The Family Name
By Elbereth in April
Harry and Draco were proud of their troops after they had all run through the obstacle course, and they told them so. Relationships did improve between the SUAVE and the DA members who had run through the obstacle course together. Some even developed tentative friendships, like Chevalier and Katie Bell. Artemis hoped this might affect the relations between the Houses school-wide eventually.
Sunday in the library, the members were still high on adrenaline, whispering to each other. Harry smiled over his book on the Hufflepuff family line.
Ron and Ginny were sorting through Gryffindor, Draco and Artemis took Slytherin, of course, and Hermione was reading about Ravenclaw. It was turning out to be incredibly complicated, with intertwined lines like a tapestry woven by a madman.
"Here's another mention of the Gaunts," Draco murmured, taking careful notes, "and the Peverells."
"I found a de Fowl!" Ron looked up at Artemis excitedly. "Is this one of your ancestors?"
Artemis looked over Ron's shoulder. "I do believe it is. I remember him from some earlier studies I've done."
"My family's old, but I've never read up on our line. It always seemed like such a—an elitist thing to do," Ron said.
"Those kinds of things can turn out to be important," Draco remarked. "You should look at the Black family line sometime, Potter." He knew Sirius had access to it.
"I have. There's a big tapestry on Sirius's wall. He's burned out—him and Andromeda. His parents did it."
Draco frowned. "Cause they're both Muggle-sympathizers, right? I suppose my mom and Bellatrix are on there."
"Yes. And so are you."
"Well, I have the satisfaction of knowing if they were alive, I'd be well on my way to getting burned off, too."
"I'm related to Professor Snape," Artemis informed them calmly.
"Yes. Our great-grandmothers were second cousins, twice removed. Patience Prince and Chrysanthemum Smith."
"Wait, I read that name somewhere—I remember Chrysanthemum…" Harry said, paging through his book. "There are so many Smiths… here, Chrysanthemum Smith, niece of Hepzibah Smith. She's a descendant of Hufflepuff. Chrysanthemum's son Charles is the youngest Smith of the line, 12 years old, and the direct Heir, as far as I can figure out." He closed the book.
"Does he go to Hogwarts?"
"Ironically, no. He lives in Switzerland and goes to school there."
"But he should have the Cup—or possibly his mom does."
"Unless You Know Who stole it from them."
"Well," said Artemis, "let's find out."
Shanteria Asper, one of the new Seventh Year SUAVE recruits, pulled Draco aside after Care of Magical Creatures, near the greenhouses. "Bletchley approached me today. He didn't actually come out and say, 'hey, do you want to be a Death Eater like me' but it was close enough."
"I knew he was a Death Eater. I was afraid they were recruiting. He and Montague and a few others." Draco frowned. "What did you say in return?"
"I pretended complete and utter cluelessness as to what he was getting at." Shanteria shrugged. "I wasn't sure what to do, actually."
"That's as good a strategy as any. Do you know how to Obliviate?"
She grinned, running a hand through her beaded hair. "Oh yeah. That's one of the good ones. My Patronus is coming along, too. I've been practicing with Burby and Clowes."
Draco smiled back. "You're good at Charms. We had a discussion at one meeting about thinking outside the box—using spells that are not necessarily typical 'fighting' spells, that kind of thing. We're going to repeat some of that at the next meeting. I want you three to get some ideas ready."
She saluted. "OK."
Two days after their conversation in the library, Artemis and Draco sat down next to Neville, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, who were studying hard for OWLs by the lake.
Artemis held up the parchment in his hand. "I have the reply from Charles Smith."
They all looked at Longbottom, who sighed. "Shall I cover my ears? This is another of your secrets, right?"
Artemis tilted his head. "We're searching for information about the heirs of the Founders and various magical articles that were once in their possession. Although I don't usually give out information, it's true, I've decided to let you and Lovegood in on this one."
"What, wait?" Potter and Draco piped up.
