Reuben Pollux Crouch
He introduces himself as Ben.
29 August 1858
Excalibur, High Street, Hogsmeade
10” Dogwood and Jackalope Antler, Swishy.
Dogwood wands are mischievous and quirky; they become restless if their owner does not provide suitable excitement. Dogwood wands are often noisy spellcasters and refuse to perform non-verbal magic. Reuben was very fond of his original wand, 9 ½” Dogwood and Kneazle Whisker, and was delighted to have been chosen by a second Dogwood want when he needed to replace the first following an unfortunate incident with a thunderbird in 1883.
Malachi Crouch, Father [1824-1877]
Alberta Crouch née Rowle, Mother [1832-1877]
Aldous Crouch, Brother 
Roman Crouch, Twin Brother 
November Malfoy née Couch, Sister 
Standing at 5’6”, Ben is notably shorter than his older brother, but at least taller than his little sister. He inherited the characteristic thin frame of a Crouch, but since he’s tried to lead a more active lifestyle than his siblings, he’s added at least a little
muscle to it. His hair is naturally a bit darker, but tends to pick up sandy blond highlights at the first sign of summer sun. He has grey eyes beneath heavy brows. He keeps his hair short, which at times can make his ears look a bit oversized (though nothing as dramatic as the last Minister’s). Reuben is right-handed.
Never one to care too much about appearances, Reuben can often be seen in as casual dress as the occasion can permit. He prefers to keep a short beard even though the fashion is for men to be clean shaven, and tends to wear clothes until the point where they show obvious signs of use, despite the fact that he grew up with money. He prefers Muggle fashion and is hardly ever seen in robes.
~ 1858 ~
A pair of twins are born to Malachi and Alberta Crouch. Though thankfully they are not the sort of pureblood parents to give their children archaic Roman names, they can’t resist the urge to give their new twin boys mythological middle names. One of the ironies of Reuben’s life is that he was given the middle name Pollux, the brighter of the twin stars in the constellation Gemini and the more heroic of the legendary twins. Clearly, his parents were not diviners.
~ 1859 - 1863 ~
The twins grow well enough, though Reuben immediately proves to be the more rambunctious brother. He is an adventurous toddler and the bane of his poor nanny’s existence, particularly when he shows an early sign of magic by levitating himself onto the top of a wardrobe at only four, and making her climb up to get him down.
In 1863, the family grows with the addition of a younger sister, November. Ben is not allowed to play with the baby, which is probably good; he hadn’t yet really internalized what the word ‘gentle’ meant, and his twin often came away from their play sessions with bruises as a result.
~ 1864 - 1868~
It quickly becomes obvious that November is a very different sort of child, and not in the way that Reuben and his twin are different from each other--she doesn’t talk. She barely even makes noise. Even so, Ben takes a liking to her almost as soon as she is old enough to waddle around in he and his brother’s wake. It has a lot to do with the fact that she seems so taken with him and his twin, but there’s something else, too--he has a sort of sense that she knows a lot, even if she never says anything. Like maybe she knows him, too, probably better than his twin does.
She ends up starting to speak around the time that Aldous goes to Hogwarts. Honestly, Ben is almost disappointed. He had imagined his little sister’s silence was some sort of game, some secret that she shared with her brothers but kept from the adults, and now that’s come to an end. He does still feel like they have a kind of bond, though--particularly when her first sign of magic involves levitation, just like his did, and at the same age, too.
No one is surprised to hear that Aldous is a Slytherin; Crouches are always Slytherins.
Over the next two years the twins have progressively more and more academic things filling up their time as they prepare to get their Hogwarts letters. Ben isn’t fond of having to sit for lectures, and his twin well outpaces him in their studies, to the surprise of exactly no one.
~ 1869 - 1870 ~
He and his brother receive their Hogwarts letters and, after some rather eventful school shopping (particularly the visit to get their wands, Ben having been a bit difficult to match), they head off to school. As a fourth year, Aldous is too busy with his own friends to do more than get them on to the train before abandoning them, which suits Reuben just fine--he wants to make his own friends, anyway. Practically dragging his twin behind him, they explore the train and make a few friends before arriving.
In the sorting ceremony, his twin is called first (it’s alphabetical) and, obviously, sorted into Slytherin. Crouches are always Slytherins. Reuben has been eying up all of the kids sent to Slytherin so far, trying to decide which one is going to become his best friend (after years of playing with him at home, he’s tired of his brother). It is quite a shock, then, when the sorting hat is placed on his head and doesn’t even mention Slytherin. Instead, it debates for less than ten seconds before declaring him, much to his surprise, a Gryffindor.
