Artemis wasn’t quite certain where they were except underground and that Dublin was somewhere above them. He knew when Holly approached him and said that she had been able to contact a reliable representative of Gringotts that he and Harry would be secreted away to somewhere, but he hadn’t expected to be blindfolded and then to have something shoved in his hand.
The sensation was singular—and rather unpleasant. It felt as if a hook had grabbed his navel and pulled him sickeningly somewhere else. He landed with a thud, his legs folding painfully underneath him. Quickly taking off his blindfold after discarding the rugby ball—it must have been the object that must have precipitated that peculiar means of transportation—Harry soon appeared and fell into his arms, also blindfolded.
“Thanks,” he breathed as Artemis removed the blindfold from his eyes, offering a secret smile that reached his eyes.
The chamber was ornate, gold filigree highlighting a series of elaborate paintings on the walls of one of the many goblin rebellions. A goblin, who introduced himself as Griphook, sat behind an impressive desk, a thick file in front of him.
“This, Mr. Potter, is your full family tree, going back six generations,” he explained as he placed a large parchment in front of them. Artemis peered at it in wonder. “Usually in such cases when we goblins choose to intervene, it is the most practical to insert a wizard somewhere on the tree or one connected to it.”
“You would still have a connection to your family, however distant, a legal claim to any property that might be left to your previous name, and you would be able to physically resemble someone of your new ancestry. The hair changes things, of course. How did you remove the scar?” he asked, his beady black eyes narrowing as he sought any sign of it on Harry’s now smooth forehead.
“Muggle plastic surgery,” Artemis supplied, speaking for the first time. “We had it completed a few days ago.”
The goblin’s ears twitched, but he said nothing else on the subject.
Harry was not recognizable any longer, now that all of his distinguishing features had been changed. His hair was now an unearthly though natural auburn, his eyes were bright and he possessed perfect vision when before he had been forced to wear glasses, and his forehead was smooth. The alteration was simply incredible—a perfect combination, Artemis suspected, of wizard magic and Muggle science.
“Now,” Griphook continued, pulling out a second elaborate family tree, “this is the Black family.”
“As in my godfather?” There was a hint of something in Harry’s voice, a wariness, a dislike, and Artemis wondered at it.
“Yes, he appears here.” A long gnarled finger pointed at the name Sirius Orion Black III. “He is the current Lord Black, but by default. He was actually disinherited and his brother was the heir, before he died less than nine months before you, Mr. Potter, were born.”
“Your grandmother, Dorea Potter, was Regulus Black’s Great-Aunt. You were second cousins despite the fact that he was old enough, technically, to be your father.”
Artemis clasped his hands together. “You are suggesting that Harry legally become his son. Was he married?”
“Not as such, but it was a time of war. Many witches and wizards were marrying younger than they normally would and often in secret. The marriages weren’t registered publicly until after He Who Must Not Be Named disappeared, and it is suspected that there were relationships formed that will never be known because of early death or disappearances of one or both of those parties.”
“Harry?” Artemis inquired, seeing that his twin flame was carefully tracing the names.
He looked up guiltily. “Who would my mother supposedly be?”
Griphook paused, shuffling through his many pieces of parchment. “Because of your changed coloring,” he said carefully, “we only have one candidate. Now, Regulus Black was from a dark family that prided itself in remaining pure. The family motto is even Toujours pur.”
“Always pure,” Artemis supplied, wondering at the line of conversation as the Potters were also purebloods.
“It would be unlikely that he would marry, even in a time of war, anyone who wasn’t from an old family with no taint of a half-blood or Muggle-born.”
Harry hesitated and then nodded.
“This might please you. She was a beautiful French witch, one whom Regulus knew throughout his childhood and who died tragically in an accident near Cork shortly after you were born. As she had just graduated from Beauxbatons, she had been on a tour across Europe with no companion but her maid, so she could have easily been married and given birth to one such as yourself. She was a younger daughter of the Vilaneuve family, but she was named for the Amaranth flower.”
He slipped the parchment in front of Harry who picked it up. “Amarante Vilaneuve.”
Artemis looked over his shoulder and skimmed the information about her. She was notably beautiful, attracting many older men who asked for her hand in marriage before she graduated. She was a decent scholar, accomplished, and known for having friends who were half-breeds and half-bloods despite her family’s strict views on pureblood marriages, which she was believed to adhere to privately.
“She had red hair, slightly darker than yours, and blue-green eyes,” Griphook quietly explained and Harry finally nodded, setting the sheet down again.
