The Family Name

By Elbereth in April

A/N: Sorry this is late (especially on a cliff-hanger), but I have a good excuse. I have been QUITE sick since 6/30. I went to the emergency room on 7/4 because I couldn't stop vomiting (fun holiday, huh?) and didn't get released from hospital until 7/10. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me at first. Plus I achieved my personal record high temperature of 103.6 (pack her in ice, if it gets too high she could have a stroke or something). You tend to lose confidence in your nurses when they say this. But finally they decided I have mono and sent me home. I wanted to give all my reviewers a personal thanks with my last chapter, but I just don't feel up to it. Know I'm thinking about you, though! I leave you for now with this offering. Don't worry. . . I plan to sequel once I have healed up more.

Chapter 31: Endings and Promises

"Wingardium Leviosa," Potter yelled, and the table rose into the air.

Three spells were shouted at once.

The light from Riddle's Obliviate spell intercrossed with Artemis's Impedimentia, which slowed it down. Draco's Incendio shot in over it.

The force field reactivated. Voldemort's spell ping-ponged around in the bubble until it struck him in the chest.

His robes caught on fire. He shrieked and the force field dropped.

Crabbe, who was slowly waking up, was re-stunned when Holly kicked him in the head.

Lockhart dropped his wand, stripped his robes off, still shrieking, and let them fall to the floor. By then Butler had him around the throat, half- lifted off the ground.

"Thank goodness you wear trousers underneath," Potter muttered seriously, with extreme relief.

Artemis and Draco were busy staring at the burning robes, in the pocket of which were Riddle's diary pages, rapidly turning black and crackling from the fire.

After a moment, Draco met Artemis's eyes. "What? If I really had joined Voldemort, it would have been no more than you deserved. My father's waiting for Avery to report back to him, you know."

"Avery?"

"We met up with him in Hogsmeade. He walked me back to the castle. I waited til his back was turned, stunned him, and locked him in the Potions closet in Snape's office."

The robes were stained with ink before they dissolved into ash.

Potter looked over at them now. "Fowl, how did you know to do that?"

"It was all a matter of timing and trajectory," Artemis replied, as if it should be obvious. "I admit, I expected whatever Riddle cast to be more sinister than Obliviate. But we accomplished what we intended. He's back to Lockhart. It's hard to believe, but Malfoy's actions have impressed me."

Draco frantically fought down a blush, feeling a surge of warmth.

"Impressed? He could have burnt Lockhart alive!"

"Yes. I honestly didn't think of it."

"You're more ruthless than me, Fowl, but I'm over-all nastier," Draco shrugged.

"You could have Accio'd the diary first," Potter protested.

"Not enough time."

"Butler, what is Lockhart's condition?"

Lockhart was dangling from Butler's grip, looking befuddled. "He'll live. I suppose we should take him to your headmaster."

"Are you OK, Professor?" Harry asked politely.

"Professor? Am I?"

"Ah. The Obliviate charm seems to have been a particularly strong one."

"Have we met? I say, why does my shoulder hurt?"

"You were shot."

"Was I?"

Artemis turned to Holly, who had been ignoring them, checking Kelp over for wounds once again. "How is he?"

"He'll be fine, I think," she reported. "I need to take him back. But first is the little matter of some mass mind-wiping. You copying this, Foaly?"

"Oh, I've been watching breathlessly, I assure you," he answered her.

"We have to get your father and his henchmen back to their homes, as well."

"Fowl, what's this all about?"

"Potter," Fowl responded. "Take Lockhart to Dumbledore. He'll go quite docilely, it would appear. Tell Dumbledore that Lockhart was possessed in the same manner as Ginny Weasley was, but we foiled his plans. Leave Malfoy out of it. I'll explain the rest later. Right now, we have some cleaning up to do."

"How do we get these goons out of the castle?" Holly asked. "I can't shield them all."

Fowl looked at Potter speculatively, then smirked.

