Ben is still with the Department of Regulation and Control, refusing to be moved from "his" lab, as he calls it, despite the budget cuts. He's currently working on a project to create a small, concentrated bomb due to sheer stubbornness, and is enjoying assigning nicknames to people. He is the personal pet lap of Fred Holden who has threatened him with messy death via axe should he ever try to pull out of his solemn duty as lap and pillow.
Benjamin Augustus Dunstan Edit
Nicknames/Aliases: Ben is what he commonly goes by, as is typical of his given name. Jam is a less typical one but some of the people out there find it hilarious--this includes Fred. Lately he's taken a fondness to it and uses it on more than one occasion. Dunst on more than one occasion; he's sure there's a few others, including Benny but he'll absolutely refuse to answer to that one.
Occupation: Ben is an employee for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and Unexplained Phenomena. He is perhaps on the of the only people who takes great delight in stating the full name at first, because he likes the way no one can make it roll of their tongue in the history of the world. Within this department as a whole, he works specifically with Research and Design. The unit itself is quite small, in that there are only a number of Regulators whose main job is simply with Research and Design, Ben being one of them. To be extremely specific, Ben is often kept mostly in the area which deals with munitions: the initial concept, the research behind it. He makes a point of attempting to follow a project from the moment it lands on his desk to the moment of completion and gets extremely interested in the designing and development part of the process. Ben's worked in the research part of the Department since the summer after sitting his NEWTs and he enjoys his job immensely, even if frustration is evident at times. Ben does enjoy creating bombs, or charges, or anything that will potentially create mayhem and chaos. He is, however, very careful with tit.
Home: Ben lives in Helford, in England. It's a fairly small town, out of the way and quiet. It's not the quiet he likes so much as the creek that's there. Helford Creek is quite possibly the prettiest body of water he's seen in his life, to his mind.
Finances: Being disowned left Ben almost penniless at first; he'd no real job, no savings, nothing of the sort. He's still what would be considered as "low income" which he sees as a fancy way of saying he's poor as anything. He is, however, thrifty with his money and he doesn't see himself as poor. He can pay for the necessity's and can have the occasional treat and there's nothing more he really needs, is there?
Household: Ben, for the most part, lives with Stella and Gaia. Or he did until recently. Stella is now engaged to her long time boyfriend and has already moved out, though not straight into his place. Gaia is currently living with him, because Stella's mum's isn't big enough for her now. Arrangements are being made. Besides that, Ben's house is a flurry of noise at most times; there's two parakeets (Captain and Pirate), two boxer dogs (Monty and Carlyle) and a Labrador, Quill. Originally the name started as Tranquillise, but it's become Quill over the years. There's probably a fish in there somewhere, but Ben generally forgets it exists until he finds it dead and feels the need to go out and buy a new one.
Appearance: Even when dressed in a suit, Ben rarely looks completely informal and, in fact, has a bit of a problem with doing so even when others have went to great lengths to ensure he looks "spick and span", as if they assume he hasn't tried himself. The problem is that Benjamin's entire appearance seems to give another the impression that he's casual and fairly relaxed in any situation, even if it is in a suit and even if he is playing with the cuffs as if he's never seen such horrific shackles before in his life.
Ben's rather a tall bloke and has perfect posture when he's standing, walking etc. He very rarely slouches around people, the only times generally being when particularly absorbed in something else, be it work, conversation or the movie things the Muggles are fond of. Due to this, people often get the impression that he's a very confident, straightforward person; it's amazing what people can assume from the way one holds themselves. Of fairly average weight, Ben eats enough and gets enough exercise that he looks fairly well toned at nearly all times of the year, even if it would take close inspection to see there was actually some muscle under that layer of skin.
Perhaps his most defining feature would be his hair. It's a dark brown colour, the occasionally can look black in the mid-winter, and it's probably just as scruffy as a dog's coat. It's wild in the rather manageable way, which Ben is thankful for because he can't honestly say he'd enjoy having to brush his hair a few times a day just to make it look like he has once in an entire week. Nonetheless, the moment it's brushed, the curls at the back tend to start forming again and it can look like he's just passed out for a quick nap on the sofa and forgotten to brush his hair after wards.
