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Story Notes:
Oct 8, 2006
There’s an art to breaking and entering that many people don’t seem to appreciate. Benjy hears claims that thieves are repulsive and ought to be in Azkaban, but he doesn’t agree. People who steal that are caught certainly belong there, but a true thief, a master at the art, would never allow themselves to get apprehended.

Benjy is a master. He learned the art from his grandfather, who spent his entire life acquiring others property in less than amenable ways. When he was fifteen, he started practicing his art at Hogwarts, often just for the thrill and to see if he could get away with it. Those items, he always discreetly put back, which, in itself, was pretty exciting. By the time he’d finished his OWLs and left school, he was well on his way to making his grandfather proud.

The war has changed some of his priorities, of course. He can’t be a half-blood and not try to do something to keep Voldemort from gaining power, after all. It isn’t so much of a choice as just a fact of life. Benjy doesn’t care for much, but he’s loyal to his family and friends and selfish enough to care about doing whatever it takes to save his own life, too.

His mastery at obtaining articles that belonged to another (because, really, stealing was just so harsh) has given him an edge since he joined the Order. Albus and Frank don’t ask how he happens to get hold of plans or maps that benefit their cause, after all, so long as what he gives them helps. It’s also definitely more exciting than any of his past experiences have been, especially when he knows he only has a limited time before some Death Eater or another returns home.

Tonight, though, he knows things are different. He’s not sure why, but it’s just a sinking feeling in the pit of his belly. He’s been tracking the owner of this house for a couple of weeks and expected to find some paperwork, which is what he usually finds, or possibly a file or two that were pinched from the Ministry where Caedmon Avery works. Instead, he’s found something that gives him goosebumps for some unknown reason.

It’s nothing special, but it’s locked up and protected by more charms than anything else he’s taken. That, alone, tells him it must be worth a lot. A simple music box should not have the heaviness of dark magic (a feeling he’s used to but so many others never seem attuned to) surrounding it. He doesn’t have much time to make a decision, so he doesn’t think about it.

Benjy transfigures a nearby quill into a matching replica of this music box, right down to the intricate eagle imbedded on the cover, and adds the same charms so it’s not suspicious. Once that’s done, he releases the protection charms and exchanges the music boxes. The original one seems to burn his hand through his dragonhide glove, but Benjy knows from experience that a lot of protection charms use heat as wards. He ignores it and puts it into the bag he brought.

After he makes sure that there’s no sign he was ever here, he leaves the house and runs. The music box isn’t something he can give to Albus or Frank because they’ll realize he pinched it, but he’ll figure something out. He knows it must be worth a lot, but he’s not sure about the dark magic since that’s not really his field of expertise.

He smiles suddenly and changes his route, knowing exactly where to go now. Caradoc’ll know what to do about it. Benjy relaxes the further away he gets from his target. The thrill of possibly being caught mixed with the adrenalin rush he gets when breaking in begins to subside as he heads through the streets of London. He didn’t acquire any paperwork or worthwhile information, true, but he feels quite smug about his find.

People can say what they want about thieves because he knows that he’s a master of the craft and a true artist.