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Pan's pipe is a magical instrument that Peter Pan used to collect children to join his group of Lost Boys. The pipes music can only be heard by those who feel like they've been abandoned or are unloved.
Before the Curse
The pipe does its magic on the boys from Hamelin. ("Nasty Habits")
Peter Pan makes his way to the small Enchanted Forest town of Hamelin where his uses his magical pipe to lure away children who feel abandoned or unloved. When he leads them away, he also snatches up Baelfire, son of Rumplestiltskin, and these boys all dance around a bonfire together. The next night, when Pan lures away a second load of children, Rumple himself is able to hear the pipe's music also, and so follows it to its source. He arrives at the bonfire where he is surprised to learn that the Pied Piper's identity is his father/old friend/enemy Peter Pan. Rumple demands that his son be given back to him, and Pan offers the Dark One a deal: if Rumple asks Bae to return home, and Bae says yes, then Pan will gladly let them go. However, if Bae declines the offer, then Pan will take him to Neverland, a place from which he will never return, where he will become a member of the newly founded Lost Boys. But when Rumple finds his son, he doesn't ask him a thing, and simply uses magic to transport the two of them back home. Peter Pan assures Rumplestiltskin that he's going to regret not taking his deal. ("Nasty Habits")
After the Curse
The pipe's magic finally works on Henry. ("Nasty Habits")
When the Lost Boys are vigorously celebrating around a campfire in Pan's compound, it upsets Pan to see that Henry isn't joining in with the festivities, especially considering the fact that the party is being held in his honor. Henry points out that there's nothing to celebrate, and Pan again tells the boy that he is the savior who will save magic. Pan then decides to play Henry a tune from his pipe (the music from which can only be heard by those who feel abandoned or unloved), but Henry is unable to hear anything, much to Pan's dismay. Pan is then aggravated to learn that Baelfire, who's in fact alive and returned to the island to save Henry, has escaped Felix's custody and is on the loose. A sleeping spell is soon cast over the camp, knocking out Henry and the Lost Boys but not Pan, and Rumple, who cast the spell, walks in with Neal. Neal uses magical squid ink to immobilize Pan and take Henry, however, when Neal learns of the prophecy stating that Henry will be Rumple's undoing, he uses the squid ink to immobilize his father also in fear that he'll kill Henry to protect himself. Neal then sets off alone with his son over his shoulder, but he is soon ambushed by Lost Boys, who take Henry back. Pan tells Baelfire that the game has changed, and back at the camp, Henry wakes up, being told by his captor that he merely dropped off for a catnap. The Mills boy says that he dreamt of his father, who he believes to be dead, whilst he was asleep, and Pan offers his condolences, commenting that it makes sense to dream of the people he's lost, and what he hopes for, such as his father being alive or his mother coming to find him, when neither are going to come true. Pan tells his captive that Neverland is a place where new dreams were born and that he and the Lost Boys can be his new family. The demon child proceeds to play his magical pipes and, this time, Henry is able to hear the music it produces. The young boy then merrily dances around the campfire with the rest of the Lost Boys, and Peter Pan is thrilled. ("Nasty Habits")