Hi everybody! Sorry for being late...again...but this time I really couldn't help it, and have the funky paper/plastic bracelet from the ER to prove it! Yay fun. So yes. Avoid this season's version of the rotovirus if at all possible. Unless IVs and clear liquid diets are your thing. But I digress. Anyway, I apologize if this chapter isn't as full of action/romance/adventure/supernatural a** kicking as we'd all like it to be; the good stuff w/ drama fun is coming, I promise.

Special thank yous to Lizardmomma, snoupy1972, and mistylove for the get well messages :)


The Power of Three

(The basement. A little ways off from the kids, Piper has a small cauldron set up; she's consulting the parchment with the antidote and adding ingredients as needed. Over next to the children, Phoebe perches uncomfortably at a small plastic children's table, scrying. After a moment she throws the crystal across the room, frustrated. One of the maps on the table explodes into flames. Piper flinches)

Piper: Phoebe, honey… (She grabs a small fire extinguisher and strides over to Phoebe, where she proceeds to douse the flames) that's the fifth map you've set on fire in the past eight minutes.

Phoebe: I'm sorry! (Head in her hands) It's just…one minute I'll have them, and the next…the crystals' pointing to Timbuktu!

(Her fingers begin to glow orange; Piper hurriedly hands her a coffee mug)

Piper: Here. Drink your water.

(She strokes Phoebe's hair soothingly for a minute. Phoebe's fingers return to their normal color, and she sets the mug back on the table)

Phoebe: (Listlessly) You know, the last two times I had this power I was evil.

Piper: Well, this time isn't going to be like the last two times. We won't let it.

(Piper walks back to the cauldron; at that moment Leo and Henry walk down the basement steps. Leo carries an armful of supplies, and Henry a couple of books.)

Leo: This is everything we could find at magic school.

(He sets them down on the floor next to Piper; the two begin to converse as they sort the ingredients. Henry sets the books on the table in front of Phoebe, offers a small, supportive smile)

Henry: I don't really know my way around magic school very well, so I just hung out in the library while Leo got everything. I did find these books on pyrokinesis though; I thought maybe they could help while we're waiting for everyone to get back?

Phoebe: Thank you, Henry.

(She picks up a book and halfheartedly flips through it. Not knowing what else to do, Henry follows suit. Camera to the clock on the wall; it reads 8:30. The large hand moves, the clock reads 8:35. Camera pans out to the wider scene; Piper and Leo are still around the cauldron, while Phoebe and Henry still look through the books. Paige orbs in, followed immediately by Coop's heart. Both drop the ingredients off at the cauldron with Piper and Leo, then go to check on the children. A moment later Cole shimmers in. He tosses the ingredients to Leo and marches straight to Phoebe)

Cole: Have you found him?

Phoebe: Not yet.

Cole: They why are you reading, dammit?!

Phoebe: (slams the book shut) So I have something to do other than set things on fire every time something like you makes me furious!

(Her fingertips glow orange. Piper notices)

Piper: Phoebe! Water. Now.

(Phoebe grabs the cup and drinks, although she continues to glare at Cole. Coop walks up behind her and rubs her shoulders)

Leo: We have everything we need, except for the unicorn blood—

(There's a faint "poof" and a clattering upstairs, along with breaking glass.)

Prue's Voice: Don't worry! We're coming!

(The door to the basement opens. Prue enters, doing her best to keep a hold of little Henry, who is squirming and giggling, clearly overjoyed. Behind them follows a small unicorn, which is chewing on one of the roses that had been in the foyer's vase not minutes earlier.)

Paige: (Takes the baby from Prue) Um…I thought we just needed the unicorn blood.

Prue: (Hands a small vial of shimmery silver-gold liquid to Leo) We did just need the blood. But Mr. Ed apparently decided to follow us home.

(The unicorn settles itself down on a pile of comfortable stuffed animals. It whinnies, and in a poof of white glitter, baby Henry appears by his side. The delighted baby shrieks with happiness and snuggles next to the unicorn.)

Henry: (Apprehensive) Should we be letting him…

Leo: I don't think you have anything to worry about…they're perfectly safe.

Piper: Might have to rethink not getting the twins a dog until they're six, though.

(Taken aback, all of the adults, even Cole, stare at the baby and the unicorn. Then the unicorn pins its ears to its head, and makes a low, threatening, huffing noise. Phoebe doubles over and grips the plastic table, which starts to melt under her grasp. The other children glow purple again, still darker this time.)

Phoebe: Hurry with the potion. We're running out of time.

Piper: (Eyes widen in fear for a moment, before taking on fierce, determined set) All right. Let's go. I'm going to finish up the potion. Paige, you and Phoebe set up the ritual area so we can bless it—

Phoebe: No. I have to find him.

Cole: Finally. Let's go.

Piper: Phoebe, you can't go until we've finished the potion and blessed it. Otherwise it won't be finished in time—

Phoebe: I can't just keep sitting here!

(A book on the table bursts into flames.)

Prue: Phoebe, listen to me.

Phoebe: Don't you dare start with me! You're the one who kept him from me in the first place.

Prue: And it was a mistake! I've been trying to get him back to you—

Phoebe: Then get out of my way and let me go find him!

Piper: Phoebe, nobody wants to keep you from Warren. If there was another way we could bless the potion without you—

Paige: (Idea) Wait…I think there is another way…

Piper: What?

(The children glow a very deep purple, nearly black)

Paige: I don't have time to explain. Just go.

(Phoebe walks over to Coop)

Phoebe: Coop…I know this is crazy and dangerous and that Melinda is at stake too, but—

Coop: (Puts his hands on her shoulders) Phoebe, you don't have to explain. Go get our daughter's little brother. Bring him home safe.

(They hug)

Phoebe: Thank you for understanding. (She breaks away, quickly kisses him on the lips) I just need to see Melinda for a moment.

(Phoebe goes and kneels by her daughter; Coop crosses to Cole)

Coop: (Low voice) If anything happens to her…

Cole: If she's helping me get Warren back, I won't let anything happen to her.

(Phoebe joins them)

Phoebe: Ready?

(Cole doesn't say anything; just holds out a hand. Phoebe takes it. They shimmer out. After they're gone, Paige takes the parchment and reads it over)

Paige: Okay. Let's get down to the whole blessing business.

Piper: Paige, one little problem. We don't have Phoebe.

Paige: True. But (Puts the parchment down) we do have the power of three.

(Simultaneously, Prue and Piper's heads jerk toward their younger sister)

Prue/Piper: What?!