The Time Shifter (Published 11/99)
All characters in this story belong to Spelling Television and Constance Burge. with the exception of the Time Shifter that I created.
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Monday morning at Halliwell Manor and Piper was already in the kitchen making crepes for breakfast. It had been a quiet week with no demons to deal with or other magical problems.
Piper felt good because her club was on its feet and the bills were being paid. She called upstairs, "Prue, breakfast in five minutes. Please tell Phoebe, too." Piper went back to her chopped vegetables and meat.
Prue had not slept well. Claire had been on top of her all week. A large old estate had been received at Buckland's and all of the staff was overburdened cataloging and evaluating its pieces. She looked in Phoebe's room and her bed had not been slept in. Then she checked the attic and found Phoebe in the arms of a man. Prue thought it was Ricky Martin! Phoebe looked up startled and dropped him reciting the words, " Domum plexus sernenus voru." With that the phony singer vaporized and went between the covers of a PEOPLE magazine.
"What was that?" asked Prue. Phoebe, a little sheepishly, replied, "That was Ricky Martin. I found a spell to bring life to characters in photographs. It was real neat talking to all these famous people and they were very grateful to be brought to life. They gave me a lot of advice and I think I learned something. Maybe I would like to work with them and my idea is to..." Phoebe tried to justify herself.
Prue interrupted." You are taking advice from figments you conjured up and you won't listen to me, your own sister?"
"Well, I find the Book of Shadows real neat and with all the spare time I have, my mind starts to wonder and with all the possibilities with the Book, I get these ideas ..." said Phoebe.
"...that always gets you into trouble." Prue said finishing her sentence. "Phoebe, we have to watch what we do with our powers. You know what can happen. And I'm too late to give you a lecture, so let's get down to breakfast." Prue heard someone coming up the steps. It's Piper huffing, puffing and telling everyone that breakfast will start to get cold if they do not get down there.
"Pheebs, what have you been up to?" asked Piper.
"Making out with Ricky Martin," she explained with a little smile. Piper started to ask what she meant when Phoebe fell to the floor with a very painful premonition. "We're.....in.....serious.....trouble," she could barely get out. A swirling ball of light entered through the floor passing quickly over each of the sisters and entered Phoebe still lying on the floor in pain.
Phoebe stood up. Her eyes were glowing green and she had a wicked expression on her face. She pointed one hand a each sister, and green lighting came shooting out throwing each of them backwards. Piper tried to freeze Phoebe, but the whole attack was too quick for her to react. Her breath was knocked out of her. Piper expected to hit the attic wall. Instead, she found herself falling backwards down a long green tunnel lit by electric sparks and blue fireflies. She passed out without knowing where she was going.
Piper woke up in the arms of a man in bed. Her first reaction was, "Stop it! Stop it!"
It was Leo! He said, "I'm sorry, dear. Is your morning sickness bothering you, again?" Piper glanced at her hand and a wedding ring was on it, again. She responded with, "I was having a nightmare, Leo, and ...morning sickness?" She put her hand on her stomach and found she had a plump round belly and something moving around inside her. She must be carrying Melinda, thought Piper, but how did she get back into the future? Piper got out of bed to check out her surroundings. She was still living in the Manor like in her last trip to the future, but this time she is still living with Leo. Downstairs, she looked around and the house looked pretty much as she remembered in 1999. A calendar on the wall said that it was February 2003! On the mantelpiece was some of the pictures she remembered and a few of her and Leo's wedding pictures. But where were Prue and Phoebe? Didn't they come to her wedding? Were they mad at her or what?
Leo came into they living room and put his arms around her. "What's wrong, Piper? Are you still having nightmares about your sisters? They've been gone almost four years now," he said as tenderly as he could.
"What happened, are they dead?' panicked Piper.
"No," said Leo quizzically, "They have just been missing since you were attacked by that demon in the attic. Why don't you remember, Piper?"
