Ben Granger and the Legacy of Icarus
By Helmione Nightingranger

NEW A/N I'm re-uploading this, because I've just realised that I managed to get Icarus and Daedalus the wrong way around! I love mythology, and I read it all the time, so now I feel stoopid! Oh well. The only different things are the names, so if you read this chapter already don't bother reading it again. (Unless you really want to, in which case - cool! Go ahead!)

A/N OK, so this is slightly shorter than the rest of the chapters so far, but I had to end it there. Sorry! Anyway, I've finished my exams now, so I should be able to write more regularly.

Ben Granger And The Legacy Of Icarus
By Helmione Nightingranger/Helen, dedicated to the ever-fabulous Parker. Thanks for all your help.

"Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life."

Chapter III - Just Another Manic Monday

Sunday Evening
Dear Journal,

It's strange, I never thought I'd write in here again, but there has been so much happening I wanted to write some of it down so I don't forget it. I guess it'll be something to show my grandchildren.

Yuck. I sound like Hermione. Shoot me somebody.

Anyway, now that I'm writing I might as well write something useful, especially seeing as I get the feeling a lot of the things happening here aren't what they seem, and maybe this journal will be useful as evidence or something.

Mostly what's been happening is just lessons. I've been here nearly a week, and had at least one of every type of magical lesson now. I enjoyed Defence Against The Dark Arts a lot, even if Beatrice sulked the whole lesson because I told her to shut up when she said that werewolves aren't nice. I thought Professor Lupin was very nice, and Hermione said he was too. Well, that's what she told me when she had him in the third year - I don't know what she thinks now, because she still isn't speaking to me. Oh well. Thanks to Cho, I know nobody's really listening to the rumours now, they seem to have disappeared completely. I think Cho's quite enjoying being the "wonderful" heroine that helped the poor little first year in distress. She's getting on my nerves a bit with her "how are you doing today, Ben?" and "I hope everything's working out for you now," but at least the rumours are gone, and I don't feel guilty anymore. Hermione's just being stubborn. (Or maybe I should say she's just being Hermione, because it means exactly the same thing.)

I wasn't too keen on Herbology - Dad always used to try and make me interested in gardening, but it's just not my thing really. Too much dirt. (Now I'm starting to sound like Ophelia...) Professor Sprout's quite nice, too, but not as interesting as Lupin.

Astronomy was quite cool. I've always liked stars. One of the Gryffindors in my class is actually Professor Sinistra's daughter, Betelgeuse. Poor kid - I thought Benedick was a stupid name, but when I was introduced to her I thanked god that my parents like literature more than astronomy.

Charms is quite funny really, because poor Professor Flitwick seems very scared of us all. He and Professor McGonagall both seem quite disappointed in me though - I suppose I *am* quite a let down if they were hoping for another Hermione. In a way, I kind of wish we didn't share a name. I don't mind that she's better than me at school stuff, I know she works really hard and everything. It's just sometimes I wish I could be judged as me rather than as Hermione's brother. It was even worse at primary school though, when I came after two legends. Who would have thought that I could be related to Ophelia "Van Goph's More Talented Twin" and Hermione "Brainiest Thing Since Sliced Einstein"? Nevermind. I guess I must be the best at something, I just haven't found it yet.

Snape still isn't back, and Professor Figg is still strict, but I think she likes me, because I seem to be quite good at Potions and it's probably my favourite subject. History of Magic is easily the worst. The really stupid thing is that we can all tell that Professor Lennox is really intelligent, she just keeps trying to make things *fun* and *interesting* and that makes us want to kill her. Someone needs to tell her that we're not five years old.

I've just read back over this, and it seems normal and harmless, so I'm not describing it right. I don't know what I can say to describe it the way things are around here - they're like nothing I've experienced before. The lessons themselves are fine, but there's something wrong and everyone can feel it. They act normally, but I remember Hermione's descriptions from last year and not once did she mention it would be this tense. I think that must be because it wasn't - I think it must be just this year, maybe because of that You-Know-Who guy coming back to power.

