Disclaimer: I don't own Charmed and/or any of the characters that have appeared in the show. This is merely a work of fiction created by a fan of the show.
A/N: Welcome to the first Chapter of Matriarch, a post season 8 Piper Halliwell spinoff of the series Charmed. This is a special Prologue chapter for the series, meaning that the actual series will only start with chapter 2. Enjoy while reading.
Also, Piper Halliwell narrates this chapter.
Chapter 1 – Where It All Began...
Teaserline: Everything has been leading up to this...
The Warren line has now existed for over 300 years and I am one of the most recent in that long and distinguished line along with my two sisters and my two sons. Our magical destiny manifested the day the first of our line, Melinda Warren, was burned at the stake. That day she not only spoke of one prophecy but two….
Melinda Warren, a young blonde haired woman, stood in the center of the village tied to a stake. She was tried for witchcraft and was found guilty. Her sentence had been set, for she was witch. Her sentence was the first of its kind. Witches were not tolerated in her society and therefore she must burn. The crowd cheered and yelled:
"Burn the witch!"
"Burn! Burn! Burn!"
Melinda lowered her head, saddened that the townsfolk; among them her friends, had turned on her in the worst manner possible. Not one stood by her, all were too afraid to meet the same fate. Except for one, Ava the midwife, who had done everything in her power to make sure that Melinda's young daughter, Prudence, would not meet the same fate as her mother. Ava and Prudence had fled the town after Melinda's sentence had been made public. Melinda had begged for Ava's word that Prudence would be safe, that no one would ever harm her so both her daughter and her magical line would live on.
The executioner moved forward, waving a flaming torch in his hands. "Any last words, witch?" The brooding man asked, disgust filling his tone.
Melinda finally raised her head, a few blonde strands stuck to her face as she glanced and addressed the crowd.
"You may kill me, but you cannot kill my kind. With each generation, the Warren witches will grow stronger and stronger – until, at last, three sisters will arrive. They will possess the Power of Three and they will be the most powerful witches the world has ever known." Melinda spoke. "And the witches in this line will display great care for one another. The hearts of the family will grow on to be greater than just a simple witch and a matriarch shall be born..."
"Enough of your lunacy!" One man yelled.
"It is time for you to meet your fate, witch!" The executioner said, lowering his torch to the straw beneath Melinda's bare feet.
The crowd cheered as the man lit the pyre. The flames licked at the hay and then at Melinda's skin and clothes. She did not make a sound; she would not give the town that satisfaction.
Melinda Warren did burn that day and with her death came a prophecy, a destiny. One I never thought I'd receive. She even briefly made an appearance in the world of the living during a special ceremony to announce my destiny.
San Francisco - Halliwell Manor – The Attic
The attic was lit with many candles of different shapes and shades. The old lace curtains were drawn and a much younger looking Grams stood behind the podium on which the famed Halliwell Book of Shadows rested. Across from her stood her daughter, Patty, her husband Victor and their oldest child, a raven haired daughter named Prudence, who was saddled on her father's hip. Cradled in Patty's arms was a little baby dressed in an ivory colored christening gown. The baby was quite content as she sucked her fist and gurgled.
Grams began her chant to call upon the Matriarchs of their line to welcome the newest addition.
Swirling colors of light enveloped the room as many of the family matriarchs and friends appeared to witness the Wiccaning. Grams turned to them, radiating pride, as she announced that another daughter has been born into their line. She halted her speech as a young blonde woman made her way through the crowd of ghosts. It was the first of their line, the ultimate mother of their line, Melinda Warren. Her spiritual body moved closer towards Grams and with every step she took, her body solidified.
Grams was stunned to see her, as Melinda only attended very special Wiccanings and no one was expecting her to appear at this one.
"My word!" Grams placed her palm against her cheeks, feeling one of her many gemstone rings press against her cheeks, "Melinda, what brings you here?"