"They can both keep their mouths shut," Artemis said. "And the more people searching the better our chances." He wasn't mentioning that the objects were horcruxes, after all. He was only sharing what he wanted them to know.
"The sword of Gryffindor?" Neville asked.
"We've covered that one. We're currently looking for Ravenclaw's lost diadem and Hufflepuff's cup." He turned to the letter. "Charles Smith, current heir to Hufflepuff, says that the Cup was stolen from his great-aunt Hepzibah in the late 1970's. The chief suspect was a man who worked at Borgin and Burkes and had bought a number of things off her for the store."
"A Death Eater?"
"Tom Riddle himself. Apparently, he worked there awhile after he graduated."
"So Voldemort has it, which means it could be anywhere."
"I just kind of assumed Voldemort would have all of them," Hermione said. "He'd want to keep them safe, so he'd need them close to hand."
"OK, so we're talking about magical objects that once belonged to the Founders that are now in You Know Who's keeping?" Neville looked between Harry and Artemis. "Are these things that we need to get away from him for whatever reason?"
"My father had the diary. I think the other Death Eaters have the rest."
"Do you think Pettigrew…"
"No. Voldemort would never trust him for that. The Lestranges, probably."
"No, he knows we're looking. He would have said."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Weasley, I am sure." Draco made a face at him.
"Lovegood already told us what she knew about the diadem. I'll ask her again, but I'm afraid…" Artemis sighed. "We'll have to speak to Dumbledore next."
"Why don't I ask Luna?" Hermione spoke quickly. "Perhaps if the question comes from a new person, something will jar her memory."
"Oh… well, alright…"
"I'm going with you to talk to Dumbledore." Harry's expression was firm. Artemis decided Potter still had issues with Dumbledore.
"So a cup and a crown. Are there other things you're looking for?" Neville interrupted.
Harry drew a deep breath. "A locket and a ring that belonged to Slytherin."
"Was he wearing them? When you saw him, Harry? I mean, you were in the middle of a battle, so it's understandable if you didn't notice…"
"No," Artemis said. "He wasn't." When Neville looked at him, Artemis added, "I've seen Potter's memories. But that's a good question. So he's not keeping the objects too close. Either the Death Eaters have them or he's hidden them."
"Which, again, means anywhere."
"Not necessarily. I mean, they're probably places with some meaning to him," Hermione mused.
"That means Hogwarts. Do you think they're here?"
"One of them, maybe. He wouldn't want them all together, or someone could destroy them all at once. Plus, here he would have to worry about Dumbledore."
"At his father's grave, where he brought me?"
"Or Malfoy Manor? Maybe Lucius had more than one."
"Could your house elves search?" Neville asked.
"That's a good idea, too." Draco frowned. He didn't want to have to change his opinion about Longbottom's intellect, but…
"The Muggle orphanage?"
"Let's make a list."
List in hand, Artemis and Harry went to see the Headmaster. Dumbledore seated them in front of his desk and offered a lemon drop, as per usual.
"We think Rowena Ravenclaw's lost diadem and Helga Hufflepuff's Cup are two of the Horcruxes," Artemis began without preamble. "We've been attempting to determine places he may have hidden them."
Harry explained their reasons and showed Dumbledore the list.
"I see." Albus studied the list. "The Gaunt home is an idea I had myself. I was planning to do a thorough search there once school ends." He continued reading. "The LeStrange home, Borgin & Burkes—you discovered he was once an employee there? The orphanage, his father's grave, Hogwarts—I considered that, as well, but I have yet to find anything. He has had the opportunity to hide things here. He came back once, as an adult, to apply for the position of DADA instructor."
The boys both stared at him. "I'm assuming you turned him down," Potter said.
"Indeed. He was already styling himself Voldemort then and had begun recruiting the Death Eaters," Dumbledore told them.
"Was it, by chance, after this that you became unable to keep DADA professors longer than a year?"
Dumbledore smiled grimly. "Yes, Mr. Fowl."
