Lord Of Time

Chapter 70

"Try not to leave them nameless on the first meeting, will you?" Tom asked, knowing it was pointless, Hadrian was still riled up over the House-elf, of course, he was going to find a way to try and insult them subtly in every single manner he knows. Which by the way, was quite a lot, also amusing, he just didn't want Hadrian to alienate people who could help them in the future to achieve their goals.

"I'll think about it," Hadrian said dryly watching their approach with disinterest, he was absolutely not going to rub elbows with these people. If anything happened then Tom would just have to blame himself, he was the one forcing him to come to these things when he'd made it clear he definitely didn't want anything to do with the schmoozing. "What?" he said not even trying for a defensive tone at the look on Tom's face. Half exasperated, half amused.

Tom just shook his head resignedly, it was a good job he loved Hadrian otherwise he would have cursed him by now. If he had been anyone else he wouldn't have gotten away with even a smidgen of what he did. The others had been very jealous of the lengths Hadrian was able to go, but they'd began to realize that he wasn't just a follower…he was also their leader, it had settled the jealousy they felt, realization that they couldn't compete with Hadrian helped with that too. Well after Avery's insipid display, that had also been a good deterrent.

"Welcome to Malfoy Manor, we are so sorry we weren't there to greet you, but as you can see we have guests to keep entertained," the soft melodic voice of Mrs. Malfoy said with a welcoming smile on her face. "My name is Estella Aurelia Malfoy and this is my husband Octavius Tiberius Lucius Malfoy and it's very lovely to meet you both."

The gentle sound of the piano and the harp didn't once stop, but as the night continued they'd find that the tunes varied and changed once every so often with magic itself.

"Evidently not well enough, since they find amusement in abusing your House-elf," Hadrian said with a coldness that caused his classmates to cringe remembering the last time very vividly. He refused to pander to the Malfoy's, they needed to be taken down a few pegs, vividly reminded of Lucius and Draco both. It didn't help that Octavius (another saint surprise, surprise) looked exactly like them. He glanced around the room, taking mental notes to those who tried to look smug but were unable to meet his eyes, or those who actually looked ashamed of themselves.

If Tom hadn't been such a composed young man he would have slapped his hand against his forehead and shook his head in exasperation. Yep, just how he thought it would go, and neither Malfoy seemed to know what to say in retaliation, there was hesitance there as if they feared saying the wrong thing and alienating them both. It made Tom smug to know that even the Malfoy's of all people wished to be 'friends' with them, in order to boost their own egos and standings. It meant that Hadrian could possibly get away with such disrespect. Hadrian seemed to think that they could do everything on their own, that they didn't need to please anyone to accomplish things. Tom wasn't sure if that belief was well founded or if it was just Hadrian's disgust for all the schmoozing. Only he would end up with a partner who would not care about such things.

"Thank you for inviting us," Tom said, able to smoothly garner their attention, gripping Hadrian's hand tightly, stopping the snort that he suspected Hadrian would give, and he was right, a burst of incredulity washed over the bond but thankfully no snort followed. "This is my husband Hadrian Peverell-Slytherin, and I am Tom Peverell-Slytherin, it's a pleasure to officially meet you, Abraxas has spoken very highly of his parents."

And with that the tension that had been present since Hadrian spoke dissipated.

"The pleasure is all ours," Octavian replied, nodding in respect to Tom, pleased that at least one of them showed the proper decorum. It was a shame, he'd had many questions he had wished to ask Hadrian regarding his book and perhaps subtly question his method for gaining such a momentous fortune so quickly and at such a young age to boot.

"Speaking of Abraxas, I'll get us something to drink, please excuse me," Hadrian said politely, just barely able to mask his sarcasm, "Oh, I do hope you enjoy the 1066 bottle of Bourbon Tom and I got you." he turned around with a feral smirk on his face at the look of shocked surprise on the Malfoy's faces, ha! He'd managed to make them drop their masks and in such a public settling too, round one went to him.

Tom sent him a droll look, "Your home is absolutely magnificent," not as lovely as Peverell manor, now nothing would come close to his home in his heart.