The baby kicked again. Piper began slowly, "I do remember as if it just happened. In fact, the next thing I remember is waking up just now with you."
Leo looked closely at her, "You don't remember me finding you alone in the attic after the attack, us getting closer once you found you were the only surviving Halliwell, us getting MARRIED and now having our daughter? How did you get here and WHERE is my wife?" Now he had grabbed her with both hands and was obviously distraught.
Piper had no good explanation for him.
They sat down in the kitchen over coffee and tried to figure out the situation. Piper described how Phoebe became possessed and sent her hurling backwards, as was Prue, somehow sending her into her own future. "Neither I nor the other White Lighters know what happened to your sisters. They just disappeared from existence. We became very close and recently you wanted very much to have a couple of daughters named Phoebe and Prudence. We have had a very happy marriage. You have pretty much given up your magic after what happened. You have had a very hard time emotionally, though you've been better since you became pregnant with our daughter. I love you and our daughter so much." Leo concluded. He put his hand on her stomach and looked into her eyes lovingly.
"Whoa!" said Piper. "A lot has happened. Is there anything in the Book of Shadows that can help me, Leo?" asked Piper.
"You didn't find anything, but maybe with what we know now we can find something," Leo said trying to sound encouraging. He helped her up to the attic and she found the book in the same trunk that Phoebe first found it in several years before.
When they placed the book on the stand, it opened, flipped through many pages and rested on a passage describing a warlock. According to the Book Piper explained, he is a powerful warlock called the Time Shifter.
Unlike Prue's power that moves her adversaries through space, he sends his through time to other parts of their life. One hand could send them into the future and the other hand could send them into the past. "So Prue is trapped in her past somewhere or sometime. It must be before she had her powers or she would try to contact us. How do I go into the past without my powers? We have tried this before." she asked Leo. Then the Book did some more flipping to a spell that would create an amulet that could be used to travel in time. She HAD to find Prue and then stop the attack of the Time Shifter. Leo was adamant that she, the Piper from the past, would not take his wife's body and their child through time. "I know you feel like you must save your sisters, but you also might not come back and then your family and our marriage would be without a future. I love you very much and I DON'T want to lose you."
Piper replied with, "I've known we were to be together ever since I went into the future to save Phoebe. But, this is not my time. I truly, more than anything, want to get to this point, but I could never be happy knowing I didn't do anything to save my sisters. Besides if it works out, when it works out, your wife's world will be a much better place. So please. Let me go with your blessing and your wife or I will be back to you."
"All right, Piper, but you must promise to come back with our daughter. We have many happy years ahead of us still." Piper hoped that the last part would be true and made Leo the promise.
Making the amulet was not nearly as hard as determining where or rather when to go to. She could really use Phoebe's power now. Searching back through her own memory she tried to find a clue. Then she remembered back when she was nine, Prue playing a game with her pretending that she was from the future trying to save their adult selves. Prue was eleven at the time. Why would she be playing such a juvenile game at that age unless there was some truth in it? Since she would have to pick a date after she arrival Piper picked one after twelfth birthday, November 14, 1984. She could contact Prue as she was getting out of school about 2:30 on her way home. Leo helped her find some appropriate mid-eighties clothing and took her over to the school.
"I will miss you terribly, my dear, I love you so. Please be careful," pleaded Leo. Piper kissed him very passionately and told him that she couldn't wait till his future did come to pass and that it WOULD.
"Everything should take place as soon as I am gone by your reckoning of time." She held up the amulet, gave the destination date and disappeared.
"Godspeed Piper, wherever you are" was Leo's last thought.
Prue felt the same great force and fell through the same tunnel as Piper. She woke up in a seated position. She heard her name called, "Prudence, Prudence Halliwell, will you please wake up? This is social studies, not a slumber party."
"Where am I, what happened, where are Phoebe and Piper?" she said groggily.
"They are probably awake
at their own schools," said Mrs. Stephens. By now Prue was completely awake.
