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Lonely Souls

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Waifs and strays". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The second (much longer) installment in the Waifs and Strays AU. Covers season 1. Please READ THE SERIES INTRODUCTION!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered(Current Donor)vidiconFR1598780,1331571488393,16928 May 115 Jul 14No

Watched Awakenings and Boring history

Author’s note:


I tried to upload some family trees but failed...what is the best method to upload a pitcure onto this forum? I feel no desire to type out all the familial realtionships again...Thanks in advance!
 

Full disclaimer at the end.

 

Chapter 29: Watched awakenings and boring history

 

Saturday dawned bright and clear. Cecilia was up before anyone else and started preparing breakfast, pressing oranges. She heard a giggle on the stairs from the first floor and a whispered “Simon!” and wondered if she should withdraw.

 

Joyce came in first, while Simon left through the front door. Joyce was dressed in a white sundress, and Cecilia noted in passing that Simon wore white slacks and a blue shirt.

 

“Mother.” Joyce eyed her mother and Cecilia returned her gaze calmly.

 

“Joy, good morning. Do you know when Charlotte will be here?”

 

“I think they wanted to leave early…but around eleven?”

 

“Very good…we’ll have nice long day.”

 

“Did you sleep well?”

 

“Not really…I had a lot to think about. A lot of worries.” Cecilia squeezed another orange.

 

“I see…”

 

“There are some things I need to tell you and your sisters…I’d like to wait until Arlene could be there as well…but I’ve decided I can’t…I’ll tell you and Lolly first…call Arlene when…Monday…after her maneuvers.”

 

“Very well mother.”

 

“Joy…I know you’re very angry…I know I don’t deserve it yet…but…I really don’t mind being called mom…” She looked down at her hands as she cut another orange.

 

Joyce’s mouth quirked. She eyed the huge pitchers of orange juice. She’d inherited her habits of kitchen work when she was nervous from her mother apparently. “I’ll consider it…mom.” She was surprised at seeing the relief and joy in her mother’s face.

 

“I’m so sorry Joy…I’ll be saying that a lot…I hope you don’t mind…”

 

“I can live with it…”

 

“You’ll also have to live with having a mother two years younger than she ever admitted to…”

 

 Joyce blinked. “I…hadn’t realized that yet.”

 

Cecilia smiled. “Well that will be one advantage of this…”

 

“You mean you’ll act your age?” James Ellis came up the stairs and into the kitchen. He looked at his wife and daughter, lightly kissed Joyce’s cheek and then grinned wickedly at Cecilia who eyed him warily.

 

“Jim…”

 

“I’m just reminded of something that Penny and Danni mentioned…” He suddenly backed her up against the fridge and kissed her, passionately. Joyce fell back from the island, wide eyed.

 

Cecilia was stiff with surprise at first but after some hesitation seemed to get into the kiss. Joyce gaped and barely noticed when Penelope came in, followed by Danielle.

 

“Dear me…” Penelope grinned.

 

Cecilia put a leg around James’ waist pulling him closer and Joyce started spluttering and getting red in the face.

 

Penelope cleared her throat. “CECE!! JIM!!”

 

James and Cecilia started apart, both flushing. “I’m sorry Cecilia…I got carried away…”

 

Penelope eyed Joyce thoughtfully…”Joyce…have you been worried about your mother and  father…staying together?”

 

Joyce nodded. “A bit…I was afraid…all this…” She gestured vaguely. 

 

“I see…” Penelope grinned.

 

James eyed the still furiously blushing and somewhat mussed Cecilia. Then he grinned broadly. “I don’t suppose I can convince you that we’re on the brink of divorce?”

 

“DAD!!” “JIM!” Mother and daughter glared at him and crossed their arms in identical fashion. Penelope and Danielle laughed. James merely looked smug.

 

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Piper woke feeling both rested and watched. When she opened her eyes a redhead of fifteen or sixteen sat on the bed tailor fashion, elbows on her knees, chin resting on her hands looking at her.

 

“Good morning Willow.”

 

“Good morning Piper.”

 

“If you don’t mind me asking…what’s your relationship to Joyce?”

 

“Foster daughter…and cousin.” The red head leaned forward conspiratorially. “Don’t tell Nana I told you…but she did the naughty one drunken night with your Great Uncle Gordon…hence my mom.” Willow blushed slightly as she spoke.

 

Piper giggled. “Oh lord…Old people sex…”

 

Willow giggled too. “Well…young people sex a long time ago…”

 

“Sooo…How long have you been here?”

 

“Since Mom and Buffy moved here from LA…beginning of the school year…I got fostered here officially yesterday.”

 

Piper blinked. “Woah…that’s…”

 

Willow smiled wanly. “Fresh…yeah.”

 

Piper rose from her camp bed and sat by the younger girl. “Well...I don’t know why you’re here…but it sure looks like they love you.” She blinked at the enormous smile that lit up the redhead’s face.