"Is there any sort of spell—some kind of Accio or Point Me spell—we could use to find them?" Harry asked.
"I'm afraid Horcruxes are impervious to that sort of thing."
"What other ideas have you had?" Artemis stared intently at Dumbledore.
"There is one other place not on your list. A place near the orphanage where they took field trips to the coast. But I have not located the exact spot—the cave he frequented there."
"Talk to Butler. He's quite handy in tracking things down," Artemis suggested.
Dumbledore nodded. "I will consult him. Remember what I said, though—no exploring these places on your own, even with Butler along. If y0u should find a place, let me know and I will check it out."
The boys exchanged a look.
"Depending on the circumstances, you may accompany me," Dumbledore added, figuring it was the only way to keep them from going off by themselves, despite everything.
"The house elves didn't turn up anything," Draco reported. "They searched the whole manor."
Artemis looked up from the book he was reading to refresh himself on multiple personality disorder. "Very well."
"And the portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw I talked to didn't know anything about the diadem. I guess it hadn't been lost yet when she was painted. She was quite horrified to learn it was missing."
Artemis sighed and tapped his book thoughtfully.
"Do you think Cronin knows anything?"
"We still need a way to get rid of him." Draco frowned.
"I found a spell but I hesitate to use it."
"That's not like you. What spell?"
"It's not a very nice one. It would cause his two personalities to become aware of each other. As one is a Death Eater and one hunts Death Eaters, he would most likely attack and destroy himself. That seems a bit extreme."
"Oh. Yeah… there's no way to cure him—get rid of the Death Eater side?"
"I haven't found one. Most of the so called mind-healing spells seem more likely to drive him further into insanity."
"Well, if he was in St. Mungo's, he wouldn't be teaching."
"If we expose him as a Death Eater, he'll wind up in Azkaban."
"Which would be the best place for him—St. Mungo's or Azkaban?"
"Or I could blackmail him into resigning."
They both half-smiled. But then Draco shook his head. "He'd still be recruiting Death Eaters, and killing Muggles on command. We want to put him out of commission."
Artemis agreed. "Then I suggest the easiest way is to expose a number of Death Eater students and have them give evidence that Cronin recruited them."
"Alright. Do you think they're Marked already?"
"We shall have to check. When is your next Quidditch practice?"
It was Thursday—one week and four days until OWLs. "Alright. After practice, we'll take on Montague and Bletchley."
"Both at once?"
"We'll bring Black and Butler."
Accordingly, the four of them cornered Montague and Bletchley in the Quidditch changing rooms after the rest of the team had cleared out early (at Draco's suggestion).
"Hey, guys, a quick question," Draco interrupted them in mid re-robing. They were barefoot and bare-chested, just wearing their Quidditch pants. "Have you got a snake n' skull tattoo?"
The boys were just reaching for their wands when Sirius cast Expelliarmus and Artemis a powerful revealing charm. Butler stepped forward and grabbed each boy's left arm. They watched as the spell took effect, and their unblemished skin faded to reveal the Dark Mark.
"Well, well. It appears you do."
Artemis nodded at Draco. "Go on then. Obliviate them."
Draco did. They left the two confused boys in the changing room and walked back to the castle. "If those two have the Mark, odds are the others do, as well."
"Yes. I shall prepare a list for Kingsley Shacklebolt. He can round them up and question them. They'll lead him back to Cronin."
Artemis sent his message off to the Ministry, then went and informed Snape of what they'd been up to this time. "He's not going to like this," Severus said. "Who do you think he's going to suspect gave the Aurors those names?"
"Potter. You can pass on that I told you so if you want."
Snape raised an eyebrow. "What does Potter have to say about that?"
"Well, I can't actually tell him I'm talking to the Unnamed One, can I? But you know Potter, hero to the last. I'm sure he won't mind. He's already a target, anyway."
Snape just raised his other eyebrow to join the first.
