Justin spent years buried in work. He saw the sorrow of his parents every day, and even though he was a young child, he knew that he had screwed up big time. To Jerry and Theresa's credit, they never told him that they blamed him. And he never told them about the feather. At first, he just liked it; it was pretty and he wanted to keep it. Then… it became an obsession. He drew it back and forth over his lips when thinking about his sister. And he was obsessed. A decade passed them by without word from her.
Justin was different now. Not just older… crazier too. He felt horrible guilt. It was his sister, his responsibility. He should have known better, he did know better and he still screwed up big time. Well, the party responsible for messing with his family would pay.
Justin studied hard, increase in knowledge meant increase in power. He used his uncle Kelbo to assemble a massive list of all potential enemies. It took him months to even narrow it down to likely possibilities. Then one day he realized he accidently kept the biggest clue of all; that damned feather. He researched it, ran it through dozens of complicated tests and found his enemies.
He determined who had taken her; dark angels. The day he found out there was a vocal mourning in the dark realm. A wizard was very, very, very angry at them. He brought thunder and lightning and holy fire into their refuges. He dragged up every underling he could capture and wrung as much information out of them as possible. His suspicions were confirmed when he met the most compelling source of all. An angel named Rosie appeared to help him. She told Justin that the angel worlds were looking for angel champions, the dark realm chose Alex, and the light had chosen Justin.
The murderous look in his eyes made her recoil, "As glad as I am that you just now came forward with this information… how could you let my sister be taken like that?"
Rosie looked away from his eyes painfully, "I was watching someone else, someone worthy of being watched. I could not protect both."
"You made a mistake!" He snarled and walked away.
"I was protecting you Justin!"
He paused and whispered back, "I know… but you still made a mistake. I wish you had saved her. Instead, you hedged your bets because I'm better taught, better trained, and Alex is alone out there. You ought to be ashamed."
She was ashamed, but she still watched over him.
Justin got over it. He did not care about the whether he and Alex were supposed to duke it out over the fate of the world. He cared that his little sister was alone out there.
The worst part was the dreams. He felt a connection to her. Almost every night he would call to her. Someone would answer. It was a hellish torture. Eventually he figured the dark angels had dropped her off in the mortal plane. He set up a magic tracker. This took him years. First he had it track every female in the world, and then narrowed it down by age. Millions showed up.
Year by year he would through photos. Finally, on Alex's thirteenth birthday, he caught a lucky break; there was snow in New York- in the middle of summer. The timing could not have been clearer. Justin straight-up wept when he saw it. It was magic, it was beautiful. It had to be her. He knew where to look now. All this time he had scoured other worlds, tortured information from monsters and humans alike, and all along he was in the same city as her.
Justin went to class with a skip in his step. Alex did not know she had magic. She had no way of controlling her full powers. He had maybe a week until that ended. He did research; casting a spell that captured the image of every girl with any connection at all to the snow, Justin went through a hundred photos a week. He knew he would recognize her when he saw her, he just knew it.
And her magic was stunning. He would do it, he knew he could. He would find her, vanquish her monsters, and bring her back to her family who loved her.
But in the end, he turned out to be her worst nightmare.