The whole class was laughing at her. "What was she doing back in her old sixth grade social studies class? Am I eleven years old again?" she thought and let out a scream causing a new wave of laughter.
Mrs. Stevens said, "It's seems you must not be feeling well, Miss Prudence, so why don't you head to the nurse's office?”
So Prue picked up her books and headed to the nurse's office. She was sure she could still remember the way. It was surprising how quickly she could become readapted to John Marshall Junior High School. Everything seemed bigger since she was several inches shorter than her adult height.
In the nurse's office she looked at herself, wearing some awful mid-eighties clothing trying to look sophisticated, several inches shorter and no figure whatsoever. The calendar in the office said May 1984. Some old music played on the radio that even pre-dated this era. The nurse told her that her grandmother was coming to get her. "Grams?" she thought.
Her Grandmother had been dead for almost two years. "Here and now she was a very active witch, and I have no powers since my mother had bound them. What a difference". Then her thoughts turned to her adult sisters. "What happened to them? Are they lost in time, too? Since I have traveled back in time, you would think any rescue would have occurred by now. If they knew where I was sent, they should rescue me immediately. Local time had no bearing in time travel. Since nothing has happened, I must find a way by myself. Only Grams or the Book of Shadows can really help me out of this predicament."
Back at home; she tried to tell Grams, but Grams was determined to protect her granddaughters as long as she lived. She just brushed off the pleas as the imagination of a pre-adolescent. Maybe she was going to have the power of premonition, thought Grams. "Now go and do your homework and you can play with Piper and Phoebe when they get home." Prue went up to the attic, and, just as she remembered, the door would not budge. Climbing on one of the trees she found that the windows were locked, too. So she went to her old room and started to work on her homework, or at least, her younger self's homework. She doesn't want to get her younger self in too much trouble or things might change too much. The work did come much easier to her the second time around.
Later Grams called her down to have some milk and cookies. First, she thought it was very juvenile, but being in this seemingly impossible situation, there was something comforting about eating Gram's oatmeal cookies in her kitchen with all its familiar smells and sounds. As she finished her last cookie, little Piper and Phoebe came in the door. "Grams, tell Pipa, I'm not poky,' cried little Phoebe, only five years old.
"You are always way behind me when we come home on the bus," whined little Piper, who was eight.
"Now girls," said Grams, "Piper, Phoebe is younger and you will have to wait a bit for her so she can catch up. Have some milk and cookies with Prudence and then get to your homework."
"How come you're home, Prue? You don't look sick," said Piper.
"Yeah," agreed Phoebe.
Prue answered," I just didn't feel like myself today. "
"Huh," replied little Piper, "You sound awful funny." Prue went upstairs and moped around her room. Later she looked through her diary and some other things she had thrown out years ago. She finally found herself holding her old teddy sitting on the bed never feeling so alone. Piper came in later. She had finished all of her homework and wanted to do something with her big sister. So they got all their dolls and started to play house and talk.
Finally Prue asked Piper, "Do you think Grams has any magical powers?"
Piper said, "Grams is full of magic. Watch me do a magic trick."
But all she did was some little kid's magic trick that didn't work. Then she tried to explain to Piper that she had come from the future and that she had to save each of them as adults. At first Piper was confused, and then she thought that was a wonderful game. She went to get Phoebe and Prue was disappointed at this turn of events. At least she was with her family and was loved. So off she went to play with her little sisters.
No help came. Prue finished the rest of the school year and her teachers remarked at the improvement in her grades and her scholarship. Not every sixth grader had the benefit of a college education. Two things she did differently this time.