The next morning, Shacklebolt, Dawlish, and Tonks were standing on either side of Dumbledore at the table in the Great Hall. Dumbledore stood up and announced, "Before breakfast is served, these Aurors need to speak to the follow students… Waverly Crumbert, Miles Bletchley, Stearn Capper, Valerius Montague, and Arnold Hornby."
The males all looked at each other. Hornby and Crumbert looked panicked. Bletchley drew his wand, causing some shrieks from the students around him. Montague followed suit, but was too late for him—Tonks was stunning him even as Shacklebolt was dealing with Bletchley. As the rest of the Quidditch team, who had been sitting around them, dived out of the way, both Bletchley and Montague dropped unconscious to the floor.
Shacklebolt and Dawlish stalked over to the Slytherin table. Crumbert seemed frozen, too scared to resist. Dawlish was heading for the Ravenclaw table, where Capper waited, looking confident, as if he was sure he could talk his way out of this. Hornby seemed to have disappeared, but closer scrutiny revealed him under the Hufflepuff table, trying to crawl for the door. Ministry staff member Cronin was apparently in charge today, as he levitated Hornby out from under the table and bound him before Tonks could.
To Artemis and Draco's pleasure, Hornby started yelling. "What are you doing, Professor? How could you give me over, you traitor? You signed me up for this! You're a Death Eater, too!"
"Oh, that's even better than we'd hoped for," Draco grinned.
"How in the world did a Hufflepuff become a Death Eater, anyway?" Zabini shook his head. "Was he Sorted wrong?"
"We checked him out. His uncle's a Death Eater, too, so he's met Aunt Bella, and apparently fell madly in love with her. He joined up for her."
"That's just disturbing."
Meanwhile, the rest of the school was gossiping and whispering and staring at the proceedings as Tonks and Shacklebolt rounded up the accused, and turned on Cronin. "These are serious accusations, Professor," Shacklebolt said.
"Come now, the desperate lies of a fearful Death Eater are hardly to be listened to," Cronin scoffed.
Shacklebolt had read the anonymous tip specifically suggesting they ask if Cronin recruited the Death Eaters. He'd never trusted the man. "Sir," he said firmly, "I'm afraid I'll have to insist you accompany us back to the Ministry. I'm sure we can get this matter cleared up quickly."
Cronin made a noise like a growl, but when Dumbledore added, "Go ahead, Philip. I'm sure you won't want this matter hanging over you," Cronin realized his reputation was now on the line.
"Fine. Let's go," he grunted. "But this whole accusation is ludicrous."
Shacklebolt and Tonks bound all the Death Eaters together, Dawlish produced a portkey, and the group disappeared.
In the confusion, Hermione and Ginny made their way to the Slytherin table. "You had something to do with this, didn't you?" Hermione whispered, staring hard at Artemis. "You could have warned us."
Draco smiled at the girls. "It was supposed to be a surprise. A bit of excitement. Chance to loosen up before the OWLs."
"You could have told me, I'm not taking OWLs." Ginny put her hands on her hips.
Draco blinked innocently. "That wouldn't have been fair."
Ginny reached forward and violently mussed up Draco's hair.
"What are you doing?" he squeaked.
"Yeah, he spends hours on that," Blaise said.
Draco whacked Zabini on the arm. Hermione sighed. "How is—" lowering her voice even further "—Mr. Voldie going to respond to this?"
"With great irritation, I imagine. But it was time. I wanted Cronin gone before OWLs."
The next morning's paper read, "Ministry Offical Found Guilty of Being a Death Eater" and created quite a scandal amongst the students, and their parents, many of whom owled the Ministry, Hogwarts, or both to complain.
Happily, Dumbledore could claim that the Ministry sent Cronin against his will, causing all Cronin's new rules and his Inquisitorial Squad to be dropped. Consequently, any Ministry presence in the future should be much easier to keep out of Hogwarts.