"I come to bring you tidings of the future. Before I was burned I had a vision of the greatest witch rising from my family. And now she has been born! Blessed be!" Melinda cheered, confused when her family weren't sharing in her joy.
"Melinda, we don't understand." Patty said, approaching the first of their line.
"This little child has been chosen to become the Matriarch. Though the title may seem simple as there have been many a Matriarch in our line but she is destined for greatness. She will be the one that will lead all of witch kind through the greatest battle of the magical world." Melinda explained with great pride.
Grams moved towards Patty and laid her hands on her arms while looking down at baby Piper who was now sleeping soundly, unaware of the happenings around her.
"Guide her; teach her all she needs to know so that she may win this coming war." Melinda said before moving back towards the crowd of spirits.
Yes, Melinda did inform my family of my future destiny but she did not inform them that I would be a part of another prophecy as well with its own share of magical battles. All my life I thought I was normal and now only do I realize how much more meaning my Grams' words had all those years ago.
Halliwell Manor - 1986
Grams was sitting on a crimson couch in the sitting room with a 13-year-old brunette girl. The girl looked despondent.
Grams gave her a sympathetic look before speaking. "Piper, sweetheart, I can't help you unless you tell me what is wrong."
"Prue and Phoebe are so pretty and I'm not. No one likes me as much as everyone at school likes them. I'm just...okay." Young Piper said.
"You are more than okay, sweetie. You are very special and you need to know that." Grams explained.
"I'm not as special as Prue or even Phoebe. Everyone likes Phoebe." Piper protested.
"But you are special in your own way, Piper; I mean you are kind and caring." Grams said.
Piper lowered her head, taking in her grandmothers flattering words.
"And you may not know it yet, but you've got gifts; the most... the most amazing gifts." Grams continued, radiating pride.
Piper looked up at her Grams, curious by her words.
"And someday those gifts are going to make you even more special." Grams finished.
"How?" Piper questioned.
"You have a great destiny ahead of you, sweetheart, you may not realize it at first but someday when the time is right; you'll know." Grams said.
"Grams, I don't..." Piper began.
"You may not understand it now, Piper, but someday you will. You'll see." Grams said, pulling Piper into her arms, smiling as she embraced her granddaughter.
Special. I never realized how much baggage filled that one simple word. My Grams knew what my destiny entailed and so, subconsciously she has been preparing me for this... for my destiny. Even after her death, my mother was preparing me as well...
Piper's bedroom - 2000
Patty Halliwell, dressed in a jade green skirt and a pale yellow blouse, stood before her daughter who was dressed in her sleeveless, beaded wedding gown.
"You know, I think I wore my hair like this for my wedding day." Patty said, observing Piper's hair.
"You did." Piper replied. "I-uh, I kept your wedding album after you died and..."
Patty moved forward and brought her finger to her mouth before sticking a piece of Piper's hair back in place.
"And I looked at the pictures like a bedtime story." Piper finished; her voice cracking.
"I always thought you'd be the first to get married." Patty said, pushing the strand back, now firmly in its place. She looked into Piper's teary eyes and smiled. "You are the heart of this family, Piper."
"Mom," Piper said softly, disbelief still visible in her tone.
Patty pulled Piper into a tight embrace. Piper laid her chin on her mother's shoulder and closed her eyes.
Even then my mother saw what my future held, but never told me up front. To me it still remained a mystery on how she knew. But she was not the only one; Phoebe must have known it too when she spoke to me that day. She might not have known how much wisdom hid behind her words.
The Attic – 1998
Piper and her younger sister, Phoebe, sat in the attic talking with one another.
"Piper, talk to me." Phoebe insisted.
"I don't know. It's just ... our whole lives we've been like everybody else. Rushing off to work, going out on bad dates, buying shoes. Then suddenly we wake up one day, and... everything is different. We're witches now. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing." Piper explained.
"Are you kidding? It's a great thing." Phoebe countered.
