Hey everyone! Sorry for the wait! One of my computer drives vanished! Be thankful I got all my folders and documents back! Though really the only thing I would have cried over would have been my music.
Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me.
The forest was silent… peaceful. The tree's large canopies cast the area in shadows, Something Mulch should be very glad for. It was by no means a beautiful forest. It gave of a feeling of gloominess and danger and the thick fog that spun around their ankles did nothing but reinforce those thoughts. Yet it was peaceful. All they could hear was their own footprints though occasionally the oddest noises would reach their ears. Once their was the rough call of some unknown bird. It's voice froze their tracks and spilt cold ice down their blood. But it was gone and they didn't hear it again. It took a while for the feeling of forbidding that it left behind to leave their hearts. And once their was a great groaning that seemed to come from the trees themselves. Artemis wanted badly to leave this place and it was more then just the unbearable feeling of his mind telling him constantly that he forgot something important. Mulch admitted to having a similar feeling as they trudged deeper into the forest but it wasn't nearly as strong as Artemis's and Butler's. Holly was the only one who seemed immune to it.
All this went through Artemis's mind as he walked behind Mulch and in front of Butler. Someone was trying to keep them away by means of magic. That means that more of the magic folk were involved… but why would they want Foaly? Maybe Juliet had a wrestling match today? Where they going to use him to build weapons and try to take over the Underground or kill off all the mudmen? Did I have to pick up a suit from the dry cleaner's? Yet Foaly left on his will so then was he tricked? "This is so frustrating! I can't think right now! I can't get those stupid thoughts out of my he-"
Everyone froze and all heads whipped towards Artemis.
"God damn it Mudboy! Turn that damn thing off!" Holly hissed. The noise echoed around them announcing their presence to all who have yet been unaware of it.
"It's a secure line! All you and Butler can call it!" He replied back. He reached his hand into his pocket and pulled off the thin flip-phone and opened it. "Call from 426-62442? That's to many numbers…" He read outloud. He quickly pushed the ignore button and the ringing was silenced.
"Who was that number?" Holly asked. Or more importantly, how did they get his number?
"I don't kn-"
Artemis whipped out his phone and this time he ignored the ignore button and turned it off. It was the same number as before.
"We'll get the answers to all of this when we found Fo-" Artemis began but was interrupted.
Artemis's pale face paled and he stared down at the phone he had yet to put away. The number 426-62442 flashed urgently on the screen.
"Artemis didn't you .." Butler began.
"Yeah I did. It's still ringing." He wanted to answer it, to see who it was.
Mulch and Holly gathered around Artemis. Mulch knew a bit more about mudmen technology then Holly but even she knew that once something turned off it wasn't suppose to go Ring-Ring anymore.
She grabbed the phone out of Artemis's hands and threw it on the ground, her boot catching up with it quickly. The last Ring died away and was replaced by a Ker-chunk.
"That was new!" Artemis shouted up in protest at once.
"Please. You have enough of our gold to buy as much as those as you want. Holly said nonchalantly.
Artemis smiled wickedly. It was true after all.
"We better keep moving then." He kicked at the destroyed phone which lay in a heap on the ground, curious to see that the number 426-62442 was still on the screen. That was still one number to much…
He sighed and continued walking. At least he had something new to think about now. Maybe the numbers stood for something and that's why there were too many. But he never heard of that happening before.
"What are we?" Hermoine reiterated the question. She was rather confused. He was a centaur after all. He should be fully aware of the wizarding world.
"He looks like he's going to be sick." Ron muttered quietly to Harry who nodded his head in agreement.
Foaly fell back on his haunches his mind racing. Everything that had just happened was tearing apart the world he had known. It was simple before. Him and his kind stayed underground and did as they pleased with magic while the Mudmen rolled around in the mud. The Mudmen were far from capable from doing magic. Yet this girl, this simple young girl had just performed magic! He gulped, his throat feeling dry and he asked his question once again.
"What are you?" his voice sounded choked and harsh but at least his words were clear enough for them to understand.
"This is young Harry Potter, Ron Weasely and Hermoine Granger. Best friends and a witch and wizards." Firenze said as if that was the clearest thing to realize on the universe.
