*I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE CHARACTERS
Justin knew something was off as soon as he saw the closed sign on the Sub Station door. He wasn't sure why he had such a strong feeling about it, it certainly was not the first time the Sub Station had been closed without notice, but the feeling froze him in his steps. It wasn't a feeling of doom more so that the rug was about to be tore out from under him.
"Oh bro, I know I always get confused if it is push or pull too" Max said coming up behind Justin. And pulling on the door. "Oh right this one is a push" he said as he opened the door for Justin.
Just as Justin was getting himself together to move through the door Alex came up behind him and said "What's with the hold up I got homework to do" Justin gave her a look that said 'yeah right'. "ok so not homework but I have things to do."
They went in together and not seeing their parents in the shop headed upstairs. Max was ahead of Alex and Justin, neither of whom were moving at their normal pace.
Half way up the stairs Alex said "Something does not feel right."
"You feel that too?" Justin asked.
"Yeah not necessarily a bad feeling just off."
"Wands out just to be sure" Justin instructed, but Max was already through the apartment door.
They heard Max call "Who are you?" And moved forward quickly wands in hand as a precaution.
They saw their parents slumped on the couch looking devastated and a beautiful lady sitting in a chair facing the door. She was probably a few years younger than their parents but had one of those looks that made it hard to judge her age. If she told them she was 28 they would believe her but would guess by her weary eyes that she was closer to 35.
She had dark curly hair a slim figure and a weariness like she had been running a marathon, although she was impeccably dressed and put together. She looked a lot like Alex, she must be a relative.
Justin pushed himself in front of his siblings protectively and asked "Mom, Dad what is going on?"
His parents looked at him and his siblings, his mother had tears in her eyes and he could tell that they had both been crying.
Remarkably it was his mother who pulled herself together to answer "Kids we need to have an emergency family meeting. Have a seat." She gestured to the other couch for them to sit.
"Did someone die?" Alex asked.
"No sweety. This is Maria Cole." Teresa introduced the stranger who had not taken her eyes off Alex since they entered. Justin instinctually moved to block Alex from view as much as was possible sitting on the couch.
"She is" Teresa tried to continue. "She is" She sobbed out again. "She's Alex's b-b-bio."
"I am so sorry to interrupt but time is of the essence, what Teresa is trying to tell you is that I am Alex's biological mother" Maria threw out the information like it was her preference of pizza toppings.
Justin felt Alex tense up beside him. "I don't understand, am I adopted?" She asked with tears in her eyes.
Teressa was inconsolable at this point, so the siblings looked to Maria for answers.
"Not exactly, there was never any paperwork, there couldn't be for your safety. But yes, jerry and Teresa raised you as their own but are not your biological parents." Maria explained.
"But we love you no matter what" Jerry declared and Teresa seconded.
"I-I just don't understand" Alex reiterated.
"It is a long story so please bear with me and let me explain before you ask any questions." The siblings nodded acceptance eager for an explanation.
"My maiden name is Maria Pahil, and my family has a longstanding marriage contract with an evil wizarding family called the Shar. This contract is nearly 200 years old but has never been fulfilled because our ancestors found a loop around the contract. Essentially it states that a daughter of Pahil line must marry the eldest son of the Shar line on her 18th birthday and that ½ of the Pahil estate will be passed onto the Shar upon the birth of their first son.
"The contract was forced on our ancestors under threat of death, but his daughter was only 12 at the time so they researched for a loop hole and the only one all the best lawyers and magic theorists could find was that a soulmate bond would supersede any marriage contract. So since then daughters of Pahil house have used the soulmate bond to avoid being forced to marry a Shar.
"The family has grown more and more desperate over the decades to secure a bride to fulfil the contract. My own sister was kidnaped at the age of 16 but killed herself after the Shars murdered her soulmate before their bond could be sealed. After her death they turned their eyes to me but your father and I escaped and were able to seal our bond and I became pregnant with you.
"When we were discovered they murdered your father to punish me for trying to circumvent their will. The only thing that has kept me going since his death is you and keeping you safe. They did not know that I was pregnant when they murdered your father or I am sure they would have kidnapped me and raised you as a prisoner until you were 18."
"I have tried to hide your entire existence, it has not been easy, giving you up was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I knew you would be safer and stronger if you were close to your soulmate. So I performed the soulmate identifier spell on you when you were just a week old and brought you here to hide you with your soulmates family.
"I initially informed Jerry and Teresa about the circumstances but we all agreed that it would be safer for me to alter their memories until I contacted them again and restored their memories." Maria took a big breath and fixed Alex with a look that told her that she could ask questions now, but keep it short.
Before Alex could compile her thoughts to ask a questions Justin intervened. "You performed a soulmate search spell on Alex when she was just a week old, do you know how dangerous that is, if her soulmate had not been born yet then she could have died, half of her soul would be searching aimlessly for its match until her life force drained away."
"That is true but our family has always been blessed with finding our soulmates so I took a chance. It makes sense that any threat to her even a past one would alarm you. But obviously, she is fine and has grown and been strengthened along with yourself having grown up so close to each other." Maria explained.
Alex's head snapped up at Maria's comment she looked to Maria and then to Justin and back to Maria. "Are you saying that Justin is my soulmate?" She asked.
"Then may I ask why the fuck you thought it was a good idea to have us raised as brother and sister?" Alex roared.