 

“Yeah…they do.”

 

Piper rose, scratching her side between her bottoms and top and grinned. “So…where’s the toilet in this here burg?”

 

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Phoebe umphed as something landed on top of her. A set of curious blue eyes in a curious little face gazed at her. “Heya.”

 

“Hey. I’m Dawn. In case you forgot.”

 

“I didn’t. I’m Esmeralda.”

 

“No you’re not…You’re Phoebe.”

 

“See? It’s not that difficult to remember a name even over night…”

 

Dawn stuck out her tongue. Phoebe wriggled. “Would you mind getting off me? I need to go to the bathroom.”

 

“Sure.” Dawn got up, Phoebe did as well. Then she stared at a large photo on the wall. “Hey cool, you’ve got that picture of Baryshnikov and the little girl, I’ve got that too…” She looked closer and then swallowed, looked at Dawn and then the photo. Dawn grinned.

 

“Muh…” Phoebe pointed at the photo.

 

“Yeah…that’s me. Cool no?”

 

“Muh…”

 

“Y’okay….why don’t I take you to the bathroom and push you under the shower.”

 

“Muh…”

 

“This way Phoebe…”

 

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Prue woke up feeling incredibly rested and stretched her arms above her head. As she opened her eyes she saw a mussed blonde head look at her, its green-blue eyes mustering her thoughtfully.

 

“Well…we weren’t really introduced yesterday…I’m Buffy.”

 

“Prue. Prudence. “ She grimaced. “Both our parents’ hated us?”

 

“I swear mine were high on drugs.” Buffy nodded her agreement as to the unfairness of naming.

 

“So…those things last night?”

 

“Vampires…yeah.”

 

“And what Grams did?”

 

“Magic…yeah. My Gran doing it was a surprise too…”

 

“Your Gran is my great aunt…” Prue looked around the room and saw the picture on the dresser. “Hey! You skate?”

 

Buffy shook her head. “Used ta…had to give it up…”

 

“Injuries?”

 

“I became the Slayer.” The words were softly spoken and Prue felt that there was far more behind the simple words than just giving up skating.

 

“Oh…so can you tell me about magic?”

 

“Not really…You’d better ask Simon…or Willow. He’s training her to be a witch. Or Amy, she’s a friend, he’s training her too…Or Giles…He’s my Watcher, but he’s more into the whole Slayer history thingy.”

 

“Ah…ummm…those guys who ran to help us?”

 

“Bodyguards. Simon’s like really rich.”

 

Prue blinked. “Oh…how rich?”

 

“Ummm…I don’t exactly know…but mom is really, really excited, like over the moon excited about his art collection. He owns Rembrandts and stuff.”

 

Prue barely held in a squeal. “Oh my God…that’s so awesome!”

 

Buffy grinned and rolled her eyes. “Yep…you’re related to mom….want to flip for who gets the shower first? Or shall we say age before beauty.”

 

Prue’s eyes narrowed in mock outrage. “Why you…” She jumped on the bed, ready to tickle Buffy into submission. Buffy calmly intercepted her attack, pinned Prue’s arms over her head with one hand and administered a tickle of her own to Prue’s lower ribs. Prue squealed and tried to get away. Buffy relentlessly continued. Prue continued squealing.

 

The door opened and Dawn and Phoebe looked in. Dawn grinned up at her cousin. “See…I told you it wasn’t Buffy squealing…She sounds like a piglet.” Buffy glared at her youngest sister.

 

Phoebe nodded at Dawn. “Yup…you were right…Prue sounds more like a whole hog…So Buffy…is there room for more on that bed?” She grinned evilly at Prue.<br> <br>

Prue glared. “Phoebe…don’t you dare!”

 

Buffy reached into the older girl’s side and Prue wiggled and squealed again. Buffy looked at Phoebe with unholy glee in her eyes.

 

“Plenty of room.” Phoebe grinned and approached the bed, fingers wriggling. Prue started moaning even before her youngest sister got there.

 

Willow and Piper heard the pleas for mercy as they stepped into the arch passage. Piper cocked her head. “That sounds like Prue…” She grinned. “Someone is tickling Prue!” She hurried off, Willow following in confusion. Piper entered Buffy’s bedroom at a run.

 

Prue saw her entry and tried to crawl up the bed. “Piper! No! No! Buffy! Please! PLEASE!!”

 

Piper chuckled wickedly. “It is time for vengeance Prudence Victoria!”

 

Phoebe made room and laughed. “Watch the expert at work guys!”

 

Prue desperately tried to escape Buffy’s hold, but Willow and Dawn helped hold her down.

 

Prue started shuddering as Piper found every ticklish spot she’d discovered in the years living with her sister.

 

 “PIPER!!EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!”