"Thank you," Octavian said beaming with pride, "You know we have had this land for nearing ten generations when the first of my ancestors came here from France."

Tom made a vaguely interesting sound, as he listened to what he was saying.

"The grand hall has retained its neo-gothic design, only being refurbished when required, even the stained glass is the original design imputed back in the day. Armand Malfoy, he was a great man, successfully began the Malfoy name, built the manor and some of the surrounding structures, which have of course been upgraded numerous times over the generations, but the foundations and outer structure remain mostly the same out of respect." Octavian oozed smug satisfaction, he took great pride in his home.

Estella fondly rubbed her husband's arm, giving Tom a vaguely apologetic look as if to say 'sorry you're having to listen to him babble on' in fact, she could tell the story herself. She'd heard it so many time over the past few decades, nobody was immune from her husband's desires to proudly boast about his home.

"It has twelve acres of land, annexing the surrounding lands from the Muggles over time," he continued to talk, "I plan to continue Armand's work and purchase more of the land surrounding the manor."

"Why leave out how he got it?" Hadrian questioned as he returned Abraxas in tow, giving over a drink to Tom who looked like he was enjoying the discussion but only Hadrian knew of the boredom bubbling under the mask of his. So he felt it was his duty to rescue his husband and try and wind up the Malfoy's further…what could he say…it was rather fun getting one over the family that lived to nearly kill and destroys him when he was younger. He knew it was childish, that these people weren't Lucius and Draco but hell, they could afford to be taken down a peg or two. Then he remembered his own pride at his home…maybe he was being too hard on them…then he remembered the sound of that oozing smug satisfaction as if it somehow made him better than anyone else. His land was actually bigger than the Malfoy's, just waiting to be used, although more was being used now than when he first moved in. Between flowers, trees, fruit, vegetables, greenhouses, potion patches and of course the animals a few foals had been born just a few weeks ago according to his House-elves.

Tom glanced at Hadrian curious about what he meant, how he got it indeed? He was perhaps too curious to be cautious about Hadrian revealing what may very well be secrets at this time.

"I'm not sure what you mean by that?" Octavian queried sounding genuinely puzzled.

"Well, my history is excellent, both Muggle and Wizardkind, when Armand Malfoy came here, he did some services for the Muggle king at the time, William the first, although the exact services aren't known, they were believed to be shady and magical in nature. In exchange for those favors…King William granted Armand a piece of prime land here in Wiltshire, seizing the land from the previous landholders." which was all too easy to do since he was the king after all and nobody would have been able to say a thing without ending up on the chopping block so to speak.

Tom's lips twitched as Hadrian said the name 'Armand Malfoy' and honestly, Tom couldn't blame him, Armand Malfoy basically meant I am a man of bad faith in French. Nobody should be surprised, he was rather good at speaking the language, after all, he wouldn't have (or should he say hadn't) plucked Voldemort out of thin air. A lot of effort had gone into that name or had done. One glance at Octavian let Tom know that it was true.

Octavian gave a dry laugh, "Abraxas, have you been telling tales again?" before admonishing him, "You shouldn't listen to everything the portraits tell you," shaking his head at his sons supposed 'naivety'.

Hadrian blinked displaying an utterly perplexed look on his face, only Tom knew of the amusement Hadrian was deriving from this. "Abraxas hasn't said anything, he speaks often of you both, but other than that nothing. I assumed that he has no desire to speak of it or that you have yet to inform him of everything pertaining to the family while he learns the ins and outs of being Lord to the Malfoy estate ready to take over from you when the time comes."

Tom cleared his throat, "You were saying about neo-gothic features…?" Tom ventured torn between vexation and glee at Hadrian. Just knowing that the Malfoy's wanted to be on his good side was preventing him from apoplexy.

Abraxas threw Tom a grateful look, so glad that someone was throwing his grappling parents a lifeline. They weren't used to someone like Hadrian. Hell, he hadn't been prepared for him, but at least he'd gotten used to him, whereas his parents hadn't and to make matters worse he had warned them. Anyone they associated with always went out of their way to compliment them, endear themselves to the Lord and Lady of the Malfoy estate.

