Omnia Permutare Chapter 9
A/N: I'm back! I know you've probably all forgotten about this story and I'm sorry. Life gets in the way of these things! I'm writing this the night before I go back to sixth form (A-level mocks… Anything to procrastinate!), so if there are any mistakes, I apologise!
A bell rang as Antonio opened the door and stepped inside the dusty wand shop. Putting his best foot forward and portraying his best (fake) confident exterior he cleared his throat.
An old man shot out from behind the many shelves of wands on a ladder.
"Ah good morning Mr Ollivander," Antonio began, "I'm here to…" he trailed off into an awkward silence.
Ollivander had seemed to suddenly appear in front of him and was peering at him intently, searching for something – what, Antonio had no idea.
"Erm, Sir?" Antonio frowned,
"Antonio Malfoy…" Ollivander said, "I am sure we've met before… But not whilst you were in this body. An odd phenomenon I'm sure…"
"Sorry what?" He blurted, forgetting his usually impeccable manners, "Oh Merlin, I'm sorry how rude of me Sir!"
"Oh not to worry young man," Ollivander smiled toothily, "Let's get to business now shall we."
The old man swiftly turned and walked to the back of the shop, beyond where was visible to Antonio.
"Well come here then!" Ollivander called back impatiently
Antonio quickly rushed after him. The small area at the back was crammed full of odds and ends, some useful to wand making, others that Antonio had no idea what did. A rickety old stool was squished in between a large table and a cupboard that looked like it would disintegrate upon a single touch. Ollivander was seated in a large, faded green velvet armchair.
Antonio immediately sat on the stool. You couldn't not do what this man told you to do.
"Now you're interested in an apprenticeship in wandmaking I understand?"
Antonio was gobsmacked. There was no way he would know he was here for that. He had decided to broach the subject in person, rather than through a letter, so as to show his passion from the start.
"… Yes!" He realised he hadn't responded to the question yet, "I'm very interested in the theory of wandlore and the importance of runes, so I would be very grateful if you'd consider me for the apprenticeship position. I've received my OWL results, which I have with me here and I am doing NEWTs in Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Transfiguration, Defence and Charms Sir. If you'd like to see…"
He reached into his bag to get out his results, but Ollivander put up a hand to stop him,
"That won't be necessary."
Antonio looked confused, he'd been prepped by Lucius as to what to expect at these sorts of things and this wasn't it!
"We can expect great things from you, Mr Malfoy," Ollivander said mysteriously, "I shall take you on as an apprentice."
Antonio's jaw dropped. Was he serious?!
"Really? Just like that?"
"I can see what you are capable Mr Malfoy. You shall be my apprentice and learn everything I know." Ollivander replied,
"Wow, I'm so grateful Sir. This really means a lot to me!" Antonio beamed.
"I shall follow you through your next two years of study and then we shall begin your training." Ollivander confirmed.
"Oi! Sirius! Get Bella and come over!" Antonio shouted through the Floo, "Get Rabastan too!"
He cancelled the floo then turned to Severus, Lily and Remus waiting behind him.
"Good thing Father can make me a portkey right to you guys, otherwise I'd have no way to contact you!" Antonio grinned, "Lils, you have to get your parents to install the Floo network!"
Lily laughed, "Ant, you know my parents can't just tear up their fake fireplace just so you can contact me!"
Antonio stuck his tongue out, "Alright you losers. The other kiddos are on their way. Let us get comfortable!"
Just as they slung themselves onto the array of furniture the fire flamed green and three teens burst out.
Sirius, Bellatrix and Rabastan were already in a heated debate about something, as per usual. Antonio glanced at Severus and snorted at the look of disdain on his face. Sev acted like an old man sometimes.
"So!" Sirius exclaimed, "What's the news?"
"Ollivander is taking me on as his apprentice after NEWTs!" Antonio beamed,
"OH MY GOD ANT!" Lily dived on him wrestling him into a hug.
Sirius took this as his cue to join the hug pile and proceeded to run and jump onto them. Severus tried to suppress his smile at the ridiculous sight, but was pulled out of his seat into the hug by Rabastan.
The six friends were all tangled together when a crack sounded from behind them. They all scrambled to their feet, apart from Sirius who rolled around on the floor like a dog, hooting with laughter.
"Master Antonio Sir," The house elf squeaked, "Lunch bes ready for yous."
"Thanks Bibty!" Antonio looked sheepish, straightening his shirt, "We'll be through in a sec."
"Food!" Sirius sprang up and sprinted out the door.
The others laughed at his antics and followed after him.
"So." Bellatrix began to speak as they tucked into the mass of food spread out, "I have news. It's not as good as yours though Ant."
"Oh that. Yeah you'd best say." Rabastan said.
Antonio frowned, "What is it?"
"My father has drawn up a betrothal contract with Rodolphus Lestrange, Rabastan's older brother. We're going to be married when I leave school." Bellatrix said.
Antonio glanced over at Remus. He'd gone pale and was looking down at his hands. Remus had had a crush on Bella since forever – it was common knowledge that no one said out loud. Unfortunately, Antonio knew this was a betrothal contract that neither party could say no. There was nothing Tom could do to change this decision.
Bella looked over at Remus, worried at his response. Sirius, Rabastan and Antonio would understand that this was something that was going to happen regardless of feelings, but the non-purebloods often didn't understand the old ways that many families still abided by. Antonio was an exception in that he had an option, but every Black was betrothed in their teenage years. The Lestranges were another family that followed this custom. Although Severus was a half-blood he was very studious and he'd probably understand at least the customs. Lily and Remus, however, were not brought up with that mentality and she was worried what they'd think. Especially Remus because they were so close.
