The Family Name: The Artic Incident
By Elbereth in April
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter (that would be J.K. Rowling) or
Artemis Fowl (by Eoin Colfer). I make no money from this (D'Arvit).
Timeline: The events of Book One of Artemis Fowl occurred, and six months later he was attending his Second Year at Hogwarts. School has just ended. This occurs during Artemis Fowl, Book Two, just before he starts Hogwarts
Chapter One: Draco Visits Ireland
Draco Malfoy wasn't stupid. He knew opportunity when he saw it, and he knew when to take a chance, and when to leave well enough alone.
Admittedly, sometimes he ignored all his instincts and went too far, but he'd been keeping a cooler head lately. All he had to do was imagine that look of smugness and condescension on the face of one Artemis Fowl, and he usually managed to reign himself back.
In this particular case, he was sitting on his bed, leaning up against a post, his trunk packed and sitting next to him. He was thinking, running through possible conversations and scenarios but in the end he knew he was going to go through with it. After all, he'd done it once. His father just didn't remember it.
Moments later, he was standing at attention in Lucius's study, his father regarding him neutrally, if a bit coldly. "You are packed and ready, I presume."
"You did say you wanted to see Dublin. You're not going to complain about me dragging you on a business trip, are you?"
"Of course not, Father."
"Then why are you still standing here?"
Draco took a deep breath. "Father, I've been thinking about the Chamber of Secrets." He paused to see if a beating would be forthcoming at the mere mention of the name, but his father had apparently gotten over his unreasoning rage by now, a month into summer. His eyes lit up dangerously, but nothing else happened. Draco took another breath and continued, "And I've been thinking about Artemis Fowl. Of course, I would never want to do anything without consulting you first. . ."
He swallowed. "Sir. But, this is what I've been considering. You know Harry Potter and I are enemies, as we were meant to be. But it means I can't get near him to learn his secrets, I don't have foreknowledge of his actions. When the whole fight in the Chamber occurred, I was caught unaware."
"To your own shame," Lucius said dryly, eyes slits.
Draco flushed a bit. His father still reduced him to this, when he was in his actual presence. "Yes, sir. But now we have Artemis Fowl scheming around Hogwarts, and we have the same problem. I know you don't want me associating with him, but he is at least a Slytherin, in my own year, my dorm, we have common ground. Instead of forsaking him entirely, I should be forging--well, a working relationship. A semi-business alliance--you know the kind, where the partners pretend to trust each other. If I have that, I can stick close to him, and watch him, and make sure he doesn't mess things up like Potter always does."
Lucius stared at Draco a long moment before walking forward and standing mere inches from his son, who couldn't stop himself from tensing. He let the boy sweat for a few long seconds, then he suddenly smiled and put one hand on Draco's shoulder. "Perhaps I can make a useful Heir out of you yet. Very well. You have my permission to associate with him. But stay away from any other half-bloods and Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers."
"Yes, Father." Draco hid his own smile.
"Now call the house elves to bring our trunks. It's time to go."
---------------------------------------------Lucius Malfoy had taken Draco on business trips before. They had been to Ireland a number of times, in fact. This time was a little different. While Lucius went to a shady little pub in Dublin's version of Knockturn Alley, Draco summoned Dobby.
Dobby came promptly, looking both curious and apprehensive. "What is you needing, young master?"
"If you made a visit to Potter's house, then you can navigate around the Muggle world. As I'm not very familiar with it, I require your services. I'm going to visit someone, and I want you to help me get there."
Dobby looked decidedly more nervous. "Where you be going, sir?"
"Fowl Manor." He grinned in satisfaction but the gleam in his eye turned the smile rather wicked. "It's a surprise."
-------------------------------They Floo'd as close as they could get, then Dobby introduced Draco to a mode of transportation called a taxicab. It seemed Muggles could neither see nor hear the house elf, if he so chose, so he could coach Draco without the driver's notice. However, his urgings that the Malfoy Heir not insult the man's driving were not very effective. By the time they reached the Manor, the cabbie was glad to see him go.
Butler opened the door. Draco grinned at him and waved. "Hello, Butler. Did you miss me?"
"I'm so pleased to meet one of Artemis's school friends," Mrs. Angeline Fowl was saying as she led Draco to the guest bedroom. Juliet and Butler tagged along in amusement, and Artemis walked beside him, wondering what Malfoy was doing at his home so unexpectedly.
"It's lovely to be here," Draco replied with a charming smile. He'd been practicing up on those. "I like the place."
"Oh, well." Mrs. Fowl smiled back at him. "The original Fowl Manor was built by Aodhan Fowl in the 1400's. it was a true castle then, of course, meant to keep out the Normans, the English, the Vikings, the Romans--anyone who came too close, really."
"I like it," Draco repeated. "Reminds me of home. Only--more Muggle, obviously. Where are all the candles?"
"It's called electric light, Malfoy. You should try it sometime."
