Harry, it seemed, had never been on a Muggle plane before. The jet was small, private, and Harry had spent the entire trip with his face plastered to the window, looking out over the dark ocean beneath them. Artemis was more than content to just sit back and watch him.
With a swift word to Butler and Juliet, all of Harry’s belongings had been packed up along with the majority of his winter wardrobe, and he’d said a stiff farewell to his parents while Harry was waiting obliviously by the car. He wasn’t going to bring Harry back to Fowl Manor until both his mother and his father could accept his decisions and so, perhaps like a petulant and self-righteous child who hadn’t gotten a cookie after supper, Artemis was leaving for at least a year and taking Harry with him.
Butler, it appeared, despite his unwavering devotion, was unhappy and wasn’t talking to him, which didn’t bother Artemis as he’d much rather be fiddling with a new piece of fairy technology or staring at Harry’s wide eyed wonder instead. He found himself doing more of the latter and less of the former.
It was surreal, walking through the barrier between platforms nine and ten at King’s Cross Station. The platform was deserted of the usual students and Harry’s hand was tightly clasped in his own, their large amounts of luggage (as Artemis said that they weren’t going to travel lightly and should expect anything and Harry, with a quirk of his lips and a confused turn to his eyebrows, agreed as there was really no reason to argue about it) on trolleys before them. Butler had been left in the main station and told to be there in exactly one week.
Harry used magic to lift the trunks and valises onto the train and, after choosing two compartments at random (one for their trunks and another for themselves), the train had sounded and slowly begun its early morning journey up to Scotland.
“When will we be arriving?” Artemis asked as Harry lay down, his head in Artemis’s lap.
Harry looked at his watch and groaned at the ungodly hour of seven in the morning. “Lunch probably. A late lunch. Why did we have to leave at three in the morning again?” he griped before sighing as Artemis’s long fingers instantly began to run through his hair.
“We could leave whenever we wanted and I thought you might want time to orient yourself before we meet Draco.”
“Yes, well, they’re all bound to dislike me. I was raised by Muggles.”
“Trust me,” Artemis soothed, “that won’t be the case. The Malfoys want to meet you and your blood is what they care about.”
Harry laughed quietly. “I dreamt I was a half-blood once. Isn’t that strange?” His large green eyes flicked up and met Artemis’s.
“Yes,” he conceded, a half-smile on his lips. “Yes, very strange.” The transformation, then, had already begun.
“What do you know about them? From your dreams? I only knew them once—and I was different somehow then.” His face scrunched up cutely in confusion and Artemis leaned down and kissed away the small pout on his lips.
“Well,” he began as if he were telling a small child a story and continued to stroke Harry’s hair, allowing the multi-tinted strands to run through his fingers. “Mrs. Malfoy is a beautiful woman. She wants you to have a proper introduction to the family and she believes, most likely perceptively, that your uncle wouldn’t give it to you if he took an interest to you.”
“He doesn’t?” Harry’s voice was small and hurt. “That is, take an interest?”
Artemis ran his thumb soothingly down Harry’s cheek before it rested on his pink lips, caressing them in a light hand-kiss. “He was in prison, remember?”
Harry nodded, the thumb slipping sensually past his lips and Artemis had to stifle his reaction to the sight. “It has affected his mind, his reason—and he was disinherited from the family which you are now the head of.”
Artemis gently pulled his thumb away and leaned over to kiss Harry deeply. “They’ll love you and want you—your family,” he assured Harry. “How could they not?”
The kiss deepened, Harry’s tongue tentatively breaching his lips, seeking affection and reassurance, and Artemis sucked on it lightly, eliciting a gasp from his twin flame. Harry reached up, entwining his hand with the black strands of Artemis’s hair, pulling him closer as their bodies arched toward each other, each wanting the comfort that they were together and nothing was going to alter that.
Finally pulling away, a small smile graced Harry’s lips. “I love you. Remember when I kissed you on this train?”
Artemis shook with a husky chuckle. “How could I forget? It completely took me by surprise and then Lupin wanted to put me in detention for forcing myself on you.”
“I was watched like a hawk after that, but I never really trusted him enough to let him close after what you told me. He knew Regulus?”
“He knew James Potter,” Artemis corrected and Harry nodded, clearly lost in thought.
