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. He lived in the Fowl Manor in Ireland and undoubtedly, had the highest IQ anyone ever had, or possibly even could have: 307. His knowledge was beyond that of most humans. But, that this boy was highly intelligent and knowledgeable, was a fact very few knew. All the Fowls were legendary criminals, and Artemis was dreaming of becoming the best among them. The Fowls had a lot of enemies owing to their criminal activities as well as wealth, as the Fowls were amongst the wealthiest families in Ireland. The Fowls were guarded by Butlers, who had served the Fowls for centuries. The Butler children were sent to a private training centre in Israel, where they were taught the specialized skills necessary to guard the latest in the Fowl line. The Butlers were the most skilled bodyguards in the world. Once a Fowl and a Butler were put together, they were paired for life. It was a demanding job, and lonely, but the rewards were handsome if you survived to enjoy them. If not, then your family received a six-figure settlement plus a monthly pension. The current Butler had been guarding young Master Artemis for eleven years, since the moment of his birth. And, though they adhered to the age-old formalities, they were much more than master and servant. Artemis was the closest thing Butler had to a friend, and Butler was the closest Artemis had to a father, albeit one who obeyed orders. Artemis and Butler had never been apart from each other for more than a week. Guarding his Principle was Butler’s job. But Butler never knew that he would have to stay away from his Principle for nearly sixty months’ time over the next seven years… ooooooo Chapter 2 WIZARD GENIUS Evening was closing in. Artemis Fowl was working on his laptop. He was trying to invent a new program for transferring the money from some Swiss Bank accounts into his. Little did he know that apart from being a genius, he would learn today that he was a wizard.
“Artemis, didn’t you say that you wanted to meet that whaler from Wales on July the 25th?” asked Butler, who had just entered the room. “I remember very well, Butler. We shall leave in another forty minutes.” “Any further improvements regarding your new program, Artemis?” “Not specifically. But I am sure I will be able to design the program within this week.” “So which bank is it this time that you are attempting to loot from?” “The Swiss Bank, Butler.” “Ah! So this time…” Whatever Butler had tried to tell about this time, he didn’t manage to tell it. Possibly, he never would. The calling bell had been rung by someone. Juliet, Artemis thought. But he was wrong. Butler had opened the door to reveal a woman wearing a cloak and a hat standing before them. The woman had a somber expression. Before either Artemis or Butler could ask her anything, she spoke, “I am Minerva McGonagall. Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” She waited for a response. Butler was first, “Hogwarts school of… what, precisely?”
Butler was utterly confused. His mind was racing through all the possibilities. She could be someone sent by any of their enemies. But who in their foolish minds would think that they could send a spy or some sort of such a person into the very Fowl Manor undetected, or rather that the person would return unharmed? It seemed the woman understood the mindset Butler was in, or at least that he was confused. She smiled kindly and was just about to reply to Butler’s question when Artemis asked, “Do you mean to say that wizards and witches exist in the world?” “Yes, Mr. Fowl,” replied the woman, “and if you would let me explain. Hogwarts is a school which educates young witches and wizards in magic and ways to use it, for seven years, from when they’re eleven till they’re eighteen. You are a muggle-born wizard, which means to say that your parents belong to the non-magical folk. We call the nonmagic people as the muggles. I am here to tell you that you have been offered a seat in our school. Your name has been written down in our school throughout history.” Artemis gave a questioning glare. Butler still seemed perplexed and seemed ready for defending Artemis if the woman turned out to be an enemy’s ally. But before Artemis raised his question it seemed that somehow the woman had read his mind and she answered, “Yes, Mr. Fowl, every student’s name is indeed written down in the school. But of course, the decision to attend Hogwarts or not resides with you.” It obviously does, Butler thought. Or did she think she could force Artemis to join some school of hers that she said taught magic? Artemis rubbed his temples. He then said, “If, as you said, such a school exists, I shall be more than happy to attend it. But… what is the evidence that what you are telling is true. In fact, all this seems too good to be true.” But Artemis knew deep inside that this had to be true. In those equations of Physics, he thought something was missing. And not knowing what, he could not raise objections either. But he could prove that they were incorrect. But then, he should have the correct answer before he started disproving that. And adding magic as another form of energy, he felt that the equations would truly be balanced. “The only way I can prove it, I think, is by performing magic myself,” she said, and withdrew from within her cloak, a stick that was around a foot long.
“This, Mr. Fowl, is a wand. A real one, not one for performing your silly magic tricks. It is what is used to do magic, mainly,” she said. Then she raised her wand, and muttered something under her breath. At once the large chair at the centre of the hall was transfigured into a table. She retransfigured it into a chair again pretty quickly. Magic indeed, Artemis thought. “And I will give you a letter, in which will be stated all your requirements for your First Year at Hogwarts. You must go to London, where you need to go to the Leaky Cauldron and then Diagon Alley… well, I’ll send Hagrid for that. When do you think, Mr. Fowl, will you be ready to purchase your things for Hogwarts?” “The day after tomorrow,” Artemis replied promptly. He needed at least a day to both think over this and his old school and all his future appointments. “Well then, here is your letter…,” she gave it to him in a quick sort of manner that he found both funny and amusing. “And I must leave, for I have more muggle-born wizards to attend to, who too will be joining Hogwarts this year. So, meet you at school, Mr. Fowl!” And then she hurried off. Artemis looked at Butler. He looked dumbfounded. And so was, in fact, Artemis… he was a wizard. He was a genius until now, as far as he knew. Now, he was a wizard genius. ooooooo Chapter 3 THE PORTKEY
All the plans for that day were cancelled. How important was a whaler when you found out that you were a wizard? Or even the Swiss Bank accounts? He would have time later, perhaps, or he could even take his laptop to that school, his school, and he could work that out then… But for now, Artemis tried to digest the fact that he was a wizard. It was something he had never believed in, ever. He had thought that magic simply couldn’t exist. And here it was, standing before him, solid proof for existence of magic. And his mind went through a cold excitement of the things he could accomplish using magic… and for all he knew, he could well become the greatest wizard of his time. And then he remembered certain strange incidents which seemed to be conclusive proof for his magical abilities. One day at school, when he was seven, his classmates had been teasing him for not being normal, not having friends like the others. But the truth was, Artemis had never wanted friends. The only people he wished to interact with were those who were useful to Artemis in his life. He got angry and the moment he had looked at his classmates, they were silenced and thrown back off to the ground. They tried to speak, but couldn’t for over fifteen minutes. The three of them were so ashamed that they never spoke about it even among themselves ever after. Artemis was confused then, but he had grinned at them. Now when he thought about it, he smiled. Then again, when he was nine, during one class, he had spilled ink all over his shirt by mistake. Two boys had seen him and they started laughing at him. Artemis, already embarrassed, was furious. And how it happened, again, he never knew. All of a sudden, all the ink spilled on his shirt vanished. The two boys saw it too, and were terrified. Again, these boys had never recounted the incident to anyone, as far as he knew. He had to arrange all his appointments at the times when he would get holidays. Surely, they would give holidays over Christmas and Easter? Of course, he thought. Why on Earth wouldn’t they? So now, he had to decide what he had to do with his old school. Artemis had been attending St. Bartleby’s School for Young Gentlemen. He had to talk to his mother about this. But would she understand, given her state of mental health? It wasn’t even worth a try. She definitely wouldn’t. So it was up to him to write the school a letter asking for discontinuation. He would see to it later. He was yet to read his letter from Hogwarts. He decided to read it first and then write his letter to St. Bartleby’s. He took out the letter from Hogwarts. The envelope was thick and heavy, made of yellowish parchment. The address was written in emerald-green ink, so plainly that there couldn’t have been a mistake.
Mr. A. Fowl The Second Bedroom Fowl Manor Tara, Ireland. Turning the envelope over, he saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H. He pulled out the letter and read, HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY Headmistress: MINERVA MCGONAGALL Dear Mr. Fowl, We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. Yours sincerely, Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress There was a second piece of paper. He took it out and read, HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY UNIFORM
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black) 2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear 3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings) Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags COURSE BOOKS
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling A Beginners' Guide to Transfiguration by Emetic Switch One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble OTHER EQUIPMENTS A wand A cauldron (pewter, standard size 2) set Glass or Crystal phials A telescope set Brass scales Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS Artemis looked up at the clock. It was eleven o’clock. He had one more day before Hagrid would come, as the Headmistress had said. He would write the letter tomorrow. ooooooo
Artemis woke up the next morning. He thought that all the Hogwarts stuff and the Headmistress must have been a dream. It just seemed too good to be true. He, a wizard? He had, for confirmation, kept the letter from Hogwarts just by his bedside table. He stole a glance towards the table. And there it was, the yellow parchment, the letter from Hogwarts. With a smile on his lips, he set off from his bed.
It was nearly midday. Artemis had finished writing his letter to St. Bartleby’s for his discontinuation with the school and e-mailed it. He had planned to meet with the whaler at the same time today. And he was currently working on his new computer program. Today is going to be quite uneventful, he thought. He was right. That day was quite uneventful. ooooooo Artemis Fowl woke up next day with his lips curved into a grim smile. Today was going to be his first venture into the magical world. At precisely ten o’clock in the morning, the calling bell rang. Artemis smiled. This time, he was sure that this wasn’t Juliet. It was that Hagrid. But he was wrong again. This time, it indeed was Juliet. The blonde with blue eyes walked into the hall. She was older than Artemis, and also Butler’s sister. She had undergone the same training as Butler had, but not yet finished. She had a knack for wrestling matches and those were her favorite television shows. “Where is Artemis? Where is our magician?” she asked Butler. As she saw him coming down, she said, “Congratulations, young wizard! So, show me some of your magic tricks.” Butler said, “Juliet, he needs a wand to do magic. Moreover, he is yet to learn how to do magic, anyway.” Artemis nodded. “Oh really Artemis, I can’t just wait to see you do magic, and also you know…” What he knew or not, Artemis never came to know. The doorbell rang again.
Juliet opened the door to reveal a giant of a man standing with a pink umbrella. The man was even taller than Butler, he was certainly over ten feet. Artemis knew that this man could only be Hagrid, though the instance of him being an enemy’s ally also seemed equally likely. His thoughts were interrupted by the giant man, “I’m Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of keys and grounds and gamekeeper as well as Control and Care of Magical Creatures teacher at Hogwarts. I’m here ter escort Mr. Fowl ter Diagon Alley.” Artemis nodded, but Butler seemed unsure. Then Juliet asked, “Why would you go to that ‘diagonally’ place, Artemis?” “Shoppin’,” Hagrid replied cheerily, “Mr. Fowl has ter buy all the stuff needed fer him ter come ter Hogwarts. As he doesn’t know where Diagon Alley is or how ter get there, I shall be escorting him there this time. And also, Mr. Fowl, you’ll need around more or less than five hundred you-rows with you for purchasing the stuff.” “You mean euros?” Artemis asked. “Yeah… that. Muggle money,” replied Hagrid. “You mean magical folk use a completely different form of currency?” enquired Artemis, apparently surprised that he hadn’t deduced this either. “’Course, m’boy! What did yeh think, we’ll use these silly papers as money? TwentyNine Bronze Knuts make a Silver Sickle, and Seventeen Silver Sickles make a Gold Galleon. And I think a galleon roughly equals seven-and-a-half you-rows. The goblins will know better though, clever and cunning they are, I tell yeh.” “There are goblins in the wizarding world?” asked a terrified Butler, and he swallowed the lump in his throat, imagining all the other terrible creatures in there and trying to think how he would save Master Artemis if one of those creatures attacked him.
“’Course there are! And loads of other creatures, I tell yeh! Interesting, they’re. Anyway, you’ll learn all that later. Gotta go now. Come on!” Though Butler still looked in a suspicious sort of way, Artemis said, “We shall leave in ten minutes’ time, Professor Hagrid. Get ready, Butler.” Though Hagrid was taller, still, there was no mistaking the fear in his voice when he spoke, “Will he be comin’ with us?”, pointing towards Butler. “Yes,” Artemis and Butler replied at the same time. “He will be with me wherever I go, whenever I go,” Artemis said. “Oh, he’s yer bodyguard, I understand. Professor McGonagall told me you were one of the richest families in Ireland,” Hagrid said. “The Fowl family has many enemies,” Butler replied. “But yeh can’t take him ter Hogwarts, yeh can’t. Hogwarts is invisible ter Muggles. He can’t come there. And the teachers and Headmistress most certainly won’t allow him in ter Hogwarts. But he can come ter Diagon Alley, anyway,” said Hagrid. To tell that Butler looked as if he had been sentenced to life in a prison would be an understatement. Though everyone caught his frivolous look, no one had any suggestions. Artemis looked dumbfounded. It was useless now, he thought. He would think about it later. After all, he knew nothing about magic till now. And it was difficult to digest the fact that he’d have to live without Butler for months at a time. But now, he had another important job to finish. Ten minutes later, both Artemis and Butler emerged into the hall in neat suits. Hagrid, who had been sitting in the same chair that Professor McGonagall had transfigured two days back, rose. “Juliet, take care of mother. If she asks, tell her that I’ve gone to meet some friends of mine,” said Artemis.
Nodding, Juliet asked, “When will you return?” As for that, Hagrid replied, “Before lunch.” “How are we going to go, Professor?” Artemis asked as they emerged out of the house. “Portkey,” replied Hagrid coolly. “Port what?” Butler questioned. “A Portkey. It is an object which transports people from one place to another in just a matter of time. The object should be a normal, unused object which muggles should not find strange. Portkeys must be authorized by the Ministry of Magic. That was how I came here. And that is how we will be leaving, too. We’ve got five minutes before the Portkey will take us to the Leaky Cauldron. From there, we shall go to Diagon Alley,” Hagrid replied. Artemis thought that he was being silly. How could he have missed it? Obviously if there existed people with magical abilities, law and order would be most certainly required. He had already worked out why the magical folk were living in hiding and not revealing themselves to the world: because then, everyone would start wanting magical remedies for their problems. The magical community was best left alone. Artemis asked, “I assume that we have another Portkey arranged for our return?” Hagrid looked confused but at the same time impressed. He spoke, “How else did yeh think yeh will return, boy?”, and he chuckled to himself at his joke. Thought Artemis had a reply, he thought better of it. It wouldn’t do well for him to offend a giant of a wizard who would be his future teacher at school. Not at all. Two minutes later, Hagrid started looking serious and said, “We only got seconds,” saying so, he removed what looked like a battered old boot from his pocket and held it out in front of them, before speaking again, “Hold on to this tight, it’ll transport us any second now…”
As he said so, Artemis and Butler held their tightly to the boot. With an eye on his watch, Hagrid was counting down, “Three… two… one…” It happened suddenly. Artemis felt as though a hook just behind his navel had been jerked irresistibly forward. His feet left the ground; he could feel Hagrid and Butler on either side of him, their shoulders banging into his; they were speeding forward in a howl of wind and swirling color; his forefinger was stuck to the boot as though it was pulling him magnetically onward and then His feet slammed into the ground, and so did Butler’s. Hagrid was still standing. Both Butler and Hagrid, like him looked very windswept. Though lots of people were moving around, no one seemed to have noticed them. Artemis observed his surroundings. Surely, he was in London. Now where was that Leaky Cauldron? “This is it,” said Hagrid, coming to a halt, “the Leaky Cauldron. It's a famous place.” It was a tiny, grubby-looking pub. It was the one he had least expected to serve as the entrance to a famous place for magic. But of course, Artemis thought, they wouldn’t want a place that would attract unnecessary attention. The people hurrying by rarely even glanced at it. Of those rare people, no one seemed to care for a second-look. The pub was surely serving its purpose. For a famous place, it was very dark and shabby. A few old women were sitting in a corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. One of them was smoking a long pipe. A little man in a top hat was talking to the old bartender, who was quite bald and looked like a toothless walnut. The low buzz of chatter stopped when they walked in. Everyone seemed to know Hagrid; they waved and smiled at him, and the bartender reached for a glass, saying, “The usual, Hagrid?” “Can't, Tom, I'm on Hogwarts business,” said Hagrid, walking through as quickly as possible, motioning the two to follow. Hagrid led them through the bar and out into a small, walled courtyard, where there was nothing but a trash can and a few weeds.
Hagrid moved forward towards the wall and tapped the wall three times with the point of his umbrella. The brick he had touched quivered -- it wriggled -- in the middle, a small hole appeared -- it grew wider and wider -- a second later they were facing an archway large enough even for Hagrid, an archway onto a cobbled street that twisted and turned out of sight. ooooooo Chapter 4 DIAGON ALLEY “Welcome,” said Hagrid, “to Diagon Alley.” You couldn’t explain it in another way. For the first time in his life, Artemis Fowl the Second was ‘amazed’ at the sight he saw. They stepped through the archway. Artemis looked quickly over his shoulder and saw the archway shrink instantly back into solid wall. The sun shone brightly on a stack of cauldrons outside the nearest shop. Cauldrons -- All Sizes - Copper, Brass, Pewter, Silver -- Self-Stirring -- Collapsible, said a sign hanging over them. “Yeah, yeh'll be needin’ one,” said Hagrid, ‘but we gotta get yer money first.” Artemis wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping. A plump woman outside an Apothecary was shaking her head as they passed, saying, “Dragon liver, seventeen Sickles an ounce, they're mad...” A low, soft hooting came from a dark shop with a sign saying Eeylops Owl Emporium -Tawny, Screech, Barn, Brown, and Snowy. Several boys of about Artemis’s age had their noses pressed against a window with broomsticks in it. “Look,” Artemis heard one of them say, “the new Firebolt four… fastest ever…” There were shops selling robes, shops selling telescopes and strange silver instruments that even Artemis Fowl had never seen
before, windows stacked with barrels of bat spleens and eels’ eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills, and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon.... When Artemis directed his vision to the front, he saw that they were heading for a snowy white building that towered over the others by its side. Standing beside its burnished bronze doors, wearing a uniform of scarlet and gold, was a creature the like of which Artemis had never seen before. When Artemis turned towards Hagrid, he said, “This is Gringotts. The Wizards’ Bank, yeh know. This is where wizards store all their stuff. Safest place in the world, I say. Well, ‘xcept may be Hogwarts. This is where yeh’ll convert yer muggle money in ter wizarding money. And by the way, that’s a goblin,” finally pointing towards the creature which had intrigued Artemis as to what it was. The three of them walked the stone steps towards the goblin, who bowed as they walked inside. He was half-a-feet shorter than Artemis and had a swarthy, clever face, a pointed beard and, Artemis noticed, very long fingers and feet. Now they were facing a second pair of doors, silver this time, with words engraved upon them: Enter, stranger, but take heed Of what awaits the sin of greed, For those who take, but do not earn, Must pay most dearly in their turn. So if you seek beneath our floors A treasure that was never yours, Thief, you have been warned, beware Of finding more than treasure there.
