Disclaimer: I do not own Charmed.
A/N Something a little different. This is an alternative posting of the episode "The Sword and the City". I know this has been done a million times, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I also tried not to make this an exact replica of the episode, changing things here and there, so I hope you like it.
THE TRUE HEIR.
Something was coming. Chris could feel it. A yearning he had began to feel two days ago, after waking up, drenched in sweat, from a dream that he could barely remember. The only image his mind could recall being that of a magestic sword, it's blade glinting in the light and a sword that Chris would recognize anywhere.
Excalibur. It was a sword that Chris wished never existed and a sword that he wished he could forget.
There had once been a time when the sight of the legendary sword had filled Chris with a feeling of warmth and awe. Being truly amazed and fascinated by the sword as a child. Spending many a night, once everyone else in the house was asleep, in the attic, just so he could gaze upon it. Every cell in his body having felt drawn to it. A longing that he had felt deep inside him ever since he first saw it and a longing that was always urging him to reach out and touch it – to claim it.
But he never did.
For he knew, just as everyone knew, that the sword wasn't his to claim – it was Wyatt's. Wyatt who upon embracing his legacy, plunged the world into chaos and darkness. Excalibur once a symbol for all things good and pure, becoming a symbol of terror and death, to the millions under Lord Wyatt's reign. As well as becoming a devastating weapon to all those foolish enough to defy him.
Aunt Paige, Aunt Phoebe, Melinda, Prim, Priya, Henry... the names of nearly his entire family echoed in his mind. Recalling with each name the horrific memory of watching Wyatt murder them all.
It was something that Wyatt took great pleasure from, making his little brother watch as he brutally slaughtered his own family. Chris having tried his best to save them all, but he was always too late. Wyatt never one to miss an opportunity in causing his brother pain, and generously – in his opinion, leaving the bodies somewhere for Chris to find them, so that even if he wasn't there to witness Wyatt striking them down. He would always be there to watch them take their final breath.
The most heartbreaking memory of them all being when Wyatt had plunged the blade of the sword into the heart of Prim – Paige's youngest daughter, with Chris standing nearby helpless to stop it.
"Wyatt, please don't do this." Chris pleaded, still attempting to break free from the guards that held him.
"Sorry little brother, but they are weak. They have always been weak." Wyatt's tone was hard as he spoke. Unforgivable. "Something that could have been avoided if their mother hadn't married a pathetic mortal." He spat the word disgusted.
"I'll show you weak." Priya sneered, taking the guard that was holding her by surprise when she threw a right fist into his face.
Before throwing that same hand in the direction of Wyatt, and releasing an orb energy-ball, powerful enough to cause Wyatt to fly back a few meters. Priya immediately turning to throw a second ball in the direction to where her sister was being held, but was stopped when an invisible hand closed around her throat.
"Not bad, little cousin." Wyatt said, as he increased the hold he had on her, her breathing coming out in short gasps. "I'm almost impressed."
"Pri-ya." Prim, her twin sister choked out, as her own breathing was slowly cut off.
The twins had always been so deeply connected, that if one was hurt, then so would be the other.
"Wyatt, stop it. You have me, I'll stay with you, now let them go, please." Chris called out, still struggling.
One of the demons who was holding him, getting fed up with his movement and delivering a strong punch into his stomach, leaving him winded at the same moment that Wyatt released his hold on Priya, dropping her to the ground. The two twins now able to breathe freely.
"As I said, pathetic." Wyatt shook his head at the sight of his family, his blood. "The Charmed Ones were once the greatest witches this world had ever seen. A legacy that their children should live up to, if not surpass and a legacy that was tainted when your foolish mother married that feeble mortal."
"My father was the twice the man you will ever be." Priya glared at her cousin defiantly.
"Your father died by my hands, crying and pleading like the pathetic creature he was." Wyatt's then smirked. "At least your mother didn't cry when I killed her." That was it for Priya as Wyatt's words caused her to scream in rage, before she launched herself at her cousin.
An act that was fruitless as Wyatt simply waved his hand, sending her flying back into the wall with a loud crash.
"Priya! Wyatt, stop this." Chris and Prim cried out at the same time.
"No." He said, making his way over to Prim and taking her from the demon that held her. He turned to Chris. "They are weak, Chris. The weakest of our generation and one day I promise you, you will understand that everything I have done, I did to preserve our family name. Our power." And with that, before Chris even had a chance to open his mouth, Wyatt had summoned Excalibur into his hand.
Priya's scream only lasting a second, as she watched helplessly, the sword impale her sister's heart. The two sister's sharing one final look, the both of their shirts staining red with blood, before the light faded from their eyes and they each collapsed to the floor.
Chris's own scream then being the only sound that could be heard, as he watched both his baby cousins fall to the ground. The sight fueling his own rage, as he let his power build – the power he had sworn never to use, as he refused to be like his brother. His hands burning as the electricity danced around his palms, the demons holding him, jumping away from him in pain and shock as the voltage spread up his arms.
"Chr-" Wyatt started, but Chris didn't let him finish, unleashing the full scope of his power and obliterating every guard that Wyatt had in the room, leaving them as nothing but ash.
It had only been Wyatt's shield that had saved him that day. Chris only lingering long enough to collect both his cousins bodies. He wasn't going to leave them for Wyatt's demons to dispose of. The sight of his little sister's lifeless eyes, being what resulted in the loss of Henry – Priya and Prim's older brother, who Wyatt had killed when Henry in a fit of rage, had confronted him.
Chris had tried desperately again to stop him, to save him, but he was too late. Arriving only in enough time to witness yet another member of his family die. A twisted fate that seemed to be his destiny, Chris thought darkly. Having to watch every member of his family, as well as every person he cared about die. The sick joke being made worse, that they were all by the hands of his brother.
It was also by the hands of his brother that Chris's body was littered with scars. Scars from burns, cuts, whips... anything that captured Wyatt's interest. The most harsh and prominent being the ugly, jagged scar that stretched from his hip to his ribs and that Chris had received the same day he had watched Henry die. Wyatt bringing the still bloodied Excalibur down on his brother, the sharp blade tearing into the flesh on his side, like a knife through butter, before Chris even had a chance to react. The wound leaving no doubt in Chris's mind that if it wasn't for Wyatt wanting Chris alive and believing that sooner or later his little brother would return to his side, than he would have died. Dead by his own brother's hand. The brother who had once sworn to never let anything happen to him.
As it stands the only reason he wasn't then thrown into Wyatt's dungeons – a place he had been held numerous times, sometimes for months at a time, was because of Bianca. Bianca, who had risked her own life and blown her own cover just to save his.
Dammit, he missed her. He missed everyone who he had left behind.
His hand unconsciously going to the black leather cord around his neck and to where the engagement ring he had given Bianca the day he had left, hung. He always made sure that he was never without it. Bianca having given him the ring back shortly after he had proposed, with a promise from him that he would return to her safely. A promise that he would do all in his power to keep and something that was made harder, with the sisters – he refused to think as them as his family, almost constant refusal to help and Leo's always present suspicions.
They didn't trust him. A fact that had been made abundantly clear and something that made his job all the more harder. With the sister's need for a normal life being the cause of all of Chris's frustrations.
"Maybe if they weren't so busy trying to live normal lives, I never would have had to come back." Chris muttered bitterly under his breath.
His anger at his family being unfounded and irrational he knew, but their lack of concern over "saving" Wyatt, was beginning to take a toll.
Chris having debated with himself several times, over if he should cave and tell them the truth about what he really came back to stop. But he knew that he couldn't. The sisters and Leo already having their doubts about needing to save Wyatt and he knew that if he told them he came back to stop Wyatt from becoming the source of all evil, that they would never believe him.
He had trouble believing it himself sometimes, but those days were long over. He knew what his brother was now, had accepted that fact years ago and now it was up to him to save him.
Swallowing the last of the black coffee he had been drinking before orbing straight to the underworld. He had a lead to check out. Pushing the still ever present pull he felt – he still didn't know to what, to the back of his mind as he focused on what he needed to do. He would worry about what was coming later. Blocking himself from Leo and the rest of the Elders, so as not to worry about any interference. With Leo in particular, having taken to following him around and had tried, yesterday, to have removed him as the sister's whitelighter. Something that Chris ignored as he only came back here to do one task, not to take on other charges.
"This is becoming tiresome, Rius." Chris said as he held the low-level demon against the dark cavern's wall with the telekinesis. "Tell me what I want to know. Now!" He increased his hold, cutting off some of the demon's air supply.
"I-I don't know." The bottom-feeder stuttered out, between breaths, until Chris cut off his air supply altogether, the demon's eyes going wide.
"Don't lie to me." Chris growled. "I know the Razchek are up to something. Something big. And I want to know if that something has anything to do with the Charmed Ones." Chris released his hold, the demon falling to his knees as he gasped for breath. "Particularly their offspring – now speak!"
Chris waiting a moment, but Rius remained silent until Chris took a menacing step forward.
"Okay, okay." The demon held his hands up in surrender. "The Razchek are planning something. Something that they swear will have the rest of the underworld bowing at their feet, but that's it, that's all I know."
"You expect me to believe that." Chris said incredulously, taking another step closer and conjuring into his hand an athame.
"I'm telling the truth – wait, wait." Rius backed up further into the wall, his hands held up in front of his face as Chris stopped, waiting.
"I might have heard something – something that has nothing to do with the Razchek but with the Charmed Ones." Rius's words were rushed out.
