Charmed: Hanging with Mr. Turner
Disclaimer: I don't own charmed, but the WB does.
Summary: AU After Season six- After Gideon's death, Leo has taken over his position as guardian of the school but has hired a headmistress to handle all school matters. When the headmistress hires a familiar new teacher, the Halliwells must investigate to see what this new teacher's plans are. Are they good? Or is there an ulterior motive here?
A/N: Just a quick story based around plots that I have written over the last few years, which are mostly about Cole and Phoebe. Review and tell me what you think!
Chapter 1: The First Day of Class
The Elder Leo Wyatt orbed into the Halliwell manor one night, a pensive expression on his face when he arrived. Hearing voices coming from the kitchen, he walked in to find Phoebe and Piper sitting at the table, chatting about nothing in particular as they both fed Chris and Wyatt. "Leo!" Phoebe grinned, looking up at her brother-in-law after finishing feeding Wyatt his carrots.
"Hey Phoebe," Leo replied quietly, kissing the tops of his boys' heads. He grabbed a napkin and wiped Wyatt's face, making the boy squirm in his booster chair.
"Is there something wrong?" Piper questioned, noticing his demeanor—it wasn't the happy one that he usually had upon seeing Wyatt and Chris. Leo was an optimistic and cheerful person, and only rarely did he get lost in his thoughts, instead focusing on the good in life, but she could tell that something was weighing his mind down.
"Wrong?" Leo weighed, moving his gaze over to his wife and taking a seat opposite her. "No, not necessarily, I don't think."
"What is it?" Phoebe asked tentatively, getting worried that the Elders had levied further punishment on Leo. Due to Leo's killing of Gideon, he was nearly stripped of his Elder duties and returned to whitelighter status, but instead the Elders had put him on probation and made him guardian of the magic school, as well as gave him the obligation to resume his role as the guardian angel of the Charmed Ones, which was not a punishment in Leo's opinion. Effectively, it made him a whitelighter with Elder powers and abilities until the other Elders decided on a more suitable punishment for him.
"The new headmistress at magic school hired a new teacher to teach demonology to the seniors today." Leo answered, looking over to Phoebe, knowing that the information would affect her most. "I may have given her complete authority on school related matters, but I'm still involved enough to know who she hires."
"And what, you don't want high school students to learn about demonology?" Phoebe asked, raising a questioning eyebrow, wondering what the problem was.
"No, that's not it; it's a really helpful course, actually." Leo informed the sisters, appreciating the useful nature of the class. "It teaches them a lot, allows them to understand what they may be fighting against when they graduate."
"Then…?" Piper prodded, wanting to know what Leo knew.
"It's who she hired," Leo explained, biting his lip, clearly struggling to explain himself. Truthfully, he was in a state of shock, and didn't really know how to handle telling the sisters the information he had.
"Who?" Phoebe and Piper both asked as the same time, each curious on whom Leo was talking about and why it was such a concern.
Leo looked over to Phoebe, wanting to see her expression as he said the name. "Cole."
"Cole Turner?" Phoebe gasped, her eyes going wide in shock. "You mean my Cole Turner? You mean as in my ex-husband, that Cole Turner? You mean the demon that nearly ruined my life, that Cole Turner? Surely you don't mean that Cole Turner." Phoebe laughed, as if Leo was telling her a bad joke, one that had a punch line of Cole being dead.
"Yes," Leo nodded in the affirmative, wanting to convey to Phoebe that he wasn't joking.
"Isn't he dead, Leo?" Piper questioned, seeing the horrified look on Phoebe's face. Her sister opened and closed her mouth a few times, clearly at a loss for words.
"Apparently not," Leo answered solemnly, not knowing anything more than that. "His first class is this Friday at 4:00."
"Is the headmistress insane or something?" Phoebe spat, entirely confused by the sudden turn of events. She had believed that Cole was dead for over a year and a half, to know that he was actually still alive was sickening to her. "Letting a killer like Cole Turner into the school to teach children is absolutely insane."
"If he had evil intentions or thoughts, he wouldn't even be able to get into the school, let alone be hired." Leo replied, though he didn't seem to fully believe what he was saying himself. "The protection on the school assures that."
