Artemis was quite pleased with himself.  He’d managed with no help from anything except for Harry’s spell books and his wand, to keep his twin flame occupied in their small suite for six days.

“Do you remember,” he asked the morning he was finally dressing Harry so that they could go out of the suite; they’d been lounging in their pajamas as it had only been the two of them and the occasional servant who brought them their meals, “the day you first got on that train—on the magical platform?”

A small smile formed on Harry’s lips.  “You dreamt it,” he breathed, reaching up and kissing the corner of Artemis’s mouth lightly.  “You were my first friend.”

“I’m sorry—I’m sorry I couldn’t stay.”

Harry shook his head, brushing his fringe out of his eyes.   “Why do you think I chose Dublin?  And there you strangely were, although you didn’t seem to remember your promise to me and even asked my name.”

“Well, I remember now,” Artemis breathed.

“How much do you know?” Harry finally asked after Artemis had kissed his lips until they were red and swollen.

“I know about Quirrell, the mirror, how you saw me looking back at you in it.”

Harry hummed happily.  “You’ve haunted my childhood, and yet there you were, in the mirror, looking back at me, loving me.  Was I wrong?”

“Never,” Artemis promised, rubbing their noses together.  “Never about that.”

“Anything else?”

Artemis hesitated, but at the need for answers shining through Harry’s eyes, he continued.  “I saw young Ginny with her diary.  I saw her brother finding it and you reading it, and then later I was with you in the ward as you held the girl’s hand.”

Harry stilled and then looked away.  “That was when I first realized my friendship with Ron wasn’t necessarily two sided.  We were barely speaking a year later and it completely fell apart this autumn,” he clarified.  “With the Triwizard Tournament.  You should take another dose soon—there’s more you need to know.  So much more.”

Artemis ran his long fingers through Harry’s hair and nodded.  He kissed Harry once more, his lips lingering as he breathed in Harry’s scent, before resuming his task. 

“I’m not a child,” Harry insisted, laughing, when Artemis bent to put on Harry’s socks.  “I can dress myself.”

“That is a matter of opinion,” Artemis teased as he slipped the second sock on before reaching for Harry’s shoes, “and I enjoy it.”

Harry wiggled his toes as Artemis began to place the second shoe on. 

Soon they were out the doors of their suite, a smile lighting up Harry’s face as he tweaked Artemis’s ear and then ran down the hall, not waiting to be certain that Artemis was following him.  He’d been cooped up for far too long and Artemis suspected his Quidditch-toned muscles wanted to stretch.

Laughter echoed across the halls and they whipped through them, down several flights of stairs and, Artemis suspected, they were headed for the dining room where they had taken most of their meals since Harry first came to Fowl Manor. 

The doors were hastily slammed open, Artemis a half dozen long strides from his twin flame, when Harry suddenly stopped, Artemis almost running into him.

“Harry, what—?” he began to ask, his hands on Harry’s shoulders in order to catch himself from the near-collision.

Harry, though, didn’t answer and was instead looking straightforward into the room.  Artemis’s gaze followed.

The table sat only eight (one of the smaller tables in Fowl Manor except for those in private suites) and, unfortunately, five of the seats were already taken.  His father was at the head of the table, his gray-black hair visible above the morning newspaper, which was neatly folded back so that he could see all the commotion he and Harry had caused.  Myles was sitting neatly beside him and then Beckett.  His mother sat on his other side, her brown hair loose about her face.  The fifth person, though, was the problem and most likely the reason for Harry’s consternation.  There, next to Angeline Fowl, was Minerva Paradizo, sixteen, beautiful with blonde corkscrew curls, and she was smiling at him.

Artemis wanted to grab Harry’s hand and drag him back to bed.  It was too early for his mother’s manipulations and for Minerva in general. 

“Ah, Artemis, Hyperion,” Mr. Fowl finally said, making escape almost impossible.  “Come in.  We were wondering when you’d make an appearance.”

Hooking an arm possessively around Harry’s waist, Artemis pulled him into the room and saw him attempt a tremulous smile that failed in the tense atmosphere.  He immediately sat himself across from his father and placed Harry next to Beckett, leaving a glaringly empty place between himself and Minerva.  He hoped it stayed that way.

She sniffed at the snub.

