Hayden bypassed his own tent, and made his way towards the orange tent that had been erected recently. They'd had a lot of rainy days, and they used a lot of magic in doing their job, it wasn't feasible to keep up a long-term dome (umbrella) spell to keep them dry. Inside it was spacious with plenty of seats, all mismatched of course, since the men all brought in different things with Hayden's permission. In the middle of the table was a map highlighting the entire estate, not that much of it was touched yet.
"How's it going?" Hayden asked, as he and Orion approached the massive table, peering at the highlighted map.
"Long or short?" the project manager queried, well aware of Lord Peverell's character by now. He was decent to them all, more than decent really. He did not tolerate slackers, wanted them to work but let them take an entire hour for lunch. He'd configured a tent for them to sit in during their lunches and breaks, with amenities so that they could have a coffee with permission given to bring whatever they like and it wouldn't be removed from the tent. It was theirs for however long they'd doing business.
"In-between," Hayden stated, moving to the other side when he felt Orion's hands brushing his own. "What's been done this week?" requesting it despite getting a letter of an update every evening.
"You'll be pleased to know that these four properties have been gutted," two fingers brushing along the map. "Everything that is intact has been left here, for your inspection." Everything broken and irreparable was banished as useless. The thing was there were more items perfectly preserved, the magic in this estate was mesmerising he loved being under these wards.
"Oh? What was found this time?" he asked, genuinely curious, glancing at Orion who looked rather put out, what was up with that?
"Quite a lot, from crockery to liquor bottles that seem perfectly preserved." Bewilderment and awe clear as day on the project managers face.
"Yes, the Peverell's were phenomenally good with magic," Hayden said proudly, "Especially Ancient Runes, where did you put everything? I'll have a House-elf place it in the basement." He wasn't going to get rid of everything, but he couldn't come every day to see everything and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. He was hardly going to mention Alchemy, if people want to forget just how powerful and fearsome the Peverell's had been well, that was on them.
"How's the structure here, coming along?" Orion asked, well aware that Hayden had considered it a priority. Including the main property, the others came second to it all. They had three different workforces working simultaneously on this massive project. That was estimated to last three years – not including any new projects that might occur – in total.
"The structure was ancient, nothing could be used, it's all been taken down the new foundation has been laid." He explained, the project had a budget (a massive one). "To the exact specifications requested."
"I suspected it would be required," Hayden nodded his understanding. Inhaling sharply, this was going to be his life for at least another couple of years. Not a whole lot would be salvageable, he knew, but he had a dream he wanted to see happen. "It had been perfectly preserved in it's state though, which is just…" whistling in admiration.
"I know, I honestly didn't want to say the words, tear it down, it felt blasphemous!" the project manager breathed out, shaking his head, for when it was built it was a magnificent piece of work. Unfortunately, it just wasn't up to the safety standards expected of wizarding homes now. An inspection would see to it that they were all torn down if they attempted to circumvent anything and if he did that his company wouldn't survive. Peverell had made that clear in a firm but respectful tone.
"I know the feeling, just walking around it, felt like being back in time," Hayden confessed.
This caused Orion to cough, with an awful attempt to hide his slip of amusement. He'd never been so caught off guard before. Merlin, did he really have to say something like that? It was so unexpected, even if entirely accurate. The time he'd gone around the estate, it was honestly breathtakingly mind blowing. He couldn't think of any other words in the English language to truly express himself adequately. His grey eyes were gleaming in merriment. The urge to be close to Hayden resurfaced.
"I fully understand, I mean I've never seen anything like it, a lot of it belongs in a museum." Something so perfectly preserved from an era gone by? Yes, it deserved a place of pride on display for everyone to see.
"Some of it just might," Hayden commented, this entire estate had been frozen in its time, and it had so many things long since lost in time. "Anything else?" absently watching Orion wander around the project manager and stand at his side, staring at the map absently. Hayden got the oddest feeling it had been done to be close to him and not the map but that was a foolish thought indeed.
"The bed and breakfast and the pub are complete plumbing wise, it's ready to be kitted out when we've got the go ahead."
Hayden nodded, "And how is the plumbing going in the castle?" and it was a castle, it was enormous, honestly, it was tempting to turn it into flats or something. It would be far better use of it. Yet he wanted a home of his own, with Orion, somewhere safe, and where better than the very place the warding hub was under? The very place the wards exuded from? The safest place for his children, and he was determined to have them. He always wanted a big family.
