All recognizable Covenant characters, places, and events belong to Sony Pictures and its affiliates. I am making no money from this endeavor. As for any original content: Any likeness, similarities, and resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, and events are unintentional and purely coincidental.
A grateful thank you to Misty Glow for permission to use some of the plot devices in the initial chapter(s). Her fic, "Age of Temptation" is a great inspiration.
Unbeta'd, so all mistakes are my own. Please feel free to contact me if anyone wishes to Beta for me.
It was an abnormally warm day for mid-September in Massachusetts. The sun shown down on the Danvers estate, highlighting the massive oaks and maples the Atlantic North East was famous for; with their vibrant leaves varying in oranges, reds, browns, and yellows. The beautiful bright day did not reflect the somber environment that permeated through the air.
The four families gathered in the massive manor to pay their respects to the first Son of the older generation to perish under the Power. They had all known it was coming and some were surprised it hadn't happened sooner. The families: Danvers, Parry, Garwin, and Simms were the only ones in attendance as they were the only ones who had known the true death of William Danvers III. To the outside world, William had died of lung cancer five years ago when in reality he had been wasting away in the old Danvers cottage; his body exhausted and burnt out from years of Power abuse. They had a faux funeral in his name to keep him out of the public eye. It was the easiest solution as it kept the nosey community at bay wondering what happened to the oil magnate and stopped intrusive questioning.
The open casket that held Caleb Danvers' withered father was centered in the living room with voluminous flower arrangements surrounding it; William looked much older than his forty-four year age due to the abuse of Power. The Danvers home was being used as the mortuary as they couldn't risk exposing the body to the outside world. It was easier to keep things away from sight than it was to make up stories of whom they were saying goodbye. Caleb could easily imagine that the man lying in the coffin was an ancient great great uncle several times removed that he never knew. He almost wished it was; his feeling of indifference would be more appropriate for an obscure relative than it was for his own father.
Now that William was truly dead, only his family and those part of the Covenant could mourn him properly.
Most had avoided looking directly at the body, too disgusted at such a macabre scene. The emaciated and ashen body could only be done up so much by the mortician and they did what they could with the body without embalming it; no one would dare defile the body of a Son, too afraid of the power they held even in their death. Fortunately the families' reach was wide and they had a relative who owned and operated the local funeral home. Otherwise there would be questions and need of documents on the newly deceased they couldn't provide.
Only his mother gazed at the body of her dead husband. She was the only one there who held any true sorrow for the departed. While others looked away, she stared with wet eyes and unshed tears. Despite William's many faults, Evelyn Danvers truly loved her husband; even the decrepit wrinkled shell he had become.
Caleb remained the dutiful son and put on a brave, if not stoic front. He knew his family and the others, besides the other members of the Legacy, were only there for show. He and the other Sons were their meal ticket after all; the power behind the money. Their Legacy was the reason they all enjoyed such comforts and prestige. Together they owned all of Ipswich and had more money than any of them could spend in a lifetime. It was amazing how much wealth could be amassed with magic and influence. Money was what kept them safe from outsiders though. It allowed them to put family members in key positions around the town and throughout the East Coast.
So they showed up to pay their respects to a man they didn't know and to kiss ass to a kid they knew would control the fate of their and their children's careers. Caleb wasn't fooled though. With all their "We are so sorry for your loss" and "If there is anything we can do…" he understood their true motives. He didn't know if he was more attuned to the world around him because he Ascended and had his father's power or perhaps he was becoming paranoid but he could almost hear their thoughts. It wasn't outright audible voices in his head, more like passing intuition and feelings.
"We need to make a good impression."
"He's next in line. Smartest and most powerful in his generation. The Danvers' are the family to cozy up to."
"How long will he last?"
