Chapter 2 – Wexler, Wexler, and Wexler
Jerry stepped into the office building, which was, of course, decorated in outlandish colors, his eyes bombarded by splashes of vibrant shades of orange and random stripes of canary yellow along the walls, along with a logo of three "W"'s on the wall in neon green. Yes, this was definitely a wizarding law firm.
Two young paralegals walked by, one of them saying, "Did you pass the BAR?" The other one shook his head and replied, "Nope. Ran right into it; third time this week! Doing the track course again tomorrow. If I pass, they'll bump me up to first defender!" "Dude, that's awesome!" They fist-bumped.
He walked over to the receptionist, who was a bottle blonde with two-inch long nails painted in the same glowing green as the logo, and hesitantly said, "Uh, my name is Jerry Russo? I have an appointment with-"
She cut him off.
"With Miss Michaels. Of course," she said in a thick Atlantean accent, blowing a bubble with the soda bubble gum she was chewing. The bubble fizzed and burst over the desk, spraying it all in orange soda. She absently pulled her wand from her hair and waved it, cleaning the keyboard. Her nametag read, "Cherry Changa". Cherry then pointed to a lurid purple door that appeared on the wall out of thin air. "Take the elevator up to forty-two, she's the only office on the floor."
"Uh, thank you."
He turned and stepped onto the elevator and pressed the button for the floor and nearly fell over as it shot up at an incredible speed. Right. Wizarding world. He was going to have to get used to it all over again. He had learned to accept the other world as his home, and, hopefully, that was about to change.
The elevator abruptly stopped, but he was braced for the impact and managed to not fall over when the elevator doors pinged open. He walked out and heard the whoosh of the lift vanishing behind him. He glanced around to find her office. The floor was covered in orange and yellow tiles all shaped like w's, and the walls were neon green of the logos down on the main floor. Over in the middle of the room there stood a single desk, behind which sat Elaine, her fingers flying over the keys of her keyboard.
The instant she saw him, however, she stood…while the keys kept on typing.
"Jerry! You made it!"
"Yeah, I did. By the way, are you aware that your keys are still…?"
She nodded and smiled.
"Yes, I am aware. Please, have a seat," she added, gesturing with a hand, a seat appearing in front of her desk, a mess of purple and blue color. He sat down and was surprised when it sighed and molded around him. He looked down at it, slightly nervous, and Elaine threw him a grimace.
"Sorry. The other lawyers had At-Eeze Furniture furnish the building, so all of our chairs are designed to make our clients feel welcomed and, well, at ease."
He settled further into the chair and felt a low warmth around his back and realized it also had built in heating pads. Oh, yeah. That's what the wizarding world was like. Yes. He could definitely get used it all over again with inventions like these.
"So," Elaine said, pulling out paperwork from seemingly thin air. "I've looked over your case. From what I can see, everything is in order and it should be no trouble whatsoever getting your powers back from your younger brother, Kelbo. The Wizard Council, as it is, has been threatening to remove them from him anyway because of his constant reckless and dangerous misuse of his powers. So, the whole process should take less than a week to clear up. Pretty straight forward, when you look at it."
Jerry simply stared at her, shocked. He knew that his brother was a bit…careless…with magic, but he had no idea that he was in any serious trouble.
"The Wizard Council has been threatening to take his powers? Since when?"
The brunette half-heartedly shrugged her shoulders and replied, "For about a year, now. Ever since the Shakira incident, they've been keeping him on a remarkably short leash…one that he seems to be very content with breaking on an all-too regular basis."
Jerry leaned back in his chair and then let out a sigh and replied, "As much as I want to say that I'm surprised…I'm really not."
She gave him a sympathetic smile.
"I understand. I had an older brother like that. Crazy careless, no desire to study, even though he had tons of potential. He went to the mortal realm and now works as an investment banker." Jerry nodded, and said, "He's a mess, right?" Elaine shook her head. "Actually, he's married, has two kids, making seven figures a year, and lives in a high rise in Los Angeles."
They shared an awkward silence, until the elevator suddenly reappeared and pinged open to reveal his daughter, Alex, dragging along a very confused Harper.
"This isn't the wizarding fabric store you told me about, Alex…but I love the color scheme!"
"Not now, Harper!" the Russo girl said, wildly gesturing and shushing her friend. "We're here to snoop on my dad…" She then seemed to realize that they were being watched. "…who is sitting right there in the middle of the room. Wow, when the girl downstairs said you were the only office on the floor, I didn't think she meant it literally."
Jerry stared at his daughter.
"Uh, Alex? Did you follow me?"
She rolled her eyes, and said, "Oh, please, don't tell me that you're surprised! I mean, you know me. The instant you said you were going to the gym, I knew something was up. You would never go someplace and choose to sweat voluntarily. Who do you think I am? Max?"
He was about to protest, but instead nodded and replied, "Good point. I really gotta work on better alibis. Well, you might as well take a seat."
Elaine quickly conjured up two more chairs, and his daughter collapsed next to him.