"Go on." Chris ordered, taking a step backward.
The demon sighed. "There's been chatter." Chris waited. "Everyone fears the Halliwell brat," Chris glared, causing the demon to flinch. "But they also know it's suicide to even attempt to go up against the Charmed Ones so-"
Chris was getting impatient.
"Is there a point to you telling me something I already know?" Chris interrupted, his voice bordering on threatening as he thought that this might have just been a waste.
Rius gulped and nodded his head quickly.
"Well there's been talk about something coming. Something powerful." Rius practically whispered. "No one knows exactly what or who, but they say whatever it is, it has to do with The Dark Knight."
"The Dark Knight?"
Something tugged at the back of Chris's mind at the name, but he couldn't remember where or when he had heard it before.
Rius nodded. "He's come out of seclusion after centuries, but no one is sure why." The demon explained.
"When did he first re-surface?" Chris asked, knowing that what he himself had felt coming and whatever it was that had this Dark Knight coming out of the shadows, had to be connected.
"Two days ago."
Definitely connected. In fact, Chris was sure it was the same thing.
"And you have absolutely no idea why he decided to show himself now, or what it is he is after?" Chris asked.
The demon shook his head. "No."
"How about where he is, or his lair, do you know the location of either?" Another no. "Then I guess we're done here." Chris raised his hands.
"No, wait!" Rius cried out. Chris paused, his hands lowering. "I don't know where The Dark Knight is. No one does." Chris raised his hands slightly. "B-but I do know that he paid a visit to some executioner demons yesterday and that whatever he needed them for, is going down today."
Maybe not a waste after all.
"Thank you, Rius." Chris said, before raising his hand and vanquishing the demon with a flick of his wrist.
Now to find this Dark Knight, or to remember from where he had heard the name.
He needed the book.
Finding himself standing in front of the Book of Shadows a second later, his hand poised to open when he heard a commotion coming from downstairs.
"Hey, back of the line, sister."
"No cutting, buddy."
"You see what we're dealing with out here."
Chris heard several voices coming from downstairs, but it wasn't them that drew him away from the book. It was something deeper. A yearning, a need, for him to go downstairs and a pull that was so much stronger than what he had been feeling for the past two days.
His feet coming to a stop when he took in the sight of the many magical beings that crowded both the living room and the conservatory.
"Chris, thank god!" Piper's voice called his attention. "Where have you been and can we please get this thing out of here. Chris. Chris!"
But Chris didn't answer, he was frozen. Frozen at the sight of what Piper was talking about and what had nearly the entire magical community lined up in the Halliwell's conservatory.
It was Excalibur.
The very sword that Chris had been thinking about earlier today and the very sword that was now softly singing to him. Calling for him to come and claim it, just as it had done when he was a child. The world around him feeling as if it was fading away, the closer he got to the sword. Not caring at all that this was the object of many of his nightmares, or the twisted symbol of his brother's kingdom, it was calling to him. Calling out to his very soul and unlike when he was a child, this time he wasn't going to stop. He couldn't. Something from deep inside of him, assuring him that this was right, that this was the way it was always meant to be.
"Hey, no cut-ins buddy, wait your turn." He vaguely heard someone say, but he ignored it.
His hand sliding comfortably around the hilt before pulling it effortlessly out of the stone in which it was encased. The sight of the sword glowing in a golden light, as the blade burned with the marking's of it's true heir, had everyone gasping out loud. Chris barely hearing the sound as his soul began to dance with the power and the certainty that came with the sword finding it's rightful owner.
This was it. This was what he had been missing.
Chris not even noticing that the occupants of the room around him had began to bow, until he heard the chorus murmurings of "Your Majesty."
That was when he seemed to come back to his senses and realized what he had just done.
"No." He gasped horrified, jumping away from the stone in shock and terror. The sword falling from his hand to the ground.
It immediately called back to him.
"Chris?" He heard someone say his name, but was to busy panicking and denying what had just happened to recognize who.
"No." He kept muttering. "I can't, I can't deal with this. This isn't right. This isn't possible. It's not meant for me, it's meant for..." And before he could say anything more, he orbed away.
Leaving everyone left in the manor who had just witnessed Chris pull the legendary sword from the stone, gaping in shock.
"Did Chris just...?" Piper asked, not really knowing what to say, her eyes on the spot where Chris had just left.
"Pull the sword from the stone." Paige finished for her, herself not believing what she had just seen.
"Uh, yeah that." Phoebe replied speechless.
That was when Piper snapped out of it.
"Alright – all of you, out now." She instructed all the magical beings who were still kneeling. "Go on, out. The sword has chosen, now you all need to leave." She hurried them away, before returning to where her sister's were. "Well now, what?"
The three sisters sharing an identical look before calling one name. "Leo."
But instead of being greeted with the familiar sight and sound of orbs, the sisters were taken back by the sight of fairly handsome man appearing before them in a gust of wind.
"I know this is not what you expected when you woke up this morning, but never fear..." The unknown man had started talking, until he noticed that whoever it was he was supposed to be talking to wasn't there. "Forgive me, but where is the heir?" He had turned his attention to the sisters.
"Who wants to know?" Piper asked, her eyes narrowing slightly, just as the sound of orbs filled the room.
It was Leo.
"What's wrong?" He asked immediately, before his eyes took in the scene before him. "Woah, is that what I think it is?" He asked, a little speechless himself.
"Excalibur." The still unknown man answered with an affirmative nod of his head.
"Quiet you." Piper snapped. "We still don't know who you are or why you are here."
"I am Mordaunt and I am here to train Excalibur's heir." He explained in a pleasantly soothing voice. "Speaking of which, may I ask where he is?"
"I'm curious about that myself." Leo piped in.
"He's gone." Phoebe answered. "Took off, right after pulling the sword from the stone. Looked absolutely terrified as he did so too."
"Got to admit, I've never seen future-boy so freaked." Paige commented. "Although at first he looked like he was in some kind of trance, not even realizing what he was doing."
"I know right, I saw that to. It was odd." Phoebe said, recalling the almost not-there expression on Chris's face when he had first approached the sword. "I normally can't sense anything from him either, but there was no mistaking the fear that Chris felt when-"
"Wait, Chris?" Leo interrupted. "Chris was the one to pull the sword?" Leo asked, not believing what Phoebe had just said.
"Yep, apparently he is the next King Arthur. Who would have thought, huh." Paige said, before turning back to the sword that hadn't moved since Chris dropped it. "You know we probably shouldn't leave this lying around." Paige took a step toward the sword, only for the blade to glow slightly, and move away from her. "Or it can stay where it is."
"Only the heir can wield Excalibur." Mordaunt spoke, earning another glare from Piper.
"Quiet you." She turned back to her sister's and ex-husband. "We need to find Chris. Now. I don't care if he is the next King Arthur, I want this thing out of here." She started calling his name. "Chris! Chris you get your royal ass back here right now, or so help me I'll blast you back to the future myself, orbs and all. Chris!"
"Somehow I don't think threatening him, is going to work, Piper." Phoebe earned a glare from said sister.
"I humbly offer my services to help find the missing heir." Mordaunt, who the sisters had nearly forgotten about, spoke.
"Didn't I tell you quiet." Piper barked.
"And technically I think he's hiding, not missing." Paige was the one to get the filthy look this time. "Sorry, just saying."
"Well stop saying." Piper told her, before turning back to man who had, had her wary since he had first appeared. "And Leo will find Chris, as well as finding out what the Elders know about all this." She faced her ex-husband. "I don't care if you have to drag him back here kicking and screaming, but bring him back." Leo nodded once before orbing out. "And as for you," She had turned back to the stranger. "start talking." She ordered.
"As I have told you, my name is Mordaunt and I am here to train the heir." Mordaunt answered.
"Yeah, yeah, we got that already, Merlin. What else?" Paige asked.
"I am to prepare him to face his enemies." Mordaunt spoke again. "And actually it's just Mordaunt. Merlin was a fairytale."
"Ha." Piper snarked at her baby sister, who was enjoying this too much.
"Avalon and Camelot however, are not fairytales." Mordaunt added. "They are very much real."
"Ah ha." Paige snarked back to her sister with a smirk.
"And with the return of its King, they may rise again. But not if Cerdic gets his hand on Excalibur, before the true heir and he can become one." Mordaunt warned.
"He – you talk about Excalibur as if it's a person, it's a sword." Piper stated.
"It is not just a sword and to whoever masters it, to them it will feel very much alive." Mordaunt told her.
"Ah, can we please get back to this Cerdic fellow?" Phoebe cut in. "Because I thought The Dark Knight was the one after the sword."
"The Dark Knight – you've heard of him?" Paige nodded.
"Had the charming pleasure of meeting him this morning. Kicked his ass, too." She smiled.
"He will be back." Mordaunt promised them. "And Cerdic and The Dark Knight are one in the same. The heir must be ready." Mordaunt said. "Cerdic has been after the sword since the time of Arthur's reign and it is only by the heir's hand that he can be defeated."
"Well so much for that vanquishing potion." Paige muttered to Phoebe.
Her voice not as quiet she thought as Mordaunt heard her. "You can not defeat Cerdic with magic." He told them. "His shield defends him from it, against all kinds. It is why it is imperative that I start training the heir as soon as possible."
"Well, his majesty isn't here at the moment, but he better be soon." Piper threatened, not believing how her day had gone from fixing clogged sinks, to discovering that the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur was in fact real.