“I know nothing of my father or my mother,” he admitted, lying down on Artemis’s lap again. “Just names that Griphook told me. Before that, not even that. It’s ironic, don’t you think? I’m wealthy, from an old powerful family, and I was left to rot in obscurity.”
“You could never be obscure to me, little wizard,” he teased.
“I am not,” Harry laughed and Artemis clutched him closely as Harry just chuckled in mirth at the nickname. “What should I call you?” he finally questioned, pressing his hands on either side of Artemis’s thin face. Harry stared into his eyes and then kissed him gently, Artemis melting into the kiss. “Changeling, perhaps, for your eyes?” He squinted into them more closely. “I love your strange eyes. You’re not quite human because of them.”
“No, I suppose not,” Artemis agreed as he grasped the back of Harry’s neck and brought him closer so he could trail light kisses on his face.
“Changeling, then. My changeling. I will quietly use the phrase around my family so that they won’t suspect you’re a Muggle.”
“Are you attempting to pass me off as something I’m not?”
“I’m only telling the truth. You’re not a common Muggle and instead of going through long-winded explanations that belong to only the two of us,” he kissed Artemis lightly again, “I am simply revealing that your biology isn’t quite human.”
“Well, the hat wanted to place me in Slytherin,” Harry confided, although Artemis didn’t understand the reference. He assumed it had to do with the wizarding world in some capacity. He still had so much to learn.
“Harry,” Artemis said after a short while. His back was now resting against the window and Harry was lying casually between his arms. Soon they would go find the picnic basket Butler had packed for them and which Harry had cast several preservation charms on so they could have their late breakfast. “I’ve been curious about a certain aspect of wizarding culture.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
Their left hands were pressed palm to palm and Harry was comparing them studiously, making Artemis content.
“There are fairies,” he began, “and I’ve been suspecting that sometimes they intermarry or at least have children with wizards. How is this seen, especially when there is such an emphasis on blood purity?”
Harry stilled. “I don’t know. It does happen, of course. Fleur Delacour, the Beauxbatons Champion, is a quarter Veela.”
Artemis tightened his grip at the familiar unknown term.
“They’re beautiful women who can entrance straight men, but they turn into harpies when angry. Stay away, trust me. It was entertaining to watch the referee at the World Cup come under their spell, though.—I also think Hagrid is part giant.”
Artemis hummed thoughtfully.
“Why do you ask?” Harry’s tone was light and casual, and yet Artemis hesitated, not certain how much he should say.
When Harry turned toward him with a question in his eyes, though, he took a deep breath.
“Have you ever noticed, Harry, that certain aspects of your—person—aren’t quite human?”
His eyes squinted together. “What do you mean? I’m perfectly human.”
“I’m not saying you aren’t human. I’m just saying that I’ve noticed you share certain similarities with fairies.”
“I’ve never seen a fairy,” Harry replied, turning back around, “so I wouldn’t know. What, then, made you wonder this?”
“Your hair. It’s not a human shade and a potion made to simply change your hair color would make it look, well, normal, not this myriad of colors. It’s a deep auburn with gold, gold-red, and ginger highlights and sometimes there are strands of a shining black.”
Harry was silent, his head bent down. “Anything else?” he finally asked, his voice small.
“Your ears,” Artemis whispered, bringing a long finger to the shell of one of Harry’s perfect ears. “They’re not rounded like a human’s and they’re almost pointed. They’re just observations,” he tried to sooth and Harry leaned back against him.
“I’ve noticed them, too. My ears when I was a child and an orphan. My hair—well—not until recently.”
“Of course,” Artemis supplied, holding him closely. “Perhaps the trait becomes more visible as you near adulthood.” He wasn’t certain if Harry even remembered the potion in vivid enough detail to realize it was a true memory.
“Yes, that must be it,” Harry said as if relieved by the explanation. “I dreamt that when I was a child, I had black hair.”
“The Blacks seem to have that color hair, except for Narcissa Malfoy. They must have both in their gene pool—and now they have ginger added into the mix.”
Harry smiled up at him. “I suppose we’re both changelings then.”
Artemis chuckled lightly. “Yes, I suppose we are.”