“Where have you been, dear?” Angelina said kindly, buttering a scone.  “We’ve been quite worried about you.”  She hadn’t bothered to greet Harry, which made Artemis’s eyes narrow.

The stray thought of answering his mother truthfully and saying that he had been trying to pleasure his fiancé as much as possible with their clothes generally still in tact crossed his mind.  He instantly decided against it, however.  As much as he wanted to shock his mother, he didn’t want it to be at the expense of his twin flame.

He decided not to answer.

“What is Minerva doing here?”

Harry’s head snapped up at the name, his flame-colored fringe falling gracefully into his eyes.  He pushed it hastily away, getting a better look at the girl.

“Your mother invited her,” Mr. Fowl put in, not looking back up from his paper.  “She thinks you might do well together.”

“Yes, well, we won’t,” Artemis said instead, taking Harry’s hand that was resting on the table, playing nervously with his spoon.  “Mother, Hyperion Jacques Black of the House of Fowl, my fiancé for all intents and purposes; Harry, Angeline Fowl.”  He didn’t bother to introduce Minerva.

Angeline Fowl was looking at Harry with a discerning eye.  It was never quite safe when she did that.  “Oh no,” she finally sighed, setting down her napkin prettily by the side of her breakfast plate.  “He isn’t.”

Artemis’s eyes narrowed.  “Isn’t what?”

She glanced at her husband, who was looking at her curiously, and then at the twins.  “Remember that conversation we had, darling?  After you disappeared for three years and then turned up looking not a day older than you had when you left?”

Harry’s fork was fumbled and created a small clinking noise that reverberated through the family dining room.  Beckett was eating his morning oatmeal rather sloppily. 

Artemis remembered the conversation well.  His mother had somehow divined the existence of the other after all the years he had so expertly hidden fairies from her, and demanded he tell her everything.  As much as he loved his mother, it had not been an easy conversation.  She’d managed to drag the story out of him, why he had been gone for so long without a word, why he looked physically fifteen when by all accounts he was eighteen.  He swallowed.  He didn’t like to think about that.  It meant that he was twenty and, to use the common terminology, perving on a fourteen year-old.  Whatever amorality he had practiced since his father’s disappearance and his mother’s subsequent descent into madness after that when he was only a child, he didn’t want to think about his legal age.  It made what they had seem wrong—and it couldn’t possibly be that, not the way Harry’s eyes glittered when Artemis made him laugh, or his sweet gasps as Harry inexpertly kissed him, clumsy, tentative yet wanting, so perfect. 

Looking at his twin flame, Artemis saw him playing with the jam on his bread with a spoon, not really spreading it and not doing much good at all.

He could see where his mother believed that Harry was a fairy.  At first glance, he was undoubtedly human.  Pale, peach-tinted skin, round human eyes, a mop of hair that was a normal color.  If one looked closer however, you could see the pointed ears, so slight, but present, the incandescent myriad of color that was so unnatural in every wisp of his messy hair, the knowledgeable eyes that had seen too much for his age and too much for them to be simply human—almost as if he knew God’s secrets and was no mere mortal.

If Artemis hadn’t been dreaming of wizards for the past few months, he might pass over all these strange characteristics in Harry’s person, and think it was a byproduct to possessing magic—yet he couldn’t.  Harry was other, not fully fairy, but something.  He just wasn’t certain what exactly, and he knew that the thought of being anything but a pureblood (or a half-blood in actuality) had often crossed his mind.

“No,” Artemis quietly answered.  “You’re mistaken, Mother.”

Minerva was looking between the two of them in thinly veiled curiosity.

Myles was inspecting his cut up fruit as if it were a science experiment.

“Simple-toon,” Beckett murmured when Myles picked up a melon-square and tried to throw it at their father.  Artemis privately agreed with him.

Harry, seeing the problem, had reached over and taken the piece of melon from Myles’s sticky fingers before placing it at his mouth, an expectant look in his wide green eyes.  “Swallow,” he whispered and then made chewing motions and “hmm” as if the air he was ‘eating’ were delicious.  Myles, giggling, opened his mouth and did as Harry asked.

Artemis Fowl I was watching the scene covertly behind his paper, a smile tugging at his lips.

“Well,” Angeline said a little angrily.  “What else am I supposed to think?  Look at him!”