Voldemort's response to the loss of Cronin and five Death Eaters was to cause the collapse of a prominent bridge, killing eleven Muggles, and to place a number of Ministry officials under the Imperius Curse. Snape shrugged. "He's been trying to get a firmer grasp on the Ministry. They're making it fairly easy for him with their incompetence."
Draco looked glum. "Should we feel guilty about the bridge, though? We're the ones who turned the Death Eaters in."
"There are consequences to playing with the Dark Lord," Severus replied solemnly. "In the end, though, the deaths that he causes are no one's fault but his own. We fight him by whatever means necessary."
"He's going to be causing more before he's through," Artemis said. "He likes big, attention-grabbing scenes. He likes having people afraid of his very name."
"He was quite angry, but you were right that he can't be any angrier at Potter than he already is," Severus said. "I told him you'd investigated after Cronin had been arrested, and discovered that Potter had been spying on the man, that Cronin evidently hadn't been secretive enough meeting with the Death Eater students."
"He'll be asking you for another task, soon. Before the summer's over, I'm sure. Expect to hear from me."
"How many hours d'you think you're studying a day?" Artemis was accosted by fellow Fifth Year MacMillan in the hallway. He had a crazed look in his eyes.
Artemis raised an eyebrow. "I already know the material."
MacMillan's shoulders slumped. Draco pounded him on the back, hard. "Never should have asked him. Why do you want to know?"
"I'm doing 8 or 9. I can do 10 on a good weekend day…"
Draco smirked. "You realize, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Mum's friends with Griselda Marchbanks, the head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority—had her over for dinner just last month, in fact."
MacMillan looked like he might weep.
A Sixth Year Ravenclaw, Carmichael, overheard the conversation and sidled up to them. He briefly pulled a potions bottle out of his pocket, flashed it at them, and then hid it away again. "Baruffio's Brain Elixir. Solely responsible for my 9 Outstanding OWLs last year. You can have a whole pint for only 12 Galleons."
MacMillan perked up.
Artemis snorted. "That's rubbish."
"Well, you would think so," Carmichael sneered. "The rest of us mere humans need a little help."
"I'll take it," MacMillan said eagerly, reaching out a hand.
Draco shook his head. "Let's see the bottle up close. Is it labeled? Is it sealed? Is it really what you claim?"
Carmichael looked affronted. MacMillan picked 12 Galleons out of his pocket, but didn't hand them over. "Yeah, let me see the bottle."
Carmichael sneered again, but brought it out for them to see.
"As a Prefect, I should really confiscate that," Draco mused.
The seller and prospective buyer looked at him, horrified.
"No, look, it's sealed and labeled. It's authentic."
"Doesn't matter. You're not supposed to be selling stuff like that here."
"Malfoy, I need that!" MacMillan begged.
"Tell you what, give me 3 of those Galleons and I'll let the sale go through."
"Highway robbery!" Carmichael cried. "And you don't even need money!"
Draco smiled beautifically. Artemis rolled his eyes, but silently applauded.
"Fine," Carmichael spat out. "9 for me, 3 for you, the deal goes down."
MacMillan paid, grabbed the bottle, and ran off down the hallway.
"Nice doing business with you," Draco said, still smiling.
Carmichael scowled and stomped away.
"25% cut. Good job," Artemis commented, entering the Transfiguration classroom.
Draco smirked and followed. "Maybe next time, he won't conduct illegal transactions in front of a Prefect."
"At least not a Slytherin one."
In class, Professor McGonagall gave them the schedule of their exams. They were spread over two weeks, with theory in the morning, and practical in the afternoon (except for Astronomy, which was at night). They would receive their results in July.
Sirius Black had been drafted to sit in the DADA classroom and review their material the last few classes of the year. They spent their first lesson discussing Cronin, how anyone from any House could become a Death Eater, but it was really a stupid idea. "You Know Who is a maniac, crazy in the head. All he wants is power. He doesn't care about pureblood superiority! He's only half-blood himself. Not that that matters—it has nothing to do with the strength of someone's magic. You Know Who is just a tyrant."