“Yeh’d be mad ter try and rob it,” Hagrid said matter-of-factly. A pair of goblins bowed them through the silver doors and they were in a vast marble hall. About a hundred more goblins were sitting on high stools behind a long counter, scribbling in large ledgers, weighing coins in brass scales, examining precious stones through eyeglasses. There were too many doors to count leading off the hall, and yet more goblins were showing people in and out of these. The three of them made for the counter. "Morning," said Hagrid to a free goblin, “We’re here to change some muggle money in ter wizard money.”
“Very well. How much money would you like to exchange?” the goblin asked grimfacedly. “Give ‘im whatever yeh’ve got. We’ll change after finishin’ the shoppin’, come on, now!” said Hagrid. Butler removed the five-hundred euros from his pocket and handed to the goblin. It seemed at first that the goblin was caressing over the currency notes. After a minute or so, the goblin called over to another goblin, “Ragnuk, get me sixty-seven galleons, eleven sickles and six knuts. Quick now, hurry up!” A goblin sitting on one of the high stools behind the counter rose and brought some money. “Here, Wulkook,” he said and handed over the money. “Here you go,” Wulkook said, handing over the money which Hagrid hastily took and handed over to Artemis. He continued, “If you wish to change your money back to euros, you can come later after finishing your job here. Of course, you can keep the wizard money to yourself if you are not interested in taking back your euros.” “Let’s keep goin’ then,” said Hagrid and the three of them started moving towards the stone steps. Artemis had planned the day before itself the order of buying his First Year requirements. He would buy the uniform first, then his school books, then his cauldron, then his basic potion ingredients, then his wand, and finally, his pet. As they arrived outside Gringotts, Artemis said, “Professor Hagrid, I’ve planned out all my shopping. Only if you could give us our Portkey, I think we’ll manage the rest on our own.” “D’yeh know where to buy yer stuff, boy?” Hagrid asked with a grin that seemed to tell that he had just defeated Artemis in a long debate. “Yes Professor, I just saw all the shops on our way. I just thought that you might have more important business to attend to than teaching me about Diagon Alley. I’ll also get to learn more through experience. Moreover, I have Butler with me,” replied Artemis coolly.
“’Course, right yeh are, boy, and quite observant yeh are, I agree, but are yeh sure yeh can manage without me? If somethin’ goes amiss, Professor McGonagall’ll kill me…” “I don’t think I need to worry about anything while I have Butler by my side, Professor.” “Here yeh go then, boy, this is yer Portkey…” Hagrid said, handing over an empty plastic bottle, “This leaves in about two hours. So better finish all yer shoppin’ by then. And remember, yeh aren’t allowed ter use magic outside of school. Take care.” “Thank you, Professor, thank you very much for the help you provided,” said Artemis. “That’s nothing, boy, nothin’ at all… and what is yer name by the way?” Hagrid asked. His idea had worked. Artemis smiled. “Artemis, Professor. Artemis Fowl,” replied Artemis. Then Hagrid hurried along to the solid wall from which they had first emerged into Diagon Alley. “What was all that about, Artemis? Asking him to go away… we’re not even familiar with this place…” Butler said. Artemis smiled again. He said, “He is Control and Care of Magical Creatures teacher at school. And he said that those detestable goblins are clever cunning creatures. Also, he said that the magical creatures were all interesting ones. All this leads to one thing: he is impressed by trust and intelligence, which, if I am not much mistaken, he has not had the opportunity to exercise or show. Then, it seems, that he has developed a liking to those who have power and intelligence. I showed him both; by showing him how observant I was, I proved that I was intelligent, and by referring to you that I would be safe at your hands, I showed him that I trusted people. So…” “So one of the school teachers impressed, before even you start attending school!” Butler completed for Artemis.
“More than a teacher, Butler. You see, he said that he was also the gamekeeper at Hogwarts, as well as keeper of keys and grounds,” Artemis said with a smile. “I think you should be given honors in an M.E. degree, you know,” said Butler. “I must disagree, Butler, because I do not know,” said Artemis, “and by the way, what is M.E., Master of Exploitation?” asked Artemis, chuckling. “You knew what was in my mind,” said Butler, “and you almost always do. Only Artemis Fowl,” and he concluded. “I knew he was impressed the moment he asked for my name,” said Artemis, “for he had never even chanced to see my name. He had not thought it necessary till then. But now that he was impressed, he wanted to know me. His sub-conscious has recorded that I am an important friend of his now. But out in his conscious mind, he will only just like me. Impressions can be only made if you touch the sub-conscious mind of the person. And now that I’ve made an impression on him, I can worm out more-than-important things out of him, if I have the wit.” Butler was blindly following Artemis and trying to imagine Master Artemis to be witless. He chuckled to himself. That was possibly the strangest thought that had struck him in his life. “I’ve decided to buy my uniform first, Butler. This is Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions. You just wait here. I’ll come soon. Artemis entered. Madam Malkin was squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve. Before Artemis could say anything, she said, “Hogwarts, dear? Got the lot – come here -” She stood him on a stool, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the right length. After some five minutes or so, she said, “That’s you done my dear,” she said, “how many robes would you like?” Artemis said, “If I remember correctly, I need three sets of plain and black work robes, a plain and black pointed hat for day wear, a pair of protective gloves made from dragon
hide or something similar, and a black winter cloak with silver fastenings, all of which should carry a name tag. So it makes four robes, a hat and a glove. And to tell simply, which is the answer for question, the uniform requirements of a First Year student at Hogwarts.” Though she looked both confused and highly impressed, she became a bit nervous. No first year had ever spoken to her like this. The boy’s voice commanded an authority that she had seen before in only one boy… the one who even Dumbledore had agreed was the most brilliant student that Hogwarts had ever seen… “Here you go,” she said, and hurried him to the exit. Artemis did always confuse and impress anyone he met, but make someone nervous? That was rare… and the woman had looked at him as though he was some terrible thing, as though she wished she had never seen him. Why was it? He knew for sure that she had been reminded of some terrible incident of the past. He could tell that much from her look. But such a cool reply didn’t make anyone nervous… for the first time in his life, Artemis couldn’t explain why this was happening. Obviously, it was something to do with the magical world. He vowed to find it out soon… Next, he went to Flourish and Blotts’ with Butler, where he bought all his school books. He also bought some extra books for extra reading. He was sure he would still finish all the books within two days. The shelves were stacked to the ceiling with books as large as paving stones bound in leather; books the size of postage stamps in covers of silk; books full of peculiar symbols and a few books with nothing in them at all. He then went to the cauldron shop according to the plan, and bought himself a pewter cauldron for five galleons. He bought a nice set of brass scales for buying potion ingredients and then bought a collapsible brass telescope. Then Artemis and Butler visited the Apothecary, which was fascinating enough to make up for its horrible smell, a mixture of bad eggs and rotted cabbages. Barrels of slimy stuff stood on the floor; jars of herbs, dried roots, and bright powders lined he walls; bundles of feathers, strings of fangs, and snarled claws hung from the ceiling. Artemis examined the silver unicorn hairs and the minuscule, glittery-black eyes. Then, he bought his supply of basic potion ingredients. He also bought a Crystal phial there itself. All that was left now was his wand and his pet. Though he didn’t know which was better, intuitively he chose an owl to be his best companion. He didn’t like cats that much, and so didn’t he like toads. But for owls, they seemed different. Artemis had worked out that owls carried letters in the wizarding world, as he was expected to ‘owl’ the Headmistress
about his joining the school by the Thirty-first of July. Obviously he was supposed to send a letter to her. So owls served as a means of communication. But cats and toads weren’t likely candidates for the job, as neither could fly and hence cross over the difficult relief or terrain. So, an owl, he thought, was the best choice. Moreover, if he didn’t buy an owl, how would he send a letter to the Headmistress if he didn’t have an owl? At that point, Artemis had reached the last shop. It was narrow and shabby. Peeling gold letters over the door read ‘Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C’. A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. A magic wand… that was what Artemis had been really looking forward to. He felt a tingle of excitement as he entered the shop with Butler. A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. It was a tiny place, empty except for a single, spindly chair that Butler sat on to wait. Artemis felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library; he swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him and looked instead at the thousands of narrow boxes piled neatly right up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of his neck prickled. The very dust and silence in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic. “Good afternoon,” said a soft voice. Butler had jumped, because Artemis heard a crunching noise and Butler quickly got off the spindly chair. “Hello, Mr. Ollivander,” Artemis replied coolly as though neither the man’s appearance nor Butler’s jumping had affected him in the slightest. And they really hadn’t. “I am Artemis Fowl,” he concluded. Ollivander winced. For some reason, even the name made him shiver. His intuition had rarely been wrong. “Which is your wand arm, Mr. Fowl?” he queried gravely, at the same time pulling a long tape measure with silver markings on it. “Why, my right arm, of course,” Artemis replied casually, holding out his right arm. Again, this old man had become nervous just after hearing his name. Surely, his name couldn’t be a terrible thing? Artemis was confused. Why did Madam Malkin and Ollivander behave like this? His determination to find out what was wrong grew only stronger. Ollivander measured Artemis from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round his head. As he measured, he said, “Every Ollivander
wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mr. Fowl. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand.” The tape measure started measuring of its own and Ollivander started flitting around the shelves, taking down boxes. After some time, he came hurrying toward Artemis and said, “Here. Maple and Dragon heartstring. Eleven inches precisely. Nice and whippy. Now give it a wave.” Artemis took the wand and waved it. Suddenly, Ollivander snatched it away and held out another wand, saying, “Beechwood and unicorn hair. Eight-and-a-half inches. Flexible and Springy. You know what to do.” Again, Artemis gave it a wave. This time, a glass-case nearest to the wand shattered. Ollivander snatched the wand away again and murmured something that sounded like not at all, not at all. Then he came up with another wand that was ebony and phoenix feather, ten-and-a-quarter inches, and which was nice and supple. Apparently, that wand too didn’t do what Ollivander had expected it to, and he snatched it way. After trying a dozen or so wands, none of which worked well for him, Artemis became nervous. What if none of the wand suited him. A wand was the object with which one did most of the magic, as the Headmistress had said. What if… When he was wondering this, Ollivander came up with another wand. He looked grave and old, the same expression returning on his face when he had first heard Artemis’s name. He spoke, in what looked like a sad tone, “Yew and phoenix feather. Thirteen-anda-half inches precisely. Strong and powerful.” On hearing Ollivander’s words, Artemis hoped beyond hope that this wand worked for him. It was exactly as he had wanted; a powerful and strong wand. As Artemis held the wand, he felt warmth spread through his fingers. He swished and waved the wand; a stream of red and gold sparks shot out from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls. He knew at once that this was his wand; he even wondered if you really had to want the wand to own it. Ollivander turned, if possible, even graver and paler. Artemis couldn’t resist more, “What is it, Mr. Ollivander, which troubles you?”
“Nothing, my boy, nothing. Only that I sold a similar wand years and years ago. You just triggered that memory into me,” replied Ollivander. “And it was a bad memory, wasn’t it?” Artemis asked. Ollivander observed him carefully. Then he said, “Seven galleons, Mr. Fowl. I wish to speak no more,” he said the last sentence looking away from him. This boy mustn’t turn out to be the next…he couldn’t even think further. So there was definitely something to it, thought Artemis. He would find that out soon enough. He paid Ollivander seven galleons and left for Eeylops owl emporium. There, he bought a brown owl and decided to name him later. He checked on his time. “Butler,” he shouted, “we have only a minute left before the Portkey leaves!” Butler became serious and rushed towards Artemis. Artemis removed the empty bottle from his pocket and held it out so Butler could hold it. Artemis felt the same hook behind his navel and felt his feet lift off the ground. Within seconds, he was standing in front of his house. He kicked the bottle away and thought… Artemis Fowl the Second, a wizard… and one with a powerful and strong wand… only if his father had known… he would have been proud… ooooooo Chapter 5 HOGWARTS EXPRESS Artemis’s father was the head of a vast criminal empire. He had bought a cargo ship, stocked it with cola cans, and set course for Murmansk in Russia, where he had set up a business deal that could have proved profitable for a long time. But the Russian Mafiya didn’t want an Irish businessman to get access to their market and hence sank the ship,
the Fowl Star, in the Bay of Kola. Artemis Fowl the First was declared missing and presumed dead. Now Artemis Fowl the Second was the head of an empire with limited funds. He would go to any lengths to restore the family fortune. Being a wizard, that only ought to make the job a bit easier. But Artemis didn’t believe that his father was dead. And the loss of his father had created quite an effect on his mother Angeline. She had retreated to her room, and refused to come outside, preferring the dreams of the past to real life. She had nearly gone insane and didn’t identify Artemis himself most of the time. Now that he was going to a school and wouldn’t be there in Fowl Manor for a long time, what if she noticed his absence? Artemis tried not to think about it much and immersed himself into intense reading of all his new books. The additional books he had bought were Quidditch through the Ages, The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts, and Hogwarts, A History. As expected, he had finished all his books within two days’ time. He decided to owl the Headmistress about his coming to Hogwarts as she had insisted in the letter. He had named his owl as ‘Marron’, which in French means brown. After giving her the letter, he said, “Take this to Professor McGonagall, she’ll be at Hogwarts.” The owl nodded and left. Today was the thirtieth of July, and he was supposed to have sent his letter by the next day. It was then that Artemis heard the knock on the door. It was Hagrid. “What brings you in this warm morning to Fowl Manor, Professor?” asked Artemis. He couldn’t fathom the reason, really. “Artemis, I forgot ter give yeh the ticket ter Hogwarts Express,” replied Hagrid. He had an envelope in his hand and seemed impatient to hand it over to Artemis. “You mean we go by a train to Hogwarts, Professor?” a surprised Artemis asked. “How the hell else did yeh think yeh’d be goin’? Yeh thought yeh could use a Portkey again, did yeh?” chuckled Hagrid.
In fact, that was what Artemis had been thinking. But to use a Portkey, they needed a Ministry approval. Who knew from which country a student would be coming? He should have known that, thought about that. He cursed himself for being silly and responded, “Where does the train start?” he asked. “King’s Cross,” Hagrid replied. “But then, wouldn’t the muggles notice?” Artemis asked. If the train did start at King’s Cross, then surely several of the muggles would notice strange robe-wearing people all getting into one train. Hagrid seemed to be cheered by Artemis’s question. He replied, “The platform is not basically in King’s Cross, yeh know. The Hogwarts Express starts from platform nineand-three-quarters.” “Platform what?” Artemis asked, completely sure that he had either not heard correctly or misunderstood. But he was equally sure that that couldn’t have happened. “Yes, boy, yeh heard correctly. Platform nine-and-three-quarters. Yeh need ter get through the barrier between the platforms nine and ten ter get there. The train leaves at eleven in the morning, on the first of September. So remember ter pop up on time, ok? Here is your ticket. And be sure ter pack all yer things in a trunk and bring them along,” said Hagrid and handed over the ticket, as Artemis was only a child. “And if yeh don’t mind, I’d better be leaving, I have business,” he said and went away. So Artemis was going to Hogwarts by means of a train. Well, the journey would be quite long, he thought. Time passed out quickly. The thirty-first of August arrived very soon. Artemis had finished designing his program for diverting money from the Swiss Bank and had diverted millions of dollars to his account. Now he had found out about the existence of the People. They too, he found out, had magical powers. Artemis would go to any lengths for gold. Aurum Potestas Est, his father had always said. Artemis found out that the People were fairies, and he found hundreds of references to fairies all over the countries of the world. Each civilization had its own term for the People, but they were undoubtedly members of the same hidden family. Several stories mentioned a Book carried by each fairy. It was their Bible, containing, as it allegedly did, the history of their
race and the commandments that governed their extended lives. Of course, this Book was written in Gnommish, the fairy text, and would be of no use to any human. By the Artemis had surfed the net found out all about this, time was getting over. He had to go to Hogwarts on the next day. He decided to take his laptop with him anyway, though he knew it wouldn’t work (he had read in Hogwarts, A History that muggle goods like electronic items didn’t work well in places full of magic, and at Hogwarts, none of the goods did). He immersed himself in the lore of the People until he had compiled a huge database on their characteristics. But it wasn’t enough. If he couldn’t do it at school, he’d do it when he returned. He had even thought about Butler coming to stay near him in the village of Hogsmeade near Hogwarts. But it was a village in which no muggle inhabited. In fact, it was the only village in which no muggle lived, in the entire wizarding world. And what good would it do to Butler in staying with magical folk. Butler was strong, yes, could take care of himself; but these were wizards and witches they were dealing with, and magic most certainly would be able to get the better of Butler. And the village being fully magical, would they even allow Butler to stay there. If Butler had to stay, he needed to rent some place, but the villagers surely wouldn’t agree. Artemis chuckled at the thought of him being more powerful than Butler when he was a qualified wizard. ooooooo Artemis Fowl woke up next morning to find himself twelve years old. This is it, he thought. Hogwarts, I’m coming, he said with a smile on his face. It was something that rarely, but surely, did creep up his face. Artemis was always two steps ahead. But you didn’t need to be a genius to pack your trunk a night before if you’re going somewhere the next day, though of course, he was. Artemis Fowl reached the Heathrow airport along with Butler at precisely nine-thirty in the morning. From there, the journey to King’s Cross via an underground train took almost an hour. Artemis and Butler were staring at the barrier between the platforms nine and ten at ten forty-five. Here goes nothing, Artemis thought. “Come on, Butler, let’s get moving,” he said.