"Hadrian, come with me, I'll introduce you to a few of my friends," Abraxas swooped in, "They left Hogwarts the year before you came, they've heard all about you and would like to meet up."

"Who else is coming to this shindig?" Hadrian queried allowing himself to be maneuvered around the crowds towards where his usual group stood, near the buffet table and all of them looked extremely bored. They'd probably been the same at the Nott party.

'Shindig?' Abraxas mouthed the words in confusion, shaking his head deciding he didn't want to know, it could very well be a Muggle saying, although it sounded distinctively Chinese. "Hey!" Abraxas said, relief obvious as he stepped towards the group.

"How are you feeling?" Avery asked, giving Hadrian a once over, just because it was summer it didn't mean that his duties were done. He was duty bound for the rest of his life to Hadrian, to give his loyalty, be a shield, magic, and life if it came to it. "Tom said you weren't feeling too good," he had been displaying the appropriate amount of worry so Aiden couldn't say whether it was the truth or Hadrian had refused to come and Tom had made up excuses for him. Everyone knew Hadrian abhorred these sort of things, he complained during 'Slug club' often enough to drive that well and truly home.

Nott glanced up at Avery's words, eyes slightly narrowed.

"Much better," Hadrian replied without batting an eyelash, "Who else is coming? That I might know?"

"My parents have invited the Scamander's, you know of them at least, other than that, just parents of our classmates, I'm not sure if there's anyone else you might know," Abraxas confessed thoughtfully, glancing around while his mind went over the list.

"Tom told me that it wasn't just pureblood's coming," Hadrian pointed out annoyed, "Where exactly are the half-blood's then?"

"Well there's the Moon's," Nott pointed them out, "Um…the Stephans,"

Hadrian scoffed out a derisive laugh, as he finally realized that they were doing as little to shift their traditions as possible but taking it serious enough to warrant changes. "Getting by on a technicality huh," a wry smirk on his face, "I suppose according to society's standards they are half-bloods, I've always associated half-blood term with someone with both a magical and non-magical parent." even though technically he had been a half-blood, Tom had been considered (and still was actually) a half-blood. It was those like Seamus Finnegan that came to mind first and foremost.

"You don't seem overly surprised," Dolohov pointed out, not sure whether it was a good thing or not. He still hated that the teenager seemed content to rip apart centuries of tradition even though it was a genuine concern he must admit. He still didn't want to end up marrying a Muggle-born or Muggle-raised witch to become his wife, they knew nothing of the magical world, not really, they were ignorant.

"I'm not," Hadrian replied with a shrug as he finished off his drink, "I don't see why people are so against it, I mean come on, power is eighty percent on what's important to you, the last twenty percent is knowledge. I've given you proof that the influx of Muggle blood would ensure your offspring could have powers off the charts and renew old gifts and abilities that have been lost, like the Black Metamorphamagus abilities." he knew that for a fact all it took was Muggle blood, Ted Tonks had been a Muggle-Born which led to Nymphadora Tonks the first of the Black's to hold the ability in many a generation.

Orion twitched at that pronouncement, it had been three generations since anyone in the family had been a Metamorphamagus, and even at that the last one had been a witch, Lucretia, she had only been able to partially use the gift - nothing like the books and journals had depicted - her journal was filled with sadness that she couldn't accomplish a full shift. His gaze shifted to Walburga, he'd known from a very young age that she would be his wife. It didn't matter that they were cousins and they each called their parents aunt and uncle, or it hadn't mattered it was just the way it was. As the eldest of the Black's they were contracted to have an heir and a spare, and quite frankly…knowing what could come out of it he was very reluctant to have a family.

"Come on, let's sit down," Hadrian murmured, after listening to them all chat for a while, he didn't like how close people were to them, not when the entire hall was available.

As always the others immediately listened to him, seeing him as an equal to Tom and their leader. Either consciously or unconsciously gravitating towards him since it had become obvious where the turn of the tide went.