"You don't know that." Piper stated. "We don't know anything about these powers. Why we have them, what they mean, where they even come from. I mean, how we know it's not ... how do we know it's not from evil?" Her hazel eyes filled with worry as she stated her question to her younger sister.
"Piper, we've been through this. We're good witches." Phoebe stressed.
"How do we know? What about Jeremy? What about all the other warlocks he said would be coming after us? How do we know we're not just like them?" Piper asked, fear ruling her voice. "That is what scares me; we don't know. I just ... I just want to be normal again, as messed up as that was. Is that too much to ask for?"
Phoebe's face became sympathetic before she spoke. "Piper, listen to me. You...are the sweetest, most caring person I have ever met." Phoebe began.
Piper turned her head and smirked.
"No, I mean that. You are." Phoebe smiled. "You're always there to help anybody, even strangers. You've been doing it your whole life. So there's no way that you've been given this...this gift ... if it wasn't to do good things with it; to protect the innocent, just like the Book of Shadows says."
The two sisters shared a smile.
My dream of being normal never came true for I was a Charmed One, one third of the most powerful witches the world had ever known. Phoebe never realized how much her words meant to my separate destiny. All those traits embody what I am to become. More and more I began to recognize the subtle hints that were given to me over the past 32 years of my life. Even the tragedies in my life were just stepping stones to what I will be. Even Prue's death...
Living Room – 2001
Piper's eyes fluttered open as she saw her husband across from her, his hands radiating a golden glow, his brow furrowed. The witch closed her eyes again while pushing herself up into a sitting position. She brought her hand up to her head trying to take in her surroundings after being revived and brought back to the world of the living. She glanced to her right to see her older sister Prue lying next to her, blood seeping out from underneath her raven locks.
Fear began to rise within Piper as she nervously glanced from her sister to her husband, her eyes brimming with tears. "Leo?" She whimpered.
Leo didn't utter a word; sweat began to form on his brow as he tried to summon all the strength he had left within him. The golden light from his hands became brighter, almost white. Prue did not move; her chest did not even give a hint of breath still within her. She lay still...motionless.
The light from Leo's hands became faint until it disappeared all together. "I can't..." Leo breathed.
"Leo?" Piper tried once more.
"I'm sorry, Piper, she's gone." Leo said, his eyes tearing as well.
"No!" Piper screamed, pulling her sister into her arms. Piper cradled Prue's head while pulling her closer. "Come on, Prue, don't you dare leave me!"
"Piper," Leo began, trying to move closer to his wife.
"Prue, you promised me, you promised you'd never leave me." Piper sobbed, laying her head on top of Prue's bloody head. "I can't do this alone, I need you."
That day, a part of me died along with my sister. And a new role was handed to me; one I didn't ask; one that I was not prepared for. I had to be the big sister, the one that protected my family at any cost. In some ways I had to be Prue. Filling her shoes was not the easiest feat. In that moment I felt like our destiny was finished, that it was finally at an end but that's when a little secret entered our lives...
Living Room - 2001
Phoebe closed the door behind a young raven-haired girl. She smiled before hooking arms with the girl and moving towards Piper and Leo who were standing near the stairs. Phoebe and the girl stopped in front of them.
"Welcome, I'm Phoebe and this is..." Phoebe began.
"Piper." The girl finished. "I've been to your club. It's pretty great."
"Thank you." Piper said. "And you are?"
"Paige," The girl answered. "My name is Paige."
That night when we finally found Paige and reconstituted the Power of Three, I realized that my destiny as a Charmed One seemed far from over. I had to step up to my responsibility as the big sister, the protector of my family. For many months I doubted my destiny, my path but Paige saved me from falling off of the edge. She was the reason that I picked myself up from the ground and began to believe in my purpose again. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have made it this far. Now I see that it was needed for me to step up and take on that role. I also had to learn how to make sacrifices for the greater good, for my love for Leo also played a big role in my preparation as well and everything that followed thereafter...
Heavens - 2003
Piper and Leo stood up in the heavens; Leo in his golden Elder robes and Piper in her white goddess gown. She was dripping wet and crying. Leo took Piper's hands in his before speaking.
