Flavor appropriate Themes for a Gnome Mage (Illusionist)?

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Slightly complicated story:

Our group started out playing 4e with a restricted set of options- books only, no Dragon Magazine, and no setting specific books.  Since then, we've expanded out, with more and more resources available.  Because of the original restrictions, though, no one built their characters with themes.

I'd really like my character to have one, and our DM for the campaign after this one has mentioned that he'd be willing to add them in if everyone agrees.  There are good options for most of the PCs, beyond mine- the Dragonborn Paladin could go Guardian, Knight Hospitaler, or thematically Elemental Initiate; the Human Fighter could go Guardian (or several other themes); and the Eladrin Warpriest could use Knight Hospitaler or Ordained Priest, or with some reflavoring Illiyanbruen Guardian.  The Halfling Rogue is likely to drop out, but if she doesn't Outlaw works perfectly both for her using ranged attacks and for flavor, and a new character coming in could obviously pick any number of things.

The question (and the person most likely to object) is the Gnome Illusionist, using an Orb.  Order Adept makes sense in terms of powers, and Wizard's Apprentice would be appropriate, but since we'd be getting the themes late in heroic, the level 6 feature would be virtually wasted.  It's possible that his old charcter (a human arcanist) will reappear instead, for whom Scholar would make plenty of sense.  At the moment, though, I'm wondering whether there are any other suggestions to make, once we prepare for the new campaign, to try and sway him.
One of the more recent Dragon magazine articles has a Beguiler theme which seems to fit in with being a Mage (Illusionist) somewhat.

What kind of character is your Gnome?  Is he a cowardly sort, hiding in the back behind his illusions or is he the brave sort who uses his illusions as distractions to get closer to the fray?  Does he have any kind of backstory which you could draw on for inspiration?

Blackstaff Apprentice is nice (might be slightly wasteful since you are already a Mage which gets Magic Missile for free, but once per encounter as a minor action is nothing to sneeze at...) but it's from the Neverwinter campaign book.

Order Adept is junk on a full Mage, in my opinion.  The level 5 ability is pointless: you get a level 2 utility spell added to your spellbook?  Worthless.  If you are a non-Spellbook using wizard, you get a level appropriate Wizard utility power, which you can power-swap at level 10 for a level 10 Wizard utility power for your normal class level 10 utility power pick.  So, avoid this one unless it fits in with your character's backstory somehow.

Wait ... so you won't be able to get the level 1 and level 5 benefit of the theme you pick?  There's not much point in picking a theme if you are not going to benefit from it *at all* until level 10. 

Wait ... so you won't be able to get the level 1 and level 5 benefit of the theme you pick?  There's not much point in picking a theme if you are not going to benefit from it *at all* until level 10. 


I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you still get the benefit of the level 1 and 5 things no matter what level you pick it up at.
Wizard's Apprentice has powers that fit an Illusionist.