The goblin was clearly pleased.
“Now, it is more than likely that you would have been named in the Black tradition after a heavenly body—Helios and Hyperion have been suggested.”
Harry’s eyes widened and Artemis suspected he was overwhelmed.
“Hyperion,” Artemis chose for him. “Harry might somehow be a nickname, and for a middle name a version of his current one, if possible.”
“The French ‘Jacques,’ then,” Griphook conceded, making a note. He worked quickly and efficiently, Artemis noted, filling in a birth certificate and other official forms before stamping them with several official seals. Several keys materialized, probably to new vaults, as well as a credit card with Harry’s new official name. “Magic will not be able to break these as they’re completely authentic. Within the next twenty-four hours, you will be named the new Black heir, having been recently discovered after living most of your childhood in a Muggle orphanage here in Ireland, where you were placed after your mother’s death through an accident in identification or some other likely story. As of the next school year, you’ll be eligible to attend either Hogwarts or Beauxbatons as a fourth year, unless you’d rather give up your education or have private tutors perhaps.”
The goblin eyed Artemis shrewdly, perhaps not liking his presence at the meeting.
“That can be decided later,” he responded as Harry was clearly overwhelmed by the changes.
Griphook regarded them coolly and a moment later, an Irish passport appeared on the desk.
A moment later the Black Family tree shimmered and the name Hyperion Jacques Black appeared neatly under Regulus’s, which was also now connected to Amarante Alix Vilaneuve.
“It is customary,” Griphook began in conclusion as copies of all of the new documents were placed in a separate folder for Harry, “in situations for family members to be informed of your existence. If it’s not done your existence will be suspect, but I assure you that no one will be able to learn of your location even if you should be contacted.”
“Will anyone be able to connect Harry’s disappearance with the rediscovery of a Black heir?”
Griphook shook his head adamantly. “No. Such a transaction as this occurs maybe once or twice every millennium or so. Gringotts rarely gets involved in the affairs of wizards.”
Artemis nodded once in understanding.
“Who?” Harry’s voice was small and tight and Artemis took Harry’s slightly trembling hand in his own.
“Sirius Black, Narcissa Malfoy, Andromeda Tonks, Bartemius Crouch Sr., and Augusta Longbottom.”
“Mrs. Malfoy is Regulus Black’s first cousin, as is Mrs. Tonks. It is customary, nothing more. In the next week, you may receive through us invitations to their households and letters of introduction, though no one will expect you to immediately respond or accept given your history, your connection to the Fowls, and your youth.”
He nodded. “Hyperion Jacques Black.”
“Harry Black,” Artemis said quietly, emphasizing the fact that little had changed.
“Harry Black,” he agreed, his voice more certain.
“—Or Harry Fowl.”
His lips quirked at Artemis in return.
“Could we have the Black Family coat of arms delivered somehow to Fowl Manor? He’s considered a member of the family and it is customary.”
“You wish to bond,” Griphook said perceptively and Artemis regarded him coolly.
“Is that possible in the wizarding world? In the Muggle world it would not be legally recognized.”
He hesitated, glancing at Harry who looked expectantly back at him.
“Once Mr. Black turns seventeen. Gringotts could take care of all necessary documents if Mr. Black desires.”
Artemis could hear the not quite subtle warning, which caused his face to break out in a wide smile, his white teeth shining through.
Griphook stilled at the unearthly expression on his Muggle face, which only caused Artemis’s smile to widen. He had two and a half years, which was more than enough time. Harry was already affectionate toward him and was slowly gaining trust in all of his judgments when he was unable to do so—such as choosing clothes that he might enjoy, a day’s entertainment in Dublin, the hiding of his scar, his very safety, as well as choosing his given name.
It was clearly only a matter of time.
“On the matter of Sirius Black—“ Griphook began carefully, catching Harry’s attention, which in turn caught Artemis’s, who had been carefully watching him.
“What about him?”
“He was Harry Potter’s godfather and, therefore, perhaps important to you.”
Harry didn’t answer, a frown on his lips as if he wanted to refute the statement.
“As the legal son of Regulus Black, who was the heir and as a proclaimed pureblood, you are now head of the House of Black, and not your godfather.” Griphook held up one of the many keys that appeared. “This is to the Black family vault. I wished to assure you that although it is now yours and not Sirius Black’s, he still has access to a considerable fortune from his uncle Alphard. He never touched his parents’ money.”