Ben has large hands, feet, ears and a wide forehead. His face is extremely expressive, to the point of quirkiness, and he has a hard time lying to those that know him well because of this. Strangers, or virtual strangers, often just assume the upwards quirk of both left eyebrow and his lip means he's being sarcastic; friends realise that is the "I Am Going to Harm You Right Now, You Stupid Dingbat" expression and often attempt to usher people out of the way and quickly.
First Impression: "Good Merlin (or God, if they were raised that way) is his forehead for REAL? How wide is that thing?" comes to mind, though more often than not it'll be some comment on the spiky hair and the rumpled clothing. They tend to get the view that Ben's a bit of a layabout, which is surprisingly far from the truth but he doesn't complain too much.
Political Views: Er. I'm going to leave this bit mostly blank for the moment, but Ben generally likes to make it known that he publicly supports the most radical ones, the ones that are most against the old pure-blood ways of living. Most likely, however, he supports a fairly middle-ground political representative, because while he realises that the old pure-blood ways are outdated, it's hard to go against everything that's been drilled into you for a long time, no matter how hard you want to forget such things.
Quirks/Habits: It is generally not advised to leave a pen sitting near Ben; he's extremely fond of drawing on himself and a pen is definitely preferred. Growing up, he learned that quills were extremely hard to draw with on skin—they tend to hurt more, if properly sharp as they should be—and when introduced to the magical invention of the pen became fascinated with it. He often draws Celtic symbols and designs on the inside of his left wrist and, if he gets carried away, they carry on down to his wrist. He never, ever draws on any other part of himself, even refusing to write on his hands even if in desperate need preferring instead to summon a piece of paper to do so. Having a rather selective memory, Ben's prone to making notes and leaving them lying everywhere—stuck onto doors, windows, the toilet seat. If he's going to look there, he'll leave a wee note there. Generally, it'll be something stupid and the notes won't be recorded properly so when he gets 'round to seeing them again they'll never make sense.
Ben finds it hard to concentrate in silence and has to have something going on. He listens to music almost non-stop and whilst he's not a fantastic singer, dancer or musician he does all three; he sings loudly, he dances freely and he batters the piano until it gives out some kind of music. This'll only tend to happen when he's alone, though, or with very close friends.
When thinking, he's prone to tug at the hair at the nape of his neck, yanking it sharply. He drums his fingers against his cheekbones, also, occasionally digging his nails into his cheek as well, which usually results in half-crescent marks there. In regards to magic, Ben will never, ever transfigure something into anything other than what it already is if he can help it. For example, a mouse into a larger mouse is fine, or a house-sized mouse. It's grand; it's still a mouse. A mouse into a teacup? Yeah. Not down with at all. He's known to make a point of incorporating a bit of his own magical flair into things, which of course means that any wards etc. he's put up are never exactly normal. He doesn't mind.
Strengths: Ben's most obvious strength is perhaps his courage, which manifests itself in an odd form at times. He does not think of himself as a particularly courageous man and yet he has no problems whatsoever in helping test out some of the new weapons which the Regulators develop, has no problem at handling things and volunteering to do tasks other would shy away from. Quite understandably, after all, as people are liable to get killed every now and again. Ben himself couldn't tell you if he doesn't think about it at all or if he has, has accepted it and moved on. Largely this is probably because he doesn't always listen when being talked to.
Extremely determined and resilient, it's not often that he lets something getting the better of him. Indeed, he often strives to make sure it doesn't and, if something has before, it had better damn well not the second time (with obvious exceptions. Rubix cubes are, quite frankly, far too complicated for him). Ben has a very inquiring mind and is prone to asking a lot of questions on a lot of topics; he wants to know a bit about everything and thus has a very varied, rather eccentric knowledge base. Quick of mind, he's intelligent and pragmatic, stubborn and highly opinionated. Often times he's not exactly quiet about his opinions either. As is to be expected, given his occupation, Ben would be considered good at offensive and defensive magicks. He spent a lot of time reading about how things worked, how the inherent magic of them worked for whatever reason and he quickly became quite fascinated in it.
Mostly, Ben's magical strength lies in destruction and illusion. He is capable of protection, on a large—or larger than average, at the very least—scale but it's never exactly been his forte. Oddly enough (and stupidly, in his opinion) Ben is extremely good at Divination. He attempts to never, ever share this fact with another human being who he hasn't known, or whom he doesn't trust because, really, he imagines he'll get the mick taken out of him something shocking for this fact.
