A seven year old Alex was playing in his backyard with a childhood friend, Angus Simpson. It was a day like any other, Jack Starbright the new housekeeper and babysitter had picked Alex and his friend up from school. Angus' mother worked long hours and Jack had made an agreement with her that Angus could have the afternoon with Alex instead of staying at the school's afternoon care where older kids often pushed him around.
They would usually play on the tire swing Uncle Ian had set up for him, with Alex's Nintendo and sometimes race around the street on their bikes. But today they settled on kicking Angus' ball around Alex's backyard. They were practising the soccer moves they would need when they both would become professional players as adults.
"And Angus shots a goal!" shouted Angus jumping in joy after managing to kick the ball into the improvised goal of two garden spades jabbed into the ground.
Alex laughed, he was having fun. It was fair to let Angus win sometimes; he couldn't force the ball to move around by itself like Alex could. Yet, even without his strange talent Alex could still beat Angus because he was bigger and fitter.
"I'm bored. We've been play this for over an hours. What else is there to do around here that we haven't already done a thousand times?"
That was the downside with Angus, he was always demanding for something new to do. Alex had an idea.
"Can you do tricks? Magic tricks?" Alex asked.
"No. Can you?"
"Yeah. Wanna see?"
Angus shrugged, "Sure, why not?"
Alex picked up the ball and held it in front of him. He concentrated, it took him a while to teach himself this trick and he really hoped it would work when other people were watching. Strange things would often happen around him ever since he could remember, especially when he was really happy, surprised, cranky or sad. He had only realised that he could somehow control it a couple of weeks ago.
Alex threw the ball up into the air. It hovered up high for about a minute before it fell back down to the earth.
Angus' eyes widened in shock, "How the hell did you do that?"
"A good magician never reveals his secrets." Alex muttered. He wasn't sure how he could do it or why, he just could.
"I can do other things too."
"I can make the ball disappear."
"Oh really? Prove it."
Alex had to concentrate really hard to make this one work, but surely enough the ball faded away.
It was then that Angus started screaming. He ran out of the backyard, through the house and out to the front. For about a whole hour, he wouldn't come inside no matter how much Jack tried to coax him. She was confused as to what Alex had done wrong.
"Alex stole my ball!" He wailed when she questioned him.
"No I didn't its right here." Alex responded scornfully. It was easy to make it reappear. He held out the ball and threw it out at Angus who caught it. Angus checked and then rechecked the ball to make sure it was really his.
When Angus' mum finally came to pick him up, Jack apologised immensely. Angus said nothing about what Alex did but it was obvious it was as easy as that for them not to be friends anymore.
The next day at school, Angus resorted to calling Alex a 'freak' and told all the other kids to stay away from him. The other kids didn't believe him but resorted to calling Alex all sorts of names anyway.
It wouldn't last long. Ian Rider took Alex to stay with him in the Marais district of Paris about a month later. He made new friends there and learnt a new language. He also learnt to hide his 'abnormality' from of other people. He would do the occasional practical joke or do something accidentally but that was about it. When he returned to England, Uncle Ian sent him to a different school. He never saw or heard of Angus Simpson ever again.
It was February 13, that one day of the year when Alex turned a year older. This year he would be eleven. Little did he know that out of all his birthdays, his eleventh birthday was sure to be one that was the most memorable.
On the morning of his birthday, Alex greeted Jack in the kitchen for pancakes like he had done for every year she had been involved in his life. There were only a couple of days in the year where she would bother making pancakes and his birthday was always one of them. She usually hated cooking and only made things that were easy. Uncle Ian was there too, he was having a long service leave from working for the bank.
"Good morning, Jack," Alex greeted her with enthusiasm, "What are we having with pancakes?"
"Warm chocolate sauce and berries," Jack confirmed, "There's also ice-cream, but I think the current weather might still be too cold for it."
"I don't mind."
"Happy birthday, Alex!" Uncle Ian exclaimed with a smile as he glanced over his newspaper, he rarely smiled but it was almost priceless when he did, "Are you ready to open presents yet?"
"Is that a question you have to ask?" Alex replied with a smile.
This year Uncle Ian had given him a Swiss army knife, a new soccer ball (his last one was tattered and old) and a new Nintendo game, Treasures of War. Jack had given him a cool bicycle helmet and an ugly lime green Hawaiian shirt (it was a practical joke, every year she bought him an awful item of clothes – last year he was given pink underwear).