Some smooth talking and a couple of threats of Imperio later, two levitating, bound, and unconscious henchmen were covered with Potter's invisibility cloak and floating towards Hogsmeade.

Draco glanced over at Fowl out of the corner of his eye and found him looking back the same way. They both looked away quickly.

Artemis was feeling extremely uncomfortable. He checked to make sure that Butler, walking behind them, wasn't listening. "I did think you were siding with Riddle, back there."

"I think--I think I've mainly decided to--how did you phrase it last time?-- foreswear Voldemort's service. But--well, my father intends for me to follow him eventually. And, well, you're the strategy man. I'm the Seeker."

"I'll work on it," Artemis said.

"But anyway, I was just faking it back there. I had to do that for Father, too." He glanced at Fowl again. "Your original rescue plan had a few holes in it, I'd say."

Artemis wanted to defend himself. He still wasn't quite used to planning around magic, despite his increasing exposure to it. But he didn't argue. He felt Malfoy had a right to be upset. He'd told him he'd take care of his father, and he hadn't. Guilt was an unaccustomed feeling.

"Malfoy. . ." He wasn't used to feeling hesitant, either. "Did your father- -" hurt you, he wanted to say, but didn't dare. "Um, give you a hard time?" Had he just said 'um?' It wasn't even a word.

Malfoy looked at him a bit incredulously at that. "I was fighting against him," he snapped. "What do you think? I managed to talk my way out of it, though," he finished, as if trying to make light of it.

"But what did he. . ."

"What do you think he did? It--I got a stern lecture."

"Just. . ."

"A lecture. No big deal." Malfoy wasn't meeting his eyes.

Artemis got a strange, cold queasiness in his stomach. He didn't know what it meant. "Oh."

An awkward silence descended.

They stopped outside the inn. "Which room is he in?" Butler asked. Draco took them around back and pointed it out.

"The window's partly open," Artemis whispered.

"Has he seen us?" came Holly's voice.

"He tends to avoid windows."

"Holly, can you fly up to it and look inside?"

"You still have the stun gun," Butler said. "You can take him out through the window."

"Good plan." Holly was grinning. She laid Kelp on the ground, unholstered the gun, and activated her wings. Then she rose up to hover with just her eyes above the level of the windowsill. She raised the gun, took careful aim, and fired.

A moment later she was back on the ground. "Mission accomplished. Let's take them all inside and do the mind wipe there."

They trooped up the stairs and entered the room. They laid Lucius, Crabbe, and Avery on the beds.

"You sure it won't hurt him?" Draco was staring worriedly at his father.

"I'm sure, kid. I promised, didn't I?" Her smile was actually kind. The boys blinked in surprise.

She hooked the men up to various electrodes connected to a kit. It linked back to Foaly, who could use it to read their memories and erase what was necessary.

"Done," Foaly reported after a short time.

"And you, Malfoy. Sit down on that chair and I'll do you, too." Holly looked at Draco.

"Me?" Draco sputtered. "No way!"

"I think you should leave him," Artemis put in. "He needs to be able to watch his father."

Holly laughed grimly. "Oh, don't worry, we'll be keeping him under surveillance."

"Still. . . you might miss something. . ."

Commander Root's voice sounded in Holly's earpiece. "I hate to say it, but the Mud Boy's right. I don't want to have any more humans than necessary knowing about us, but these are wizards, and they've always had more knowledge than ordinary humans. We're just another weird fairy species to these old purebloods. I think we'll need as many eyes watching the Death Eaters as possible. Voldemort regaining life would be a terrible evil."

Holly sighed. Despite Kelp's rescue, she was not having a good day. On the other hand, it was better than her last experience with Fowl.

Draco stepped forward and met Holly's eyes. "I won't tell anybody about you," he said solemnly. "I promise."

