Categories > Books > Artemis Fowl > The Charity Case


by shadowgirlvg 1 review

Two centaurs meet and Artemis helps Matt with his problem.

Category: Artemis Fowl - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Artemis Fowl, Foaly - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006-10-23 - Updated: 2006-10-23 - 2936 words

Chapter Five: Super-Strutting

It was three in the afternoon when Foaly clomped into the Spit and Scratch bar. As he was clomping he wondered again why there should be any public place with such a disgusting name and why under the earth Holly had wanted to meet him here. She had said in her note that it was a business matter, probably something to do with that detective agency of hers but he was still glad to hear from her. The last time Foaly had seen her she had still been in mourning over the commander, it would be nice to catch up on what had happened to them since.

He went to the corner of the building that looked least likely to collapse and took in his surroundings more fully. The place was a well-known hang-out for dwarf gangs and it was rumored that the devastating Gaseous Attack formation had first started here. The walls were dull and murky and the ceiling light was poor. Foaly wondered if the establishment's owner even knew what a health inspector was.

Five minutes past with the now slightly nervous centaur still sitting in his corner. In order to get his mind off the scary looking dwarves looking at him from the counter he began to make a list of all the things he would complain about when his friend got here and they were a safe distance away. He was at number forty-three when Holly stuck her head through the door.

To Foaly's surprise she didn't come toward him, she didn't even come all the way in; she just took a step inside and motioned frantically at him. He walked toward her curiously and followed her outside.

Holly looked a bit irritated, and perhaps a bit thinner than the last time he had seen her, but other than that she was just how he remembered her: a short, fiery, loving elf. Foaly actually felt his eyes getting a little moist; he hadn't realized how much he'd missed her. He was on the verge of doing something sentimental when he came to his senses.

"Hey Holly, what's the big idea with sending me here to meet you? Do you want me to get food poisoning?"

Holly sighed; it looked like her favorite paranoid centaur was the same as always. "I didn't choose this place, it was Mulch's idea. He thought it had the right atmosphere for detectives, what with all the rough-and-tumble types here. And don't worry; I was sure you wouldn't touch any food here with a three-meter pole."

Foaly smiled, so the ex-convict was here too, but where? He looked behind Holly but couldn't see any sign of him.

"He's inside," said Holly to Foaly's obvious question, "it seems he forgot that he got some of the thugs that make up this delightful atmosphere in trouble in the first place. As soon as they saw him they dragged him around back to remind him of their history together."

"So why don't you go in after him, guns blazing and whatnot? You can take a handful of dwarves."

"That's what I'm going to do," she said, taking out her plasma gun, "but someone has to keep an eye on the girl." Holly point behind her and it was then that Foaly saw the prettiest centaur that he would ever meet.

Speaking objectively Ms. Lunos was hardly one that could be considered a model, even by horse-standards. But she was cute, cute in a shy, bookish sort-of way that easily lent one the idea that she would look quite fetching in glasses if faeries had need of that sort of thing (eye surgery is much more advanced underground). The reason Foaly considered her the prettiest centaur he would ever see was because of this bookish appeal which corresponded so much to his own intelligent nature. He was, however, unused to emotions like this and thus, objectively speaking of course, now looked a great deal more like an ass than a horse.

Whether or not the former Recon officer noticed this wave of emotion is uncertain, but she did give a mild smirk as she introduced them.

"Foaly this is Mulch's and my latest client, Miss Estella Lunos. Miss Lunos, this is Foaly, the LEP's favorite paranoid centaur." With that she was off to rescue Mulch but it is doubtful either of the centaurs noticed.

After several seconds of silence Foaly realized there was only so much time a pack of dwarves could keep Holly busy for and decided to break the ice.


It was not the height of suaveness but it did the trick. Estella, who until this point, had been staring at Foaly with something that might be called amazed disbelief broke into a wide grin.

"H-hi!" she stammered. "I can't believe I'm meeting you like this, I've always admired your work so much! I was so impressed when I saw your wing designs a few years back, the design is so extraordinary! Did you know that with a few small tweaks they can be used to replace the wings of sprites that have lost theirs?"

Foaly was taken aback. The girl was practically glowing with admiration for him and they had just met. Of course he knew he was brilliant but he rarely met anyone else who did. Obviously this girl was smart as well as pretty; this was shaping up to be a wonderful day.