After checking that no one was looking at them, Artemis closed his eyes and ran first into the barrier quickly with his trolley, half-anticipating a crash, followed by Butler, who was looking nervous, and, apparently thinking what would happen if they crashed. But they didn’t crash. Artemis kept walking and when he was sure that if he were to crash, that would have happened ages ago, stopped and opened his eyes. In front of him he saw a scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform with people packed on it. This was the Hogwarts Express, and this was platform nine-and-three-quarters. Most of the carriages were already filled. Artemis went and found himself a seat in one of the empty compartments. Butler carried his owl and trunk inside the compartment. Butler was waiting to hear what Artemis would say next. “Butler, I can manage after this. You should leave before it is eleven or you won’t be able to go back home,” Artemis said in a commanding tone. Butler reluctantly nodded and left. So off to Hogwarts at last, Artemis thought. “Is that seat for someone?” a boy, whom Artemis had apparently not seen entering, asked. Artemis didn’t look him in the eyes, but shook his head. “Do you mind if I sit down?” he asked, and Artemis nearly smiled at his nervous tone, “because all the other compartments are full,” the boy completed. Artemis shrugged. The boy sat down, feeling quite happy. “My name is Steve, by the way. Steve Regan. Who are you, by the way?” he added quite kindly, Artemis noticed. Then he answered, “Fowl. Artemis Fowl, the Second.”
“Oh. Nice to meet you,” the boy said. Artemis remained as impassive as ever. But surely, it wouldn’t hurt to say hello to someone? “Nice to meet you, too Steve,” Artemis replied, after a fight of wills inside his brain. Then, another boy entered. “Can I pop in?” he asked. Artemis looked at him for a second, then resumed watching the fields pass by, and shrugged again. The boy looked confused. “Your wish,” Steve said. “I’ll better come in, then,” he said. He said next to Steve, and looked at Artemis as though he was the most curious thing in the world. Then he spoke to Steve, “I am Jack. Jack Winters. You?” “Steve Regan,” Steve answered. “Are you pureblood?” Jack asked curiously. When Steve’s eyes narrowed, he was sorry he had said it in that way, “No, no. I mean – I am a muggle, you know. So I just asked to – ” Steve cut him off, “No. I am a half-blood. Mother’s a witch. Father’s a muggle.” “Oh. Who are you, by the way?” Jack asked Artemis. Artemis gave him a glare that made him retreat back. And then Jack scowled. “Artemis Fowl, the Second,” Artemis replied coolly. “You – you what?” Jack stammered, “You – you can’t be… you’re the Artemis Fowl?” he finished asking with a glint of terror in his blue eyes, eyes which stared at Artemis in complete disbelievement. Artemis nodded casually, not even glancing at him. “Why? What if he’s Artemis Fowl? Is he famous?” asked Steve, now suddenly curious. “You have no idea,” Jack said, “He’s a genius. Most intelligent person you can ever meet. His father is famous in the underworld. Criminal genius, I’d say.” “My father was no criminal,” a cold voice echoed from where Artemis Fowl sat.
“No, I didn’t mean to say that. Just you know, so famous. So rich. I’ve always wanted to meet you. Never thought I’d meet you here, most of all.” Artemis was getting utterly bored staring out of the window. And also, he wouldn’t be able to avoid everyone at his house or school (about which all he had already read in Hogwarts, A History). After all, it would do good to have some friends… friends? Well, that was something he’d never had in his life, if you excluded Butler and Juliet. So, eager to strike up a conversation, Artemis asked, “Which house do you think you’ll be in?” he asked both of them. Just when Steve said “Slytherin”, Jack asked “Houses?”. “Yes, I think I’ll be in Slytherin too, seems the best by far,” Artemis said before he said to Jack, “Yes, houses. There are four – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin – each with its own noble history. The Gryffindors are the brave, unthinking stupids, though with exceptions like the famous Hermione Granger, the Ravenclaws are the clever and intelligent ones, the Hufflepuffs are the supposedly hardworking, fit-for-nothing-else ones, and the Slytherins, yes – they’re the clever and ambitious ones who’re brave but not stupid like the Gryffindors,” Artemis finished. “Where’d you find all that?” asked a surprised Steve. “In Hogwarts, A History”, replied Artemis coolly. Jack said, “I bet I’m in Huffle – ” “You mean it’s given that the Gryffindors are ‘unthinking stupids’ in that book?” Steve looked nervous. “No, those are my conclusions,” Artemis said. “Who are you to conclude that Gryffindors are stupid, or unthinking, for that matter?” asked an outraged Steve. “Believe me, Steve,” Jack interrupted, “if it is indeed his conclusion, you know, then he’s probably more right than what that book says.”
“How can you – ” Steve started. “Side with me? Well, Steve, for your information, he seems to know more about me than you do. Your mother was Gryffindor, right, Steve?” Artemis asked. “How do you know –” Steve started again, but was again interrupted by Jack again, “Told you! He’s a genius, man! Or can’t you stand that? He always knows everything,” Jack finished. “Well, ok then,” Steve said, unconvinced, but what chance did he stand? It was two against one, and one of them seemed to be really a genius. “Why did you say you’d be chosen in Slytherin, then? Ambition, I’m sure?” Artemis asked and continued, “for none of the other qualities seem to apply to you.” Jack giggled. Steve scowled at both of them. “Anything of the trolley, dears?” came a sweet voice from outside the compartment. Steve bought what seemed to be five Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, and five chocolate frogs. New to everything, Artemis bought two of whatever he wanted to buy, which included chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes and Licorice Wands. He decided to eat one chocolate frog and keep the rest for later. There was a card in it. The card was about Albus Dumbledore, which was written beneath his picture. Artemis had read about him, but not much. He was, as far as Artemis knew, the best Headmaster Hogwarts had ever had. Moreover, in the war with Voldemort, he had been killed. Also, he was supposed to be the only wizard whom Voldemort had ever feared. He read the card. ALBUS DUMBLEDORE FORMER HEADMASTER OF HOGWARTS Considered by many the only wizard He Who Must Not Be Named had ever feared, Dumbledore is particularly Famous for his defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald
in 1945, in a duel that is considered the best ever, his discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his presently dead partner, Nicolas Flamel. Dumbledore used to love tenpin bowling and chamber music.
The rest of their time, none of them talked to each other, except Jack asking Artemis about his life and times. Steve was quiet, but listening to them intently, which Artemis noticed, but Jack didn’t seem to notice. Artemis immersed himself into The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts again, reading the chapter on Harry Potter for the umpteenth time. How had Potter survived the killing curse when no one else had ever been able to? As far as he had read about him, he wasn’t that great of a wizard. How had he, then, managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort? And there was more to it. Apart from the defeat, Harry Potter had narrowly escaped Voldemort six times. How had he managed that? Except two times, in all the other escapes, he either had sheer luck or mere chance. He wanted to know more. He’d research about it in the library. It had, after all, been six years since Voldemort had been defeated… It was then, that a voice echoed through the train, “Get into your school robes, we’ll be arriving at Hogwarts in five more minutes. Leave your luggage in the train; it will be taken to the school separately.” Artemis, Jack and Steve changed their robes. In five minutes, the train stopped at Hogsmeade. “So this is Hogsmeade,” Steve said. “What is Hogsmeade?” Jack enquired. “Hogsmeade is the village nearest Hogwarts. Also, it is reputed to be the only mugglefree and completely magical village in the world,” Artemis informed Jack. “Wow!” Jack said in surprise. As they got off the train, they heard a voice that Artemis found to be familiar with, “Firs’ years over ‘ere, please! Firs’ years!”
ooooooo Chapter 6 THE SORTING It was Hagrid. The three of them went in his direction. “Who is that?” Steve asked. “That is Professor Hagrid. Teaches Control and Care of Magical Creatures. Also, he is the gamekeeper of Hogwarts. Additionally, he is also the keeper of the keys and grounds here,” Artemis informed him. “Do you really know everything?” asked an amazed Steve. Artemis preferred not to answer. “Firs’ years, c’mon! Follow me, all firs’ years!” Hagrid shouted. Most of the students stumbled while going through the narrow path that Hagrid was leading them through. They turned around a bend and then they saw it – the path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black take. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
“Only four in a boat, no more’n four,” Hagrid shouted. “Everyone in? Right then, forward!” The little boats glided across the lake smoothly, and all were staring at the towering castle above. The boat ride ended after some bending of heads and passing through a curtain of ivy. They all followed Hagrid, finally climbing some stone steps and crowded in front of a large, oak door. Hagrid knocked the door thrice, and the door opened at once. A black-haired witch emerged who had a very smiling and kind face. “I’ll take over from here, Hagrid,” she said. The entrance hall was humongous; the stone walls were lit with flaming torches; and a marble staircase led to the upper floors.
The Professor told them of the start-of-term ceremony and the four Houses and the Sorting, and how their victories would earn their house points and rule-breaking would lose their house points; she told them of the House Cup and finished by saying that the Ceremony was to take place in a few minutes and that they smarten up before the rest of the school was ready for them. As Artemis knew this all from books, he wasn’t much interested in her speech, though he intently noted if she was telling something beyond his current knowledge. He took the time to observing the entrance hall. The students around were whispering in a terrified manner among themselves that they were going to be subjected to some test and asked each other how many of the books they had read. Artemis knew all these were rubbish rumors. And even if there was test (there wouldn’t be, he knew it, only a sorting by an old hat, but still, to be sure), Artemis knew all the books already by heart. Suddenly, everyone around him gasped. Around twenty ghosts were streaming through the black wall, and Artemis remained the only one who didn’t gasp. He intently noted the names of the ghosts as they talked, for they might be quite useful later. The Professor who had led them till here came back and told them to form a line and follow her. They did so. They entered the Great Hall. It was so beautiful that he couldn’t have in his wildest dreams thought about such a place (that was before he came to know the existence of magic, of course). It was lit by candles floating in mid-air over four long tables. Artemis looked up at the ceiling, which, as he had read, was bewitched to look like the night sky. The Professor put a four-legged stool in the centre of the hall and placed a pointed hat on it – which Artemis knew to be the Sorting Hat. After a few seconds of disturbed silence, it started singing. Artemis listened to it intently when it sang its first four lines, then, bored, he started observing the Hall. Whatever the hat was going to tell, he knew anyway. He noticed that students from all the seven years were watching the hat. After a minute or so, the hat stopped singing and the Professor came and announced that when she called their names, they should come and put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted. The first was ‘Acarn, Gregory’ who was immediately declared a Hufflepuff. Artemis wasn’t interested in this either and continued to observe the Hall. After a few more names and minutes, at last, ‘Fowl, Artemis’.
Artemis went and put on his hat and sat on the stool, waiting for the hat’s response. The hat, it seemed, was talking to him, “Hmm… interesting… very interesting… most intelligent mind I’ve ever seen at Hogwarts… but ah, there’s the ambition, most sinister of plots, and the cunning, of course… not much of a doubt really… but Ravenclaw wouldn’t have wanted you in her House, for sure, so… SLYTHERIN!” The hat screamed the last word, and then Artemis took off the hat coolly and walked towards the Slytherin table, which applauded him. But he wanted to know about two more names, though. After a few more names, ‘Regan, Steve’ was instantly sorted into Slytherin. Then after a couple of names, ‘Winters, Jack’ too was sorted into Slytherin. The next and final one, a girl by the name of ‘Yaxley, Jennifer’ was also sorted into Slytherin. When everybody had settled into their houses, the Headmistress, Professor McGonagall stood up and said, “Welcome back to another year at Hogwarts! Let the feast begin!” And the dishes in front of Artemis were filled with all sorts of food from roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy to ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs. He ate until his belly was full and looked up to see a ghost over the table. It must be the Slytherin ghost, the Bloody Baron, he thought. Some day, he would learn why he was bloody too, he thought. The Baron had blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained with silver blood. After everyone had finished eating, the desserts appeared. After Artemis helped himself to his select desserts, he noticed all the students talking among themselves and the teachers discussing with the Headmistress. After some time, when the desserts disappeared, Professor McGonagall rose. Then she started giving out instructions. The Forbidden Forest was forbidden to all students. According to Filch, the Hogwarts caretaker, magic was not to be used between classes in the corridors. And she announced that Filch had also barred a lot of substances in school, the full list of which was with him. And then she asked her to sing the school song. The school song turned out to be more boring than the Sorting Hat’s. It had a rhyme scheme, all right, but even muggle-school songs, Artemis thought, were better than this. Maybe, he thought, wizards were not that good at poetry, and since the Sorting Hat was a wizard’s too, it was not upto anything perfect. Then McGonagall said they were to follow their respective prefects to their houses.
The Slytherins followed their prefect down and down till they reached a stretch of bare damp, stone wall. The prefect muttered the password, which was ‘Gryffindors are losers’ and everyone entered the Slytherin common room. The common room was long and low and underground. It is surely beneath the lake, Artemis thought. The stone walls and the ceiling were rough and greenish lamps were hanging on chains. A fire was crackling under an elaborately carved mantelpiece ahead of them, and several Slytherins were silhouetted around it in high-backed chairs. The Prefect said, “The right side staircase leads to the boys’ dormitories. The left one to the girls’. All of you will, of course, strictly keep to your own dorms,” he added with a grin that was evil and nasty (how very Slytherin of him, Artemis thought). Artemis went to First Years’ dorm were he found himself sharing his room with four more comrades. Jack and Steve were already there, and two students who he knew from the Sorting were also there. Jack was blonde and slightly taller than Artemis. Steve had black-hair and was at least four inches taller than both of them, and he had dark brown eyes. The other two, Mark River and Robert Cole, were both black-haired. The former had hazel eyes and the latter had black ones. Artemis noticed that his luggage was already there. He quickly went over and opened up his laptop to check if it was working. It was not. With nothing else to do in the wide world, Artemis Fowl the Second went to bed and fell asleep. ooooooo Chapter 7 WARNING UNHEEDED There he was again, ripped from his body, less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost. He had indeed, never expected Harry Potter to stand up to him so bravely. Again, it was mere chance, Potter had survived again, and more than that, people all over the world thought that he, the greatest of them all, the greatest wizard ever to set foot on Earth, was finally dead. But they were wrong, and how wrong they were, they would know when the time came, which was not very far from now. For the second time in his life, he had felt that terrible pain, of being ripped from his body, seven years ago. It was pain beyond
endurance; he had never thought that he would feel it again, ever, after he had come back for the brief period of four years. He had misjudged the boy’s abilities, and though he had never underestimated the old muggle-loving fool, he had to admit that he had never imagined that Dumbledore would ever find out about his horcruxes. But Dumbledore had found that out, and even guessed what his horcruxes might be, and passed on the knowledge to the boy. But the boy was mistaken, Dumbledore was mistaken; Voldemort had always wanted to have seven horcruxes, but before his first downfall, he had had only six. He had wanted to make his seventh and final one with the killing of Harry Potter, the boy who was supposed to have the power to vanquish him. But he had failed, made a mistake, and had overseen the magical protection his mother had given him by her foolish sacrifice. The ancient magic rebound the curse he had cast on the boy, and he had become what he was now. When he returned, again, he wanted to create his seventh horcrux by killing the boy. He had again failed, but then it had been the twin cores that had saved the boy. Then again he had tried a year later, but Dumbledore had saved the boy from his clutches. Then he had finally decided that it was better to create the horcrux first, and he personally killed Amelia Susan Bones, the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and created his seventh and final horcrux; or at least he had thought he had created his seventh horcrux. He had learnt that he was wrong nearly two years later when Potter had come willingly to die. But had he wanted to sacrifice himself for the others as a sole reason, he would have come at the beginning itself. Then why hadn’t he come earlier? When he rethought about this after his assumed death, he found out only one reason: Potter was a horcrux. That was the reason Potter could speak Parseltongue, and that was why he had a direct connection with his mind, something thousands would die for. He had thought about this earlier before his second downfall, but it hadn’t appealed to him as a probable theory. But now he knew, and accepted the fact that indeed, a part of his soul, had been inside the boy. Potter had managed to destroy his horcruxes, all but one, the one he thought was his seventh, but the one which actually was his eighth. That horcrux had survived, for he knew for himself that it was the only one of which he had never checked the existence before the battle. While he had come to know of the thievery of one of his horcruxes, he had wanted to check if the others were safe. While he was thinking about them, he felt an intrusion into his mind, which he was sure, was by Potter. He had thought of all his horcruxes but one, and suddenly changed his thoughts to warning Severus on feeling the intrusion. So Potter had never known of his eighth horcrux, now his only one, before trying to kill him. Indeed, again, he had made a mistake. He had killed Severus on the lines of thought that by killing its previous owner, one could become the Elder Wand’s true master. But no, it was about taking the wand against the will of its owner, as Potter had said. Potter had, indeed, got some things right which he had got wrong. So when he had cast the curse upon Potter, for the second time in his life, the killing curse had rebounded on him and he was left to become what was a form which no human knew about, which no human had practically experienced, other than he himself. He would not
return to the world when all of it had just ended, he would wait like before, alone, for years until the world had calmed down from its last war. Though his soul was gone from the boy’s body, the remnants of their connection would remain, for it was Dark Magic. Harry Potter was a horcrux no more, but till he had the scar that was symbol of both his life (as the horcrux) and destruction (as people thought about it), the connection between them would remain, though not as strong as before. He had controlled his emotions strongly this time, for he didn’t want anyone to realise that he was not dead. For if he should show his emotions again, Potter would realise that his scar hurt and the only reason for it: Lord Voldemort was not yet gone. This time, when he would return, it would be kept more silent than ever, and he would only start his reign of terror after killing the boy, who had irked him too often, and given him years of pain and trouble. The boy would be his first aim; but it would take some time before he returned; he would wait for another three or four years. Then, yes, he would go find one of his faithful servants who was still alive and out of Azkaban, and would return to a bodily form. And then, yes (though he had no lips, he could feel that cold smile curving his lips, the one that was symbol of his strong sense of purpose in destruction), he would begin a reign of terror the likes of which the world had never, ever seen. ooooooo Harry Potter woke up in his house in the village of Godric’s Hollow to find that his scar was prickling slightly. Could it be? he thought. This was the first time his scar had prickled in seven years, during which he had already married Ginny Weasley and had a one-year-old baby named James. But no, he thought, Voldemort couldn’t be back again. He had seen him fall before his own eyes. How could he still be alive? Only if he had more horcruxes, he thought. But hadn’t he, Ron and Hermione (who too were now married and were expecting a baby in three more months) made sure that they had destroyed all the horcruxes? He finally decided that it was just some normal itching. And he wouldn’t tell anyone either, for they would surely think he was trying to get famous by spreading a stupid rumour, for so many had seen Voldemort fall before their own eyes. Maybe Ron, Hermione and Ginny may understand, but wouldn’t they think he had gone insane? No, he said to himself. Voldemort is dead, and he will not return, he cannot return. But the fact was, he couldn’t just digest the alternative. And then he was ultimately relieved when he remembered that Voldemort’s part of soul inside him was gone, and so, he thought, should be their connection. Then how could he even know if Voldemort was still alive? This thought led him to think that it was only some itching. He never realised how important his scar’s prickling could be.
