“Holly? Could you meet me at Fowl Manor, Tonight?”
Artemis Fowl looked, for all the world, like a young boy talking on an imaginary phone. His three middle fingers curled in, leaving his thumb and pinky sticking out. He listened for a moment, nodded, and then apparently hung up. He uncurled his fingers and slid a lightly pulsing ruby ring back onto the correct finger. The ring, in fact, was not a ring at all, but a fairy communicator given to him by Captain Holly Short of Section Eight down in Haven.
Butler walked through the dining hall door. He noted Artemis’s stance and asked casually, “Was that Holly?”
Artemis wasn’t surprized that Butler knew. His bodyguard was trained to read body launguage. “Yes. She is coming tonight to discuss some serious buisness. Now. I trust that Mother, Father, and the twins are going to Romania for the month, leaving me to my buisness?”
“Yep. I finally got on the better side of your mother, as she’s been-”
“Worried since I adopted The Atlantic Complex, I know. Holly should be here any minute.” He changed the subject hurriedly. He sat in his favorite chair, surveying the dining hall. He had removed anything that had to do with dead animals, including his father’s old hunting rifle. As he looked around the hall, his fingers began to tap out mulitples of five. Butler noticed.
“Artemis.” Butler drew his charge’s attention to his tapping hand. Artemis tried to stifle the impulse, but in the end he did the only thing he could do- Sit on them. Artemis was still getting over the Fairy disease called the Atlantic Complex. It gave him a multiple personality disorder, and it also had the worst timing of all. This disorder had to come around when the underwater city of Atlantis was being threatened. Butler looked worried, which was incredibly unlike him.
“I’m fine, Butler. It’s just…an impulse. A small, controllable impulse.”
Butler looked as though he wanted to make a comment, but a knock at the window stopped him. Artemis turned to the stained window with a smile, grateful to Holly for stopping the uncomfortable conversation that had been going on. Butler gave Artemis a look that plainly said,” I’m not done with you yet,” and went to open the window.
“Evening, Mudboys. How’ve you been?” Holly flew in, gave Butler a hug, and fluttered to the floor. She looked Artemis in his mismatched eyes for a moment, and then raced over with a hug.
“Holly! Nice to see you too,” Artemis said, grasping her shoulders. “But we have important things to discuss.”
Holly grinned, that regular twinkle in her eyes. “Look’s like you’re recovering well, Arty. You’re turning into the Artemis I know and have, by my disbelief, come to care about. Well, shall we sit?”
Artemis came alive, retorting, “And you are the same old Holly that I remember punching my face. But we have time for jokes later. We have a major problem to the Fairy race.” He gestured to a seat. “Now,” he said, steepling his fingers. “I have come to find that there is yet another threat to the exposure. The worst part of it is, it is not purposeful. A young girl in the United States is exposing us piece by-”
“Us, Artemis? Us?” Panic began to slide over Holly’s elfin face.
“You. The fairies. I am human.” Artemis felt his face go red at his slip up. “Anyway. A young girl in the states is exposing you piece by piece by accident. I did some research on her relatives, and it turns out that she is our sister.”
“Again with the inclusive. Who’s sister is she, your’s or mine?”
“Our’s. Your’s and mine. Your mother, my father. My humanoid looks, your fairy magic. Problem is, she doesn’t know, so it’s our job to inform her.”
Holly paled. “Oh, no. You don’t mean-”
Butler was trained not to show too much emotion, but even he looked pale. “You can’t possibly-“‘
Artemis looked grim. “Yes. Another abduction.”
Holly felt sick to her stomach. “Oh, no. You don’t mean-”
Butler cut in. “You can’t possibly-”
Artemis interuppted. “Yes. Another abduction.”
All three remembered, with a shudder, the last abduction they were involved in, which was the kidnapping of Holly Short during the sacred Ritual.
“Artemis, you can’t be serious,” Holly said, urgency settling in her voice. “Another one? And you said this girl is about, what, twelve? She’ll be torn apart.”
“I won’t do it.” Everyone turned to stare at Butler. It was rare that he turned against Artemis’s orders.
“Listen, you two.” Artemis’s voice was soft, but it had a tone that made both Holly and Butler stop protesting. “I know it’s outragous, but, if you truly think about it, we’re doing her a favor. The United States government is going to figure out that something is wrong with this girl sooner or later-most likely sooner- and then, well, I think we all know what’s going to happen.”
Everyone was silent for a moment. “Fine. For her sake,” Holly mumbled. Butler grudgingly nodded. Artemis fidgeted in his seat uncomfortably.
“Yes. For her sake, as well as everyone else’s.”
Jenna sighed. She hadn’t expected summer to be this boring. Her feet dangled off the edge of her wooden swing. Her dog, Hellhound,