It can't be denied that Artemis had gotten better at socializing with others ever since he had first met Holly, but he was still far from perfect, no matter what Holly may have done to change him. It was a process and a slow one at that.
Maybe if Holly had worked faster, Artemis wouldn't have been waiting to visit principle Guiney at that moment.
The cause for this visit could be blamed on the stupidity of the teaching staff. Artemis believed that anyone with half a brain should have been able to realize that the pure idiotic gibberish written on the board was wrong, and he had done nothing more than correct the teacher on her mistake (albeit in a somewhat rude and condescending way). The teacher must have been having a tough day (possibly a tough life, Artemis thought for a brief moment), for it seemed that she had finally snapped after his comment. It was a rather chaotic five minutes of screaming, crying and cursing that alternated between certain know it all students and some possible higher entity.
With a few choice insults directed at the young heir, Artemis was soon just as furious. He had stood up from his seat, and with a blank expression that would shame the greatest of poker players, he replied with his own sharp comment. His answer was in the form of a finger pointing towards the class room door and the shrill screams of "Get out! Get out!"
If Artemis had been anyone other than who he was, he probably would have stomped his feet in fury. And although his thoughts swirled around the event that had just occurred, a small part of his mind couldn't help but wonder over something else that had just happened. During the teacher's screaming, no one but Artemis seemed to have noticed that the clock on the wall near the teacher's desk had suddenly cracked, the thinnest thread of what looked to be blue magic dancing across the clock's surface. His eyes had watched with a sparkle of curiosity as the magic jumped from the clock to the teacher's desk, trailing down the leg of it and cracking the wood as it went. The desk gave a light groan of protest as the magic settled itself. As he was exiting the class room, Artemis couldn't help but grin to himself as he watched out of the corner of his eye as the teacher leaned back to rest against the desk. The crack, thump and scream of anger and frustration was more than satisfying as Artemis made his way down the hall.
It was all rather curious. Artemis was certain that what he had seen was magic, having seen it enough times during Holly's healings, but what he couldn't understand was how it happened. There were no fairies about, he had lost his own magic nearly two weeks ago after the incident with Koboi, and as far as he knew (which was quite a bit, if he did say so himself), the fairies' magic didn't work in the way he had seen it happen in class. So what could possibly have caused it?
Artemis was snapped out of his thoughts when the school secretary called for him, stating that Principle Guiney was now ready to see him. As soon as he was done meeting with the principle, he was going to figure how the magic had occurred. Well, right after he made sure the teacher had been fired. It didn't matter how much he may have changed, no body messed with Artemis Fowl.
Holly picked up the communicator after the second ring.
"Not that I don't love to hear from you, but I am rather busy. You'll have to make this quick."
Holly did indeed sound busy, for she sounded out of breath and there was just the slightest hint of irritation in her voice. Artemis decided that it would probably be better to get straight to the point rather than chit chatting and building her up for the big surprise.
"Something rather unusual had happened today."
"Unusual as in what? End of the world unusual? Because I'm starting to think that's not all that unusual, seeing how it happens almost every other month now."
"Wait, hold that thought," Holly interrupted. Artemis could hear the sound of something being fired in the background in quick secession. There was some mumbling on Holly's behalf, too soft for Artemis to hear exactly what it was, followed by a few more quick shots and then sudden silence.
"Alright, what were you saying?" asked Holly, just when Artemis was beginning to become concerned.
"What is going on over there?" asked the teen.
"Just a couple dim witted goblins. Now, what were you saying before we were interrupted? It doesn't sound like you called just to have a nice friendly chat. You were saying that something unusual happened."
"Yes," agreed Artemis. "Something rather… magical happened today."
"If you found yourself a girlfriend or something, that's great for you, but I don't see how that would be of any importance to me."
"No, Holly. I meant magical as in real magic. Dancing blue sparks and everything."
There was a pause on Holly's end of the line as she pondered over his words.
It was a tone that demanded an answer, leaving Artemis no room to protest.