It turned out that they didn’t need to get their prepared luncheon as a lady with a trolley came by about half past nine, with steaming croissants and coffee, courtesy of the Malfoys.
“It’s not our usual fare,” she admitted, setting out everything for them, “but Mrs. Malfoy insisted that it was important. Foreign delegation, then, for the Tournament?”
Harry smiled up at her. “Not quite. We’re Irish and I’m going to meet my family.”
“Hyperion is an orphan and Mrs. Malfoy is his cousin. She thought he might enjoy the Second Task so he wasn’t overwhelmed with new relatives all at once.”
“Oh, how lovely,” she said, beaming. “Will you be wanting a copy of the Daily Prophet, then? We have one up with the conductor.”
“Yes, please,” Harry responded as he quickly swallowed his coffee.
The old witch bustled out and then, five minutes later, came back in with two crisp copies. “I’ll be back in half an hour for the tray. I’m up with the conductor if you are needing anything else, young sirs.”
She courtesied and then left.
“I think the Malfoys must be rather wealthy,” Artemis said, having suspected as such already from the parchment of the letters and how they had been dressed.
“The richest, easily, in Magical Great Britain,” Harry said taking his copy of the Prophet. “Oh, look, I’m still missing and there’s a nationwide search for me.”
Artemis peered over his shoulder and saw the large headline: Boy Who Lived Still Missing. A black and white photograph of a younger Harry, with black hair, angry scar, and spectacles was staring back at him. “You don’t look happy in that picture.”
“No,” he agreed. “Colin Creevey followed me around with his camera and kept on taking pictures when I least expected them. I think I was coming into the Great Hall for breakfast or something in this one.” He inspected it closely before tossing it away.
Artemis glanced at it again and then picked it up, skimming it. “You’ve been spotted in Godric’s Hollow where James and Lily Potter lived. Another young witch says you ran away to elope with her although you’re only fourteen. It’s true love, according to her. Does the name Penelope Clearwater mean anything to you?”
Harry looked up, startled. “She’s Percy Weasley’s girlfriend and she graduated.”
“I think they’ve broken up as it’s, as I said, true love.”
Harry grabbed the paper and lightly hit him over the head with it. “I’m already engaged,” he said firmly before turning back to his croissant and clotted cream.
It was a gray February afternoon when the Hogwarts Express finally arrived in Hogsmeade. “Take what you want. Everything else will be brought up to our rooms.”
Artemis shrugged and grabbed Harry’s hand after he helped him into his fur-lined winter coat. He was holding a bag that contained his c-cube and other supernatural technology. He didn’t care how trustworthy whoever it was who carried their luggage. Artemis wouldn’t let it fall into the wrong hands.
Hogsmeade was a quiet village though, once they were off the train, people started to come out to look at the new arrivals. Harry blushed a little at all of the attention and hid his face in his scarf, but Artemis just laughed and pulled him toward the large castle.
“Why is it in ruins?” Artemis finally asked when they were nearing it and Harry looked up at him, startled.
“Anti-Muggle charms, probably,” he murmured and took out his wand, waving it in front of Artemis’s face. “Did that work?”
Artemis blinked and looked around him again, only seeing ruins and large signs telling him how dangerous it was. He also had the strange feeling that he should be somewhere else and that it was important, but he fought the sensation and clasped Harry’s hand tighter. “No, unfortunately.”
“Right,” Harry murmured and stood for a few moments, thinking, before he cast something on himself and then leaned up to kiss Artemis deeply.
He was instantly lost to the sensation of cold lips moving against his and a tongue gently stroking his own. Harry leaned up and gripped his shoulder almost painfully as he drew him down, his tongue now slicing through Artemis’s mouth before he gently coaxed Artemis’s own tongue past his lips.
A mewl escaped Harry’s throat and Artemis instantly swallowed it, pulling Harry closer so that the younger boy almost had to stand up on his toes to reach Artemis’s claiming lips.
Carefully, Harry drew away, his eyes still closed as he took in a large breath. “Now?” he whispered and Artemis glanced over his shoulder and in place of the decaying ruins, he now saw the splendid castle from his dreams.
He smiled and kissed Harry gently. “I can see it,” he murmured.