"We're still on the ground floor," the project manager stated, "Two more days and then they'll begin on the first floor. Overall, it's going to take another six months to have plumbing in every applicable room at least very likely more unless you want to hire two more people?"
"How many plumbers do you have working right now?" Orion asked, only for Hayden to walk away, keeping distance between them. The urge to pout was strong and rendered him frozen on the spot at his own immature responses. He felt like a child again, until to control his emotions.
"Eight I think…" Hayden said, glancing at the project manager in silent query to know if he was right. who was utterly oblivious to any tension between them.
"Correct, yes, eight, four working on the castle, and four have just finished the Bed and Breakfast/pub, they'll be reassigned to this property here." The project manager pointed to a property that was yellow, which indicated it had been gutted and was ready for the next phrase. Green indicated it was gutted and plumbed out. There were no other colours as of yet. Magic was very useful thing to have, and a constant map of the estate in different states helped keep up to date. It wasn't easy keeping up with the entire workforce they had on this project but he was doing his best. He'd found a way that worked. It was his job to make sure it worked; he was the project manager. "Wouldn't you prefer me focusing on one area of the castle so you can at least move in? The tent is alright for now, but the winter will be upon us before we know it."
Orion straightened indignantly, horrified by the mere suggestion of Hayden living in a derelict castle when he was able to take care of them both. A massive exaggeration, of course, Orion was in awe of the castle and what it could be but it wasn't there yet. He was offended at the implication that a Lord stay in a rundown property though.
"Truthfully the tent or the cold wouldn't bother me, normally," Hayden confessed wryly, "However, I am being awfully spoiled with the life my betrothed is showing me." A fond smile on his face, he adored the Black family even if they were rich and didn't know how to say thank you or relate to normal people.
Orion's horrified indignation turned into a peacocking smug satisfaction.
"Copy that," the project manager replied, only to hear his name called outside, Wallace was called out a few times. "Excuse me!" waiting for permission before leaving. He might be the project manager but Hayden was his boss.
"Of course, don't let us keep you," Hayden agreed, "Don't bother with an update tonight, start up again tomorrow as usual."
"As you say," Wallace agreed, inclining his head to both of them, before he existed the orange tent, heading off towards the workers wondering what had happened now. His feet twinged in pain; he wasn't looking forward to when they spread out further. His feet could ache, he wasn't giving up this job, not even if his life depended on it.
"I always feel this sense of accomplishment knowing somethings complete. Is it stupid? I mean I didn't do the work…and I'm so excited for it to be complete." Hayden said, excitement thrumming through him as he stepped out of the tent, making his way towards his own, "We need to think of something really good to get Lucretia, do you think she'd like one of the liquor bottles? Or the money? Or give her the bottle to sell on her own maybe? I know she likes Whiskey." Continuing on unaware of Orion silently sulking behind him.
"That she does," Orion stated far curter than he wanted to let out.
Hayden glanced over his shoulders, face screwed up in confusion, "What's going on with you anyway? You've been odd all day!" before ducking under into his own tent. Immediately flicking his wand and the fire pit blazed to life, sighing softly, as real warmth started suffusing the room.
"Nothing," Orion murmured, feeling very petulant. He wasn't about to confess anything to Hayden; it was stupid really.
"If you say so," Hayden said with enough doubt to fill an entire quidditch pitch and then some. "So, what do you think we should get for your sister?" eyeing the boxes of mail with revulsion. Despite it being publicly known that he and Orion were going through a betrothal, contracts kept on coming, and Hayden was so tired of it. He couldn't keep using the Black House-elves to help, it wasn't fair on them. They had duties to tend to as it was, and Hayden would hate to overwork them just because he didn't want to read contracts from strangers offering him everything they could while throwing their sons and daughters at him. Knelt down at the box, grabbed a hold of a dozen of them and set them before standing and putting them on the table.
Orion grunted, having no interest in the conversation, he just wanted to know why Hayden wasn't allowing him to touch him.