"There was a… disagreement between the teacher and I. I had been merely correcting her on a mistake, and she seemed to have been extremely offended by it, for she had said a few things that did not sit well with me."
"You mean she insulted you."
"Yes, and though I'm not fond of admitting it, I was a bit upset. It was at that moment that the clock within the class room suddenly cracked. I noticed there were blue sparks which traveled from the clock to the teachers desk, cracking the wooden legs."
"You sound rather smug," observed Holly, for having known Artemis for several years, she could read him rather well, only second to Butler. "Something must have happened."
Artemis decided that there was really no need to describe to Holly the events that happened afterwards, so he remained silence.
Realizing that she wasn't going to get a reply, she let it slide. After all, she was fairly certain she knew what must have happened.
"It seems a bit farfetched, but were there any fairies?"
"I thought of that, and no, there were not. I also thought of the possibility that I may have somehow caused it, but you checked yourself just two weeks ago and you confirmed that I was no longer in ownership of any magic."
"Hm…" was Holly's only reply.
"I appreciate the fact that you think me capable of stealing more fairy magic, but I must remind you that two weeks is very little time to do such a thing, as well as the fact that I have been very busy, having also just returned to Saint Bartleby's."
"Only for you to get into an argument with the teacher."
"None of which I should be truly blamed for." The young genius defended. "Mother is rather unhappy with the school right now, so it will probably be some time before I return. There is very little for her to fear for my education after all."
"Ya, well, no need to rub you genius-ness in everyone's face."
"Genius-ness is not a word."
"I know you're brilliant enough to know what I meant, so quit being a smart-ass."
Artemis couldn't help but chuckle at her words.
"Probably the best thing to do at this point is to get the school grounds checked and make sure that there definitely weren't any fairies around. We should get you checked as well. Maybe the stolen magic is causing you to have some after effects or something. I'm not sure what could have caused it, but we need to rule out everything we can, and then go with whatever is left over."
"Just what I was thinking, Captain Short."
"Good. I'll go over it with Foaly and we'll get in contact with you tomorrow and let you know when we can get someone top side to get you checked out."
Artemis woke slightly earlier than usual, possibly from being mildly anxious on receiving a call from Holly and Foaly. After having cleaned up, he made his way to the kitchens, only to find Butler already there preparing breakfast.
"You must be happy about not having to attend school today." Butler commented off handedly as he chopped up chives to go into the breakfast.
"I will admit that it is nice that I do not have to waste my time attending such irrelevant classes."
Butler chuckled at Artemis's words as he finished preparing his young charge's omelet.
Once finished with his meal, Artemis decided that he would go up to his study and read through his copy of the People's Book. It was extremely unlikely, but maybe there was information on effects of fairy magic on other living beings that he missed on the other occasions that he had read the book. He was still sitting in his study two hours later when his cell phone rang.
"You have a guest," came Butler's voice through the speaker. "She has come here to speak to you about something important. She's currently waiting in the main living room with your mother." There was a hesitant pause before Butler began speaking again. "You're definitely going to want to come down as soon as possible."
Angeline Fowl held Myles and Beckett's hands, one twin on either side, as the trio made their way to the kitchen for breakfast.
"Butler," Angeline called as she stepped into the kitchen, "The twins would like to have Belgian Waffles for breakfast."
"Of course, Mrs. Fowl, and what would they like on their waffles."
"Espresso!" chirped an excited Beckett as he climbed onto a kitchen stool. "Beckett wants waffles with espresso."
"I would like mine with fresh cut fruits. Is there anymore of the blueberry syrup that Juliet made last week?" asked Myles.
"Where's Juliet?" asked Beckett, turning his head to look about the room, having only just realized that he had yet to see the girl this morning.
"She is out running errands, Sweetie," Angeline answered her son. "And you can only have espresso if it is de-cafe."
It was at that moment when the door bell rang.
"I'll get it," said Angeline as she noticed Butler preparing to remove the apron he wore to go answer the door. Myles looked between Butler and the retreating figure of his mother before hopping off of the stool and following after her. He caught up to her just as she reached the front door.