"Oh." Lily finally broke the silence, "I'm guessing this is a thing then? What with Antonio being betrothed at 16 and now you?"
Bella nodded, "Yes. Our families take part in these traditions. The difference is Antonio got a choice, I did not."
"That's outrageous!" Lily was appalled, "How can your parents do that to you? You should marry for love!"
"It's not that easy Lils," Rabastan defended, "These marriages are about magic – keeping the lines going."
She frowned at this, "So it's a blood purity thing then?"
"Not really Lily," Antonio interjected, "It's a tradition thing. It may seem outdated to anyone who grew up in the muggle world, but it is a very usual thing in the wizarding world."
"I hope you're happy with him Bella." Remus said sincerely, "You deserve him to treat you well. I'm sure, if he's anything like Bast, he'll be a good husband."
Bellatrix smiled at him, her eyes softening, "Thank you Remus. He is a good man, if a little closed with his emotions."
Rabastan nodded, "Even though it is arranged, he will be a good man to her."
They sat in silence for a sec before Severus chipped in,
"Bit of a change of topic, but I figured we'd need one after this rather… depressing conversation. Lily and I, well Lily really, I'm just an unwitting bystander-"
"Get on with it Sev!" Sirius laughed,
"Alright alright, you can't rush genius!" Severus snapped suppressing a grin,
"We're taking you guys to the cinema to see a film!" Lily shouted excitedly, "There's a new film about space out – it's called Star Wars! We're both going and you all must come!"
Antonio grinned, "Sounds like fun Lils, when is it out?"
"We're seeing it just before we all go back to Hogwarts after Yule, so late December." Severus said
"What do you do though?" Rabastan was confused, "How do you see it?"
"We go to the cinema of course!" Lily laughed, "You'll all come round my house and we'll eat something, go out to Tescos for snacks (that'll be novel for you purebloods!) and then go to the cinema in our town."
"That's sorted then!" Sirius jumped up from his seat, "Onwards and upwards you scumbags! Back to the lounge!"
Bella rolled her eyes at her cousin's antics as he bounded out the room like an excited puppy.
"Another date with your beloved then Ant?" Lucius leaned against the doorframe into Antonio's room, watching amused as Antonio paced around worriedly.
"Yes!" He twitched, "I know you're going to say, don't be nervous blah blah blah, but I'm always nervous!"
"You mean you're always nervous around him." Lucius smirked.
"This is the first time I've been anywhere officially with him though Luc," Antonio whined, "I'm going to be meeting people who respect him and I'll have to not show him up!"
Lucius stepped into the room fully and sat down on the nearest chair, "Look Ant, you've been brought up a Malfoy. You know how to behave at parties and socials. This is no different. You go in there confident in the fact that you are better than the common man."
"Merlin Luc, you're such a snob," A small smile broke out on Antonio's sombre face, "I'll heed your (terrible) advice."
"You do that. You know you are a fine young man, Antonio, and he'll be proud to have you on his arm."
Antonio couldn't help but feel better at these words. Lucius, as much as he tried not to come across as it, was a soft-hearted young man who really cared about family. When he gave you a compliment, he meant it.
"Alright. Thanks Luc." Antonio walked over and hugged Lucius, who initially stiffened, but then put his arms around him and squeezed. They may not broadcast it, but the Malfoys looked out for their own and matters of the heart were not exempt.
"Off you go then." Lucius broke away and swept out of the room, turning back as he reached the door, "Good luck – you'll be brilliant."
Antonio smiled softly, he blinking well hoped so!
"May I introduce my Consort, Antonio Malfoy." Tom smiled ingratiatingly at the man in front of him, "This is Robert Crawley, a business partner of mine."
The man flicked his eyes over Antonio, pursed his lips and turned to Tom, "Lord Slytherin, I must speak to you in private about the most recent bill that is being passed in the Wizengamot." His lip curled as he looked at Antonio and then turned and moved away to another group.
"Tom…" Antonio whispered, "Er, why do feel everyone hates me? I've been to this and no one has ever treated me with such hostility…"
Tom placed his hand on Antonio's back and walked him over to a more private corner.
"Antonio, darling, it's nothing to do with you. If anything it's my fault." Tom started,
"I don't understand? What have you done?" Antonio asked,
"Well, as you know, I am, rather I was, a rather famous bachelor. Thus many of the people in my social circle had ideas of a betrothal of their children, or even themselves, to myself." Tom explained, "When I offered you a betrothal contract and it was accepted, I was then removed from the 'market' and therefore many of the people you are meeting tonight who seem a little hostile are simply jealous of your position at my side."
Understanding dawned over Antonio's face, "Ohhh that's why! I thought they all hated me because I was young or they'd thought I'd something. That's a relief, even though it's a bit of an annoyance."
Tom smiled, "Don't worry, it will fade. They will realise you are not going anywhere and will have to accept you at my side."
"I'm glad, Tom." Antonio looked up at him, "I'm very happy where I am. I hope you like me here too."
Tom reached out his hand and cupped Antonio's face, "Antonio Malfoy, you shall be my husband one day, of course I like you by my side."
With this said he leaned forward, tilting Antonio's face up, and captured his lips with his own in a firm, but chaste, kiss.
Antonio flushed as they broke apart.
"You are mine as I am yours. Don't forget it." Tom kissed him once more and then dropped his hand to catch Antonio's. "Let's get back to the party."
A/N: Reviews are my drug – please leave one!