete Ruin but we can ensure their protection while here."
Chris nodded and orbed away. Damien waited patiently but they didn't have to wait long as a massive cloud of orbs appeared to their left and Piper, Paige, Phoebe, Leo, Coup, Wyatt and Chris reappeared and looked around taking in the six Avatars, two Demons and one Whitelighter. Damien crossed his arms over his chest. "You'd think the convincing part would be easier than the spell." Damien sighed before turning to Alpha. "Are you ready to hear me out?"
Alpha nodded. "What is it you wished to discuss?"
"You have the ability to overcome the mortals' natural defences and change their natures? To remove their violent natures?" Damien asked and received a nod. "I stopped you from doing it before because I believed the mortals were not ready to be forced."
"And you want us to do it again?" One of the others asked.
"No." Damien shook his head. "I want you to remove our Demonic instincts."
The Avatars were clearly surprised and they turned to look at each other. Damien knew they were talking to each other telepathically but he couldn't interfere. "What you are talking about could very well end the war between Good and Evil."
"It could but to start it will merely remove their predetermined need to be Evil." Damien told them.
"It is a workable idea." Alpha conceded to the surprise of the Witches. "But we do not have the power to intrude through the Demons' natural defensive, nor the knowledge of their instincts in order to change them."
"That's where Veltin and I come in." Damien told them. "I will boost your powers and give you the link into the Demons' minds and Veltin's can give you the mental template to work on."
"What you suggest could..." Alpha started.
"I know." Damien cut him off before Chris could hear what he was about to say. "I understand the risks."
"Risks?" Piper asked.
Alpha narrowed his eyes at Damien who shook his head and turned to Chris. "I will have to provide the telepathic link for the entirety of the Avatars power, and your own and the Elders. That amount of power travelling through my mind could do irreparable damage."
"You're serious?" Wyatt frowned looking to the Avatars.
"Clearly he was well aware of the risks before he suggested this plan." Alpha told them all.
"Now do you believe him?" Chris turned on his parents.
"It would be like the last time." Damien changed the subject smoothly looking to the Charmed Ones. "You will assist the Avatars in casting their spell and feed it with your own power. However Demons are not as easy to target as Mortals. We will need the additional power of the Elders and Whitelighters and only you can convinced them that this is necessary."
"How do we contact you?" Piper asked letting him know they were thinking about it.
"Summon me." Damien told them. "I will not fight it."
"How long do we have?" Phoebe asked him.
"We have to strike when the Demons start having trouble fighting their instincts." Damien told them.
"That's why?" Chris asked.
Damien nodded. "Because they are so frightened of my retribution they will fight their instincts to stay in line but they'll lose that fight. I know that but when we strike their instincts will be in the front of their minds, making it far easier for us to target them."
"So when?" Wyatt asked.
"I can't say for sure." Damien told him. "But I need an answer soon and I need you all to be ready for it when it happens."
"We will assist you in this." Alpha told him. "We have considered it before but it was not an option to us without an ally."
"Do we have anything to lose?" Phoebe asked.
Damien turned to look at her and fully opened his mind to her, inviting her in to his mind. He felt her mind contact his own and found her searching the first memories she found. He wanted to make sure she knew he hid nothing from her.
Ron raised his wand and Damien's younger self was thrown backwards into the wall and with a crack his arm broke. He fell to the floor as Ron strode forwards and spat on him. The younger boy pushed himself to his feet and with a rather shaky hand levelled his wand at Ron.
"What are you going to do with that, Potter?" Ron sneered.
"You're not a powerful Wizard, Harry. Not like we thought." Hermione spoke up with an obnoxious shake of her head. "Didn't you think we'd see through your lies in the end? Your parents obviously died for nothing."
With a roar of utter pain the almost seventeen year old lashed out with his wand and magic sending Hermione flying backwards. A mild pain curse struck him from Ron and he fell to the floor. "Mr. Potter!" The sharp voice brought a relieved look to the younger Damien's face but the look vanished as he looked up and saw the look of outrage on Minerva McGonagall's face. "How dare you attack Miss. Granger!"
Damien sucked in a breath as he gently pushed Phoebe's mind away from his memories, she'd gone pale. He didn't kick her out though and looked directly at her as he spoke. "You have nothing to lose from helping me in this. Only things to gain."
"He's telling the truth." Phoebe told her family with a shudder that they noticed. "I'll tell you later."
