“I don't know how you guys manage to do this every time!” James shouted as he paced in front of the fireplace.
“We don't pace!” Leo laughed, “Want a beer?” he asked the two men as he stood up.
“Sure, why not.” James said as he sat in Leo's place.
“No thanks Leo. Office is calling me.” Cole stood and took his phone out of his pocket.
“Major incident, I have to go interview witnesses. Tell Pheebs where I am.” Cole said as he grabbed his tie, jacket and briefcase on his way out of the front door.
“OK, sure.” James said as he slammed the door.
“James! Payton is calling me! I'll be back as soon as I can!” Leo shouted into the living room as he orbed out.
Leo orbed back into the living room around a minute later.
“Thank god!” James sighed as he turned around to see two of the sisters. “Where's Pay?”
“She said she would cover. She should be back by now.” Phoebe went over to lie down.
“If she isn't back in five minutes, Leo would you go down and get her please.” Piper said as she moved Phoebe's feet off the couch.
“You know I don't like feet on the couch.”
“So! We just fought off a ton of demons and Pay isn't here and all you are worrying about is my feet on the couch!”
“It keeps my mind off of everything. Now get your feet off!”
James stood in the corner watching the exchange laughing while he drank his beer. He felt his pocket grow warm and pulled out a mirror.
“Hey Sirius, what's going on over the pond?” He said as he saw Sirius' face appear in the mirror.
“Has James gone senile?” Phoebe whispered.
“I heard that Pheebs!” James shouted as he listened to Sirius.
“Thanks aren't too good. Moldyshorts is getting more and more powerful with every day, and fear is becoming more widespread. He killed the McKinnon’s’ last week.”
“All of them! Including Charlene?”
“He got Charlene as well. I am sorry James; I know she was like a sister to you.”
“Yeah, well if you get the chance to; beat his sorry ass for me.” James laughed while looking at his watch and signalling to Leo that it had been five minutes.
“What are they white lights behind you? Where are you anyway? That isn't your apartment!” Sirius started to shout as Remus appeared in the mirror.
“Remus, how are you old man?” James said laughing as he tried to change the subject.
“I'm good. Still the same every month though. Now less of the old man crap and don't change the subject, answer Padfoot's question!” Remus laughed as Sirius started going purple.
“Pay and I moved. We're now living with her sisters.”
“What! You mean she finally found them!” Sirius barked.
“Yeah she did. I have to go. We are all going out for dinner.” he lied, “Speak to you guys tomorrow night?”
“Might as well. We want to talk to Pay before you go.” Remus ordered. “We have to check to see that you are taking care of her.”
James started to sweat. “I think she is upstairs getting ready with her sisters. You know how Pay is when she is getting ready…she takes hours! You can talk to her next time. Bye.” James shouted as he stuffed the mirror back into his pocket.
“That's one sweet mirror there James.” Phoebe laughed. “You sure you don't have to go see a shrink?”
White lights absorbed the room once more.
“Leo, where is Pay?” Piper stood up immediately.
“When I went back down there,” Leo panted, “She wasn't there. I was ambushed by around 50 demons though and found this.” He pulled out Payton's wand from the inside of her jacket.
“No. There is no way. Pay always keeps her wand on her at all times!” James shouted as he ran up the stairs to his room.
“James!” Phoebe shouted after him.
“Leave him. We have a sister to find. Leo, go see if the elders have any idea who has her.” Piper said as she kissed Leo's cheek as he left the room in white lights once more.
“Pheebs…up to the attic.” Piper said to Phoebe as she ran up the stairs closely followed by Phoebe.
“How long until the witch wakes up?” a voice came from the shadows.
“Another hour at most I’d say. Just imagine what the source will say when word reaches him about the precious Charmed ones.”
“I think I found the demon!” Phoebe shouted from the book, “It is a Scather Demon. They are low level, though they are protected by the upper levels in return for their loyalty.”
“And they work for the Source! We all know that the best way to get his attention would be to get rid of us!”
“Well, we had better cut their play date with Payton short then.” Phoebe smirked as she copied the vanquishing spell down. “I have a feeling that we will need James for this one Piper.”
“How will he be able to help?” Piper ferociously snapped as she paced the attic.
“Pay will be stuck in a cage surrounded by crystals I’m guessing.” James said angrily from the door, wand in hand, “You need me to get Pay out while you fight off the demons.”
“He's right you know.” Phoebe stated simply as she looked over at Piper, who had finally given up pacing and had slumped into an antique chair.
Phoebe, taking a slight nod from Piper as her answer picked up a bag of potions and moved over to the door. “Ok then. Let’s get Leo.”