The last inkling was what haunted him the most as it was on everyone's mind. How long would be able to last with his powers? He could feel the hum of energy building within him, wanting to be let out. It took a lot of self-control but he kept his power usage non-existent. As much as he would love to let the power flow from his body, he knew all too well the consequences of giving into his desires. He was determined to not become his father but he had a better idea of what it was like for William, what it was like for Chase, to be so powerful. He worried that his magic was not something to be contained because it felt unnatural to him to not use his powers. He felt restless and ached to release the energy that built in him with every passing day. He missed the feeling that anything was possible and all he had to do was extend his hand and let his eyes go black. Now he felt he was in some kind of straight jacket, very aware of his self-imposed chains. His sleeping habits had suffered as well since he turned eighteen. It wasn't just the power surging through him, making his edgy but also the nightmares of battling Chase Collins; the bastard Son who thought more power was the answer to stop aging. Caleb kept dreaming of what it would have been like if he had lost. He was certain that Chase would not have been content with just his powers; Caleb knew if he didn't stop the addicted Son then the unhinged warlock would have come for the other members of the Covenant. Sarah, who was innocent in the whole mess, would have perished in the fire. Guilt nagged at him, telling him that if only he had been better prepared or stayed away from her then she would have been better off. The new transfer turned out to be smarter and more resilient than he thought, as she had figured out his family's secret on her own and stayed with him despite the danger she had faced.
Caleb wished the pretty blonde was with him for the funeral but knew she wouldn't be welcomed. The families looked to the Sons for money and security but weren't too timid in voicing their opinion for their choice of mates. Most of the older females tried to set up their debutant daughters with one of the Sons, even sometimes within the same family. The massive broods of all four families had at least several of age daughters that were distant enough in blood that it wouldn't affect any future offspring. Even if they weren't somehow related to him, Caleb had a mild distaste for most of the women in town. They were nothing but highly educated trophy wives that aimed no higher than becoming the next Mrs. Danvers, Garwin, Parry, or Simms; it didn't even matter to them who they ended up with as the Sons all had more power and money than they knew what to do with. The social climbers only went to college because it was the chic thing to do. It was one of the reasons Caleb was drawn to Sarah. Not only was she beautiful and completely unrelated to him, she had her own ambitions that didn't include a ring on her finger.
Reid on the other hand, was not above "tasting" what the mother's had to offer. He ate up the attention of every gold digging tramp that was put in front of him. He had no intention of marrying any of them and they probably knew that but couldn't pass up the chance to be with a Son. Caleb worried about Reid and not just because the blonde was likely to be trapped by an unscrupulous female one day; the loudmouth sarcastic bad boy was a pain in his ass but the blonde was like a brother to him. Caleb didn't want to see Reid end like his or any of their fathers. The other Sons' fathers were still alive but they were all affected by years of using. Reid sometimes saw Caleb's meddling as condescending intrusion but deep down the tattooed teen knew his friend's interference was out of concern. The blonde seemed more grave and severe than Caleb had ever seen him.
The same intuitive knowledge had told Caleb that Reid was starting to get how serious things were getting as they got older. With Chase trying to kill them and William dying, Reid was starting to get that their powers were not playthings. Soon he would come into his own, taking on the massive responsibility of wielding the immense power that came with Ascending. But now that Caleb felt how strong the desire to use was, how could they exercise something that was so inherent to them but would end up killing them? How could Fate have given them such a power and urge to use it, and then have it be so deadly?
Caleb was never religious despite being part of the supernatural but he did say a little prayer to help him and those he loved.
"Please let there be an answer for us. How can we do what comes naturally to us and live a full life? If there is anyone or anything listening, please help us."
There was no omnipotent voice from above that gave him the answer but his eyes did focus on David Danvers.
The man was well into his late seventies and if Caleb remembered right, a distant cousin of his fathers. He wasn't sure what relation that made David to him but something inside Caleb told him to talk to the senior. The older gentleman was dressed in an unassuming black suit as was customary at a funeral. His hair lost all its coloring from youth but was thick and cut neatly. The man had a harsh countenance about him that made Caleb stand straighter. Caleb decided to ignore his intuition and stay the polite son until the wake was over.
The wake lasted well into dark, family members hanging back to see if they "needed anything," as if they had lifted a finger to clean in their entire life. Caleb and Evelyn politely declined all help as the funeral director took the casket away; the cremation would be the next day. There was already a grave for William Danvers III in the Ipswich Cemetery dated September eighth, two-thousand and six. The body would be cremated, put in an ornate urn, and then placed somewhere discretely of Evelyn's choosing. Soon it would all be over and they would have to act as if nothing had happened. Caleb was at least grateful that he wouldn't have to deal with fellow students telling him how "sorry" they were and other statements of condolences. He went through it five years ago and he didn't relish going through it again.
