*Shuffles feet awkwardly and tries not to look at angry readers* Yeah, hi. Long time no see, right?

I had a fanfiction identity crisis. You know, the ones where you are sucked up into another fandom and totally lose interest in your own story? Yeah. One of those.

In other words, blame Glee. Their fan base is INSANE.

I'm back now though, and while I wouldn't say I am totally cured, I have recovered enough of my love for Artemis Fowl to carry on writing this. Thank god. There is no way I would have ever given up on this story, but it could have been totally crap if I'd tried to write it when I no longer cared.

Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed and kept faith in this story. You really helped me get my act together ^_^


Chapter 21: Reunion

Fowl Manor: Ireland

Upstairs, Holly and Artemis froze simultaneously when the front doorbell rang. Who could possibly be visiting at this time of night? Who could possibly be visiting at all? No-one knew they were even here. They glanced at each other nervously, both afraid to speak. Far below, the bell rang again. It was a deep, loud clanging sound, the bell having been installed in the late 1900's. It reminded Holly of something out of a human vampire film, or funeral bells. They still didn't move an inch as the bell echoed away into nothing.

"FOWL! There's someone at the door!"

Well, if the bloodcurdling screech from downstairs was anything to go by, Holly would say that Opal seemed pretty unaffected by the threat of their imminent discovery.

"FOOOOWL!"

The pixie's racket seemed to jerk Artemis out of his reverie and he sprung into action, glancing around him and jumping to his feet. He hurried to the window and glanced out, trying to make out a figure through the velvety blackness that had engulfed the manor.

"Can you see anyone?" Holly asked in a small voice.

"No. It's too dark." He turned abruptly and hurried out of the room, crashing down the stairs two at a time. Holly followed a little more gracefully, but with no less speed. He skidded to a halt in the hall where Opal was waiting for them, one foot tapping on the floor and arms crossed across her chest. She opened her mouth, clearly about to launch into some tirade or other, but Artemis cut her off.

"Can you see who it is?"

Opal sighed in exasperation. "No. I'm not about to look through a window. They could be an enemy."

Artemis looked at her. "There is a peephole on the door you know."

The pixie scowled and drew herself up to full height. "I appear to have some issues with… reaching it. And I am not about to use a stool. That would be undignified." She stuck her nose in the air and sniffed pointedly.

Behind Artemis, Holly snorted. "Vertically challenged, are we Koboi?"

Opal sent her a glare that could freeze fire. "You're one to talk, Captain Short. You're barely taller than me."

"At least I can reach the kitchen table," she fired back.

Artemis ignored the pair and strode towards the oak door, though he sent Holly a flash of an amused smirk before turning away. He peered through the peephole set into the wood. To his surprise, there was no one there. He drew back just as the bell rang again, momentarily deafening him in his close proximity to the door. He peered out again and this time looked down the way. As he did so, a smile slowly began to spread across his face.

"Good news?" Holly asked from the stairs.

"The best." He replied as he swiftly unbolted the catch, keying in the access code and swinging the door open.

Standing in the rain, silhouetted by the porch light, were two people who Holly thought she'd never see again. Her jaw dropped. "Mulch? Qwan?"

What?


Later on, after a frenzy of hugging from Holly, awkward hellos from Artemis and pointed death-glares from Opal, the group gathered in the living room, ready to hear the tale of how on earth the two fairies had survived.

Qwan sat himself down on the hearthrug with his back to the fire in an attempt to warm up. The warlock's scales started giving off steam as he magically evaporated the rainwater that drenched him from head to toe. The others gathered around him, Mulch edging as far from the fire as possible without actually leaving the tiny room. Every so often he would send a pointed death-glare towards the cheerfully flickering hearth.

"So, you want to fill us in on what happened?" Artemis finally asked.

"Very well." Qwan cleared his throat. "After Abbot sent us into the time stream, we, like you, were catapulted into the future. As a warlock, I obviously had a bit more control over things than you pair," he inclined his head towards Artemis and Holly, "I knew that if we materialised in Haven we would not survive for long considering the state of affairs when we left. We ended up materialising in the Amazon rainforest."

"The Amazon rainforest? Seriously?" Holly sounded shocked and a little in awe. "I don't believe it."

Artemis raised an eyebrow. "How so?"

"The Amazon is the largest forest on earth. Its one of the largest expanses of land with no mud men whatsoever. It's also an extremely protected site, by the people's standards anyway. Most fairies will never even set foot in the place in their lifetime. Especially now the humans are destroying it. At this rate there'll be nothing left in a hundred years."

Mulch nodded silently in agreement. "Even the dwarves dream of going there. The soil is like heaven," he raised his eyes up to the ceiling, sighing wistfully. "All those nutrients, no mud man chemicals, and the trees protect us from the sun..."

"There's a simulation in Haven's weather park. After the European temperate section it's the most visited area in the place." Holly added, still looking a little wistful.

"Right, okay. That's all well and good but what happened to you after you materialised?" Artemis asked a little impatiently.

"Right sorry. Since we materialised, we actually spent most of our time getting here. We figured if you'd survived this would be the most likely location for us to regroup. I was able to pass myself off as human using magic and Mulch was able to tunnel so it took a while but we got here eventually."

"But yeah, what about you guys?" Mulch added. "You haven't just been in the manor the whole time, have you? And why the hell is Opal Koboi here?"

"I resent that!" Opal called from her armchair.

"Shut up." Holly sighed exasperatedly at the pixie before turning back to the others. "Well, it's a long story…"


Much much later on, Artemis decided to pipe up with a very unlikely question, coming from him anyway. "What are we going to do now?"

The others, especially Holly, stared at the teenager in surprise. Artemis was by nature a born leader. His cool head and quick mind automatically led other people to gravitate towards him when looking for an answer. It was not often that Artemis Fowl needed guidance, hence his intense dislike for psychiatrists.

The truth was, by this point he was tired of being in charge. He had spent over a month now with no idea what he was doing, trying to guide the others in some sort of positive direction with the fate of an entire species hanging over their heads. Fair enough, rescuing Holly had given him some sort of goal but now that that was accomplished, he actually had no idea what to do next. And so he looked to Qwan. "Is there anything you can do?"

"As the only member of this group with any real time travelling experience, I can try. It is possible that I can attempt to use No1 as some sort of anchor to draw us in to our own time. He is a very powerful warlock and since he is the only one in existence back in our time I might be able to get a hold on his magic and use it to reel us in."

Holly nodded from beside Artemis. "That sounds simple enough."

Qwan laughed humourlessly. "Trust me, it isn't. I just simplified that. A lot. Plus, it could take a long time to reach No1 through the time stream."

"Well you've got all the time in the world. According to the government, we're dead." Holly said quietly.

Mulch looked up from his corner. "Well, now that we've established what we're doing, can I please get something to eat?"


Oh. My. God. I'm so sorry. That chapter was like drawing teeth. Its so short, and rambling, and pointless, and just… aargh! Three months I have tried to write that!

Well, at least now I have all the characters where I need them to be. The next chapter should hopefully be a bit easier to write. I hope.

If there is even anyone left out there reading this, I am so sorry! I know how annoyed I get when an author gives up on a story, and I'd always promised myself I would never become that person. I very nearly did. but I'm back now, and this fic shall be finished :D

~Katy