“Just listen to what we tell you, ok!” Piper whispered to James as they made their way to the lounge.
“Sure thing.” he smiled as he held her hand reassuringly as they prepared to orb to the underground.
I open my eyes slowly, surprised by the lack of light. I start to sit up. The pain reaches be before the ground does as crystals throw me back down.
“Ah, the little witchy has woken up. I'm going to have so much fun with you.” he grinned menacingly as a dark-lighter appeared with an arrow in hand.
What have I gotten myself into now? I screwed up my eyes in anticipation of the first blow from the poisonous arrow.
“Leo, what is it?” Piper asks as Leo fell to his knees, pain evident in her eyes. “It's Pay isn't it?”
“Darklighter,” Leo managed to mutter as Piper helped to steady him. “We have to get there quickly. She won't last long if we don't.”
“Where is she?” Phoebe gasped as they all looked towards James who started pacing furiously with his wand in his hand, quickly casting tracking spells.
“She isn’t far.” Leo muttered as James turned back to the group. “This way, follow me.” He quickly stated as he edged himself along, using the wall to protect his back as he held his wand out, prepared for an attack.
“He’s good at this.” Phoebe whispered to Piper, a smirk on her face as she followed James’ actions exactly, except she held a potion in her hand instead of a wand.
“I must admit that he is. This is definitely his first time doing this, right?”
“Yeah, I wonder where he learned all of this from then.”
“Probably from the force,” Leo muttered as they stopped and ducked behind the rock they hid before.
“James is a Police Officer?” Phoebe whispered to Piper as they suddenly came to a stop at the entrance of a cave guarded by two demons.
“I guess he is.” Piper answered as she turned to face the rest of the group. “James, are you able to cast something to let us do this quietly?”
“Do you mean silence the whole cave so that we can still hear or silence us all so nothing can be heard outside?” James turned slowly as he raised his wand.
“I would like to keep my hearing thank you!” Phoebe retorted as she clapped her hands over her ears.
“It wouldn’t make you lose it permanently, that one is mostly used for silencing a single person. My friends and I made a variation, though it isn’t as good as one someone else in the school made.” James whispered in contempt at the creator of the new spell. “Muffilato!”
“Can you hear me Piper?” Phoebe whispered as she looked at her sister.
“Of course I can crazy!” Piper laughed. “Can we blast them?”
“Go ahead. Give them your best shot.” James smiled as he took a step back and hid behind a rock to avoid any demon vanquish splatter.
“3, 2, 1!” Phoebe counted down as she and Leo also ducked, and Piper shot up, blasting both demons in the chest and watched as flames encased them.
“I love it when it’s an easy vanquish.” She smiled as they waited with abated breath to see if any other demons turned up.
“That’s one hell of a spell James.” Leo cracked as he whistled and the group emerged from their shelter and made their way towards the caves entrance.
“I know. It makes me angry that it wasn’t me who created this one.” James smiled weakly as he fell in line behind the sisters as they entered the cave.
“Wand,” I gasped as I held my hand out again limply as I tried once again to call for my wand that must have been lost when they captured me. Who am I kidding! I still have not gotten the hang of my powers. I’d have a hard time calling it to myself even from the same room!
“Payton’s wand!” Phoebe shrieked as she saw it disappear from James’ pocket in a swarm of blue lights.
“She must have called it to herself.” James smiled proudly, “that must be a good sign, right?” he asked Leo.
“It must be.” Leo smiled as the group picked up their pace and entered a second cave which was unguarded. “She’s in there.” Leo whispered.
“Homenum Revelio,” James whispered as he waved his wand and a blue mist appeared and took on the shape of Payton lying on the ground, arrow sticking out of her back and two demons off to the side.
“So the plan is for me and Phoebe to go in, battle some demons, while you two go over and get Payton. Does everyone understand? Good.” Piper rushed as she ran into the cave with her hands out in front of her, ready to blow up any demon that crossed her path while the rest of the group followed.
“Watch behind you Piper!” Phoebe shouted as she ducked to avoid a stray fireball heading towards her. Standing up, she located the balls owner and threw a potion in his direction, sending millions of tiny parts of demon everywhere.
“Thanks Pheebs.” Piper countered as she sent another blasting against a cave wall and into the path of another ball. “Any sign of Pay yet James?”
“Not yet but there is an anti-chamber over here, we will try in there!” James replies before waving his wand and producing a light blue shield around himself and Leo.
“What is this blue thing? Is it safe?” Leo questioned as they peered around the corner of the opening of the chamber.