'She saw the memory where Ron Weasley broke my arm in Hogwarts.' Damien spoke into Chris' mind and saw his eyes widen.
"I think it's time we go." Paige nodded at Damien begrudgingly before taking Piper's arm in her own. Coup took hold of Phoebe and together they transported out, mostly with orbs.
"We will answer your call, Damien Caete Ruin." Alpha told him and as one the Avatars vanished up into the air in blurs, no showy flashes of power.
Damien glanced at Harry who touched him on the arm before orbing away. Veltin chuckled before shimmering away. Damien followed him back to his lair.
Two weeks later
Damien lurked in the shadows at the back of the room with an invisible Veltin on his right and Saimarnen on his other side. It had taken three days before the Charmed Ones, Wyatt and Chris had summoned him and he found himself in their manor along with three Elders. They'd agreed to try Damien's plan as long as at no point the Charmed Ones were at risk in Damien's presence. Since then they'd prepared for the spell and waited for the Demons to reach a point where all they could think of was their desire to attack and kill mortals.
That led him to here. Saimarnen had received word from his clan that a few of the lower Demons were going against the orders of their own chiefs and were getting together to attack the mortals. The Upper Level Demons were fighting their instincts better than the lower level ones and they knew of Damien's powers better than the less powerful or influential Demons.
"Idiots." Damien whispered quietly.
"You were planning this." Saimarnen told him simply, being observant yet again.
"Of course." Damien chuckled before stepping out of the shadows with Saimarnen and Veltin at his sides. He summoned and Fire Matrix and threw it at the lower level Demon who had orchestrated this meeting and he exploded with a scream. Two demons summoned fire balls but only one had the courage, or stupidity, to actually throw it. Damien caught it in his hand before throwing it back, killing him with his own fire ball. "Enough of this." Damien ordered. "Return to your Masters and hope the thought of breaking my laws never again enters your minds."
As a group they fled the cave and Damien turned to Veltin with a smirk. "Do it."
Veltin nodded and shimmered away. "I want to know what your plan is." Saimarnen demanded.
"Or what, Saimarnen?" Damien growled.
"There are some things I'd rather die than be accessory to." Saimarnen narrowed his eyes. Damien couldn't have that and flicked his hand, sending the other Demon skidding backwards across the floor. Damien stood over him.
"I'm giving Demons the choice whether to be Evil or not. To be at war with the mortals and Witches because they want to be and not because they have to be." Damien told him before surging into his mind so that Saimarnen couldn't lie to him.
"That's impossible." Saimarnen told him.
"That's where the Elders, Charmed Ones and the Avatars come into it." Damien told him.
"You're working with them?" Saimarnen looked disgusted for a moment before he's eyes widened. "You're actually going to manage it?"
"Of course." Damien laughed. "And with every demon down here fighting his instincts like these were today it will be all the easier."
"You've played every Demon in the Underworld?" Saimarnen tried to struggle up but Damien held him down with his Telekinesis, keeping him at a disadvantage. "By the end of week you'll no longer have instincts telling you that you have to be Evil. That you have to fight a pointless war against Good. You'll be free to make a life for yourself."
"Some will still choose to fight Good." Saimarnen pointed out though he didn't look as opposed anymore.
"That's where Demons like you come into it." Damien laughed. "I can hear your thoughts, you'd like a world like I'm trying to create wouldn't you, Saimarnen?"
"It has potential." Saimarnen admitted.
Damien laughed again. "Just watch it, Saimarnen." Damien warned as he released him from his magic. "Try to stop this and it won't be pleasant for you."
"I won't stop it but I may start forming my own plans." Saimarnen told him. "If you don't mind me getting a head start on my opposition."
Damien chuckled before shimmering away.
Veltin had alerted the Charmed Ones that the next day would have to be the day they did the spell while Damien sent the Avatars a Telepathic message giving them a time for their meeting. Damien was sitting on his plinth preparing his mind for the next day, building channels and sealing away anything that might damage the task at hand.
He was therefore surprised to feel somebody else's magic against his skin, Wiccan magic. Only Chris' family would have the nerve to summon him like this but he didn't see why they'd need to summon him. His magic automatically came up to block it and he realised with a small jolt that the summoning spell was weak. Still far more powerful than most demons and almost all the Witches he'd met but it was still not the combined power of Chris' family calling him like he expected.