Angeline opened the front door to find an elderly lady, dressed in a rather particular fashion. The woman wore a long plain black dress, small rectangular glasses perched on the edge of her nose. Her hair was pulled back tight, but what Angeline found most odd was the large black witch's hat sitting atop the woman's head.
"How may I help you?" Angeline hid her surprise, both in her voice and her expression, acting as if it was normal every day thing to find someone dressed like a witch standing on her door stops.
"I have come here in search of Artemis Fowl." The woman's voice was strong and stern, and Angeline knew that she was a strict, no funny business sort of person.
Angeline wasn't sure whether the woman was asking for Timmy or her son, Arty, although she had a strong suspicion.
"And might I know who you are?" asked Angeline.
"My name is Minerva McGonagall, headmistress of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I have come here to extend an invitation to Artemis to attend the school."
'Definitely one of Arty's friends,' thought Angeline.
"Why don't you come inside as I get Artemis." McGonagall nodded her head in acceptance and stepped inside as Angeline widened the door to allow her guest to enter. Myles, who had yet been unnoticed by his mother, followed after her and the guest as they came upon the main guest room.
"Why don't you wait here," asked Angeline, gesturing to the many available seats within the room. "Please, make yourself comfortable. I will return shortly."
Myles watched as his mother left the room, and quickly sneaked in before Angeline could detect him. He made his way to where McGonagall sat in an old Victorian fashioned chair.
"Hello," said McGonagall as she noticed the young boy. She tipped her head in greeting to him. "And who might you be?"
Myles eyed her skeptically, and McGonagall immediately noticed the far too intelligent look in the boy's eyes for someone of his age.
"My name is Myles Fowl," replied the young boy "Artemis's younger brother." Myles suddenly paused, his lips pressed into a thin line. "Is it true what you have told mother?"
"You must be referring to what I said about magic," induced McGonagall. Myles nodded his head.
"Then you must know about fairies."
"Well, yes." answered McGonagall, rather surprised that the boy would bring up fairies of all things.
"Artemis has told me stories about fairies and their magic," answered Myles as if he knew what the elderly woman was thinking of "I wasn't sure if he was telling the truth, but now I'm starting to rethink things."
Professor McGonagall was definitely curious now. How is it that this Artemis Fowl boy, a supposed muggle, knows about fairies?
"Why don't you believe your brother?" asked McGonagall.
"Because Myles and I are cut from the same branch, the two of us being true scientists at heart." answered a new voice. McGonagall looked up to see an older boy enter the room. She guessed that he was probably somewhere around the age of 13 or 14. The boy had straight raven black hair that contrasted sharply against his pale skin. But what caught her attention the most, just like she had noticed of Myles, were his eyes. The dark haired boy's eyes were of two different colors, one blue and one hazel, and far too wise looking for someone of his age. Following behind the boy was Angeline Fowl.
"Although," continued the boy as he made his way into the room and sat on one of the chairs facing McGonagall "I am open minded and willing to accept new ideas until I have reason to think otherwise."
"Are you Artemis?" asked McGonagall as she watched the boy before her, a slightly confused expression beginning to form on her face.
"Indeed I am." He answered, his words accompanied with a small nod of his head.
"You don't look 11."
"That would be because I am not." Artemis corrected "I am actually 14 years of age, soon to be 15." Artemis decided that there would be no harm in telling her his real age, since she didn't seem to have already known his age. If she had, she would have mentioned him looking a little young to be 17.
"How…" McGonagall paused to think of the correct word to use "…odd.
"And what, might I ask that you find to be so peculiar?" Artemis watched as McGonagall fixed her glasses.
"It's because students usually receive their invitation to attend Hogwarts at the age of 11, not at the age of… 14." She said his age slowly, almost as if the words were foreign to her.
"Would you care to tell me more about this magical school that both you and my mother spoke of?"
McGonagall reached into the folds of her robe, pulling out an envelope and handed it to Artemis. Myles leaned over the arm rest of the chair to stare at the envelope as Artemis read the front.