"I had thought that might be possible, I'm not given much time to delve into medicine, what with all my other projects, but I have had tweaking my wing designs on my to-do list for a while. So would you like to explain what you did? I know a nice cyber café near here-"

It was then that Holly whacked the side of Foaly's head. She had just returned, dragging a slightly shaken but otherwise fine Mulch behind her.

"We're here on business, remember? You two can talk about fairy wings on your own time. Right now we have a case to solve."

"Of course, the case." Foaly rubbed his head in irritation. "Would you care to tell me what it is?"

"Mulch will explain to you in the car, we're going to an actually decent restaurant."

"No, no, that's alright Holly," Foaly said hastily. "I'm sure Ms. Lunos could explain everything just as well."

Holly climbed into her driver's seat and turned back to face him, "That may be true Foaly but this ride is no where near roomy enough for two centaurs to sit next to each other. It's going to be cramped as it is so you'll have to make do with Mulch."

The dwarf scowled, "Hey! I'm your partner Holly! Don't go treating me like I'm some undesirable; do you know how many times I've saved your hide?"

"Oh shut up convict," grumbled Foaly, kicking him slightly.

"Hey! I was cleared of all charges!" No one was really listening anymore but it was important to make points like this. Really, detectives deserved far more respect; but then, that was the way of the world wasn't it? Mulch sighed and climbed into the shuttle after Foaly and then they were off to seek out a restaurant with an entirely wrong atmosphere.


It had only taken a day to identify Matt's three assailants; in truth Artemis was a bit disappointed. Terrance Miller, Adam Jackstein, and Henry DeTamble were just run-of-the-mill bullies who would target anyone who looked vulnerable and didn't meet their standards of what a wealthy blue-blood should be. They were really quite the obvious choices, Artemis could have figured out they were the ones who beat up Matt if he had simply had to guess.

There was no helping it though and something still had to be done to make sure Matt wasn't attacked again. That wouldn't be a problem though. Artemis had a plan. He had gone over it with Matt about a dozen times over the past three days and finally everything was ready, all they had to do now was have a little chat with the threatening three.

"Could I possibly borrow a disk? I need it for my multimedia project."

Artemis's heart skipped a beat and he jumped up suddenly. Matt had snuck up behind him with stealth that would impress even Butler. As a side effect of their coalition against Matt's bullies the boys had grown closer and now Matt seemed to think of Artemis as more of a friend. While this was helpful to his overall plans Artemis had discovered that it had its disadvantages, such as now when the young English boy no longer seemed to think it was necessary to knock when entering his "mate's" room.

Matt smiled innocently, "I'm sorry, did I scare you?"

Artemis just glared and slammed his laptop shut, (just hard enough to illustrate his annoyance, not nearly enough to damage it).

Matt never seemed to be very intimidated by Artemis's glares and this was no exception, he chuckled to himself for a few moments then finally calmed down. "Sorry Arty, you just have such a funny face when you're scared. Anyway could I borrow a disk? I really do need it."

Lately Matt had taken to using Artemis's nickname, he seemed to find it funny for reasons the young genius couldn't fathom. He supposed it was just the result of another of the boy's odd quirks.

"That's awfully presumptuous of you," Artemis said slightly bitterly, "sneaking in here, scaring me half to death, and then demanding things. I don't see why I should give you anything."

"Well I suppose you don't have to," Matt said with a sigh, "but then where will I get a disk? I'll have nothing to put my presentation on, and then I'll fail my multimedia class, which will sink my GPA like a stone and it will be all your fault. I'll be forced to hate you and then you'll have to go back to those horrible school psychology sessions."

Artemis glowered at Matt. He was actually a fairly smart boy. For the first time Artemis was beginning to understand why most people around him found him so annoying. Artemis turned around and tossed the first disk he could find at Matt.

"And Dr. Po wonders why I don' try to make more friends my age," Artemis muttered to himself. "Get going now. You have what you came for and I need to focus if I'm going to put the finishing touches on my, our plan."

Matt nodded and headed for the door, "It's going to happen tonight at seven, right?" Artemis nodded. "Alright I'll see you then." He paused for a second and for once he seemed completely serious, "Thank you Artemis, this really means a lot to me."

And with that he left.

A stab of guilt went through Artemis's heart. He knew Matt couldn't know his secrets, least of all his criminal tendencies or the existence of the People, but it hurt to know how highly he was held in the boy's mind when he was really a far more selfish person.

In any case now was not the time for psychological introspection, he had a plan to finish. It wasn't the quaint little plot he had arranged to help Matt, he had finished that that morning, no, he had bigger fish to fry. This particular fish was Signora Antonia Ganbale, a wealthy Italian jetsetter known for her taste in fine arts and her willingness to pay any price to get them.