“I think it’s lunch time,” Harry commented as he led Artemis up the large stone steps. The great wooden doors easily swung open at Harry’s touch, and Artemis found himself glancing around at the suits of armor and the floating torches as Harry led him onward. “Yes, it’s luncheon,” he murmured as they came to another set of doors that were swung wide open. Chatter could easily be heard although Artemis couldn’t see in.
Harry breathed in deeply.
“You can do this,” Artemis assured him. “I’m here.”
“We’re dressed as Muggles,” Harry said, almost seeming to have just realized this fact.
“And wizards wear—“
“Robes. They wear robes.” Harry swallowed nervously.
“Well, I’m a changeling and I prefer Muggle clothing and it would have been inappropriate to wear robes on a Muggle plane and in a Muggle train station.”
Harry laughed. “I doubt they would have looked twice as you’re Artemis Fowl the Second. Your reputation, I gather, is more fearsome than your father’s.”
“And you’re Hyperion Black. Nephew of the infamous Sirius Black, and cousin to the Malfoys—I don’t think anyone will question the fact that you’re wearing an outfit that costs several thousand euro even if they consider the people who designed it inferior on the basis of magical prowess.”
Someone gasped behind them and Artemis turned imperiously to see a girl about Harry’s age with a pug-face. “I’ll get Draco for you,” she said quietly before she hurried into the Great Hall quickly, glancing back over her shoulder at them.
“Who was that?”
“Parkinson,” Harry supplied. “She’s in Malfoy’s—Draco’s year.”
Artemis carefully removed his gloves and slipped them into his pocket. “I guess we wait.”
Harry glanced at him peevishly. “Why is Uncle Sirius infamous—what do you know that I don’t?”
He glanced down at his hands and cleared his throat. “He might have been recently cleared of all charges in early December,” he murmured.
Harry’s green eyes widened. “And he didn’t write me?”
A murmur could be heard near them but they were now staring only at each other.
“You dreamt it,” Harry said forcefully. “I know you saw it—tell me what he said.”
Slightly aware of his surroundings, Artemis grasped Harry’s hands. “Hyperion, you don’t want to know.”
“Yes. I do. He was my father’s brother. What did he say? Artemis, please.”
“He—doubts your legitimacy,” Artemis said quietly, “and condemned you and his brother to Hell. He doesn’t recognize you, or Regulus.”
Harry breathed in through his nostrils painfully. “He is just like them then—with the cupboard.”
Artemis sighed and knew he was speaking of Lily Potter’s Muggle relatives. “He, however, will leave you alone, and you will never have to see him if you don’t want to,” he promised. “And we’ll go off to Morocco and annoy the LEPrecon and go and steal Foaly’s new devices.”
Harry looked at him strangely.
“Crazed centaur, don’t ask. If you see him, don’t be surprised if he’s wearing an odd tinfoil hat to keep out harmful magical radiation. Brilliant though. He invented most of what I have.”
“Then you took them apart and rebuilt them, improving them and never told a soul.” Artemis looked at him in surprise. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing when I’m studying spells, just because we’re on different sides of the room.”
“You’re too observant,” he mock-chided.
“I’m your fiancé and you were my very first friend. You do realize that you never officially asked me. You just assumed we would be getting married and then gave me your family ring and started telling everyone I was a Fowl.”
“You are a Fowl. The rest is merely a formality.”
“Of course,” Harry laughed. “Now where did she go?” He turned and saw, along with Artemis, Draco Malfoy who was standing a short way off with a band of curious students around him. “Oh. That wasn’t completely private, was it, Artemis?”
He didn’t really see a need to answer.
“Cousin Hyperion,” Draco drawled, approaching them with a small smile on his face. “Welcome. I wasn’t expecting you for a few hours yet.”
“Artemis insisted on an early start,” Harry confided, casting a glance at Artemis. “We left Ireland at three o’clock this morning.”
Draco’s gray gaze flickered to Artemis briefly and he inclined his head. He clearly felt a little out of his element, especially perhaps given the nature of the conversation he had overheard. “Would you care for some lunch or would you like to retire?”
“Lunch, thanks,” Harry said quietly and took Artemis’s hand. “I was surprised to learn I had a cousin my age.”
“So was I,” Draco admitted. “Happy as well. I don’t really have any other cousins.”
