A/N: Hello! So basically this story takes place after with wizard competition and is about Max's struggle without powers. I feel like the show never really gave us a feel of the real Max; they only showed us the dumb/goofy Max. Also, since this fanfic is a little more on the serious side, Alex isn't going to be as witty as she usually is. So this is going show the side of Max that we never really got to see. I'm going to try and make this as suspenseful and dramatic as possible. Lots of family drama!

Disclaimer: Nope, I do not own Wizards of Waverly Place.

Posted: 08/05/12

Chapter 1: "You're not a wizard anymore."

Alex POV:

Outside the window, I see familiar places. They remind me of the years when I used to call this city "home". I sit in a train and wait for my stop. I know I could always just flash in, but I've been into long drives recently. It's only been two years since I've moved to Manhattan with Harper so I'm not sure why I sound like Dad when he talks about when he used to be a wizard. But in all seriousness, I really do miss it here; I grew up here. Being busy with actually living on my own now, I can only visit so often. I come here to visit Max. He's the only one who still lives here. Justin lives in the Wizard World with Juliette now that he's the new Headmaster of Wiz-Tech. Harper and I live in a condo where Harper works on fashion and design while I work on my art. It's all I could ever ask for. Mom and Dad have decided to downsize since we're all capable of living on our own now. I always wonder if Max ever gets lonely. I mean sure, he's hired a few friends to work at the sub shop with him, but since Mom and Dad have paid the loft off, Max doesn't really need to pay rent, therefore he doesn't need a roommate. Ever since the Wizard Competition, he's seems different…sadder.

I'm finally at the familiar green doors. It brings back so many memories. I push them open and take a deep breath in. To my surprise, there's barely anyone in the restaurant. I see Max sitting behind the counter looking bored. He tries to entertain himself with some quarters and dimes.

"Hey, Max," I greet and take a seat at one of the stools.

"Hey, Alex," Max drones. It always seems to be like this. I feel like today is the day where I have to confront him about it. I play it safe for a while.

"Um, so how are you? How are things here? Looks like you're doing a great job," I lie without looking at him. He pushes the coins aside. I can feel him looking right at me.

"Don't do that, Alex," he speaks with a serious tone. I can tell that he's fed up with the same old conversation.

"Look Max," this time I turn to face him, "I'm just going to cut to it: you seem pretty down lately. If there's anything that's been bothering you, you know that you've got your big sister here," I say with a smile and hold his hands in mine hoping that it's at least a little comforting. Max comes around the counter and heads over to a booth. I follow. Before he sits, he brings the towel on his shoulder down the table and scrubs it for a minute even though it's already as clean as it can be. He takes a deep sigh in.

"I don't know. Life has just been a lot harder without my powers, you know? I mean sure, I wasn't really good with my powers in the first place, but now that I realize how hard it is without them, I feel like I basically threw the competition by barely knowing anything at all. I mean you and Justin both got to keep your powers. Maybe if I concentrated a little more…" His eyes drift off to the side like his voice. I feel bad for the kid. If anyone needed their powers most, it was Max.

"Well I'm sure things will fall into place soon," I lie again. He doesn't believe it for a minute, but he doesn't call me out on it either. "You'll get used to it," I reassure him.

"Easy for you to say; you still have your powers. It's just been so difficult, mentally and physically. It all used to come so easy, you know? Things were still hard, but I at least had my powers to lean on. Now it's different. I've got to balance the school and the sub shop, Mom and Dad aren't here to help me out anymore, and my memory is just—"

"Wait what? Your memory?" The line about his memory spikes my attention. "What does your memory have to do with any of this?"

"I don't know. I'm so forgetful these days. I mean yesterday I forgot to turn the sign from open to closed," he admits and runs a hand through his hair.

"Oh well pshhh, I've done that before, sometimes even on purpose," I say with a bit of relief this time.

"No Alex, it's not just that. It's different. Forgetting test dates, forgetting orders," all of these things seemed pretty normal to me, until he said the next few words, "forgetting where my friends live and everything that happened the previous day." His shoulders rise up and down with a heavy sigh. This is when my concern kicks in.

"Whoa Max. What's happening? Have you seen a doctor? You're too young to have any of those geezer diseases." I think about it for a while, but nothing comes to mind.

"Nope. It feels like a wizard cold," Max says this casually as if there's nothing wrong with the sentence.

"Max, what are you talking about? You're not a wizard anymore."

"But all of the signs and symptoms are there; tingly hands, glowing bodily fluids—"

"Okay that's enough details," I say disgusted. "I'm sure Justin will know what to do. What do you say I call him and he can pay a visit over here? Besides, I've missed this place and you; I wouldn't mind sticking around for a week or two." I smile and playfully mess up his hair. He smiles back.

"Hold on." He brings an old tissue out of his pocket and his face scrunches up into the set position for a sneeze. It kind of grosses me out when he looks into the booger rag but that all changes when he flips it over to show me a patch of glowing blue snot; then it really grosses me out.

A/N: Ouuu what's wrong with Max? If you want to know then you better review! :D