She had recently become the new owner of the painting "Old Woman in the Wood," which had been stolen from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston mere days before. She was currently staying in a penthouse in France and Artemis had decided to make her his newest target.

He had already discovered where the painting was kept in her home and had obtained a copy of the house's blueprints; all that was left was to plot out a way through her security. This was what he had been working on when Matt had snuck up behind him, he was just lucky to have been able to shut his laptop without raising suspicion.

Artemis looked at his watch; it was almost seven, time to get moving.

The plan didn't really require his presence but he wanted Matt to know he was there anyway, for morale support at least. He arrived just in time, it seemed the fireworks were about to start.

Henry, Terrance, and Adam were all gathered around Matt in the field where they had beaten him three days before. Artemis had chosen the location; he had thought it would be ironic.

"All right, speak up Pauper!" said Terrance. "Why'd you call us all out here?"

Matt smiled smugly; he was playing his part perfectly. "I called you to give you a warning. Three days ago you assaulted me for not being someone you consider worthy of this school. It's fairly obvious I'm not the highest caliber when it comes to strength-"

Adam scoffed, "That's an understatement."

Matt glared at the interruption but continued with his speech, "and as you were so kind to point out at the time I am also certainly not wealthy. However, I am smart. It was my intelligence that got me into this school in the first place and it is my intelligence that's going to keep you from bothering me or anyone else at this school ever again."

All three boys were quiet for a moment in a slightly stunned silence, then the moment was gone and they all began to laugh.

"What are you going to do?" asked Terrance. "Hold us off with a geometric theorem?"

"No, I'll hold you off with these!" With a slightly theatrical flurry Matt took out a handful of photographs and tossed them at his tormenters.

The boys' laughter died almost instantly and their faces grew pale with fear as they gazed at the pictures.

"You can't threaten us with these!" exclaimed Henry. "They're fakes!"

"That may be true," he said with a grin that mirrored Artemis's own trademarked smirk, "but they look real. You wouldn't be able to prove they aren't real, and if you attack me, or I hear about any more bullying from you to anyone else, these pictures will find their way onto every computer in the school. I'll also be sure that each of your parents gets their own, personal copy. It's your choice."

The boys looked at each other. The choice they had been given was no real choice at all.

"Alright," said Adam, "you won't hear from us again."

Matt beamed at Artemis, who was hidden behind a tree, as the former bullies trudged away, the very image of defeat. The plan had worked perfectly.

Artemis knew that bullies preyed on things they did not understand and thus feared, he had decided to use this weakness against them. The pictures he had made depicted the three boys in very intimate embraces, with each other. They would know the photos weren't real but they were very well done, if they got out Henry, Adam, and Terrance would forever have to bear the "shame" of being rumored to be gay. Artemis had known they would do almost anything to avoid such a disgrace.

While going over the plan Matt had asked what Artemis's personal stand was on the subject. In truth he felt sexual orientation was a ridiculous reason to look down on someone. He was personally acquainted with several brilliant scientists and doctors who were openly homosexual and had made great advancements in their fields.

Sometimes Artemis wondered where he stood physically on the subject. As he had yet to be involved in a relationship he could not be sure but thinking of Juliet he felt that he did have an inclination to girls. It didn't really matter though, time would tell for sure.


Author's Note: Hello again, it is I the delightful VG. This chapter was slightly tedious and my carpals are feeling some pain but I am happy with it. It gets some important plot points underway. This is actually the longest plotline I've ever undertaken, if I follow it through to the end it will be the longest story I've ever written by a long shot.

On the subject of following this story through are my reviews. I am a bit bitter about not having many but something that seems interesting is that no one has ever reviewed twice. In my past stories fans would often review again when I updated but that doesn't seem to be the case now, interesting.

This chapter also ends on a slightly edgy note, or at least it feels edgy to me. I'm not used to writing about homosexuality though my views are pretty much the ones I've given Artemis. I've been wanting to write how I think he'd feel about the subject ever since I read one story where he seemed outraged and embarrassed at the idea that he might be gay. I believe the line was something like "He didn't think there was anything wrong with it but Artemis knew he was DEFINITELY NOT gay." For someone who has no problem with it he sure seems paranoid that he might be seen as one of the "impure." I've always thought he was open minded so long as the person in question wasn't an idiot.

Anyway, thanks for your support. I'm not sure when chapter six will be up but it'll hopefully be within a week. It depends if my hand stops hurting.
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