So, why is Artemis still at St. Barleby's anyway?
Summary: So, why is Artemis still at Saint Bartleby's anyway?
Disclaimer: These things don't DO anything, you know, so... Colfer, if you want to send me a cease and desist letter, go ahead. I don't think you do, though. Not making any money of this.
Feedback: Appreciated, especially if it's of the constructive criticism variety ^.^
A/N: Yay for unrealistic character studies!
The class finishes with the usually noises actions one would expect from such a thing: the pushing back of chairs, the collection of bags and books.
The boys- all twenty eight of them- make their way to the door, with a fair bit of pushing and shoving. This was the last period before lunch, and as the cafeteria has something of a 'first come, first serve' policy, there's always a rush.
There is one boy, however, who doesn't hurry. Something like that is far to undignified. He makes his way leisurely, as if the whole world would simply hold up for him.
"Fowl," you call, imperiously. "Stay here, please."
He gives you a look. Those cold blue eyes do seems like they could freeze things, if he wanted them to. He stops, without any signs of the usually rebellious teenaged melodrama, but somehow with an air more insubordinate than anything the former could accomplish.
The rest of the class files out. There are no smart comments. The rest of them are all to scared- and just plain confused- by Artemis to do such a thing. Most of them have never encountered a person like him before, and probably never will again. You think this is probably for the best.
"Artemis," you say, inclining your head, when everyone else has left.
"Sir," he says, his voice laced with haughtiness.
"Please sit down," you say, gesturing with a hand. The boy does so, arrogance present in his every movement.
"Now," you say softly, "tell me the truth. Why are you here?"
The boy blinks. The question has clearly thrown him off guard.
"Why?" he drawls after a moment. "To gain a good education at one of Ireland's more prestigious boarding schools, of course."
"Of course." You smile tightly. "The problem is, Artemis, you and I both know that that isn't true."
He's surprised again, but hides it better this time. "Not true? I assure you-"
"You don't need an education. Not anymore."
He looks at you, head cocked to one side, eyes calculating. "Continue," is all he says.
"You should be in university, Artemis, not school. You should be finished university. You are bored, here. Incredibly bored. Your mind isn't challenged, and it makes you frustrated."
Those bright blue eyes never leave your face.
"So the question remains: why are you here?"
The question might have been directed at him, but you answer it anyway.
"I expect it was your parents doing. I cannot imagine how anyone could be so foolhardy."
He frowns at that. Which, you suppose, it probably a good thing. He cares about people; enough so that he is insulted when they are.
"Do not deny it, Artemis. How could you have a place in normal school? How could anyone expect you to?"
He grimaces. "My mother," he says delicately, "wishes for me to be normal."
"As do all mothers," you reply. "The problem, Artemis, lies in the fact that you are obviously not normal. There is nothing wrong with being different- in your case, it is a gift- but it will make your life difficult. Your mother, in her rush to go on pretending, has, I think, overlooked what is best for you."
"She is-" he begins slowly. "I do not wish to cause her unnecessary grief."
Because, you realize, emotionally, he is still very much a child.
"It's she who is at fault, Artemis," you say softly. "Not you."
He looks ready to leave then. You hold up a hand, and he hesitates.
"She may have also wanted you to make friends."
"Yes," he says, rather grimly.
"You do need friends, I suppose. But here is certainly not the place to find them. Out there," you gesture with your hand, indicating the world beyond, "are adults- intelligent adults- whom with you could most certainly socialize with, at the least. They would understand you. Of course, you will miss some things- emotionally, they are not at the same level as you- but intellectually, they are your equals. That it the important thing. Either way, it's better than nothing, which is what you will have if you stay here."
"Mmmm," he says thoughtfully.
"Your mother," you say, and he tenses, eyes turning cold. You pause, and reconsider. "Are there... communication issues between you and your parents?"
"Why do you ask?" he questions coldly.
"Why else would you have agreed to come here?" But you realize the answer before you finish the question. Of course, like every child, Artemis Fowl wants to make his parents proud.
"They would, I think, be more proud of you if you... I don't know... became a doctor before your eighteenth birthday."
An incredulous snort. Of course, you realise, such a thing would be a pitiful underachievement.
"Or... discover the cure to the common cold? Become the youngest Noble Prize winner in history?"
"Noble invented dynamite. I do not want his blood money."
A smile from your side. You suggest a few more things, dangling the ideas in front of him temptingly, like they were mice and he a cat. "You can do anything, Artemis. Do not let something as fickle as your parents' expectations hold you back."
He pauses for a moment to consider. "Where would you suggest I start?"
"I think talking to your parents would be a good beginning," you say. "Discuss your options with them."
"I think I will," he says. You smile. The boy wits quietly for a minute or two, lost in though. Suddenly, he starts awake, and looks around in a confused manner, as if he'd forgotten where he was.
"May I go?"
You nod. He leaves, pausing at the door.
"Sir?" he asks tentatively.
For a moment- just a moment- the mask falls away, and there's only a boy standing there- just a young, curious child who cannot wait to see what the future has to hold.
You hope you will remember that face for a long time after.
"Why?" you repeat. "You were disrupting my history class. And we can't have that now, can we."
The two of you share a secret smile.
"Thank you," he says, very sincerely. You hope to remember that, too. You smile, incline your head, and the boy disappears around the door.
"Artemis!" you call suddenly. He pokes his head back into the room. "You will try not to go insane before your twenty-first birthday, won't you."
You hear his laughter echoing around the halls as he walks away.