Harry Potter had lost what would have been more time for the world to prepare to fight, when Lord Voldemort rose again. His lack of a better intelligence would cost the world more than ever before. ooooooo Chapter 8 Knowledge Awaits Artemis Fowl woke up as usual at seven and thought about roaming the corridors. He would find where the classes were in the morning by asking directions from ghosts and go to breakfast at eight. Well, that would be it, he thought. Having found out where all the classes were, Artemis was interested to do magic. He already knew perfectly how to do each and every spell they would be learning in this year, of course, only the theory. Artemis (as we all know!) was always the strategy man. By the looks of it, it seemed that wizards had never been able to devise a spell that enabled them to fly unaided, as was given in Quidditch Through The Ages. But what with levitation charms and all, it did seem quite possible that devising a spell for flying unaided wouldn’t be so difficult. But before he started to do it, he needed to learn more. It seemed that though wizards were gifted with magical abilities, most of them were not at all equipped with mental abilities. It was given in a book on Muggle Studies that ‘muggles have always been cleverer than wizards.’ But Artemis felt it should not have been like that. It should have been ‘wizards have always been more foolish than muggles.’ After a bit of roaming around the school and observing passageways that led to various places, Artemis came for breakfast. Their course schedules were handed over and Artemis saw that they had Double Transfiguration with Hufflepuffs first thing that day. Then they had Charms with Gryffindors and they had the afternoon off. Artemis had learnt that Transfiguration was going to be taught to them by the Headmistress herself, as they had been unable to find a suitable candidate for the job after the war had ended and the newly appointed Headmistress was only glad to continue teaching her subject. They would be taught Defense Against the Dark Arts by Professor Dean Thomas, who had taken up the job four years after the war had ended. Charms was
to be taught by Professor Filius Flitwick. Care of Magical Creatures was to be taught by both Professor Rubeus Hagrid and Professor Wilhelmina Grubblyplank, who divided their students. Potions would be taught by Professor Horace Slughorn, who had also worked earlier for several years before retiring and had now rejoined, during the war. History of Magic, which was supposed to be the most boring subject, was to be taught by a ghost, by the name of Professor Binns. Transfiguration seemed to be quite interesting, though they were now only at the basic levels. They were supposed to turn matches into needles, which Artemis had done at the very starting of the class in a perfect fashion. Professor McGonagall had been very impressed and asked him to proceed further. By the end of the class, Artemis had finished what was supposed to be finished by the students in three months’ time. It is all far too easy, he thought. But the other students didn’t seem to think that way. They said that it was a record and that no student could have done that in their very first class. Some of them even started raising doubts if he was a dark wizard who had disguised himself as a student, to spy on Hogwarts. Of course, all this went under the teacher’s nose. Only Artemis seemed to have finished even their first assignment, of turning matches into needles, and all the rest were given homework to practice it. The Hufflepuffs, were indeed hardworkers as they were supposed to be, but the problem was, though every Hufflepuff tried hard, the matches wouldn’t budge and remained as they were, though some of them managed to make it go slightly silver and pointy, which the Professor had appreciated. Charms was an interesting subject, as it was one of the main category of spells. But Artemis was dejected that they would not be doing charms, only study about them first. As he already knew everything, he answered all the questions Professor Flitwick asked just as he had in Transfiguration. The rest of the students looked at him dumbstruck in awe as Slytherin house made fifty points on the very first day of term, thanks to Artemis Fowl. The Gryffindors stupidly blinked at him, unable to comprehend the fact that Slytherin had taken the lead in the House championship at the very beginning of the year, after seven years. In the afternoon, Artemis practised all the charms for their first year, which, surprisingly, he could do very easily. The next two days being a Saturday and a Sunday, and hence holidays, Artemis immersed himself into the second year and third year books in the libraries. At least they seemed quite advanced to his level. Life proceeded in the same way. The homework given to them in the various subjects seemed only too easy. Artemis found that Potions (which they took with Ravenclaws) was a very interesting subject, which involved liquids (Chemistry was one of his favorite subjects in his muggle-school). The power of the delicate liquids which seeped through into the veins of the body was incredible. The Professor was astonished by Artemis’s intelligence. He invited him to what he called the Slug Club, where he was allowed to bring anyone he wished during the parties; there he used to blabber about his connections with high-ranking Ministry officials, and how he had influenced many students in joining
the Ministry. Often bored, Artemis would take Jack or Steve with him (who was considerably normal with him nowadays). History of Magic was indeed, the most boring subject. Only Artemis Fowl managed to stay awake till the end of the class, noting down the important points. They were trivial for practical life, but would help him get better grades, he thought. Control of Magical Creatures turned out to be a not-so-interesting subject. Professor Hagrid was teaching their batch, which included the Slytherins and the Gryffindors. Artemis only wanted to see the animals from a distance, so did most of the Slytherins, but the Gryffindors seemed to actually care for the beasts. He still earned points for Slytherin even in that class (for he was the only student who both knew all about the beasts and didn’t want to approach them). Then, there was Defense Against the Dark Arts. It was his most anticipated subject. It was very interesting, in fact, involving boggarts and all that stuff. Artemis Fowl was impressed. They had Astronomy at midnight, where they would gaze at the stars and constellations using their telescopes and note down their positions (already quite adept at the subject in the muggle world, Artemis didn’t have any difficulty). Finally, Artemis came to the class where he was nowhere near sure if he would be even ok: flying. There teacher was Madam Hooch, and they were supposed to use broomsticks to fly. Though Artemis knew everything about flying and Quidditch (obviously in theory), still he was doubtful if he’d be able to fair as well when really flying. They were having their flying classes with the Ravenclaws on Thursday evenings. Their first flying class had gone in the strangest way Artemis could’ve dreamed of. They were supposed to say ‘up’ with their right hands on top of the brooms kept to their right side (which, as always, Artemis knew). He was both surprised and happy that he was the only student to have been able to do that on his first turn. Then they were asked to mount their brooms and hover slightly above the ground for a few seconds. Artemis knew he was going to hate this. He had never really liked heights. Willing to give a try, he took off into the air. It was at that precise time, that he felt something he had never felt before. On a broom, in the air, he felt comforted. It was as if he had always liked flying in brooms, only he was trying after a long gap. It was the best feeling he had ever had, flying. And it was so easy.
Suddenly, a figure swooped past him just inches from his face with such a great pace that, for a moment, Artemis was terrified. He then realised it was only Alexis Burke, the ravenhaired Ravenclaw. She was from a renowned wizarding family, her grandfather being a founder of the famous dark artifacts shop Borgin and Burke’s in Diagon Alley. It was only now that he realised why she had carried out the so-close-to-him act. She had stolen his pen. He had missed out entirely the fact that a hand had swooped close to his pocket, for he was then nothing but terrified. Now, he was outraged. But Artemis knew better. He kept his emotion to himself and slowly floated toward her, and said calmly, “Give it back to me.” “Ooooooo…,” she said, “what is this, Fowl? I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was leaning out of your pocket, so I thought I should pick it up and give it a glance,” all the time trying to find out what it could be. Artemis replied, “That; is none of your business. So if you would now hand it over to me,” holding out a hand. But he regretted ever doing it. “Oh really, Fowl? Well, then, that indeed is none of my business. And you think you’re so clever just because you answer the teachers’ questions correctly and all that? I’ll show you, Fowl. Ravenclaws can never be beaten at intelligence. And you asked for your… this stuff, right?” she asked, holding out the pen as she said the last line. At that moment, Madam Hooch, who was possibly seeing all this, said that everybody should now come down. Burke continued, “Here you go…” she said, throwing the pen backward casually, and moving toward the ground. The pen was falling, falling and falling… it would hit the school wall if it went, and surely be broken. Artemis could easily repair it, but seeing it broken would break his heart in the first place… no, he wouldn’t let it happen; for all his anger, he might have even shouted at the girl for her stupidity, but he, as always, knew better. Hoping beyond hope that the pen not hit the wall, Artemis raced with his broom for the pen… he flied at an extraordinary speed, going straight toward the falling pen, not knowing that the entire class was watching him, with Burke sneering at him. He caught it just before he it hit the wall, and managed to turn around before he could suffer the fate the pen did not. This pen was no normal one. It was his final gift from his father. Before his last school exams, his father had given him this pen. Now he still had the empty pen only because it was his father’s last gift… oh no, he shouldn’t think like that, his father would be still alive… then when he returned to the ground, he was met by an angry Madam Hooch.
“What the hell did you think you were doing? You could’ve been severely injured. Twenty points from Slytherin for your foolish tactics, Mr. Fowl,” she said angrily. “It was her, Professor,” Artemis replied calmly, but before he could continue further, Madam Hooch replied, “I know, and ten points from Ravenclaw for that, “ she said, nodding at Burke, before continuing, “but why in the name of Merlin did you do such a stupid thing? It could’ve been easily repaired. You could’ve hurt yourself terribly, boy.” Artemis preferred to reply later, after the rest of the class was gone. When she asked them all to go, they left leaving Artemis and Madam Hooch alone, when Jack and Steve came back panting, “Aren’t you coming?” “I wanted to ask how to gain better control of the broom and such sort of questions. I’ll just come in five more minutes,” Artemis replied. The boys left and Madam Hooch’s eyes narrowed. Artemis said to her looking directly in the eye, “Professor, I just wanted to tell you that I wouldn’t have been injured at all. None in my family have been wizards or witches, but I just feel like… I’m where I should be, when I’m in the broom. It feels normal. But I’ve read that for muggle-borns, it is always a strange feeling, that it takes them some time to get accustomed. Is it possible that a muggle-born can feel normal with brooms from the starting? Even when I was going to catch it, I didn’t feel any fear… I just… knew I would be safe. How is that possible?” “I have no answer to that, my boy… but I would prefer if you would try out for Seeker in the Slytherin Quidditch team. We can arrange for a broom if you get selected. I’ve never seen such skill since Harry Potter himself…,” she said, “but do you know –” Artemis cut her off, “Yes, Professor. I know all about Quidditch.” “Still, I’ll prefer that you do not try that stunt again, Mr. Fowl. You may leave,” she finished. Artemis rethought about what he had said to Madam Hooch before sleeping. All of his questions were true, he didn’t have a hint about them. None in his family had been a wizard or a witch… that was true. Was it, now? He only knew his parents hadn’t been wizards. What if, what if, any of his ancestors had been? And what if they had produced
squibs, and they were never taught about wizards, and their descendants remained muggles? It surely was a possible theory, but possible in the very least… Over the next three weeks, he found himself exploring all the wizarding genealogy books in the library, including the Restricted Section, for searching which, he had obtained permission from Professor Thomas, who had accepted at once his now-favorite student’s position. He had talked about becoming a Seeker, with the Slytherin Quidditch captain, who had said he would think over it, as their current Seeker was not the best, and asked him to come to the trials in January, and he might get the reserve player seat if not the main one. Halloween came, bringing with it a glint of snow. Everyone woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkin wafting through the corridors as they woke up in the morning. Even Professor Flitwick had announced that they were ready to practice Levitation Charms now. Artemis had practiced it in his free time, and it was interesting enough. By doing it first in the class, he earned twenty points for his house. The Halloween decorations were more beautiful than whatever Artemis had seen till now. Bats fluttered from the walls, and many more swooped over the tables. The candles in the pumpkins stuttered and the Halloween feast appeared on the golden plates in front of them. Artemis ate to his fill and went to bed. The next week, Artemis finally found what he’d been searching for nearly a month now; he was not entirely a muggle-born wizard. He had a wizard for an ancestor, far before in the medieval times, one who was known as Fingal the Fearless. His only child was a squib. And he had decided to not introduce her to the wizarding world, and instead, let her live her life as a muggle. She had supposedly been married to Aoibheann Fowl, an Irish businessman. Artemis knew about this one. Aoibheann Fowl was amongst the most famous Fowls, his name being derived from an ancient one, and he being the first one to start the criminal activities that Fowls were reputedly involved in. Fingal the Fearless was an Aingingein champion, which was an ancient broom game. But that is more related to a Chaser, Artemis thought, but Madam Hooch had told him that he would make a good Seeker. Whatever, he knew why he felt it normal on brooms. That was one thing you’d get if you were the descendant of an Aingingein champion. The days passed; Artemis had, by mid-December, finished the third-year’s portions. Christmas was approaching, and so was his return to Fowl Manor. Artemis started noticing the huge difference in the size of the wands of different people and how they varied with their effects on various objects and when casting different spells. Artemis found wandlore interesting; for wands where what you mainly did magic with, and they varied as one wand had more power than another. Even in the entire world, very few were
actually experts when it came to wandlore; for he came to know that wandlore was a complicated subject. But if he did manage to come across the secrets of wandlore, he might be able to procure a wand whose powers were unmatched, and one which would be able to win any duel for its owner. Come across? He was being childish. He was going to make sure that he was the greatest wizard of his age, and wandlore wasn’t going to stop him from being who he was, who he would be… he needed to study wandlore, but after Christmas. He had the People to attend to. He resolved to meet Ollivander during Christmas to ask more about the properties of wand, when sleep overtook him on the day before the holidays began. ooooooo Chapter 9 Trials and the Stone Artemis was waiting in the Hogsmeade station for the Hogwarts Express to take him back to London, where Butler would be waiting for him in the King’s Cross. They were to go to Tara by means of a plane. His thoughts were drifting back to the job he had to do back in the non-magical world, where he was determined to discover the People. He had already asked Butler to post ads on the Internet saying “Irish businessman will pay large amount of US dollars to meet a fairy, sprite, leprechaun or pixie” and to inform him about the responses. Butler had told him that all of their responses till now were only fraudulent. All of the Slytherins were going back home to celebrate Christmas. Artemis was going too, but Christmas wasn’t something he celebrated, but rather, he considered the celebration to be a considerable waste of time, for it could be used to do many more useful things. But he didn’t hate it altogether, for deep in his heart, he didn’t want to become another Scrooge, his father coming and telling him to do penance… his father… no, his father wasn’t dead yet. He wasn’t going to give up, not so early. ooooooo Artemis arrived home at nearly ten in the night. Butler had told him that they someone had answered their web ad in Cairo. Artemis had decided that he would visit the place the next day, as Butler had confirmed that this was not a fraudulent call, and a visit may be well worth it.
ooooooo Two days later, Artemis was surfing the net trying to gather as much more information about the People as possible. The venture to Cairo had turned out to be futile, as the call was fraudulent. Of course, the caller had hoped for making a fortune by cheating him. The man had paid for his mistake with his life. He never knew who he had been dealing with. This was Artemis Fowl, and he wouldn’t allow his name to be forgotten so easily. Possibly, Artemis knew by now more about the People than any human alive knew. Only time would tell when it would be ripe to exploit them. Artemis was very interested in how the famous Harry Potter had managed to defeat the wizard feared above all others, the wizard alleged to have been the greatest of all, the wizard who was supposed to have gone beyond any other wizard towards the path to immortality. How Lord Voldemort had gone towards the path to immortality was something Artemis had to figure out yet. Of course, he being who he was, it should not take a very long time… Artemis had gone to Diagon Alley to buy some books related to the biography of Harry Potter. He was amazed to find out that Harry Potter had been involved in solving one major mystery or the other in each one of his seven years at school. In his first year, he had saved the Sorcerer’s Stone, a magical substance about which the biography gave no reference. Only that it was important that the stone not get into the wrong hands, and that Lord Voldemort had possessed the body of one Professor Quirrell, who had been teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at that time, and he had tried to steal it. Harry Potter had thwarted him. Then, in the next year, Harry Potter had entered the very Chamber of Secrets, a legendary chamber built in Hogwarts by Salazar Slytherin himself (now that was something interesting), and had hidden it from the other founders. Tom Riddle (which was Voldemort’s school name) had possessed Ginny Weasley, a student in her first year, and taken her into the Chamber herself. Though the book didn’t mention anything about what happened inside the Chamber, it mentioned that Ron Weasley, a friend of Harry Potter’s, and the pet phoenix of the then Headmaster Albus Dumbledore had helped. Harry Potter was supposed to be the first Parselmouth after Lord Voldemort himself, who had opened the Chamber of Secrets both in 1942 and in 1992, during Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts.