 

 

 

Penelope stood at the bottom of the stairs with a huge smile on her face. She carefully wiped a tear out of her eye. Cecilia stood next to her. “They don’t get along very well?”

 

“Prue and Phoebe…they haven’t acted like this in years…”

 

“They were afraid they’d lost you…Penny…you look…good…young.”

 

“Let’s just say I’m vastly improved…Simon used a Wizard’s Node…the local spirits apparently thought I needed a bit of help…Danielle looks even better. I understand exactly what Gordon saw in her looking at her and Willow.”

 

“Ah…Gordon?” Cecilia’s voice was hesitant and frightened.

 

Penelope smiled sadly. “He died in ’71…killing the Witch Hunter.”

 

“Gordon killed the Witch Hunter?” Cecilia looked astonished. “Goddess…”

 

“He was protecting his daughter…Sheila Moritz…”

 

Cecilia winced. “Ouch…”

 

“Yes…not a good thing for the first Meier-Johnson lineage crossing…” Cecilia winced again.

 

“So…how do we tell the girls?”

 

“Well…Willow and Amy, that’s Amy McGonagall, are being trained by Simon…So I thought I’d let him tell the whole thing. Start at the Great Divide and work from there…or something…”

 

Cecilia giggled at another huge giggling scream of “PIPER! NOOOOOOO!!!” from upstairs. “Or something…Penny…I’m ever so glad to see you again.” She gave Penelope a hug and then suddenly tickled her older sister in the sides. Penelope squealed, much like Prue.

 

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When the younger generation finally made it downstairs, washed and dressed Prue glared at all of the others. “That was so unfair! All of you picked on me just because I’m the oldest!”

 

“And the bossiest.” Phoebe stuck out her tongue.

 

“And the crankiest,” Piper chimed in.

 

“And the noisiest…I’m certain you hit a high C up there.” Willow grinned.

 

“You’re very pretty though. “Dawn said consolingly

 

“But I’d see if you can have something done about the snoring.” Buffy added evilly.

 

Prue had been spluttering at each remark but the last one got her attention. “I DO NOT SNORE!!!”

 

Joyce voice came out of the kitchen. “Buffy Anne are you teasing your sawmill, err I mean cousin?”

 

Prue huffed and entered the kitchen. Penny was grinning widely and winked at her eldest grand daughter who grinned back a little sheepishly.

 

“They got you good Prue…”

 

“Yeah…but it took all of them together!”

 

Buffy stepped behind her. “Did it now?” She said sweetly, reaching for Prue’s hands.

 

Prue gulped and raised her hands in defeat.. “C-can I just say Uncle now?”

 

Buffy picked up a bagel, grinning. “Yeah, I’m hungry anyway.”

 

“Sounded like some expert tickling…” Penelope looked at the giggling cousins. Prue glared at her but it was obvious her heart was not in it as her mouth kept twitching.

 

“Naaahh. She avoided the real expert.” Dawn stated blandly.

 

“Oh? Who’s the real expert then?” Penelope eyed Joyce who grinned but shook her head..

 

Xander had emerged from the basement to stand behind Prue and placed two fingers at her lowest ribs and flicked lightly. Prue squealed. Xander smirked.

 

Dawn pointed her thumb at him. “Right there.”

 

Prue glared at Xander who waggled his eyebrows. “Just you wait Xander…just you wait…”

 

Xander sketched a bow. “For you, fair Cousin Prudence, an eternity.”

 

To her great embarrassment Prue blushed.

 

Piper grinned and spread jam on her croissant. “So…magic?”

 

Penelope and Danielle looked at Simon who absently prevented Willow from grabbing a fist sized hunk of cheddar and handed her a bowl of cut fruit and yoghurt instead. Willow pouted.

 

“If you don’t mind…I’ll wait until my other apprentice gets here.” He smiled at them. Which gives you some actual talking time… 

 

 

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Penelope nervously sat at the table, her three granddaughters facing her. “Well…lets get this over with…You three are very powerful witches. When you were very young I had to bind your powers and remove your memories of them, Prue and Piper…because a powerful enemy was out to kill you…more than one really.” She sighed. “I’m going to tell you something you won’t like…the three of you may be a group of witches whose birth was foretold centuries ago called the Charmed Ones. Prophesied to do great good, vanquish great evil.”

 

Prue smirked. “Cool.”  

 

“Your mother was a witch too Prue…and she died performing her duties. And she could’ve died much earlier if she hadn’t had help.” Penelope said sharply. Prue gulped. Penelope reached across the table and took her oldest granddaughter’s hand comfortingly.

 

“It’s not a very safe thing to do, being an instruments of the Powers that Be…The Charmed Ones are supposed to make a difference to the Battle in a way nobody is quite sure off…But the Charmed Ones’ great power rests upon their ability to work together…” She looked at the three young women. “Which is not a talent the three of you have been showing a lot lately…”

 

Prue and Phoebe glared at each other. “It’s not my fault! She started it!” They spoke in near unison and Piper and Penelope exchanged glances.