"The universe hates me," Phoebe sighed, plopping her head into her arms, not wanting to think about Cole Turner for another second. She hadn't thought about him since her last visit to his penthouse on his birthday, and her life was the better for it.
At 4:00 o'clock that Friday, the Charmed Ones and Leo all funneled into the back of the class, using Leo's clout as the Elder guardian of the school to attend. They intended on seeing what Cole Turner was doing in the magic school, and more importantly, ask him the questions that each of them had for him. Just before 4, the class settled into their seats and the students were waiting for Cole when he walked through the door with a bag over his shoulder, a wide smile on his handsome face.
He was wearing a black suit, with a white shirt and a sharp tie, disregarding the robes that many other professors wore. He was clean shaven and looked the same as he did when he was in their lives, save perhaps his hair, which was lighter and straighter, but other than that, he was exactly as they remembered him. His blue gaze moved over each and every student, giving them all a smile to ease their nerves, before he saw the Halliwells in the back. His eyes met with Phoebe's for a second and his smile faltered almost unnoticeably as a result, before he turned around, placed his bag on the desk and gathered himself for the lecture.
"My name is Cole Tuner, and I guess I'll be teaching you for the next few months." Cole started, a bit more timid than he usually was in front of people. While he had experience speaking in front of courts before, talking to a group of eager young teenagers was not something to which he was accustomed. "Over the course of our classes, we'll be going over the demonic hierarchy, the various races that are within that hierarchy, the history of the Underworld, and finally, I'll be giving you some profiles on a select few demons of whom you should be made aware. Feel free to ask any and all questions you may have, as I am here to prepare you and make sure you know more than just the basics to the demonic world."
"Where is the Underworld, exactly?" Instantly came the first question from a boy with blond hair, earning a snicker from his classmates.
"It's a realm of existence just like Earth, which can only be reached by teleportation or portal. I will sprinkle in some cosmological information into my lectures, so you'll get a broader understanding of the various planes and realms of existence that exist over the course of our studies." Cole answered, knowing that most of their questions would be answered so long as he gave them thorough information. "As for the demonic hierarchy, it is a ladder of the demonic legions, which serves as a way to structure the variety of forces at the disposal of the Source and the demon world as a whole."
Pausing his lecture briefly, Cole walked over to the chalkboard that was at the front of the class, and drew a large pyramid with the levels representing the hierarchy. "At the bottom of the hierarchy are those individuals or groups that have been made outcasts like the vampire clans or the vanquished Kurzon or the banished Barbas. Beings in this level usually posed a risk to the Source, whom we will discuss later on, or acted against the Source in some way or another. Still at the bottom, just a tier above the outcasts, are warlocks and evil witches, beings that demons do not particularly respect, which results from the fact that demons are vanquished by the good counterparts of evil witches and warlocks."
"What's the difference between a warlock and an evil witch?" A witch with red hair asked, wanting to know what the difference was as she had always thought evil witches and warlocks were one and the same.
"That's a good question, but in order to answer it fully, first I must ask: how many of you know about the mythical window of opportunity?" Cole surveyed the group, and when no one answered, he nodded his head, having expected that. "I figured as much. The window of opportunity is the forty-eight hour period where a nascent witch can be swayed between good or evil. If the witch makes the decision to be evil after that period, he or she becomes an evil or dark witch, a witch that does not take the wiccan rede and uses his or her powers for their own personal gain. If, however, the witch takes the rede and betrays it by giving themselves over to evil or killing another witch, that witch then becomes a warlock. So, to answer your question, a warlock is one that breaks the vow of the rede, while an evil witch was never under the vow at all."
"After warlocks and evil witches, come monsters and low-level demons." Cole continued, writing in monsters and low-level demons in the next tier of the pyramid. "Monsters are beings like banshees and wendigos, monstrous beings that have human ancestry and no real place in the Underworld, but still pose a threat to mortals and witches alike. Low-level demons, meanwhile, are those demons that don't have a human form, don't usually possess the power of teleportation, and are not very intelligent in comparison to others of the hierarchy. Whatever powers they do possess are usually weak and practically unusable in the demonic sense. They tend to live in clans around the Underworld, and usually anoint a clan leader that is vanquished days later only to appoint a new one immediately after."
"They just live in the Underworld?" A boy asked with a strange look on his face, confused about what low-level demons actually did. Were they the cavemen of the demon world, or did they actually pose a threat to witches?
