"Well, Fowl, this meeting is to talk over any career ideas you might have, and to help you decide which subjects you should continue in sixth and seventh years," said professor Slughorn, eyes glazed with the look of a man who has said and done the same thing several dozen times in the last few days, "Have you had any thoughts about what you would like to do after you leave Hogwarts?"

"Of course, Professor, I've always intended to go into shipping."

Slughorn blinked. "Shipping? What, sailing about?"

"Import. Export. Transportation. The transference of physical goods and commodities."

Professor Slughorn frowned, "I'm sorry my boy, I am afraid that simply isn't something the wizarding world has any need of. We-"


"-House elves if- What do you mean, 'indeed?'"

"The wizarding world does not offer many opportunities, as far as shipping is concerned, lucrative enough to interest me. You lack a population of sufficient size for demand to be worth the bother of supply."

"You can't possibly mean you intend to work for muggles!" The Professor exclaimed.

Artemis allowed himself a cold glare, "Hardly. I am a Fowl. People work for me. At any rate, it isn't as though I have ever had any intention of isolating myself along with the rest of you primitives."

"How-? What-?" Slughorn sputtered, slowly turning a slightly brighter red than his usual alcoholic glow. "How could you possibly consider mingling with muggles, and then have the nerve, the audacity, to call us primitives?"

"Because you are primitives," Artemis replied with a twitch of his lip, amused despite himself.


"Do you know it's been several generations since the last time muggles had to pluck birds for writing utensils? That the average muggle can, on a whim, have a face-to-face conversation with someone on the opposite side of the planet? Your fascinatingly stagnant culture lost its allure after the first week. At the time, the only reason I did not leave and hire tutors was the unique opportunity your secluded society provided for an anthropological study. Of course, I since realized that there are a few opportunities here that a good businessman could never pass up. So I lower myself to using incredibly archaic tools, as that's the only way for me to learn to use this power and gain a working knowledge of your society; but if you honestly expect me to waste my time keeping company with a bunch of backward simpletons whose culture and technology haven't advanced since before the renaissance, I'd recommend you visit a neurologist."

"A what?"