With the apparent heir to Arthur's legacy being their neurotic whitelighter from the future.
There was also then Mordaunt, someone that Piper wasn't entirely convinced was who he said he was.
"Pheebs." Piper said, giving her a meaningful look that Phoebe understood as her sister wanting to know what she sensed from this stranger.
"Nothing. Can't get a read on him." Piper sighed.
"Your mistrust is expected, but do not let it blind you." Mordaunt didn't seem at all offended. "Cerdic is a greatly skilled knight and if I haven't taught the heir how to master Excalibur before his return, then we will all be dead."
"How cheerful. And yet just another reason for his majesty, to get his royal behind, here. Now. Chris! Leo!" Piper called out, but there was no answer.
"So if you're hear to train Chris, does that mean you also trained Arthur?" Paige couldn't help but ask, her curiosity and fascination clear on her face.
"Yes." Mordaunt answered and Piper thought she detected a hint of aggravation in his voice.
"Wow!" Paige breathed, amazed. Piper rolled her eyes. "What was he like?" Paige added then eagerly. "And what about his knights?"
"Paige!" Piper was exasperated.
She was really ready for this day to be over.
"What? Are you not the least bit curious about any of this?" Paige said, giving her oldest sister a look that said don't lie to me.
"Yes, I am." Paige grinned in triumph. "I'm curious as to what is taking Leo so long in finding his royal highness." She smiled at her sister, who rolled her eyes. "Leo! Chris!"
He heard them calling again. They hadn't stopped since he had left. Since he had pulled Excalibur – Wyatt's destiny, from the stone. The shock at what he had done driving him to the place that had become his sanctuary, ever since Wyatt had taken over – the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. For despite all of Wyatt's power and all his bravado, few knew that Lord Wyatt Halliwell was deathly afraid of heights. Something that had always amused Chris when they were growing up, only he wasn't laughing now.
He was numb.
Numb over what had just happened back at the manor, his mind racing as it tried to understand how it was possible that he had pulled the sword from the stone. Because he couldn't – no matter how much he had tried, no matter how much he wanted to, deny that he had. Nor could he deny that every time he had witnessed Wyatt wielding Excalibur, that a part deep inside him had felt empty. Felt wrong.
A feeling that he had always attributed to before, as a secondary reaction to what his brother had become and for the heinous acts that Wyatt had committed while using the sword to build his empire. The sword that, as a child, had sung to and captivated Chris, his dreams a place where it wasn't Wyatt that that sword belonged to, but him. A thought that he never entertained outside the privacy of his own dreams because he knew, even as a child, that it was just a fantasy. Excalibur was Wyatt's. Pushing down the thoughts that always begged to be voice, that maybe the Elders, his mother and everyone had it wrong...
No. Chris shut that thought off quickly. Excalibur wasn't his, wasn't his to claim or to wield, it was Wyatt's and what happened back at the manor was a mistake. Or maybe a cosmic joke, would be more accurate, the higher ups deciding that they needed something to get a good laugh out of. After all, Wyatt was the prophecised Twice Blessed, born on a day where all of magic had stopped, just to welcome his arrival. Everyone always talking about the great things that Wyatt will accomplish, while Chris... Chris was just Chris.
Sure, thanks to Leo being an Elder when he was conceived, he and Wyatt's powers were evenly matched, but he was still just Chris. Chris who could in no way believe that it was him, who was the next future King of Avalon and not his older brother.
But, a little voice whispered in his mind, it had felt so right when you held the sword. When you had finally claimed what should have been yours all along. The rush of power and warmth that had coursed through you, making you feel whole. Like a part of you that had been missing was finally home. That same voice reminding Chris, that the sword had never glowed when Wyatt had taken it. The blade never burning with markings from an ancient time and from what Chris could remember, it had never done so for his mother either.
His mother who Chris could recall telling him and Wyatt about the time that Excalibur had come to the Charmed One's, his mother pulling the sword from the stone as the next lady of the lake. The power of the sword then corrupting her, while also being mislead by a dark sorcerer whose name he couldn't quite remember. And a name he wasn't too concerned with remembering at the moment, but silently hoped that the sister's were smart enough to leave the sword alone and to be on guard over any strangers that show up.
For he had enough to worry about at the moment, without having to be afraid that someone else in his family was going to suddenly develop an insatiable lust for... "Power." The word fell from his lips in a whisper as the small puzzle pieces started to fit together in his mind.
Remember little brother, there is no good and evil – there is only power. The words echoed in his mind, accompanied by memories of Wyatt both before and after Chris had lost him. Wyatt's insane ranting about power being the only thing that mattered, not beginning until after he had taken Excalibur, using it to avenge their mother's death. His need to then rule, Chris realized, developing soon after.
Hearing then his mother's voice in his mind, as she described the craving of power she felt, when she had briefly believed that Excalibur was hers. A craving that she would have done anything to satisfy, even if that meant murdering her own sisters and a craving that Chris now realized, Wyatt had, had ever since he took the sword when he was sixteen.
And something that he never would have had if...
"If he had been the true heir." The words fell from Chris's lips.
A part of him still not ready to believe it, but not being able to deny the truth, that maybe, just maybe, the sword was never meant for Wyatt at all. Something that would explain why Wyatt was never granted access to Camelot. The doors to the the ancient castle never opening, no matter what Wyatt had tried. The sword having granted him and his demons access to the city of Avalon, but the castle itself had always remained locked to him. A fact that had angered Wyatt greatly, and resulted in the death's of nearly every Elder – there were only two still living in his time, thanks to the tantrum that he threw.
He couldn't understand why he couldn't enter and blamed the Elders for him being kept out. The locked castle doors making sense now, if it was Chris and not Wyatt who was destined to be the one to open them.
But then how... a thought crept into this mind, how was it possible that Wyatt had freed the sword from the stone at all. Chris's heart slowly coming around to the idea, that it truly was him who was the rightful heir. But still trying to understand how if Excalibur was meant for him, then how it was possible that Wyatt was able to wield it. Questions then filling his mind... Did it have something to do with his mother's death? Did Wyatt become the new lady or lord – he thought in Wyatt's case, of the lake when his mother died, passing the job to protect the sword on to him. Was that why Wyatt was able to pull it free?
Wondering at the same time also, if it was only Excalibur's influence that made Wyatt the twisted tyrant he now was or if it was something else as well. Something that had led Chris back twenty years into the past.
Or perhaps it was both.
With whatever it was that happened to Wyatt as a child, the event that Chris had come back to stop, leaving a scar. A scar that might have gone unnoticed all his life, if it wasn't for Excalibur's lust for power and need to rule, pushing him over the edge. The two influence's resulting in the dark and twisted brother that he had come back to save.
The prophecy did also say that the next heir would be the son of a Charmed One... Chris's mind trailed off, as a seed of hope began to grow within him, that his mission back here might not be for nothing after all and that maybe, he was one step closer to saving his brother. Finding both his heart and his mind noticeably calmer than they were when he had first panicked and fled the manor.
The manor that at this very moment, Leo was returning to.
"Leo, finally!" Piper cried in relief when her ex-husband returned. It taking her only a second to notice that he was alone, and who was missing. "Aren't you forgetting something?" Piper asked, eyebrow raised.
"I couldn't find him. He's blocking me." Leo told his wife.
They may technically be separated, but he still loved her.
"Of course he is." Piper muttered under her breath. "Well, what about the Elders, did they know anything?"
"Yes and no."
"Yes and no? What the hell is that supposed to mean, either they know something or they don't, so which is it." Piper said, not believing how utterly helpless the Elders were.
Well, that's actually not too hard to believe, she told herself.
"Where are Phoebe and Paige?" Leo asked then, noting their absence and that Piper was alone in the room with Mordaunt who stood with his hands politely behind his back.
"At work. And Wyatt is upstairs asleep. Now Leo, answer my question – what do the Elders know?" She was getting impatient.
Leo sighed. "They know that only the ultimate power on Earth can handle Excalibur. That only its rightful heir can wield its power without being corrupted. That's why the lady stayed in the lake, because it was the only way to insulate herself from the sword's power." Leo said, relaying what the other Elders had told him.
"That's it." Piper said. "That's all the know?"
Leo giving Mordaunt an appraising glance before again speaking.
"They also said that there was a prophecy spoken when the last King died, but unfortunately the record of what was said, has been lost."
"Typical." Piper spat. "Wait." She turned to Mordaunt. "You told Paige that you trained Arthur and with the way you speak, you must know about the prophecy." She gave him a calculating look, waiting for him to answer. "Either that or you've been lying to us." She narrowed her eyes at him, her hands ready to blow him to oblivion is she needed to.
Both she and Leo waited.
"I do know of the prophecy you speak." Mordaunt answered and tired of waiting around for his opportune moment, knowing that his true intentions were being questioned the longer he stayed, he conjured a sword of his own and lunged.
"Piper!" Leo cried out, as Piper narrowly jumped out of the way of the blade.
"Unfortunately for you, you will not live long enough to need to know what was said and once the true heir is dead – Excalibur will then be mine." He lunged for her again.
Piper throwing her hands out and immediately blasting Mordaunt, sending him crashing into the living room. His entire left side bleeding.
He hissed as he touched the wound. "You'll pay for this witch" Mordaunt vowed.