Weaknesses: Ben's stubbornness is perhaps one of his more obvious weaknesses, as often times he'll latch onto something and hold it fast within his grip, absolutely refusing to let go and this isn't always a literal thing. More often than not the things which Ben latches onto are fare from tangible; feelings, opinions, thoughts, the crackle of magic at the base of his spine when a particularly strong force of magic is exerted. The last one he'd be at as much of a loss to explain to others about why he'll latch onto to it but it's often that crackle more than anything that'll draw him into questioning another person, to talking to them. Questions are another one of Ben's faults: he's extremely curious, to the point of plain nosiness and he does not always understand when to stop. He's an odd mix of atypical Gryffindor and Ravenclaw attributes, which he understands, but will protest.
Disowned by his own family, one of his more hidden weakness would be the fact that Ben wants quite badly for some form of loyalty from someone. His family—who were supposed to look out for him at all times—decided that, because he didn't support Death Eater ideology they would no longer support him, turned their back on him and Ben's never exactly forgotten that. This also illustrates that Ben will and has held a grudge for years. That and the fact that he hasn't spoken to one of his Housemates civilly since they stole a book in seventh year and failed to return it. Ben is especially annoyed that he's twenty-nine now and still hasn't got that bloody book back.
Ben has a tendency to be coldly analytical at times. He is, for the most part, genuinely nice to people and he doesn't aim to hurt them especially but, in the name of research, he'll do just about anything required of him. He's not exactly known for being the best person to say things in a very nice way and is more often than not just going to badly come out with it. He's a bit of a pathological liar, honestly, but generally he's a pathological liar about the stupidest things on earth. He's a tendency to be starkly honest about the larger things in life, the things that matter yet will lie about whether or not he's finished that report, or whether or not he was the last one to make tea, or whether or not he was the one who hung the teabags out on a washing line. That kind of thing.
Ben's largest weaknesses magically tend to be ones of intent rather than power or concentration. As the Cruciatus curse requires the intent to harm behind it, the Killing Curse the intent to kill, as do others. Often times, Ben simply lacks the intent. He's cast the Unforgivables in the name of research before, though it took him significantly longer than a number of other people within the department. One major area that Ben also has trouble in is transfiguration, though he will refuse to admit this to anyone. He struggled to pass his NEWT in the subject with good grades and had to work doubly hard at it and in fact still does today.
Fears and Philias: Ben has an inherent fear of complete silence. Well, perhaps not but he at least dislikes it. In all seriousness, though, Ben's extremely claustrophobic and small spaces make him feel trapped.
Hobbies/Interests: Making lists. While he's not incredibly organised and highly doubts he ever will be Ben makes lists almost obsessively and, at minimum, three a day. They tend to be ones he swears he'll remember and are ordered in number of importance so he does spend a bit deliberating over them, though he then proceeds to lose them. It's odd but he genuinely considers this a hobby. When it comes down to actual things he does when he has the time, however, one would definitely be orienteering, the other canoeing. Ben's a very athletic person (or he tries to be) and he likes being on the move, even if they aren't particularly strenuous activities. Ben has a rather avid interest in reading, but his attention span isn't very long if it doesn't grab his interest immediately. He's fond of playing records and he'd like to point out that he does only play records, not those CD things. It took him nearly two years to finally properly figure out the logistics of LPs and the record player and he's wary to even go near CDs and things which are similar.
Favourite Belongings: The bulky old record player which sits under the window in his living room is Ben's definite favourite possession. That, along with a simple thread of black cotton which he wears around his neck. There's a small foot shaped carving hanging off it but he's charmed it to look really and, if anyone notices (not that they do very often), he'll tell them it's the foot of a sidhe baby.
- The pier at Helford Creek. This one's for fairly obvious reasons. In short, Ben stumbled across it when he was a child and this is meant literally; he nearly fell straight into the body of water. He's loved it ever since. (Don't ask, I don't know either.)
- Alresford, Hampshire. In truth, Ben likes the whole town but his favourite is most definitely the small chippy. Or perhaps the dingy pub. One or the other.
- His office in the Regulators. Ben's got it exactly how he likes it; a mess with a heck of a lot of notes stuck everywhere.
