5

"I don't know just who I'm mad at more…" Jerry paced back and forth in the lair. "You for creating the clone and sneaking out…" He looked at Alex normal size wearing her mother's sweats from the dryer. "Or you for trying to deceive us!"

"In my defense…" Melissa was nursing her bleeding nose. "I thought I was really doing the right thing." She looked up to Jerry with Alex's face. "I really did think Alex had died, but then… when she turned up alive…. I just did not want to going back to being dead!"

"Great…" Justin looked at Max. "We got another sister!"

"A nicer, smarter cuter version…" Melissa offered.

"So I'm the evil one? That's not fair!" Alex looked to her father. "She tied me up to a chair in a closet in the basement!!!"

"Only till I could figure out what to do!!!" Melissa shot back.

"Enough!!!" Jerry screamed at the sniping.

"Jerry," Theresa groaned holding her head and taking aspirin for her stress. "Look, I really don't mind having another daughter, but how would we explain her?! I mean, she's alive now, and we can't exactly kill her to make her a ghost again."

"And I love you too!" Melissa reached out and hugged her would-be foster mother. Theresa made a face of disbelief.

"I can answer that…" Professor Victorious Crumbs sounded from beyond the glowing glass dimensional door to the lair. The secret dimensional nexus could open and reach all other mystical nexus spots on the planet, and the aged magician stepped through from his home at Wiz Tech, the secret name of a school for young witches and wizards. A student of a student of Merlin himself and a descendant of the great Dagda himself, Crumbs entered the lair clad in his robes of wisdom. He looked upon Alex upon arrival.

"You are in a lot of trouble, young lady…" Crumbs told her. "Your dreams were a warning of your continuing selfish desires. I can't fault this young lady for trying to preserve her life…" He turned to Melissa. "But you could have made some better decisions along the way."

"Who's the guy with the Santa Claus beard?" Melissa asked out loud.

"He's the headmaster of our wizard school." Justin leaned over to his sister's clone.

"Now, Jerry, " Crumbs turned and spoke with the wise and scholarly voice of a man who had seen over five hundred years of European and American History unfold around him. "We can't have two Alex Russos living here on Waverly Place, and we can't exactly sentence Melissa back to what she was. I mean, it just wouldn't be prudent, so… what I'm going to do is take Melissa back with me to Wiz Tech and raise her to be a sorceress as my adoptive daughter."

"Thank you, sir…" Melissa spoke. She looked exactly like Alex, but her personality was all her own.

"She doesn't get punished?!!" Alex stood up upset and limping from the sofa. "She cracked a plate over my head, tied me to a chair, left me in a basement closet, nearly pulled my hair out and blew me up like a float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade!!!"

"Oh, you want her punished…" Crumbs looked to Alex then back over to Melissa sitting next to Theresa. "You'll also work a week in the school kitchen."

"Whoopee…" Melissa reacted lackluster.

"What I don't understand is…" Justin reacted perplexed over what had happened. "Dad, you specifically said that Maximus Restorum would only work as a counter to Minimus Shrinkus, but then, how did Melissa get Alex to blow up anyway?"

"Remember when Nick was inside Alex, and her magic got jacked up…" Jerry leaned slightly at the desk in the lair. "Melissa did the same thing to the clone."

"Wait a second..." Melissa grinned ear-to-ear. "Does that mean I'm more powerful than Alex?" Alex shot her a look of annoyed animosity.

"Only for a while..." Crumbs walked in front of her to intimidate her. "Much as a steamed pot loses its pressure, so as your mystical powers will eventually abate to normal controlled levels, young lady." He leaned down to her. "In the mean time, you will have a lot of studying before you can be considered a true wizard."

"Yippee…" Melissa did not sound excited.

"Old Dumbledore teases me because he has more students…" Crumbs mused while leaning over to Jerry and stroking his long beard. "Well, now I've got a daughter… Odds-Botkin, I've got a daughter???" He started fretting early over the tribulations of being a guardian responsible for this girl.

"Yeah," Melissa swayed sideways in her seat as she thought about it. "I'm his… Oh god, I'm going to be living in a school!" She sounded a lot like Alex. Theresa characteristically bonded with the young lady regardless who she might have been in her previous life. She looked upon her with a fond thought of how close Melissa was to being the loving and adoring daughter she really wanted.

"Let's get going…" Professor Crumbs turned back to the mystical doorway. "Do you have any luggage?"

"I can raid Alex's closet…"

"Well, that ain't going to happen." Jerry spoke for his real daughter and thanked his old teacher for taking the extra Alex off his hands. He was kind of happy the way things had turned out. Alex had faced her nightmare and had faced responsibility for her actions, and Melissa was finally getting a life back among the living as well as getting to be something special. He was sure he'd be seeing a lot of her in the future. She and his daughter might actually turn out to be best friends. After watching Professor Crumbs and Melissa pass through the dimensional nexus, he turned to his wife beaming toward him. She guided him to look behind him to the sofa. Tired and exhausted from her experience, Alex was laying across the small sofa asleep on her side like a storybook princess.

"Well, at least she's finally sleeping." Theresa tiptoed over, kissed Alex and draped the blanket from over the back of the sofa over her. She turned and followed her husband and sons out of the lair. Alex just stirred a bit in her sleep, a light grin over her lips as she turned her head. She was finally having a dream she enjoyed.

"Yes, Mr. Bloom, I'll play your girlfriend in your next movie…."

END