In the third year, he had supposedly performed the Patronus Charm, which even many Aurors had failed to do, and saved the innocent life of his godfather from the Dementors, who were the guardians of the prison in Azkaban. In the next year, he had participated in the Triwizard Tournament, which had involved three dangerous and difficult tasks, and emerged the winner. It was also the year when Voldemort had been reborn by means of Dark Magic, and Harry Potter had ‘bravely fought and defied the Dark Lord’. The death of a fellow Triwizard Tournament competitor and schoolmate Cedric Diggory was also mentioned. In his fifth year, he had voiced against the Ministry that Voldemort was back, which the then Minister and Ministry officials had refused to believe. He had later fought Voldemort himself, who had personally made an appearance in the Ministry, and Albus Dumbledore had also dueled with Voldemort. The next year, Harry Potter had learnt the secrets that Voldemort had hidden from even his Death Eaters, about his ways to become immortal. It was rumoured that Professor Dumbledore had himself educated the boy on the matters, and he had been killed by a fellow teacher, Professor Severus Snape. But the man had ensured that his knowledge of how to defeat Voldemort had reached the young boy who was ‘the only one who could defeat the Dark Lord’, for Albus Dumbledore was supposed to be the only one who Voldemort had feared. But his fear had proved wrong as the Headmaster was dead, but Harry Potter got him in his final year, or what was supposed to be, though he hadn’t gone to school. He had at last defeated the wizard who was the cause for terror among the wizard folk, and at last fulfilled the prophecy about him years and years ago, after eliminating Voldemort’s efforts in becoming immortal. The book ended by saying that Harry Potter was now living in his own house happily with his wife Ginny Weasley and a son, by the name of James, near the Godric’s Hollow. Reading this book only made Artemis more curious. Voldemort had made himself immortal. There was a powerful stone called the Sorcerer’s Stone. The Chamber of Secrets was not just a legend, but true and only a Parselmouth could enter the Chamber. There was a Charm called the Patronus Charm, beyond normal wizarding level. He had so much to learn.
ooooooo After returning to Hogwarts, Artemis’s thoughts were all about his new research on the subjects he didn’t know. At breakfast one morning, after convincing himself that he would Professors McGonagall and Flitwick about them, he felt bored that he had nothing else to do. It was then that he noticed Jack and Steve playing wizard’s chess. At least he could watch their game. As soon as Artemis joined them, he saw that Steve was easily beating Jack. However, as the game ended, Steve asked, “Care for a game, Fowl?” which was taunting, as if Artemis Fowl couldn’t beat him in a game of chess. Artemis accepted the challenge and the game began. Steve thought he was too good and asked Artemis to move first. Artemis smiled a genuine smile; maybe that boy didn’t know Artemis very well, after all. (Not at all interested in chess? Then leave this paragraph and move on to the next…) Artemis started with 1. e4, to which he replied with 1. …e5. Artemis proceeded with 2. Nf3, to which Steve replied 2. …d6. Though he knew 3. d4 was the best move, he proceeded to attack with 3. Bc4. Artemis was stunned when Steve replied with 3. …h6. It was a bad move, and unless he played considerably well, he couldn’t compensate with White’s excellent advantage. Artemis went on to play 4. Nc3, to which Steve’s reply was 4. …Bg4, which was pointless at this stage of the game. Taking his advantage, Artemis played 5. Nxe5. Steve made the mistake Artemis had thought he would – he captured his queen by playing 5. …Bxd1. That was all he needed, though even without it, Artemis would have been at quite an advantage. Artemis knew the game was over now, and continued with 6. Bxf7+ (check), and Steve calmly played 6. …Ke2, perhaps not realising what was happening. Artemis played 7. Ne5# (mate), and got up from his chair and left to the common room leaving behind a bewildered Steve, who had not expected this. The grin from his face faded and Artemis vaguely heard him swearing under his breath about never playing chess with Artemis again. ooooooo Before a week of the new term was over, the Slytherin Quidditch captain Andrew Kirke had informed Artemis about the Quidditch trials on Saturday morning. Today being the day, Artemis woke up with a determined smile etched on his lips. He would prove at last, what it meant to be the heir of Fingal the Fearless.
Artemis was to use a school broom for the trials, and if he had selected, he would get a new broom for himself. The present Seeker wasn’t good enough and the Kirke had seemed only too happy that he would get a new Seeker. After finishing Breakfast and all, he went to the pitch at eleven, precisely when he had been asked to be. There were also four more students wanting to get the Seeker position, the Burke girl being one of them. There were seven for Chaser trials, excluding the team’s present members. But Kirke had said that they only needed one able Chaser, and reserves. Kirke was a Chaser himself and the Keeper was the most perfect one they’d had in years. So that left the need for a good Seeker, and who knew, Slytherin might as well win their first Quidditch cup after over a decade’s gap. Those who attempted for the Chaser position all tried to score against Simon Sauvell, their Keeper, and barely did anyone manage to score one or two goals. The Keeper was quite skilled; Artemis had to agree with that. But one girl named Kate Prinster, a thirdyear student, managed to score four goals and got the vacant Chaser position. Two others who had managed to score three each were to be the reserve Chasers. When it finally came to Seeker trials, Kirke called all the five of them near him and explained to them that they had to catch the golden snitch and that the person who caught in the fastest time would be assigned the Seeker position, if they managed to catch it within four minutes and seven seconds, which was the current Seeker’s record. And if two or more of them managed to make it within the time, the first would become Seeker and the other the reserve. The Burke girl went for it first; she caught it in only fifty-seven seconds, to general amusement. When she landed back on the ground, she smirked at Artemis as if daring him to beat her. Artemis irritated her by remaining impassive and watching the next one to try. The second one, a fourth-year barely made it before four minutes and the third one nearly lost the snitch until after everyone started looking at it and they found it out after over twenty minutes’ strain. The third, another hopeful first-year, managed to catch the snitch in two minutes and thirty-two seconds. Of course, everyone managed to catch it in this speed only because they managed to catch a glance of the snitch at the moment of release and kept their eyes on it until catching it.
Now was Artemis’s turn. He felt nearly as excited as he had felt on his trip to Cairo. The moment Kirke released the snitch, he soared into the air kicking life into his broom. Out of pure determination, he flew at such a great speed on the old broom that it would have shamed an international Quidditch player. Even before the snitch had managed to open its wings wide to relish its freedom in the air, one of his hands firmly grasped it and he turned around quickly to see amazed expression in their faces. Burke was simply blinking rapidly, unable to process what had just happened. Kirke managed to bring his two hands into a clap and others followed. As Artemis landed, he heard Kirke whispering ‘seventeen seconds, my god, that must be a school record’. After a few minutes, Artemis found himself walking back to the common room along with his teammates. Kirke, Kate and Melinda Boggleworth (a fifth year) were the Chasers. He was the Seeker. Simon Sauvell was their Keeper. The Beaters were Mike Rapier and Kim Conley. Since they were already a very good pair and good Beaters, similar to Keeper, no trials for Beaters had been organized. A few Gryffindors and fewer Hufflepuffs had come to watch their trials, who were just flabbergasted to see the performance of the team on the very trials. Now that he was on the team, he had a bundle of strategies to use in their games to ensure their first Quidditch Cup in decades. ooooooo It was not until the second week of February that Slytherin’s first Quidditch match was to ensue after the Quidditch match of the season between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. In fact, the Slytherins were anticipating the match with Gryffindor very much because this time, the Slytherins had their best team after a long time, and also because it had been nearly half a dozen years since Slytherin had managed to defeat Gryffindor. Slytherin was hanging behind in both the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup. Many older students complained that it was because of their Head of House. They said that their seniors had informed them that Slytherin was always in the lead when Professor Snape had been their Head of House. But with Professor Slughorn, the Slytherin house was losing its earlier reputation. Artemis couldn’t stand being in a house that always lost. He could not, of course, change his house and he also wasn’t a coward to try doing that. So Artemis Fowl vowed to see to it that both the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup were in possession of Slytherin at the end of the year. The days passed on. Students started panicking that they were unable to finish the homework given by the teachers. Artemis first felt that they were just being silly incompetent fools. But he later realised that he could not go expecting every one of his classmates to be a genius like him.
One day at the end of Potions, he decided to ask Professor Slughorn a question that had intrigued him ever since his return to Hogwarts. After all the class left, he went up to him and asked the expectant Professor, “Professor, I wondered what you could tell me about the Sorcerer’s Stone?” He looked a bit taken aback. The Stone wasn’t possibly something that was common knowledge to eleven-year-olds. This only made it much more interesting. The Professor answered, “Well, Artemis, I don’t know if I can tell you anything about it, but be sure to know that this was something between Professor Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel.” He’d heard the name ‘Nicolas Flamel’. In the time that would take for a flash of lightning to occur, Artemis remembered exactly where he’d heard it, more precisely, where he’d read it. Well, then the Stone was a work in alchemy. He could find out more from books. He didn’t need much help from Slughorn anymore. Artemis replied, “No problem, Professor. I only wondered how a mere stone could be valuable enough to be mentioned in books –” “A mere stone? Boy, this is the Sorcerer’s Stone we’re talking about. It can turn anything into gold and provide eternal life through the Elixir of Life that it secretes –” Slughorn suddenly stopped. It was a bit too late before he realised that he had spilled some of his beans into this boy and it was not possible to retake it. He had just shot an arrow, and there was no taking it back. Artemis remained as impassive as ever, silently gleeful in his mind that his Professor had been craftily used to drain information, though it was he himself who managed to do it. (Not a big deal, though!) “Forget whatever I told you, boy. Now move on to your next class, Minerva will be angry, I’m sure –”
Before he could continue, Artemis smiled and turned to leave the dungeons to McGonagall’s class, and the smile gave the man a shiver through his spine that so many people were very well acquainted with. ooooooo Chapter 10 Chamber, snitch and the match Slughorn was thinking over his mistake in telling the boy about the Sorcerer’s Stone. No. it wasn’t a mistake anyway, because he had told him about something that didn’t exist at present, Dumbledore had seen to that. There wasn’t a Sorcerer’s Stone in the world as far as he knew, he who had access to all the Ministry officials, then how could the boy know anything about an existent Sorcerer’s Stone? The boy was clever, yes, for after all he was a Slytherin, but no living person on Earth could make a Sorcerer’s Stone. If they had, they’d have come out already. It wasn’t something that people hid, of course, for it was a legendary substance. Slughorn never wanted to blame himself for anything; he would always try to escape from whatever the problem was, unless his dignity depended on it. He was a Slytherin, and this was what Slytherins did, which was correct, of course (according to him). Similarly, here he ignored his mistake, assuming that it wasn’t even a mistake, but the consequences of this were more far-fetched than anything Slughorn’s little old mind could think of. Only one person on Earth knew how effective this knowledge could be, and that astute, discerning, and ingenious virtuoso was presently engaging himself in a fifth year book on Transfiguration in Professor McGonagall’s class. ooooooo The days passed on; Artemis had thoroughly searched the library for books on alchemy. He had at last found the reference. He had never even thought earlier of searching books on Alchemy. Alchemy was concerned with making the Sorcerer’s Stone, a legendary substance with the astonishing powers that Slughorn had said. But Slughorn was wrong, the Stone didn’t transform anything into gold; only metals into gold. This clearly illustrated the incompletion of Slughorn’s knowledge about any topic. As Slughorn had said, the Stone produced the Elixir of Life, the drinker of which would become immortal, unless the Stone was destroyed.
The only Stone in existence had been Nicolas Flamel’s, which had been destroyed because Lord Voldemort had been after it, and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the possession of Lord Voldemort was something the wizards, specifically Albus Dumbledore, did not approve of (who in their right minds would?). Hence the Stone had been destroyed. And Sluggy had said that the Stone was something between Dumbledore and Flamel. How much more wrong could he be? Artemis had simply asked what a Sorcerer’s Stone was, and Sluggy had started about the last Stone in existence. Maybe, Sluggy never knew that more than one Stone could be made. Sluggy was knowledgeable, but he didn’t use the knowledge for any good. Artemis would use his knowledge, and use it for his own good. One fine morning, also the morning of the first Quidditch match of the season, Artemis decided to ask Professor Binns about the Chamber of Secrets. Though he was sure it existed, for otherwise it was impossible to deduce the reason for the death of the muggleborn in 1942 and the kidnap (if it could be considered that) of Ginny Weasley, he thought he’d like to hear it from a teacher’s point of view. And as Binns was the History of Magic teacher and always insisted on a factual point of view in everything, this should put him in an awkward situation. The Chamber was considered a myth, a legend. Not based on facts (Artemis had read about the Chamber in a library book, which only said that Salazar Slytherin had created a secret Chamber in Hogwarts unknown to the other founders, and which only his true Heir could open. It was believed to house a monster which only the Heir of Slytherin could control.) at all. But the years of ’42 and ’92 were solid proof of the Chamber’s existence. When Artemis entered the staff room, only Professor Binns was occupying the place. No other teacher was present. Good for him. Being a ghost, you couldn’t sit on anything solid. But Binns was at least appearing as if he was sitting. Unless you knew that ghosts could not feel anything solid, at least not completely solid, you would have sweared he was sitting on a chair. Artemis Fowl knew better (as always), but it was not a matter of importance for him. What was important for him, and concerned his thoughts, was the Chamber of Secrets (as any sentient being would have known). Professor Binns sat (not exactly sat, as you well know) gazing lazily at the ceiling lost deeply in his own thoughts. He did not acknowledge the presence of a twelve-year old genius in the room with him, possibly because he did not know of the presence. Artemis knew that unless he spoke first, his Professor would never know he was even there. And he carried out this knowledge into action, “Excuse me, Professor,” he spoke
politely. Professor Binns suddenly looked at the boy who had interrupted his thoughts. He studied Artemis for a moment and then spoke, “Yes, Mr. …?” “Fowl, Professor. Artemis Fowl. I was curious if I could have a question answered from you, Professor,” Artemis ended, waiting for the response. Professor Binns never remembered any of his students’ names. But he did have a knack for remembering utterly useless names, like those of goblin rebels and historical characters. Sanity was something that he was not well-endowed with, as far as Artemis knew. But believe me, Artemis always knew better than most. “Fire away, Mr. Fowl. But I am sure this is in concurrence to the History of Magic and is based on facts?” the Professor asked. “Indeed, Professor, it is. I wondered what History and facts have to tell us about the Chamber of Secrets.” The Professor gave a look of utmost bewilderment. He had, of course, not expected this. He had expected the boy to ask something like whether Godric Gryffindor had indeed stolen the sword from Ragnuk the First or the name of the first goblin rebel who had betrayed the goblins to ensure his survival and joining the winning side of the war. He collected himself and responded, “The Chamber of Secrets is a myth, a legend. Salazar Slytherin had supposedly created a secret chamber inside Hogwarts unknown to the other founders to ensure his ideas of only purebloods being taught magic to continue well after his demise. The school has been searched many times, and no such thing has proved to be true. It is all nonsense and stupid rumours –” Artemis interrupted, “Thirteen years ago, Professor, the Chamber of Secrets was opened for the second time in History by the Heir of Slytherin, after fifty years’ gap. The first time it was opened, a muggleborn died. The second time, a girl was taken into the very chamber itself, where she was saved by the famous Harry Potter himself. Are these not enough facts to prove that the Chamber exists, Professor?” Binns was stunned. Something that rarely happened. This boy knew enough truth about the Chamber to convince anyone of its existence. It was the truth. How he collected the information, Binns knew not. But the knowledge was dangerous. Unworthy of being passed on. “Very well,” Binns replied, “it is true, indeed. It is not something that should be spread around, this information about the Chamber. I myself did not believe it at first, but there
was enough evidence of its existence. Dumbledore had said it existed, and so now even I believe it does. But –” “Thank you, Professor. I wanted to know if the facts did actually coincide with the truth here. My doubt is cleared. I seek permission to leave,” Artemis replied in an impassive tone, but if you carefully observed it, you could have heard an excitement ringing through the voice. Wanting no more than to escape the company of this Boy-Who-Knew-Everything, Binns said in what looked like a grunt, “You may go.” ooooooo Professor Binns had confirmed his suspicion that the Chamber of Secrets was a place of great importance. Artemis knew already everything about the Chamber that a normal person, who was not the Heir of Slytherin or Slytherin himself and didn’t have access to either of them could know without visiting the Chamber itself. The visit to Binns’ had been only to confirm the Chamber’s importance, and his attempted lie at first gave him away. He had already made out many things a normal person wouldn’t; like the only unique quality in Slytherin was that he was a Parselmouth (one who could talk to snakes) and that he hated muggles and muggleborns. The fact that he hated muggles and muggleborns couldn’t be used to guard a Chamber. But the use of Parseltongue could be used. The ability of speech with snakes was a unique gift to few in the world. Only very few wizards in history were recognized as Parselmouths; Salazar Slytherin himself, Herpo the Foul (reputedly the first known creator of a Basilisk), Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter and about a dozen more. 1942 was the year when Lord Voldemort had been in his fifth year, by references. His real name had been Tom Marvolo Riddle. As soon as Artemis read his real name, he understood where from Voldemort had chosen his new name: Tom Marvolo Riddle could be rearranged to be written as ‘I am Lord Voldemort’. Innovative and clever, this Voldemort was. No doubt he had been such a great wizard, no matter how Dark. So who better than Voldemort himself to open the Chamber of Secrets? Voldemort hated muggles and muggleborns as much as Slytherin himself. The wrong person, Rubeus Hagrid, had been expelled (Artemis was surprised by this news, believe me). But the real doer of the mischief had never been caught (though it was more than a mischief).
And who better than Harry Potter, another Parselmouth, to enter the Chamber and rescue the girl? It was clear that the monster in the Chamber was something which would be controlled by Parseltongue. But it wouldn’t be a mere snake, or a Runespoor, for that matter. It had to be the only other creature which conversed in Parseltongue – a Basilisk. And it would fit the description of a monster. So with a greater knowledge than many about the Chamber, Artemis was trying to find a way of somehow entering the Chamber to find the secrets of the founder of his House. An unnecessarily big risk for a nearly futile issue, but he was determined nonetheless. ooooooo Nearly every student was out in the grounds as eleven o’clock approached. Even all the teachers were there to watch the match between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Artemis had practised with his team; all of them were very good, only they said that they hadn’t had such a good Seeker as Artemis for over a decade-and-a-half. They were curious as to how a muggleborn (the Slytherin usually refrained from calling their own House students as ‘mudblood’) such as him could be so good. Artemis had thought it was better that no one knew about his ancestry. He had even written to Butler using his owl all about Quidditch and how he got selected as a Seeker, and also about his ancestry. The reply from Butler had startled him. Butler had nearly forgotten that people in the wizarding world used owls for communication, and when he had seen the owl banging at the window at first, he’d been shocked to see an owl at broad daylight. He’d tried to avoid it, but it had kept banging, and losing patience Butler had tried to shoot it. Luckily it had escaped and only when he’d seen the parchment tied to the owl’s leg had he realised that it would be Artemis’s owl. Artemis was no exception to the other students; though he might have preferred reading more books in the library, he had to see two of their opponent teams in a match to work out a good strategy for winning against them (he had already given his team basic strategic ideas against any team; but against specific teams, specific strategies would work better). Though he had seen in their practices, he thought that it would be better to watch the match as that would be where all the players would show their actual skills and abilities. The captain said that the Slytherin team was now loads better than the teams they’d previously had, owing to their new Seeker in two ways; one, he was a very good Seeker, and two, the new ideas and artifices that he had shown them had improved the team by a long way. He had even suggested new types of possible fouls that were not mentioned in the list of the seven hundred fouls in Quidditch, which way, the Slytherins would be more than a match for their opponent teams. (He’d also advised them not to try these at the practices, lest they be seen by the other teams. They should do it when no one was watching other than their House, preferably early morning when no one would be out on the grounds.)