- Became a vegetarian after seeing half-eaten and eaten human bodies in Knockturn during the war. It disgusted him to the point where Ben spent days afterwards gagging at the memory. Beforehand, had dabbled with vegetarianism but gave it up due to a fondness of Ulster fries on a Saturday morn. Often tells people that he saw pictures of slaughterhouses, rather than tell them about Knockturn but couldn't explain why.
- For the most part does not feel guilty about people his inventions or he himself has killed; Ben can quite literally justify just about anything.
- Ben avoids relationships of any real meaning, including friendships. He's friendly to other people, but doesn't go out of his way to be friends with them. He's innately suspicious of people due to his parents and then Stella, and because of this very few people have managed to get past his defences. Most notable person to do this would be Fred.
- Nowadays Ben very much lives by the whole "my body is a temple" thing. However, in the aftermath of the war, went a bit ridiculous with drinking (never drugs, though, he was too concerned about the negative effect it may have had on his brain). This is largely the reason he doesn't drink now--it took him three years, really, to kick alcoholism to the point were he did not crave even a small sip and as such he won't touch the stuff now.
Ben sometimes wishes he had a fantastic childhood, filled with stories and the oddities that everyone else seems to have. He occasionally wishes that his parents met in a club, packed with heaving, sweating bodies, their eyes locking for one moment across a dancefloor and Jonathon Dunstan knew he had to go and talk to the dark-haired woman who had smiled at him or his life would never be complete. He wishes that there was some extraordinary start to his life and is slightly resentful that there isn't. His parents, Amelia Warren and Jonathon, met not in a packed club, their eyes locking and a mad pursuing across a packed room following but rather in school. Both were Slytherins, though Amelia four years younger and Jonathon would occasionally step on her foot when walking. It wasn't on purpose, mind, it was simply that Jonathon Dunstan had rather large feet and had never quite got used to them.
When Jonathon left Hogwarts, it was expected of him to get married. He was a pure-blood after all and, when he hadn't managed to propose to someone by his twenty-fifth birthday, his mother threw her hands up and went about arranging it herself. She had better ideas than her son, she was sure, and she was more than a bit annoyed that the only females he ever seemed to be interested in where the blonde ones who had slightly muddled heritage. She wanted no such thing in the Dunstan family and Nathalie wrote to the Warrens, old friends of hers, with a young daughter.
Less than six months later Jonathon and Amelia were married and living Cornwall. It wasn't a particularly happy match, but they were perfectly content and were certainly friendly enough. Benjamin was, technically, the third child that Amelia had carried, the first having died soon after her birth and the second pregnancy ending in a miscarriage. It wasn't particularly unusual, really, for the Warren women to have trouble bearing children so even this wasn't looked down upon as it sometimes was in pure society.
After Ben's birth, the Dunstan's were perfectly happy with their lot, so to speak. They were married, their child was a pure-blood, they had a house and money. There wasn't really anything they wanted for, or perhaps there was but it wasn't too obvious. Not every pure-blood family was rich and well-respected and while the Dunstan's had been around for some time they had never been considered high society. Their house was a normal one with a garden, their possessions sometimes brought from the market or, horror of horrors, second-hand. While the fact that the family name was old would have won them points with a number of others, there were still those that looked down upon them simply because of their lack of wealth and leaning towards not hosting grand dinner parties.
Despite all this there were some respects in which the family was similar to those that did throw the dinner parties. One of these was in that they were extremely proud of their heritage and Ben can remember his father attempting to teach him from a young age that pure-bloods were simply superior, that Muggles were filthy things and he should never, ever talk to them. This, Ben thinks, would have been far easier to do if they hadn't lived quite so close to a Muggle village.
The first thing that ever shattered Ben's illusions that his father was a wise man who knew everything and should be listened to at all times was when he actually spoke with one of the Muggles. He'd not meant to travel so far from home but at the age of nine, having just received his own broom for himself, Ben was unable to keep within the boundaries of the Dunstan home and took off on the broom, flying for a good half an hour or so until he got tired—or so he'll say. In truth, the village was barely twenty-five minutes walk away and it took him ten minutes to get there at the pace he was going. His landing was less than smooth and Ben tumbled off his broom, into one of the farmer's fields surrounding the village. He was never sure where exactly the broom went, all he knows is that it disappeared between the moment he fell off the broom and when he landed. This fact caused rather a lot of scowling and yelling from a young Ben and he recalls that he refused to leave the field until he'd found the broom.