As the last guest left, Evelyn said goodnight to her son and he was sure she was about to make good company with a bottle of Jack. He was torn on his feelings for his mother. He knew she was going through mourning for his father but part of him thought enough was enough. The man had been practically dead for several years. He hoped that his mother could move on but he was becoming apathetic to his mother's burgeoning alcoholism. He was sure that he would have to bring her Gator-Aid and Tylenol in the morning. They had servants but he never liked them to see his mother in such a state. They gossiped to the other staff members, all were some relation to him, and he didn't want to add to their malicious chitchat.
Caleb was about to retire to his bedroom but before he could climb the massive wood staircase, the gentleman from before stood at the entrance of the library. The older man looked as severe as before and said nothing. He simply motioned for Caleb to follow him into the library.
The oldest Son could not ignore his instinct any longer and did what he was silently bided to do. He followed the older man into the Danvers impressive library. The walls were packed with tomes that Caleb had yet to even make a dent in reading. When he was younger he had the ambitious goal to read every book in the family library but he found it was hard to do since most of the books were first editions and very fragile. A good portion of them were also in another language. He still had hopes to read them all but he had to learn several languages before he could. He didn't mind though; he was fluent in French, Spanish, and was working on Latin. Ever the over achiever, he knew being a polyglot would be a great boost to his transcripts.
The ever silent David Danvers came to the imposing solid oak desk, ornately carved with the family's heraldic wolves standing at the corners.
Finally David deigned to talk.
"Do you know who I am?" the man said, his voice like gravel in the middle of his throat. There was something about the man that told Caleb not to be offended by the condescending tone.
"Yes, you're Mr. David Danvers…family historian."
David was pleased by Caleb's knowledge and smiled as if the teen had passed some sort of test.
"Correct. As I'm sure you are aware, all the families keep extensive records. Births, deaths, marriages, etc…"
Caleb nodded, knowing that some of the books in the library were genealogies. All four families could trace their heritage as far back as Charlemagne and it helped keep track of the bloodline. Not only of the Sons but to make sure imposters didn't try to defraud the families by claiming blood relations.
David went on as he had a point to make.
"One of the other histories we keep is of the Legacy. Who has inherited the power and what it all entails. I had been working on a project for many years now, translating the Book of Damnation and unlocking its secrets."
Caleb had been surprised to hear this as he was under the impression the Book was for Sons' eyes only.
"I can tell you are surprised and you have a right to be. Normally non-Legacy family members have been barred from the sacred grounds and any books that lie therein."
He was referring to the various buildings and areas that belonged to the first family settlers of Ipswich; the Danvers cottage, Putnam barn, Garwin farm, Simms pond, and Parry woods. All had strong associations of magic and non-magical family members steered clear. The diaries that resided in the Danvers cottage were mostly unknown to distant family members as well. They contained the thoughts, feelings, and histories of all those who had wielded the Power. Caleb had such a journal in the works, tradition urged him to comply, and he knew what sensitive information they held. So far, Caleb was surprised but becoming a bit suspicious of why the family historian was granted such access.
"But your father had commissioned me to examine all the tomes in your ancestral home."
"Why would he do that? He's read them before, he knows what's in them," Caleb interjected, no longer able to keep his curiosity at bay.
"He was looking for a cure," David said simply. "His using had progressed to the point that they were changing his physical appearance. He wasn't satisfied with his inevitable fate of wasting away, so he sought a way to use without consequence."
Caleb had a clear understanding of what David was doing. He knew his father was selfish but to hire someone to waste their time looking for a cure that didn't exist made him shake his head in contempt.
"I'm sorry you wasted your time and we will pay you for all the trouble it's caused you…"
"Caleb, I found a way."
That struck Caleb speechless and he wasn't entirely sure he heard the older man correctly.