 

“There…you see…that’s what I mean…I-I had been planning to strip you of your powers, despite the risks…to keep you safe. Because without cooperating…and with your powers…you’d all very soon be dead. Which I’m not willing to risk.”

 

The three young women grew very pale and looked at each other. Prue looked at Piper who shrugged, Phoebe looked uncertain. “We…we need to think about this…”

 

“Yes…you should consider yourselves lucky…you are getting a chance to choose. Buffy was Chosen for her task against her will or knowledge. Now…” She rose. “I’m going to get Cece to show me those embarrassing baby pictures of Joyce that she lugged along…”

 

The three younger Halliwell’s grinned. “That should be fun…we can see some of Buffy’s too…And Dawn’s.”

 

“Yes…Remind me to bring your albums next time I go here…” Penelope said blandly.

 

Prue made a strangled little noise. Piper groaned. Phoebe sighed mournfully.

 

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There was the sound of a car in the road and Dawn ran to the door, followed by Buffy. Willow and Xander followed more sedately. But only slightly. Joyce smiled and followed.

 

Prue, Piper and Phoebe stood in front of the window and saw Dawn jump into Celia’s arms, Buffy hug Charlotte and Willow and Xander being affectionately greeted by Harry.

 

Piper sighed. “They look…close.”

 

“Yeah.” Piper sighed too. “Think we’ll ever really fit in?” She sounded wistful.

 

Joyce, standing in the door turned and grinned. “Of course you will. C’mon I’m sure they’re very eager to meet you.” She gestured imperatively and the three girls followed with some hesitation.

 

Celia looked up from hugging Buffy and saw the three young women. “Hey…I’m Celia.” She let go and went over to hug the three of order of age. Charlotte followed quickly. She blinked when her own mother, standing at the end of the line, hugged her and then Joyce as well.

 

“I love you both so much…”

 

Charlotte gave her mother an astonished look. “M-mom? Are you alright?”

 

“No dear…I haven’t been possessed by anything demonic…I’ve just been show a few of the nastier facts about my life…” She put a hand to Charlotte’s face and then Joyce’s. “It’s hard for me to remember that you’re both grown…no longer my babies…I’ve tried to control you for far too long…I’m so sorry…”

 

Charlotte’s jaw dropped and she looked at Joyce who shrugged. Charlotte let fall a heartfelt “Holy shit.”

 

Cecilia raised an eyebrow. “My new found laissez faire attitude does not extend to swearing dear…”

 

Charlotte blushed. Cecilia grinned at Penelope. “Now this is my older sister Penny…aunt Penny…meet your youngest niece, Charlotte.”

 

Charlotte looked at the woman before her with slight trepidation. “Ummm…”

 

“Oh stop being scared dear.” Penelope dragged the woman into a hug and then Celia. “Now…Cecilia brought a number of huge books…and she promises me they’re chock full of the cutest pictures ever…Double the fun with twins…”

 

Joyce and Charlotte winced. 

 

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Joyce groaned as her mother dug out the third huge tome of photographs and drawings collectively known as The Books. She’d made them for all three of her daughters but never had there been such attention riveted upon them.

 

All the women had coed at her baby pictures…even her daughters…admittedly she and Lolly had been cute…but still…she felt it was excessive. So did Charlotte, who had, due to her more outgoing and tomboyish nature, rather more embarrassing pictures taken of her.

 

And yet… she’d never seen her mother so…relaxed. And to her intense surprise she knew the story behind every picture, knew every part Joyce, not just Charlotte had played in every school play, from third sheep to second shepherd. Every line she’d hesitantly uttered seemed engraved upon her mother’s mind. Every report card was carefully preserved in an envelope pasted to a page.

 

She’d never realized just how proud Cecilia was of her until she heard her mother talk to her sister about the things she’d done. If this was her power at work…she could live with being a Mother. 

Charlotte had noticed it as well and kept grinning. The estrangement between her mother and her twin had been a weight on her for years. Things were looking good. Except for the fact that Simon tended to grin at her a lot and kept humming…that boded ill…

 

“And this was when Joyce was ten and we got her her first glasses…” Cecilia looked askance at her daughter and Joyce winced.

 

Willow squealed. “Aaaawwww. Mom you were so cute!”

 

Joyce groaned and looked at Simon. Who stifled a laugh.

 

Buffy laughed. “Cute as a button…yes.”

 

Willow looked thoughtful. “I wonder if I would’ve been that cute with glasses…”

 

Joyce took of her steel rims and put them on Willow’s nose. Willow crossed her eyes. “Wow…mom…errr…”

 

“Yes dear…I know…blind as a bat.”