That morning was an otherwise unspectacular Sunday morning. They took turns of eating Jack's pancakes which they smothered in chocolate sauce, berries and anything else that would suit pancakes. He thanked Jack and Uncle Ian for the presents he was given. Alex went back to his room to play Treasures of War. Jack spent the day calling her friends and doing a quick house clean. While Uncle Ian went to his work room to do some paper work for the bank, despite the fact that he was apparently taking a holiday.
It would be a couple of hours before Jack would hear the fateful knock on the door and open it to find a rather strange middle aged man standing in front of her.
"Alex!" He could just barely hear her over the sounds of his new game, he considered ignoring her.
"ALEX! Come here, there's someone at the door for you. Ian, there's someone you want to see."
Alex reluctantly went to see who it was. Standing at the doorway was a middle aged man wearing a pink polo shirt with what looked like ladies' jeans. Alex felt confused as to what this man wanted with him, so was his uncle.
"Hello, what is your business with my nephew? Are you from Alex's school?" Uncle Ian asked in a slightly intimidating voice. It was understandable that he didn't appreciate seeing an odd middle aged man interested in his nephew.
The man only responded with a polite smile, "Good afternoon, my name is Sam Powell and I am pleased to inform you that Alexander Rider has received a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Young Alexander here is a wizard."
Ian Rider burst out into a wolfish laughing, "So let me get this straight, you're knocking on our door to tell us my nephew is a wizard?"
The man seemed to be unscathed by this sort of reaction, "Yes, I am. This is not a joke."
"I'm sorry, but we're currently busy."
Alex and Jack only watched as Uncle Ian slammed the door in the man's face and locked it, both of them were equally confused as to what was going on – a man just randomly knocked on the Rider residence to tell Alex he was a wizard. It was absolutely ludicrous.
Yet, what happened after was something equally bizarre. The door seemed to open up by itself, locks and everything. The man was now holding up what looked like to be a mere stick in his left hand. This seemed to peeve Uncle Ian. Both he and Jack however, seemed to be amazed.
"Please at least listen. When a young witch or wizard born to non-magical parents a ministry official is sent to their residence to assure them of their child's abilities. I'll even show you."
The man began to look around the room as if to eye a perfect target; then with a wave of the stick he was holding, the hat stand sprouted human-like feet and started to tap dance. Even someone as sceptical as Uncle Ian had to admit that a trick like that was virtually impossible to pull off.
'So I'm not the only one after all,' Alex concluded to himself. He felt some relief over not being completely abnormal but also confused and inquisitive. For instance, why did he have his abilities? Was there actually a special school for people like him? Why hadn't he met any other wizards or witches before?
"Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get down to business."
The man then continued to explain the basics of the wizarding world. Alex couldn't believe that there was a whole society of people who had magical abilities just like him. Jack was silent throughout the entire time the man spoke. She seemed to be curious and was considerate of the fact that Alex was a wizard. Uncle Ian however interrupted with continual questions. He had a difficult time processing what the man was talking about or rather accepting what he had to say. Yet again, he had never been on the receiving end of one of Alex's pranks or witnessed him have any bizarre outbursts.
"Of course, magic society exists in secrecy so you can't tell anyone that doesn't already know about magic. We give plenty of assistance to non-magical families who have a magic child. We'll even help you buy school supplies and show you where to board the Hogwart's Express."
Alex thought about his school friends and what was he going to tell them about where he would be going in August. He would not be attending high school with them.
"I have a hard time believing that something like magic can be kept such a big secret for so long. You still haven't answered one of my questions – why is my nephew a wizard?"
The man replied with a patient tone, "Easy - with magic. We still don't know why some people are magic and others aren't. Anyway, here is Alex's acceptance letter which will explain more."
He passed Alex a parchment envelope and shook his hand. It was a gesture of congratulations more than anything else.
"And just so you know, my father threw a chair at the man who told me I was a wizard. It is a great honour to escort another future student to Hogwarts. Oh, if you need to contact us for assistance just write a letter and send it through the post. It will reach us. See you later."
With a loud crack, the man vanished into thin air. It startled all three of them. Alex instantly wanted to learn how to do that.
"Well, I never thought that I would ever see the day when I would be told magic existed!" exclaimed Jack with a light laugh. Alex had to agree with her.
This is my first attempt of an Alex at Hogwarts crossover. I promise that there will be spy stuff as well as magic but I cannot promise to stick to canon. Things will happen differently then to both canons. Do you love, hate, confused or just meh? If you think it could improve or spot any grammar errors just tell me so. Also, vote on my profile on which house you think Alex should be sorted in. ~ Ann707