Artemis, of course, did just that, lacing his fingers with Harry’s free hand once again.  “I agree, Mother, he’s the most beautiful person I’ve ever laid eyes upon.”  He didn’t let his gaze flicker over to Minerva, who he suspected had a rather put out expression on her normally pretty face.

Harry looked at him.  “Even when I was eleven and had baggy clothes and broken glasses?”

Myles was tugging on the sleeve of his expensive shirt, but Harry didn’t really notice as their eyes met, two green, one a dark blue, and the final one hazel.  Harry was searching for something in his gaze, and Artemis wouldn’t look away until he had found it. 

A smile appeared on Harry’s beautiful face and Artemis leaned forward and gently kissed him, despite their far-too-attentive audience.  “Even then.”

A chink of china reminded Artemis of his family’s—and Minerva’s—presence.  Angeline Fowl was looking confusedly between them.  “You’ve known each other for how long?”

Artemis sat back, his hand never relinquishing Harry’s.  “Three years.”

Mr. Fowl looked at them startled, his eyes narrowing.

“Even when you were missing?” Minerva questioned, her large blue eyes looking imploringly at him.

“Yes and no—it’s difficult to explain, and you really don’t need to know.  Mother, it really is a little impolite to Hyperion that you invite the girl you think I should date over.  I admit I know little of social niceties and interactions, but even I can recognize this as being ill-planned, inconsiderate to both Hyperion and Minerva, and beneath you.”

“Artemis,” she began to scold, but he cut her off.

“I know you like Minerva—she was a comfort to you when I was away, but I’ve known Hyperion for years and I’ve felt strongly for him since the moment I laid eyes on him.  Nothing’s going to change that, Mother.  We’re engaged.”

“Where are his parents?” Angeline asked, voice slightly stiff.  “He doesn’t look old enough to be engaged—and you can’t be.  I’m sorry, darling, but this is a Catholic nation and it’s just—what would your confessor say?”

There it was.  Artemis had been wondering when religion would come up. 

“Dead,” Harry said lightly, interrupting Artemis’s thoughts and answering the first question.  “I actually don’t know how Father died,” he mused, most likely turning his mind to the little they knew of Regulus Black.  “He and Mum were secretly married and she was killed in an accident near Cork, which is how I came to live in this lovely country.”

Artemis detected more than an ounce of sarcasm.  He never knew Harry became sarcastic when angered.  He rather liked it, unlike Holly’s version of dry wit.

“How horrible,” Angeline said, though it sounded like she only partially meant it.

“Yes, well, that’s what happens during political uprisings.  People tend to get secretly married and then die, leaving behind very wealthy children in orphanages.  Is there any apricot jam?”  He looked about, a small smile on his face.

Artemis leaned over and gently kissed him, silencing his mother for the rest of breakfast, though Minerva wouldn’t stop looking between them as if they were a puzzle to work out. 

They didn’t stay much longer once they had finished their meals. 

“Where would you like to go?” Artemis asked, their hands entwined as they walked through one of the larger portrait galleries.  “Once we see the Malfoys in Scotland—we could go anywhere.”

Anywhere anywhere?” Harry teased, his large eyes wide.  “Atlantis then.”

Artemis paused.  “Anywhere plausible.”

Harry pulled him down for a deep kiss in response.

A book was in his hands as he sat up in bed when Artemis entered later that evening, a glass of chilled prune juice in his hands.  Harry looked so content, wearing his cotton pajamas that he insisted on getting even though Artemis had already ordered him six silk pairs, which he rarely wore.  “It’s too cold,” Harry had complained, “and I like cotton.” 

“What are you reading?” Artemis inquired as he set down the glass and took out another vial of shimmering fairy dust.  He was not looking forward to the latest concoction.

Titus Groan,” Harry replied, showing him the cover.  “It’s rather interesting.”

“Hmm,” Artemis said, sealing his words with a kiss. 

After Harry had finished his chapter and turned out the lights, Artemis sat in the shadows and just stared at the glowing vial, wondering what new revelations it might bring. 

There was nothing for it.  Carefully, he poured exactly half in and watched as the prune-colored mess gurgled and then, surprisingly, became completely clear, almost as if there wasn’t any liquid in the glass at all.  He stared at it.  Whatever he had been expecting—and Artemis had learned not to expect anything remotely rational when it came to fairy dust—it had not been that. 