"Somehow, I don't think I will." Piper said, quickly flicking her wrists before he could flee or try for another attack, turning him into dust. "Well, that at least took care of some of my frustration. But leaves us no closer to knowing anything about that." She pointed to the sword that was still lying where Chris had dropped it. "Or how Chris, is the supposed rightful heir." She sighed. "And to think that today was going to be nothing but house work." She shook her head.
"There's still one person who might know." Leo spoke then, his arms holding baby Wyatt, who had been woken up from the sound of fighting.
"Who? Anyone who was alive to hear the prophecy spoken would be dead by now, Leo." Piper said, as she began straightening up the living room.
"That's true. But the Elders said that the witch who foretold the prophecy was a woman named Calisandra and that for generations after her death, the prophecy she spoke of was passed on from daughter to daughter." Leo explained.
"Then why didn't the elders ask one of these daughters for the prophecy and then record it again?" Piper asked.
Leo chuckled. "Because apparently they too, didn't put much trust in the Elders." He said, knowing his wife held the same view.
"Smart women." Piper smiled. "And I'm guessing you think that one of Calisandra's great, great whatever granddaughters may know it?" She asked, not holding much hope in the idea.
"No, unfortunately for us Calisandra's last blood relative died almost twenty years ago." Leo said gently.
"Then who is it, Leo, that you think can help us?" Piper asked, her patience running thin.
"The last person to see her alive and the woman that Clara Andrews saw as a sister – Penny Halliwell." That made Piper stop.
"Grams? You think Grams, knows this prophecy?" Piper couldn't believe it.
"They were close friends so it's a possibility and with no children to pass the prophecy along to, it makes sense that Clara would confide in Penny." Leo explained his reasoning.
"But don't you think if she knew then she would have put it in the book, like everything else?" Piper asked.
"Not necessarily. And not if Clara asked her not to." Piper still wasn't convinced. "It won't hurt to just ask her, Piper."
She sighed. "Fine, but before we do this, go and get Phoebe and Paige." She took Wyatt from Leo's arms. "Mordaunt may be gone, but the Dark Knight or Cerdic or whatever his name is, is still out there."
Leo orbed away.
Piper walking with Wyatt into the conservatory and placing him in his crib as she waited for Leo and her sisters to return.
"So how confident are we that Grams may actually know of this prophecy?" Phoebe asked, as she placed the candles on the floor, lighting them each as she went.
They were now in the attic.
"Not very. But Leo seems to think that it may be our only shot of ever knowing what was said." Piper said as she added the drop of griffin's blood to the vanquishing potion she was working on.
"Only shot, more like a long shot." Paige said from where she busy scrying for their missing whitelighter, using a piece of cloth that they were sure was stained with his blood. Paige had retrieved it from his room at the back of P3. "And this is hopeless." Paige dropped the crystal. "Either he's hiding out in the underworld, or whatever it is he's doing that's blocking Leo, is also blocking me." She stood, walking over to join Phoebe.
"Forget about his majesty for now, we'll summon him later after we have our answers from Grams." Piper said, placing the cork in the last potion vial.
"You mean if she has our answers." Paige clarified, as she took one of the three potion vials Piper had filled.
Phoebe taking another.
"I'll guess we'll find out, either way." Piper said, before summoning Grams. "Hear these words, hear my cry, spirit from the other side; Come to me, I summon thee; Cross now the great divide."
Bright lights then filling the center of the circle Phoebe had lined with candles, before disappearing into the form of Penny Halliwell.
"Well, it's about time you three called to say hello." Penny Halliwell teasingly chastised her granddaughters, as she stepped out of the circle.
"Hi, Grams." Phoebe said with a bright grin and her arms held out.
Penny Halliwell in turn hugging all three of her granddaughters.
"It's good to see you girls, but I take it, this isn't a social visit." Penny Halliwell said, noting the potion vials in her granddaughters hands.
"No, it isn't. It's about Clara Andrews." Piper said, noting her grandmother's reaction to the name.
"Clara?" There was a look of nostalgia on Penny Halliwell's face. "Heaven's I haven't thought about her in years, why, what is this all about girls?" Penny asked, already having a sneaking suspicion.
"We need to know if Clara shared with you the prophecy that her ancestor Calisandra foretold." Piper asked, waiting.
"You know the one regarding the next heir to Excalibur." Paige couldn't help but add.
It seems Penny's suspicions were correct.
"If you're asking me about Clara, then I take it Excalibur has surfaced?" Penny asked.
"It's downstairs." Phoebe told her.
"Downstairs?" Penny wasn't expecting that.
"Yep. The lady of the lake asked for Piper's help this morning, the dark knight then killed her, we brought the sword in the stone back here to the manor and then Chris pulled it free." Paige gave a short summary of the events of the day.
"Oh, I see." Was all Penny said, her mind wondering who this Chris character was.
"Yeah, but then Chris ran off, leaving the sword here, then this Mordaunt showed up claiming he was here to train Chris, but he wasn't, so Piper later killed him, but we still haven't seen or heard from Chris since he left and according to Leo, you might be the only person left who knows of the prophecy regarding Excalibur's heir." Phoebe finished off.
"We also still have the Dark Knight to worry about." Paige added.
It seems to Penny, that it had been an eventful day for her girls.
"And just who is this Chris?" Penny Halliwell needed to ask.
"Our new whitelighter." Piper explained, a little bitterness creeping into her voice as she remembered the reason behind them needing a new whitelighter in the first place.
"He's from the future." Paige threw in.
"New whitelighter? Future?" Penny it appeared was greatly out of the loop. "What happened to Leo?"
"He was made an Elder." Piper said, not hiding her displeasure.
"Right. And I'm sorry dears but did you just say that this Chris was from the future?" Penny wasn't sure she had heard that properly.
"From what he told us, only about twenty years or so, but yes." Phoebe said.
"And you believed him just like that?" Penny needed to ask.
Surely she had taught her girls better than to just believe some random stranger at their word.
"Well we had Daryl check him out, and there's no record of him at all, neither dead or alive." Phoebe explained.
"And he kinda helped save my life, so that scored him some trust points." Paige chimed in.
"He also said he's here to save Wyatt." Piper stated.
"To save Wyatt – save Wyatt from what?" Penny Halliwell asked, vowing that any demon or warlock after her great-grandson would have to go through her first.
She might not have been thrilled when Wyatt was born, that he wasn't a she, but that didn't mean that she was going to standby and let someone hurt her family. And besides, the little rascal had certainly grown on her.
"He doesn't know." Penny looked at her granddaughter incredulously.
"He doesn't know?"
Phoebe shook her head. "No and he's very tight lipped about the future, so trying to find out anything that isn't to do with vanquishing demons or saving Wyatt, is pointless."
"Hmm... well, we'll just see about that." Penny said determined. She was going to talk to this Chris herself. "Where is he?"
"Hiding." Paige answered. "Has been since he first pulled the sword and neither Leo nor scrying can find him."
"Are you telling me that this... whitelighter from the future, is able to hide from both an Elder and the Charmed Ones?" Penny asked, giving her girls a look that said, haven't I taught you better.
"We plan on summoning him." Piper told her. "That is after you tell us what you know about this prophecy." Piper eyed her grandmother with a hard look, waiting.
Penny sighed. "Very well. I assume Leo is here."
Piper smiled. "He's downstairs watching over Wyatt and the sword."
"Then shall we." Penny held her hand out, motioning for the three sisters to head downstairs.
"Oh my." The words dropped from Penny Halliwell's lips as soon as she saw the legendary sword Excalibur, lying on the ground, next to the stone that it was pulled from. "And you are absolutely sure that this Chris... was the one to pull the sword?" Penny asked, as she turned back to face her granddaughter's.
"Was standing here when he pulled it Grams, along with an ogre, a couple of fairies, a dwarf and about a dozen other magical creatures that all proceeded to bow when Chris freed it." Piper said, wondering why her grandmother was still stalling. "Why?"
"And are you sure this Chris is who he says he is?" Penny kept prying.
"As far as we know... why?" Phoebe asked, her and her sister's passing a look between them.
"Well do none of the four of you," Penny was including Leo. "find it a little odd that it was a whitelighter who was able to pull the sword free. I mean forgive me, but I just find it highly unlikely that the next King of Magic is someone who has already died."
Not to mention according to what Clara had told her it was the son of a Charmed One who would be the next King.
The sister's and Leo all exchanging a glance.
"That... that is a little odd." Paige agreed, wondering why none of them had thought of that before.
"Exactly." Penny smiled. " And who's to say that Excalibur isn't what this Chris was after all along?"
"I don't think it is." Paige said, earning looks from everyone in the room. "What, you all saw how he reacted, how panicked he looked when he pulled it and if the sword was really what he was after all along, then why leave it?" She pointed out.
That had everyone thinking.
Phoebe groaned. "This is making my head hurt. Is he or isn't he, we aren't getting anywhere."
Piper very much agreed.
"What did the prophecy say Grams?" She asked. "I know you know it, so spit it out, so we can end all this confusion and then summon his royal highness here for answers."
"Fine." Penny Halliwell sighed. "The prophecy stated that the next chosen one and master of Excalibur, would be the son of a Charmed One."
That made everyone pause, the conservatory filling with silence as they all took a moment to register what Penny had said. Until the silence was broken when Wyatt's babbling broke through their attention.
They all turned to look at him.
"You don't think..." Paige started, not knowing what to believe anymore, for she had seen with her own eyes Chris pull the sword from the stone.