I wish I could explain it better, but I don't really understand it. All I know is, I'm not usually a very perceptive person, but even I can tell that something is seriously wrong, and I'm scared. It feels strange here, like the walls are watching and the ceiling is listening, and the darkness is closing in on us. I don't understand what's happening or why, and all I can do is pray that the "Boy Who Lived" will triumph again, preferably without getting me, my sister, or my friends into mortal danger along the way.

Who am I kidding? Hogwarts wouldn't be Hogwarts without a bit of mortal danger, right?

But I'm still scared.


Ben slid his journal under his pillow where no one would find it, and went to wash his hands (he'd spilt rather a lot of ink on them - he was still getting used to writing with quills). Then he pulled the curtains around his bed shut, making it completely dark so he could sleep. He lay awake for a long time, though, trying to force thoughts about tomorrow's flying lesson into his head, to cover up the gaping black hole of irrational fear that had suddenly appeared.


When he woke up on Monday, Ben had forgotten last night entirely. The only thing in his head was flying.

"I can't wait!" he said excitedly to Beatrice at the Ravenclaw table that morning.

"Calm down, Daedalus," she said.

Ben frowned. "Who?" The name rang a bell somewhere. The name was important.

"Daedalus," Beatrice said, laughing "weren't you listening in History of Magic?"

Ben looked at her. "Of course not. It was History of Magic."

"He was that Greek guy that wanted to fly so much he built himself wings made of feathers and wax. Remember?"

Ben nodded, vaguely. He did half remember.

Just then the post owls swooped over head.

"Feathers, you said?" asked Ben, a strange smile on his face.

"Yes, and wax," said Beatrice, then she noticed what he was looking at. "but I don't think the owls will take kindly to you plucking them. Besides, Daedalus flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he fell into the sea and drowned, so it's dangerous and you better not be seriously thinking about it!"

She looked at him sternly, but he was still staring at the owls. He didn't really want to take their feathers, of course, but he was so jealous of the way they flew. He wanted that more than anything.

"Icarus," he said, without thinking.

"What?" asked Beatrice, looking up from her bacon.

"It was Icarus. The one who fell into the sea. Daedalus lived."

"I thought you didn't remember?" asked Beatrice.

"I don't," said Ben, looking very puzzled. "I wasn't listening, but I know. Daedalus lived..." he frowned, trying to remember how he knew, trying to work out why he was so sure that Icarus died - and why it mattered so much. "Hermione must have told me - she loves old legends, she probably leant me a book on it once or something."

He shrugged, and began to eat his muesli, entirely forgetting that Hermione always refused to lend him books because he folded the page corners over and cracked the spines.


"Right, I have a new set of a very rare plants in today, and I want you all to be very careful, because you're going to have to comb them," said Professor Sprout.

"Comb them?" whispered Ben to Beatrice and Westerly Blue who was sitting with them. West shrugged, but Beatrice pointed to the front, where Professor Sprout was holding up some plants with what appeared to be thick hair instead of flowers or leaves.

"The Because I'm Worth It Plant was discovered only last year by a Muggle-born wizard called Bernard "Baldie" Flyn. These unusual plants went unnoticed for a long time due to their resemblance to small furry animals, but Mr Flyn was trying to find his toupee, which had blown away in the wind, and he stumbled upon a cluster of the plants in America. Since then they have been found all over the world.

Different varieties grow in different climates - the Blonde, for example, is native to Norway and Sweden. The Red is usually found in remote places in the Scottish Highlands. Warmer countries like Africa have mainly the Black variety, and the most common in Britain are the Brown and the Mousy. We're lucky enough to have an assortment, but they require a lot of care. They must be combed everyday, and shampooed twice a week to keep them in good condition.

So, if you would get into pairs and pick a plant, the combs are in a box over there. Careful, please, the hair is very valuable for use as a wig or to be put into cough syrup."

"The Because I'm Worth It Plant?" Ben said incredulously.

West laughed, but Beatrice looked blankly at them. Ben was quite surprised to get any response - he'd expected puzzlement all round.