Mrs. Fowl opened the bedroom door and waved her hand. "You can stay here during your visit. Let me know if you need anything."
"I can see we need to start with the basics," Butler said. "This is the light switch. You switch it on and off."
Draco's eyes widened. "This is that electricity stuff, is it?"
Juliet giggled. "How can you not know about light switches?"
"We don't do electricity in the wizarding world," Draco told her loftily. "Large concentrations of magic tend to interfere with Muggle workings."
Juliet giggled again. "Oh."
"Does she understand what you say?" Draco whispered to Fowl.
"Mainly," Artemis whispered back.
Juliet sat in Artemis's study, one of Butler's Guns and Ammo magazines open on her lap, watching one of the networked Mac's broadcasting a championship wrestling match. All of the Mac's were busy and running. One was projecting a slide show of Impressionist paintings. One was running CNN's Web site through a DAT projector, throwing oversized images against the back wall. One was scanning through specs and schematics of what looked like a blue cube. One seemed to be trying to piece together a complete sentence from strange scraps of sentence fragments in a language Juliet didn't understand.
Draco stood in the doorway, watching her. Normally Juliet wasn't allowed in this room. But Mrs. Fowl was planning a week-long trip to Nice and Butler was arranging things for her, and Artemis was keeping an eye on the stranger in the house.
Or he had been, up until he had to go use the bathroom, and Draco had taken the opportunity to wander off, just for curiosity's sake. And Draco had never seen anything like this room.
"Computers," he said, drawing Juliet's attention away from the unfortunate wrestler being suplexed by Barnabas the Brute. "Aren't they?"
Juliet jumped up, the magazine falling to the floor. "Um, yes--should you be in here?"
"Those are guns," Draco continued, pointing to the monthly coverspread featuring the latest in automatic weaponry. "I've seen Butler's. They kill people."
Juliet gave the centerfold a covetous look before picking up and closing the magazine. "Yes. . ."
"What are you watching? A box with pictures?"
Juliet trying to explain T.V. to a pureblood wizard would have given even Artemis Fowl a headache, if he'd been there to listen.
As it was, Butler came to relieve Juliet of her post, approximately seven minutes later. "Mrs. Fowl is asking for you, Juliet," he reported. "And Artemis sent me searching for you, Draco."
Draco was regarding the computers and their displays with great suspicion by this point. "These boxes talk and show scenes of things that actually are happening or have happened. She says it's not magic, but she can't explain it to my satisfaction."
Juliet made a face and stuck her tongue out at him. Then she grinned at Butler and went to see Angeline.
"Just accept it," Butler advised him, taking him by the arm and leading him out of the room. "It's Muggle technology. It's all about electricity and satellites and radio waves and things you can't understand without studying science."
"I will." Draco's eyes narrowed with determination.
Butler hid his amusement. Artemis was going to go crazy trying to get science through this rich wizard's head. It would do them both some good.
Artemis watched Malfoy covertly as they walked down the grand central staircase and through the hallway full of portraits of his Fowl forebears. Malfoy actually stopped to examine them. "Muggle portraits, of course," Malfoy remarked, and Artemis was unable to determine if Malfoy meant that in a superior way. He had been feeling rather off balance since Malfoy had appeared uninvited on his doorstep, to tell the truth.
"Actually, it's probably a relief they don't talk." Malfoy turned and faced him abruptly, a half-smirk, half-smile on his face. Artemis felt his own expression match it involuntarily.
"Seriously, Fowl, do you mind having me here? My father's in Dublin on business and I was bored and--well, I wanted some company. But I can--"
"Never mind, Malfoy. I don't mind having you here." It was true, to his surprise, he didn't mind at all. Even as he thought this, his surprise was fading into something like acceptance. "I've seen your place, now you're seeing mine. I've never had company over before, actually, but it's fitting that it's you."
Draco smiled now, a real smile. "Got any homework done?"
"All completed, of course. I've been reading ahead. Researching various people and theories on my own. But how did you convince your father to let you visit me?"
Draco explained. Artemis listened a bit stiffly, shoulders pulled back, somewhat offended that even Lucius Malfoy would deign to believe that he, Artemis Fowl the Second, could be so deceived, but he had to conclude that in the long run, it made everything easier. "So be it."
A hawk and an owl chose that moment to wing their way to the two boys, one landing on each. "Message from Blaise," Artemis announced, pulling the parchment from the hawk's leg. "He's bored, he misses Chevalier, he's grown two inches, and he's out of chocolate frogs."
"This one's from Greg. He went hunting with Vince, but now he's bored and he doesn't understand any of his Potions or Charms homework." Draco looked up and grinned wryly. "Nor any of the other subjects, probably."
"I'll send him some advice. It'd be a shame if our lives were thrown out of balance by him flunking out of Hogwarts."
"Good point. Better do the same for Crabbe. Nice suits of armor, by the way." He indicated with his chin the 15th Century plate mail they were passing.