Artemis was sitting in the stands with Jack and Steve by his side and a load of other first year Slytherins, Jennifer and Burke included. Jennifer was not highly talented, but mediocre at least. Burke was good, she was intelligent, but cocksure; she always tried to undermine others (especially Artemis, after the Quidditch trials, but she miserably failed, for he always proved his worth well). She was arrogant and loathed Artemis, he could tell it from her eyes. Failing to undermine him, she had now started to avoid anything even related to him, shouting at those who even mentioned his name. Artemis didn’t care. But then, why should he? The players arrived; the commentator, William Jones (a Hufflepuff), was shouting out loud their names. The Hufflepuffs first, then the Ravenclaws arrived. His excited tone when shouting the Hufflepuffs’ name and bored (kind of) voice while shouting Ravenclaws’ names clearly (clearly for Artemis, though not so for the others) showed his allegiance; but that was to be expected, he was a Hufflepuff after all. The Gryffindors were supporting the Hufflepuffs (this is an understatement; the cheers were so loud, that the commentary was barely heard over the noise), whilst Slytherins were supporting the Ravenclaws (this is an overstatement; most Slytherins weren’t supporting any side at all, for they hated all the other Houses, so there very few who supported the teams at all, mainly first, second and third years. Amongst them, most were supporting Ravenclaw.). Madam Hooch, already in the air, whistled loudly and released the balls. A Ravenclaw Chaser quickly caught the Quaffle and headed off toward the goals. The Hufflepuff Chasers made an attempt to snatch the Quaffle from her, but failed; she went on and passed it to another of her teammates, and then – “Keeper Molson dives,” Jones commented, “but he misses – I can’t believe this – Lascar scores, Ravenclaw lead 10-0…” Artemis missed out the commentary after that, for at that very moment, he had seen the snitch. Neither of the fools calling themselves Seekers on both the teams had seen it, both of them too lost in their own joys and grieves of scoring first or not being in the lead and whatever it was on their minds at the time. Against these stupids, he could easily catch the snitch before they even had any idea what was going on. Artemis kept watching the snitch and noticed something; a pattern. The snitch was moving in a pattern. But it was a very complex pattern, something nearly like the shape of the universe, which couldn’t be easily defined. No doubt any Seeker or wizard, for that matter, had failed to observe this. It had taken a full hour before Artemis Fowl himself had observed that a pattern existed. This was excellent. But he would not tell this to
anyone. If he kept this secret to himself, he could become the greatest Seeker to have lived. Though he never considered Quidditch as a profession, he could at least gain fame. Before even a minute would be over, in every match, he could catch the snitch, now that he knew its movement. All very well, of course. After nearly two hours of the match, when the score stood 170-30, Ravenclaw still in the lead, Artemis was starting to feel bored. All this while, he wasn’t really intently watching the match, but using the intellect he was so well known for to plot more plans for restoring the Fowl fortunes. He had to do something. In the early fifteen minutes of play, he had, apart from observing the snitch, made note of the ways the players of the teams played, and the tactics they employed. It was childish. With the way the mighty Slytherin was now, they would well be crushed. Hufflepuff Chasers were stupid, and they had only managed to score three goals as the Ravenclaw Keeper was stupider. The Beaters of both the teams were doing a terribly poor job, and most of the time they tried to hit a Bludger, they’d miss and the Bludger would hit them. When they did manage to hit a Bludger, it would be an aimless shot and would most often hit their own teammate. The Seekers, it seemed, were at last starting to search for the snitch. What they’d been doing for this long, alas, even Artemis didn’t know. Artemis wasn’t observing the snitch now, for he was lost in his own thoughts, but he would locate it now and then to confirm his theory that the snitch moved in a pattern. A shout from the commentator and a roar from the crowd had awoken Artemis from his thoughts. The Seekers had, at last, seen the snitch; they were darting forward on their brooms, each from the opposite sides. All the Chasers and Keepers stopped in their tracks to watch the Seekers plunge towards the snitch. The snitch, as if it knew it had been seen, changed course and kept moving. (Artemis knew it had not changed course, only moving along in its pattern. This was part of the pattern, but no one else knew it, so for all others, it would seem the snitch had changed course.) It was then that the Seekers noticed that they were flying towards each other. Before either could turn away, they crashed, the Hufflepuff Seeker knocking his opponent out of her broom. She fell, but no foul was called. It was an accident, after all. But Professor McGonagall caught the girl with a spell which left her hanging upside down in midair (don’t worry, it wasn’t Levicorpus). Meanwhile, the score was 200-60 just before the Hufflepuff Seeker, wanting nothing more but to lead his team to a win, caught the snitch, not having been diverted by his falling opponent. Though the crash had left him like he was subjected to a full Body-Bind Curse (after he’d caught the snitch, for he’d managed to stay sane till he caught it), he looked fine. The match was over, and Hufflepuff had won by a mere ten points.
More than half of the crowd was leaving the stands, while the rest (none of the Slytherins, but most of the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, and a few Gryffindors) were going to see what had happened to the two Seekers. Artemis had already seen that the one who had fallen was already taken to Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing, which he yet had to visit (for injuries, as he’d already observed the place). Knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the Hufflepuff Seeker joined the Ravenclaw Seeker, Artemis left for the common room, his mind dangling with wonderful new ideas that had just struck him. Today was going to be a long, long day. ooooooo Chapter 11 Fowl has friends February came; the time had passed so fast that Artemis barely noticed. He had enough on his mind to fail to notice the passage of time. Anyone else with so much on their mind would faint from exhaustion or would’ve given up their goals long ago. But not him. Not Artemis Fowl. Artemis had searched the library for any references to the Patronus charm. He found many and read them all. He knew everything about the charm, in theory. Only thing left was to practice doing it. But that was the tough part. You didn’t have much privacy anywhere in the school. Not anywhere Artemis knew so far. He couldn’t risk any student or teacher seeing him practicing a spell of such complexity, for the spell was beyond what was taught at Hogwarts. The problem was that if anyone knew that he was doing things like this, without the teachers’ permission, he could well be made to serve detention. Also, it was best if he kept his talents and skills to himself; the last thing a skilled wizard would want was people knowing that he was a highly skilled wizard. He yet had to find a place where he could practise the charm. He was confident that he very soon would.
And then one morning, the Firebolt four arrived during breakfast. He’d ordered for it instantly the day he’d been selected for the team, and it now had come by owl-post. Seeing it, Jack and Steve were thrilled. Alexis looked shocked. Jennifer smiled. Mark and Robert didn’t know what expression to fathom and blinked rapidly. Steve spoke first, “It’s a broom. What model?” “Back in the common room, we don’t want anyone to know about it,” Artemis said with a charming smile. They all obliged. After finishing their breakfast, all of them rushed to the common room. “See for yourself,” Artemis said with a grin. Boy, this was different. How many days had it been since he’d last grinned? He should count things like this next… Steve opened it in a rush and looked in awe at the broom. He just didn’t believe it. With a shaking hand, he pointed at it and asked, “This isn’t a Firebolt four, is it? It can’t be…” he trailed off. “It is,” Artemis replied in what looked like a kind tone (now that is rare, isn’t it?), “And let me do some flying with it.” “You’ll let me fly on that won’t you, Artemis?” Steve asked politely, “I’ve never even touched a Firebolt in my life, you know.” “You know how it cost? If you’re sure you can pay if you damage it, then sure,” Artemis replied in a sweetly mocking tone, “But if you only wanted to touch it, here, you may have a go. You can even hold it, you know.” He extended out the broomstick Steve looked taken aback. Artemis knew of course that Steve couldn’t pay. Now no one would dare touch his broom. Who cared for friends, anyway? They weren’t even his friends, were they? “It’s ok, Artemis,” Steve replied sadly, “I just thought you might let me have a go. If you didn’t want to –”
“You can have a go. I don’t care,” Artemis replied. When he finished, he was stunned. Why did he tell something like that? Just a few seconds ago, he’d made it clear he didn’t want anyone even near his broom, then why did he say that? Artemis didn’t get it. He’d done something unconsciously, not being aware of it. “It must be the goodness building inside me in this Hogwarts. My cruelty is going down, and soon enough, I might well start giving charity!” he thought. For his part, Steve was delighted. “Oh, thank you, Artemis. I knew you were joking at first. I’ll have a go after you then, buddy.” The broom moved as he wished. It was perfect. He wished and willed the broom to change its speed or course or height, and with his slightest touch, it would obey. No Hogwarts broom could match its style or perfection. Flying on the Firebolt four was wonderful. Better than how he’d felt when he’d first flied on a broom. He just couldn’t explain the feeling (which was rare, of course) of flying. It was just amazing. It seemed Steve felt the same too, because he was recounting to the first years about his flight on ‘Artemis’ new broom’ which he explained as the most thrilling experience of his life. He hasn’t had much experience in life then, Artemis thought. It was thrilling, but there things far more interesting, like fairies, p’shogs or leprechauns… ooooooo With the passage of days, Artemis found himself on the grounds, on the day before the match. This was their last practice session; everyone had wanted to practice their strategies and moves one last time, but this time together as a team, which they’d been unable to do thanks to the watching Gryffindors. To remedy this, Artemis had searched the whole library before finding a powerful illusion charm. He’d practised it once or twice, and satisfied, he thought of casting the charm at practice. The charm was simple enough (mind you, for Artemis). The incantation consisted of a dozen words, and you had to specify the illusion you wanted to create. Like if you want to show yourself waving at someone, you should point your wand at a moving photograph (the best, for an unmoving one will cast doubts) of the same and mutter the last three words of the incantation. The area over which you cast the spell would be showing only that till you remove the spell (only for those outside the area; those inside the place will be able to see the real thing, but no one entered the area during a practice except the players of the given team, so no one would notice that it was an illusion).
For every practice different Gryffindors would come to watch them. But the number would always be six. It was as if their captain had asked them to watch Slytherin practices intently (that was the truth, actually). But this was enough; Artemis had asked Jack to catch a photo of them on their previous practice, and as it was a new set of watching Gryffindors, they wouldn’t know that there was any repetition. That photograph was the illusion they were going to create; no one would see or know the real moves they would employ, except for the seven players. So it was as simple as that; Artemis had cast the charm without anyone but his teammates seeing. The practice began. For a few minutes, he watched as his teammates flew at ease in the air, maneuvering their tactics. The Beaters were flawless; they flew at a distance of ten metres from each other, each hitting towards the other very accurately, and the other hitting back without missing. They sometimes even tried the Dopplebeater Defence. The Chasers flew in their Nimbuses and Firebolts, passing the Quaffle to each other with unerring skill and speed, and the poor Keeper barely managed to save the goal (two times for every ten attempts on average). Not that the Keeper was doing a poor job, he employed both the Double Eight Loop and the Starfish and Stick defenses against the Chasers; but they too tried everything – from Porskoff Ploy to Reverse Pass and Hawkshead Attacking Formation – and scored quite easily. There were three of them against a single Keeper; and at their speed and skill they were merely blurs in the air, then what chance did the Keeper stand? But the Keeper saved more than half of their attempts in penalty attempts; he was good. (All these moves are mentioned in Quidditch Through The Ages, and for those who haven’t read it, I recommend it, it’s real good, you know.) Then he set out to search for the snitch (not search, to be precise). There it was, as he’d expected it to be, moving along fluttering its wings, near the hoops. At once he swept into a dive, going for the snitch. This time, all his teammates stopped at their tracks and watched him zoom and swing towards the snitch casually, as if he had not a doubt on Earth that he would catch it. Then he decided to try the Plumpton Pass (catching the snitch up one’s sleeve, this move is). Without fail, he caught the snitch up in his sleeve and then held it out in his hand. His teammates were amazed, and Kirke moved forward to him and said, “We’re winning the Quidditch Cup this year. There isn’t a doubt about it.” The smile on his face was genuine. He had been waiting for this moment for years. Then they resumed their practice, and Artemis tried the Wronski Feint, a famous Seeker move (for those who don’t know, it means going into a dive straight towards the ground, as if you’ve seen the snitch, to confuse your opponent Seeker, and make him/her follow you, and lure them to crash into the ground. Here, of course, this was practice.). With
perfection, he pulled out of the dive precisely at the moment when, if he’d moved on, he’d have crashed. Like this the practice went on for a further hour or so, then they were all back in their common room after dinner looking at each other seeking reassurances that they’d be well off in the match the next day. They’d done all they could, and this was it. They’d reap the rewards for their hardwork tomorrow (it’d been difficult for them, I tell you, Slytherin weren’t the typical hardworkers, it was the Hufflepuff lot who were). Artemis waited for over ten minutes, but no one spoke, only staring at one another in turns. This was getting stupid and boring, very unslytherin, it was. He decided to leave, “Have a good night’s sleep, you all. Keep staring if you wish, but I’m bored.” At that moment, it seemed everyone had awoken to their senses. Some mumbled “Good night, Fowl” and all of them went to their respective dorms. Artemis wasn’t the type to feel nervous. You wouldn’t believe it, I know, even so it was like that, he was feeling quite nervous. You couldn’t really blame him. After all, he was an eleven-year-old boy with his first chance to prove himself in front of his whole school. But he got over it soon enough (in less than ten seconds, really) and assumed his impassive gesture, and went to bed with a thousand things on his mind (not exactly thousand, to be precise…). ooooooo The day dawned clear. Artemis awoke with determination in his mind. A determined Artemis Fowl had never yet failed (for that matter, he was rarely undetermined, wasn’t he?). They ate breakfast quickly. His teammates seemed so nervous that he thought they might wet themselves. He wasn’t nervous now. That was a symbol of fear. A fear that something other than what was expected might happen. It’d come to him once yesterday, but not a second time. Artemis Fowl didn’t repeat his mistakes, and he had not a fear in the world (or at least, so he thought. That’s a good thought, that is, but not always helpful; brings trouble sometimes.). Jack and Steve were pushing on about how he should not fall for the tricks of his opponent team, and blabbering about international Quidditch. Well, they didn’t know how the Slytherin team had trained, so they were bound to give advice (or whatever it was they were telling him) to their friend (or whoever they thought he was; they did consider him a friend, but Artemis did not consider them so yet).
Soon enough, eleven o’clock arrived, and having changed into their green robes (Gryffindor wore scarlet ones). In the changing room, just before they left, Kirke said, “This is it. We –” “– flatten Gryffindor,” Mike interrupted. “In today’s match,” Kim continued. “And all the others,” Kate said. “In the other matches,” Melinda said half-heartedly. “And win the Cup this year,” Artemis said, “Haven’t you told this enough times already? We should leave.” And then they left for the grounds. The Gryffindor team was out there already, and as the Slytherin players came, Jones was shouting out their names. Artemis saw his first-year mates in the stands, and waved to them. He thought he saw Jack wink at him. Whatever that was. He turned to face the Gryffindor Seeker; she was slim, pale-faced with brown eyes and dark hair. She looked like a fifth-year and wore a haughty smile, and looked down on him. She probably didn’t know how good he was. But he knew she wouldn’t spot the snitch early. Not with her stupidity and pride, surely not. Though it wouldn’t be a matter of time before he caught the snitch, he didn’t want to waste his teammates’ efforts. He’d leave them to it for fifteen minutes, and then he’d catch it. Of course, they’d have scored plenty by that time. (No one knew of the snitch pattern. He hadn’t told even his teammates. Some secrets were best kept to yourself.) Then Madam Hooch appeared out of nowhere in her broom. She asked the captains to shake hands and said, “Now I want a fair game from all of you,” and nodded at Slytherin captain as she said the last word. Kirke grinned and shook hands with Gryffindor captain (who was Robert Trellis). It wasn’t a handshake, actually. It seemed like they were trying to break each others wrists. For a moment, Artemis thought he saw Trellis flinch. It meant
Kirke had succeeded. Artemis and Kirke smiled and at the same time, Madam Hooch blew her whistle. And the match began. As soon as the Quaffle was up, Kate snatched it passed it onto Kirke. He darted forward and quickly passed the ball to Melinda. She passed it again to Kate, she again to Kirke, he back to Kate, and – “Slytherin scores the first goal of the match,” Jones’ voice rang loud through the stadium, “Kate Prinster, what an excellent Chaser she is, she does the job for them, and – whoa! Robert takes the Quaffle and speeds towards the hoops, and he passes to Carper, and she shoots – what a wonderful save by Sauvell, and he passes the Quaffle to Boggleworth, now it is in Prinster’s hands, no – Kirke’s, and back to Boggleworth, and she shoots – and scores again! It is 20-0 to Slytherin.” And so the match went on, the Slytherin Chasers kept scoring. By seven minutes, the score was 90-0. Gryffindor hadn’t a hope of winning unless their Seeker caught the Snitch. And Artemis would see to it that she didn’t. The Gryffindor Chasers had tried five times, but failed to score. Maybe, the Keeper’s practice with top level Chasers had improved his abilities. Then again, one of the opponent Chasers got the Quaffle in his hands. Artemis decided it was time for a little trick they’d discussed on. Assuming an expression as if he’d seen the snitch, he went into a deep dive. The Gryffindor Seeker, seeing him, followed after him; he wasn’t going very fast, as he wanted her to catch up with him. As soon as she caught up, he picked up speed, and he too picked up his speed. They were level now – hurtling toward the ground at a tremendous speed. At that moment, as expected, even all the players stopped to watch the Seekers. But Slytherin’s Chasers didn’t, and Kirke knocked the Quaffle out of a startled Gryffindor Chaser’s hand. Kate caught it and the Slytherin Chasers started moving toward the hoops at a great speed, passing the ball to each other. But by the time the Gryffindor Keeper realised what was happening, they’d scored three goals in quick succession, which was when the Gryffindor crowd bellowed in rage and the Gryffindor Chasers realised what was wrong. Artemis didn’t concentrate on that part. He had to pull out of the dive at the right moment, or it could cause great damage. It needed full concentration. With all his mental
might, he forced not to grin at the opponent Chasers’ stupidity and his strategic cunning working so well. The Gryffindor Chaser was looking for signs of the snitch alongside him, wondering why he’d otherwise pulled into such a dive. Exactly at that moment, Artemis pulled out of the dive and realization dawned on the Gryffindor Seeker’s face. She hit the ground with a dull thud and Gryffindor took time out. In two minutes, the match resumed, and on each Gryffindor face, anger and determination was etched. Unbelievably enough, they managed to score two goals after that, while the Slytherin Chasers only managed four (that itself was a big achievement for Gryffindor, given what practices Slytherin had gone through). So the valour and stupidity Gryffindors were so well known for wasn’t an utter waste. It did seem quite useful at times. So when Artemis’s count of fifteen minutes was up, so fast he didn’t notice it being that long, the score that stood was 160-20. Gryffindor still had a chance of winning, but Artemis had no idea of giving such a chance to them. He confirmed that the snitch was where it ought to be, and drifted lazily towards it. The other Seeker thought he was merely searching, and she kept searching on the other side of the hoops. She was not watching him now, and even so, she couldn’t reach the snitch before him if she saw. Confirmed and sure, he went for it. He raced in his broom toward the snitch with all the speed he could gather. It was sensational, electrifying; the snitch was now mere feet from him. Even the crowd had seen the snitch. He could vaguely hear Jones commentating that the Seekers had seen the snitch. It seemed the other Seeker had been taken in by shock, but she too was following him closely, as fast as she could. He lowered his speed and calmly grasped the snitch in his hands; then he showed it to the crowd. It roared. “Artemis Fowl catches the snitch! Slytherin wins the match 310 to 20,” Jones was excited, “This is the largest victory I’ve ever seen, that too a Slytherin versus Gryffindor match.”