But Crouches are always Slytherins. Reuben is afraid to tell his parents that he’s been sorted somewhere else. Does this mean he’s not a Crouch? In the story of Castor and Pollux, they’re born twins, but one is the son of a human king, and one is the son of a god. Can that even happen? Maybe he’s secretly a bastard and never knew it?
Of course, it’s not as though he can really keep a secret from his parents when he has two brothers at school. If they’re disappointed, at least they have the kindness not to put it in the letter they write him, and eventually Reuben comes to terms with his house--and then, fairly quickly, becomes fiercely proud of it.
~ 1870 - 1872 ~
Reuben had known ever since attending his first Quidditch game in first year that he wanted to play Quidditch. He wanted his brother to play Quidditch, too, and he wanted to beat him in a match--like brutally beat him. Not that he had anything against his twin brother, per ce, but he was still feeling as though he had something to prove, being the only Gryffindor Crouch ever, and publicly humiliating his brother would have been the ideal way to prove it, once and for all. Unfortunately, his twin has no interest in joining the house team, and even if he did, Reuben doesn’t make the team when he tries out in either his second or third year.
He adds Muggle Studies in third year, just to be contrary--he knows neither of his brothers took Muggle Studies, and so he knows that he can’t be compared to them on that front. He also takes Care of Magical Creatures and Ancient Runes.
~ 1872 – 1874 ~
In his fourth year a chaser spot opens up on the Gryffindor team, and Reuben finally makes the cut--he’s much better at chaser, as it turns out, than anything else he’s tried for. He works much harder at Quidditch than he does at his classes, which is somewhat apparent in his grades. Although he does manage to obtain most of his OWLs the next year, his scores are far from ideal, and he does manage to annoy two of his professors by earning a mark of ‘Dreadful.’ Of course, it’s hard to mention this without comparing it to his twin brother’s performance that year; while his marks aren’t perfect they are rather good, and that is on top of his prefect duties--which everyone insists are a much bigger deal than Ben’s involvement in Quidditch.
|History of Magic
He opts to keep on with Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Potions because he’s genuinely interested in them (he’s always had more of an interest in classes where there’s a possibility for something to explode), Muggle Studies because he was surprisingly and unexpectedly good at it, and Ancient Runes because he feels as though his family will judge him if he only keeps four classes and one of them is Muggle Studies. He doesn’t anticipate needing any of these classes, because he already knows that he wants to play Quidditch when he gets out of school. He also knows, however, that his parents are unlikely to buy off on this, so he’s keeping it, temporarily, to himself.
The end of his fifth year is also when Aldous graduates, and so the pressure is temporarily taken off of Ben and his abysmal grades when their father decides to take his eldest son abroad for a year.
~ 1874 – 1876 ~
Reuben is nearly finished with his sixth year by the time his father and older brother return from Asia, and actually doing passably well with his studies, much to everyone’s relief. He still hasn’t told anyone that he wants to play Quidditch--better to spring that news on them, he feels, when everyone is in a little better spirits. Aldous goes and gets the sort of job their father can instantly be proud of, and it seems like a good time--but the summer comes and goes with Ben somehow failing to ever bring it up, and soon he’s off to his last year with his brother. This is also Nova’s first year, and Reuben watches her sorting with bated breath, secretly convinced that she will end up a Gryffindor, like him. They’ve always had the sort of bond he didn’t feel like he shared with either of his brothers--and they had their first sign of magic at the same age, and in such similar ways. Nova has to be a Gryffindor!
She isn’t a Gryffindor; years later, in retrospect, Ben would be embarrassed to admit he’d ever thought she was, recognizing that he’d been projecting what he wanted his little sister to be instead of who she actually was. There is some camaraderie, however, in her being the second non-Slytherin Crouch, and Ben continues to feel as though they have a special sort of bond (though he doesn’t show it in any very traditional way).
By Christmastime, Reuben really can’t dodge questions about what he plans to do with his future any more, and he confesses his desire to play professional Quidditch. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t sit very well with anyone, except maybe Nova--Nova isn’t really the type of person to interject when others are arguing, so it’s hard to say what she thinks.
No one seems to care that he gets rather good NEWT grades, given that he’s determined to ‘squander’ them by pursuing a career in Quidditch, which everyone still wholeheartedly disapproves of. Regardless, he tries out for the professional teams shortly after graduation and accepts a position as a second-string chaser for the Appleby Arrows (along with his roommate and team captain, Edward Mohr, interestingly enough--though Edward is playing keeper). Ben buys himself a broomstick to celebrate, and names her Adelaide. He still has her, though she's seen better days, and takes her on every traveling excursion.
Is it because he joins the Quidditch team that his father doesn’t take either of his younger two sons abroad, as he did for Aldous? Or does Reuben insist on joining the Arrows because he knows that there won’t be a trip abroad? That Aldous will always be, has always been, the favorite, and it doesn’t matter whether Ben plays Quidditch, or does something respectable, or joins the circus? He’ll likely never know. In any case, no one offers to take him on a tour of Asia.