"That's basically what they do, yes, though more powerful demons may bless them with extra powers in order to use them as grunts or warriors." Cole explained, knowing the endless clans of low-level demons that were present in the Underworld. "Next comes the spirits and chevron demons." Cole started, before he was interrupted by another question, this time by a girl in the front.
"Chevron demons?" The girl questioned as she feverishly tried to copy everything Cole said into her notebook.
"Humans can transform into demons throughout the course of their lives. Some lost humans make deals with demons and enter into what is called the Academy." Cole answered patiently, which made the entire class appreciative. In most classes, the teacher made the students raise their hand and oftentimes wouldn't even answer the question, but Cole allowed them to speak their mind and ask whatever they wanted, a refreshing change from what they were used to experiencing. "The Academy is a grueling six year process which transforms the human soul into a demonic essence, losing all conscience and humanity in the person. They physically transform into demons with their first kill and become Chevron demons—it takes six chevrons to strip humanity, with a chevron being earned once a year until they leave the Academy. The chevrons are tallied on their forearm, and look almost like deep scars or burn marks."
He paused for a second, allowing the students who were taking notes to finish writing what he had just said. "Meanwhile, those humans who lived a life full of suffering and pain can harden their hearts and souls, and burn away their humanity by themselves. These people, who felt great emotions during their time, become spirits, demon-like beings with tremendous power. Andras, the vanquished Spirit of Rage, was a human who felt great rage during his lifetime and his life was destroyed because of it, and once he died, he became a Spirit that could unlock the rage inside someone else. Likewise, the Siren was burned for her actions, and her rage against men transformed her into a spirit. Spirits can be exalted into demonhood when they gain enough traction in the Underworld, such as the case of Barbas, the demon of fear, who was once the spirit of fear long, long ago."
"Wow, he knows a lot," Phoebe whispered with a scowl, loathing to admit that Cole's knowledge was truly spectacular. Then again, she thought to herself, living life as a powerful demon for over a century and as the Source of All Evil allows you to collect information like that.
"Well, he should know about Andras. After all, he vanquished Andras himself," Piper rolled her eyes, recalling how Belthazor had sent Andras to break the Charmed Ones up. The plan had almost worked, except for the fact that the sisterly bond that she and her sisters had was too strong to break.
"Now there is a level that many on the side of good do not know about or realize, and for lack of a better term, they are called mid-level demons or level-two demons." Cole continued, leaning against the desk at the head of the class with his arms crossed. "These are demons who have just enough power and ability to not be considered low-level, but do not possess anywhere near the power of a demon above them in the hierarchy. This tier includes Zotars, special bounty hunters in the demonic world that have the ability to smell and track blood, as well as other servants of high-level demons. While it isn't a level per se, for our purposes just know that there are demons that have the ability to leave the Underworld that are not as powerful as upper-level demons, but they are also not as weak as low-level demons, which you may come up against in your battles against the legions of evil."
"When you say they don't have the power of a demon above them, what do you mean by that exactly?" A female student questioned, biting the tip of her pen in thought.
"I'm using the word power in a variety of ways here," Cole said, looking over at her, trying to explain what he meant. He knew it could get confusing, so he understood why the students would ask such questions. "By power, I mean not only their active power, like telekinesis or energy balls, but also the pool of magical energy that they possess within themselves, which controls how strong an energy ball or a spell can be, as well as the general clout that they have within the Underworld. You can tell the lesser powered demons from the more powerful ones, as their powers will be slightly different—like take fireballs for example: an upper-level demon throws fireballs made of swirling bands that are lit in flames, which has a more concussive effect, while lower demons throw a small, literal ball of flames, that has limited concussive effect. The lower demons power was once known as flame balls, but good magic combined them into a singular power and does not distinguish them anymore."
"I never knew that," Leo said, shaking his head in a mix of amusement and apt attention. Cole was giving the students information that many on the side of good did not know, which would be immensely helpful to them in the future.
"Now that he's said that, it does make sense," Paige nodded, thinking about how many of the demons she had come up against lately had thrown balls composed of flames, rather than the distinctive type of fireballs that the Source had used.