"Are you Muggle-born?" Ben asked West, who nodded. "Oh, I didn't realise - I'm getting used to people having no idea what I'm talking about!"

West laughed. "Me too - I was telling Fabian last night about how my big sister's obsessed with soap operas, and he didn't know what I meant. He asked me what an opera was, and I told him, which was a stupid thing to do, 'cause then he got even more confused. Asked me why anyone would be obsessed with singing soap."

Ben rolled his eyes "Yeah - yesterday Beatrice asked me where Sesame Street is!"

West laughed.

"Hey!" said Beatrice. "That's not fair, there are loads of things you don't know!" She flounced off.

Ben shrugged. "Do you want to work with me?" he asked.

"Sure," said West. "Let's get that plant there - it looks like Jennifer Anniston"

"Cool," said Ben "as long as it's not David Schwimmer - I don't want it covered in hair gel!"

West laughed, and Ben grinned at him. Magic was great, but it was nice to talk to some one who understood about Muggle things.


For some reason, when they reached Transfiguration, Beatrice was refusing to talk to Ben. This didn't really bother him, he just sat with West, on a table with Jem Mint and Fabian Dan. But he did feel a pang of guilt when Beatrice glared at him from across the classroom, after sitting down with two Hufflepuff girls Ben didn't know.

It was a very difficult lesson. They were supposed to be turning rings into bracelets, but it took a lot of effort. Ben found he could make his ring grow a little, but it couldn't really be called a bracelet, because you could only get three fingers into it.

It didn't really matter though. He just enjoyed getting to know the boys. He discovered that whilst West was quiet and didn't push himself forwards much, Jem and Fabian were very loud and boisterous as well as extremely clever. They spent most of the lesson cracking jokes and laughing at poor West, who was trying to work.

"Wake up, Westerly-is-besterly, and get your head out of that book!" said Fabian, ripping West's Transfiguration book - from which he'd been trying to pick up a few tips, as he was having trouble - out of his hands and throwing it over his shoulder.

It hit Serena Macmillan (one of the Hufflepuff girls) in the back of the neck. She glared at them all, and picked the book up off the floor, and put it on her table.

"Don't think you're getting it back!" she called over her shoulder.

"Cheers," said West sarcastically to Fabian. "As you lost me my book, I think you'd better give me yours."

"Take it and welcome!" said Fabian, shoving his book across the table. "I don't need a book, magic's all to do with your feelings and intuitions, anyway - books won't help you."

"Feel the force, Luke!" said Ben. West laughed.

"Who's Luke?" asked Fabian. Ben and West both shook their heads.

"It doesn't matter," they said in chorus.

"I'm bored now," said Jem, picking up his wand. Ben ducked - Jem had got "bored" earlier and dyed Serena the Hufflepuff's eyebrows hot pink.

"Hey catch!" yelled Jem. Ben looked up. Jem hadn't had any problem with the difficult transfiguration lesson - his bracelet had been perfect - but now he'd transfigured the beautiful silver chain into a mini-Frisbee, and thrown it at Fabian.

"Woohoo! I'm the best!" yelled Fabian, as he caught it an inch from the floor.

"WHAT is going on back there?" demanded Professor McGonagall.

"An experiment in aerodynamics, using transfiguration to adapt the variable so as to create a more interesting experiment," Fabian explained smoothly.

Professor McGonagall did not look impressed.

"Maybe you would like to explore aerodynamics further during lunchtime Mr Dan? You will stay after class," she said coldly. "Mint, Blue, and" the Professor gulped "Granger, you may join him."

West looked at Fabian and Jem.

"Oi, Bert and Ernie, Nice going," he said. Then he raised his wand and concentrated again on his ring.

Jem and Fabian, however, were unfazed.

"So, Benjamin, why did McGonagall not want to say your name?" asked Jem.

"I dunno - probably 'cause of my sister - I bet she never gets told off."

Jem and Fabian shrugged at each other.

"And my name isn't Benjamin," he continued.

Jem and Fabian shrugged again.

