Disclaimer: A little chicken once told me I didn't own Artemis Fowl. I had a very yummy dinner that night.
Cool blue and hazel eyes studied the two blonde haired children seated at the desk across from him. One thin, dark eyebrow rose slightly as one of the boys, the one on the right, squirmed under the stare. The other either refusing to show discomfort or not experiencing any in the first place, met his eyes evenly. The twins made a rather contrasting picture; one clearly guilty and trying to hide it, the other only feeling remorse at the fact that he had been caught.
Artemis Fowl the Second sighed, massaging his temples. "Explain." He ordered, his voice cold.
Unsurprisingly, neither of the boys made any move to enter the conversation. He watched as they glanced at each other and then stared purposely at everything but their elder brother. This would not do.
He focused his attention on one of them. "Myles."
The boy on the left jumped and swiftly schooled his face into a passably innocent expression. Artemis was almost impressed. A few more years, and it would be nearly impossible to tell that the boy was anything but innocent.
The boy in question stared calmly at him through the bangs that fell over his eyes. He didn't say a word. Artemis hadn't expected him too. He turned to his second younger brother who was attempting to disguise the fact that he was apprehensive and failing quite miserably.
"Beckett." The boy started even more than his twin.
"I didn't do it!" He declared, before wincing.
Smugly, Artemis focused his attention on him. "I have not yet accused you of any misdeed." He told him, looking at the boy expectantly. "What is it that you did not do?"
Shrinking under the glare of his twin and the stare of his elder brother, Beckett mumbled out a weak defense. "I didn't make my bed this morning."
Myles groaned, a look of intense pain crossing his face. "Could you possibly be any more obvious?"
"At least I have a conscience." He twin retorted weakly, his face red with embarrassment.
"And what a wonderful help it's being," Myles said, sarcastically. He turned to face Artemis who was still waiting for an answer. "We hacked your account. Satisfied?"
"Myles!" Beckett hissed, horrified. He tugged urgently at his brother sleeve as though to try to get him to take back the words.
Instead of saying the whole thing was a joke, Myles just jerked his arm out of reach. "He already knew that." He glared at his silent elder brother. "You just wanted to hear us admit it, didn't you?"
Artemis ignored the accusation and waited for the twins to start squirming and quiet down under his stare. It took just as little time as he had anticipated.
"What did you do with the money?" he asked, finally. Hopefully the money had at the very least been put to relatively beneficial use. But he was upgrading his firewalls right after this, and adding several more trap doors as well.
"I bought a lab." Myles revealed, his face visibly brightening up.
Artemis raised an eyebrow. That was…acceptable. He turned to Beckett, silently asking for him to tell what he had done with the money.
"I bought toffee."
The raised eyebrow slumped, as did Artemis's shoulders.
"It was coffee-flavored." Beckett added, as though that fact made the purchase any more sensible.
"How much?" the former criminal mastermind asked wearily. Maybe, just maybe, Beckett wasn't as hopeless as he presented himself to be.
"Three or four…" His voice suddenly dropped so low that Artemis could not hear the final, and probably most significant, part of the sentence.
"Speak clearly." He demanded, his voice steady, betraying none of his current irritation. Still, the blonde boy flinched, and tried to bury himself in his chair. It was a futile act.
"Four or five…hundred…boxes…" He mumbled into his collar.
This time, Artemis understood, and desperately hoped that he had misunderstood.
"I beg your pardon?" He pinned the boy with his most intimidating glare.
Myles decided then to assist his terrified counterpart. "He said three or four hundred boxes. It was actually just three hundred forty eight boxes."
"Stop helping." Beckett hissed, but it was too late.
"Only?" Artemis was incensed enough to actually stand up and slam his hands on the desk. It shook slightly from the sudden attack, but held fast. Hands throbbing just as badly as the vein in his forehead, the genius continued his tirade. "You spent over a million of the money that I worked so hard to acquire, and spent it on candy?"
"Myles bought a lab." Beckett whined, seeking protection under his jacket which had somehow migrated off his back and onto his head in the past five minutes. "It wasn't just me!"
"Myles, at least, bought something remotely useful." Artemis snapped, leaning closer to his brothers, who quickly leaned away. "A lab can be put to use. What use are three hundred boxes of candy?"
"You can eat them!" Beckett replied, before slapping a hand over his mouth. His wide eyes clearly revealed that he had, once again, neglected to think before speaking.
Fortunately for him, Myles was feeling particularly charitable that day. Artemis had no doubt his good mood was due to the lab that had recently come into his possession.
"I don't see why you're so mad." The six year old said, crossing his arms. He still had the arrogance to not look guilty at all. "You got that money by hacking others in the first place."
Pausing just a moment to wonder how the twins knew that when not even his parents were aware, Artemis replied. "Perhaps, but those individuals deserved to lose that money."
"Why?" Beckett asked from under his jacket. His voice was slightly muffled, but the accusation was clearly heard. "You took the money because they made you mad."
"And we did the same thing," Myles finished, satisfaction written on his face. "You can't punish us unless you want to be a hypocrite."
For the first time since he had checked his account balance, Artemis smiled. "Well then, it's a good thing I do not care about that, isn't it?"
For the first time since they withdrawn one point two million pounds from Artemis's hidden Swiss account, the twins deeply regretted choosing their elder brother as their target. A chemistry lab and enough candy to last several lifetimes were not worth being subjected to that smile.
And thus, on the day the twins successfully hacked their first bank account, they also learned why it was best to not make an enemy of Artemis Fowl the Second.