Carefully, he lifted the glass to his lips and drank.  It was so cold that he could feel his tongue begin to freeze, with an acid over-taste that made his gag reflex try and reject the substance that was more like dry ice before it ever reached his throat.  Grabbing at the headboard painfully, he threw back his head and forced the horrible, cruel, ice-water-prune-juice-acid down his throat and tried to breathe as a terrible frozen ache seared through his chest into his belly and then settled in his kneecaps.  He wondered if Holly was actually trying to torture him by giving him the dust. 

Painfully, he lay on his back, not even forcing himself to get under the covers and, with labored and sharp, painful movements, poured the remaining dust on his eyes, burning them with the dust’s sudden heat against his frozen skin.

It was worth it, he reminded himself mentally.  Harry was worth every amount of pain—and then, painfully, sleep took him and he knew no more.

The day was gray and foggy, Artemis noticed, as he stood on the magical platform once again.  A boy with golden-blond hair and black as night eyes was staring at him peculiarly before he looked past him to someone over his shoulder.

Artemis quickly moved away. 

As he weaved through the smoke, he saw a large group of redheads had just entered the platform, all shouting loudly to each other, and one small boy off to the side, with black hair and horn-rimmed glasses.  If Artemis had to guess, he would say that Harry was about thirteen—a year before they had met in Dublin.

Artemis smiled.

“Harry,” he whispered quietly when the boy passed, and Harry paused, almost as if he heard it and looked around again.  When their eyes met, Harry smiled and quickly left the group, coming to stand before Artemis.

“Hello,” he said shyly and Artemis ruffled his hair affectionately, a thumb tracing his scar.

“Does it hurt?” he asked worriedly, but Harry shook his head. 

“Never.  It’s supposed to be cursed, but it does nothing really, just looks ugly.”

“It’s not ugly,” Artemis whispered, drawing his hand away.  “I just don’t like seeing you hurt.”

With a blink of an eye, Harry was gone.  Artemis stood alone on the platform, the steam engine still gleaming in the unnatural glow of the lamplight.  He frowned.  He hadn’t even felt a pull to call him somewhere else, to another time. 

An imp was standing on the other end of the platform, with chunky blue scales and small horns.  It cocked its head at Artemis as if examining him.

“You are out of time,” he murmured, and with a flicker he was gone.

Artemis shook himself.

“Are you all right?” Harry’s quiet voice asked, and Artemis noticed that everything was back as it was again.

“Yes, of course,” he replied hurriedly, gaining a half-smile from his twin flame.  “Let me get your trunk for you.”

They had been talking so long that all of the compartments were already full, Hermione and Ron Weasley having one for themselves.  Harry quickly looked in before sprinting past again.  Artemis smirked when he saw just who he was running from.

“It’s been horrible,” he confided when they finally found a compartment that had only a sleeping professor in it—at least, Artemis thought he was a professor.  Lupin, he surmised.  “I blew up my aunt and ran off to the Leaky Cauldron—er—you do know what the Leaky Cauldron is, right?”

Artemis looked blankly at him.

“Wizard pub in London,” Harry said, sighing.  “Anyway, the Weasleys descended.  I can’t bear being around Ginny anymore after, well, everything.  Or Ron, really.  What’s the point?—When will I see you again?”

“I’m not really certain, but I’ll see you in Dublin soon,” Artemis mused, thinking of the older Harry who was sleeping beside him.

When?” Harry pressed, pushing his glasses up his face. 

“When,” Artemis paused and then leaned forward.  “When your hair is no longer black,” he murmured into Harry’s ear.  “I’ll be waiting for you.”

Harry was smiling brilliantly at him, and impulsively leaned forward and kissed Artemis clumsily, his hand resting on his shoulder so that he couldn’t quite pull away.  “Sorry,” he murmured, blushing and looking away. 

A voice cleared in the small compartment, and Artemis looked to see amber eyes glaring at him accusingly. 

“Detention, I think,” Lupin was saying to Artemis, “for taking advantage of a younger student.”

He sighed, not bothering to explain that he wasn’t a student and wasn’t going to be there much longer anyway.

“Are you all right, Mr. Potter?” Lupin continued, looking down at the boy who had been his best friend’s son, a child he hadn’t seen in twelve years and had abandoned.  Artemis truly hated him at that moment.  