“You now have access to the Black and Potter vaults, Regulus Black’s trust, as well as Amarante’s small dowry. I’ve included a financial statement that will be updated quarterly. No one but you, even if they possess the appropriate key, can access these monies. Gringotts magic.” His eyes lingered distastefully on Artemis, who didn’t mind. He had been directly accused of worse. He would never touch Harry’s money, and he didn’t really intend for Harry to touch it either as he wished to provide fully for him. He was amoral, certainly, but he would never steal from one under his protection or, more importantly, his twin flame.
“Would you—after the end of the Tournament—contact Viktor Krum and tell him I’m fine?” Harry asked after a pause. “And to say ‘thank you.’”
“Of course,” Griphook said, drawing all his papers together.
“Your Muggle passport and your Muggle forms of identification.” He pulled out a small business card and placed it on top of the Harry’s files. “This gentleman is a little known but respected wandmaker in Dublin, should you wish a new one.”
Harry picked it up and, after inspecting it, handed it over to Artemis for safekeeping.
“One last thing,” Griphook said as Artemis began to help Harry to his feet. “Your trunk should be delivered to Gringotts within the next few weeks if Harry Potter is not found. We will keep it for you until you request it.”
A small smile played on Harry’s lips. “Thank you, Griphook.”
“The goblins have a blood feud with demons,” he responded cryptically, causing Artemis to stiffen. His eyes met Griphook’s and understanding passed between them. “Whenever they are involved in the smallest capacity, it is the least we can do, especially for an innocent and valued customer such as yourself.”
That night, as Harry lay in Artemis’s arms, he quietly asked, “What does Hyperion mean?”
“He was a Greek Titan—they were the gods before the Olympians in Ancient Greece. The god of Watchfulness and Observance, traditionally, and one of Saturn’s moons.”
“Hmm. That’s good, right?”
Artemis chuckled mirthlessly. “Very good, Harry.”
“I’m a pureblood—legally.”
“I thought you were before,” Artemis admitted, stroking away his fringe and staring at his smooth forehead in wonder. He knew that the surgeon was one of the best in the world. He had flown in from America especially for the surgery as Artemis had specifically requested him to deal with a private family matter, and he had proven himself worth every penny Artemis had happily thrown at him.
“No. My mother was a Muggle-born. I’m—I was—a half-blood, not that it mattered.”
“Of course not,” Artemis said, his brows furrowing as he realized the little he had thought he had known about Harry’s past had been an incorrect assumption on his part. Just because the Potters had been traditionally purebloods didn’t mean they would necessarily remain so, especially as Harry had decided to leave that world almost completely for the Muggle equivalent.
Harry’s breaths soon evened out, indicating that he had fallen asleep, and Artemis soon followed him, after carefully drinking the mixture of water and fairy dust he had prepared earlier that night and placing the fairy dust in his eyes. Holly had pressed the vial into his hands just before she had blindfolded him and sent him to the underground vault. He only wondered what he would see that night.
A beautiful woman with long brown hair and light brown eyes sat at a table in a kitchen, an official letter in her hands. As she continued to read through it, she frowned slightly and then set it down again. She tried to move about the room, first watering a plant that was snapping at her and then rearranging some trinkets on the mantle including some moving photographs, but her eyes invariably kept wandering to the letter.
“Wotcher,” someone called out and the patrician beauty glanced up as a young woman, no more than twenty, walked in the room. She had bubblegum pink hair and bright green eyes and, looking closely, Artemis could see that they had similar features. Mother and daughter, he finally decided, although the young woman was nowhere near as sophisticated or as beautiful as the older.
He was standing across the room, his back leaning up against the corner, as he took in the whole scene. Artemis no longer became disoriented by these journeys or particularly surprised by any aspect of wizarding culture they would reveal. He knew to expect the unexpected—although that turn of phrase was rather common and lacked any form of finesse in Artemis’s mind.
“Mum?” Bubblegum asked when her mother didn’t answer at first.
“Oh, sorry, Nymphadora,” she said quietly, her eyes straying to the letter, “I’ve just had surprising news.”
Nymphadora seemed uninterested and instead sat tiredly down in one of the many chairs. “Well, what is it?—Merlin, training was difficult today.”
“Take a warm bath,” the mother said absently and then sat down at the table and took up the letter again. “It appears that my cousin was married before his death and had a child who has recently come to light.”
Nymphadora sat up. “Which cousin? There are so many Blacks.”
“Regulus. No one really knows how he died. He was so young—only seventeen.”