"Oh my gosh, are these those new chairs from At-Eeze Furniture? Do they have the massage feature put into them yet?" Elaine nodded, and Alex grabbed Harper's hand where she was looking very uncomfortable being in a chair that was sighing at her, and said, "Harper, push your fingers into the right side of the chair, trust me on this!"
Her friend did it and Jerry saw Harper's discomfort turn to one of pleasure.
"Oh. My. Gosh. This is…like…the best. Chair. Ever!"
"I know, right?" laughed out Alex as she did the same and leaned further back into the chair. "Oh, and it has the heating pad, too…take your time, pops. We're not leaving these chairs anytime soon."
He stared at his daughter for a moment, and then said, incredulous, "You followed me all this way and you don't even want to know what I'm doing here at a wizarding law firm?" She gave him a thoughtful look…and then shook her head.
"Nah, not really. I thought you'd be going somewhere more interesting. I was going to leave, but they kicked me out of the store for sitting too long in their test-chairs of these babies," she said patting the arm of the chair. "So, I might as well stay here and cash in on some free time while I can."
She leaned further back and propped her feet up on the desk, her wand sticking out of her boot, carelessly.
Elaine leaned forward, looking at her shoes.
"I like the boots. Where'd you get them?"
"Ever heard of this thing called the crazy ten-minute sale?"
Before she could go off on a tangent, he cut her off, and said, "I believe I was here, first. So, now…about my situation?"
Putting the files back into the unseen folder, Elaine nodded a second time and stated, "Yes, like I said before, there shouldn't be any problems. In one week, you'll have your full powers back and your brother Kelbo will be reduced back to mortal status. We will, of course, aid him in finding a job and a place to get him settled, but with you, once your powers are returned, everything will be relatively easy on your end."
Jerry nodded, and just as he was about to respond, Alex spoke up.
"Hold up…dad's getting his powers back? Uncle Kelbo's losing his? Okay, I must have hit the dream button on this thing because there's no way that that's happening! I mean…have you seen my dad? C'mon, like he even remembers which end of the wand goes where!" She laughed and jabbed Harper in the side. "Am I right, Harper?"
"Ughm…hmnya…esfud," her friend muttered back unintelligently, still enjoying the chair's massage.
"Ugh, you're no help. Look, the facts are these, lady," Alex said, dropping her feet from the desk and leaning forward. "My Uncle Kelbo knows what magic's really about: having a good time and using it to get as much humor out of life as possible. My dad will do nothing with it. Trust me on this. He is the biggest stick in the mud that you've ever met, and getting his powers back isn't going to change a thing about that. And…actually…why is he getting his powers back, exactly?"
Jerry glared at his daughter and, with a hand on her shoulder, pushed her back in her chair, and said, "Because, Alex, I am no longer married to a mortal."
Her eyebrows shot up.
"Huh. That actually makes sense. I'm surprised. Usually the wizarding rules are all weird and totally outdated, as well as extremely egotistical and unfair in a whole bunch of sexist ways…well, in that, case, have at it! Maybe if he has his powers back he'll let up on the whole, "Oh, magic is a responsibility and has consequences" spiel. I know I've heard it enough!"
"What? I'm just saying…"
"Actually, Miss Russo, I think you might be surprised to know a few things about your father's record. Such as the fact that before he turned sixteen, the age of wizarding law accountability, he had…how should I put this? Oh," she said, snapping her fingers, causing a massively long sheet of paper to unroll from mid-air. "He had a bit of a record."
"What…ee…ah! How…you…! How did you…?"
Elaine gave him a mischievous grin.
"How'd I get my hands on the records? Well, let's just say that when you tell the Wizard Council that one of their most notorious troublemakers is about to get his powers back, they suddenly seemed more than willing to hand over their file on you, Jerry Donovan Russo."
Alex looked over at her dad, a newfound respect in her eyes.
"Dad, I am now sufficiently impressed. It looks like you beat my record by…" She pulled out a measuring tape and rolled it along the parchment, and then laughed. "By five feet! My gosh, Dad, what the heck did you do to get yourself such a long list? I mean, I gotta know your secret…"
She scooted her chair closer to his and he looked at her and then leaned in and whispered conspiratorially in her ear, "Those are only the ones where I got caught."
His daughter threw her head back and laughed, startling Harper from her half-asleep state, who jolted up and said, "What? No, I didn't steal the petunias, I swear! They just got caught in the paint on my new dress, Mrs. Fitz!"
Alex laughed a second time and then reached over and grabbed her friend by the wrist and dragged her to the empty wall, yelling out, "Lobby!" The door appeared and they stepped onto the elevator, and Alex yelled back, just before the doors closed, "Good luck, Dad! Don't do anything Justin would do!"
Jerry smiled indulgently in her direction before turning back to Elaine, who was staring at him with a bemused smile on her face.
"So…ready to begin the paperwork?"
"Oh, I'm ready."
A.N. - Sorry this took forever to update! Years. I've had life going on around me. :)