"What?" Caleb asked in a low and dangerous voice, almost daring David to repeat. This was not something to neither take lightly nor joke about. A million thoughts ran through Caleb's head at the possibilities of a cure.
He wouldn't have to die a slow death of rapid aging, where the only thing keeping him alive would be modern medical intervention. Seeing his father hooked up to tubes to help him breath, taking medication after medication; Caleb often wondered if death would be the preferred alternative. Reid and the others came to mind as well. It might cause Reid to go crazy and be an even bigger ass than before but he'd be an ass that was alive and well which was what Caleb cared about more.
For the first time, David didn't seem as intimidating and felt the power that came off the dark haired teen; it was palpable and the air seemed to grow thicker as Caleb got agitated. He steadied himself and pushed through the fear of the warlock. The historian knew coming into this conversation that the news might not bode well for someone who just lost their father.
"What do you know about witches, Caleb?"
The question threw Caleb off guard and wondered what this had to do with a cure.
"They're like us only female…the power is passed down through the female line, to the first born. Basic stuff really."
"Do you remember a section in the Book, a part you couldn't read?"
Caleb searched his mind and did remember such a part. The Book was old but kept in pristine condition. He also knew there was some magic holding it all together as it passed down from generation to generation.
"Yeah, it was in some crazy language that none of them knew where it came from."
He distinctly remembered reading the Book with the others when they got their powers at thirteen…mostly him reading it and then reporting it to the other boys who were not as interested in learning about their history as testing out their powers.
"Yes, the language is an archaic form of High French influenced heavily with Latin. It's one of the first recorded languages that were lost during the witch trials. Normally those with the power would have been taught the language but the last one to know it fluently died before the next generation was of age."
"I don't understand. Why wait to teach them this language if the passage is important?"
Caleb's question made David swallow and blush a little before answering.
"You have to understand Caleb, the Book was written by your ancestors in the 1600's."
Caleb shrugged his shoulders, acknowledging the fact but not knowing what it had to do with anything.
"The passage contains…delicate information the elders did not want young witches and warlocks to know about until they were of marriageable age. They might have had magic powers but they still had a fairly Puritanical mindset."
Caleb still looked confused so David thought he would give the teen the translated manuscripts instead of bumbling through the more intimate details of witch-warlock relations.
The Goddess who created us all
Created her Children for each other
Man for Woman
Woman for Man
One is not complete without the other
The Maiden will compel him to her
He shall know her under the Mother
In the Crone they will revel in each other
The cycle as it was in the beginning, now, and ever shall be
Without woman man shall wither under his own power
Without man woman shall be lost
Rejoice in the gifts She has bestowed upon us for they are apart of us as our own heart
Blessed are we, Gaea's Children
It had a poetic sort of ring to it, not something he would normally read but it sounded like it belonged in the Book of Damnation.
"So we need a witch in order to use magic normally? We need her to not grow old with use and it seems like she needs us so she won't be 'lost', whatever that means."
"In essence yes. Lost probably isn't used in the literal sense here, not that she wouldn't know where she physically is but I have spoken with a literary anthropologist and suggests it may symbolically mean in a mental capacity. Given the emphasis on the moon, probably lost in mind. Be struck with lunacy if you will. Do you understand the other aspects of the passage?"
That was a loaded question but it was something David needed to ask. He needed the young warlock to know how to save himself...and what it entails.
Caleb simply shook his head "no," symbolism was never his strong suit.
"Well," David began and shortly stopped himself. He cleared his throat and steadied himself to explain an awkward concept to a teenage boy on the verge of being a man.
"The maid, mother, and crone are phases of the moon that symbolically represent the stages of womanhood, particularly for Wiccan lore; youth, adulthood, and old age. Here it's most likely referring to specific times of the month: waxing moon, full moon, and new moon. In antiquity 'knowing' a female meant...being with her."
Caleb looked as if he was waiting for the rest of the explanation and David damned Spencer Academy for not teaching them controversial literary termination.
"Sexually" David finally got out. He would need a good stiff drink after all of this. "It suggests that the…relations are to happen at least once a month, under the influence of the full moon. That's mostly speculation as we don't have any records of how exactly witch and warlocks are supposed to interact with each other."