She spent more time with her family and more time with Andy. Instead of being so critical, she was more nurturing and cherished every moment with them. Grams noticed how much she matured this year. And Andy, who was destined to die in another demon attack, got much more attention then Prue gave him in the sixth grade the first time around. Even though they weren't going together, she spent lots of time with him; however, he was more interested in playing with the guys. Prue and her family went to Yosemite in July and had a grand time. The whole experience was like Prue was on vacation, a very weird vacation. Even though she was reliving her life, she found that she could not change the small things, scrapes and the like since she could not always remember the exact time and place they occurred. All in all it was a wonderful summer. School started in the fall and Prue started the seventh grade. She tried to make all the same decisions she did the first time, but her memory was only so good. Try talking to girlfriends for hours at a level fifteen years younger than yourself. Her grades were better than the first time around, but she wasn't heading for class valedictorian. She had gotten closer to Andy and she did get him to take her to the Halloween Dance. Prue did steal one quick kiss.
Andy started to like the attention that Prue was giving him. As the leaves started to fall in early November, Prue had completely resigned herself to having to wait until 1999 to save here sisters. She was leaving her school with a girl - friend when she saw a familiar face waving at her from behind a tree. It was Piper, ALL GROWN UP! She excused herself from her girlfriend and ran over to the tree.
Piper said excitedly, "Prue, do you recognize me? Is that you? Do you remember being attacked in 1999?
Prue said," Yes, it is me, Piper. I know what you are talking about, but where have you been and what happened to you?"
"Try remembering a game we played when I was eight years old. You got thrown into the past. I got thrown into the future. This is my daughter Melinda I'm carrying. That's enough catch-up. We have to get out of here and save our future selves." With little hesitation Piper used the amulet one more time and they were back in 1999 the day before the attack.
THE FIVE HALLIWELL SISTERS
When they reached 1999, both of them were still in their borrowed bodies. It was late at night and they banged on the door of Halliwell Manor trying to get someone attention. It was Piper who answered the door half asleep and thinking she was looking in a mirror. "We have to talk Piper," said this young girl who looked a lot like Prue.
"You're going to be attacked early tomorrow by a time shifting warlock. We're the results of that attack." Not really yet contemplating the situation, they went upstairs, woke up Prue and went up to the attic. There was a lot of noise. It sounded like Phoebe was playing the CD player really loud. Actually, there was Phoebe singing with the Spice Girls with their band. Phoebe sent her singing group back in the magazine. The younger Prue told them not to worry about Phoebe, they had to take care of the warlock. Now the younger Prue and her sisters heard the whole story how each got ripped from their own time and stuck in another part of their life. If they can prevent the attack, then the two that survived the first attack would probably cease to exist and the Halliwells could continue their lives without interruption. The three 1999 sisters would have to deal with the demon, since they had the Halliwell powers. The older Piper and younger Prue would be there to help them watch and for sisterly support.
Time passed slowly and after the sun started to creep through attic windows, everyone became real tense. Suddenly Phoebe gets her painful premonition again. The others looked towards the attic floor. The ball of light again returns, but Phoebe had time to freeze it. "Now what, " asked the 1999 Piper.
"Send it to Hell," the younger Prue suggested. And after Phoebe recovered, the three Charmed Ones recited the incantation to send the Time Shifter to Hell. The ball of light faded and disappeared from view. "Success, " shouted the older Piper, "and thanks, sisters," as both the older Piper and younger Prue vanished.
None of the three sisters could remember anything that just happened including sending away the Time Shifter. Piper had just come up to tell them about the crepes being ready. "Let's go have some good breakfast, but leave your friends up here Phoebe. There's only enough for three!" said Piper. Everyone headed down the stairs in very good spirits.
It is February 2003 and Leo got back to his house after saying good-bye to the Piper from the past. Maybe White Lighters don't perceive time as others do. As he came in an expectant Piper called him in for a breakfast of crepes. Leo was overjoyed and Piper wondered about the loving reaction his husband gave to her announcement. "I loved you so and thought I might have lost you." cried Leo.
"Whoa, I'll have to make them more often. Now sit down and enjoy. And don't forget, Prue and Phoebe are coming home for dinner, so don't be late tonight." Leo just ate his breakfast starring at his beautiful family.