Chapter 1: The merging of worlds
Perhaps it is unfair, mused Butler as he stared at the figure being captured by the security camera as they walked up the drive, that I automatically blame Artemis for anything unusual that happens around here. After, I've never heard him talk about anyone like this. It could be someone to see Artemis Senior, or even Angeline. One of their environmentalist fanatics. Some how, he doubted it. Anything this weird must have something to do with Artemis. That's just the way things were. Besides, who had ever heard of environmentalists wearing scarlet and fuchsia robes?
Albus Dumbledore stared at the imposing manor in front of him and wondered if he had gotten the address right. It had been over a decade since he had personally gone to see a new student; however, this was a special case and warranted special attention. This case had come to his a attention when a flustered Ministry official had suddenly appeared at the school and demanded to see him. Although Dumbledore was not on the best of terms with the Ministry at the moment, he would never be rude to people, and seeing as how this case affected the school, the Ministry had to deal with him. It was most definitely a strange case, stranger even than some of the strange cases which Dumbledore had seen over the years, which were quite a few. While there were many muggleborn witches and wizards, most people did not develop magical abilities later in life. Because of this, Dumbledore felt a need to go and explain the situation himself, instead of sending a letter or having Rubeus or Minerva go in his stead as they would on most occasions. No, this matter needed to be handled delicately, and therefore he needed to be the one to do it. Rubeus might have a heart of gold, but he could forget things and Minerva's touch was a little too severe. It had to be him.
Dumbledore continued his walk up the extensive pathway until he reached the manor proper. He sensed that he was being observed although he could find no trace of any sort of surveillance devices. Amazing the technology that they have here, he thought. Arthur would be ecstatic.
When he reached the front door Dumbledore paused for a moment to collect his thoughts and prepare what he would say. Before he could knock, one of the large double doors swung open, revealing a rather large and intimidating man. Dumbledore wondered whether he too, had giants blood in his veins.
"This is the Fowl residence," said the-man-who-might-have-giants-blood. "If you are here to see Mr. or Mrs. Fowl, they are currently at a spa in Verona. Master Fowl will see you if your business is urgent; however, if it is not then I advise you to vacate the premises at once".
If Dumbledore was stunned then he gave no sign of it. "My name is Albus Dumbledore and I am here to speak with Master Fowl," he introduced himself. "I wish to speak with him about certain events that have transpired, and would ask him if he would be willing to join my school."
Butler looked at the strange man. He was certainly polite enough, and was carrying no concealed weapons that Butler could spot. So it should be safe enough to let him into the house, under surveillance of course. Artemis could get into trouble anywhere, even in his own home, and Butler still had the feeling that there was something slightly off about this character. Not bad, but definitely off.
Albus followed Butler towards an elegant sitting room and, at Butler's indication, sat down in one of the lavishly upholstered chairs. He watched curiously as Butler left the room, presumably to find Artemis. This man was obviously a skilled fighter and a protector, and Albus wondered just why a teenager would require such a guard.
"He doesn't seem threatening, and the x-ray cameras picked up no weapons on his body except for a small stick, wooden perhaps." Butler looked at his young charge. "He says that he wants to invite you to his school. He seems to be a bit odd, but considering you past escapades I think that odd is the least of your worries."
Artemis considered this information. "So you think that I should hear him out?"
"What I think doesn't matter. You've seen the scans and have already decided to meet with him, no matter what I say."
Artemis smiled. Ah yes, the scans. Butler had called Artemis down to the surveillance room the moment he had noticed the strange man appear on the cameras. Artemis had immediately ordered Butler to run scans with the 'special' equipment; the equipment that was capable of detecting fairies. What the scans had revealed was quite shocking. Although there were no fairies in the vicinity, there was an aura of energy radiating from the man that looked eerily similar to magical auras. Artemis was intrigued. Was it possible that he had missed something, and that there were other humans with magic?
"Butler, I believe that you know me too well. Very well, let us talk to this Albus Dumbledore. I am most eager to make his acquaintance."
The paintings on the wall brought a chill down Dumbledore's spine. They were all of various people whom Dumbledore could only assume were the previous Fowls. Fowl, he thought, what an apt name. Some of these characters do look foul indeed. Rows of blue eyes stared down at him, each one of them cold and some of them holding a glint that Dumbledore had only ever seen before in the eyes of Tom Riddle and his followers. If there had been any magic in this family previously, Dumbledore was certain that they all would have been in Slytherin.
The door opened and Butler reentered the room before bowing slightly and admitting a pale youth. "Master Artemis," he said before walking over and assuming a position behind the chair that Artemis shortly sat down in.
Dumbledore was momentarily stunned by the pale youth in front of him. It was, in part, due to his rather striking appearance. His skin looked as if it had almost been bleached white, contrasting greatly with his dark black hair. It was not the only contrast in the boy's appearance, however. His eyes, which were staring at him with an intensity that Dumbledore had only known a few others to posses, were two completely different colours. One was the piercing blue that was reflected by the portraits around him, the other was a hazel that could not really be defined, as it seemed to shift. Dumbledore was reminded of looking into the eyes of a magical creature. He was also younger than Dumbledore recalled. The file said that he would be nineteen shortly, yet he didn't look a day over fourteen. The file had also mentioned a strange, three year long disappearance. Perhaps the events were related? He brought himself back to the present as the boy began to speak.
