Chapter One: Ballet in Silk
Artemis Fowl the First had always been a man of finery. His multi-billion dollar empire, strewn in ringlets of silver and gold and studded with clear cut emeralds, had blinded the sliver of good coiled deep inside his heart until he had no longer paid heed to it, his criminal mentality settling into his conscious like a well worn suit.
He had swindled millionaires, cajoled royalty, sent powerful men gibbering to their graves, and had not felt an ounce of guilt out of it.
That is, only before he had met his sharper than diamond, tougher than leather wife, Angeline Fowl, a pristine Russian beauty with the personality to match. Artemis Senior had resisted her at once, as most powerful men do at the presence of love, but eventually righted himself under the hawkish gaze of his newly pregnant wife. She had extended one slender, silver spangled hand, and guided him out of the skittish land of the illegal and into a potential-soaked world that was in desperate need of his ever expanding imagination.
One could say that it was here that the inkling of Artemis Senior's idea of a circus was sparked to life, but it is crucial to note that the magic coursing through the circus never truly materialized until the birth of his first child, Artemis Fowl the Second.
Now, it is safe to assume that Artemis had been a prodigy from the very moment he opened his eyes, mastering Beethoven at the mere age of four and later pursuing Bach only three months after that. His eyes, eerily similar to that of his father, observed anything and everything. Some would grin foolishly at the permanent scowl wrinkling his premature features and claim that his mass intellect was certainly derived from his father, while others would smirk knowingly to themselves and mutter that no, Artemis had gotten it all from his mother.
And so it would not come as a surprise to anyone that at only ten years of age, Artemis had put it upon himself to understand the logic and reasoning nestled behind the complex nature of illusion, and to some extent, magic. He had come from a long line of oracles and magicians, illusionists and storytellers, and so it would only make sense if he . . . shall we say, carried on the family business.
Artemis was only twenty-one when he felt more than knew that his mother was dying.
Her opalescent eyes lacked their usual luster and sheen, her figure, which once stood swanlike and effortless, stooped haunchy and low. Her voice, which Artemis had always thought of as soothing and lilting, rung low and stiff.
The twins were only three years old at the time, constantly under the watchful eye of Domovoi Butler, who the twins assumed was more or less their real father.
"How much longer till the opening of the circus, father?" murmurs Artemis, keeping his gaze fixed on his mother's sleeping figure. Artemis Senior paces along a stream of stolen Moroccan carpets, his fingers twitching and constantly rubbing at his sagging brow. No longer the charming, thoughtful man who lured princes out of their riches, but a twitchy, paranoid, mumbling coot whose concerns only ever occupied the looming circus, and when he remembered, his mentally-ill wife.
"Two more months . . . two more months and we will seize the world by storm," mutters his father, stopping mid pace and forcing his eyes to meet Angeline.
"How . . . how is she?" he asks softly.
Artemis' gaze strays from his mother and lands on his father. A vein in his temple pulses. She is dying, while you remain entirely oblivious, Artemis thinks savagely, managing to refrain his brow from narrowing or his grip on his mother's hand tightening. "Two more months and yet the circus remains incomplete. Go back to your office and consult Mustafa on the phone," he says coolly, turning his attention back to the lying figure at hand. It hurt, ordering his father out of the room, but it was necessary.
Artemis Senior blinks, his feet already backtracking towards the bedroom door, but at the last minute his fingers ball, thrashing wildly in place. "I can help you," he insists meekly, swallowing thickly before continuing, "let me assist you." And then, after a pregnant moment, "Please."
Artemis feels his heart protest, but he knew that Artemis Senior was too far gone to be of any real assistance. His magic had contaminated his father's brain from years, and though he strongly resisted, it was not strong enough. Forgive me, father.
"Go," he repeats coldly, his voice layered in persuasion and urgency, snuffing Artemis Senior's spark of defiance. "I have business to take care of." His father nods quickly, and exists though the silver gilded doorway.
Trapping the guilt in the deepest recesses of his mind, Artemis concentrates the entirety of his energy on Angeline's sleeping figure. He extends his hand, running pale, slender fingers on the front of her face, and prepares himself from his task.
He feels as if his training was leading to this particular moment. The circus would keep his family alive and wealthy, even if he died trying.