"But they're only human, they're not supposed to do magic. They aren't elves, or sprites or dwarves or any other sort of creature that has the magic running through their blood." He argued.
"Everyone in this building has magic in them." Ron said.
"That's not true Ron! Filch is a squib, and his cat isn't magical! And don't forget about the house elves, the poor dears." She sniffed stubbornly at the mention of the house elves. S.P.E.W. was still going strong and unstoppable. (At least in Hermoine's mind).
"Ok so almost everyone." He corrected himself with a roll of his eyes which earned him a hard nudge from Hermoine.
"Do you… do you have to plant an acorn from an ancient tree into the earth to revive your magic?" he asked quietly.
They all looked at him now with an array of confused looks.
"Um… no. I don't think I've ever had to do that before." Harry said, finally answering the question.
"Do all of you mudme- I mean wizards know about us centaurs and others?" he asked. He feared that the answer would be yes, that despite all of their attempts to keep the mudmen from ever finding out that it would have all been for not.
"Well all of us wizards know I guess. But the muggles don't. When a muggle comes across magic we always have to wipe their minds." Harry scratched the back of his head. Shouldn't this guy know all of this or was he living in the center of the Earth for most of his life?
"You have the technology?" Foaly was amazed.
"Er… we have the magic." Ron blurted. Foaly's amazement diminished.
"Tell me friend, don't you know anything about your own kind?" Firenze asked. He studied Foaly closely and tried to pick away the layers of mystery over the other.
"And don't you know yours?" He retorted quickly. His eyes matched Firenze, his intelligence going against the other's wisdom; so alike in many ways yet so different. For Firenze the answers were on the night sky but for the other it was on computer monitor; For Foaly everything was black and white but for the other there was a massive gray area that could be changed.
"I think we have a lot to discuss." Firenze broke the moment that not even Ron felt the need to interrupt. "In private." He added and glanced back at the three students. "And I'd appreciate it if you didn't spread this tale." He added quietly.
"We won't." Hermoine said, answering for the three of them.
"Should we come back with the cloak?" Ron whispered behind her back. Harry glanced over to Firenze and Foaly.
"Nah, I think we'll find out in time." He responded to his friend. Ron like disappointed by the fact that they were going to have to wait for an untold time but he wasn't going to try to sneak back just by himself or with Hermoine.
"C'mon 'Mione. We have classes in a half hour." Ron said and started to walk back. Hermoine looked at him with a surprised look on her face.
"You want to get to class early!" she beamed with pride.
"Er… actually.. I need your help to finish my potions essay."
"The forest is getting thinner." Holly announced. And she was right. The trees which were thinning out and through the small gaps the endless green announced that they were approaching an open area of grass; possibly a field. The end of the forest was marked with bushes that the group crouched under. Holly reached them first and let out a gasp.
"Unbelievable." She whispered.
"What? It's just an abandoned factory. It's not that unbelievable. I suppose they could be using it as a hideout. We should do a perimeter check first." Artemis began to plan in his head. His one track mind was not bothered about the numerous "DANGER" "CONDEMMED" and "NO TRESPASSING" signs posted around the derelict structure that, on the outside, looked like it had been ravaged by a fire. Those were all just simple guises. On the inside the building could be as plush as the Queen's Palace.
"What are you talking about? You don't see the numerous people flying on … brooms I think they are? Or the grand castle? What about the giant man talking to the numerous mudmen with that strange" at this point she gasped " Is that an unicorn?"
Mulch let out a low whistle. "I see it but… I don't know it's kind of blurry?" he was lightly confused but then again he was lingering farther back from the others. He was busy smearing the nasty smelling sun lotion over his sensitive skin. The walk through the shaded forest had left it pink with hints of sunburn.
"The only thing I see in the sky are a few birds native to this area… though that owl looks like it should belong in more artic temperatures.." he mused out loud as his assassin trained eyes followed the bird's movements to above the factor. He blinked and it was gone. It was odd because it wasn't anywhere near a window that could allow it entrance to the factory where it probably had made his home. And since when do owls fly in the day?
Artemis ignored Holly's and Mulch's words. He trusted his own eyes just like he trusted his mind to do simple algebra without a calculator. "We should get a closer look." He announced and started to walk through the bush.