"Details, details," said Jem with an airy wave of his hand. "Catch!"

Ben saw a flash of silver, then the Frisbee-bracelet hit the stone floor behind him with a clatter.

"Boys! What are you doing now?" came Professor McGonagall's voice.

It was going to be a long lesson.


Ben sighed. Professor McGonagall had made them clean out a cage of guinea pigs for her afternoon class. It was dirty and smelly and frustrating too, as Jem and Fabian - who'd got them into trouble in the first place - hadn't done a thing. West had got annoyed with them, and there had been shouting, and all in all Ben was glad to be out of there and at the Ravenclaw table for lunch. The other boys had stormed off angrily in different directions, so Ben was all alone.

There's weren't many people left, and most of the food was gone, so Ben sat down on his own and helped himself to the jacket potatoes and cheese.

As there was no one to talk to, Ben amused himself by listening to other people's conversations. First he listened to the Hufflepuffs, but the only people left at that table were three fourth year girls discussing dress robes. Boring, thought Ben, so he turned slightly to hear the conversations of the Slytherins.

"Well, father says it's a good way to bring some pride back, you know, emphasise the importance of blood to those who need a little...reminding."

Two people laughed slowly. Ben knew that voice - it was Malfoy.

"Anyway, the announcement goes out tonight. Dumbledore seemed to like the idea. Stupid old fool - he probably thinks that when people come they'll realise how we're 'all the same underneath' or some rubbish like that! I tell you, that won't be happening. He even said I don't need a teacher there - I'll have complete control!" There was a pause. "Are you two finished yet? Honestly, you eat so much I'm surprised you can fit through the door!"

Ben heard Malfoy and his friends get up from the table and leave the Hall. He wondered what they were talking about. The "importance of blood"? He knew enough from Hermione and Beatrice to tell that Malfoy meant blood as in your family or your roots, but it didn't stop images of scarlet stains and broken glass filling his head. He felt as though he could hear the violence in Malfoy's voice - it sounded ominous, full of danger. Like a threat...or a promise.

Ben shivered, and hurriedly finished his potato before rushing off to afternoon school.


Finally it was evening at last. The Ravenclaw first years hurried out to the Quidditch pitch as soon as their last lesson (History of Magic) was over.

"Finally," said Ben.

"What?" asked West, confused.

"I've been looking forward to this - I've always wanted to fly," answered Ben.

"I've told you, it's not as fun as you'd think," said Beatrice.

"Oh, so you're talking to me again are you?" asked Ben coldly.

Beatrice said nothing. She just stared at West as though she didn't want to say anything in front of him. He looked uncomfortable.

"I'm, uh, going to go and look at the broomsticks, OK?" he said, hurrying away.

"So why *did* you decide to start ignoring me?" asked Ben.

"You were laughing at me. With *him.*" Beatrice referred to West with contempt in her voice.


"You're supposed to be *my* friend."

"I *am* your friend," said Ben, confused "but I'm West's friend too - what's wrong with that?"

Beatrice frowned. "I'm not sure exactly," she said, looking puzzled "but you're my friend and I don't like it when you laugh at me with other people. And I don't like you being friends with other people. West isn't like you. I am."

She walked away, her face a strange mixture of confusion and annoyance.

Ben's face was a mirror image. He didn't know why she was upset - he could have as many friends as he wanted. And anyway, he didn't even especially like Beatrice, she was just *there* all the time. He didn't even want to be her friend, he told himself, as he watched her talking to some of the other Ravenclaw girls.

Then the strangest thing happened. A feeling, a strange feeling, somewhere deep in his chest. Anger.

Beatrice is *my* friend, she shouldn't talk to other people like that, he thought. She and I were intended to be best friends. We have to be. It's important. We're the same.

Ben shook his head, wondering what in the world had made him think that - he and Beatrice weren't exactly identical twins. In fact, he wasn't sure they were the same in any way.

And yet that feeling deep inside him told him that they were the same - in the least obvious but the most crucial way.

They were best friends, like it or not.