Artemis Fowl II
Third bedroom on the left
Second Floor of the East Wing
Artemis flipped the envelope over to find a wax stamp on it and what looked to be a lion, a snake, a badger and some sort of bird imprinted on it. Artemis carefully tore open the envelope, pulling out two letters from within. He read the first one, a single eyebrow raised in curiosity.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
Dear Mr. Fowl,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
Artemis handed the letter to Myles, who was still reading through it. He began reading the second one, the other eyebrow now raised to join the first.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
First-year students will require:
Three sets of plain work robes (black)
One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry nametags
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST-YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS
"I will admit that I would not have imagined it to be true that witches and wizards actually rode on brooms and used wands." Artemis confessed. As if suddenly realizing something, Artemis looked up at McGonagall. "You must get that statement a lot."
"It is to be expected." McGonagall agreed.
Artemis nodded his head, before returning to the letter, quickly rereading it once more to see if he might have missed anything.
"Of course," McGonagall suddenly interrupted "There would be some changes to your school supplies. We can hardly have a 14 year old attending as a first year. You would have to buy extra books to study over the summer to at least attempt to catch up with the other students of your age. That is, if you decide to attend the school."
Artemis sighed, one hand rubbing at his temple as the other handed the letter to his curious younger brother so that both he and their mother could read it.
"May I call you professor?"
"Professor, I have yet to have any proof of your so called 'magic', and for all I know, this could just be an elaborate scheme to make money off of our family, although this seems a bit too farfetched for that to be the case. I cannot say that I believe you until you give me evidence to do so."
"Have you ever had anything strange happen to you?" McGonagall suddenly asked "Any unexplainable incidents?"
Artemis thought back on several incidents, most of them having to do with his fairy friends from Haven, but decided that she had probably meant the incident that had occurred at school yesterday.
"That is magic that usually happens to younger children who are new to it and have a hard time controlling it. It can also happen during times of extreme emotion. Of course, with a wand, you can learn to properly use that magic, such as this."
Artemis watched as McGonagall suddenly pulled a long stick, which he guessed to be a wand, from within the sleeve of her robe and pointed it at a book sitting on a small side table.
"Wingardium leviosa." Artemis, Angeline and Myles all watched in surprise as the book began to rise. It slowly made its way across the room before gently dropping into Artemis's lap.
"Spectacular." mumbled Artemis as he picked the book up, turning it in every which way; examining it to make sure that what he had just seen was legitimate.
"What else can you do with that magic?" Artemis's eyes were sparkling, a glint in them that strongly reminded McGonagall of Hogwarts' previous headmaster.
"Many different things. You can do spells, charms, curses, and although it doesn't actually require magic, you can brew potions."
"This is so fascinating, Arty." exclaimed Angeline, emphasizing her excitement with a clap of her hands. "Do you think you will be attending?" The three other occupants of the room turned towards Artemis, waiting for his reply.
Artemis paused to think things over. This was a very big decision to make after all, and the decision would affect more than just him. It was highly doubtful that they would allow Butler to attend with him, but if he had managed to make it through Saint Bartleby's without Butler, he was certain that he could make it through Hogwarts, especially if he would be learning about magic which would allow him to defend himself.
"What about personal items from home."
"We allow you to bring anything you like unless any of it happens to pertain to the dark arts. Your muggle electronics are allowed as well, although it will be rendered useless due to the amount of magic in the area."
Artemis was definitely shocked that there would be no technology available, and that alone was almost enough to cause him to deny the invitation right then and there, but the opportunities that came with having magic was far too great for him to let it slip through his fingers. Oh the possibilities!
"I accept your offer, Professor. I would be a fool not to do so."
"Wonderful." McGonagall said the same time Angeline eyes widened, exclaiming "Oh, Arty! Isn't this great! Oh, how exciting it will be to have a wizard in the family!"
"Will I have magic too?" asked Myles.
