Holly stuck close to Artemis’s side as they made their way to the kitchen, much to Foaly and Mulch’s amusement. He pretended not to notice them.
He opened the kitchen door and then stopped dead in his tracks. “N°1?”
“Artemis,” the little demon greeted cheerfully. His face lit up when he saw Holly beside him. “Holly! You’re back!”
The little demon ran over and embraced her, and Holly stiffened. Who? she mouthed at Artemis.
He leaned over and whispered in her ear, “He’s our friend, Holly. We rescued him not to long ago from a place called Hybras. I’ll explain more later, but for right now just go with it, okay?” She nodded, and hugged the little demon back.
Artemis walked over to join everyone else in the room, who were all watching this exchange silently. “Didn’t remember him, either?” Foaly asked quietly. Artemis shook his head, and Foaly sighed.
“Can you please let go of me now?” Holly asked.
“Oh! Yes, sorry!” He pulled back hastily.
Artemis chuckled softly. “Come sit down, Holly,” he said, pulling back a chair for her. She nodded, coming over and sitting down as he took the seat next to her. The others converged around the table as well.
“So, what’s the game plan?” Butler asked. “Artemis thinks that if we recount everything to Holly, she’ll remember as we go along,” Foaly said. “If his theory is correct, then it should be relatively easy to help her regain her memories.”
“We’re going to try it before we rule it out. But if it doesn’t work, I’m at a loss as to what else to try,” Artemis confessed.
“Maybe if we reenacted some of the more important things, the little details would fill themselves in,” Mulch suggested.
Everybody stared at him for a minute. Then Artemis’s face started to get red.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“What?” he demanded. “I thought it was a pretty good idea.”
“Do you realize how many bad things happened that would fall under the category of important events? The Hamburg incident, the initial kidnaping, the goblin revolution, and almost everything else that’s happened could be considered important things that happened. You want to force her to relive all that?” His face was almost as red as Julius’s.
“I… didn’t think of that,” Mulch admitted. “But what does it matter anyways? She’s going to find out again at sometime or another. Or did you plan to keep it from her forever?”
“Keep what from me?” Holly asked. “Artemis?”
“Wait a second,” N°1 cut in. “Before anyone says or does anything drastic, I want to try something. Perhaps I can help her with my magic.”
He moved forward, pulling up a chair and stepping up next to Holly, standing on it to be level with her. “Close your eyes,” he told her. She complied, and he reached up and touched his fingers to her temples. “Now just relax, and if you feel anything weird, don’t try to fight it. Okay?”
She nodded. “It’s not going to hurt, is it?” she asked quietly.
N°1 shook his head, then remembered she couldn’t see him. “No. It shouldn’t hurt a bit.” Then he closed his eyes and concentrated hard.
For a moment nothing happened. Then suddenly Holly tensed, a small gasp escaping her lips.
“Holly?” Artemis said tentatively, reaching out to touch her shoulder.
The response the elf gave was not one he would have hoped for. She twitched violently, falling off the chair and collapsing in a heap. Artemis dropped and caught her before she could hit the ground. She twitched a few more times before going completely still in his arms.
“Is she okay?” Foaly demanded, looking horrified.
Artemis checked her for a pulse quickly, breathing a sigh of relief when he found it. “Weak, but there,” he confirmed.
The weak pulse beating in her throat was the only sign that she was still alive.