Holly gazed back at him. She had been eavesdropping on the boys' discussion during the walk back. It was clear the Malfoy boy had been through a rough childhood. He'd had a lot to deal with, considering his father was so cruel and all. Even Fowl had actually sounded concerned about this boy--unless he was just trying to manipulate him, she wouldn't put it past him, but Fowl had seemed. . . mellower, somehow. At any rate, she intended to keep an eye on Draco's situation while they surveyed Lucius Malfoy--he'd better not touch the kid.

It was this twinge of sympathy that led her to nod finally. "All right, I believe you. Keep your memories."

Draco smiled. "Thank you. Losing the memory of you would make my life drearier."

Holly rolled her eyes, but had to fight a smile. "Yeah, keep trying to charm me, human. Maybe you'll get better at it."

Draco sighed. Artemis smirked.

"Right then. We still have to return everyone. I need to mind-wipe that Goyle person back at your Manor, too."

Once again, Artemis, Butler, and Draco sat in Dumbledore's office. Artemis was explaining. "I don't know if Riddle meant for Lockhart to be the one to pick up the diary or not. I suppose so, since he had Ginny rip out some pages and leave them in the DADA classroom. At any rate, he wanted another means to ensure that he would live. Once Lockhart stumbled upon the pages, he was pulled in the same way Ginny was."

"And your involvement in this began--how?" the headmaster asked.

"I discovered some papers of Lockhart's that detailed how he was planning to revive Voldemort," Draco volunteered. "I told Fowl. He's good at strategy."

"It never occurred to you to tell me? Or perhaps Prof. Snape?" Dumbledore regarded them both with raised eyebrows.

"We were confident we could handle it," Artemis replied while Draco stared at the ceiling.

"I see. And the fairies Mr. Potter mentioned?"

"You know, regular old fairies. Lockhart was going to drain their magic to come back to life using some Dark spell."

Dumbledore gave them a knowing look. 'How much does he know?' Artemis wondered. He wouldn't put anything past the man.

Dumbledore didn't ask any more about them, however, so Artemis was left wondering. Instead, he said, "So Mr. Potter removed the table blocking your shot, Mr. Fowl fired an Impedimentia charm to slow down Lockhart's spell. It slowed it enough that the forcefield reappeared, and his Obliviate rebounded and he hit himself. Meanwhile, Mr. Malfoy had set the remaining pages of the diary on fire, thus ending Voldemort's possession."

"Yeah, I didn't know what they were planning, so I didn't know they were going to move the table. But Riddle thought I was on his side, so I got to where I could shoot at him around the barrier."

"You seem to have rid us of the threat of Voldemort twice now, Mr. Malfoy, but each time you refuse to allow your name to be mentioned. Is there a reason for this?" Dumbledore asked gently.

Draco looked him straight in the eye. "I have to protect my family. Too many people these days are Voldemort sympathizers. I wouldn't want anything getting back to the wrong ears."

Dumbledore nodded slowly. "Of course. Well, I awarded Mr. Potter another 100 points, and will do the same for you, Mr. Fowl. I'm afraid Slytherin is still behind Gryffindor by 60 points."

Draco clenched his jaw but said nothing.

"What about the professor? Will he be all right?" Butler asked.

"Well, he will eventually, I suppose. He won't be finishing out the year, though. I had to send him off to St. Mungo's. Obliviate must be his best spell. He has no clue who he is. Strange, you'd think it would have made him less annoying. . . I'm glad I was able to delegate Minerva to take him." He paused thoughtfully. "She looked a bit put out with me, though. Especially once I told her Severus was filling in for him until the end of school. Lemon drop?"

They shook their heads. Draco was biting his lip to keep from laughing.

Dumbledore walked them to his office door. "Pleasure to talk to you again, Mr. Butler." Butler nodded at him.

They were on the first few steps of the stairs when Dumbledore called after them. "Oh, boys. . . I just wanted to say how pleased I am that the two of you have put aside your differences in order to work together." He smiled at them, eyes twinkling. "Thirty points. Each."

