A/N: I've been busy on here lately, have I not? Alright, this is a the first chapter of my new fic, Challenges. It's sort of a prologue, really. I only expect this to be a few chapters. Just an idea that popped into my head one day. I hope that you guys enjoy! Make sure to review to tell me if you did or not! Oh, and this DOES take place after TLG.

Disclaimer: This is a recorded message. If you want to read something by Eoin Colfer, press 1. If you want to read something fan-made, continue onwards. Thank you. Have a nice day.

Chapter 1: Secrets

Holly and Artemis were walking Fowl Manor's grounds one beautiful spring morning. The air smelled sweet, birds were chirping merrily, and butterflies zoomed through the air. It all seemed rather perfect, as sweet as spring mornings could get. Of course, maybe Holly was a little biased. This was the first time she had been able to get above ground in three months.

The first time she had been able to see Artemis in three months. Three months since he'd returned from the dead. She looked into his eyes (both blue now) as he talked while they walked. He seemed just a bit… different since he'd come back to life. Not in a bad way, necessarily. Just different. Holly couldn't put her finger on what had changed, exactly.

He was her best friend. After all they had been through, how could he not be? He was the first one to hear about her promotion to major (which they'd actually given her after all these years), the first one to hear about her failed fourth date with Trouble (in which he said he liked Lilli Frond better. The nerve of him!), the first one she called when she became sad over her mother's death all over again.

Artemis and Holly reached the spiral of "fairy roses," as they were called. Artemis came to a halt in front of them. Holly stopped and stood beside him. She placed a hand on his back. She thought of all the months she had waited, wondering if the crazy plan Artemis had cooked up would work. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks, and when she glanced at Artemis, she saw that he was crying too.

"It's okay," Holly said, after a moment of silence. "You're here now. It's all alright. You're back with us, with a full memory of everything that had happened before. Your father knows the truth, no more lying to him, you're back with your family, and you can relax for once. No edge-of-your-seat adventures."

"I know," said Artemis. "I just…" He bent over, picked a fairy rose, and offered it to Holly. "Thank you. Thank you for being my best friend, for always being there. Thank you for trusting me. I know that isn't always the easiest thing to do."

Holly took the offered rose, a bit startled by Artemis's forward actions. She smelled it, and then said, "Of course I trust you. Sure, you've lied to me before, but you've always made it up to me. And besides, I have no reason to believe that you'll do it again." She twirled the flower in-between her fingertips.

Artemis turned to Holly. Tear-streaks showed clearly on his face. Holly felt an overwhelming urge to kiss him, Mud Boy or not. Holly mentally shook the thoughts from her head. That's not something you can think, Holly thought. You have no excuse this time. No time stream to blame.

"But… but I have lied to you, Holly," Artemis said finally.

Holly wrinkled her brow in confusion. "Huh? What do you mean, you lied to me?" All thoughts of kissing Artemis were long gone now. He lied to me, Holly thought. That was all she could think. He lied to me!

"It wasn't intentional. You must trust me on that. But I've realized that I've kept you from a crucial detail of my life." Artemis drew a deep breath. Then, he reached over and grabbed Holly's hand. "I want to show you." He began to pull her towards Fowl Manor.

Holly's head spun. What in Frond's name was he talking about? What could he possibly have kept from her? What could possibly make him so upset?

When they reached Fowl Manor, Artemis took Holly to his room. Not his study, for once, but his room. Holly realized that she'd never been in there before.

"Have a seat, Holly," Artemis said, gesturing to his bed. Holly laid down on one side. Holly heard him rummaging around in his closet. Finally, he laid down next to her. He was holding a small, brown journal.

"I used to keep a paper diary when I was younger. This… this volume of it should be the one that I wrote about… what I need to tell you."

He flipped to the first page. "Do you want me to read the first part?"

Holly nodded. "I'll read in a few minutes."

My name is Artemis Fowl II. I am not your average eight year old boy, although if you're reading this, I'm sure that you know that already. If you know me, then it's impossible that you don't.

My father is Artemis Fowl I, the head of the Fowl criminal empire that stretches across several continents. My mother is Angeline Fowl. My bodyguard, Butler, is like a second father to me, and his younger sister, Juliet, is like a sister to me.

But they are not the reason that I feel compelled to write. They are not the reasons I feel the need to express my emotions. No, my concerns lie with my twin brother, Aidan.

A/N: Now, before you go all "that's SO cliché" on me... Wait until the next chapter. Then, if you still think it's cliched, you can go all ninja on my ass. And I know it's short... remember, it's kind of a prolouge. So review?