"But he has a lot of followers," Hannah Abbott said. "And he's very strong. We have to be strong ourselves to beat them."
"Yes, we do," Sirius agreed. "But we can be. It can be done. His followers aren't that great. Look at Peter Pettigrew—he's hardly even competent with a wand. He's just a weasely little fanatic. The Death Eaters are all humans, some of 'em better at magic than others, but all are beatable."
"What about the dementors, the werewolves, the giants?"
"There are ways to beat them, too." He started listing them on the chalkboard. By the time the class was done, the students were feeling encouraged and empowered, and determined to do their part against Voldemort.
Sirius considered the class to be a success.
The evening before the OWLs, despite the panicked studying leading up to it, Draco decided to stage a scene of his own. The members of SUAVE wore their buttons proudly, and select members—including Draco, Pansy, and Marie—had spelled the letters on the back of their Hogwarts robes: S U A V E. Under each letter was written out the word it stood for: Slytherins United Against Voldemort & Evil. The letters and the badges all glittered silver.
It caused more whispering and murmurs at dinner, especially among the Gryffindors. They seemed to view it as some sort of trick. The DADA group, however, frowned at that, and Potter himself said, "Some Slytherins are OK."
After supper, Crabbe and Goyle had a panic attack, saying they were going to fail their OWLs because they'd forgotten everything they'd learned; their minds were blank. Draco calmed them down eventually.
All the Fifth Years were frantically trying to get as much last minute studying in as they could, except Artemis, who by the end of the night had finished up the final details needed to successfully make his own portkey. He used a button on his school robes, so if necessary all he'd have to do was casually press it. Then he basked for awhile.
OWLs were broken down into subjects, over several days, some written, some practical. Directly after breakfast, the Fifth and Seventh Year students gathered in the entry hall waiting for their first exam (NEWTs were happening, too). At 9:30, they were let into the Great Hall, which was now filled with individual student tables. Professor McGonagall waited until they were seated, then turned over an hourglass on her desk. "You may now begin."
Draco looked down at his paper, mind crammed full of charms dancing through his brain. He shook his head to clear it and read the first question. A) Give the incantation and B) describe the wand movement required to make objects fly. He looked over at Artemis, who was writing calmly but rapidly, focus intense yet relaxed. 'Well, yeah, no competing with a genius. But I can do this.' He nodded decisively, then began to write.
Two hours later, they clustered in the entrance hall again, looking weary. Hermione sought out Artemis to thoroughly re-evaluate all the questions and answers. Pansy, Blaise, and Marie also pushed forward to Artemis. "How did you answer number 23?" Marie demanded.
Draco and the rest of the Slytherins didn't want to keep thinking about it, so they talked about other things. Draco found himself standing next to Longbottom, who was nervously shifting back and forth. "Well?"
"There was so much…" Neville replied.
"Longbottom, you ran that obstacle course with Warrington, Chang, Finch-Fletchley, and MacMillan and you outperformed them all. Have some confidence in yourself." Draco rolled his eyes. "You drive me crazy."
Neville blinked, then straightened his shoulders. "OK. Hey, the Potions exam is Monday. Will you review with me Sunday night?"
Draco regarded him for a long time, then nodded. "All right."
After lunch was the practical exam. Four students were called in alphabetical order into the Great Hall. These tests were conducted by the official Ministry examiners.
Draco was halfway through his practical when Potter was called in. The ancient-looking man assigned as his examiner peered at him curiously. "Potter, is it? The famous Potter?"
Draco rolled his eyes and came dangerously close to dropping the wine glass he'd been levitating. He concentrated after that. He couldn't afford to fail because he was distracted. Neither Potter nor Fowl would let him live it down.
After the exam came dinner, then straight back to the dorms to study more. Tuesday was the Transfiguration exam, which Draco was confident he'd done well in, although Crabbe had somehow vanished his hands instead of his iguana, and had to go to the hospital wing to have it fixed.