 

Danielle smiled and took her own horn rims from her purse. “Mine give me a head ache now…I think I need a new prescription. But you look cute as a button too dear.”

 

There was a knock on the doorjamb and Amy stood there, looking shy and confused taking in the huge mass of people in the room. “Errr…should I leave?”

 

Joyce shook her head after a quick glance around the room. “No Amy…I think I’d quite like to hear how Simon instructs his apprentices…”She grinned wickedly at the blonde who blushed.

 

Joyce looked around, mustering the family. “We’ll have Simon tell us over lunch…I think we can all use a bite to eat.” She rose and bumped into the table. A giggling Willow returned her glasses.

 

Amy looked at the photo and grinned. “Wow Ms. Summers…you were really cute!” Joyce groaned and fled into the kitchen.

 

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Lunch was served outside under Dawn’s tree. After the first pangs of hunger and thirst were sated and slaked Simon sat back and looked pensively at his cup. Xander groaned. “Oh, its his Deep Think look…this is going a to take a while…” Willow elbowed him in the side.

 

“Xander! I’ve been wanting to hear stuff like this for weeks! Shut up!” She hissed. The adult witches gave her an amused smile.

 

Simon grinned. “I’ll try and keep it moderately exciting Xander…Well now…Magic. Boring as it may sound, it may be wise to talk a bit about theory first.” Simon took a sip of tea and winked at Xander who groaned.

 

“There are two types of magic; External and Internal, sometimes called Earth and Spirit. External refers to power that is taken from one’s surroundings; Internal is taken from one’s own font of inner strength. Each person has an amount of power he or she can draw from these sources. Many people can use only one type, most people have such a weak ability that only rigorous training or ritual aid allows them to use magic at all. Someone in whom the talent of magic does reside but who cannot tap into it is called a Latent…someone who has no power or so little it can not be activated…such a person is called a Normal. Most people on earth fall in the last category. Clear so far?” He looked around and saw agreeing nods.

 

“Both types of power are released by an act of will…but this will may be directed and released in different ways.

 

Now we get down to the nitty-gritty… The most usual is ritual magic, with the use of spells and incantations. Most people can do this to achieve small effects; more powerful adepts can cause greater effects. The creation of potions is a ritual whereby the power of the witch is used to activate and combine the ingredients for instance.” 

 

He glanced around again. “The second method is by use of a patron…a spirit of some sort who grants greater power than the adept otherwise might channel. This is also fairly common and often combined with rituals. The most powerful adepts refuse to use this method, not wanting to be beholden to any power but themselves. All other types of magic can be combined with a patron but not always without risk.” Another glance showed the thoughtful faces of the younger witches.

 

“The third method is the pure release of will…even if it is usually accompanied by a gesture or a word, or even the use of a focus item, in many cases that is not needed, just habit. This is an ability of the most powerful magic users…those who can use magic without words but with mere thought.

 

The fourth is the use of a focus device to channel once power, such as a wand, ring or amulet. Wands are the most common among those who use this method. Most of these require a spell as well, to focus the mind.”

 

Amy cleared her throat. “So…why don’t we use these focus thingies? All I’ve seen are rituals and spells…”

 

Simon nodded approvingly. “I’ll get to that a bit later…suffice it to say that there are…philosophical differences between the Channellers, those who call upon their abilities without a focus, and the focus users. Now…lets delve a bit into the types of power in this room…”

 

He looked at Halliwell girls sitting on a padded garden bench. “The Spirit or internal power runs strong in certain families, these are called blood witches. They all have certain powers that tend to run in the family such as telekinesis or the ability to temporarily stop time or otherwise affect the molecular level. The Warren House, of which you represent the Halliwell, Ellis and Abrahams lineages are one such House. These powers are greater than that of many other spirit witches…and grow more powerful with time…but they are also the reason why these families are quite often the target of attacks by the supernatural.”

Prue, Piper and Phoebe looked thoughtful, Willow excited and Buffy and Dawn ambivalent.

 

Simon turned to Amy. “Blood powers are those connected to a certain non human heritage: unnatural charisma for many descended of the Tuatha de Danaan or the goblins’ skills with metals. Certain demon species also interbreed with humanity and these too can grant certain abilities. This is a rare power as the abilities tend to go dormant the further the distance in time from the intermingling of the blood lies and few of these races now choose to intermingle with mankind.”

 

Xander raised a hand. “So long ago goblin-y sex equals less power?”

 

“Yes…”

 

The teens gave him a collective glare. “Then why don’t you just say so!” Buffy grinned at Simon’s put upon expression. He sipped his tea and continued, now looking between Willow and Amy.

 

“Earth powers, or nature powers can be called upon by most adepts but in differing amounts. The powerful earth power users are the strongest of all magic users. Earth power is difficult to call upon in great quantities using a focus so most of those who use the external power are Channelers.”