"Next are the darklighters, who are a tier above mid-level demons, spirits and chevron demons. They are former humans that lived an evil life and were reborn by the Infernal Council as darklighters, evil analogues to whitelighters." Cole lectured, his gaze unintentionally moving to Leo in the back of the class, before returning to the students. "Opposite to the whitelighters who protect good witches and further good magic, darklighters are meant to hunt whitelighters and propagate evil in the human world."
A boy furrowed his brows, wondering how far the comparison to whitelighters went for darklighters. "So, what, their souls are converted into a darklighter, kind of like whitelighter souls are?"
"Yes," Cole replied, nodding his head in agreement. "That is exactly how it works. While you can be born a darklighter if you have a darklighter parent, their powers do not transfer very easily as it is one of the many safeguards imposed by the council to prevent darklighters from having too much power. When we have a full lecture about the darklighters, I'll give you further information on those safeguards and the rest of their abilities, but for now, just know that they are former humans that are meant to spread evil in the world. After darklighters come the aforementioned upper-level demons, dark priests and priestess, and dark faes, like demonic sorcerers and alchemists."
"Faes?" A few students questioned, giggling a bit at the word. To them, it sounded like fairies, reminding many of them of their childhood, where they had imaginary friends that took the form of fairies—which, unbeknownst to them, were actually real fairies.
"You remember how I mentioned the planes of existence earlier?" Cole questioned the class, and upon seeing the students all nod, he continued, "There is one plane that serves as an intermediary between the Earthly realm and the Underworld, a place you are all familiar with, one that is commonly known as Avalon in fairy tales. And in this world, there is a race of human-looking beings called faes. Faes include the spell casters like the sorcerers, the alchemists, and the wizards, as well as the soothsayers like the oracles. In other words, when someone says a dark fae, they mean a fae aligned with evil and the Underworld, rather than the neutral faes or sometimes even good ones. However, most people just say sorcerer or wizard or oracle, rather than the name of their species as a whole."
"Avalon?" Phoebe whispered to Leo, a look of curiosity on her face. "He's making that up, right?"
"No," Leo shook his head in the negative. "It's one of the Magical Realms, like the Enchanted Kingdom or plane, you know, where fairies come from."
"Finally, just below the Source, come devils, anointed ones, and other beings of incredible power, as well as the various groups that serve the Source like the Ordo Malorum, the Triad, the Infernal Council and the Cult of Darkness. They are species greater than demons; most are ferocious, many are impossible to vanquish, and they are all but unstoppable except by the most powerful of forces." Cole informed them, teaching about the last level of beings that served directly underneath the Source.
A boy cocked an eyebrow, recognizing the word devil, but not understanding the difference between devil and demon. "What are devils?"
"Keep that question in mind, because that will be a topic of conversation all to itself. I promise I will answer it in one of the next lectures," Cole said, frowning slightly, knowing that answering that question would be too in depth for what they were discussing at the moment. Then, seeing another hand raised, he said, "And let me guess, what are anointed ones?" Seeing the girl's nod, he smiled, appreciating their curiosity, a trait that he did not possess when he lived as Belthazor. "Anointed ones are those beings that are blessed by a supreme evil, ie: the Source, to achieve a specific goal or perform a particular act. The most familiar anointed ones are the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, magically aware humans who have been appointed and anointed by the Source to bring about the destruction of the human world."
Cole paused to gather his thoughts, and took a swig out of the water bottle that he had brought with him. "Next comes the Source?" A girl in the back mentioned, as if anticipating what Cole was going to say next.
"Next comes the Source," Cole agreed with a nod, capping the bottle once more and placing it back down on his desk. "He or she, depending on which demon ascended to the throne and took on the vapor, is at the top of the Underworld hierarchy, the king or queen of demons and monsters alike, lord of shadows and darkness, and…the Source of All Evil."
"So there can be demons that kill the Source to take the throne? It's a position, not a person?" A boy asked, trying to decipher the exact meaning of the title Source of All Evil.
"A question about the Source," Paige muttered in slight disgust, staring at Cole with a narrowed gaze. "That's one Cole should be able to answer without even thinking about it. Why don't we ask him who the last Source of All Evil was…well, before the Seer that is?"
"Paige…" Leo warned, not wanting to involve the students in their issues with Cole. Up until that point, Cole had been nothing but a great teacher, lecturing in great detail and doling out more information than most in his position would be able to give.