The Slytherin Common Room was crowded. "Where have you been?" Pansy demanded as she bounded over to Draco.

"Earning House points." He gave her a cheeky grin, but he really wasn't in the mood to socialize. He had a lot to reflect on. "It's still early for a Saturday night, but I'm going to the dorm, Pansy. I'm tired."

Their comrades were pressing around them now. Crabbe and Goyle looked concerned, and Eva was staring at Artemis in annoyance.

"You did it again, didn't you?" she scolded. "You went off and got into some mess. With Malfoy, yet. Is it all taken care of? You could have asked your friends for help, you know."

This was a bit of a startling concept. "It was too complicated," Artemis said after a moment. "But don't worry. It's over and done."

Draco pushed his way through the crowd as Eva and Zabini tried to drag Artemis over to the couch. Artemis watched Malfoy disappear down the stairs. Shouldn't the other boy look happier?

Draco sat down on the edge of his bed and stared at his trunk. He'd just braved the wrath of his father to help stop another of Voldemort's plots. He'd breached his own manor, fought against monsters, been stolen away from his companions to face his father, escaped from Avery all alone, pretended to switch sides, killed Riddle--again, watched his father be stunned helpless, almost had his mind wiped, and then had to explain it all to Dumbledore. His emotions had been going haywire, skipping around between fear and hope and despair.

But still. . . they'd accomplished their mission, right? Father was unaware of his part in it all. Everything would be fine now. Right?

He'd have to go home for the summer soon. He was pretty sure his father was going to be in a bad mood.

He looked up when Fowl entered the room. His fellow Slytherin seemed almost. . . hesitant.

"Malfoy."

"Fowl."

Artemis came and stood in front of Draco, consciously forcing himself not to fidget or tug at his robe sleeves. "Well, we made it."

"Yeah."

"You can relax now."

Draco shrugged. "Yeah."

Artemis took a deep breath. "It's been--nice--working with you."

"Yeah?" Draco frowned doubtfully. Did Fowl mean it?

"Well. . . yes. I'm glad you've changed your mind about becoming a Death Eater. You'd be wasted on them."

Very slowly, Draco started to smile. "It has been nice. And how cunning would it be to fight as a Death Eater if you were on the opposite side? Slytherins like winning, after all. You'll make that difficult for them, I think."

The corners of Artemis's mouth turned up. "Thanks."

"So. . . our truce is still on, then."

"Yes."

"Yes. Good." Draco was grinning now.

"23, 24, 25 Galleons," the boy finished counting rather bitterly. "I can't believe you bet against your own House."

Luna Lovegood shrugged as his companion finished paying off Ginny Weasley. "I'd seen him play chess before. There was no way Kinklestaff could have beaten him."

Kinklestaff tossed his head, stood up from the chessboard, and stalked away with his two friends. Ginny turned to Fowl. "Good job," she told him.

"He wasn't as much of a challenge as your brother." Fowl looked up from putting the board away. "He was good, though."

"Yes. You're just better."

Artemis smiled smugly.

"I hear Slytherin and Gryffindor are tied for the House Cup," Lovegood remarked as she tucked her money away.

The two nodded.

"Only six weeks to go," she said lightly, then waved goodbye.

That left Artemis and Ginny alone. "How are you and Malfoy doing these days?" she asked him.

"Surprisingly well. We're still rivals, of course."

"Of course." She smiled.

"But. . . yes. We're doing well."

"Good. Because I hear him coming."

Artemis listened. Malfoy's distinctive drawl was indeed coming up the stairs.

"Anyway, I've got astronomy homework. I'll see you around."

Ginny brushed past Malfoy as he came in the door. They exchanged a look, but no words.

Malfoy lounged against the wall by the door. "Was I right? Did she bet on the match?"

"She did. She won 25 Galleons."

Malfoy raised his eyebrows. "Good for her."

"Where are you headed?"