Harry’s face blanched and he glanced up at Artemis, his eyes begging him to tell him what to do or say. 

Artemis smiled.  “Remus Lupin,” he told Harry coldly.  “He was a close friend of your father’s, but he wasn’t going to tell you that at all—because friendship doesn’t mean anything.”  He knew it was cruel as he saw the man flinch out of the corner of his eye, but Artemis didn’t really care.  All he could see was this man’s unwanted interference, clear manipulation when Harry had kissed him, and abandonment.  He would protect Harry from anything, including the werewolf that sat across from them. 

“Oh,” Harry breathed out, his eyes wide and wondering. 

“Who are you?” Lupin demanded and Artemis gifted him with a slow, malicious grin. 

“Nobody, nobody at all,” and then the world went cold, pain searing through Artemis’s body.

He wasn’t on the train anymore but somewhere else, a tunnel of some sort.

“You could come and live with me,” a voice, raspy, was saying.  “Unless you prefer to stay with your aunt.”

Artemis glinted through the darkness, and made out a procession of sorts going through the tunnel.  Harry was near the back with a man—a man with dirty hair and grime covering his face.  Artemis instantly hated the wild look in his eyes and the possessive gleam to his smile when he looked down at his twin flame.

Harry was shifting uncomfortably.  It must have been a good six months since they had last seen each other, spoken on the train that took him to Hogwarts.  He could tell by the one and a half inches Harry appeared to have grown, if by nothing else. 

He sighed.  Harry was almost his.  Just a few short months before they would meet.

“You’re my godfather,” Harry said instead, not answering the question. 

Godfather—Sirius Black—Hyperion’s uncle.  His throat constricted.  Harry had been sparse on details when it came to this man—had said next to nothing really, and Artemis found himself falling into step beside Harry, hoping that no one would be able to sense him.

A small hand reached out and entwined their fingers, and Artemis looked down, startled, and saw Harry’s tentative glance toward him. 

He squeezed his fingers to show Harry he was there.

“Yes,” Sirius was now saying.  “Your parents—they wanted me to look after you if something had happened—like it did.”

Harry paused, stunned, but Artemis gently pulled him forward.  “When were you arrested?”

“The Second of November, 1981,” Sirius responded darkly.

“And my parents were murdered on Hallowe’en.”  He said it so quietly, little more than a whisper, that Artemis almost didn’t hear him.  The small hand in his own was now shivering and began to sweat, signaling Harry’s distress, and Artemis pulled him closer, wrapping an arm firmly around the boy who held his heart. 

Sirius’s eyes snapped toward them, focusing on Harry.  “What does that matter?”

“It matters,” Harry answered, his voice rising slightly in anger, “that there were two days between when my parents were killed and when you were arrested.  Two whole days, and you never claimed custody of me.”


“—is a fool who thinks that his dark lord is still alive and manipulates everyone around him.”

Someone ahead of them gasped at his words.  Artemis didn’t bother to look.  He was holding a trembling Harry in his arms. 

“Just—Harry, please,” Sirius was pleading, but Harry backed away from him.

“I’m glad you’re innocent.  No one should be falsely accused of murder—trust me, after last year and Ron’s sister’s stunt, I know.”  His voice was dark and pained, and Artemis could hear the betrayal in it.  Harry must have been the one accused before Ginny was caught, somehow, Artemis thought, and he despised anyone who made Harry feel that particular pain.  “But I’d rather live with Muggles who make me sleep in a cupboard than with someone who would cast their godson off when he was a baby.  At least they took me in, gave me their leftovers, and made sure I didn’t freeze in winter, which is a lot more than you can say, Sirius Black.”

The two wizards stared at each other, Harry barely coming up to Sirius Black’s chin, both locked in a battle of wills.

“Harry,” a girl said, approaching them.  “Who’s that, standing behind you?”

Sirius’s eyes flicked up and settled on Artemis’s shadowed form, squinting, not really seeing, and he quickly leveled at his wand near Artemis’s face.  “Show yourself,” he demanded, and Artemis squeezed Harry’s shoulders lovingly. 

His hands began to cramp with unbearable cold, and Artemis was pulled away, his shade disappearing from that tunnel beneath the ground, deeper and deeper into memories until he felt like he was drowning in the agony.

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