Time seemed to go so slowly, and it was driving Hadrian mad, he made a promise to himself that he wasn't attending any further functions. He'd rather be at home, reading a book, not cozying up to people, well, Tom was doing most of the work, and it was probably due to the fact Tom knew he couldn't stand things like this. Tom couldn't either, but he relished in the networking, making contacts and such.

"Please excuse me," Estella said apologetically, "I must make some rounds!" inclining her head to Tom before she kissed her husband on the cheek before gliding away.

Octavian watched her go fondly, before his masks were back up, making him inscrutable as ever, before he shrewdly observed this Tom Peverell-Slytherin. "I must say, I've heard many great things about you," he confessed, knowing this was the best way to get the information he desired. Buttering people up always made them talk and brag about how they accomplished things.

"You have?" Tom queried, looking at Lord Malfoy in amusement, black eyes glittering.

"You are very young to have amassed such a fortune, it's not often done, I just hope my son can learn from you," Octavian informed him. "The entire pureblood network is abuzz with the return of the Slytherin line and of course, how you've gone about returning its estate to its former glory." perhaps he was laying it on too thick, but he was assuming this boy - as Slytherin as he was - was just a boy at the end of the day and what boy did not like to brag about how he accomplished things?

"Your son will do you proud," Tom answered humbly, a knowing glint hidden behind his very smart mind.

"Oh, I have no doubt, and I am sure you've got more planned in store to surprise us all with!" Octavian replied, slightly vexed at Tom's unhelpful replies.

"That we do," Tom said, a grin appearing very briefly and shark-like before it disappeared behind his calm façade. Although truthfully it was more Hadrian's doing than his, he was better at all that due to knowing what the future held, while he was better at organizing and gathering followers, a leading to bring the wizarding world out of the dark ages.

"And should anyone inquire about tips?" Octavian asked disinterestedly, "Not I, of course, but others who are struggling financially?" giving a grandiose wave around his home as if to show he had no need for it. The problem for the purebloods though was that there was no such thing as too much money.

"If you can't afford to lose it, don't do it," Tom replied wryly, and it held true, he didn't believe in risking good money for anything, even if the chance was in their favor. He'd told Hadrian that dozens of times when he bet on Quidditch matches and such. Even though it had gone in their favor, admittedly it had helped them when they needed it most, culminating in their amassed fortune that apparently everyone knew about. He thought as if he hadn't ensured it got out to further their renown. What was the point of having such a huge fortune if nobody knew about it?

Octavian laughed, "Very true," he said, grinning wildly, "So, very true!" glancing at the corner, only to relax as the soothing melody came through on the gramophone. Thank Merlin for that, he'd thought for a moment there that the spells had failed - nothing would have been more embarrassing since he'd set it up himself - he turned back to Tom his mind musing on how to get what he wanted from the wizard.

"I assume it's you yourself who brought the Slytherin back to its former glory?" Octavian pushed out with a benign smile that fooled nobody that knew him.

Tom was many things but he wouldn't lie about this, he wouldn't claim credit for things that hadn't been fully his doing. Even if Malfoy was just digging for answers, he wasn't exactly being all that subtle about it in his eyes either. Fortunately, he was saved from having to do anything as the surprise, shock and worry came down the bond startling him a bit. "Please excuse me," he said, not giving Octavian another moment of his time as he made his way towards Hadrian.

"Hey, Orion I thought you said Cedrella wouldn't make it?" Flint commented, as he strolled up to their table, Orion and the other Black's all looked towards Flint.

Hadrian coughed and began to splutter, his gaze swinging around trying to find her. Cedrella Black, she was supposed to marry Septimus Weasley, worry began to swarm in his gut. While there was a few Weasley's he loathed, he didn't want to see the entire line just disappear. Septimus Weasley was the seventh son, and ironically enough their son would go on to have seven children too. What was she doing here? He knew he had changed a great deal by coming here, but to think he may be changing a lot of peoples futures did panic him yet again.

The feel of a hand curling around his neck anchored him, the fingers tightened but not to the extent of hurting him. "Are you alright?" Tom asked, magic flaring around him, silencing them from any eavesdroppers that might be tempted to listen in. "I could feel your panic spike suddenly."