 

Piper spoke up. “So we three.” She gestured at herself and her sisters. “Are spirit users…or could be…” She looked at her grandmother who nodded.

 

“Talents can be repressed or completely removed…but that is a dangerous thing since it can permanently affect the adept physically and psychologically. It’s only really safe in the very young, those below the age of puberty. They can be removed at a later time by burning them out. That of course has relatively little effect on those whose powers were earlier repressed.”

 

Three pairs of eyes turned towards Penelope who looked down at her intertwined fingers. The eyes turned back to Simon.

 

“Those are a few basics…now we get to history. Around the year 75 of the Current Era a group of men began a campaign to lead the War against the darkness…for this purpose they tried to gain control of the most constant and probably important Champion of the Light, the Slayer…They set up an organization that exchanged information, sought out Potentials and fought rivals who sought to lead instead and annihilated them…which eventually brought them into conflict with the group that actually led the War…the Wizards.”

 

“Ummm…you mentioned those before…when…” Willow looked apologetically at Buffy.

 

“I was angry with Giles, yes. The Wizards…we know very little about them. They had great control over magic and current belief among scholars of the mystical is that they were capable of all types of magic, both Earth and Spirit and all the forms of performing it. They lived much longer than normal humans…at least according to the legends. At any rate the Watchers, for that is what they called themselves, gathered as allies magic users who were not Wizards, demons, anything and anyone to give them an edge…this was called the Wizards’ War.

 

It was more a campaign of murder and assassination than an actual war as I understand it…but it was successful. The power of the Wizards was broken. The few remaining ones were destroyed over the following centuries. Their actual value to the cause of Light was not really realized until the great Demon war…Ravan the Young, the Last Wizard, was slain at the Battle of the Indus, destroying the Demon Shamans of the Mongol army… in 1221…and the Hellgates opened…all of them.”

 

Buffy swallowed heavily, her eyes wide open. Simon gave her an encouraging smile. “For a three days thousands of demons flowed into the world…until the Gates closed again, apparently by an act of the Powers…the list of Slayers does not include all those who died during that time…but there apparently were dozens, if not more…some lasting only as long as a minute.”

 

Joyce put an arm around Buffy who was breathing shallowly and looked ready to bolt. The Halliwell sisters looked at her in shock.     

 

Phoebe swallowed. “And here I was thinking it might be fun being a Slayer, if it allowed me to tickle Prue…”

 

Buffy smiled a bit bitterly. “Yeah, well…great power and all…”

 

Cecilia who sat on her other side hugged both her daughter and granddaughter.

 

Simon decided that continuing might be best. “At any rate after the Wizards’ War the Council and adepts grew apart…the Watchers became ever closer to the Catholic Church and the Church did not approve of magic…and this prejudice extended to other nations’ Watchers as well.”

 

“That however, was not the greatest problem…the greatest problem was that the adepts started to split into two factions along the lines of their casting method. Channelers versus focus users. Earlier the Wizards had kept the rivalry in check but now that balance was gone. And it led to war.”

 

Phoebe looked stunned. “War? Over the way you cast spells?”

 

Simon nodded. “It was a philosophical difference…you see, by using a wand, as most focus users do, you empower your spells greatly…even the least powerful magic users can perform quite considerable feats that way, including short range teleportation, which is far beyond most Channelers.

 

But such use of magic is draining…and it taxes the Spirit excessively, leading to a dangerous imbalance if used too often. And the focus users…use it often, for things that wiser magic users would never use it for. Things that can, and should be done by hand, if you will. The Channelers objected…and were defeated. In the sixth century the two groups split, that’s called The Great Divide, the Focus users casting the Channelers out…and then they started to improve their lives… Using magic for everything, draining themselves and the magical environment.”

 

“And what effects did that have?” Piper asked.

 

“Well…there were two…one environmental and one social…The environmental effect was that they plundered the magical resources of Earth…the dragons, the hippogriffs, the magical creatures, everything was used to advance their culture…hundreds of species became extinct, thereby lessening the ambient magical field of the earth since magical creatures both use and generate more magic than normal creatures. And they drew more magic from certain places than was safe, causing disruptions in the natural world, from droughts to earthquakes. This was eventually recognized and caused the second major breach in the tenth century, when a large number of Focus Users joined the Channelers.”

 

Xander blinked. “Wow…earthquakes…droughts…”

 

Willow bounced up and down on her seat. “Dragons! Ooohhh…Do unicorns exist as well?”

 

“Yes…they do…and yes, I’ll show them to you one day.” Simon winked at Willow who was almost beside her self with excitement.

 

Danielle looked at Penelope and Cecilia. “Simon…are you having us on…Dragons? Unicorns? Why haven’t we seen them then?”