His teammates were rushing over to him; the Slytherins were cheering in applause. He landed quietly in the ground where his dorm mates and other Slytherins he knew (he knew most of them, you know, having contacts with people was useful) were running toward him like eager children. “That was a great catch, mate,” Steve said. “Amazing, the way you did that Wronski Feint,” Jack said, “Yeah, Steve told me all about it.” Steve beamed. Jennifer said, “It was nice how you casually approached the snitch as if you didn’t know its whereabouts and suddenly flew with such speed. I first thought you were trying that Wonky Feat thing again.” Mark and Robert merely grinned at him. Artemis smiled. After all, he couldn’t say these people weren’t your friends. What did you call people who were in now way related to you, but were affectionate and friendly towards you? “Thank you, everybody,” he said. For the first time in his life, he had friends. Those who cared about him. Other than his parents, Butler and Juliet, of course. The very idea filled his heart with warmth like he had never felt before. He settled in the common room beside his friends as they started talking about the match. There was so much to learn in this world. Only today, he learnt what friends where. The world always had much to tell its inhabitants. To learn them was their purpose. Whether, others did it or not, he would do it. He was Artemis Fowl. Nothing could stop him. Or so he thought. ooooooo Chapter 12 The Patronus He had thought that he would wait for two years more. But no, it was time. It was time he returned and showed to the world the power he held. It was time he returned to his
servant who would assist him to rise again. It would take months, yes, it would. But he would be able to return to his body, and that was what he wanted. ooooooo Artemis was racing through the fourth year transfiguration textbook. It was far more interesting than the limited first year book, the information in which was next to nothing for him. But here you had spells to transfigure various objects into various animals or objects. It was given that even statues could be brought to life, but it was more complex transfiguration which was beyond NEWT levels. Time was very impatient, it seemed. Soon enough, the next match of the season was coming up. Actually, it was tomorrow. But Artemis was not going to see this match. He had planned what to do. He was going to search Hogwarts for places that students had failed to notice. He also wanted to practice the Patronus charm, and he was curious as to what his Patronus would be, for all patroni were animals and he wanted to see which animal would guard him from Dementors, which were what Patronus charms were mainly used against. Also, they were used to communicate messages between wizards and witches. He was getting on with his studies just as well as Artemis Fowl would. He would finish the assignments given to them in one-fourth the time allotted (I’m sorry, but the assignments were generally lengthy, and the Professors gave them with the thought that no student would be able to finish them in time. So he couldn’t finish it quicker.). The Professors would be surprised but they would give him a new assignment for the meantime. They were only stunned that the boy had finished four years’ worth studying in one year. But Artemis wanted to finish the fifth years’ books and spells too; then he would have finished his OWL portions in one year! But this was no big deal for him; he was who he was, after all. He was a genius, and he couldn’t do anything to change it. The day of the match came; and Artemis was ready to put himself into action. He had a good idea what to do with his time. He would ask the ghosts for help first. They would know. With hundreds of years’ experience in Hogwarts, they must know every nook and cranny in Hogwarts. And the house-elves were another matter. He had heard from two mischievous boys that it was the house-elves employed in Hogwarts who made their food. And that the kitchen
was located in a place which you had to find, there was even a password needed to go there. Artemis tried to tempt them into telling it, but they wouldn’t tell it for anything. Well then, he had to find it out himself, but that shouldn’t be a difficult job. So breakfast was finished. And after two more hours, nearly every student was trying to cram into the stands. Not Artemis. He was back at the school, searching for the sight of a ghost. He had by now learnt Disillusionment charms (it was part of NEWT curriculum. But it was useful, so he’d decided to learn it) and was, for the moment, invisible. He was walking silently so as to not be heard by anyone, even the caretaker Filch, who gave students detentions if he just got the chance. He and Jennifer were the only Slytherin first years to not have got a detention from any teacher, prefect, head boy/girl or the caretaker. He was clever enough to avoid a detention and she was good enough to avoid the same. He walked and walked around the school, searching for something he had not seen or somewhere he had not visited before, or even a ghost. And suddenly he emerged into a third-floor corridor where he saw the Bloody Baron holding Peeves the Poltergeist by the neck. “Have I not told you never to come by this corridor or in my way, Peeves?” the Baron asked. “I’m so sorry, your bloodiness, sir, Peevesy just forgot…” Peeves was saying. “I did not give you permission to speak. Or I may have to at last do to you what you have been dreading ever since you saw me – ” “No, sir, no! Please forgive little Peevesy this time, sir, he will never, ever come to the third floor at all, and he will keep always ten yards’ distance from your bloodiness, sir!” “Very well, Peeves, you may go now! But remember… this is my last warning. You will not be forgiven next time.” “Yes, sir! Of course, sir!” was all he said. He was off. Artemis tried to show as if he never heard anyone, and had just come up to the third floor. He went back to the steps, removed the charm from him, and crept back up, looking hopefully at the Baron.
“What are you doing here, when everyone is in the grounds watching the match?” Baron asked in an angry voice. His voice was still showing his anger at Peeves. Artemis knew it would be best if he didn’t reply quickly. Instead, he gave a questioning look that seemed to ask what Baron’s anger was directed at. “Oh, sorry, sorry. Just had a nasty argument with Peeves there. So what are you doing when everyone is in for the match?” he asked in a more sweet voice. “I was trying to search for some place in Hogwarts where I can practice a spell without anyone noticing. Can you tell me of such a place?” Artemis asked kindly. (Now that was only because he was trying worm information out, you know Artemis well.) Baron smiled, then said, “I do, of course. But you will not get that information out of me. Try the seventh floor is all I will say.” And then Baron turned, and moved away. Artemis turned too, and swiftly moved towards his new destination: the seventh floor. Baron had said, directly or indirectly, that in the seventh floor lay a place where he could practice his spell without anyone knowing. Artemis had already prowled the entire Hogwarts (except the girls’ bathrooms, of course) other than some of those places to enter which you had to give passwords to portraits. He’d found out that of many, but few still remained. He knew what every portrait in the seventh floor led into. He didn’t know the passwords of many of those (including that of Gryffindor tower), though. So this place wasn’t behind a portrait or something. It was just hidden. And so Artemis went through the seventh floor for over half-an-hour, thoroughly observing each and every square inch of the walls and the floor and the ceiling. He was fast, for he was Artemis Fowl, but it still took time. (Just imagine how much time it would have taken us then. But don’t you agree we would have just quit after fifteen minutes of bored looking into walls and ceilings and floors for some stupid pattern? We’d have better watched the match. By far, more interesting for us. But not for him. He was… well, you know who he was.)
With time moving on, it was getting more interesting for him. It lay somewhere here… very close… where he would at last be able to do things on his own that no one would know about… For a few very anxious moments after nearly an hour of search, Artemis considered the possibility of the Bloody Baron lying to him. But Artemis had always been well-behaved with all ghosts, and Baron wouldn’t have at least lied to him. But all the same, he hadn’t still found a clue as to where that place could even be… And then he found it. It was a stretch of blank wall, opposite the portrait of Barnabas the Barmy, where he is shown to be getting a good beating from the trolls he is trying to train. There were stretches of blank walls in Hogwarts, but he could actually feel it here… there was something highly magical waiting here. This was the place. But how was it that you performed magical spells opposite a stretch of blank wall without anyone noticing. He then concentrated on what he needed to do. He needed to find a place where he practice the Patronus charm without anyone noticing him… he thought the same thought again and again, as if trying to understand what he wanted to do. Suddenly, out of nothing on the blank wall, a door burst into place. Artemis stared at it for a moment trying to absorb what had happened. Out of nowhere, a door had appeared on his thoughts of what he needed. What lay inside, he knew not. And to know, he had to go inside. But it could be dangerous, for all he knew. Yet still, he pushed the door open and entered a room. It was the perfect place he could have imagined for practicing the charm. With a wide hall, it had in a corner a bookshelf strutted with books on how to do a Patronus. On another corner was a large box. And their was also a table with a pack of chocolate frogs in it. When he observed closely, he found that it was none other than his own chocolate frogs there.
Of course, he thought. Food was the principal exception to Gamb's law. So it couldn't have produced food, so it took some from his ownership. This room certainly did marvels. He had thought about the place he required, and it had popped up at his very thoughts. So at this place, whatever you wanted, that is, your requirements would be magically fulfilled. If he had to give this room a name, it would’ve been the Room of Requirement. And as soon as he was ready, he started off. He recollected all his happiest memories of his life; knowing he was a wizard, coding his first computer program, Butler there to protect him always, his having friends, his finding out that one of his ancestors had been a famous wizard, and all he could remember. And then he spoke the incantation. Silver smoke drifted off from his wand; this was great for a first try. Of course, no wizard or witch in recorded history had ever produced their Patronus in their first try. Few had on their second. To create a Patronus, he would need the situation to do so. He needed a Dementor in front of him to be able to make a Patronus at first. The fear and chill emanating from it would encourage him to fight harder. Just as he thought so, the large box at the corner of the room opened. A chill swept over the room and haunting thoughts of his father’s loss filled inside him. There wasn’t any doubting it. It was a dementor. Plucking up all his courage and skill and happiest thoughts, he whispered, “Expecto Patronum.” Nothing happened. The wicked creature came in closer. There was no one to save him here. If he couldn’t save himself, he would soon be without a soul. Dread washed over him as he raised his wand. With a sudden upwelling of fortitude, and willing his emotions to the happiest of his memories and inventive new happier ones, he shouted the spell which, hadn’t it worked, might’ve been his life’s last, “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” And from the end of his wand burst a silver sphinx with its human head and lion’s body,
intelligence and protection showing clearly in its face, and the dementor was thrown back as if sucked into a black hole. The mighty sphinx raised its head, and ensuring the dementor’s flight out, turned towards its master. The moment the sphinx had burst out from his wand, he felt warmth being poured over him, taking off the chillness and fear that he had felt earlier. So his Patronus was a sphinx. He could now do what mighty wizards had failed to do. This was when he truly felt like he was a wizard. Satisfied, he returned to his common room to continue with his study of fourth year books. It was only going to be mid-March before he finished them. He still had his one last match against Hufflepuff in April, which was the last match of the season. When it was nearly two, he heard students. So the match was over. Steve and Jack were shouting loudly over the others, arguing. “Gryffindor deserved victory. They’d scored 180-140 before the snitch was caught and were leading,” Jack was saying. “How dare you support our arch rivals? Anyway, Ravenclaw Seeker caught the snitch fair and square, and so they won,” Steve said. “But the Gryffindor Seeker saw it first, and she nearly had it too, when the other one came and caught it. It was close, and I think Gryffindor deserved victory,” Jack said. “Then what about the Hufflepuff-Ravenclaw match? Ravenclaw led by a hundred and forty points. It was mere luck that the Hufflepuff Seeker caught the snitch. Had the Ravenclaw not fallen down, she would have caught the snitch for sure! Hufflepuff is the weakest team this season, if you haven’t noticed,” Steve finished. Jack was looking stubborn on his views. Artemis felt tiresome. These two always fought over the silliest of issues, and they were best friends. And he felt tiresome also because he’d just minutes before fought a dementor singlehandedly. Why shouldn’t he feel so?
After their potions class that afternoon, where Artemis had impressed the Professor so much that he forgot all about the telling anything about a Sorcerer’s Stone and awarded Slytherin a generous fifty points. That was also partly because he was Head of House of Slytherin. Evening came in. Just as Artemis was about to immerse himself into ‘The Standard Book of Spells – Grade 5’ Jennifer entered the common room and asked, “Artemis, you’re so good at flying. Could you show me some of your moves and teach how to fly as good as you?” Artemis felt just like someone would feel when you asked them how you can talk English so well and to teach them to speak English as well as you did. He didn’t know what to do. He said, “You first show me how well you fly, then I’ll see what I do for you.” She smiled and led him, holding his hands. Her hands felt warm, and a surge of emotion welled up inside him that he had never felt before. He had his Firebolt four in his hands, and she had a school broom. After a few minutes, she was out in the air, flying wild with happiness. He watched her tiny figure on the broomstick; she wasn’t a bad flier, she did fly well. And she turned towards him in the air, and waved at him. He watched blankly, unable to express any emotion. And then, out of nowhere, a hooded figure with blonde hair, wearing a cloak, sped on a broomstick towards the figure in front of him. He had seen the girl in the air, and had raised his wand. Artemis shuddered. There was nothing he could do except shout, “Jen, look out!”. The girl slowed down and turned her broomstick to see what Artemis was trying to show her. Her face was horrorstruck as she saw the approaching man on his broomstick. Just before she maddened with fear, the man spoke two well chosen words.
To be continued… JUST KIDDING…
A jet of green light erupted from the wand and hit her square in the chest as she screamed in terror. She fell off from her broom from a height of well above three-hundred feet, but made no movements while falling, as if her breath had already been knocked out of her, though it was supposed to be human instinct to kick your legs or scream when you fell. She did neither, and she fell to the ground, she became still, and lost her will. The man on the broom turned and moved, and after he just crossed over the gates, he vanished into thin air. ooooooo Lucius Malfoy apparated into the place where Yaxley now lived with his wife, who had presently gone out on some shopping. Yaxley was at home alone, which was what he’d wanted. Yaxley was apparently surprised at the sudden intrusion of Malfoy into his house. He spoke looking at him, “You do know it is not manners –” “Yes, yes, I do, as a matter of fact, but this was important. This is concerning Harry Potter –” But Lucius was interrupted by Yaxley, “Isn’t the world now so happy after the Dark Lord has perished? In fact Lucius, I’d starting hating the Dark Lord’s themes since His last year itself, but had I expressed it then, I would have been killed. Care for tea?” Lucius smiled. This was all he had wanted (not tea). “Yes, Yaxley.” And Yaxley went up to the kitchen. Lucius slowly followed him, without his notice. As he had started to prepare some tea, he saw Lucius alongside him.
He started, “I wonder, Lucius, why you would follow me –” Lucius Malfoy made a sudden action. Wordlessly, he disarmed Yaxley and the next second, he was carefully observing the wand, “Beechwood and Unicorn hair, I presume?” Yaxley was surprised for a moment and spoke coldly with a smile, “Give me back my wand, Lucius.” “Yaxley, you said you would’ve been killed if you’d expressed your hatred of the Dark Lord’s ideas while he was alive. It is going to happen now, for the Dark Lord never died,” Lucius said, raising his wand. It took a moment before the meaning of the words sunk in. Yaxley made an involuntary attempt to snatch his wand back. Lucius was quicker and sent and Knocking spell, which knocked Yaxley off his legs and he fell down. Lucius quickly used the Body-Bind Curse and Yaxley lay unmoving on the floor, eyes watching Lucius in rage unbelievably. Lucius wanted to kill him off quickly, but the Dark Lord said that he wanted to kill him slowly and painfully. Lucius spoke, “The Dark Lord told me one great secret before his unfortunate fall at the hands of one stupid Harry Potter. Has the Dark Mark branded in our arms vanished? No, it has not. And it will not until the Dark Lord is no more. So I knew that our master was alive, but in hiding, regaining his strength. But you have showed distrust. And you shall face the wrath of the Dark Lord for this, in the form of me.” And then he raised his wand and smiled evilly and cruelly, “I must also inform you, my dear friend, that I have just now killed your only daughter. Yes, the Dark Lord decided it was best to kill all the Yaxleys.” Inside his body, Yaxley could feel the throb of his heart and his quivering with fear. He hoped that all this was a joke, and in a matter of time, Malfoy would release the BodyBind and laugh heartily at the sight of him. But his hopes turned out to be untrue.
He heard the sound of rushing death in the form of a bright green light approaching him, and yet did not move a muscle, because he could not. And with nothing else to do, he welcomed death warmly. And death engulfed him. Lucius Malfoy watched the dead body of his old friend, present enemy who was dead. He took a chunk of hair from his head, and put it in the Polyjuice Potion. He heard the sound of a door knock. He drank it and reached for the door. But Mrs. Yaxley had done nothing against the Dark Lord. She wasn’t basically a supporter or either Him or the Ministry. But she had to be killed too, not a trace was to be left. She entered the house casually and laid out her shopping items. Lucius didn’t really want to kill either the girl or her mother. But he had to. The Dark Lord had ordered him to. He couldn’t bear any longer the sight of the woman. It filled his heart with an untold grief that he failed to understand. No longer trusting himself, he raised his wand on the back of the woman. She turned exactly at that moment, astounded to see her husband pointing a wand at her. She smiled, thinking it was some sort of joke. It wasn’t, and she never had time to know that. There was a flash of green light that illuminated the house. A second later, the Yaxleys were no more. ooooooo Chapter 13 The Dumbledore Tryst
He stood there waiting, for whom he knew not, why, that also he knew not. One of his friends had just been murdered and murderer had fled. And there was nothing he could possibly have done. This was true. Though he could have defeated any fifth or sixth year student in a one on one duel, the man had been a fully grown wizard and in the air; his spell wouldn’t have reached the man in time. Artemis Fowl was helpless. But how often did such a thing happen? Now it had, but it wouldn’t again, he wouldn’t ever again be in such a position. And was she his friend, after all? Friends didn’t leave you alone, they didn’t go away. But she had gone; she had left him once and for all. This was not a sign of friendship. No, this wasn’t; so none of those who he thought were his friends weren’t so. He had no friends. And he would make sure he never ever did again. His heart swelled with anger and determination and cruelty, a heart along with a mind that was intelligent beyond measure. It was this incident that made the Artemis Fowl we all know; the boy who would go beyond everything to exploit anything worth it; the boy who would make even the kadaluns shiver at the very mention of his name. He suddenly heard the sound of hurrying footsteps. He turned back to see Professor McGonagall moving towards him quickly, followed by Professor Flitwick, Professor Sprout, Madam Pomfrey and Professor Slughorn. He didn’t utter a word. Professor McGonagall spoke as the others went to see what had happened to the girl, “Did you see it? Only now Professor Flitwick informs me that a he saw a man on a broomstick flying away from the school and that he saw this girl falling. We rushed as quickly as we can. What happened? Who was it?” Artemis was determined. He had turned his emotions of grief and anger to determination. But somehow, he found that he could not speak. He felt like a frog that had been
subjected to the Silencing Charm (or as if someone had used a tongue-tying curse on him, if you prefer). Professor Slughorn hurried to McGonagall and obscurely whispered something to her that sounded like ‘She’s dead, Minerva’. McGonagall sighed ‘Oh no!’ and looked up hopefully at Artemis for an explanation. She got none, and hence spoke, “Very well. I understand your situation, Mr. Fowl. You go to my office and wait there. The entry to –” “I know the place, Professor,” Artemis replied boldly. She looked uncertain for a moment. Then with a concerning look, she said, “The password is Verklaren Umgestalten. I will attend to you shortly.” Artemis nodded. Never before had he got himself into such a situation. He was hesitating to tell the truth. He, of all people. He couldn’t believe this. Panic was not something he was accustomed to. It made him all the more determined. As he turned to go to the office of the Headmistress, he saw students running wildly towards the grounds. Obviously, they’d heard the news. But no one other than him had actually seen it. Slowly, he made his walk to the office. The portraits were shouting at the students and asking them what had happened that made them rush out of the school. But no one asked Artemis. This was because they couldn’t see him. He knew people would try to ask him. So he had cast upon himself a Disillusionment Charm to hide from the others. By the time he had reached the large, ugly stone gargoyle, the entry to the Headmistress’ Office as he’d heard (he heard this from older students who had to visit the Professor for some stuff they did. He thought knowing the location would be useful, and here it was, now). He spoke the password (both the words of which in German meant ‘to transfigure’, which he knew the moment he heard it).