It was nearly an hour later that the Muggles appeared, two of them, a boy and a girl. They were cousins and the boy was the first to spot Ben and the first to talk to him. Despite Ben's irate demeanour—it was a new broom, for the love of Merlin and he wanted it back—he was amicable and friendly and after a short time had managed to convince the boy to join in the game that he and his cousin were playing. Stella and Andrew were the first children that Ben had ever really played with, properly, and he was glad to meet them. When night fell, he hurried back to his house, still looking for the broom and with a grin on his face.
The grin didn't last for very long, however. Jonathon wasn't pleased when he discovered that not only had his son lost a broom he'd bought brand new, he'd also been associating with Muggles and it was the first time Ben can remember his father properly shouting at him and the first time his hand was raised to the boy and he meant it. As much as they protest, not all wizard's are opposed to physical violence and Ben reckons, looking back, that he should be grateful he wasn't hexed or cursed.
Even then, the man's message didn't entirely sink in. For days afterwards, Ben was sore and yet he didn't make an effort to avoid these people, these Muggles. While he went out searching for the broom, he also talked to them, though at first he was wary. He doesn't exactly like to speculate on how Jonathon never managed to catch wind of the fact that the Dunstan boy was seen in the village with Stella and Andrew McKerr because occasionally he fears that he did know and simply didn't care anymore.
Stella and Andrew were perhaps the reasons why Ben quickly found himself growing fascinated with the differences between the Muggle and wizarding worlds. They teased him constantly about not knowing what to do with any of the things, often asking if he was from the '40s or some such era. Still, they answered his questions and showed him how to work things and when he accidentally broke one of the jukeboxes in the village whilst trying to make it play an old blues song Stella was particularly fond of they were the ones that helped him avoid trouble at that situation. What this means, of course, is that they tugged him down an alleyway and the three of them hid behind one of the larger bins there, giggling.
When his Hogwarts letter arrived, Ben's life became almost the same as every other average Hogwarts student. His parents, who had never thought he wouldn't manage to get in, were nevertheless delighted and his mother instantly started making plans for everything he had to bring. By the time August started Ben wasn't surprised to discover that his mother already had the majority of his stuff packed, or at least she did in her mind which was what mattered. Ben is well aware he picked up on his want to have everything organised and in its right place from her, though where Amelia's methods have sense and logic to her and everyone else, Ben's is far more scattered to the wind and he suspects there aren't a lot of people who would be able to understand why he keeps the Billie Holiday records by the Beach Boys ones (and, no, it's not just because he flung them there. He placed them there on purpose).
With his arrival and placement within Hogwarts, Ben, for the first time, was away from home in a way that meant he couldn't return whenever he wanted and he was okay with that, which was something he found himself mildly surprised at. He'd heard from Amelia that she'd suffered homesickness for nearly four months, Jonathon had even admitted to feeling it. However, the man had assured him, his cousins were all already at Hogwarts so he'd at least have some support. As it happened, Ben neither needed, nor particularly wanted, their support. The moment the Sorting Hat had been set atop his head and the voice had murmured thoughts of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor he'd suspect that not many of them would be too pleased.
Indeed, when he wrote home to tell his parents that he'd been sorted into Gryffindor the reaction was not exactly a favourable one. He doesn't really like to admit that that hurt a good deal more than he'd thought it would. To his mind, they were simply silly, pithy things this separation of the students at an age where, realistically, it was better to put them altogether so they could attempt to form bonds regardless of blood, race, religion or sex. The fact that he'd been in one officially dubbed the "enemy" of the House both his parents had been in didn't really surprise him. He wasn't really anything like either one of them.
Of course, once at school Ben discovered a number of things about both his parents he hadn't expected. His mother had been one of the only girls to ever make it onto the Quidditch team, had been a Chaser; his father had been a member of the Charms club and had excelled at Transfiguration. It didn't surprise him that he wasn't all that great with Transfiguration, surprised him even less that he had no real want to join the Quidditch team. It was interesting, certainly, and he enjoyed playing but there were others out there who were better than him at it and he'd leave the flying around after balls being flung through the air to them.