"The Elders were wrong about us, they didn't think our love could survive but it did. Our love blessed us in ways they couldn't even imagine." Leo explained. "It gave you the strength that you needed to take over for Prue; it produced a baby with a greater future than any of us and it made me..."
"An Elder." Piper finished softly.
When Leo left to follow his destiny as an Elder, I had to find the strength to carry on without him. At times I was scared, I won't deny it, but somehow I found the strength to be there for my sisters and for my son, Wyatt. Giving birth to Wyatt...
Dining Room – 2003
Piper was sitting on the dining room table with both Paige and Leo by her side. Victor stood near the fire place, smiling. Phoebe was standing with her back to them with something bundled in her arms. She turned back to them, surprised. "Look!" She held up the baby for them to see.
The group looked at the baby, shocked.
"Is that what I think it is?" Paige asked.
"If you are referring to Mr. Winky between the legs, then yes." Phoebe laughed.
"We got a boy?" Leo asked, happily.
"Here you go, Mama." Phoebe said, handing the little baby boy to his mother.
"Hi, little guy, how are you doing?" Piper smiled down at her baby before looking up at Leo. "Look what we did!"
"I see," Leo said smiling.
And to his brother, Chris... my two greatest accomplishments in life.
Hospital Room – 2004
Leo walked up to Piper with Chris bundled up in his arms. He smiled at her before handing the baby to her. Piper looked down at the beautiful baby boy before looking back to Leo and smiling.
"He's beautiful, Piper." Leo said, proudly.
"See? We didn't lose him, he never went anywhere. He's right here." Piper smiled.
The strength you gain from becoming a mother is indescribable. You discover a part of you that you never knew you had; you would sacrifice yourself for your children by any means necessary. Being a mother to my boys just brought me closer to my destiny. Even at the end of our Ultimate Battle, I was the sole survivor on the side of good. This was like a test to see if I was ready, ready to take the next step...
Manor - 2006
Piper crawled out of the rubble of the obliterated Manor. Everything had been destroyed, the grandfather clock laid among the rubble along with the spirit board and many other well loved ornaments that had once filled the ancestral home. Piper slowly moved through the rubble and found Phoebe lying underneath debris that had fallen on top of her.
"Phoebe?" Piper whispered, kneeling down to the ground and taking her hand.
She pulled pieces of wood and other debris off her sister's body. Piper took Phoebe by the arm and pulled her into her arms.
In that moment I had never felt so alone. Both Phoebe and Paige were gone and I was all alone. Leo had been returned to me but I knew the Angel of Destiny was trying to tell me something when she said:
"The battle is over, though not as I expected."
I knew I had to pull myself together and find a way to save my family. And I did. With the help of my husband and Coop's ring, I was able to travel back in time to stop the battle before it happened with the help of my Mother and my Grandmother. My family was saved and Christy had been vanquished at Billie's hands. We had won our ultimate battle and our destiny was fulfilled. As we closed off the final chapter of our Charmed destiny, we documented all of our experiences in the Book of Shadows, first Phoebe, then Paige and then lastly me. This truly meant that we were finished... fulfilled.
Piper was sitting by the dining room table all alone, writing in the Book of Shadows. Both Phoebe and Paige had left a few moments earlier to their respective homes.
I wrote down of all my experiences, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Everything that has happened over the years now had a reason behind them. All questions have now been answered. I finally see the light in everything my Grams had told me all those years ago. I am the heart of my family, the ultimate protector, the ultimate mother. I am destined to lead many witches to their destiny, to protect them all and to rid the world of the evil that threaten us. I am destined for greatness; I am destined to become the Matriarch.
I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of Matriarch. Please be kind and leave a review :) I hope you all will be back for Chapter 2, that's where everything else will begin. A big thanks to Phoenixlighter and Temporal Death for their help and advice. Matriarch wouldn't have happened without the help of you two.