The demon picked over the rubble of the burnt out high school, rummaging for any scraps that could be pawned off for a few bucks. Luck seemed to be with him as he caught a golden flash out of the corner of his eye. Grinning grotesquely, he hurried over and soon pulled out a trophy, a woman in a cheerleading outfit, arms raised with pompoms in her hands. Looking it over, he noticed the eyes moving. This might be magical, it ought to fetch a good price at the black market in San Francisco.
He then tucked his prize into a pouch, gathered a few bits of twisted metal and ran off into the night.
"I tell you, it's magickal. The eyes move for some reason," protested the demon.
"So the eyes move, so what," said the demon merchant. He noticed the patheticness of the creature before him and decided to cut the creature a break. Before he could get another word out, an old woman came forth.
"I must have this," she said, eyeing the trophy.
"Yes, milady. It is yours," said the demon, a wicked glint in its eyes. "For a price of course."
"Of course," she agreed. The Crone raised a hand and the demon quivered in pain and dropped the statuette it was holding before being destroyed by the Crone's fire. The female demon carefully stooped down and retrieved her prize. She sneered at the ash pile that was all that was left of the demon. "You have been paid in full. I do not require a receipt."
That said, the Crone turned to go back to her abode, other demons wisely stepping out of her way.The woman trapped in this statue may prove a useful pawn in gaining the child of the Charmed Ones.
A swirl of blue and white lights filled the hallway of a Victorian manor on Prescott Street. When the sparkles faded, two young men were left behind and they were arguing.
"I'm just saying I don't think I'll ever get used to orbing, Jes. It's nothing against you or whitelighters in general," said the slightly taller man. "Teleporting just kinda freaks me out a bit. No matter how cool it is like when Nightcrawler or the crews of the various Star Trek series do it. Seeing it happen in comics or on TV are one thing. Actually experiencing it is another matter entirely."
"Xan, dude, just chill. You're starting to sound like Dr. McCoy from the Original Star Trek series," replied his companion. "Anyhoo, we're here now. It's understandable that you want to spend time with your family for a bit after...what happened. And tomorrow, I'll be bringing Anya by. So just chill."
"You said that already," snarked Xander Harris, just before a group of people walked in.
"Xander, Jesse, welcome back," chirped the one in front, a mischievous-looking brunette. Behind her stood a taller, dark-haired man who placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Xander, how have you been? We heard what happened," said the other woman, her hair a lighter tone. A blonde man stood next to her.
"Hey guys. I'm...handling it. I think. Where's Paige?"
"She'll be by for dinner later. In the meantime, why don't you use Prue's old bedroom and take a nap. You kinda look like the dog's breakfast," replies Piper.
"Is that your way of saying I look like shit?"
"Yep. Better get used to it. Now move. Dinner's in two hours, so if you wanna rest before then, get your ass up there."
Xander gave a wry grin at his cousin's order and quickly went upstairs while his whitelighter turned to the others.
"How is he really, Jesse?" asked Leo.
"He's tough. This isn't the first time he's lost a loved one, but this is the first time she's died and he wasn't able to bring her back," replied the younger whitelighter. "I'll be bringing Anya tomorrow for a visit. I'm hoping she'll have good news."
"What do you mean good news?" asks Cole curiously.
"Well, they're going to try a spell to bring her back from the dead. It's gonna be difficult as it asks for divine intervention," says Jesse hesitantly.
"Oh really?" demands Piper shrilly. "And just how do they think they'll be able to do that? I've heard of such spells. Either the caster dies, or something goes horribly wrong with the one brought back. That's why we haven't tried it with Prue. I couldn't do that to her."
"I know. I doubt that they'll be able to gather the ingredients anyways. An Urn of Osiris is very hard to get. Not to mention the fact that Willow isn't strong enough for this kind of spell. She thinks she is, but she really is not. Xander is not happy with her right now."
"For all their sakes, I hope she fails to find the Urn," says Piper darkly.
The Crone examines the trophy she got in the Market. "Ahh. This should be easily reversed." She makes several gestures and mutters an incantation. The statue flashes briefly and then is replaced by a tall, brunette.
"Well, it's about time someone competent released me from my prison," she says arrogantly. "Now, who the hell are you?"
"Mind your tongue young lady. I am known as the Crone. It would be wise of you not to tempt fate. I can return you to your immobile state just as easily as I freed you from it," chides the old hag.
"I am Catherine. The most powerful witch in Sunnydale. Who are you to tell me what to do?"
"If you were so powerful, you would never have been transformed into that statue," began the Crone. "I tell you what to do as I am your liberator. Now, my dear, you do indeed have potential. I will train you to fully utilize your power. In return, you will kidnap the child of the Charmed Ones."
"Sounds like a fair deal to me. When do we begin?"