A blush crept up Caleb's neck and made its way to his cheeks. This was not a conversation he ever had with his parents much less a complete stranger who was three times his age. His brush with human sexuality was limited to a brief class freshmen year that mumbled over the nitty gritty but threw condoms at him and drunkenly losing his virginity to a Kira Snider at a party a year ago. It was weird and the girl always insinuated and brought up the event in front of other people even after he told her it was a mistake; she had no intention of letting him forget it. The whole night was a bit hazy and he was glad none of the others knew she was his first. He always kept his affairs close at hand and they always assumed he lost it in Europe when he went on family vacation the summer of his Freshman year. It was mostly Reid being a horndog and the blonde couldn't comprehend not indulging every slag that threw herself at him. So they assumed he had flings when he wasn't around them and he let them as he didn't want to trouble himself with Reid's obnoxiousness.
His few trysts with Sarah have been pretty hot and heavy but they had yet to completely consummate their relationship as they had just started to get to know each other. He was ok with going at her pace because he didn't want to pressure her or rush her into things. When he was around her, he was in total control and it felt good not to worry about using.
But now his budding relationship with Sarah seemed to be in danger. The family historian was telling him if he wanted to use his powers as he yearned to then he would need to find a witch. Not just find her but bed her as well.
"Why are you telling me this?" Caleb asked after some contemplation. "The witch lines died during the Burning Times."
The Salem witch hunts were a dark spot in their history. There used to be more than just five families that were part of the Legacy. They started in England and France then spread throughout through out Europe. When Christianity took hold, the hunt for their blood had begun. The ones of the blood were found, tried, and burned or hanged. From what they could tell, only a dozen families had escaped to the New World but they weren't safe there either. The hunts continued with fevered frenzy until there were only five families left. They had gathered and made the Covenant to protect themselves. It wasn't just a promise to keep silent. It was a promise to help those of their blood prosper and thrive in return for their help and silence. It had worked for several generations, the only drawback that those with the power would wither and die for it.
"Yes, as far as we were aware the female lines of the Legacy had either died from persecution, disease, or childbirth. But the other family historians and I were digitally archiving correspondence that the families had written through the years; both the current living lines and the ones who had died out. The families thought it would be best use the latest technology to preserve our history in case there was ever an incident with the originals. I came across a witch in 1692 who was known to have the gift of foresight. She was pregnant with her first child and according to our records, gave birth to a stillborn male. Her name was Victoria Hamilton."
Some of what David was telling him sounded familiar. For a while after he came into his power, he was very interested in his and the families' history. It's what helped him identify Chase's former surname and link him to the Covenant. He knew about the trials that killed off many of his ancestors' peers. Most of the lines were like his own: prosperous and powerful but nothing out of the ordinary. The Hamilton line was noteworthy because every so often a Seer would be born. It was a rare gift even among witches and warlocks.
"After she gave birth, she had regular correspondence with a friend of the family, Annabeth Michaels, that moved south to Maryland."
"So?" Caleb interrupted, wanting David to get to the point.
David forced himself to be patient with the young man as he knew the young where not used waiting to hear the whole story.
"The letters between the two women always centered on Annabeth's daughter, Emmaline. How the babe was growing, thriving, and so on. Victoria never gave updates of her own, only inquired about the child. Now when we had first collected family documents, most had brushed off this odd interest as a way to fill in the void of having lost her own child. When I came across the letters again: knowing Victoria's power and the social climate while also working on your father's project; all three instances made me think. I had a hunch, if you will. I followed the line of Annabeth's child and noticed some abnormalities. Emmaline had given birth to a daughter and was then committed to an asylum in her late teens. The daughter gave birth to a son and she was also committed to an asylum. When I had a complete family line made, all the first born females had a history of mental illness."
"So you think the Emmaline was actually Victoria's child?" Caleb said, coming to his own conclusion.
"That was my theory and three years ago I had finished research of the family and connecting the direct family lines. Most of the females only bore one child before they were infirmed, most before their twentieth birthdays. The line got a bit muddled as time went on and psychiatric medication and therapy evolved. The females took longer to succumb to their maladies and more males and siblings were born, but I was able to track one direct female. She lives in Washington, D.C. and we were able to get a DNA sample to compare her to Victoria's remains. They are a match."