Seen how the sword reacted when he had freed it, the ancient markings that had burned with fire as they came to life, before fading away.
"That Wyatt..." Phoebe was equally as speechless as her sister, as she stared at her baby nephew.
"Is the rightful heir..." Piper finished their train of thought, her own thoughts consumed with what this would mean for her son if it was true.
He was already hunted by demons daily, now, for being the twice blessed, that it made her shudder to think, just what danger he would be in now as the heir to Excalibur.
"It fits with the prophecy." Was all Leo could say as he stared at his son. "And it isn't like Chris hasn't lied to us before or committed acts that represent the complete opposite of what a whitelighter stands for."
Paige sighed. "I really think you need to get over that Leo, you have no proof that it was Chris that sent you to Valhalla."
"You were sent to Valhalla?" Penny asked, looking questionably at her son-in-law.
Or ex-son-in-law if Penny was reading the tension between he and Piper correctly.
"Yes, Chris–" Paige interrupted him.
She was tired of hearing Leo's constant accusations against Chris.
"Pulled the sword from the stone, we all saw it and I don't think he could have faked that. Or tricked the sword into believing he was someone else." She defended the young whitelighter, not quite so quick to condemn him as the others seemed to.
"He is from the future Paige, who knows what kind of magic he knows." Phoebe reasoned.
"I don't believe that." Paige stood her ground. "For starters we don't even know if he is anything but a whitelighter. Not to mention you saw the way the sword reacted when he touched it Phoebe, it glowed and besides didn't you feel it. Feel like as soon as that sword was in his hand that you wanted to do like all the other creatures in the room did and bow to him?"
Phoebe had no reply to that, because she couldn't deny she had felt what her sister was describing.
"You also said you felt fear from him before he orbed away." Paige continued.
"Yeah, when he was mumbling something about how this isn't right and that it wasn't meant for him." Phoebe stopped herself. "And shock." She just realized. "He felt genuinely shocked that the sword was in his hand, like he hadn't even realized what he had done and when he did he couldn't believe it."
This was all making Phoebe very confused. She didn't know which way to believe.
"Exactly." Paige smiled, pleased that she made at least one of her sister's see sense.
"Not so fast girls." Penny interjected before they could get ahead of themselves. It hadn't escaped her notice either that Piper had remained silent during their discussion, her eyes never leaving Wyatt. "Don't be too quick to call innocent on this."
"I'm not, I'm just not automatically labeling him guilty either." Paige said, her words directed towards Leo.
He sighed. "Even if Phoebe is right and it hadn't been his intention to pull the sword, then how did he. If the sword is destined for the son of a Charmed One then how come Chris was able to pull it free?" Leo asked the question they all wanted the answer to.
"I hadn't gotten that far." Paige admitted, the question puzzling her as well.
"Let's back up for a second shall we." Penny instructed. "Paige you said that when Chris pulled the sword it glowed?" She wanted to make sure she had heard that right.
Paige nodded. "The blade then also burned with some kind of writing or inscription, I couldn't quite tell. But whatever it was looked ye'olden days."
That made Penny paused.
"The Marking's of Avalon." She then muttered to what she thought was herself.
While trying to understand, just how, it was possible that a whitelighter had revealed the hidden words burned into Excalibur's blade. Words that could only be revealed by the true heir.
"The Marking's of what now?" Phoebe asked, breaking Penny out of her thoughts.
"Of Avalon. A city of great magic and great power, where Excalibur was forged in the water's from which the city was named." Penny explained. "And marking's that were said to only be revealed when Excalibur was in the hands of the true heir."
"So does that mean then, that Chris truly is the heir?" Paige asked, equally confused as the rest of the occupants in the room.
"We still don't know that for sure, Paige, because Phoebe's right." Leo said. "Who knows what kind of magic he knows."
He wasn't quite so quick to let go of all his doubts surrounding the young whitelighter.
"And then what about the prophecy?" Phoebe asked, before addressing her grandmother. "Grams are you sure the Prophecy said the son of a Charmed One?"
"Quite sure." Penny answered before turning to her still silent granddaughter. "Piper dear, you've been far too quiet, is there anything you would like to add."
Piper who hadn't said a word since this discussion had begun and still didn't. Instead standing and making her way up into the attic.
"Piper!" She heard several voices calling her, but she didn't turn, didn't react.
Her mind being focused on one goal, to find out the truth. Find out if the question she had formed in her head was true.
Was Chris her son?
It hadn't seemed to occur to any of the others, that if Chris was the true heir and what was spoken in the prophecy was true about the heir being the son of a Charmed One that... her mind trailed off not knowing what to believe.
At first she had wanted to deny it, to not believe it could be true, but she couldn't. She couldn't deny the green eyes, that were identical to both her late sister Prue's and to Leo's. Nor could she deny the dark Halliwell hair, or the stubborn and determined nature that she had been accused of possessing herself. Or the way that Chris knew his way so comfortably around the manor or how well he seemed to know the book and each of the sister's.
After all, it was Chris who had realized and Chris who had believed them, when the Stillman sisters had switched their identities. With the question also being answered of why it was Chris who was the one to come back to save Wyatt, if Wyatt was his older brother. His single-minded focus when it came to demon-hunting and saving Wyatt was also a Halliwell trait that Piper had seen in both Prue and Grams and she couldn't believe that she hadn't seen any of these things earlier.
What kind of mother was she not to recognize her own son, especially when looking at said son, was like looking into a mirror.
"Piper, will you slow down or at least tell us what it is you are doing?" Phoebe said, as she Paige and Grams followed Piper upstairs into the attic, while Leo stayed downstairs, keeping an eye on the sword and Wyatt.
But she didn't receive an answer.
"Piper dear, what are you doing?" Penny asked as she watched her granddaughter quickly whip up everything Penny recognized as what Piper would need for summoning spell.
"I'm bringing Chris, home." Piper said, her words confusing the rest of the occupants of the room.
But before Piper could complete the ritual they were interrupted by the sound of a loud crash coming from downstairs. Followed by a cry that they all recognized instantly as Wyatt's.
"Wyatt! The sword!" Were the two exclamations as the four Halliwell women quickly made their way downstairs to where five executioner demons and The Dark Knight, Cerdic, stood.
The sword laying a few feet from them, along with Leo who had been thrown into a nearby wall and was currently dusting himself off.
"I believe you have something that belongs to me." Cerdic, The Dark Knight spoke, making a move towards the sword.
"Actually I believe you're mistaken." Piper glared at the man, who unknowingly had planned to murder her son. "Paige, potion. Now!" Piper ordered, her sister quickly following through and orbing the vanquishing potion that Piper had made earlier at the Knight who blocked it.
The vial crashing uselessly against his shield.
Cerdic laughed. "Is that the best you got witch." He smirked, giving the signal to the executioner demons to attack.
"Wyatt, danger." Piper had just enough time to tell her son to lift his shield, before Cerdic lunged at her.
The sword in his right hand grazing her arm as she dived out of the way. Taking a quick glance around the room to see her sisters, her grandmother and Leo, engaged in their own fights with the executioner demons.
"Surely you know your pathetic magic can't stop me." Cerdic gloated as he made his way to where Excalibur was lying.
Piper knowing that she couldn't let him reach it, so in desperation she ran forward, intent on throwing herself on Cerdic's back, only to be stopped by a painful and intense burning that erupted suddenly in her stomach.
"Piper!" She heard her name being called, but she didn't turn to see who had called it.
Instead looking down to see the sword that had been impaled in her chest.
"As I said, is that the best you got." Cerdic pulled the sword out of her, Piper than falling to her knees, before collapsing on the floor. "And once I have mastered Excalibur I'll be sure to take care of the heir."
"No. Chris!" She managed to call out softly, before succumbing to the pain that fought to pull her under.
The son that she had just called out to, still debating with himself over how he was going to explain what had happened today. For he knew that the sisters and Leo would be demanding answers. Answers that he wasn't sure he could give them, without having to explain everything about who he really was and why he was really back.
A conversation he didn't know where to begin in the slightest and a conversation he knew that wouldn't be anywhere near easy. With Chris knowing they had enough trouble believing that he was here to save Wyatt, let alone Chris telling him that what he was really here to save him from, was Wyatt becoming the source of all evil.
A fact that Leo had a hard enough time believing in the future, let alone here and it was why Chris was putting off returning to the manor for as long as he could. He might have slowly begun to accept the fact that Excalibur was never truly meant for Wyatt, and instead meant for him, but that didn't mean that he was ready to accept the destiny that accompanied it.
If he could have it his way, he would have the sister's promise to put the sword away and never let Wyatt or future him – if there is still a him, anywhere near it.
But he knew he couldn't, because you can't fight against fate, against destiny – no matter how much Chris may have wanted to.
He also desperately didn't want to be King. Having been taught in Magic School what it meant to be the heir to Excalibur, the weight of the responsibility the title carried, being something Chris had never and would never want. Already knowing what it felt like to be a leader and to be responsible for the lives of others, as the leader of the resistance. It was a position he didn't want, but one he fell into after Wyatt had taken over and he saw the suffering his brother caused.
It was also a position that called for making difficult choices, life and death choices and choices that not everyone had always agreed with. Like his decision to save Wyatt as opposed to killing him. Bianca and Daryl being the only ones on his side, with even Prue – Phoebe's oldest daughter, and the last Halliwell other than he and Wyatt, deciding that it was time that Chris ended things. Chris being the only one with enough power capable of stopping him.