Wednesday was Herbology, where Draco tried not to smirk when Potter was bitten by a Fanged Geranium, and noticed that the examiner looked particularly impressed by Longbottom's performance. Draco sighed. There was no longer any denying that the dweeb had gotten a lot stronger and more mature over the years. He also suspected Longbottom had a crush on Lovegood.
Thursday they took their Defense Against the Dark Arts exam, where all of the DA and SUAVE members did significantly better than the rest of their classmates.
On Friday Hermione, Draco, and all the Slytherin girls except Pansy had Ancient Runes exams. Afterward, Hermione and Marie stood around, lamenting any missed answers. Hermione seemed especially perturbed, so they called up Draco's house elf and asked for ice cream, which they ate on the front steps of the castle.
Saturday Draco spent two relaxing hours with Ginny, then went back to his books. Sunday evening Draco, Vince, Greg, and Longbottom studied together in the empty Potions room. The latter three all felt much more confident afterwards.
Monday morning Vince and Greg received a good luck owl from Lovegood before the Potions exam, which Draco kept snickering over. He was pretty sure Longbottom would have gotten one, too.
He confronted said Gryffindor, who looked more relaxed in a Potions lab than he'd ever seen him, due to an examiner and not Snape leading the practical. "Well?"
"Well, I think I passed!" he answered proudly.
"Your little boy's all grown up," Hermione said, patting Draco on the back. "Congratulations, Neville," she added over Draco's sputtering.
Tuesday Goyle was nearly quilled in the knee by a knarl in the Care of Magical Creatures exam, but did fine otherwise.
Wednesday morning was devoted to the Astronomy written exam, which Zabini had always done particularly well in. Wednesday afternoon he and Pansy went off to Divination while Artemis, Draco, and Hermione took Arithmancy (Crabbe and Goyle had taken their Muggle Studies exam on Friday).
Blaise was following along behind Potter and Weasley after the test was over. Potter had apparently made a serious mess of his tea-leaf reading and his palm reading and told his examiner she should have died the week before. Weasley had told his examiner about the ugly man with a wart in his crystal ball, only to realize he'd been describing the man's reflection.
Zabini burst out laughing at this. Weasley looked at him indignantly. "It's not funny." Then he looked sheepish. "OK, it is funny…"
"Forget about it. We can all drop this class now. I know you've been wanting to as much as I have. I only took it because my mum made me."
Wednesday night they all took the Astronomy practical. Thursday they had History of Magic, which Artemis breezed through without effort. And then the tests were over.
The Fifth Years collapsed around the Common Room, exhausted. Everyone was relatively happy with their performance.
"I'm just so glad it's over," Eva groaned.
"And I can drop Care of Magical Creatures next year," Pansy sighed happily.
"You can take extra lessons with Madam Pomfrey instead," Marie supplied. "I finally talked her into it."
"Sometimes I wish I was just a little kid again." Blaise looked around at the others. "I mean, I know we're all looking forward to being adults, but… life's only going to get more complicated from here on."
Draco patted him on the shoulder. "It's alright. We can handle it. We're Slytherin."
"At least you never had to deal with the giant," Draco said to Hermione as they walked with Artemis to the last breakfast of the year. "Hagrid never got sacked."
"That's going to end badly eventually," Hermione fussed. "Some night the centaurs are going to get fed up and just shoot Grawp full of arrows."
"Well, that's an interesting thought."
"Are we going to keep up defense practice next year?"
"I think we should," Artemis said. "It can only help."
"We can do it legally then." Hermione seemed pleased.
"Hopefully. Who knows who our teacher will end up being."
"Another lovely thought."
They exchanged wry smiles.
"So… Potter has to go back to his Muggle relatives over the summer, I heard. Dumbledore still says he needs the blood wards."
Hermione scowled. "Harry is not happy."
"Neither is Sirius."