“None at all?”
“Father is an only child,” Draco said as they approached one of the long tables and indicated that they should take two of the vacant seats as he sat down across from them. “Mother has two sisters. One never had children and the other, well.”
“Mrs. Tonks,” Artemis suggested. He remembered his earlier vision of Mrs. Tonks and her daughter who was a few years older than himself.
“Yes. She was disinherited.”
“There seems to be an awful lot of disinheriting. Is it common?” Harry asked, his eyes wide and innocent as if he genuinely wanted to know, which perhaps he did.
“There was a bit more than usual last generation,” Draco finally admitted. His eyes were trained on Harry’s face, taking in his every feature, from the inhuman auburn hair, to the unrounded ears and the bright green eyes. “Have you seen the family tree?”
“Yes. Gringotts kindly provided me with one.”
“Well, welcome to Hogwarts, Cousin Hyperion,” Draco said as fresh plates appeared before Artemis and Harry, whose seats had been devoid of silverware, most likely because Draco had forced whoever had been sitting there to move. “And, forgive me, but I didn’t catch you full name,” he added to Artemis.
“Artemis Fowl the Second,” he responded, serving himself what looked like steak pie, “Hyperion’s fiancé.”
Draco swallowed from his goblet slowly. “Would you be the same Artemis Fowl who successfully captured a member of LEPrecon?” His tone was level and gave nothing away of what he thought about the situation.
“You captured her? You told me she helped you willingly.” Harry’s eyes were a burning green.
“Your cousin is referring to an incident when I was twelve,” he responded, “although I did capture Holly in December to better persuade her that it would be in her best interests to help.”
“Would you prefer I had waited?”
Harry immediately deflated. “Please tell me you released her.”
“Of course. I couldn’t have a fairy in the house with my brothers and father, could I?”
Draco’s eyes had narrowed shrewdly and he was regarding them carefully over his goblet. Before he could say anything, however, a large hand landed on his shoulder and Artemis looked up to see Krum staring down at his boyfriend. “Dra-co,” he said, giving the name a Bulgarian accent, making the “a” short.
“Viktor,” he replied, his gray eyes instantly softening. “My cousin and his fiancé have arrived.” He tilted his head toward Harry and Artemis and Krum’s eyes instantly followed them, his face briefly registering surprise when it lingered on Harry.
“Hyperion, my boyfriend, Viktor Krum, the Durmstrang Champion and Bulgarian Seeker. Viktor, Hyperion Jacques Black and Artemis Fowl the Second.”
“It is being a pleasure,” he said, taking the seat that had been conveniently left open beside Draco. “We haff been much looking forward to meeting you.” His gaze lingered a moment too long on Harry’s smooth forehead before he turned to Draco, smiling.
“You have an English accent,” Draco said suddenly in realization. “We thought you lived in France.”
“No, I’ve never been to France. Mother died in Ireland and that’s where I was raised.”
“Why aren’t you at Hogwarts then?” A girl beside Draco asked in curiosity.
Harry blushed. “The orphanage did not allow such things and then, when I met Artemis, I got a private tutor.”
“Orphanage.” Draco’s voice was dull and bleak, his eyes flashing in anger. “You were left in an orphanage.”
“They didn’t know who I was, apart from a name that no one could pronounce. So, yes, an orphanage.”
Draco’s glance flickered to Artemis. “You live with Artemis now?”
Draco looked relieved. “Thank Merlin. A Black shouldn’t be left to rot among Muggles. I’ve never been sure—are you a Muggle?” His tone showed his instant dislike at the thought.
Harry clasped Artemis’s hand. “Look at his eyes. Do they look Muggle to you?” he murmured and Draco leaned forward staring quite openly, his face looking even more pointed to Artemis in that particular attitude.
“That’s not—that’s not possible,” he breathed.
Krum was silent beside him, still quietly regarding Harry. Artemis decided he would have to watch him.
“Clearly it is,” Harry responded casually and began eating his lunch again. A comfortable conversation struck up between the cousins, each glancing at the other when they thought he wasn’t looking, exchanging stories of the Blacks and living amongst Muggles. Artemis watched on as Harry found his place, a vampiric grin breaking out on his lips, which caused Draco—and even the silent Krum—to shiver.