"There is always a possibility," answered McGonagall "But it is far too early to tell. You will find out in a few years from now." Myles nodded his head in understanding.
"As for you school supplies, you will have to go to London to get them. I will have someone meet you there. The place you will be meeting is at a wizard pub known as the Leaky Cauldron. Only wizards can see it, so you will probably have to go alone, as none of you muggle companions will be able to enter. Here is the time and directions."
McGonagall handed Artemis a slip of paper with all the required information. Artemis quickly read through it, memorizing all the information just in case.
"From there," continued the professor, "You will be shown where to get all you supplies. Since you are 14, you will actually start as a fourth year. You will need all the fourth year required books as well as the previous years, since it will be very important that you learn as much as you can. I will give that list to the person you will be meeting. I can also arrange a tutor for you."
"No need for that professor." Artemis interrupted. "I am certain that I can learn whatever that is needed of me."
"Alright," said McGonagall "But if you do find yourself having a hard time, feel free to owl me."
"Owl?" asked Artemis.
"It is the most common way we communicate in the wizarding world."
"Ah," hummed Artemis in revelation "It is similar to the English Carriers that delivered messages during the 1700's."
"Arty is a genius, so I'm sure that he will have no problems." Angeline reassured.
"If you believe so, Mrs. Fowl. Now if you'll excuse me," McGonagall stood from her seat as she spoke "But I must leave now. I have many more things to attend to today."
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Angeline, getting up as well "I hope we didn't take too much time out of your day. Let me show you to the front door."
As the two women left the room, Myles turned to look at his older brother.
"I thought you said in your story that you lost all your magic."
"I thought so as well," admitted Artemis "But clearly I am wrong. And here I thought that I would be the first truly magical human." The dark haired boy couldn't help but grin at his own comment.
"The professor said she knows about fairies." This statement caught Artemis's attention.
"What did she say about them?"
Myles shrugged, unconcerned.
"Nothing. You entered soon afterwards."
Hm… I will need to discuss this with Holly."
"Oh!" exclaimed a rather surprised Folay as his image suddenly appeared on the screen. "I was just about to call you."
"No need, for I have already done so. Now," said Artemis, a serious expression on his face "How long were you planning on keeping this secret from me, or were you simply not going to tell me at all?"
"What are you talking about?" asked Foaly, who was getting annoyed with Artemis's sudden accusations. "Listen here mudboy, I haven't held back any information from you."
"Oh, right," Artemis replied, beginning to get just as irritated as Foaly "And I am suppose to believe that you some happened to have overlooked an entire population of magical humans." The surprised expression on Foaly's face suggested that it very well may have been the case.
"W… what?" Foaly finally managed to squeak after a long period of deafening silence. "Are you serious?"
"I believe so. In fact, I had a guest visit me today at the manor with a letter of invitation to attend a magical school by the name of Hogwarts. The woman was Professor McGonagall, headmistress of Hogwarts."
Foaly was silent for another moment, his face nearly white before he suddenly began clicking away on his various computers.
"I can't find anything about magical humans or this school called Hogwarts." said Foaly as he continued to search. "Are you sure it wasn't just a hoax?"
"I'm positive," came Artemis's confident reply "I was able to witness the magic first hand and I am sure that it had been real, and as for why you can't find any information on the internet, it would be for the fact that wizards don't use technology. It has something to do with the interference of magic that prevents it from working. It could very well also keep itself hidden from satellites."
"This… this is unbelievable…" Foaly eventually managed to stammer. We was shaking now and still not looking very good. Foaly's eyes suddenly widened even further as he realized something else.
"Fowl, you said you got an invitation for this magic school. Does this mean you're a…" the centaur was unable to complete his sentence.
"Yes Foaly, that would mean that I am a wizard." The vampire smile that Foaly received from Artemis was enough to finally send the magical creature into full panic.
"Oh, Frond… oh, Frond… Artemis, I'm going to go talk to Trouble right now. We're going to send someone topside immediately. I can't believe there have been magical humans living right under our nose all this time…"