A shiver ran through Caleb when the full reality of the situation hit him. If David was saying what he thought the historian was saying, then there was a witch in the United States that could help him and the other Sons. He didn't ask how David had gotten the DNA sample as he knew his family's connections went out far enough to gather such things. He wouldn't be surprised if the girl had gone into a doctor's office for a physical and thought she was giving a blood sample when in reality was being prodded for the gain of others.
"If Victoria was married and having a child, wouldn't she have known that her daughter would be in danger without a warlock? Why send her away from persecution if the girl was going to fall to madness?"
David smiled at how smart Caleb was. It wasn't everyday a teenager would care enough to know more than the bare minimum.
"In the correspondence it mentions that Mary Putnam was due to give birth any day and that she and John Putnam had plans on moving south as well. Unfortunately her husband was tried and burned before the child was born and Mary died giving birth to a stillborn boy. It was probably a moot point anyway as it seemed at least one of Putnam's accusations during the trial was true; Goodwin Pope did have a male child that carried the Legacy.
"Why didn't you tell my father this?" Caleb didn't know if he should be mad. It was possible that his father could have been saved but did he really want to think of William cheating on his mother to survive?
"By the time I found the girl and verified her connection...her mother was out of the picture and she was the only one who could have inherited the power. She's sixteen now...I couldn't in good conscience deliver her to your father or the others."
Caleb understood perfectly David's fears. Caleb truly didn't know how deep his father's selfishness ran. Could the former Mr. Danvers have bedded a girl he was old enough to have fathered to save himself? Inside his heart, he felt that it was a real possibility that his father could have. The others were just as morally ambiguous.
"Don't you fear the others would have the same designs for her?"
"I feel that since you have Ascended, you would be able to protect her from the elder Mr. Parry, Garwin, and Simms. They are not as far gone as your father but they are feeling the consequences of using their powers."
David didn't know that William had willed his power to Caleb and the warlock had intended to keep that secret. So he agreed with the historian, he was more than powerful enough to protect the girl from the unwanted attention of the elder warlocks.
"What am I supposed to do? Do you know you are proposing? Am I supposed to take this girl, who has no idea what she is, and tell her to sleep with at least one stranger or go insane? Also, not sure if you knew but I have a girlfriend. Pogue has a girlfriend. Reid's like a brother to me but he's kind of a dick. I wouldn't wish him on any girl. The only one I would even suggest this to is Tyler and I have no idea how he'd take it." Caleb said visibly agitated as he started to pace the library.
David let the young man rave a bit as it was a lot to take in.
"I don't expect you to do any one thing Caleb. I'm telling you this because I feel you ought to know. I came to you because of the Sons in your generation, I feel you would handle the situation with the thought and delicacy that it deserves. I have watched you grow up from a wee child to an upstanding young man. You aren't like your father. You're cautious and pragmatic. You know the weight of these powers and you are doing your best to keep them under the control. I also see your struggle, as I've seen the others struggle. The Power is seductive and can corrupt even the most stalwart of men. You have grown into an impressive young man and I would hate to see such potential wasted because a happenstance of birth. I feel that you deserve to at least know you have an option."
There was a heavy silence in the room and Caleb had a lot to think about. David had nothing further to add and gave Caleb all the information that he had: the copies of the pages from the Book of Damnation, the translations, and a simple biography of the girl in question.
He bid Caleb a good night and left the dark hair youth to contemplate the next course of action.
Caleb read through the files David gave him, trying to find something that could help give him an answer.
"Hannah Takalua," he said out loud, the name strange and foreign on his tongue. The witch family name had been lost to the patriarchal tradition of taking the male's name. In magic families, the name with the power was the one assumed. Caleb wondered if she would believe she had ties to Ipswich at all. Would she take her true family's name, Hamilton?
There was no picture in the file, only a short bio; where she went to school, transcripts, and her address.
Caleb fell asleep reading about Hannah, never coming close to making a decision.