It wasn't until his fifth year, when the Triwizard Tournament occurred, that Ben was really made aware of his father's blatant support for the Death Eaters and even then it wasn't until towards the end of it. He had not known that Jonathon supported the Death Eaters though he can't clearly remember why he'd not suspected. The lectures and preaching's that the man flung his son's way were reminiscent of the spiels that he remembers reading Voldemort himself was fond of giving. It wasn't even Jonathon himself that told Ben this but, rather, the boy found out because of the others in his dorm room. One of the boys in particular took great delight in telling him that Jonathon Dunstan's name was mentioned with alarming frequency—to Ben and those who supported the Light, anyway—in connection with the Death Eaters although, like many, he claimed Imperius.
Sickened, Ben can remember going flying that night, over the lake on the school grounds, over the tops of the Forbidden Forest, above the castle itself. He spent perhaps two hours flying before returning to the castle proper and beginning to pour through issues upon issues of newspapers, searching for a mention of his family in them. When he found them, he shuddered and Ben can remember vividly thinking that his father would be sure to disown him when he found out that every summer, when Ben returned from school, the majority of his time was spent with Stella and Andrew, still.
As was to be expected, the summer after fifth year was a difficult one. Ben wasn't sure how he was supposed to act around Jonathon. Things were different, but not to Jonathon's mind, and it was perhaps this that ensured that Benjamin went even further out of his way to avoid the man. He'd often spend time either in his room, sitting with books and homework, or outside, wandering around the nearby villages or simply walking. That summer was the year that he first got into a canoe, this time with Stella and the two of them managed to capsize the thing regularly. It's memory is bittersweet in his mind, a mixture of fear, laughter and apprehension.
Harry Potter was, of course, insane during Ben's sixth year, not that this surprised Ben at all. He'd always thought the bloke was a little bit off and now it was simply common knowledge. Personally, he felt that it was about time some of the people within the school took their blinkers off and accepted this fact. Nonetheless, he didn't disbelieve anything that the bloke had said, simply required proof. For the most part, Ben spent his sixth year thinking and studying furiously. It was one of the better years for him, in that it was that year that he really discovered what he was good at magically and he attributes it all to Umbridge, though he'd prefer not to explain why. Trying to tell anyone that the pink hussy taught him anything has proven difficult in the past, so he doesn't often try anymore.
At the end of Ben's seventh year Hogwarts was invaded and Dumbledore died. Ben had never had any particular fondness for the man but realised that, with his death, the war had finally started, one that had been looming on the horizon for months, years even if one was to believe Potter. It frightened him, but what frightened him most was that, during a frantic scramble to leave the castle, he caught a glimpse of a familiar figure, a burly, blonde man who stared straight at him before hurrying on, dark, black cape swirling around him.
Ben spent most of the hour after he'd managed to get out of the castle throwing up.
That summer, he returned home but not for very long. His stomach heaved everytime he thought of what he was sure his father had been a part of and he stayed at the family home only long enough to get everything together, to say goodbye to his mother. At first, when he attempted this, she didn't understand and thought her son was being overly dramatic about a trip he'd arranged to go on. It was only when his intention of leaving home, never coming back and trying to avoid Jonathon for as long as he possibly could became clear that Amelia finally nodded and told him to just go.
It hurt him more that his mother didn't write than it did that his father seemed to have completely turned his back on him because, after all, Ben was the one who did first. When a letter finally arrived from Amelia, it was a long one, dated nearly two months beforehand only three days after he'd left home and, to put it quite simply, it was one that told him everything. Of his mother's involvement with the Death Eaters, of his father's, of the fact that there was a Dark Mark on each one of their arms and how it had never been expected that Ben was to take one. It was an admission of weakness, an apology and a suicide note.
The letter was sent out late, months too late and Ben only discovered this because he purposely contacted a friend of his mother's, inquiring into her health. Her response was enough to force him to scour through back issues of the Daily Prophet and when he read the notice of death there it was enough to spur him into returning home. It was one thing to not talk with a child who had left the family home; it was quite another to not inform them of their mother's death and funeral.