"Black could smuggle Potter away somewhere. Dumbledore has access to the Black family home where he's been living, but he does have other properties," Artemis said.
"Please don't encourage them!" Hermione protested.
Draco and Ginny took a walk around the lake before the Leaving Feast. Zabini's hawk balanced itself on her shoulder, much to Draco's continuing amusement.
"Do you think Artemis will keep his promise to invite us all to the movies this summer?" Ginny asked.
"If he doesn't, we'll invite ourselves," Draco smirked.
"I wonder how well either of us would do, actually living in the Muggle world."
"I can use a computer!"
Ginny giggled. "I know."
"It'll be nice to be able to spend time with my brother again."
Ginny's face softened. "Can I meet him?"
"Sure! If your parents would let you visit Malfoy Manor, anyway. They could come, too, if it would make them feel better—talk to my mom and stuff."
"I think they'd agree to that."
They walked in comfortable silence for awhile. "Do you think Hermione and Artemis will ever get back together?" Ginny finally ventured.
Draco sighed. "If she's willing to wait until they graduate, he might be willing to admit he's allowed to have a girlfriend by then. Maybe."
"You know Viktor Krum still writes her?"
"Yeah. Or maybe someone new will sweep her off her feet. Artemis is taking a big risk, not snatching her up."
"Sometimes I just want to hex him—just a little one, to put some sense into him."
"I don't think a hex will help with that. Maybe a jinx."
They both laughed.
Draco decided the train trip home wouldn't be complete without seeking out Potter in his compartment for one last taunt. Ginny rolled her eyes and went to sit with Luna, but Artemis came with him.
"Disappointed you didn't get your regular year-end battle with the Dark Lord?" he began.
"Hardly. As you are quite aware."
Ron and Neville exchanged glances as Hermione greeted Artemis, both ignoring the drama.
"Back to your relatives then, Potter?"
"The question, of course, is how long do you have to stay there?" Artemis asked, tuning back in.
"Just a week. Then I'm going to Grimmauld Place with Sirius. That was the deal we worked out with Professor Dumbledore."
"I wonder what they would do if Black just stayed there with you for the week," Draco said.
"My aunt and uncle would never allow it."
"How could they stop him? They're Muggles."
Harry got a very contemplative expression on his face.
"That's a boy. Think like a Slytherin for once."
"Shut up, Malfoy," Potter replied reflexively, without heat.
Hermione immediately began listing pros and cons.
"Hermione, I'll email you," Draco interrupted, and turned to leave.
"Malfoy, you have hidden good qualities," Neville said. "They're just buried really deep."
Draco blinked, then very slowly smirked. "Later, Longbottom. You're not quite as bad as I'd always thought."
King's Cross Station, and Butler (who'd flooed ahead) and his family were waiting for Artemis to disembark.
"Are those your parents?" Zabini asked, pointing out the window. Artemis nodded.
The rest of the Fifth Year Slytherins (except for Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle, who'd seen them before) crowded around the window to see. "Your baby brothers are so cute!" Pansy exclaimed.
"Is my family really that fascinating?"
"It's just that you're so unique," Marie replied. "We want to see the faces of those who shaped you."
Artemis raised an eyebrow as the rest exchanged grins.
So there on the platform, the Fifth Year Slytherins all met Artemis's parents before they were escorted off by their own.
"You have so many friends now," Angeline sighed with delight as the Fowl family headed home. "It's wonderful. For years I never thought I'd see the day."
"I've learned the value of allies."
Angeline ruffled his hair. "You can't fool me, Arty. They're your friends, and I know it."
Artemis looked at his parents, at Butler, at his little brothers. And then he allowed himself to smile.
A/N1: Well, there you go, end of Year 5. I have already started writing Year 6, though. Look for it soon.
A/N2: The exam situations are taken from the book.
A/N3: I have become addicted to Sherlock on BBC and I want very badly to read a Sherlock/Artemis Fowl crossover. Any interested parties willing to write one?