Hi, this is Celticfox! This is my first fanfic, so please review!

Disclaimer: I own nothing except my own opinion of the characters. So please don't sue me as I'm just a crazy teenager who likes to write.

EDIT: I have made some changes, so I think it's a bit better now and less OOC.

The Sorting Hat did not look like much. It was just a shabby old black pointed hat. Artemis remarked about this to the next boy in line.

"But- but they say it can read your mind!" stammered the boy. His name, as Artemis recalled, was Neville Longbottom. Artemis thought this a stupid name, but did not say so aloud. A boy called Artemis Fowl did not do well to make fun of other people's names.

"Alphabetical order!" cried the beak-nosed lady called, what was it, "Mcgonagal". Hmm. Artemis was jostled away from Neville and further up the line, where he came to stand between a short, sandy-haired boy in front and a bushy-haired, buck-toothed girl behind. This girl behind glared at him for some reason. Artemis treated her to his best icy stare.

There was some sort of stupid song about the Hat, then the line started moving forward. As far as Artemis could make out, each child walked to the center of the great hall, where they donned the Sorting Hat. After a period of time ranging from a few seconds to a minute, a voice would cry "Gryffindor!" or "Hufflepuff!" or "Ravenclaw!" or "Slytherin!" Honestly. Who made up these names anyway? Hogwarts. How inspiring.

Finally it was the turn of the sandy-haired boy ahead of him, whose name was Seamus Finnigan. The boy sat for almost a full minute before a voice shouted, "GRYFFINDOR!" The children seated at the red-and-gold table cheered.

Artemis walked out into the hall, not the least bit shy. He never was. Instead he basked in the attention the seated students gave him. He sat on the stool, trying not to feel like a miscreant wearing a dunce cap, and jammed the hat onto his head. It slipped down over his eyes, obscuring his vision.

A small, reedy voice by his ear said, "Gosh."

"A pocket mike?" whispered Artemis. "Come on."

"How dare you!" cried the voice. "I am the Sorting Hat, and I can see your memories!"

"What a horrid invasion of privacy," Artemis muttered.

"And believe you me, this is undoubtedly one of the most difficult choices I have ever had to make."

"What is your criterion?" asked Artemis, interested.

"Well, generally if you're brave, you're Gryffindor, if you're loyal, you're Hufflepuff, if you're intelligent, you're Ravenclaw, if you're ambitious, you're Slytherin."

"Hmm," murmured Artemis. "A psychic hat. How do I present a problem?"

"Well, you're certainly brave."

"I would not think that one of my most outstanding talents."

"And under certain circumstances you have the potential for great loyalty…"

"Really? How shocking."

"But intelligence and ambition… Did you really hack into a Swiss bank account at age nine?"

Artemis smiled. "Yes."

"And forge an Impressionist painting a year later?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so."

"How… interesting."

Time for some fun. "What I find even more interesting," he whispered, "is how idiotically you run things here. Sorting people by character traits? Why not just say, 'oh, Gryffindors, you're the favorites, the ones who will amount to something! Oh, Hufflepuffs, you're so dim but that's okay because you make great sidekicks. Ravenclaw, I'm afraid that courage counts for more than brains, but you're the second-best. Slytherins, you're all Bad Sorts, so of course you'll always be defeated by Right and Might.'"

"Definitely Slytherin!" the Hat snapped. "You've got the telltale nasty streak. But you're a Muggle-born… dear me…"

But Artemis wasn't finished yet. "Your system cannot hope to do anything but create predjudices and rivalries. I'm surprised it's worked for so long, though I doubt that any Slytherins have become outstanding, contributing citizens.

"Grrr," said the Hat. Then, "SLYTHERIN!" it bellowed.

Artemis pushed up the Hat. The green and silver table was clapping, but everyone else was booing. Artemis just smiled his vampire smile.

Artemis seated himself between a nasty-looking blond kid and a thin, stick-like girl with short hair. "Greetings," he said. "Salutations."

The blond boy turned to look at him, his face contorted into a perfect sneer. He was an eleven-year-old first year like Artemis. "Fowl, is it?" he asked maliciously. "Never heard of them, so it must be a muggle family. I'm surprised the Hat let you in. It must be getting old."

Artemis concentrated on cleaning his nails. Bully, he thought. Stupid bully. If you are the best this place has to offer, my rise to power will be easy.

"You had the Hat on for almost two minutes, Fowl- that has to be a school record. Haven't you got any talents?"

"Shut up, Draco Malfoy," said the thin girl unexpectedly. "Harry Potter's about to be Sorted."

"Oh, Potter," Draco replied dismissively. "He'll probably go to Gryffindor."

"Who's Harry Potter?" Artemis asked.

"An even bigger moron than you," said Draco.

Moron? Artemis was no moron. From age three he had known he was a genius.

The thin girl leaned over and whispered to Artemis, "He's the only person who ever survived one of You-Know-Who's curses."


"I'll fill you in later."

In the middle of the hall, Harry Potter jammed on the Hat. The students held their breath for twenty seconds.

Then: "GRYFFINDOR!" boomed the Hat.

"See? Told you so," said Draco.

Three more people were sorted, and then the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, stood up. He had a long silver beard and he was grinning from ear to ear.

"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"

Everyone clapped and cheered.

"Is that guy insane?" Artemis asked.

"Oh, he is a bit mad," said the girl. "By the way, my name's Millicent, but you can call me Millie. What's yours?"

"Artemis Fowl," he said, uncertainly. He wasn't very good at making friends, but Millie seemed to be offering.

"Isn't Artemis a girl's name?" snickered Draco.

Artemis had heard this once too many times. He rounded on Draco, in full icy vampire mode. "Why yes it is Draco. You will be pleased to know that your primary name, Draco, means draconis, or dragon. Your secondary title, Malfoy, is such an unpleasant one that your ancestors must have created it to scare 'muggles' away. Mal is a latin prefix meaning malevolent, evil, and foy has been added to make the name stick in the throat. Whereas my name, Artemis, refers to a Greek Goddess, and simply means 'the hunter'. Fowl is adapted from Fole, the surname of Lord Hugo de Fole. My family dates back to before the Norman Crusades, over 900 years ago, and my blood is much purer than yours, plus I'm much more intelligent than you, so please don't make any more snide comments."

Draco glared at him, but fortunately the argument was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a delicious feast. Artemis heard Millie whisper, "You stood up to Draco Malfoy!" He ignored her. He wasn't brave; far from it. He just had so much arrogance that he considered slugs like Draco harmless.

Artemis ate daintily, with perfect manners. He did not join in the conversations but rather watched his fellow students and listened to the wealth of information flowing around him. His enormous brain quickly processed this data, analyzing it and making connections.

"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song!" cried Dumbledore. Artemis sighed, guessing what would come next.

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,

Teach us something please.

Whether we be old and bald

Or young with scabby knees.

Our heads could do some filling

With some interesting stuff,

For now they're bare and full of air

Dead flies and bits of fluff.

So teach us things worth knowing,

Bring back what we've forgot,

Just do your best, we'll do the rest,

And learn until our brains all rot."

Honestly, were these people for real?