~ 1877 ~
‘The Quidditch Thing’ has not ceased to be a point of contention, even a year later when Reuben is starting to set his sights on moving up to first string. Neither has the lack of any father-son trip abroad--though Reuben has never mentioned this to anyone, he still resents his father for such obvious favoritism. He takes a sort of glee in pouring all of his effort into Quidditch, to spite his family. He knows that he’s been pulling his weight, and that the promotion to first string is coming sooner or later, and secretly hopes rather foolishly that somehow this will be the breaking point where his parents and brothers finally let him be about his career. Before he can ascend to first string, however, tragedy strikes. In October, his parents are crushed at the construction site for the home the family had been building in Hogsmeade, and both die.
Still in the early stages of his second season as a professional Quidditch player, Reuben finds himself under immense pressure from both his brothers to quit the team and do something real with his life. The pressure is one thing, but Ben also feels guilty for his parents’ death--not because he had anything at all to do with it, but because he can’t help but think, irrationally, that his pent-up resentment somehow made their deaths worse, or more tragic. The mixed emotions are overwhelming enough to make him hand in his resignation as an Appleby Arrow before the end of the year, though he isn’t sure what his next step is. He’d never had any plan except Quidditch.
~ 1878 - 1879 ~
Reuben gets a job in the Ministry early that year, though in a different department than his brothers, fearing to live in their shadow. He quickly determines that he absolutely hates working at the Ministry, but he’s at a loss as for what else to do; everything that’s interesting to him isn’t what his brothers would consider a very fitting job for a Crouch.
In 1879 he switches to the Department of Magical Games & Sports, since his twin suggests perhaps he’ll be better there, based on his experience. Working with the Quidditch League on a daily basis, far from making him feel more at home, only makes him resent all the more the career he might have had. He follows the careers of people who he played with on the Gryffindor Quidditch team almost obsessively, picturing how his life could have been different if he’d been allowed to do what he wanted to do.
~ 1880 - 1881 ~
Reuben decides to try and convince his oldest brother that he’s going to become an academic (quite a feat given his scholastic performance at Hogwarts), and quits his job at the Department of Magical Games & Sports to conduct research for a book. He enjoys not working more than he enjoys either researching or writing, but it’s difficult to convince Aldous he’s making progress when he’s quite obviously not; in order to hide his subterfuge, he goes abroad. It’s like the trip his dad was never going to take him on--though he avoids any talk of Asia as though it were the home of the plague. Instead, he bounces around Europe throughout 1881, mostly hanging around in clubs and flirting with women and generally getting very little done that could be called research.
~ 1882 ~
Reuben returns for a few months in the spring of 1882 to see his little sister graduate and debute. Obviously, questions are asked about the ‘book’ he’s been working on, but Reuben isn’t knowledgeable in enough subjects to properly bullshit his way through an entire summer, so he instead claims that the idea for his book--and all of the text he had written so far!--was stolen by a Frenchman, whom he had been working with for nearly a year as a partner and co-writer. He declares that the treachery of the Frenchman has turned him off of writing entirely, and he intends to become a breeder of exotic magical creatures instead.
As the term exotic would imply, this necessitates his traveling abroad once again. In late fall of 1882, he sets sail for the brave new world of America.
~ 1883 - 1884 ~
Having learned from his last mistake with the book, Reuben decides that he has to at least make a show of trying to breed some sort of magical creature--at the very least, so that he can play the part convincingly when he talks to his brothers next. He moves from the coastline towards the midwest, where most of the larger magical creatures can be found roaming. He soon meets Mr. Grady Walsh, a magizoologist with a local farm, and becomes friendly enough with the man that he’s invited to come over to his farm. He meets the entire family: Walsh’s wife, two sons who were just slightly younger than him, and three daughters, aged 21, 19, and 17. It isn’t long before Reuben has become something of a fixture in the Walsh household, frequently coming by for dinner or to help out on their farm. It’s been a long while since he’s dealt with magical creatures (since Hogwarts, in fact), but it comes back to him very quickly, which only ingratiates him to his American hosts even more. He grows particularly close to the Walsh’s oldest daughter, Una, and even ends up sharing a kiss with her in early 1884.
Of course, all good things must come to an end. Aldous’ boss apparently had a heart attack in May, which means his brother got a promotion--and with it, oversight in to American-British relations, where it just so happened that they were discussing the breeding of magical creatures, and the ones that Reuben was using as a cover story particularly. His brother is less than amused to discover that Reuben’s “business venture” is actually illegal in America, though Ben isn’t sure whether Aldous is upset because he thinks that Reuben is lying to him (again), or whether he’s worried that he isn’t lying and is about to get arrested. In any case, Reuben is summarily ordered back to Britain. Being ordered around by one’s brother isn’t particularly sexy, so that isn’t that he tells Una (or any of the Walshes)--but he’s become close enough to her that he doesn’t want to lie to her, like he’s been lying to everyone else, and so he simply says his goodbyes to her parents and leaves.