Hadrian relaxed back against the hold Tom had on him, turning into his hold, so that nobody could see him show any 'weaknesses' he didn't want them thinking for a second he had any designs of Cedrella Black. "Do you happen to know why Cedrella Black is here?" his tone more than a little hopeful that Tom did indeed know.

Tom frowned, "Why does it matter?" he asked, gazing down at Hadrian his face uncharacteristically soft, soothing even. It wasn't often that he was able to provide for Hadrian, even in such a small way.

"That boy is going to become someone extremely important, you mark my words," Octavian confided to his wife as she made her way back, watching Tom Peverell-Slytherin leave towards his husband. "It's truly a pity," he sighed morosely.

"What's a pity?" Estella enquired, handing over another drink to her husband, having ensured everyone who wanted a drink had been topped up. Mostly everyone was here, the music was going, everyone was having fun, she would say it was a great success so far. She wasn't even remotely bothered by the fact not everyone had turned up. The Scamander's were on the short list of those who had not come.

"That our son didn't take the initiative and suggest a bond between them," Octavian, to join the Slytherin line together with the Malfoy line, it was truly something most of them only ever dreamed off. They usually only reserved a bonding between males if the contract had been made before their births, either that or with absolutely no alternative. It was times like these were they truly desired female offspring. From what Abraxas said, neither had a male influence in their lives, perhaps he could offer himself up to the role. To have the credit…would be a heady thing indeed.

"Abraxas already has the perfect fiancée," Estella argued with a clipped tone, she wouldn't hear of it otherwise. "We've never had bonded males in the Malfoy line," plus they would need four children if two men bonded, an heir and a spare for both names.

"She's wonderful," Octavian agreed, "But the Peverell name is now attached to the Slytherin name, one of the most prominent families in existence. I do wonder though, whether it was a bonding on the notion of silly young love or convenience," he would put his money on convenience. He'd spent time with Tom and he was extremely shrewd, to say the least.

As good as they were with keeping up with their history, they didn't realize that the Peverell name was closely linked to the Slytherin name regardless of the marriage between the two.

"Nobody gets married that young for convenience sake," Estella told her husband, basking in the success of yet another party.

"It seems not," Octavian stated, watching the couple closely, that look of affection was raw and genuine. They knew because they could see real love when staring them in the face since most of the time marriage was used for convenience sake within their circle - the pureblood circle - in a bid to keep the families going and pure.

"Cedrella Black marries Septimus Weasley, they have seven sons, one of those sons goes on to have seven children…that's fourteen people just erased out of existence if I've screwed up…" Hadrian frowned, was it worth the price to pay for all the changes he'd made? Fourteen people for the lives of generations upon generations of people? Probably, but Hadrian didn't like to think things like that. Unfortunately, it was becoming something of a reality for him, the knowledge of what he had changed at any rate. Like Eileen Prince, Myrtle, the guy she was dating, and now possibly Cedrella Black.

"You haven't screwed anything up," Tom stated firmly, "Things are changing, sure, but that doesn't make it your fault, you must stop worrying about things you cannot change, and just enjoy your life otherwise you're going to be a mass of panic and worries for the next sixty years."

"I can't help it, sometimes it just catches me off guard, the little things I know…which is much more than I anticipated," Hadrian mused, the last remnants of panic and worry draining from him. Tom was right, there was no use to worrying about things he ultimately wouldn't be able to change. This was his life now, the past was no longer viable, for he would be there to see it all unfurl before him like a flower in the sun.

Tom arched an eyebrow at the last comment as he sat down but said nothing, simply removed the silencing spell, and sound began to drift back to them.

There we go I hope you enjoy the chapter, I'm sorry if it's not like my usual chapters I've just had to say goodbye to my beautiful German Shepherd (who would have been eleven in a few months) and honestly, I'm feeling a little down - and heartbroken - so any other chapters I update might be the same I hope you can forgive that I'm writing just to try and take my mind off it, but it's not working all that well I don't think. R&R please