 

“Because most of them are hidden under the Statute of Secrecy and therefore under permanent Veiling spells…”

 

“Statute of Secrecy?” Piper asked.

 

“We’ll get to that…” Simon grinned at her placatingly as as she was about to ask another question.

 

“Now, Xander’s question…Magic is a part of the world…it’s in all things and things deteriorate quickly if their magic is drained faster than they can replenish it…it’s like damming a river…look up the Aral sea to see what that can do. That is the primary environmental effect…though I think there are certain psychological effects of Focus use which need further study. ”

 

Danielle nodded. “Yes…that would explain a few things…” Penelope looked thoughtful.

 

Simon took a sip of his tea and refilled his cup. Xander reached for a sugared donut and all three Halliwells, Buffy and Amy reached for the same jelly filled one, which led to a short scuffle. Willow’s innocent exit to the kitchen was intercepted by Joyce and the pouting redhead faux sniffled. Simon grinned and put a small tin on the table and pushed it towards her. Willow opened it and her eyes widened.

 

“What are these?”

 

Cheese cookies…real ones.”

 

Willow happily fell nibbling. After the third cookie Joyce confiscated the tin and Willow started pouting again.

 

Joyce gave Simon a weary look. “You just had to introduce her to another cheese delicacy?”

 

“Sorry love…” Simon grinned unrepentantly. He noticed several others tried the cookies as well, despite Willow’s proprietary glares.

 

“Well…on from cookies…the social consequences were considerable. The excessive use allowed the focus users to advance far beyond the technological level of the surrounding areas, with light and heat and comforts unknown to the common man, which led to jealousy, anger, fear and hate. Their ability to travel further and faster, their extended lifespan by pulling magic from the surrounding area, caused even greater trouble. They used magic for their own purposes but refused to help their normal neighbours and rulers, considering themselves better than all of them…just as they consider themselves better than Channelers. They assumed the title of Wizard for their male members in the sixth century by the way…and don’t consider most women to be equals to most males. They are called Witches.”

 

Prue snorted. “Sounds like a lovely bunch of people…”

 

“Utterly delightful. The Normals declared war on all magic users and the Council of Watchers aided the Normals in an attempt to gain control of the Magic users. Both groups suffered, but the Focus users always had an advantage over the Channelers since their wand use allowed them to use their offensive and defensive abilities more easily and even the weakest of them was able to do things that even the strongest Channeler could only do with a great deal of difficulty. The war caused great damage and thousands died…

 

The Focus users became more careful but the damage was done: everybody knew about them. And this eventually, several centuries later, led to the International Statute of secrecy…the focus users call it the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and live under the impression they enforce it…the covens do most of that. They’ve always been better at subtle magic, such as misdirection and aversion and setting up wards. The Focus users are more like brick in a sock to the head.” 

 

Cecilia giggled. Joyce and Charlotte looked at her as if she’d grown an extra head. “An apt description from the wand users I’ve met…No subtlety what so ever.”

 

“The statute was officially ratified in 1692. At any rate, it was another nail in the coffin of the relationship between the Covens and the Focus users, since the Focus users tried to implement it unilaterally… which led to another war. Not because the Channelers were opposed…but because they refused to bow to the Focus users.”

 

“Okay..every time you say focus user, Grams twitches…Grams?”  Piper looked at her grandmother who sighed.

 

“It’s just…most of us are less polite in our terminology…the focus users are…xenophobic, discriminatory and derogatory towards everyone who’s not part of their society…so we tend to react to that…I’ve had…less than pleasant experiences with them, so I tend to think of them in other terms…”

 

The Halliwell sisters exchanged grins. “We’ll want to hear some of those later.”

 

“Yes…well to carry on…” Simon eyed the older Witch. “After the discovery of America hundreds of Channellers left Europe to settle here…which meant that that Wand users had Europe to themselves, which led them to believe they were alone and premier in the world of magic…they founded an academy for the training of Focus users in Salem…which led to the Salem Witch Trials…The numbers of Channellers in the New World were much greater in comparison to the Focus users and they refused to let their Spirit using children attend the academies…which led to even greater inbreeding among the Focus users than in the Eurasian landmass.”

 

Penelope snorted. “It’s a miracle they can walk and chew gum at the same time…”

 

Simon grinned at her. “Well…the greater numbers in Europe mean they are slightly less inbred…”

 

Joyce gave him a look, and they glanced around the room. “Oh yeah…we should talk…”

 

Simon coughed. “Trust me…compared to the intermarrying of the Focus users, this is nothing. Most of their conflicts are about it these days: If pure blooded families should intermarry with commoners. It would have been unthinkable for a family like mine with such power and influence not to be a Pureblood family.”

 

“Seriously? These people have a hang up or two…” Phoebe grinned.