The journey back to the east coast of America, and then across the Atlantic, takes a good deal of time, and so Reuben has time to plan how he’s going to get himself out of this before having to face off with his brother. Aldous probably objects to him not having a job, he figures (or at least not a legal job, if he thinks Ben was actually breeding creatures), and so if he shows up and he has a job, that ought to take the wind out of his sails a little bit. Of course, he doesn’t want to actually work (unless he can play Quidditch again), and he certainly doesn’t want to be cooped up in Britain--something he feels is almost a certainty based on the tone of his brother’s last letter.
Writing to old school friends and networking as best he can through owl, Reuben manages to get himself hired as a freelance Cursebreaker. Hardly the ideal career, from the upper class pureblood point of view, but it appeals to Ben--there’s a sense of danger that reminds him of the classes he had enjoyed in Hogwarts, and it allows him to continue traveling while still technically living in England. Best of all, it’s a job that will actually pay him, so Aldous can hardly complain, right?
His older brother certainly wasn’t thrilled, but he didn’t outright prohibit Reuben from going forward with it. To convince his brother that he was serious about settling into this new profession, and to some sort of ‘roots’ in Britain, he joined a club--though he stayed away from Black’s in favor of Excalibur. Finding that he enjoyed the company (far more than he might have enjoyed the company at Black’s), he moved to a room at Excalibur’s shortly after his return to England--which, aside from the excellent company, provided the bonus of not having to live with Aldous.
Another bonus is that he’s not in the house when it catches fire that summer. He feels vaguely guilty about not being there for Nova, and for Aldous being so badly burned trying to ensure she was safe, and for the whole… splinching thing… but… well, there’s not really much he can do about it. He feels awkward enough that he opts to avoid his siblings for a few months while the house is being rebuilt, and conveniently enough, his first curse-breaking trip takes him out of the country for just the suitable length of time.
~ 1885 - 1886 ~
Nova meets a man and gets engaged, which officially makes Reuben the only member of the family that isn’t doing what he’s supposed to be doing. Ben feels, irrationally, a little betrayed, but it’s not as though he’s been a big enough part of his sister’s life, through all his absences, to be able to offer any opinions on that front. She’s pregnant by the end of the year, and then in 1886, Reuben becomes an uncle. That’s sort of scary.
Aldous hasn’t made any move to marry, yet, and Ben figures this is the sort of thing where he ought to follow his more societally-in-tune brothers’ leads. Besides, while he enjoys his career, it’s hardly the sort of job that would support an upper class household on its own, and he doesn’t seriously think that his older brother will keep supporting him indefinitely--particularly not if there are children involved. Honestly, it’s kind of amazing that he hasn’t already been completely cut off (and maybe hints that his brothers are a bit more sentimental than Reuben might have assumed).
He doesn’t have any serious relationships with women, though he’s known for being something of a flirt at balls, and tends to have interactions that go a bit past flirting when he’s out of town on business--but so far, none have ever followed him home or become problematic the way that love affairs often are.
~ 1887 ~
Life has been quite enough recently that Reuben thinks his brothers might be a little easier around him. Maybe they suppose that all of his adventures were just youthful fancies? In any case, Reuben is no more inclined to settle--either into a more permanent housing situation or a more ‘safe’ career, though he knows he will eventually have to get both. This will be his last year in Excalibur, as he’ll turn thirty and be ejected in summer of 1888, so he probably ought to start thinking about that sort of thing… soon.
What one might describe as ‘free-spirited,’ Reuben enjoys traveling, adventure, and adrenaline. He is reasonably smart but has difficulty keeping his attention on something unless he has a real interest in it. Ben is charismatic and genuinely enjoys socializing, no matter if it’s with men, women, rich, poor, young, old, etc. He learns best through hearing stories and is an excellent listener. He has often been accused of being a flirt, but is too genuine in his interest in people to ever be thought of as a malicious ‘don juan’ type. He holds very liberal views and favors equality and progressive rights, mostly because he’s had experiences talking to people who have swayed him to their side. He’s good with animals and children, but doesn’t have a particular desire for kids--or, for that matter, pets. He’s quite content to go through life without being tied to anything and enjoys renting his single room in the club, and his travel-heavy career.
Reuben and his twin Roman are both very allergic to domestic cat hair (but not kneazle hair).
Ben has a thing for redheads but always tells people he prefers blonds because he thinks there's kind of a stigma about redheaded women.
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