Predictably, the meeting did not go well whatsoever. Ben was livid and rushed in, wand in hand, his temper causing sparks to erupt from his wand. Jonathon had been expecting as much and when Ben did appear his only real comment on it was that he'd expected him to arrive earlier. Ben likes to think that he held his own well, then, but it stands that he was barely eighteen at the time and his father had nearly twenty-seven years on him. He had experience, age and knowledge on his side and Ben came away from that meeting with more scars than he'd like to admit, both emotional and physical.
The war was raging around him and Ben, at first, didn't know what to do. Days after the meeting with Jonathon an owl was delivered, with official documents informing him that he had been disowned. Ben pretended he didn't care but in reality he did; it's hard not to when your only living parent decides they don't care for you anymore. Although there had been a short time period in which he was sure that the Death Eaters had simply gone into hiding once more (or perhaps hoped would be a better word) it ended quickly and Ben found himself in a rather difficult position. No matter what, his family was still his family and yet he had to no intention of supporting them and their views at the same time holding no wish to ever face his father.
It took Ben longer than a number of his classmates to publicly declare his allegiance to the Light and even then he wasn't the most vocal about it. He made efforts to get in contact with the Order, to let them know that he wanted to help and he did so in the earlier days of the war despite inner conflict. Perhaps it was sheer rebellion that meant Ben was present at the Battle of Lyminge Forest, present at the death of his best friend. It was really this, more than anything, which helped him make his mind up and from that point on Ben made it known more and more often who he supported. While he was not an Auror, nor a hitwizard—and he refused to go into training for either of them—he was good with magic, he was a fairly powerful wizard and he had ideas, which was considered the most important part. Or it was to him anyway.
Ben spent most of the war developing these ideas, drawing from both Muggle and wizarding history. The wizard's were fierce, strong and vicious and Death Eater's had no problems with killing on a large scale. The Light was less inclined to use the Killing Curse at every turn and Ben's main problem was trying to find a way that would allow them to eradicate as many Death Eaters as was possible and quickly. Unfortunately, a number of the methods he and others came up with weren't always effective, due to the moral and ethical issues of others. While Muggles had never had a very large problem with bombing their enemies certain members of the Order and the Light absolutely refused to entertain the notion. Incident's much like this one where largely the reason why Ben's allegiance can sometimes be more accurately described as "grey". There were more than a few times during the war when he quite frankly was accused of being a Dark wizard, something which occasionally makes him laugh.
With the end of the war, came the trials and the prosecution of not only Ben's father, but his aunt, his cousins. Not one of the people on trial surprised Ben to note but largely their identities came as a surprise to others. To this day Ben can be treated with suspicion by others because of his relations. People tend to either not know or care about the fact that Ben was disowned quite some time ago, seeing only what they want to see which is a man with a talent for destructive magic and Death Eaters within his family.
Of course, these trials meant that Ben took to avoiding the wizarding world when he could. For the large part this wasn't too difficult, as he was living a Muggle town not too far from childhood friend, Stella McKerr. If Ben thought about such things, it would have been logical that the two became involved at that point. He'd known Stella for years, she was a great friend of his and at that moment in time Ben, to put it simply, needed someone. He would consider it melodramatic to actually say but a part of him felt like walls were crashing around him and he couldn't quite figure out what to do. What he had been doing—attempting to create ways to kill, in essence—he was no longer required to, the people who had been his family didn't care for him and now his name was getting dragged through the mud also. It wasn't that he particularly cared for public opinion of him (for the most part he doesn't), but he does care about the fact that people on the street in Diagon spat at him. That particular incident is one that causes his jaw to clench.
Their relationship was perhaps one of the longer that Ben has ever experienced, the eventual break of it being more like a drift apart rather than an actual break. It became fairly obvious to Ben that they were best suited as friends sometime before the end of the 2000 but he never really thought to mention it, preferring instead to simply continue to exist with Stella chattering a hundred mile an hour about something which he never could quite remember, nor paid much attention to. Even after they'd drifted apart, Stella continued to remain living with Ben, though due to her nature it wasn't long before she was involved with someone else romantically.
Ben honestly expected the woman to marry the man and expects the only reason she didn't is because, about four months after their drifting apart, she told him she was expecting a baby in another three months. It was a shock, definitely, but he should have been expecting it given that the woman had been growing steadily bigger for months. However, Ben often spent most of his time in the Department of Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and Unexplained Phenomena which he had joined shortly after discovering they housed a Research and Design unit.