“Weren’t your uncle and aunt supporters of You-Know-Who?”
“Yes, and my parents. Still—this Black grew up after all that, away from it, in France I suspect. His mother is French.”
Nymphadora laughed. “What travesty of a Black name was he given?”
“Nymphadora is a lovely name.”
“As you say,” Nymphadora sighed in resignation, as if they’d had this conversation many times before. “So, let’s hear it. What did Cousin Regulus think to name his heir?”
Nymphadora blanched and, after a moment, her hair morphed into a bright blue, startling Artemis. “Hyperion?” she finally asked.
“Hyperion Jacques Black. Goodness, that rhymes. I wonder if his mother realized that when she agreed.”
A small smile finally grew on Nymphadora’s face. “A cousin—another cousin who might actually speak to me.”
The mother sighed. “Nymphadora, I really doubt it. He’s a pureblood, clearly, and it’s not done. If he speaks to anyone it will be the Malfoys and Draco.”
“Just because—“ Nymphadora began, but her mother—Mrs. Tonks, Artemis now realized—cut her off.
“They have precedence,” she explained coldly. “I was disinherited and cannot contact him unless he decides to recognize me, and he cannot do such until we are formally introduced, Nymphie. It’s surprising, but it won’t affect us. Ever.” She sighed and fidgeted in her seat. “He probably won’t respond to any overture. He’s only fourteen and was raised somewhere on the continent. We don’t even know if he has living family or even speaks English.”
“Mum,” Nymphadora began but Mrs. Tonks shot her a cold look.
“I don’t want to discuss this. I do not think of the Blacks if I can help it. They’ve all betrayed me, betrayed us, and you will not seek him out even if he comes across your path. Please, Nymphadora. It’s been so long—I wouldn’t want—“
The bright blue hair dulled and then fused into a strange purple tint. Artemis casually wondered at the ability and pushed himself from the wall, walking closer to the two women.
“I promise,” Nymphadora said eventually and Mrs. Tonks seemed relieved. “Still, it’s strange.”
“Strange, but not unheard of. I thought Regulus preferred men, though,” she said almost to herself. “Then again, he never confided in me. It was only my speculation and, well, the Mademoiselles Vilaneuves were beauties if I remember.”
“A secret marriage—it almost sounds romantic!”
“We Blacks can be romantic on occasion, Nymphadora. I did, after all, elope with your father despite how I knew my family would react.”
The two women shared a quiet smile and the scene began to dissolve. He didn’t try to hold on to it, but instead allowed it to fade until once again, he felt himself sleeping in Dublin, with Harry pressed to him. He was safer, and they both slept peacefully.
A hand was lightly tracing the lines of his face again as Artemis began to awaken. As his eyes fluttered open, thin fingers brushed away the remaining dust and Harry smiled down at him. “What is that?” he murmured quietly, fingering a few remaining granules of the fairy dust. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Fairy dust,” Artemis replied, pulling Harry down so that he was lying fully in his embrace. “It’s a ritual—it allows me to dream of people who are speaking of you.”
Their noses touched and Artemis breathed out in contentment. He was quite certain the last time he just let himself feel content.
“Yes. I believe I dreamt of Mrs. Tonks and her daughter Nymphadora.”
“Nymphadora,” Harry laughed. “Nymphadora.”
“She’s your second cousin now, and she had the same reaction to your name, though I think she dislikes most Latin names in general, which could explain it.”
Harry sobered again. “I should begin to practice my signature.” He groaned. “My handwriting. My accent. I don’t sound Irish and I supposedly grew up in an Irish orphanage.”
“Shh,” Artemis soothed, suddenly aware of the Irish lilt to his own words. “There are Protestant orphanages that import English tutors and workers. If you grew up in one of them from a very young age, then it is conceivable that you sound the way you do.”
Harry immediately relaxed. “What did Mrs. Tonks say?”
“She was surprised at the announcement. She doesn’t speak of the Blacks though, and cannot and has little desire to contact you. The Malfoys have precedence,” he explained tiredly as he watched the play of emotions on Harry’s face.
“I really hate the Malfoys. Draco Malfoy has been horrible since I knew him—“
“You don’t have to do anything you do not wish,” Artemis assured him. “You are a Fowl.”
Harry laughed happily. “Hyperion Fowl. It might be even more pretentious than Artemis Fowl II.”
“Nearly,” Artemis teased, his fingers skating up Harry’s sides, lightly tickling him.
