10 March 2011 - Hi. I'm not sure if anyone is checking for updates, but just in case I wanted to let you guys know that the story is going on hiatus. It just seems like a big commitment re-writing another episode let alone several and concluding the story, so this seems like the best place to halt things for the time being. I am still doing a lot of original writing and working on some other fanfiction in the meantime. Hopefully, I'll get back to this story in the near future.
Lately I've watched a lot of WOWP and figured I'd check out a bit of fanfiction and noticed a distinct lack of stories like this (shockingly because many fandoms which have magic/supernatural have heaps of them) so here's my take on time travel/alternate realities/do over/story from a different POV.
What if Justin won the wizard challenge? Unfortunately, his wish doesn't go exactly the way he intended.
Alex was an accomplished liar. A pro. She had been lying to Justin his entire life. Justin didn't know when he had learnt to lie (not just making up invisible friends or that sort of thing but real lies). Max didn't figure it out until he was 4 or 5. By comparison, Alex was a precocious 2½ years old. She successfully pinned the blame on Justin for stealing cookies after she carelessly left the stool she used to reach the cookies on the counter there (along with the empty packet). By all accounts, that was young and advanced. That was Alex though.
13 years later, Alex had extra experience, conviction and attitude. Justin was her brother though. He usually knew when she was lying. He knew this time. Even Max would have seen through her feeble "it's fine". More important than Alex's skill at lying, was her self-admission that Alex Russo did not cry, which was another one of lies incidentally. She was on a verge of tears. Justin noticed the sheen in her eyes before the adverted her head and stared at the ground.
"I'm sorry," Justin offered, as if they were the magic words that could fix this.
He didn't know what had happened. Alex was just beyond an arm's reach from the power stretching by fractions of inches closer and closer. He was yards away. Justin never thought he would make it, but pumped his legs and urged the wind on his back to propel him faster. Somehow he got there first and became the full wizard. Both of them assumed it would be Alex, but it was Justin.
"You have to do the spell now," called Dad, interrupting the awkward standoff between them.
"Right, yeah," said Justin and shook his head in an attempt to banish all thoughts of competition. Focus. It was key to magic and vital to a spell of this paramount. Alter time and space. Easy-peasey.
Closing his eyes, Justin took a deep breath. Make-'Em-Ups. These were Alex's speciality. By nature they were impulsive and improvised, whereas Justin preferred carefully researched and learned spells. They were more powerful and safer. He didn't have that luxury now.
"Reverse the wish that Alex said, before we all are dead," he chanted.
Before he opened his eyes, he knew it hadn't worked. He dug his fingernails into his palms. Wrong words. Technically they couldn't die since they weren't born.
"Try another one. Focus," Dad urged.
"Reverse the spell, don't make me scream and yell."
"Alex, help me! What spell should I use?" Justin turned towards his sister.
"Why would I help you?" Alex sounded genuinely confused. Not angry or bitter, but disinterested. Like he acted on more than one occasion when Alex came to him for help.
"Please Alex. Don't do this. You're my sister," Justin begged.
"I'm your sister?" She said in a tone that implied that was as likely as her being an alien or junkie.
The blank gaze. Dry eyes. No snarky comments when his first spell failed. Alex had forgotten him. He felt so, so….lonely. Like he was the last person left on Earth.
"I'm Justin. I'm your brother. I mock you and laugh at you and get you into trouble but you love me anyway. I wish I could be more like you. I'm jealous of how good at magic you are and art and people. You make be a better wizard. Please don't leave me here."
"I don't know who you are. But I believe you," said Alex.
Relief flooded Justin's body. It was like gaining full wizard powers, but better. Family. Love. They were so much more than magic. If someone asked him even a day ago what was the one thing he wanted the most in the world, he would have said to be a wizard, but he realized how wrong he was.
As quickly as the relief came, it disappeared it the form of an angry, grey tornado that pulled Alex away. And he really was alone. Justin was frozen. He didn't know what to say, what to do, where to go from here.
"No…" he whispered, crumbling inside. "Alex should have won this not me!"
"Try again. You can do this," Dad coaxed.
"Because of words of hate, do not my brother and sister take."
That didn't even sound like a spell.
"Alex spelled us unborn, take it back I feel forlorn," Justin intoned.
What alternatives did he have? It was likely than he would run out of time before he ran out of was to make the same wish. Through the lump in his throat and a dry cough, Justin desperately voiced another spell.
"I don't like this world it's such a bore take us back to the way it was before."
Dad reached out and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Justin, I'm sorry. I think it's too late."
Justin flinched away, unable to stand the pity in Dad's eyes. He didn't understand. This version of him never met Mom, never had this family and couldn't phantom how it felt to lose it. "No, no it can't be."
As if conjured up by Justin's thoughts, Mom appeared. She held a necklace in her hand and wore an easy smile. "Hey! Would this help?"