At this discovery he let the spell take him without a fight, letting it transport him up into the surface world and into an unfamiliar apartment in San Francisco. He'd known from Chris himself that the man had his own apartment but he rarely used it since he preferred to be with his family when they were around Demons but since the other Chris had returned he'd spent more and more time in it feeling slightly uncomfortable around so many people. "Did something change?" Damien asked the man leaning against the end of his bed.
"No." Chris sighed. "Were you just going to go through with it tomorrow without even talking to me?"
"It's not that simple, Chris." Damien sighed.
"Don't you dare say 'I'm a Demon, you're a Witch.' In a day that's not going to matter anymore." Chris glared at him.
"I wasn't going to say that." Damien sighed. "But you know that doesn't even matter. Even once you take away the instincts that were thrust onto me it doesn't change what I've done. What about Hogwarts?"
"That doesn't matter to me. It didn't the last time and it doesn't now." Chris almost yelled. "It's what you are now that matters. The person who will risk his own sanity to cast the greatest spell in known history to end a war that's been going on forever."
"Why did you summon me here tonight, Chris?" Damien asked.
Chris sighed and pushed off of the bed, his expression shifting as he moved to become more the 'other' Chris. "To tell you that we love you and that after this is all over we want to be with you."
Damien hung his head slightly but felt hands on his arms and looked up to see Chris standing inches from him. Chris leaned in and kissed him gently and slowly. Damien took a moment before returning the kiss and then breaking away. "I love you too, Chris."
Chris smiled and his hands pushed up under Damien's top and laid flat on his lightly scared stomach.
The next day
"Are you ready?" Alpha asked Damien who nodded looking around the blackness that the Avatars had brought him and the others to. The floor was lit white while the walls just weren't there, just a void of space. At his side was Veltin and around them in a smaller circle were Piper, Paige, Phoebe, Chris and Wyatt and then around them in a slightly larger circle were the entire sixteen Avatars and behind them were two dozen Elders and almost fifty Whitelighters including his Soul Twin.
"Why not?" Damien shrugged. "Let's just get this over with."
Alpha nodded and the Avatars joined hands and brought their magic forth, slowly draining power from everyone in the room that was willing to give it which meant everybody. The magic flowed slowly towards Damien being shaped into the massive spell by the Avatars almost silent chanting. As the front edge of the magic hit Damien he felt it burning against his skin though it did no physical damage. He lodged his entire mind into his telepathy and the magic followed suit boosting his ability to spiral outwards without effecting those around him. He guided it out towards every Demon and started the spell working, using his guidance to effect every Demon in the world. A small band of magic linked them all together and as Damien felt the spell take effect he felt the Avatars enter his mind along with Veltin, using him as a template to guide the majority of the magic to do what it was designed for.
As soon as they started the amount of magic going through Damien increased almost a hundred fold and Damien fell to his knees as his body screamed in pain. It didn't help as his body tried to reject the inherent Goodness of the power coming from the Elders and Whitelighters. The only reason it didn't kill him was because Harry was firmly lodging himself within their shared Soul forcing the inherently Good magic to accept Harry's part of their soul.
Even with that bit of help Damien couldn't stop the scream from escaping as the magic tore through his body under the guidance of the Avatars. Damien lost track of what they did with his body, magic and especially his Telepathy and eventually when the magic receded he found himself lying on his back on a bed. He was missing his shirt and his body was feverish. His vision focused on Veltin, Harry and Chris looming above him and he sat up quickly only to be pushed down by Harry.
"Take it easy, Damien." Harry told him.
"What happened?" Damien hissed out worried that they'd failed.
"The spell's working." Veltin promise him. "I went down and looked myself, I don't think the Underworlds ever been that silent. Every Demon is out cold and the Avatars are working on them along with the Elders and Whitelighters boosting them. It'll be over in a little while and it's working."
Damien sagged back onto the bed with a sigh and Harry stood up, placing a hand on Veltin's shoulder. Veltin stood as well and smiled down at Damien before leaving the room. Harry quickly kissed Damien on the forehead before following him out, leaving Damien alone with Chris who laid down at his side.
"I was really worried about you there for a while." Chris told him. "It took Wyatt to hold me back."
Damien smiled sideways at him. "Are your family going to help me deal with the Demon's now?" Damien asked. "It'll take work to reform the Demons into a working community and it's not going to be like anything anybody's ever seen before."
"We wouldn't miss it for anything."