But he couldn't do it. He could never kill his brother, not even after watching Wyatt brutally kill his own family. Prue's decision regarding to no longer regard Wyatt as family, or being worth saving, coming after he had murdered her two younger sister's Parker and Peyton.
Chris sighed. Knowing that it would only be worse, the longer he put it off and being caught off guard when he stood, by an agonizing pain in his stomach that caused him to double over. Almost sending him over the edge of the bridge. His face twisting in pain, as the burning he felt in his chest increased.
"Mum..." The word fell from his lips, as he focused on whose pain he was feeling, before disappearing in a swirl of blue orbs.
Reforming in the manor, to the sight of his mother lying in a pool of her own blood. Her eyes closed. While his aunts, Leo and Grams – he didn't have time to be shocked by her presence, were busy dealing with their own demons.
"Finally it is mine." A man with dark hair, dressed in all black with a shield and sword in his hand said, as knelt over Excalibur.
The current sword in his hand, Chris could see stained in fresh blood.
"I don't think so." Chris growled, calling Excalibur into his awaiting hand.
The feel of the sword in his hand, feeling just like it had earlier as warmth and power began to spread through him. The blade burning just as it had done the first time.
"What – that's not possible. Excalibur is mine." Cerdic snarled, turning to face whoever it was that was now keeping him from taking the sword. "You!" Cerdic gasped at the man who could have been Arthur's doppelganger, stood before him.
"Leo, heal Piper now." Chris ordered, his eyes never leaving the Knight's.
"Little busy here, Chris." Leo replied, while dodging the axe that was just aimed at his head.
Chris only taking a second, to turn his head and raise the hand that was not currently holding Excalibur and was now dancing in electricity, before throwing his electrokinesis out and vanquishing the demon.
Much to the shock of everyone in the room.
"Heal. Now!" Chris ordered again, turning back and taking a step closer towards the man in black.
Leo immediately moving to Piper's side, just as Phoebe vanquished her own attacker and the other three, after seeing the power that Chris had just displayed, fled.
"Impressive, but your magic can't harm me." Cerdic smirked.
Feeling confident that he was strong enough to do away with the heir before he could truly bond with Excalibur.
"Who says I need magic?" Chris asked with a smirk of his own, as his grip tightened on the sword in his hand.
Cerdic laughed, tightening his own grip, just as Piper started coming to, the two sword-wielding men facing off.
"Is it just me or does he seem a lot more confident than he was when he left?" Phoebe said quietly, as she, Paige and Grams, moved over to where Leo and Piper were. The two moving to their feet.
"Not to mention the serious firepower he just used." Paige muttered back.
"You're no match for me, boy." Cerdic said confidently.
Chris's smirk grew. "You sure about that."
Chris waiting for Cerdic to make the first move, before countering his attack and removing the shield easily from his grip in a move that was perfectly executed. And a move that left the others impressed.
Paige whistled appreciatively. "Boy's got skills."
Chris then wasting no time in disarming Cerdic fully, bringing him to his knees with the tip of Excalibur at his throat.
"You were saying." Chris said before quickly delivering the final blow.
Chris's audience left speechless by what they had just witnessed, as the adrenaline that Chris was running on began to fade. Chris then sighing and sending Excalibur back into the rock that he had pulled it from with a wave of his hand.
Penny being the one to break the silence.
"So I take it you're, Chris?" She asked, sending said young man a hard and questioning look.
She couldn't deny that after what she had just seen that this young man, was truly, the rightful heir to Excalibur. But her mind could also not forget about the prophecy and what it had spoken of.
Chris remaining silent, not really knowing what to say.
That was when Piper spoke. "You're my son." She said confidently, Chris's eyes going wide at her words and leaving everyone else in shock.
"Piper dear, what are you talking-" Penny started but stopped when she heard Chris speak.
"How did you...?" Chris quietly asked, his eyes never leaving his mothers.
There was no point in trying to deny it. Not now, for he knew if they had summoned Grams, that they now knew of the prophecy surrounding Excalibur. The prophecy that he and everyone else at one time, believed had meant his brother.
Chris feeling all eyes on him, as he was scrutinized and taken in, in a new light.
"You have Leo's eyes, but you look like me and that stubborn determination and single-minded focus you possess is a clear Halliwell trait." Piper said as she slowly approached him. "It also helped that Grams said Excalibur's heir was the son of a Charmed One." She reached out to take his hand, but he took a step back.
Chris not knowing what to feel at the moment.
Piper sighed. "Why didn't you tell us?" She asked, needing to know, why, her son had lied to them.
But before Chris could answer, everyone else seemed to unfreeze.
"Well that certainly explains a lot of things." Paige said, a smile beginning to form on her face at the thought of another nephew. "Like why you can't heal, you're not a full whitelighter, you're like me."
"And how well you seemed to know us and the book and the house." Phoebe added, her own excitement at having another nephew growing as well. "Not to mention, Piper's right, you are practically her clone." She finished, wondering how she hadn't seen it before.
"Another boy, Piper?" Penny asked, wondering if she had to be worried about all her great-grandchildren being males. "And just what was that firepower you used young man, because I don't recall a Halliwell or a Warren every having that power?" She set her gaze on Chris.
"It's an Elder power." Leo said quietly, his eyes never leaving the man he had just found out was his son.
The son who had banished him to Valhalla and that Leo had disliked and distrusted, ever since he had arrived. The son that he remembered he had hit and thrown around the room – something that Leo could see now, Chris had let happen. Just like Chris had allowed Leo dominance over him, when Leo had "interrogated" him in Valhalla. And the son who had only come back to save his brother.
My god, he must hate me, Leo thought.
Chris still didn't speak.
"Why?" Leo asked the same question as his wife, both needing to know the answer.
"Chris?" Piper gently prompted.
"Because I couldn't." Chris finally spoke, trying to keep his emotions in check
"Why, why couldn't you tell us who were, Chris. That you're my son, Wyatt's little brother." Piper pressed. "I'm not seeing why we couldn't know that key piece of information." Piper needed to understand.
"Because it didn't matter." Chris finally exploded. "Who I am, was irrelevant to what I came back to stop and then, even if I wanted to tell you, I still couldn't." He took a breath. "Not without risking changing too much."
He was also afraid of getting too close, only to lose them again.
"But... but how could you let us, let me, treat you the way we have?" Piper asked, her guilt over the way each of them had been treating him – like he was an unwanted stranger in their lives, making her heart clench.
She just couldn't believe how cold and uninviting she had been to her own son.
"Piper." Penny cautioned her granddaughter.
"Because as long as I did my job, completed my mission, it didn't matter." Chris answered her.
He was lying. It did matter and it hurt, but his mission here was still more important.
"That's not true, Chris." Leo said. "You should have told us."
"You know the rules of time travel, better than anyone, Leo." Chris's voice was hard. "I couldn't."
Leo fought back a flinch at his son's tone.
That was when Phoebe spoke. "Wait, mission? You speak as if you're soldier fighting a war or something."
"Yeah, I thought you came back to save, Wyatt?" Paige continued Phoebe's train of thought.
"I did." Chris said, not being able to hide how tense he had become.
He really didn't want to explain to them what it was that he had come back to stop.
"And just what young man, does Wyatt need saving from?" Penny Halliwell couldn't stop herself from asking, as she took in her great-grandson.
Piper was right he does have Leo's eyes. Prue's eyes.
"I can't tell you." Chris answered regretfully.
"Chris–" Piper started, but he cut her off.
"Please, don't." He told her, his eyes almost pleading. "The answer isn't one you want to know and one you shouldn't have to hear."
But Piper wasn't backing down. "We need to know, Chris." She told him, using a tone that he had heard all too often growing up.
It was the tone she used whenever he and Wyatt were in trouble and she was trying to get them to confess to whatever crazy antic it was that they had done.
It was also a tone he could never lie to.
"Chris..." Piper tried again, not missing the scared look in his eyes.
But he couldn't find the words.
"Oh for heaven's sake, just spit it out already." Penny ordered, her patience running out.
She wanted to know what it was that was after a member of her family.
"Grams!" Piper chastised her grandmother.
She could see how hard this was for Chris to discuss and she didn't need her grandmother making it even harder.
"Chris if this helps us to stop whatever evil it is that hurts Wyatt, then Piper is right, we need to know." Phoebe spoke gently.
And seeing in their eyes that none of them were going to let it go, Chris sighed.
"It's Wyatt." Chris said, to the confusion of everyone in the room. "The evil from the future that I came back to stop isn't a demon..." He explained. "It's Wyatt."
Silence filled the room.
"What? How?" Piper choked out, her eyes immediately going to her baby boy who was in Leo's arms, babbling happily to himself.
"I don't know." Chris told her, wishing more than anything that he could give her an answer.
But he couldn't. Not when he didn't know the answer himself, only suspicions.
"That – that's impossible. Wyatt's not evil, he can't be, he could never be." Leo said, holding his son just a little bit tighter and refusing to believe the words that Chris had just spoken.
"Denial in every timeline I see." Chris muttered, thinking back to how his own Leo, his father, had refused to believe it when Chris had told him about Wyatt.
Despite the over-whelming evidence that had been looking him straight in the face.
"Chris it's not that I don't believe-"
Chris cut in with a snort. "It wouldn't be the first time."
"...you. It's just Wyatt is..." Leo looked down at his innocently smiling son, speechless.