"Alex darling, I know this is a lot to take but once I performed the spell you needed to remain close to Justin, separating you two for too long before the bond is consummated would cause the bond to become unstable and both of you could have died. Growing up together like that has allowed for a strong bond to form once the bond is sealed you two will be the strongest Wizards since Merlin and Morgana.
"I know that the bond has already been telling you that you are meant to be more than brother and sister. Justin for you I must apologize because the bond has probably been calling to you even stronger as you are over 18, but I wanted to wait as long as possible before contacting as I knew that once I contacted you the Shars will not be far behind. Alex you will be 18 in a month and you and Justin marry and seal your bond before the Shars get their hands on you."
Alex looked like she was going to throw up, Justin was oddly quiet and they had completely forgotten about the rest of the family around them.
"So let me get this straight" Alex started in a tone that Justin knew meant that she was barely keeping it together. "You show up here after nearly 18 years and tell me that the family that I believed loved me is not even my family."
At this Teresa shouted "Alex we do love you, we have loved you since we first saw you, we had Maria alter our memories to keep you safe not because we didn't want you." She reached out for her daughter but was rejected.
"And now you are saying that I have to marry my brother ASAP I am not even 18 I am not ready to get married." Alex continued ignoring Teresa's declaration of motherly love.
"I suppose that you do not have to actually marry, completing the bond will declare you husband and wife in magical terms anyway, you could wait and have a formal wedding in a few years." Maria conceded as if this would make everything ok.
"Argh, leave me alone" Alex stormed out up to her room.
Maria made to follow her but Justin put a hand on her shoulder to stop her. "I think that Alex and I should have some time to discuss what you have revealed to us." He said calmly.
"Fine" Maria admitted. But she can not be alone at any time, if the Shars get a hold of her they will rape and torture her until she gives them a son and once they have collected their wealth from our family they will eliminate her in a most horrific way to send a message not to defy them to the rest of the magical world."
Justin felt violence like nothing he had ever felt building inside him at the though that there was anyone who would want to hurt Alex in such a way. "I will keep her safe." He declared and no one would dare question his ability to do so if they could look into his eyes at this moment.
Justin knocked on Alex's door. "Leave me alone" Alex cried.
Justin opened the door, "Its me Alex" he called. She was sprawled on her bed crying into her pillow.
"Justin, what are you doing here, you must hate me more than ever now. Apparently, you have been dragged into some dangerous family feud, and now have to marry me. Don't worry I won't hold you to it. I will just give myself up to them, maybe they will accept me if I don't resist the contract and you will be free to live your own life." Alex declared.
Justin sighed and sat down on the bed by Alex and rubbed her back as she cried into the pillow. "Alex you really don't ever pay attention do you. The soul bond has already been initiated between us, almost since your birth, if we were to be separated now, we would likely both die if our magic was not able to bring us back together. And I could never hate you, actually I feel relieved," Alex sat up and gave him a questioning look.
"I have been waging an internal battle the last few years, calling myself every sort of perverted bastard for being attracted to my sister and having dreams about you nearly every night. It has been eating me up inside and been getting harder and harder to control myself.
"I want to reach out and hold your hand so badly that I actually feel like I am breaking my wrist to keep from reaching out to you. The other night when you fell asleep on the couch, I covered you up, brushed your hair back, and kissed you on the forehead, then had to force myself to leave before I kissed your lips.
"Adjusting from thinking of you as my sister to soulmate will not be much of a challenge for me, but I understand if you will need more time to adjust, as Maria explained I am older so I have had these feelings building longer. But I refuse to let you put yourself in any sort of danger or offer yourself up as a sacrificial lamb. Brother or not I will always protect you from any thing that may harm you, that includes yourself."
Alex threw her arms around his neck and kissed him so suddenly he almost fell backwards. The kiss was so powerful they could feel the bond with in them strengthen, and call out to be completed. It took everything in him to pull himself away and examine her eyes for an explanation.
"Justin, I have had these strange feelings for you as well, I think that is why I always am fighting with you, I just need to feel connected to you in some way, but it is never enough. I don't think that it will be hard for us to consummate this bond, although it is crazy how she kept talking about it in front of Max and Mom and Dad as if we didn't all know what she meant. I am scared, you heard her, they killed my father for defying them, I couldn't live with myself if something happened to you Justin, especially if it was only for loving me. What if they come after Max and Mom and Dad? I can't put you all at risk like that."
Justin cut her off with a kiss. His blood felt like it was boiling, when he pulled away to defend his claim on her he saw that they were both glowing, it must be the bond. "First of all, I already told you that it is too late, we are already soulmates, if you leave me, we both die. Just look at us now" he said gesturing to the glow they were giving off.
"Secondly, Mom and Dad knew the risks when they took you in as a baby, I don't think they will ever regret that. And lastly, we are more powerful together we can handle anything as long as we do it together, so no more second guessing" Justin claimed her mouth again so forcefully that she fell back onto the bed and he followed her down. They made out until their bodies were lighting up the whole room.
Justin pulled away after what seemed like several minutes but he couldn't say for sure. "Alex, unless you want to consummate this bond right here and now, we have got to stop" he declared his voice husky with repressed desire.
"Although I am tempted, I think that wee need to gather more information and come up with a battle plan." Alex said.
*** - Let me know if you are just discovery the show on Disney plus or if you were an original fan