Artemis allows himself a deep breath.
"Until the end."
Two Months Later
Those who have not been blessed with the ravishing friendship of Artemis Fowl the First had often thought it strange that he gift his three year old sons with presents as bizarre and unconventional as twin lion cubs.
Those people have obviously not met the brazen likes of Myles and Beckett Fowl.
Highly gifted at the mere age of three, Myles Fowl had not only become a fluent reader of modern day philosophy, but has also taken to avidly posting his thoughts and criticisms of less favorable philosophical authors on his father's typewriter, often titling his pieces: Intelligents Que Vous, which would garner quite a few laughs from Butler and a nod of approval from his older brother, Artemis, whom he had always admired in secret.
Beckett Fowl, on the other hand, was born a storyteller, with an affinity for the performing arts (and pro wrestling). He was an irascible child at heart, with a riot of sun-bleached curls floating around his face. His smile was brighter than sunshine, sweetened in compassion and sparkled with mischief, and his father's business associates simply adored him.
At the rise of the third full moon of the new year, Artemis Fowl Senior raises his glass of Dom Pérignon to his partners seated before him, a sincere, yet maniac glint twinkling in the ice of his eyes.
"A toast," he booms, gracing his guests with a shadow of his trademark hundred-watt smile, "to the circus!"
"The circus!" chorus his three partners.
They clank glasses together, the champagne bubbling a frothy gold as it spills at the edges, splashing on the glass and marble table.
Artemis refrains himself from joining the hubbub, instead choosing to content himself by observing his restless younger brothers, who are scampering after a pair of black lion cubs in the open space of the empty ballroom. He does, however, take a celebratory sip of his champagne.
"And we couldn't have accomplished it without the intervening help of your brilliant son," winks one of the associates, Kara, a former opera singer gracefully settling in her late sixties. Her silver hair is done in an elaborate twist, studded with miniscule opals that glint like firestones of various shades of peacock, emerald and diamond.
At such a comment Artemis shifts his gaze to meet her gray ones, and a warm feeling blossoms at the base of his stomach. "Kara, you are too kind," he says honestly.
"And you too brilliant," counters Kara with an affectionate smile, settling the prim glass of champagne on the table before folding her withered hands neatly on her lap. Mustafa Madani, a brilliant politician of age fifty-seven with a keen eye for the fine arts, chuckles low and shakes his head. "Kara, polite? Oh how the twenties have changed you, my dear," he says, Palestinian drawl thick and reverberating.
"Do not leave your growing gut out of this, Madani," pipes Dmitri Volski, a faint twinkle sparkling in his deep set hazel eyes. Volski, the youngest crime lord to rule the gutters of Siberia, had met Artemis Senior long before he had taken his first steps, and had kept close contact with the family ever since.
"Enough, friends," says Artemis Senior, his bravado apparent only at the presence of his lifelong companions. "Tomorrow reigns a new day. The world war has claimed most of the world's fascination with magic, and I feel that, given our current esteemed position in the ranking of our societies, we have felt a duty of the strongest need stir a growing sympathy within us. Tomorrow we will reintroduce illusion and sorcery to the world. An elegance at its finest."
He pauses, taking a second to appreciate the excitement gleaming in the eyes of his associates. Kara Delemeur's long lashes flutter gold with anticipation, whilst Volski and Mustafa creep an inch closer towards the edge of their seats. "Les Cirque des Rêves. The Circus of Dreams."
Volski smiles. "A child's dream, a logician's nightmare."
My mother's dream, thinks Artemis, swirling the bubbling nectar in his glass, my father's nightmare.
A/N: I am so sorry for the delay, but I kid you not when I say that this chapter has been in the writing/rewriting process for nearly two weeks. Needless to say I am pretty satisfied with the chapter, but I can only hope that you bear with me until we get to the really good stuff. This multi-chaptered fic will include a lot of the characters from the AF series, written in some variation or another. Thank you for those of you who reviewed, you guys are so wonderful and know that this chapter is dedicated to you ^^
And before I forget, all hail Jess (violettsirblou on tumblr) for the spectacular fic cover she's made in honor of this fic! Your art inspires the best of me c:
Thoughts, critiques, and criticisms are most welcomed.