"Will the place be done by the time they're married?" Hayden asked, cracking the wax seals, giving the letters cursory reading. He was of course referring to the place where he knew the Burrow stood in the future. He could barely believe that pieces of land had been sold off, to the Diggory's to the Lovegood's to anyone and the Weasley's had still struggled to survive. Out of all six letters three he'd need to reply to, the others were disgusting and set aflame. How could they honestly think that was, okay? What made them think yes, I'll send this along and it will happen? Seriously? He knew it wasn't technically the Weasley's but rather the Prewett's. Ignatius and Lucretia had given it to the only family they had left, it's the only way either Molly or Arthur had come to inherit/own the burrow and the rest of the land it sat on.
"It's already finished and fully furnished." Orion commented, his tone remaining terse.
"Alright, out with it," Hayden stated, snapping the wax seal on yet another letter, as he stared Orion down. "Either tell me what's wrong or go home." He ordered of his betrothed. Glancing down at the contract, this was bad enough without putting up with Orion in some sort of mood. He wasn't a kid anymore; simple sweets just weren't going to do for a member of the Black family. He wanted her to know he hadn't just gone out to buy some expensive trinket uncaring about what she really liked. He wanted her to be pleased. He wanted her to like it.
Orion straightened up from his half-folded state, "Are you throwing me out?" incredulous to the extreme. Another first for Hayden, because Orion had never been told to leave anywhere. If anything, they would prefer he stay, so it left him feeling two different things simultaneously.
"Do you even want to be here?" Hayden asked bluntly, watching as shocked surprise flashed through those grey eyes, and Hayden's nails bit into his palms, feeling sickened. A vision of Sirius flashing through his minds eye, no, no, it wouldn't happen. Although, try telling his mind that.
"Of course!" Orion declared vehemently, never wanting Hayden to doubt him, not even for a moment.
"Tell that to your face," Hayden told him, "I know there's something wrong, I just don't know what…you've been like this for hours and I cannot fathom what caused it…today should be a good day." He didn't want to be on the outs with Orion, didn't want to be parted with him, but clearly Orion was going through something.
Orion remained tight lipped, he was not going to confess why he was so out of sorts, Merlin, he'd never live it down. It was so needy and childish, he hadn't been raised this way, he had no clue as to why he felt this way either.
Hayden shrugged, raising his hands in an 'I give up' or 'Oh well then' sort of way. Looking around, brow furrowed trying to remember where he'd put his galleons only to realize that it likely wouldn't be anywhere near enough. Key it was then, which he wore around his neck, although, he supposed he could take his check book, moving over to his desk, finger pressing against it and once it identified him, the drawer opened. Nobody could get into it; he wasn't foolish to keep important information and documents in a tent with hardly any wards (the wards were around Peverell estate) and theoretically someone could just come into the tent. It would be a waste of their time if they did, and he also had alerts up so if anyone was foolish enough to go into his tent then he'd know.
"Hmm…how about a crystal decanter and glass set? Everyone prefers silverware as gifts, so it's unlikely she'll get many, if any, crystal gifts." Hayden commented, shutting the drawer firmly. He grabbed his robe and affixed it, now he was comfortable and warm, sliding his check book into his pocket, he raised his hand absently, and the fire in the pit went out leaving behind only a few bellows of smoke. "And I think I know the place to go." He still didn't know how to break through Orion's walls yet, he didn't easily share what was wrong with him.
Orion silently followed.
"I'll meet you in Diagon Alley, Crystal Palace?" Hayden suggested, noticing Orion's eyes glimmering with disappointment as he Apparated away. Okay, there was something seriously wrong with Orion, he needed to find out fast. Which despite how it sounded, wasn't a food shop/restaurant.
Orion inhaled sharply, closing his eyes recalling everything his father said to him, about proper etiquette, everything. Which had all been well and good, especially when it was Walburga. He knew they were to be married, but he'd never been attracted to her, he loved her, yes, as an annoying cousin its' not as if they'd been super close. He'd never felt this need before, and if Orion was honest…it was terrifying how gluttonous he felt it. He wanted to monopolise Hayden entirely, and be monopolised in turn. He wanted to be with him every minute of every day.
Shaking off those feelings, Orion focused on his destination, and appeared just across from Hayden.
"Are you sure you're alright?" Hayden asked Orion, refraining from reaching out, to physically reassure Orion.
"I'm fine," his tone slightly gruff.
"Alright, but you know I'm here when you want to talk about it, right?" Hayden said sincerely.