The gargoyle leapt aside. The wall behind split in two to reveal a spiral staircase that was moving upward. He stepped onto it as the wall closed and after rising in circles for a while, he saw a large oak door open in front of him. He entered. This was the office of the Hogwarts Headmistress. It was a circular room with portraits of old headmasters and headmistresses. He knew all this, for it was all mentioned in Hogwarts, a History. Directly behind the Headmistress’ chair lay the portrait of Albus Dumbledore himself, alongside that of Severus Snape. He knew a bit about both of them from books. Artemis stared at Dumbledore. For a great sorcerer, this one looked funny. Suddenly, Dumbledore spoke, “I am Albus–” “Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,” Artemis said, “yes. I know you. I’ve heard of you. The Only One He Ever Feared. The defeater of the Dark Lord Grindelwald and the champion of muggleborns,” he finished. Dumbledore looked at him with a newfound awe. He smiled and spoke, “Though I am amazed at your unusual knowledge, Mr. –?” “Artemis Fowl,” said the owner of the name. “Yes, well, Mr. Fowl,” Dumbledore continued pleasantly, “though I am impressed by your surprising knowledge for a first year,” his voice turned more serious, “I wish to be informed of what has happened to the girl searching whom the Headmistress has gone.” Damn him. He knew Artemis was a first year. His height had betrayed him. He had to something to increase his height. This Dumbledore was quite a genius. Though many had considered that he’d been cracked, it all had turned to be untrue. Severus Snape spoke quickly before Artemis had to answer, “Let the Headmistress come, Albus. She wants to hear it as well, too, or she wouldn’t have sent him here. The boy must have been there at the scene.”
Artemis looked up at Snape. He’d been the thirty-fifth Headmaster of Hogwarts, and his time as Headmaster was second-shortest of all. (The shortest was of Headmistress Mona Bilsker, who’d been murdered by her jealous cousin. Jealous of what, books didn’t say) The Headmistress walked in swiftly and surprisingly. Only one boy was not much surprised, and you know him. “What happened?” she roared. “A man riding on a broom came out of nowhere into the school,” Artemis said, “And fired a killing curse at Jennifer Yaxley. She was already lifeless when she fell to the ground. The man had blonde hair, pale face; he was wearing a cloak and a hood. I do not know him. I can draw him, I remember him well, though I only saw him sideways. I can draw an approximate picture of him, Professor.” “What do you say, Albus?” she enquired Dumbledore. “I cannot say anything for sure, Minerva,” Dumbledore said, “but I and Mr. Fowl have come to the same conclusion on one thing,” he nodded at Artemis. But they hadn’t come to a conclusion on anything! They’d only talked! What was this old man talking about? These were the thoughts of Artemis just after Dumbledore said it. Dumbledore continued calmly, “The thing is, the murderer could not have had any ill-will for the girl alone. It would be purposeless insensibility for someone to enter the grounds of Hogwarts to kill someone for vengeance or that sort of stuff.” “And none but she and the other Slytherins might’ve known that Artemis and she were going to the grounds. And possibly, her parents could’ve known, owing to the fact that she is the student with the largest amount of owls sent and received in her name and that she might’ve told everything to them, about her plans, I mean.” “It is a fact that she was not so adept at flying and wanted to be taught by someone other than Madam Hooch. Unfortunately, the murderer got this news of the time when she would be out in the grounds. No student could have passed the information, for they knew only now. The murderer knew the time to come for her.”
“So the only possibility is that the murderer knew her parents well, and that he disliked the family as a whole or is working under… a greater power…” he finished. But as he said the last six words, he trembled. This was not possible. He could not return. “How did you know so much about the girl, Albus?” the Headmistress asked, stunned. Dumbledore decided not to answer. He noticed many things that others didn’t. Artemis slowly looked up at Dumbledore. He’d said that they had together come to this conclusion. Though this was what Artemis had thought, it was amazing that: (i) Dumbledore had thought the same thing, and (ii) Dumbledore knew that Artemis had thought the same thing. As he looked into the former Headmaster’s eyes, he felt as though the eyes were piercing through his very mind. As if they knew everything that was inside his mind. “Do you intend to say, Albus,” McGonagall started, “that the both of you talked this much and made a conclusion in the mere minutes of my absence in this office?” For a moment, all the portraits of the former heads of Hogwarts were very happy, possibly due to the fact that Dumbledore couldn’t respond to this. Just when Artemis thought they were going to shout out ‘He’s lying!’ Dumbledore looked at the rest of the portraits with fury emanating from his face (even though he was in a portrait, his feelings were quite clear). The portraits fell silent at once. It was like they feared him. The Headmistress was too lost in her own thoughts to notice all this. She finally spoke, “And your conclusion from all this, Albus?” “The conclusion is, Minerva,” Dumbledore said, “that the man who killed the Miss Yaxley is not, or may be was not, about to spare any other Yaxley. As I said, killing a student is purposeless. The only intent could have been to destroy any living member of the family. “You mean –”
The oak door to the office was suddenly thrown open. Professor Slughorn entered, looking anxious. As everyone turned their attention to him, he spoke, “Minerva! We’ve just got news from the Ministry that Miss Yaxley’s parents have been murdered as well!” The guess of Artemis and Dumbledore was proved correct. ooooooo The day devolved. Next day, after the end of his classes, Artemis set to draw the picture of the man who had murdered Jennifer. His hood had fallen at the moment before his casting the curse, and Artemis had seen him. He would not forget that face for the rest of his life. He recounted what he’d seen of her death for the umpteenth time to Steve, for he was curious to know what had precisely happened. Artemis said that he didn’t know what spell the man put on her (he didn’t want to tell, that’s why. You tell, is it good to say to people that there’s a curse that you can use to kill people [those who don’t know already]?), and that she fell from her broom and all that. He didn’t tell anything about meeting McGonagall, and no one knew about it, anyway. Not only Steve, but every student from all the houses (including Gryffindor, yes) had asked him for an account of the incident. Artemis was becoming famous for seeing someone dying. He was already hurt by it (now was he, really? He himself didn’t know…) and students were troubling him over it. After fifteen minutes of drawing the outline, shading the right parts and all, his drawing was finished. It was perfect. He’d drawn him not exactly as he had actually seen him, but as if they’d seen each other eye to eye. It was a precise drawing of Lucius Malfoy, which he didn’t know and whom he didn’t know, either. He went and handed it to Professor McGonagall, who blinked in surprise at the image. “Are you sure it is him, Mr. Fowl?” she asked.
“Yes, Professor. Do you know him?” he asked inquisitively. “Insignificant and unnecessary to you,” she said and moved away. He couldn’t ask her again. It would make her suspicious. The body had been taken away by the Ministry. Officials had come on the morning take it. The Daily Prophet had announced the news of the death of all the three Yaxleys and had managed to figure out that the murder was a planned one, which itself was to be considered extraordinary for the brains at work in the Prophet. (Though after the famous defeat of Voldemort by Harry the Ministry had become powerful and strong and able, the Prophet remained at its level of stupidity. It was still the media, and exaggerating even the movement of a flobberworm in the lack of other news is what the media will do) And so the days went on. March came and went. And Artemis had already finished nearly half of the fifth-year books. It was a common belief among students that the Ordinary Wizarding Levels were tough and that fifth-year books were very hard. But that didn’t seem to be the case (you know him, don’t you?). Artemis could agree that their complexity was a bit greater than the other books, but not tough, not at all. It was as easy for him as what would be for us to read third grade books. Artemis never talked much with anyone after the incident in the end of February. His dorm mates and fellow Slytherins tried to tempt him to talk, but he avoided even speaking with anyone for the most part. He spent all his time on thinking about the various spells he learned, and variations that could be brought in them to make them more perfect. He also thought of new, innovative and thought-to-be-impossible types of spells and how they could be created. He even occasionally thought of his plans for the summer, when he could explore in detail about the civilization of the fairies. As the month of April arrived, the final match of the season also drew near. The fellow teammates were worried that they had to prepare for their exams as well practice Quidditch. Artemis told them that they need not have long practice sessions and guaranteed them that he would catch the snitch this time before either team had started to score. But the response he got to this from the captain was not what he hadn’t expected.
“What? You say you can catch the snitch before any of us Chasers can score? Impossible,” said Kirke, when he first heard Artemis, “unless you know where the snitch will be from the moment of its release?” Artemis couldn’t say, “I do.” And so he didn’t say that. Instead he tried to convince them to not practice long as they already played well and had practiced enough. ooooooo Lucius Malfoy was sitting beside his master, the invincible man whom all wizards had feared at the height of his powers. He had nearly been killed by that Potter twice before. Not again, he thought. He had not managed to become the Minister’s favourite, though he tried. The whole Ministry actually despised him for his involvement with the Dark Lord. But he had managed to convince them by revealing some of the Dark Lord’s secrets and by telling them that he really wanted to become a good man again. With no actual charges against him, he was one of the only Death Eaters released after the end of the ‘Second War of He Who Must Not Be Named’. When Aurors had tried to catch the Death Eaters remaining, he had fled with his family away from the school quickly, lest they be caught. In the ensuing battle between the Aurors and Death Eaters, both his wife and son were killed and the Death Eaters captured, though he somehow got off the trouble. His grief of losing his beloveds was great and he felt terrible anger at all the others in the world who still had their beloveds alive. He remembered back to the moment when he had been nearly separated from his master. The Ministry of Magic had stormed into his house, asking him to come to the Ministry for an enquiry. He couldn’t refuse, for it was official. He had found that some boy at Hogwarts had seen him while killing the girl and drawn an accurate picture of him. It had been very difficult to convince the Minister, who had himself who had come to investigate. He had to put forth points like they couldn’t trust a eleven-year-old for a murder case and that they didn’t even know if the boy’s picture was accurate. He didn’t tell them that the boy could have simply known him and disliked him, though. This was because they would then get to investigate the boy, and the truth would be known.
He had actually never expected to see anyone on the grounds other than the silly girl. He’d simply flown in the moment he saw her in the air and fired the killing curse at her. His hood had fallen off at the last moment, which would have revealed his face for the teensiest bit of moment before he caught his hood and put it back on his face. The boy must have seen him then. Whoever that boy was, he would not be spared. ooooooo The day of the match came. The Slytherins were confident of winning the match and Hufflepuffs were anxiously hoping for a miracle or great luck as during their match with Ravenclaw. Artemis didn’t talk with anyone that day, and in fact, he rarely had on the other days too (as I have, perhaps, mentioned earlier). Though Jack, Steve, Mark, Robert and even all the girls had wished good luck to him enthusiastically, hoping for a reply, he merely nodded at moved on. Even his teammates had been a bit concerned about his no-talkingwith-anyone-anymore policy but didn’t show it. Artemis had, meanwhile, used the extra time to study more, learn more and to improve his skills extollingly. Eleven o’clock came, and with it came Madam Hooch, seven green robed players and players who wore yellow and gold. Artemis knew that though his teammates had not believed him when he’d said to them about catching the snitch early, they had not practiced much. Also, he wanted to make his own record of catching the snitch in the shortest time possible. And hence, he decided to go for it the moment the whistle was blown. Kirke and the Hufflepuff captain shook hands, clearly neither wanting to do so. And then Madam Hooch blew her whistle and released all the balls. But Artemis Fowl had eyes only for a tiny glint of the golden snitch, moving quickly and efficiently in its path so that no one would notice. “And so the match begins,” said commentator Jones, “and Slytherin captain Kirke takes possession of the Quaffle and heads towards the hoops. Wait a minute – what is Artemis Fowl doing?”
It was then that the crowd and the Hufflepuff Seeker noticed. Artemis was racing in his broom at a great speed toward the ground, and it looked much like his Wronski Feint trick. He can’t deceive me like that, the Hufflepuff Seeker thought, never knowing that Artemis was trying no deception. Even the crowd believed it was a trick and resumed their gaze towards the Chasers. Only when Artemis caught the snitch did everyone realize what he was doing. For in the early stages, the speed of the snitch is so great that no one can see it for a considerable amount of time after the start of a game. And when it reduces its speed, no one knows its location. “Chaser Boggleworth heads towards the hoops with the Quaffle in her possession,” Jones said, “and – oh no. This can’t be. Artemis Fowl has caught the snitch in what is thirteen seconds after the beginning of the match. Slytherin beat Hufflepuff 150-0 and hence win the Quidditch Cup for the year.” Jones didn’t mention that it was a Hogwarts record. For he hadn’t expected such a loss on the part of his team. The snitch was caught. The game was over. This was the end of his Quidditch obligations. And Artemis went back to the common room. ooooooo Exams were near, and many students had started becoming serious. But Artemis had no worry. He knew each and every word as it was in the text upto the fifth-years’ portions. He’d stopped at it, to continue after the summer holidays. He had a job to do for summer. He wasn’t going to leave the fairy civilization hidden. He was merely reading the non-textual books to enhance his knowledge of magic. The Dark Arts fascinated him, though the teaching and use of the Dark Arts was forbidden. There was so much to read that he just couldn’t stop reading the books until Madam Erma Pince forced him to get out of the library. He would borrow a dozen books at a time to read and when he didn’t read, he would engage himself in plotting ways to restore the Fowl fortune.
The exams came; and they went. They were easier than he had anticipated, and was sure he would get the best grades in all the exams. One week remained before they got their results and headed off to their homes for the summer holidays. The week passed quietly, and Artemis was reading as much as he could before heading off to Fowl Manor for further enlightenment about leprechauns. Three days before the Leaving Feast, Artemis packed his trunk. The day of the Leaving Feast came. The walls behind the staffs’ table were adorned with black drapes as a mark of respect for the death of Jennifer Yaxley. Artemis knew from books and from older students that normally, the walls were decorated with the colours of the winning House. Slytherin’s colours were not on the wall for another year. Maybe next year, Artemis thought. Professor McGonagall rose to speak, “In the passage of time, thus ends another year.” Each and every student, as if magnetized, turned their attention to the Headmistress and listened with rapt attention. The Headmistress continued, “I have to acquiesce the loss of a fine student, who should have been here with us all today. I wish that all of us stand and raise our glasses to Jennifer Yaxley.” Everyone in the Great Hall stood, and raising their glasses, muttered Jennifer Yaxley. Artemis was feeling a pang of grief as he had never felt before. He willed himself out of it and tried to concentrate harder on other things. The Headmistress continued, “This years’ points for the four houses stand thus: Hufflepuff, with two hundred and ninety-three points, is in the fourth place; Ravenclaw, with four hundred and thirty-seven points, stands third; in the second place, is Gryffindor, with four hundred and eighty-nine points; and in first place, Slytherin house has five hundred and seventy-four points. Slytherin wins the House Cup.” And then the food appeared on their plates, and they ate to their full. The exam results had come now; All students had passed this year. And Artemis had got, as he’d expected, the best grades.
They climbed the Hogwarts express shortly, and were off to their homes. Artemis sat in a lonely compartment, where he was midway joined by two older fourth-year girls and a second-year boy, neither of them Slytherin. He didn’t sit with those he knew, and didn’t really want to know anyone anymore. He kept himself to himself. The second year tried to strike up a conversation twice, and failing, he’d left the compartment. The girls stayed there for the entire journey, laughing madly, chuckling, and whispering to each other, which nearly made Artemis mad by the time they reached platform nine and threequarters. As he got off the platform and moved past the ticket barrier, Butler stood waiting for him. Butler bliss knew no bounds at seeing Master Artemis again. “How was the year, Artemis?” he asked. “As if you don’t know,” Artemis said, “You’ve been writing me twice a week enquiring the same, if you fail to remember.” Butler smiled, “And Artemis, there’s something of importance that might interest you.” Artemis was glad to be back with Butler. He asked, “And how much emphatic could that be?” “Very. We have another answer for our Web advertisement. I have uncovered the location of a place where a fairy lives. And this one seems to be bona fide,” Butler said. Artemis looked up at Butler. Eleven years of experience with him and being empathic, Artemis could tell that this was no joke. Butler was serious. “Where is this place?” Artemis asked. “He Who Enlightens,” Butler said with a grin. ‘He Who Enlightens’ was the direct translation from Vietnamese to English for ‘Ho Chi Minh’. Artemis knew that. And it was the only applicable solution in the given context. So they were going to Ho Chi Minh City to uncover the fairy mystery.
“Saigon… Ho Chi Minh City,” Artemis gasped and looked up at Butler, who nodded. They were back to the muggle world. ooooooo
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