"Thank you. Right over there is where Butler fought the troll."
"Care for some caviar?"
"Ah, Fowl. Muggle-ized or not, you're still civilized. Lead on."
Two days later, Artemis's mother and Juliet had left on their trip to Italy, and Artemis was in his study, reading an email from Granger. She had gone on holiday to France with her parents, where she was immersing herself in the local history of witchcraft--it was, she wrote, fascinating. She also reported that the Weasley family had gone on a trip to Egypt to visit one of Ron's many brothers. Artemis, like Granger, had been keeping up with the wizarding world by subscribing to the Daily Prophet. Weasley's photo had been in there recently. Her only mention of Potter was to say she hoped his awful Muggle relatives weren't treating him too badly.
Artemis had just sent back a reply when Malfoy knocked on the partially opened study door. "Come on in," he called.
"You're up early. And in here again. Really, Fowl, this is not a friendly environment," Draco complained. "It's so--magically sterile. I don't think these computers are good for you."
Artemis smirked. "Man strikes out at what he does not understand."
"Hey, I understand enough! These things are like--they spy on people and gather information. Oh, they can provide other things--entertainment, for one--but mostly you use them for gaining knowledge and thereby power. I know you, Artemis Fowl."
Artemis blinked at him. Maybe having Malfoy in his home was a bad idea after all. He could pick up entirely too much. Just because the blonde didn't understand how technology worked didn't mean he should be underestimating him. He'd been altogether too careless. "Listen, Malfoy. . ." he began, but he was interrupted by a voice coming over the computer. "Zdrav--" Then static. Then sound again, "Zdrav--ut--n."
Artemis frowned, moving his fingers over keys. "Zdravstvutye--" More static. "Zdravstvutye syn."
Malfoy pulled a chair around the desk and sat next to Fowl. He was frowning, too.
A terrible feeling of foreboding had insinuated itself into Artemis's gut. Ignoring Malfoy, he concentrated on the computer. He had received an email with an MPG video file. He swallowed uneasily and called it up.
At first he thought the picture was defective, but then he realized it was a field of white snow. In the distance was a black hunched object. The cameraman moved closer, his boots crunching on the snow the only sound. The object was a man, tied to a chair, dressed in what had once been an expensive suit, now only rags. His face was scarred, and one leg might have been missing. A cardboard sign hung around his neck. It carried the same message: "Zdravstvutye syn." Then the picture went blank.
Artemis felt Malfoy's hand on his shoulder, and realized his own breath was coming in jumps and heaves.
Draco felt Fowl's shoulder shaking under his touch. "Are you OK?" A nod. "That was Russian. You know what it says?"
A shrug that was more of a flinch, but the voice was surprisingly steady. "Do you?"
"I speak four languages, Fowl. It said, 'Hello, son.'" Fowl closed his eyes so briefly Draco wondered if he'd imagined it. "Was that. . . your father?"
Artemis rewound the image and froze it on the man's face. "I think so." Voice still steady, but barely above a whisper. "The picture quality is too poor--I can't be certain."
"This is to get my attention." Artemis turned and looked at him. His eyes were wide with shock, but flat, dead--and still deadly. Malfoy shivered. "There will be a ransom demand, next. I must tell Butler."
He pressed an intercom on the desk, calling Butler to the study. He looked at Malfoy again. "You should go back to Dublin."
"Fowl--kidnappers don't just turn over their hostages. They kill them. They kill everybody, generally."
Fowl regarded him for a long moment. "Of course. I will devise a plan."
"If they sent you this through that computer, they're Muggle. If they're strictly Muggle, Fowl, we can handle them. No problem. We took out Riddle-- twice."
"Aren't two wizards better than one--even with Butler?"
When Fowl didn't answer, Draco stood up, abruptly angry. "You really think I'd leave you to deal with this on your own? Our current status is still allies! At least I thought we were allies. Did you or did you not say you'd help me escape being a Death Eater?"
Artemis swallowed, his eyes suddenly very bright and very blue. "Yes. And I will."
"So, I'll owe you, right? Why not pay it now?"
"This is your father--the wonderful, mysterious Artemis Fowl, Senior. Right? I know what he means to you."
"I never. . ."
"Oh, don't deny it. You have feelings. Yes, even you." Draco waved his hand. "Big. Deal."
Once again, he talked right over him. "It's all right. We don't have to ever mention this conversation again. You get to planning. Just make sure you include me in your plan."
Artemis felt light-headed, whether from shock or relief or apprehension, he honestly didn't know. He drew a deep breath, not nearly as shaky as the last, and made up his mind. "All right. Just--thanks, Malfoy."
Malfoy gave him a grave, dignified nod. Artemis nodded back, more grateful than he wanted to admit. Then Butler entered and they got to work.
--------------------------------------A/N: I want to thank again everybody who reviewed my last story, especially the repeaters. I hope you like this. I decided this needed to be written before I did the Third Year story, but that shall be written eventually, as well.