"It's…a mixture of both." Cole answered, honestly, having first hand experience. "It's a topic of discussion that will be far in the future. Remember, as your powers grow, evil will grow, so it's better to know the bottom of the hierarchy more now as they will be the evil that you come up against for the foreseeable future. Be aware, though: there are evil beings outside of the hierarchy, and many of you will come up against foes that are not connected to the Underworld in anyway. You should be alert to these beings, in addition to demons, darklighters, and monsters. They are soul collectors and ghosts, goblins, lords of war, and of course, the entombed Titans. If you come against a threat you cannot fight or do not know, don't be afraid to call your whitelighter immediately and get to safety."
Just then, the bell rang out, signifying the end of the class. "I see we're out of time. Next week we will go into more depth about the bottom tier of the hierarchy, with the following weeks tackling each tier above the previous week until we reach the Source. I look forward to getting to know you all in the coming months. Have a nice day," Cole finished, giving them a smile, before turning around and gathering his things up to leave.
The Halliwells stood in the back until all of the students had left, and then approached the front of the classroom, where Cole was still packing his bag back up. "Cole," Phoebe said to the back of Cole Turner, trying to get his attention. She waited through his lecture to get her answers, and now that the students had left, she intended on getting those answers.
"Thanks for coming; I hope you enjoyed the lecture. Have a nice day," Cole replied, not turning around to face his ex-wife and her family. Admittedly, he was aware that he did some awful things to them all, but he hadn't even tried to contact them in nearly two years, wanting to instead move on and leave his former life in the past where it belonged.
"How are you still alive?" Phoebe questioned in a scowl, knowing that Cole wouldn't turn around. When he did not respond, Phoebe growled in frustration. "Answer me!" She demanded, taking a step closer to him as if ready to attack.
"Leave me alone, please, I'm not bothering you." Cole finally said, stopping what he was doing, but still not meeting their gaze or facing them.
"You're endangering children!" Paige snarled, angry that Cole was allowed anywhere near innocent kids. Not only was he a former demon, but he was also the former Source of All Evil, which was something that was not easily forgotten or forgiven.
"I am not endangering anyone." Cole scoffed, his eyes staring directly ahead of him, becoming a bit agitated by the assertion. While he did not wish to see any of the sisters, he especially did not want to see Paige, the sister that always distrusted him, even when he was legitimately good. "If I was, I wouldn't be allowed into the school in the first place."
"Turn around and answer my question, Cole." Phoebe demanded once more, not allowing him to get off from her request. She deserved answers after all he had put her through, and not receiving those answers was not an option to her.
"I don't owe you anything, Phoebe." Cole returned, walking towards the door in an effort to leave. Both Phoebe and Paige quickly jumped in front of him, blocking his path. "I had no idea you were even connected to magic school; I learned that Leo was the guardian days after I accepted the post."
"Phoebe, Paige, let's just leave him alone and let him go. You heard the lecture, it was really, really informative. He taught those kids things that no one, literally, no one in the world can teach them. He's protecting witches by giving them knowledge that they would not otherwise have. Plus," Piper mused, gesturing to Leo, who stood next to her, silently agreeing with everything that she said. "Like Leo said, if he had any evil thoughts, he would not be able to even come to magic school, let alone be hired to teach."
"If he's not evil then what is he?" Phoebe spat, looking back and forth between Piper and Cole.
"Leo can answer that," Cole informed her, looking at the Elder, who raised an eyebrow in response. "Goodbye now," He finished, before teleporting out of the room in an outline of dull, sparkling white lights that looked like a grey form of Leo's orbing ability.
"Impossible," Leo whispered with his eyes wide in shock, surprised by the way that Cole had teleported. "I don't know what he is for sure, but he's certainly not evil. I'll be back." He said, transforming into a silhouette of blue and white lights that rose into the air before dissipating a few moments later.
A/N: This plot comes from a follow up story to "Seven Year Witch" that I wrote a few years ago, except I changed a few things to make it a stand alone story. Additionally, this will allow me to put some of my ideas on the plot holes and incongruencies with some things on Charmed, as well as the basic cosmology. What Cole actually is was referenced in my Essence of the Demon story, so this idea has been around since the early chapters of that story.