CHAPTER 1: A SNAKE IN IRELAND?

This story idea was too irresistible…you'll see it soon enough.

"Beckett, Myles, do get away from there!" a worried Mrs. Fowl called to her two youngest sons. The boys ignored her completely, absorbed as they were in the snake before them. Beckett, the athletic, blonde twin, looked back at her with sky blue eyes twinkling.

"Can I keep it, Mum?" he asked enthusiastically.

"Don't worry, Mother," Artemis Fowl II, the oldest son in the Fowl family, spoke to her reassuringly, "I will make certain they do not harm the snake." He walked calmly towards the two boys in his 'casual' beige trousers and light blue polo shirt, rare interest shuffling awake in his eyes.

Angeline Fowl was more worried about her sons than the serpent, but she realized her Arty wouldn't let the twins perish. Breathing to calm herself, she walked away with empty glasses of lemonade resting on a tray. Juliet was off in Mexico with one of her wrestling colleagues, and Butler joined her there at everyone's insistence.

It had been a late summer's week without incident, and autumn was just around the corner.

"Hey, Artemis," Myles, Artemis' miniature doppelganger, stared at the Burmese python before them, drinking in every detail, "I thought there were no snakes in Ireland."

"There should not be. This one must have been brought from somewhere else."

"Can I keep it?" Beckett asked enthusiastically. Like everyone else in the family, his smile contained perfectly kept white teeth; however, his shone with a carefree happiness Artemis never possessed, and it was also free of the sinister touch usual to the Fowl brothers.

"But…it's dead," was all Artemis could think to say.

"Yeah, y' goof!" Myles teased Beckett the way he always did.

"But what if it tastes good?" Beckett whined. "I still want it!" He turned to Artemis again. "I'm not a kid anymore: I know if I cook it, it'll be safe! Right, Myles?"

"But, Beck…" this time, Myles pouted. "I want it for my experiments."

"You take half, and don't tell Mom about it. Deal?"

"Deal! Thanks, Beck!" The boys beamed at each other, and suddenly their innocent smiles bore distinct trademarks of mischief. They looked up at Artemis, who had grown taller and accelerated his growth to its proper state after going missing several years before. "And if you tell on us, Artemis, we'll get revenge."

"And, praytell, how exactly do you intend to do so, in the event I should let anything slip?" He had told the twins about his adventures, and with their help he was now physically as old as he naturally should have been. He still bore the scars from those times: one hazel eye and switched middle and index fingers on his left hand.

"We'll tell Minerva you had a crush on her." Myles replied with conviction.

"I have had many crushes in the past, Little Man." Artemis folded his arms. "Telling her will do nothing to deter me, and there is clearly nothing else to use as artillery, so you will have to mechanize something enticing as a bribe."

"Then why're you blushing?" Myles did his best to mimic Artemis' vampire smile; however, he simply did not have anywhere near as devious an air as his reformed criminal mastermind brother. Even so, the latter cleared his throat and left them to carry on with their carrion.

"To the kitchen!" Beckett declared triumphantly.

"Wait, Beck!" Myles put out an arm to stop him. "Mom'll see us."

"Oh, right! So, what do we do now?" Beckett turned to the strategist for a real plan. Myles thought for a moment.

"I know what to do. Follow me, Beck!"

"You use my name a whole lot."

"Yeah, I know. Let's go…Beck!"

I do not own the Artemis Fowl series.

Note: I find the Artemis Fowl series to have gone rather downhill after the fifth book, so I may have tweaked the storyline a bit, keeping some elements and discarding others. As you can tell, Artemis did not resurrect by using a younger clone-body, and Minerva does (realistically) continue being a part of their lives (I figured that after the ending of the fifth book, it was ridiculous to simply erase her from everyone's lives).