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Pasts Crossed

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Chris ducked Wyatt's fireball and completed the spell:

Send me back to where I'll find
What I wish in place and time

With a single crumple, Chris tore the page from the Book of Shadows and dashed toward the wall where the triquetra now blazed blue-white.

But a second fireball flew across his path, throwing him off balance as he skidded to avoid it. He wildly grabbed at whatever was at hand to break his fall, and took down a little wooden table with him, scattering glass potion bottles -- fake museum pieces that had never seen a spell.

Wyatt was back on his feet, and even if he looked a little bleary from the temporary knockout Chris had dealt him with that full body slam to the ceiling, Chris wasn't going to trust his fate to that. The spell page still in his grip, he hurled another blow of telekinesis at his brother.

It didn't work this time. For one, it turned out Chris couldn't send the energy so well with his hand in a fist; for another, Wyatt saw the move coming and dove to the floor, his hair barely ruffled while a nearby rocking chair made a weak spin.

But at least they were now both down.

Enough of this. Run.

Chris scrambled to his feet as he plunged forward again.

Not fast enough. This time it wasn't a fireball that blocked him, but a stream of orb lights, their blue-white matching the triquetra. When Wyatt re-formed, the portal was a halo around him where he stood, dead center, blocking Chris's way to the past.

Momentum was sending Chris colliding right into his brother. More orbing lights -- this time a cloud around those potion bottles. They re-formed in a miniature meteor shower aimed at Chris's head. Chris was already throwing another blast of telekinesis, directionless and thrown sideways as he tried to dodge the pelting bottles -- but this time he opened his hand, releasing both the spell page and the full force of his magic. The blow caught Wyatt as Chris was spinning to the floor himself.

The triquetra flared, filling the dim attic with light. When the light died, there was merely a wooden wall, empty even of the chalk marks that had formed the symbol. The portal was closed.

And Wyatt?

Chris didn't get up from the floor this time. Dizzy, he crawled a few feet to pick up the dropped spell. There was broken glass in his hair and he caught a whiff of wormwood -- maybe, long ago, those bottles had held potions after all. Wormwood, for protection, communication with the dead...

Bianca lay a stretch of his arms away. But Chris did not, could not, look behind him. Instead, he stared at that now blank wall through which, amid the chaos moments before, he had accidentally flung Wyatt back into the past.