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what is it to belong?

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Abraxas' gaze slides to Tom, not noticing that his breath catches until seeing the blue of Tom's eyes makes him take a deep breath. "One of the younger students I help tutor is going to sit with us at lunch today," Tom says, eyes narrowed in that way he has: like he's seeing everything and approves of nothing. Abraxas thinks nothing of the matter at hand. It's a little peculiar, but Tom is always doing his little experiments. He simply nods, returning his attention to his parchment and the flowing loops of his handwriting. It's only when the others disperse that Abraxas reaches over to silently straighten Tom's sleeve. He feels the other boy's eyes burn into him but he stands, turning and following their friends to the Great Hall.

As his usual, he sits on Tom's right. Rosier and Nott sit on Tom's other side. Across from them sit Avery, Mulciber, and Lestrange - Avery thankfully as far from him as he can get. Together, as they usually are, Rookwood and Dolohov arrive a bit later than everyone else. Neither of them are Slytherin, but room is made for them across the table without so much as a second glance. Abraxas is towards the edge of the group, but he's never on the outside when he's sitting next to Tom.

The food has appeared and Rookwood has engaged in a discussion about magical theory with Nott and Tom when Abraxas looks around and catches sight of the boy approaching hesitantly. Outside of Abraxas' own family, he's the palest child he's ever seen, but the effect is heightened by contrast: though the Malfoys lack color in all facets, this boy has dark, curly hair and bright red lips. He looks comical, really- "Um, Tom?" the little snake asks, which draws Riddle's attention. Abraxas' eyes narrow at the familiarity, which makes the boy swallow noticeably. "Mr. Riddle," he corrects himself, eyes flicking to the floor.

Out of the corner of his eye, Abraxas notices the glint of amusement in Tom's expression, and then Tom slides slightly away from him. "Malfoy, move over," he says. "Pyrites, you can sit beside me."

There is a brief moment when all Abraxas can do is stare blankly, and then, abruptly, he slides down the bench, making more than enough room for the child Tom seems to be so fond of. He sits up straight, not so much as sparing the boy another look as Pyrites sits beside his best friend. Tom's voice is one you don't ignore, and he encourages Pyrites to introduce himself to the others, and this time, Abraxas truly seems to be on the outskirts of whatever this is. The boy's voice has a thick Welsh accent when he speaks, but that's not the most grating part about this. Abraxas no longer finds Pyrites very funny.