"Everybody, please select a broom and line up!" The shrill voice of Madam Hooch broke through Ben's thoughts.

His stomach lurched as he picked up his broomstick. This was it. This was what he'd been waiting for.

"Lie your broomstick on the ground, and command it to hover," said Madam Hooch.

"Hover!" said the class as one. Most of the brooms jumped into the air. Ben could see Beatrice holding a hand over her quivering waist-high Shooting Star with a bored expression. West was looking at his airborne Cleansweep 5 with a look of slight anxiety. Jem and Fabian looked desperate to get up into the air, though Ben thought that was probably a bad idea - just imagine the havoc they could wreak up there.

But none of them mattered. What mattered was that he, Ben, would be flying - really flying - in a matter of seconds.

Madam Hooch was wandering around correcting grips, but all she said to Ben was "Perfect!"

She walked back to the front. "Those of you that have done this before, or feel confident enough to give it a try, mount your brooms and kick off from the ground, like so," Madam Hooch said, demonstrating.

Ben swung a leg over the Nimbus 95 in his hand, and kicked off from the ground. This was it. The culmination of eleven years of dreams.

He felt the breeze on his face. It smelt fresh and sweet. As it was September, the air was still warm and it grew warmer as he rose upwards. It was wonderful to be up here, to be a part of the sky. He wasn't quite sure how to control the broom though - it seemed a little shaky.

He tried to turn left, but the broom shuddered and dropped a few feet in the air. Ben gasped, and fought to bring it back up. Maybe it wasn't as easy as he'd thought. Maybe he wasn't naturally talented after all. Maybe he was just a normal kid, just another nondescript first year.

But he was still flying.

Maybe he wasn't a Quidditch hero, he wasn't famous, he wasn't going to be winning cups anytime soon.

But he was still flying.

Flying was right, flying was him. Flying was what it meant to be Benedick Granger, what it meant to be Beatrice Ravenclaw.

He didn't know where that last thought had come from, but he didn't care.

He was flying.

He felt lighter than air, like he didn't even need a broomstick. He leant right over the front of his broom, watching the view below, watching his classmates, some still on the ground, some rising and diving through the blue skies.

Ben pulled his broom up even further, and swept through a cloud, laughing. He saw the birds swooping around, and he felt like he was one of them. He chased after them, listening to their song, feeling strangely at home. Then suddenly he felt the sun on his neck and fear spun through him.

He let the broom move gently downwards. It wasn't good to go too near the sun. It was dangerous. The wax would melt.

He swept down and down, intending to land and get his breath back, but suddenly, coming out of a dense cloud, he saw he was above the lake.

He pivoted upwards as quickly as possible, his heart doing cartwheels. It wasn't good to go too near the sea. The feathers would get wet.

He raced over the lake towards the land. The broom still didn't seem to entirely trust him, even though he was sure that nothing could go wrong now that he was flying. It wouldn't go as fast as he wanted, or turn as sharply.

But he was still flying.

Ben felt a strange urge to sing. He felt so light, almost as though he had left his clumsy human body behind, as though broomsticks and magic were no longer necessary, he was gliding on the wind...

Perhaps he leaned too far over. Perhaps he was going too fast. Perhaps the broomstick felt his thoughts and wanted to teach him a lesson. Whatever the reason, the wind was suddenly roaring too loudly and too fast, and the world was the wrong way up.

And the right way up again.

And sideways.

And upside down.

And there was the ground.

And there was the darkness, spinning to meet him, filled with shards of broken glass dripping crimson blood.


A/N Sorry for the cliffhanger! (actually, I'm not at all sorry...Mwa ha ha ha ha)
Also, it occurs to me that I ought to do a disclaimer of the songs Beatrice is singing - I don't always know exactly who they belong to, but I'll put the singers:
- Bring Me Sunshine by Morecambe and Wise
- Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
- Fame (I'm not sure who it's by, but it's an extremely cool song!)
- Good Mornin' from Singin' in the Rain
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by George Michael
- The Rain In Spain Stays Mainly In The Plain from My Fair Lady

Chapter 4

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