 

“More than two.” Simon added dryly. “The last century or so, as the numbers of Channellers increased the numbers of Focus users has decreased…and they’ve become more erratic. The whole superiority thing has led to major conflicts,  the biggest of which they call the Global Wizarding War. It also inspired our War of the Five…but where ours lasted less than two hours after the fighting began, Wanding society is so divided, disturbed and backwards it took them years.”

 

“Backwards?”

 

“They don’t have technology…they’re convinced that magic and technology won’t mix…which they don’t if you point a wand at something and shout for it to turn on. And since some of my more scientifically minded colleagues swear that we are merely manipulating the universe on a Quantum mechanical level when we perform magic…”

 

Willow started bouncing again. “Oooh! Oooh! Tell me more!”

 

Simon shrugged. “I can’t. I don’t understand it very well…I can show you some thought experiments and such, a few papers, or have them sent here at any rate…I once made a joke about adepts being responsible for the third variant of Schrödinger’s cat, by grabbing its tail and swinging…half those present started discussing it as a viable option and departed to find a cat and a box…and the other half turned on me for animal abuse.”

 

“You’d swing a cat?!” Willow was obviously upset and Simon put two fingers to the bridge of his nose.

 

“No…no more than I’d put one in a box…unless I’d have to take it to the vet…”

 

“Can we get a cat? Please mom?” Willow looked at her mother with large bright eyes and Joyce sighed. Dawn made little noise and joined her older sister in looking hopeful. 

 

“No. Simon, stop putting ideas in their heads…”

 

“Err…I’ll try…anyway, the Wand Wank…err…Focus users.” The older witches guffawed at Simon’s slip but Joyce glared. The Halliwell sisters grinned a little. Simon continued as if he’d not slipped up.

 

 “The Focus users seem to have failed to grasp the point that the large amounts of magical nergy, disrupts the flow of machinery, electricity, unless properly harnessed…this means that despite the fact that several magical areas lie in Central London numerous high tech driven organizations are entirely undisturbed by what lies around, beneath and above them…this has not given the Focus users pause for thought.

 

The problem is that they are incapable of imagining that anything invented by Muggles, as they call Normals, can be better than anything invented by them, or their society. The Covens however believe that if Normals became aware of Wanding society now, with the Focus Users lack of understanding of modern technology…that the Wanding World would last less than a week before they were utterly defeated.”   

 

Amy rubbed her chin. “Wow…so are all of us descended from the Channellers?”

 

“Well, both…as I said there were a number of divisions…you’re descended of House McGonagall…Joyce is a member of House Warren, the Lineage of Johnson, Magical society reckons these things either through the female line, for Wicca, or the oldest magical line generally speaking.”

 

Penelope chuckled. “And that brings us to the question…What would your House name be, if you and Joyce did marry? And followed the old ways?”

 

Simon looked uncomfortable. “I’d really rather not…”

 

“Oh come now Simon…it can’t be that bad…Winklepink? Dabsonbody? Hufflepuff? Malfoy? You certainly have the sneakiness of one…” Penelope grinned at him. “And I do have a right to know…I’m family after all…” Cecilia laughed, as did Penelope.

 

“Death.” Simon’s voice was very quiet.

 

The older witches fell silent. “Death…H-House Thanatos?” Danielle squeaked in an almost perfect imitation of Willow.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Goddess…what lineage?”

 

“Death. From eldest son to eldest son.”

 

Penelope gulped. “And you had a vasectomy?”

 

Simon raised an eyebrow. “Well that was information that needed to be shouted across the table…but yes…I felt that the family did not deserve to continue…looking at my father.”

 

“But…House Death?”

 

Willow raised her hand. “Errr…probably stupid…but what’s so special about having a really creepy family name?”

 

Danielle shook herself. “It’s probably the oldest known magical family in the world…I thought it was extinct…”

 

“Yes well…enough people tried to eradicate us over the centuries that I’d like to keep it that way…”

 

Danielle gulped. “Oh. Yes of course.” She rose and hugged Willow. “By all means let’s keep it quiet…”

 

Simon looked at the clock. “Well…I think I’ve talked enough. Unless there are questions?” He looked around. Willow and Danielle looked shocked and frightened, though Willow was more scared because Danielle was. Strangely enough Cecilia looked almost as scared and James looked decidedly worried.

 

 “Well then I’m going shopping…anyone want anything? And yes Willow, we do have enough cheese…even for you.” Willow pouted and reached for the tin of cheese cookies.

 

 

End note:

 

Harry Potter and the Wanding Wizardry world are the property of J.K. Rowling, inconsistencies and highly objectionable morality included.

 

A fairly long chapter, but a large part of it is talking heads. (or head, it being Simon) covering a great deal of history and magical theory. If there are questions, or clarifications are needed, please let me know. Also please realize this is a one sided history…A Focus User would probably tell it differently. Having no beta it is quite possible a major goof slipped by me…if so, please let me know…

 
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