"A baby. A sweet and innocent little baby, that none of us can imagine being anything different." Paige completed Leo's thoughts.
Her own, being along the same line and knowing that was because she didn't want to believe it was true. That it was possible. But also knowing better than anyone that it is – I mean look at Phoebe... she was the Queen of the entire Underworld at one stage...
"Well you better start." Chris told them harshly. "Because in my time, he isn't that innocent little baby anymore, he's a monster that terrorizes people with his magic. A monster that without hesitation, gleefully, killed his own family and a monster that has taken over and destroyed more than half the world. With his demons walking freely on the surface and hunting down humans as if it is some sick game. While good witches and any other magical creature that opposes him or who refuses to bow down to his reign, are living in hiding, afraid, everyday. Too scared of what Lord Wyatt or the witch hunters will do to them, if they are captured. With the only refuge they have being the hideout's of the Resistance."
His words had all their minds spinning. Not one of them wanting to believe the horrors that Chris had just spoken.
"Killed his own... Wyatt killed his own..." Piper couldn't find the words.
Her heart desperately not wanting to believe that her baby could fall so far, as to want to willingly hurt his own family. A thought that was echoed by everyone else in the room.
They couldn't believe it. Didn't want to believe it – any of it. But they couldn't deny the painful truth that they saw in Chris's eyes.
"They stood in his way, tried to stop him or were weak." Chris then laughed darkly. "Or at least he viewed them as weak. For all his talk about there being no good or evil and only power, he still has a lot to learn. Because they weren't weak. Far from it. It's just the strength and power they showed, was something that Wyatt will never be able to understand."
"Who... who did he...?" Chris knew what his mother was asking, but he cut her off.
"Don't. You don't need to know and it will only hurt you more." He told her, leaving out the part in which he couldn't tell her either way.
"You... you also mentioned witch hunters?" Phoebe asked, feeling sick to her stomach at the world Chris had painted.
As did the rest of them.
But even more horrible than the world Chris was painting was Nathaniel Pratt. Who was where Phoebe's mind immediately went to, as soon as she had heard Chris mention witch hunter. Never being able to forget the horrifying feeling of being burned alive.
"Humans that refused to accept Wyatt's reign and that view any magical being as a blight of nature, an abomination, that needs to be extinguished as soon as possible." Chris then laughed darkly, as he absently rubbed the branded numbers on his left arm. "Just a little unforeseen consequence to Wyatt taking over the world and bringing demons and magic out into the open."
Quickly trying to hide what he had been doing, but failing. Piper not having missed when he had started trailing his fingers over his sleeve covered forearm. Taking a few steps forward and taking his wrist in her hand.
"What are you-" She stopped him.
Not saying anything and rolling the sleeve on his arm up, to where seven numbers – 6695425, were branded viciously into his skin. The sight causing her to gasp.
"Chris." His name fell from her lips in horror and it took everything in him not to pull his arm from his mother's hands.
She also hadn't missed the other scars that were patterned around the brand. Her reaction causing everyone to take a step forward, Paige and Phoebe letting out gasp's of their own.
"My god, Chris." Phoebe gasped, her eyes wide as she saw the ugly numbers that looked as if they were quite literally burned into his flesh.
No wonder he was always wearing long sleeves, she thought.
That being all Chris could take, before he roughly pulled his arm back, yanking the sleeve back down.
"What happened Chris, what is that mark?" Piper was the one to ask.
Chris looking into all their eyes and seeing, along with concern, the emotion he hated the most – pity. He didn't want it. Didn't need it. People were always feeling sorry for him and he hated it. But also seeing that they would never let him stay silent on the matter, he sighed.
"It's an identification number." He told them. "The witch hunters don't execute those they capture straight away – they first brand them, and then torture them, until the point that the witch is forced to use their powers."
This was making Phoebe even sicker to her stomach than she already was.
"A confession of guilt." It was Penny who spoke.
Chris shook his head. "More like a demonstration of power. They like to know what each witch they capture is capable of, just in case it's something they think will benefit them."
"Benefit them, how?" Paige dreaded the answer.
"By offering the witch their life, in exchange for being placed on one of their elite hunting teams." The sister's and Penny all gasped.
But Leo didn't, he just nodded. He had lived through a war and understood the concept of kill or be killed and could understand why some witches, no matter how strong willed they were would take the deal and exchange their life with the life of someone else.
There was, after all, only so much pain and torture a person could take, before they succumbed to the will of the one torturing them.
"But wait, if they want the witch to use their powers, then why don't they escape?" Paige asked.
"A very good question." Penny wanted to know the answer to Paige's question as well.
"Their too weak." Chris told them. "The hunters keep every witch they capture, sedated and subdued."
"Then why not lie, say you'll join them and then escape?" Paige still pressed.
"Because every witch that turns, is then leashed, with a collar that they can't remove. A collar that only the witch hunters have the remote for, and if one of their 'pets', even thinks about turning on their new master they're put down. Immediately." Chris explained, thinking of the inhumane device the witch hunters had come up with to keep all witches under their command, in line.
"And what of the numbers... what are they for?" Phoebe asked tentatively.
Chris ran a hand through his hair. "It's the name that goes into the witches file, because to them a witch isn't a person. Their a thing. A disease. And the numbers are their way of identifying exactly what you are. 66 represents witch. 95 – whitelighter and 425 means Halliwell."
It sickened them all.
"When?" Chris knew what his mother was asking.
"It was a while ago and doesn't matter anymore." He told her.
And it was.
Chris had been 19 when the witch hunters captured him and to this day, everyone still knows of the captured witch that didn't break under their hands. Didn't trade his life, for the life of someone else and the witch that had been the first and only to escape their labs. The labs where their scientists dissected the bodies of those who had died under their interrogation, or those who they deemed "important cases to study".
Chris being the most important case, due to his parentage and relation to Wyatt. But also the hardest to keep imprisoned. As it stands the only reason they had captured him in the first place was because they had found him, just after going a round with one of Wyatt's patrols.
"Doesn't matter, Chris you were branded, tortured." She choked on the last word.
"And nothing they did to me or could do to me, was anything compared to what Wyatt has done." He regretted the words instantly.
The last thing his mother needed to hear was how her eldest son, had tortured her youngest.
"What Wyatt has done..." Piper's voice trailed off, as her eyes trailed over every inch of him.
He took a step back, afraid, that with the way she was looking at him, that she might try to remove his shirt and that was the last thing he wanted.
"Look, just forget about it, it doesn't-" She cut him off.
"Don't you dare say it doesn't matter. He's your brother and your telling me he tortured you." Piper exploded.
And knowing she wouldn't calm down until he had given her some kind of explanation, Chris spoke.
"I refused to stand beside him and then defied him by starting the resistance. He was... unpleased, to say the least."
"Unpleased... he was unpleased-" Piper wasn't calming down.
"What's the resistance?" Paige interrupted, knowing how Piper could get and seeing that it wasn't something Chris wanted, or was comfortable discussing. Pushing down her own feeling's of disgust and horror at what she had heard as she spoke. "You mentioned it before to. Called it a refuge, I think?"
Chris nodded, grateful for the subject change.
"It is. For anyone – witches, mortals, a few demons-"
"Demons?" Penny questioned.
"While most may have liked the new freedoms, that Wyatt's reign awarded them, not all did." Chris told her. "The Resistance being a safe haven for all those who had no where else to go and for those who were crazy enough to fight back. We have a few set up all over the world, but our main base of operations is here in San Francisco. Hidden beneath P3 to be exact."
"P3? Beneath it?" Paige and Phoebe asked at the same time.
Thinking it odd that it was Piper's club that was chosen, as a refuge.
"Isn't that just a little... obvious?" Penny asked. "I mean wouldn't that be the first place Wyatt would look for his brother."
"It was." Chris told her. "That's why it was the first place he destroyed."
Luckily for Chris, it was before the resistance had set up base there.
Piper frowning slightly, not knowing how to feel about her baby boy destroying her club.
"Then why go back there?" Paige asked.
"Because it'll be the last place Wyatt will look again." It was Leo who answered, thinking back to his time in the war and how he had seen similar strategies.
"Exactly." Chris agreed. "Also Wyatt's arrogance prevents him from seeing how ideal the location truly is. Or that the club he turned into rubble is no longer there." Chris smirked.
He had always been proud of himself for the magic he had erected around the Resistance headquarters. It was something so strong, so convincing that not even Lord Wyatt could break though it. And something he had made sure to erect around all their bases.
"How do you mean?" Piper asked.
"Yeah, and isn't P3 just, I don't know, a little small to be some great refuge?" Phoebe asked.
"I'd also like to know what happened to the Manor?" That was Penny.
Chris sighed. "The Manor is Wyatt's. He doesn't live there, no one does, rather he's turned it into a museum for the Charmed Ones, so that everyone can know of the power from which he was born and that which he possesses." Chris rolled his eyes. "As for P3 – it's a glamour. A powerful glamour that acts as both a shield and mirage for anyone who comes looking too closely. With Wyatt's handiwork being all they will see, and not the rebuilt building that we erected in it's place, the insides magically expanded. The club is also magically connected to other building's that surround it, making it larger still."
They were all impressed, including Penny.
"That sounds like it must have taken a lot of magic to accomplish." She said.
"I had help." Was all Chris replied.
And he had. His cousins – the same ones that Wyatt had labeled weak, all having poured some of their own magic into the shield.
"Still impressive." Penny complimented him, causing Chris to shift nervously on his feet.
