Disclaimer: Eoin Colfer owns it all.
Many thanks to TexasDreamer01 for the much needed Beta-ing. Mistakes as always, are my fault.
Artemis sat on the bed. He felt six years old again, when he had been caught hacking the school computers to make the test questions a little more challenging. –page 385, Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
Dr. Francis Marks, headmaster of a grade school academy in Dublin, was dumbfounded. He ran a superior private school and had to deal with parents that believed their spoiled children were perfect and well behaved. So, of course, disciplinary action that could result in expulsion from his school was never tolerated well by the parents shelling out the big dollars for their son's education.
Normally a simple meeting with the parents about the young boys under his school's care would sort out the problem. Nice normal things. like being impolite to teachers and refusing to do their work. Those sorts of problems Doctor Marks could handle with ease. But when it came to the young six-year-old Artemis Fowl the Second…
Well, let's just say that this parent meeting about Master Artemis's disciplinary problems would be one to remember and tell at cocktail parties. Provided he did not come out of it looking like a complete fool.
Which for anyone known to cross Artemis Fowl it was completely possible –Doctor Marks knew better to underestimate this six year old.
"Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Fowl, please, sit down. Thank you so much for coming… Major, too." Said Dr. Marks as he ushered in Artemis Senior, his wife, Angeline, and an incredibly tall, professional, and startling looking fellow that must have been a bodyguard for the Fowls. "I wanted to speak to the both of you before we asked Artemis to join us."
Looking at the couple sitting in front of his antique desk and the Major standing squarely behind Mr. Fowl's chair already had the headmaster nervous. It was a good thing he insisted young Artemis would come in later. He did not think he could handle this family all at once.
"This may come as a shock, but last week one of our top computer professors caught Artemis hacking into his teacher's main grade book and lesson plans. Hacking, along with all other illegal activity, is naturally frowned upon and grounds for expulsion from school." Here he swallowed nervously and looked at the Fowl couple.
Artemis Fowl appeared less than pleased due to a combination of his son being in trouble and having to reshuffle a business meeting to meet with his son's headmaster. Angeline looked much more upset than her husband and ready to fire a barrage of questions at him; she would either be Dr. Marks biggest ally or biggest foe in this matter.
"However, this case isn't so cut and dry. Artemis did not alter his teacher's grade book at all. No, what we expected –boosting his grades or the grades of his friends –that did not happen. Instead it appears that Artemis hacked into his teacher's lesson plan to rewrite several of this month's planned tests. He hacked in to make the tests harder. The rewrites we found were easily reminiscent of fifth or six year work found at highly acclaimed schools across Europe. Work that Artemis's teachers believe he can handle but the other students would definitely not be able to understand." Here the headmaster stopped and waited for a response. This whole mess was surprising… he was used to students that could barely spell or multiply.
"Let me make sure I understand you, Doctor Marks. You wish to expel my son from your school because he is not being challenged and had to take matters into his own hands. He is six, need I remind you." Angeline Fowl declared, leaning forward in her chair to meet with Dr. Mark's shifting eyes.
"Mrs. Fowl, I assure you, we do not want to expel Artemis. He is, after all, our brightest student. But hacking and tampering with a teacher's private file, or anyone's, for that matter, is strictly forbidden. Frankly, I'm at a loss on how to proceed from here."
Angeline sat back and leaned over to whisper in her husband's ear. He moved and signaled to the Major, who turned and exited the room, only to return moments later with a small boy dressed smartly in a tailored suit with Italian leather loafers, carrying a laptop case that was entirely too big for him. Following the Major and the boy was another cut and fearsome looking man. The Major returned to his post behind Mr. Fowl and as Artemis Fowl II clambered into a chair beside his parents, the other man moved to stand right behind the young boy.
Good heavens, thought Dr. Mark, the boy has his own bodyguard. That realization alone made him want to pull his hair out and he hadn't even spoken of the real problem yet.
Once everyone was settled into their respective spots in the rather crowded office, Angeline turned to her son and informed him of the conversation that had just transpired before he arrived.
Artemis listened respectfully and failed to look surprised at all. It was almost as if the young genius had been hearing all of this word for word a second time around. He then turned to look at Doctor Marks and smiled. This smile wasn't the nervous smile of a boy in trouble or that of a young troublemaker trying to get away with messing around. No, this smile was almost a smirk and actually made Dr. Marks feel like shuddering.
"Doctor Marks, as disappointed as I am that I was caught 'hacking' –as you put it so eloquently, into my teacher's lesson plan –I fail to see why I should be expelled from your school. However, if you still desire to expel me, I would not argue the matter, especially if you fail to require your teachers to host even slightly interesting lessons." Here the headmaster noticed the Butler standing behind the young boy's chair's mouth twitch up slightly. But then he blinked and decided it was a trick of the light. A bodyguard would never be so unprofessional in public as to smile at his young charge.
"Mother, Father, I would prefer to continue my education on my own at home. It would save Butler the trip twice a day to ferry me from home to school each day." Artemis addressed his parents sounding slightly less cold than before. He really had no desire to stay in school. The young genius found the children childish and the teachers exhausted and pathetic. He had simply been trying to make his class a little more interesting. It wasn't his fault that the work assigned in class was rudimentary and simple at best. He was a genius, end of story.
The boy didn't have any qualms about leaving the school he had spent the last year in. Not even a lingering thought of missing friends at all.
"Well then, that fixes everything, doesn't it? I believe we have taken up enough of Doctor Mark's time. I can assure you that Artemis will not be without punishment for hacking when he gets home. In the meantime, just send his transcripts to our home and we will find an alternative for his education. Clearly your school is not making the cut if my son has to take his education in his own hands. As my wife said before, he is six, Doctor Marks. If a six-year-old boy in a crucial stage of his development feels his only option is to break school rules in this environment, then I agree that he does not belong here. I am not in agreement, however, with having him expelled." Stated Artemis Senior as he stood up and offered his hand to his wife, who was looking less than pleased with the whole situation.
Francis almost sighed with relief. Things were actually looking up. Not only would he be free of the Fowl boy, but he wouldn't even have to expel him. It would not look good on the records if the school's best student was expelled because he found school boring and tried to 'fix' the matter. A little PR damage control and no harm, no foul. How ironic.
Angeline turned to her little boy refusing her husband's outstretched hand. She had a slightly wistful look on her face as she beckoned her son to walk beside her out of the room, ignoring Dr. Marks on her way out. Artemis Junior gave that vampire smile of his one more time and went along with his mother. The younger of the Butlers followed his charge out, his face stoic the whole time.
As the door closed behind the bodyguard, Artemis Senior turned once again to the headmaster.
"My wife may not approve of the actions my son took, but I do. I admire his persistence and his ability to see his plan through. He is going to make a very successful businessman one day soon. It's a pity that this school could not handle a six year old. I'm under the impression that he let himself be caught. Isn't that right?"
Dr. Marks nodded mutely.
"He successfully placed himself in a position where one way or another we would remove him from your academy as he so desired. You have just been played by a six year old, Doctor Marks."
Without a thank you or goodbye, Artemis Fowl I departed the office, the Major just inches behind him.
That night, Angeline Fowl stood over her sleeping son's form. Her little boy was already grown up and she never even noticed his childhood. Timmy might respect her Arty's actions, but she didn't. She wanted a son –not a young criminal mastermind. Hacking and lying…what would be next as he got older? Kidnapping?
She was just going to have to try and instill some morals and childhood qualities into his life.
Years in the future she would be blessed enough to see this happen.
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