"Well, Professor Dumbledore, as I hear your name is, what business do you have with me? I must say that I am intrigued that such a person as yourself should invite me to a school, and to issue the invitation in person, no less. Surely that is not how things are normally done? Would not a letter be more practical?"
His initial assumption had been correct. Dumbledore felt certain that, regardless of his lineage, this boy would be placed in Slytherin house should he choose to accept a position at Hogwarts. He was one of the most cunning young boys whom Dumbledore had met in years.
"You are quite right Artemis, but your case happens to be unusual and thus merits different attention." Dumbledore thought that he heard Butler snort in background, trying to conceal laughter. "You see, you are quite a bit older than the beginners at our school."
"Oh?" Artemis raise an eyebrow. "If I am above the age limit then why am I being asked to join? And you have not giving me the name of your school, by the way."
"It is called Hogwarts. As to the reason why we are asking you to join so late, it is because you were either somehow overlooked when you were younger, or recent developments caused you to somehow meet the requirements."
Dumbledore watched the boy's eyes, and could swear that he literally saw the wheels turning, processing information and deciding what his next move would be. Then he saw something click and a slow smile spread across Artemis's face.
"So tell me then, Professor Dumbledore," he drawled, "where exactly your school of magic is located and how may I get there?"
Dumbledore looked at the boy in complete and utter shock. Mere words could not begin to describe the fact that someone who should know nothing about their world had just revealed their greatest secret. Magic.
Artemis looked smug. "It was an educated guess, but your reaction shows that I'm right. It really wasn't that hard. You see, I came up with a theory to prove the existence of magic when I was ten. When you think of it as another form of energy, and add that into several physics equations, the previously flawed equations make perfect sense, every time. I'm quite proud of that." He looked directly at Dumbledore. "But that still does not tell you how I surmised that you have magic, or that that is what your school teaches."
Artemis glanced over his shoulder. "Butler, if you could please get the scans?" Butler looked at him. "I'm sure that you will be able to leave the room for less than five minutes without something blowing up."
"You never know," and with that, Butler left to get the scans, keeping an eye on Artemis with his wristwatch camera that was linked into the house's security network. It was a gift from Holly to "help keep Artemis out of trouble".
Artemis watched Butler leave. "He's probably still watching with that camera." He turned back to Dumbledore. "Butler takes my protection very seriously, sometimes too seriously, although he would argue that when it comes to me there's no such thing." Artemis chuckled. "And he's probably right."
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at the cryptic comment. "Do you have a tendency to get into trouble?"
"A situation that presents danger to one or one's family".
Artemis smiled ruefully. "Then yes, I do have a slight tendency to get into troublesome situations".
Butler arrived back in the room bearing what looked like several oddly coloured photographs.
"Ah, here we are". Artemis took the scans from Butler and showed them to Dumbledore. "You see, I have had several visits from beings who are invisible to the human eye so I decided to upgrade my security systems to simultaneously scan for body heat and energy. For a being to conceal themselves or their heat signature requires energy, the displacement of which this particular scanner detects. Magical creatures also have a higher amount of energy in an 'aura' per se, which is also visible on these scans. Around this photograph of you you can clearly see the augmented aura."
It was true. On the otherwise black and white photograph there was a blue coloured haze that seemed to surround Dumbledore. The headmaster was astounded. To think, the heights to which muggle technology had advanced! Soon it would be very difficult for the wizarding world to hide their presence on this earth.
"Well then," he said, getting his thoughts in order, "I shall explain to you how our school functions, and what courses you would be required to take. Seeing as how you're eighteen there are some slight-"
"I beg your pardon, but I am not in fact eighteen."
Dumbledore waited for Artemis to continue.
"As you can probably tell, I am not eighteen. I got into," he paused and smiled slightly "a troublesome situation a few months ago. It caused me to miss three years of my life. I am only fourteen, fifteen on the first of September."
"Time travel is a risky business. If you decide to attend Hogwarts, you will not be permitted to experiment with time."
"Believe me, Sir," said Artemis, looking at a teacher with something approaching respect for the first time in his entire life, "I learned that lesson. Learned it all too well."
Dumbledore nodded, noticing the regret visible in that pair of mismatched eyes. Perhaps this boy wasn't quite as Slytherin as he had assumed. Ah well, that was the hat's decision to make, not his.
"That does change things however. You seem like the type who will be able to keep up with an added load, so we will put you with your contemporaries in the fifth year..."
A/N And that's the end because I don't think that I can write anymore Artemis/Dumbledore interaction. Arty likes explaining things to much. So, am I insane for trying to write an infamous crossover? Perhaps. There's a little button at the bottom of the page that will let you tell me if I am, so cut a new author some slack and leave a review? This is my first full lenght story after all. I might get discouraged. Please?