Shrieking, Harry dove under the covers, Artemis following him with his questing fingers, delighting in the sound of Harry’s happiness. Every time Harry edged away, he would come closer, until he was lying directly on top of him, his hands on Harry’s side, Harry’s head thrust back in breathless laughter, their mouths mere inches from each other.
Artemis stilled, the comforter over their heads trapping their warm breaths, as he stared at Harry’s flushed face. Slowly, Harry calmed, his gasps evening out until his green eyes met Artemis’s mismatched ones in curiosity. Artemis slowly slid his hands up Harry’s sides until one was gently clasping his shoulder and the other cupping his still flushed face. His eyes darted down to the impossibly soft lips and, watching Harry’s every movement, he leaned down and kissed him for the first time.
Harry gasped against his mouth at the sensation, but Artemis didn’t take the kiss further, delighting in the simple sweetness of it, innocent and perfect and just enough, for now. He still had possibly years to wait until Harry was fully his.
When he began to move away, Harry’s arms came up around his neck, keeping him still for several moments before finally releasing him. Harry looked nervously up at him and Artemis gently kissed him again in reassurance before finally rolling away from Harry, the two still under the covers.
“You’re ticklish.” It was an innocuous comment, but it caused Harry to laugh again, his arms coming gently around Artemis’s waist.
“You’re evil,” he responded.
“So they say.”
Their breaths once again evened out, Harry’s head resting lightly on Artemis’s chest, the covers protecting them from the morning sun.
“Tell me of Malfoy,” Artemis said after a time. “Krum mentioned him when I first dreamt of you—he seems—important somehow.”
“More than suddenly being my cousin? He’s worse than Dudley!”
Dudley, Artemis supposed, must have been Harry’s cousin before. It bore further study and research.
“Draco Malfoy was the first wizarding child I met—back on my eleventh birthday. He insulted Hagrid, my first friend, and then when he found out who I was on the train, he told me that Ron Weasley, my second friend, was the wrong sort and I should watch out. We’ve hated each other ever since.”
“Ron is Fred’s younger brother, and Ginny is their younger sister,” Artemis supplied, filling in the pieces.
“And what is he like?” Artemis’s mind stretched back to his second dream of Albus and the others in the strange, magical office. Minerva had mentioned a falling out between a Mr. Weasley and Harry, and it was most likely the same one.
“He’s—“ A cloud passed over Harry’s eyes. “We haven’t been friends for a long time,” he admitted. “He’s a prat.”
Artemis threaded his hand through Harry’s auburn hair, once again mesmerized by how the shadows played against it. “And he was being a prat when you left.”
“Yes,” Harry muttered softly and Artemis angled his head up so he could plant a soft kiss against Harry’s waiting lips. His mouth was intoxicatingly sweet, and now that Artemis had tasted it, he wasn’t certain that he would ever be able to stop. Harry sighed in contentment. “There was a tournament—a dangerous one. People used to die before it was disbanded and my name was entered. I’m too young and I didn’t do it—and Ron thought I had and that I hadn’t told him how. Everyone thought I’d done it and they were forcing me to compete. I didn’t do it—and there was a dragon.”
Artemis pulled Harry closer and buried his face in Harry’s messy red hair.
“She was so beautiful, so majestic. What they were doing for sport was cruel, Artemis. They took a mother with her eggs and tied her down and placed a false egg amongst them, which we had to steal back. When Krum competed the dragon accidentally crushed some of her children—all for sport. People—my former friends, adults, the Minister for Magic—watched as I had to fly on my broom around the dragon’s head, its claws and tails coming at me, and flames. I nearly died a few times and I didn’t want it, Artemis. Then I found out that because I hadn’t placed my name for consideration, I wasn’t legally or magically obligated to do so.”
He breathed out shakily.
“It’s over, all over,” Artemis assured him.
“My headmaster didn’t even protect me. I’m an orphan and was raised by Muggles, knowing nothing of magic. He knew, of course he knew, and still he forced me to compete. I was just a pawn for something—I don’t know what—but I’ve seen the way he’s looked at me over the past few years. The things he’s made me do—I—I just want to know why.“
Artemis growled low in his throat at the injustice and pulled away so he could look down into Harry’s green eyes. “We will find out why,” he swore, “and have vengeance if that is what you desire. I swear to you, Harry.”
Tears were gathering in the corner of Harry’s eyes, which made Artemis’s heart break a little more.
“I’m Artemis Fowl the Second. There’s rarely something I can’t do once I set my mind to it.”