"The library."

"Me, too. I'm meeting Zabini there."

"Ah. Walk together?"

"Just let me get my bag."

"Hey--did you know they have that Muggle-photo of Lockhart hanging in the teacher's staffroom? They're using it for a dart board."

Even Artemis Fowl had to laugh at that.

They ended up losing the House Cup by 23 points. The Second Years were consoling themselves in the Common Room after the Feast.

"Did you remember to pack everything, Draco?"

He sighed. "Yes, Pansy."

"Promise you'll owl me," Marie was demanding of Blaise.

"Of course I will. You, too, Artemis."

"Oh. Thanks." Artemis thought about this. To actually keep in touch with his schoolmates over the summer? As if they actually were--friends--who meant something? Instead of just people who took time away from his money- making schemes?

Well--it couldn't hurt anything.

For some reason, Mrs. Fowl had gotten the idea to meet her son in London, so she, Juliet, and Butler would be waiting for him at King's Cross Station.

Granger caught him on the train ride. "Glad to be going home?"

"For awhile, I suppose."

"I know what you mean." She smiled at him.

"Any plans?"

"No. . . just to hang out with my folks."

They stood awkwardly for a moment. "So. . . I guess I'll see you next year."

"Owl me, Fowl."

He blinked.

"Or e-mail me, if you prefer."

The corners of his mouth turned up. "I'll e-mail you."

"I'll write down my address."

Artemis returned to his compartment. He squeezed past Millicent, who was threatening Goyle: "That was my pumpkin pastry! My last one, too! I should smack you!"

He avoided the seat next to Pansy, who was polishing her nails despite strong protests from all the boys. "Parkinson, it smells!"

"Zabini, you can't hex her for that. She'll open the window."

"But I'm sitting by the window!"

"Stuff it, Draco, I have to look nice. All my family's coming to meet me. I have to impress the cousins. They think they're so wonderful."

He sat down next to Bole instead, who gave him a bright smiled and offered him a chocolate frog. He took it.

So, it looked like he'd be writing a lot of letters over the holidays. Oh well. He could handle that.

He reached the end of the steps and alighted on the platform. He immediately noticed Lucius Malfoy waiting nearby with a blonde woman.

"Is that your mother?" he whispered to Draco.

"Yeah," he whispered back. "Crabbe, Goyle, get my trunk."

They did. Once their bulk blocked Draco's parents' view of them, Draco turned and looked at Artemis. "Well, Fowl. Don't commit too many felonies over the summer."

"Malfoy. Don't get involved in any Dark Arts rituals."

Neither boy quite understood that strange feeling in their chest, nor could they explain their strange hesitation to say goodbye. It wasn't like they were friends--obviously, they couldn't miss each other--so there must be some other explanation than sudden, sharp loneliness.

"I'll owl you," Draco finally burst out, heart beating too hard and too quick.

"I'll owl back," Artemis replied quietly, no hesitation. Why not? He was owling everyone else. And for some reason, he felt more cheerful after agreeing.

One last look and a nod, and then Draco followed his trunk to his parents.

Artemis continued on down the platform when a squeal caught his attention. "Artemis! Artemis!" He cringed, turned and looked. Juliet was hopping about, waving madly. He noticed Butler was wincing as well.

He closed the distance and then his mother was hugging him. It only lasted a moment, but it was strangely warming.

"How was your year? Do you like being a wizard? Do you like Hogwarts? Will you go back next year?"

It wasn't the heady satisfaction of having a plan come together, or the feeling of superiority in the conviction that you're the smartest person you've ever come across. He hadn't found the complete formula for alchemy yet (could he manage some more searching over the summer?) or found his father (but he hadn't given up that search, either). Yet, as Artemis contemplated his answer, he realized he felt. . . content. And it was a good feeling.

"Oh, I'll be going back," he said with a half-smile. "I'll definitely be going back."

Here ends Year Two. More is yet to come. . .