"Ouch!" he stopped and step back his left hand grabbing his other hand. "Thorn bushes." He cursed. Artemis Fowl may be no stranger with discomfort after being around The People but he still didn't have to like it.
"Oh for the love of…" Holly rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand. He eyed the thorn that was sticking out of the tip of his index finger. Artemis looked away from her and stared into the sky at the different birds flying around. This would only hurt for a second. Thorns stung for a few seconds naturally but with Holly's magic it will be less then that.
He felt a prick and then it was gone.
"There, all better. Look before you jump next time." She said calmly and released his palm.
Artemis's eyes widened like dish plates in that lonely second. "Those… those weren't birds. They were people on brooms and… " he looked down at his finger, the smooth surface revealing little to the thorn that lay harmlessly on the ground now. In his mind two pieces slipped together, forming a picture which he was just starting to release was part of a puzzle much bigger then what he ever dreamed of.
"And I could only see it when I had magic running through my blood. Just like what you have in you." He looked up quickly at Holly who couldn't fathom what this crazy mudman was yammering on about. "And Mulch.. you had to give up your magic but you're still a dwarf, a magical creature. That's why things seemed blurry. And me and Butler have no magic at all so… so we only saw the birds and factory!" his voice was rising in excitement and his eyes were flashing brightly. The others were starting to understand what he was getting to and all looked back at the building they discovered. "It's hidden in magic!" he finished proudly and stunned the others into an awed silence and left Artemis to thank the minor discomfort the thorn provided that handed the key to his lap.
"So what do we do now?" Holly asked after a moment. She had no doubt in her mind that Foaly was in that building.
Artemis said, "We wait till nightfall."
"Why night?" Butler questioned.
Artemis's gaze flickered over to Mulch. "Because we don't want our friend to suffer from sunburn as he does what he does best."
"D'vart! You're trying to get me killed!" Mulch protested but he knew there was no escape, especially when Holly got that look in her eye.
"I should be glad I'm her friend. She looks like she's ready to go to hell and back to rescue that centaur." Mulch thought to himself; a thought that was equally shared by Artemis and Butler.
Unknown to there are several plans being set forth that very night.
"Is everything in place?
"Y-Y-es, my lord."
"You know that if you fail me there will be dire consequences."
"Do not worry! I am very confident. This plan is fool proof and I can guarantee you that nothing can go wrong-Arghh!" The follower's speech was broken by horrific noises that seemed monstrous in its anguish. The body fell and twisted in pain on the ground and just as soon as it began it ended.
"Don't get to cocky. That's how mistakes are made. Take that as a warning."
"Y-Y-es, my lord." The female said as she gasped and caught her breath. The Dark Lord gazed down her with cold eyes the only emotion that was clear enough to see being contempt.
"Do not fail me." And he was gone, leaving the robed figure crippled on the ground gasped for breath and aching all over.
Alex Howard: I fear my hands would fall off with that many chapters.
LightKeeper: Maybe not ingenious but it's pretty damn close.
I have many names: If you kill me then I'm taking the story to the grave my friend!
Miako: Actually I'm not planning for it to be Artemis and Holly. I'm not really planning any relationships to bloom in the future with the Artemis gang. Ron and Hermoine and Harry and Ginny are the only possibilities of the moment but those are canon. And I agree with the different species borderline pedophile points. It would be subtle. At most what I can see forming is the one-sided thing you mentioned.
…: I plan to continue even if it kills me
HottahSpots: Thanks for telling me that mine fits well! My inspirations for this was actually anger at seeing some totally unreasonable Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter crossovers.
Silver-head angel: You better get use to the cliff-hangers because I'm not stopping!
Realfanficts: Yes I did mean Flobberworm! Thanks! And thanks for pointing out the Mulch versus sun factor!
The Violent Tomboy: You're right; thanks for pointing it out! I'll get around to fixing that… eventually.
Can anyone figure out the what the numbers mean :0 Gasp! Take a guess! I'll reveal it next chapter! It's quite corny.
Polka-dotted-penguins: Thanks! I hope you like this update to.
Sponge-fan: I wasn't planning to have the enchantments on the castle suddenly disappear. I've read all the Harry Potter books and that's not a detail one should forget! And flobberworm was correct.
Sealover456: And what a surprise he wakes to!