With the girl's birth, perhaps the biggest problem Stella had immediately afterwards was trying to dissuade Ben from naming the girl in quite the way he wanted to. Stella spent nearly four hours tirelessly arguing with him that Artemis was nowhere near an acceptable name. In the end, she compromised on Gaia Artemis but only because Ben's stubborn streak had reared its ugly head and also because she was so tired—and, at that point, high on a number of Muggle drugs—that she just wanted him to shut up and go away.
For the most part, Ben's life has straightened itself out somewhat. Stella and Gaia largely still live with him in Helford, although Stella occasionally will move out for a few months and stay with her sister, mother, or brother. He still works with Research and Design—because he'd be most aggrieved if he had to leave the position—and he still spends far too much time going for the occasional fly whenever he feels particularly stressed.
- Is a vegetarian.
- Prefers Quill over all his pets, but thinks that he should probably have given the dog a better name. Unfortunately, Quill's about seven human years at the moment and far too old to be renamed.
- Rarely sleeps for longer than four/four and a half hours a night.
- Never wet the bed, but sucked either a dummy or his thumb until he was six (closer to seven, but not quite there).
- Hates his birthday and any and all celebrations pertaining to himself. However, he tends to make a big deal out of a very select few people's birthdays because he feels like they should celebrate something like that.
- Plays piano extremely well and dances with grace. Rarely does either, however, these days.
- Has been able to sight read music since before he could remember.
- Resents people calling Samhain Halloween and resents the holiday that the Muggles have made it into. He doesn't hate Muggles, not by a long means, but he thinks they view the magical world as they know it with a lot of contempt and treat it as kitschy, trashing thing to cash in on. This irritates him to no end and because of this Stella and Gaia often are not living at the house in Helford come the week of Samhain. Ben knows why, but chooses to ignore this.
- Wears a lot of hats (silly ones, like Sherlock Holmes', not proper ones).
- Tends to actually enjoy meeting new people and being in the company of others. He doesn't like being alone, per se, which is why he likes it best when Stella and Gaia are at home and the weeks they aren't spends less time at home.
- Stella fact: Stella is dating and has been dating policeman, Gerry Flaherty, for the past two and a half years. Ben is aware of this but the two of them don't really discuss this. However, things are getting more serious with Gerry and Stella. Stella has been making preparations to move for quite some time; Ben is blissfully ignoring this.
- Attends Mass every Sunday, despite saying he doesn't really believe in religion. Takes Gaia, but only if she says she wants to go. Having had religion forced on him from the time he was practically no age, he does not want to force it on her.
- Once considered being a priest.
- Hates fish and only keeps buying them because he feels guilty for letting the other fish die. Has probably went through about two dozen since he was twenty.
- Although he will not admit it, Ben is slightly homophobic. Not in the way that he says that all gays should be burned or that he believes God will never accept them into Heaven due to their sexuality, but in the way that he'd much rather not see, nor would he like to hear details. He is perfectly okay with a heterosexual couple kissing in public, it's another story for a homosexual couple, be they male or female.
- Cannot skip for the life of him.
- Is talented at hula-hooping (totally a word).
- Can't cook worth a damn.
- Annoyingly chipper in mornings.
The Gryffindor VirgoEdit
(August 23 - September 22) The Vestal Virgin. Mutable, earth, yin - planetary ruler: Mercury. Keywords: "I ANALYSE"
Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac and governs the nervous system and the intestines. Positive traits include a keen intellect, attention to detail, imagination, politeness, disciplined work habits, realism, practicality, scepticism, organizational skill, curiosity, and modesty; negative traits are anal-retentiveness, anxiety, hesitation, an inability to see the forest past the trees, insecurity, and obsessiveness.
This is not a natural sign for Gryffindor, but some Gryffindors do end up born under the influence of Virgo. They are hard workers and usually very bright; they tend to be more ethically obsessed than most. Some Virgo wizards are also sorted into House Gryffindor because of their amazing imaginations; on the surface they may appear straight-laced and almost nervous, but inside is a wealth of romantic yearning and fantastic excitement. They quietly build dream castles in their minds; and the practical influence of the Earth element means that they, unlike more flighty signs, may have some chance of building those dream castles on solid foundations.
PB: Zach Braff