He had always been bad at taking compliments.
"And you really have no idea, any at all, what or who it is that gets to Wyatt?" Piper asked, holding her son as they now all sat seated in the living room.
Penny having ushered them all in there, after saying she was tired of standing around. With Piper making sure she was sitting as close to her youngest son as he would allow. Wyatt perched happily in her lap.
"I didn't when I first came back." Chris admitted, before voicing what he knew and his latest suspicion. "I only knew that something got to Wyatt when he was still a child and that whatever it is that happened to him, lay dormant inside for years until..." He had to stop himself again.
The memory of his mother's death slowly creeping into his mind and he quickly fought to push it back.
"Until what, Chris?" Leo asked, from his seat next to Piper.
He too had a sudden urging to not be to far from his sons and had been ignoring the other Elders call for the last half hour.
"It's not relevant." Chris shook his head to clear it. "All you need to know is that Wyatt didn't turn straight away. That he wasn't always this... power hungry monster, that didn't care about who he killed or he hurt and that there was a time when he was just Wyatt. My best friend and annoyingly at times, over-protective brother." Chris smiling sadly then at the end, as he realized, just how much, he missed the brother who had once always sworn to protect him.
"Ooh, you too huh?" Phoebe asked, knowing how it felt to have over-protective siblings. "That was always one of the things I really hated about being the youngest growing up, because between Prue and Piper, I never got to have any fun."
Piper snorted. "Oh please, Pheebs. Having fun wasn't your problem, it was staying out of trouble."
"Ain't that the truth." Penny said in agreement. "I swear, I didn't have any grey hairs until after you turned 13 and if it wasn't for personal gain, I would have spelled the trouble right out of you." She sighed. "It would have saved me, many a sleepless night too."
"Grams!" Phoebe cried out offended. "I wasn't that bad."
"Yes, you were." Piper and Penny echoed together.
Chris chuckled. "Wyatt wasn't always so bad and then he was always harder on our younger cousins and Meh-" He automatically started to respond before catching himself just as he was about to speak his sister's name, but it was too late. "Shit." He cursed to himself.
"Christopher Halliwell!" Piper reprimanded him, at the same time that Phoebe and Paige both asked. "Cousins?"
He sighed, internally berating himself. "And this is another reason why I didn't want any of you to know who I was and before you ask, Phoebe – no I am not telling you anything, I can't." He sighed. "I've said too much as it is already."
"But you can't just leave us hanging like that." Phoebe protested.
"I'm quite happy being kept out of it, thanks." Paige said, feeling a little overwhelmed to know that she would be a mother someday.
Not that the thought had never crossed her mind. But she hadn't forgotten about what Chris had mentioned earlier about Wyatt killing his own family, her heart making the painful connection. And a connection that Phoebe seemed too excited about hearing how she had children to notice.
Chris remained silent.
"Well at least tell me if Jason is the one I marry, because that would really save me some worry and frustration over whether or not to tell him I'm a witch. Not to mention if the whole long-distance thing we have going at the moment will actually work out." She waited.
Chris still stayed silent.
Piper chuckled, shaking her head. "Let it go, Pheebs."
"What – no. Paige." Phoebe turned to her sister. "Aren't you at all curious about this – your husband, your kids...?" She tried, hoping that if someone else was on her side, that they might be able to get Chris to cave.
"I think I can wait for the surprise actually." Paige told her.
"I'll admit I'm curious to know if all my great-grandchildren are going to be boys or if someone is going to continue the Halliwell tradition?" Penny voiced.
"Ooh, good question, Grams." Phoebe beamed at her, before turning back to her nephew. "How about it, Chris?"
Still no answer.
"Alright I think it's time we get back on track." Piper giving Phoebe a pointed look when she began to open her mouth. "You said that at first you didn't have any idea what it was that happened to Wyatt – what changed?" Piper asked her son.
"Today." Chris answered her.
"You mean you pulling Excalibur?" Chris nodded in response to Paige's question. "But how does you pulling the sword give us any answers?"
"Because it was always believed that the sword was meant for Wyatt and in my time, he is the one who wields it." Chris started. "Only we now know from today that, that isn't true and he isn't the heir."
"Meaning that when he took it, the power of the sword would have corrupted him. Turned him." Leo finished, seeing where his son's thoughts were leading.
"Exactly." Chris nodded.
"Okay then, so we make sure that Wyatt never takes Excalibur." Phoebe stated, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Chris shook his head. "I don't think it's quite that black and white. I think Wyatt taking the sword played a part in his turning, but I still believe that whatever it is that happens to him now, here, is what starts it. The power of the sword is merely what pushes him over the edge." He explained, leaving out the part about the event that pushes Wyatt to take the sword in the first place.
"Then we'll stop it." Piper said confidently. "Whatever or whoever it is that hurts your brother, we'll stop it. And this time, without you having to carry the weight of the entire burden on yourself." She promised, vowing to herself to help him in any way that she could. "I don't want anymore solo missions to the underworld either, do you understand." She said sternly.
"Wait, how did you know I have been going down there alone?" Chris asked, surprised.
But Piper wasn't stupid. She knew that when the she and her sisters refused to go after a demon, that Chris would then go after the demon himself, but she wasn't haven't it anymore. She didn't care how powerful he appeared to be.
"Because you are exactly like Prue and she wouldn't let a little thing like us refusing to help, stop her from protecting her family." Piper answered. "Also you made it kind of obvious when you would suddenly stop pushing us to go after one demon, only to then push us on another."
"They were a potential threat, they needed to be taken care of." Chris said, not apologizing for doing what he needed to.
"I don't care, I don't want you going down there alone." She told him.
"It's the only way we might have to find out who is after Wyatt and my contacts won't talk if I start showing up with the Charmed Ones." Chris shot back. "Besides, I can take care of myself."
"Still don't care. You are not going down there on your own." Piper said, holding her ground.
"And what are you going to do when I don't listen, ground me?" Chris asked sarcastically.
Mother or not, she wasn't going to stop him from completing what he came here to do.
"If I have to." The two stared each other down, both refusing to give in.
"Okay, enough both of you." Penny interrupted, mother and son. "Piper, Chris is a grown man that you saw with your own eyes today, can take care of himself. And Chris, your mother is only being that, your mother and is looking out for you."
Mother and son sighed.
"Sorry." They both apologized.
"That's better." Penny nodded, before standing. "Now if that's everything settled, I better be going. But not before I get a hug from my great-grandson." She said, waiting.
Chris standing and happily obliging. "It was good to see you, Grams." She smiled, before wishing everyone goodbye and leaving.
"I should probably get going as well." Leo admitted, standing. "I need to inform the others about... well everything." He said, placing a kiss on the top of Wyatt's head. "And then if you'd like, I'll come back and take care of those little problems around the house." Piper smiled at him in thanks. "I also think that the three of us," He looked to Chris. "still need to sit down and talk some more."
And reluctantly Chris nodded, knowing it was true.
"I'd like that." Piper said. "And before you go, if you could put that away." She gestured with a wave of her hand to Excalibur. "I don't quite trust Paige, not to break something if I ask her."
"Hey!" Said sister cried out in offense.
"The best thing for now, being to keep it away in storage, until you are ready for it." She spoke to Chris.
"I don't think I'll ever be ready for it." He admitted quietly, still not a hundred percent sure how he felt about being Avalon's heir.
"Even still, it'll be going away until you're at least eighteen. Leo, do you mind?" She asked her ex-husband.
The knowledge that they will be having another son together giving her hope that maybe not everything between them is lost.
Leo shook his head, with a promise to be back later, before immediately orbing the stone upstairs into the attic. His own orbs disappearing a second later.
"Now for you." Piper addressed Chris. "You're going to stay here, there will be no more demon hunting for today and while I make us all something to eat, you are going to explain just what you were thinking when you broke your father and I up." Chris flinched at his own unforeseen consequence. "If it was really you that sent Leo to Valhalla and why, as well as telling me all about the girl that the ring around your neck belongs to."
"Girl?" Phoebe and Paige exclaimed at the same time, their eyes immediately going to Chris's neck.
Chris looking down at the same time, not having realized that the leather cord with Bianca's ring – the ring that he usually always made sure was tucked under his shirt, was no longer so. And quickly righting that fact as everyone turned to stare at the obvious engagement ring around his neck.
"I think it's a little late to hide now, Chris." Phoebe smirked.
Chris narrowed his eyes at her, while his mother continued to speak.
"I also want to know if you are in fact twenty-one or if I have being letting someone underage, both sleep and drink at my club." Piper fixed him a stern look as she waited.
"I'm twenty-one." He quickly assured her, to the amused snigger's of Paige and Phoebe.
"That's good." Piper said as she stood, moving Wyatt to her hip. "But even so, you are no longer staying there, you'll be staying here and while you go and collect all your stuff, Phoebe and Paige will be cleaning out the spare room. Without magic." She told the two sternly, causing them to groan, before making her way into the kitchen. "And don't even think about trying to hide either Chris, because I will summon you back here." She warned over her shoulder.
And Chris knowing she would do as she warned and summon him if he tried to hide, sighed. There was always a time when to choose to argue with his mother and now wasn't one of them. Letting an amused chuckle escape his lips as he watched his two aunts grumpily make their way upstairs to the room that will one day become his little sisters, before sparing one glance upwards to where he knew Leo had orbed Excalibur, before orbing out himself to P3.
He was coming home.