She tossed it to Justin. He caught it on reflex and looked down at the purple rock. "The stone," he gasped.
"Be careful. You only have one wish, but if you do it right you can get your brother and sister back and still be a full wizard," said Dad. "Just wish for them to reappear."
He stepped back, giving Justin space and smiled encouragingly. Looked more upbeat now than only moments ago with the perfect solution handed to them. Or, rather, almost perfect.
"I want everything to be exactly the way it was," said Justin, closing his eyes and concentrating very firmly on family the way they should be.
He imagined Mom and Dad working in the Sub Station: Mom with her notepad and pencil taking orders, while Dad created sandwiches in the back. He paid particular attention to the sub station, clenching his eyes shut so tightly that it hurt, visualizing the movie posters on the wall, the ads, the blue sign outside, no detail was too small. He remembered their ridiculous orange-themed sitting room and that lamp they always broke.
And Justin's concentration wavered for a split second; his thoughts flickered to the time Dad broke the crystal ball. The toe-curling crash, the eerie mist and the remnants scattered on the floor. Forget mirrors and glasses and lamps. Breaking a crystal ball was bad news. How often had they broken Mom's lamp? At least 20, according to Max. Justin suspected that the count stopped there because Max ran out of fingers and toes.
The brightness around him increased, then dimmed suddenly. The world turned inside out. His insides squirmed and twisted like they were trying to break free of his body and make a run for it. It wasn't exactly like flapping butterflies in his tummy or even switching body, but sometime along those lines.
Suddenly he was sitting, which was good 'cause Justin was feeling woozy now, and Justin Russo did not faint (not including the time he was 11 and he got the flu vaccine). Nu-uh. All the same, he felt weak and wobbly and strangely dulled. The power was gone; the bonfire extinguished to embers. It felt like walking up a broken escalator or trying to jump from the ground after a trampoline. Everything seemed heavier and harder and unbalanced.
The stone worked. Justin knew it like he knew his name or Alex's (although that probably wasn't a good estimate since those details started to get fuzzy for a while there). He opened his eyes. The familiar haphazard, cluttered lair was around him. No place like home.
"Did we go back in time? I gotta learn that!"
Max's exclamation was sudden and unexpected. Justin barely heard his words, just stared at his little brother. There was something about him that was….different. Not just Max, everything, but Justin couldn't put his finger on it.
Same curly hair and gleaming eyes. He had Justin's long nose and ears. Undoubtedly Max. But he looked kinda small and baby-faced like he did before he sprouted a foot and his voice broke over night last year.
"- emergency use only! It rewinds time for a few minutes to allow wizards correct a mistake," said Dad.
"Like a do over spell," Alex said. There was a glint of mischievousness in her eyes, no doubt plotting all the ways and situations that spell could get her out of.
"Yes but don't even think about it. It bends time and space you're not ready for it! No more questions."
It was a little late for that really. Alex bent time and space as far as it could go with a family wand in the heat of anger. They competed it the wizard contest and found the Stone of Dreams. A 5-minute rewind trick paled in comparison.
"Do people remember if there has been a do-over spell?" Justin found himself asking.
For example, why was no one acknowledging what just happened? Dad should be yelling already, not just lecturing. They should be grounded for life. Not this casual conversation. Had everyone forgotten but him?
"Only people in the magical world. Normal people just have déjà vu," Dad explained. "Stop asking questions!"
This whole conversation felt like déjà vu and they were all wizards here. What was going on?
"What's déjà vu?" wondered Max.
"It's when you feel like something's happened before," said Justin, a split second before Dad. Huh, coincidental. Great minds, as they say.
"Hey Justin, do you have 5 dollars?" asked Alex sweetly, in a distinctly un-Alex way.
"What? Yeah? Why?" replied Justin, patting his pockets and produced 5 dollars.
"Because I need 5 dollars. Déjà vu, huh Justin? Seriously, how many times are you gonna fall for that? I thought you were the smart one." Alex laughed and tucked the money into her pocket.
Justin rolled his eyes. He couldn't believe Alex was reusing scams. It came directly from two years ago. He would have imagined she grew more conniving in the mean time.
Wait. Hold on. Everything came crashing together. Alex wasn't cashing in on her old moneymaking schemes. This wasn't déjà vu. It was two years ago. Like this stripped sweater he was wearing that mysteriously vanished (Justin suspected Harper of pilfering it, but that wasn't a conversation he wanted to bring up with her ever).
The Stone of Dreams undid Alex's spell and switched everything back to way it was before. But Justin hadn't specified when exactly before was. He meant split seconds before the spell was cast. Not 2007 when he cast his first rewind spell. Magic was unpredictable like that with vague wording.
It was roughly 2 years ago and Justin was 16 years old. Admittedly, better circumstances than several minutes ago (or several units of time to be accurate), but it left a lot to be desired.