Artemis Fowl and Domovoi Butler are not mine, they belong to the excellent Mr. Eoin Colfer.

"Butler, will you come take a look at this?" Artemis Fowl motioned his employee over to the door.

The Eurasian man looked around. "It looks like a perfectly ordinary morning, sir," he responded, not quite sure what he should be seeing.

An irritable note came in to Artemis' voice. "I mean on the doormat."

Lying on the velvet doormat with Fowl embroidered in gold, was a large piece of candy. More specifically, a lollipop. With decorative multicolored swirls.

"Shall I pick it up, sir?" Butler asked.

"Perhaps it's some sort of message," suggested Artemis.

"It could be a weapon, as well." He picked it up in his huge hands, scrutinizing the sweet's surface. "It looks harmless, but you shouldn't eat it." There was a tiny note attached to the stick.

"Do you take me for a fool? Let me see that." The fourteen-year-old mastermind read the note. "It says 'Happy Birthday'. How would someone know today was my birthday?"

"Maybe you have a secret admirer."

"Hardly," Artemis snorted. Then a strange look came into his eyes, and he massaged his temples with one hand. "I feel like I'm missing something."

"What, sir?"

"Only déjà vu, most likely. Something about lollipops... In any case, you know I don't like them." He handed it to the bodyguard. "Does it mean anything to you?"

"Nothing whatsoever, Artemis. I believe your mother wishes to see you."

"Oh, yes, Father insisted on a celebration, childish as that is. Dispose of it."

"Yes, sir." He threw away the mysterious gift, and followed Artemis away from the door.

What neither of them noticed was even tinier writing, underneath the message they had read. In near-microscopic print was written:

"You've been a good boy."