Warts and All
Disclaimer: The Halliwells and the concept of Charmed belong to Constance M. Burge, Brad Kern, and Spelling Entertainment. I only own Garrett.
Author's Note: Thank you to Ladybug218 for the beta.
Chris Halliwell hunched behind the large book bag on his back. He kept his head down, carefully navigating through the busy school hallway. He hoped he could make it through his first day of middle school unscathed.
It wasn't easy. A huge classmate named Garrett Hutchens didn't make it easy. He was a big kid with greasy brown hair, squinty hazel eyes, and a smirk constantly on his pimpled face. From the moment Chris sat down in his seat, Garrett thumped the back of his head. The first couple of times, Chris asked him to stop, but it did no good. As the day went on, Garrett tripped him or called him names or threw things at him. None of the other kids spoke up to help, and Chris refused to be a tattle tale. He was amazed each of his teachers didn't notice. Garrett seemed to have bullying down to a science. As far as he was concerned, Chris was his personal punching bag.
Chris breathed a sigh of relief when Garrett wasn't in his last class of the day. While he shared his other five classes with the bully, language arts would be a breath of fresh air. Now all he had to worry about was finding Wyatt at the end of the day before Garrett found him. When the last bell rang, he disappeared into the crowd.
He dared to look up as he turned the corner and relief flooded him. Wyatt stood by his locker, waiting. Never in his life had he been so happy to see his older brother.
'I won't tell him,' Chris promised himself.
When he reached the locker, though, Wyatt noticed the expression on his face. After defeating a few demons and warlocks together (not to mention a nasty case of real monsters under the bed when they were younger), Chris and Wyatt could always tell something was wrong by simply looking at each other.
"What happened?" he asked.
Chris shook his head as he opened his locker. Garrett wasn't a demon; Wyatt didn't need to know. "Nothing." He took off his backpack, opened it, and took out the books he didn't need for homework.
"Bull. I know that look. What happened?"
Chris kept his eyes focused on his locker as he shoved the books inside. "It's nothing, Wy. Let it go." He pushed the last remaining book inside and slammed the door. Throwing his book bag onto his back, he turned to head out the side door. Instead of arguing, Wyatt fell into step beside him.
They made no more than five steps before something hard smacked Chris on the back of the head. Chris lost his balance and dropped to the floor, his nose aching from the impact with the hard surface.
"Hey, Dickface, where're you going? Running home to cry to Mommy?"
Wyatt saw the ball hit the back of Chris's head, watched as he brother fell to the floor. Anger surged through him. Nobody...inobody/i messed with his family. He whirled around to face the attacker, his hands tightened into fists. "What did you say?" he demanded.
The big kid laughed, his wide mouth nearly swallowing all of his features. He then gave Wyatt a cold glare.
"Don't tell me Dickface has a friend. This'll be fun."
"Go away, Garrett," Chris groaned.
Wyatt didn't turn away from Garrett. This kid was dead meat. "You want to fight? Under the bleachers. Five minutes."
"You got it."
Neither boy moved away. Both stood in the hallway, glaring at each other. After what felt like forever, Garrett moved first. Once the crowd swallowed him, Wyatt grabbed Chris's dropped book bag and nudged him to the door.
"Wyatt, forget about it. He's bigger than you," Chris said.
Wyatt was quiet all the way to the bleachers. He had faced demons, warlocks, and all other kinds of evil, and he refused to let some school bully get the best of his brother. Chris was his responsibility and nobody was going to hurt him while he was there. Satisfied no one else was underneath the bleachers, he healed Chris's bloody nose. He then found a spot under the bleachers and waited.
"Wyatt, Mom's going to be here any minute. Let's just go."
"No way. Nobody hurts you and gets away with it."
"He's not a demon, you know."
Wyatt shook the blond curls out of his eyes. "Don't care. He's a jerk all the same."
Five minutes later, Garrett walked around to the back of the bleachers. He was alone. He pounded his fist into his palm, a grin on his face.
"This is gonna be fun," he said.
Wyatt didn't say anything. He merely narrowed his brown eyes. Garrett raised his fist and Wyatt ducked. He then plowed his fist into Garrett's gut. The bigger kid doubled over, his face contorted in pain.
"Okay, Wyatt, you hit him. Can we go now?"
Wyatt ignored him. He stepped back and watched Garrett try to straighten up. He could leave it like that. Common sense told him he should, but Garrett would only make Chris's life worse. He'd seen bullies do it all the time at this mortal school. A slow smile spread across his face as an idea occurred to him; might as well make the jerk afraid of him.
He drew in a breath and spat out a spell he'd been working on for a while. Yellow lights swirled around Garrett. The lights grew until they completely covered the taller boy. Within a few seconds, the lights shrunk. When they vanished, a big, green bullfrog stood where Garrett had once been.
"Wyatt..." Chris's voice was filled with disbelief.
Wyatt leaned against one of the poles holding up the bleachers. "Relax. I'll turn him back in a minute."
Chris looked from the frog to Wyatt. "But what about consequences? Remember the time you turned the whole house into ice because you wanted to make it snow? Mom's gonna kill you."
"Stop worrying, Chris. That was selfish. This was for a good cause. He won't mess with you anymore." His skin started to tingle and itch. Absently, he scratched. All of a sudden, tiny white lights appeared all over his skin.
Wyatt held up his arms. His eyes grew wide as warts popped up where the tiny lights touched him. Within a matter of minutes, he was covered.
"No!" He rounded on Chris. "You're not going to tell Mom about this, are you?"
At that moment, blue lights swirled around the space between Chris and Wyatt. They joined together to form their mother and their Aunt Paige.
Wyatt's stomach dropped. No way to keep it a secret from his mother now.
Mom let out a deep breath when she saw Chris. "There you are. I got worried when you didn't come to the car, and then Paige orbed in and said she thought something was wrong. Why are you here?" Before Chris could answer, she turned to look at Wyatt. "What happened to you?!" Her voice rose an octave.
Chris shrugged. "Guess I won't have to tell her anything."
Paige laughed. "I think someone used magic when he wasn't supposed to."
"I was only trying to get someone back for hitting Chris," Wyatt explained, his head hung low. All of his earlier anger was gone, and he didn't have any fight left. Now all he wanted were these stupid warts gone.
"Get who back?" Mom asked.
Wyatt pointed to the bullfrog. Mom's face went from pleasant to furious in ten seconds flat. She whirled on Wyatt.
"You turned a classmate into a frog?"
"I wasn't going to leave him like that. I only wanted to scare him a little and teach him a lesson."
"Turn him back right now, young man."
Wyatt crossed his arms over his chest. "Fine." He said another spell, and the yellow lights returned. The bullfrog changed back into a terrified and confused Garrett.
The taller boy looked at Mom, Aunt Paige, Chris, and Wyatt. He took two steps back. "You're both freaks," he declared and took off running.
"Is he going to tell?" Paige asked.
"I don't think anybody would believe him," Mom said. She focused her attention on Wyatt. To his dismay, he was still covered in warts.
"Why didn't they go away?" he asked.
"Because you need to learn your own lesson." Mom took him by the arm, and then took Paige's hand. She nodded to Chris. "Grab the backpacks. We're going home."
Chris did as he was told and took Paige's other hand. He smiled as the world disappeared in a swirl of blue lights.
The next day Garrett didn't say or do anything to him. It was almost as if the bigger boy was afraid of him. Chris grinned to himself. At least Wyatt's warts were worth something.