Years later Harry would come across the pictures again while leisurely looking through his photo albums. In all that had happened in the following six years he had almost forgotten who the boy was. He supposed that he had forgotten because the week that he knew Alex was far attached from the problems he had been experiencing at the same time. He remembered breaking into the bank vault and the 'fun' of skiing. A slight grin erupted on his face. It interested his wife who was sitting across him at the dining table reading the Daily Prophet.
"Darling, who's that?" Ginny inquired when she glanced over to what he was smiling about.
"Oh, did I even tell you I had a cousin? His name is Alex."
"What? You never said anything about wanting to invite a cousin to your wedding. I assume he's not a Dursley. I remember your cousin Dudley sent you a congratulations card but none of them could attend the wedding, or rather wanted to."
"He's my cousin through my mother's half-sister. We haven't been in contact in over six years."
"How come you've never mentioned him before?"
"He only stayed over the Dursleys for a week in the summer following the Triwizard Tournament. We made friends over that week. It was a part of some scheme concocted by MI6 - a muggle spy agency. We later broke into a security vault in Switzerland that belonged to some crazy squib that planned to use bombs to torment the world. We destroyed the bombs and saved the world without anyone knowing. We then had a ski trip in the Alps. I have no idea what happened to him after that."
Ginny gave him a puzzled look; he was sure that she didn't completely know what he was talking about. She took a while to answer him.
"So you were breaking into vaults before Gringott's and also have a cousin that you never mentioned to me before today?"
"That's right, sweetie."
She responded jokingly, "Is there any other secrets you've been hiding? An affair? A pet unicorn? A fetish for flobberworms?"
"Nothing else. Unless you count all the times I've finished all the biscuits in the pantry and blamed it on your brother eating them all when he was over."
"I knew it was you all along. Tell me more about Alex."
He truly loved Ginny. Over all these years they had stuck together through thick and thin, she understood what he had been through and vice versa. She had no interest in his fame or heroic deeds, just him. Their love was deeper than just romance.
More years after that, Harry received a letter in the mail one morning to find that a 'Dr Alexander Rider' had addressed him a letter. Harry spent a good three minutes just staring at it in surprise. It had no stamp, which meant that it would have either come by owl or been dropped off by hand. When he opened it he was even more surprised.
My family and I are moving to London from the United States. I would be interested in having contact with you and perhaps your family if you have one of your own. My address is on the back, please respond.
He couldn't wait to reply.
"I can't wait to meet our other cousins," said Lily excitedly. She was obviously thrilled by the fact that Alex had a daughter about her age, eight. There was also a younger son, he was seven.
Ginny smiled, "You'll get to meet them soon enough."
"No offense to your side of the family Dad, but I kind of don't like our cousins Darren and Delilah," James lamented, "I mean, it kills me not being able to mention anything even remotely related to magic at all when they're around. Besides, I've only met them twice."
"James, be nice to muggles. I don't mind the Dursleys, their just 'vertically challenged' as Albus puts it." Lily reminded her brother.
The Potter family made their way through the middle class neighbourhood trying to locate the house that Alex had bought, gaining stares from muggles who passed them with their perceived odd sense of dress.
When they had got to the front door of 12 Sterling Close Harry pressed the buzzer. A woman wearing a flowing purple robe opened the door. She began to smile at them vivaciously.
"You must be the Potters," she said in an American accent, "I'm Citrine Rider, Alex's wife. I'm very, very pleased to meet you all. We've been waiting for you."
Citrine called the rest of her family. They were introduced to her eight year old daughter Ruby, who they could hear running down the stairs. She greeted them with a big smile. She was blond, like Alex, but was otherwise identical to her mother. Her son Jack was shyer and only mumbled a 'hi' while staring at the ground. He then walked away. From what Harry could tell, he had Alex's familiar big brown eyes.
"Jack has been having trouble with some of the kids at school," Citrine replied at her son's unfriendliness, "As you know, kids sometimes don't understand people who are different."
Harry hoped he would be able to find out more about this later. It seemed a bit insensitive to ask outright.
Alex was the last to greet them. He looked like an ordinary muggle man wearing a typical business suit. He was happy to see them, but Harry instantly suspected that there was something different. His work with MI6 had irreversibly changed something within him; there was some kind of deep rooted trauma – a slight aloofness. However, he seemed to recognise Harry with a familiar smile. He was alright, or at least from what he could tell.
After the children went upstairs, the adults went into the kitchen to talk.
"Would you like some cookies?" Citrine asked, to their surprise she took out a wand and waved it to make a tin of biscuits rise and levitate towards them. Both Ginny and he helped themselves to two.
"Harry, you didn't tell me Alex married a witch?" Ginny stated.
"I didn't know."
Citrine smiled, "Yes, I'm a fine witch from Salem's Institute but I would rather tell you myself then state in a letter. Besides, how did you think the letter arrived through the mail box? How could it have travelled by muggle post without stamps?"
Harry naively said, "I thought Alex might have dropped it off."
"Harry, I've left the spy world a long, long time ago. It brings nothing but sadness. I moved to the United States with the Pleasure family after my guardian Jack was murdered during one of the missions. They decided not to keep me after that. I became a dentist."
"I'm sorry," was all Harry could respond.
"It's ok; I've come to terms with it all a long time ago. Live goes on regardless. Now, what do you both do for a living?"
"I'm now an Auror and Ginny is a Quidditch correspondent for the daily prophet."
"An Auror?" Alex asked; it was easy to forget that he was the only muggle in the room.
"I fight dark wizards. It's kind of like being a policeman."
Alex nodded and there was a minute's silence.
"So why did you decide to move to London?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, for various reasons," Citrine said with a sigh, "I wanted to get away from my family who still disapprove of my marriage to Alex. There was more work for Alex in England."
"My foster sister Sabina also moved back to London, she's now an accountant for Yearling's. Her parents also decided to move back after a couple of years. I wanted to be close to them, they're family."
"Ah, it's always good to be close to family. I'm curious, how did both of you meet?" Ginny inquired.
Citrine smiled and so did Alex, "Oh, it was simply luck and chance. We started a conversation on the street and one thing lead to another. I may or may not have been drinking Felix Felicis."
They continued to talk through the evening. Dinner was lovely and the kids got along well with each other. Lily and Ruby played with one of Ruby's enchanted board games. Even Jack had started to come out of his shell and spent the afternoon playing tag with James and Albus on toy broomsticks.
'Well,' Harry thought, 'I think we will be having a lot more to do with the Rider family in the future.'
I know the ending might have been a bit boring but I have to admit I'm a sucker for happy endings. This is all. I've never intended for this to be a particularly long story, just some harmless fun, but a big thank you to everyone who followed this story. With 23 favourites and 65 alerts, this is by far my most popular story so far (I'm not sure how popular this would compare with a lot of other works). I might consider going back and reediting some of my stuff but don't have high bets on it.
I'm glad to have this story done so I can concentrate on exams. I need to write some more on my Alex Rider alternative ending sometime in the future, I've already lost alerts on it. I'm already considering writing another crossover. I'm deciding between an X-men and Harry Potter crossover where Hermione secretly has a mutant older sister called Viola or another Harry Potter and Alex Rider where Alex is a muggle-born and sent to Hogwarts. I can't decide whether Alex should go to Hogwarts with the Golden Trio or after the final battle. Suggestions anyone?
Sorry for the long winded note. I know most people wouldn't even care. ~Ann707