“Shield spell, should protect us from a short barrage of whatever they through. It will not stay up long though; it is only a basic one.”
“Right, are we ready to move then?” Leo asked as he looked back at his wife and her sister battling demons at the other side of the cave, distracting them from himself and James.
“Ready when you are”, James smiled as he looked back at Leo there’s no time like the present.” He exclaimed before running into the chamber.
“It’s been too quiet out there for my liking. I thought the all so powerful ‘Charmed Ones’ would have come to collect their…lost puppy by now.” A demon wearing dark, torn leather and with dreadlocks exclaimed as he sat on a chair near the cage, watching Payton wheeze and cough with an arrow sticking out of her side. “Someone go and make sure nothing has happened to the others.”
As two of the 4 demons left to exit the chamber, Payton started to turn over. If only she could get one of these crystals to the other side of the room. Not knowing if it would work, she started to levitate one of the crystals.
The bodies of the two demons flew across the room and hit off the cave wall just as Payton threw the crystal to the other side of the chamber. She tried to stand up but could not. Doing the only thing she could think of, she pointed her wand at the arrow and banished it into one of the demons before collapsing on the ground.
James and Leo burst through into the cave seconds after, James taking on the two remaining demons while Leo ran over to Payton. Running her hands over her, it took a little time for the gold healing glow to spread over his hands, repairing the damage to Payton’s side and drawing out the Darklighter’s poison.
“Piper, I could really use a little help in here!” James shouted as he quickly cancelled the silencing spell he had cast earlier as he hit one of the demons with ‘Bombarda’, scattering him into a thousand pieces, leaving just leaving him one who had come back to consciousness and the biggest one who was previously sitting on the chair near Payton.
As the golden glow on Leo’s hand receded, Payton started to come back to consciousness and sit up.
“Leo! Thank god!” Payton exclaimed as she tried to stand up.
“Not yet missy. You just sit out over here with me for this one. Darklighter’s poison zaps all of the energy out of you, trust me, I know.” Leo spoke softly as he hugged her. “You had us all worried there kid, James most of all.”
“I can imagine just what James was like.” Payton laughed as Leo held her tight, ready to orb her at a moment’s notice.
“Did you find a big mean one for us James?” Piper shouted as she and Phoebe ran though the opening of the chamber and skidded to a halt beside him, instantly disposing of the weaker injured one.
“We did originally find four for you but I think I managed the first two alright. One seems to have an arrow in his side though.” James laughed as he dodged a stray fireball.
“No idea.” Phoebe shouted as she rolled out of the way of a fireball heading her way. “Think we should finish this guy off quickly?”
“Definitely,” Piper said morosely as she froze the demon in his tracks, then unfroze his head.
“Who are you working for?”
The demon stayed silent.
“Let’s try this again. “ Piper said as she nodded to James who walked around the demon and blew off his right arm below the elbow. “Who are you working for.”
The demon screamed as loud as he could, the echoes bouncing off every wall in the chamber.
“He doesn’t seem to want to co-operate Piper. Shall I go for the left this time or somewhere else?” James teased as he twirled his wand.
“I think I will try this time.” Piper retorted as she raised her hands to blow up his right arm.
“Stop! I’ll tell you!” the demon replied just before Piper blew it up. “It’s…” The demon started before flames engulfed his body, vanquishing him instantly.
“Well that was a let-down.” Piper commented to herself as James ran to Payton on the other side of the Cave.
“You had me so worried! Don’t ever stay behind to cover tracks…wasn’t that what they taught us years ago in DADA? Live to fight another day…please do not tell me you’ve forgotten all your pre-auror training already!”
“James, calm down. I am fine! Moreover, no I did not forget. Was not something else they taught us was never to leave a man behind? I can think of countless times where you and Sirius were out pranking or out on duty and someone was caught. You never left each other behind and made sure the other got out aright. That is what I was trying to do. Didn’t help that your little friend over there decided it would be funny to send rocks down on top of me and then get in one of his little Darklighter friends to shoot me with an arrow.”
“He shot you with an arrow…where is that piece of scum!” James shouted as he looked around the cave.
“He is gone James. He left straight after.” Payton started as she stopped shouting at James as the pair calmed down. “Can we just get out of here? I want to lie down.” She finished as she turned to Leo and her sisters “You two alright?” she asked as she was almost blown over by Phoebe hugging her.
“I’d take that as a yes.” Leo laughed as he rounded the group up to orb back to the manor.
“Oh and that arrow you were wondering about,” Payton said to Piper and James, “it’s the one that piece of scum stuck me in the side with.”