Orion softened, giving him a nod, before his masks were firmly back in place, heaven forbid anyone see the real Orion for a second.
"Now let's go get your sisters gift, we shouldn't have left it until the last second!" Hayden complained, shaking his head as he opened the door to the shop. It positively gleamed with crystal in all various designs both in designs in the crystal and the items themselves, whiskey glasses, champagne glasses even wine glasses. They would have everything here they'd need.
Hayden used magic to have the items he had chosen – and the amount – magically appearing on the counter. The shocked gasp from the wizard sat there was enough to make him realize he'd screwed up somewhere. Oops. Clearly the spell hadn't been created yet, he hadn't even used a word so that might be it, he hoped. A set of two crystal champagne glasses were first. The second was a decanter, and two crystal wine glasses, and two whiskey tumblers. "Can we put a Prewett crest on the glasses maybe with the Black one too?"
"You'd need permission from both Heads of the families, which means my father and Ignatius' father," Orion explained, vividly reminded that Hayden while powerful and knew a lot, he was still didn't know much about pureblood ways. The Prewett's were purebloods even if they weren't in line for a lordship. They'd given up all chance of that when they became blood traitors.
Hayden hummed, "I'll just give the shop the money and she can come and get it done after their honeymoon, already paid for."
Orion didn't bother to correct him, they didn't normally work that way, but he had a funny feeling that they'd bow over backwards to accommodate his lovely betrothed.
"Wow, would you look at that," Hayden said, mostly speaking to himself.
A crushed diamond tray that sparkled in the light perched eye level with Hayden, even while the sky was cloudy it sparkled. The price didn't even make him blink when it would have made old him balk. It would have before, before he knew what kind of inheritance he had. He didn't even let himself dwell on his Dumbledore; he wasn't going to let the old man ruin his new life. "What do you think? Would Lucretia like this?" along with a few other things of course.
"She loves sparkly things like that," Orion confessed, "She'd love it, she went through a phase of only wearing her sparkly scrunches, I got her a set I must have been five or six at the time, summer before she begun Hogwarts, I think…I was really proud of the fact I'd gotten her something she loved and used every day." He'd wanted to see her smile more, he recalled.
"The vase is beautiful too," Hayden murmured, "Think we're going too overboard?" he could just imagine a heart engraved with their first names written on it, and perhaps a bouquet of flowers from the MacMillan nursery cut fresh before the wedding. He sent that to the counter as well, the look on the wizard's face was truly a thing of beauty. Really, he'd never found anyone display such a magnitude of different emotions one right after the other, not here anyway.
Orion huffed out a laugh, "There's no such thing in the Black family," he said wryly, amused despite himself, pleased as anything that Hayden loved his family this much. To nudge him into getting the gifts sooner. To go to somewhere this pricy and buy more than just one set, but a few, and he was also right, the wed couple would likely get more silver items than crystal. "They'll get a lot of crystal in fifteen years." Orion added absently,
"Wait, what?" Hayden asked turning to face Orion properly, "Why fifteen years?" it was causing something to click at the back of his mind but he wasn't sure what.
"It's tradition to buy crystal items during a couples fifteen-year anniversary," Orion explained, they'd found the Peverell sets, they were engraved by Peverell's of the past that he couldn't name. Nor could Hayden he supposed, but with a family tree, he would be able to, but such a thing would need at least a year to complete, and a few house-elves to work on it at all times. Perhaps it was time to ask his father about that, it would be something he could gift Hayden on for their wedding. He didn't even consider for a second that they might not marry.
They were going to marry, and Orion was going to be happy, and he would make sure Hayden was too. Regardless of what he decided to do with himself after this project and all things he was working on were complete.
"Huh," Hayden murmured, wondering if they'd copied the Muggles or if it was one of the things that had escaped from magical society with the Muggles copying them. He wasn't curious enough to consider investigating it, yet. Although, it might make a good source of information in another book, which he wanted to continue publishing, information that is known in the magical world and taken for granted. "Neat."
He would make sure that the Muggle borns were accepted into the wizarding world. That old and forgotten lines flourished with the likes the wizarding world had never seen.
He could see the wizarding world expanding within a decade, with more children than Hogwarts could deal with. Bursting from the rafters, with wizarding families having more than one child, able to have more than one if they so choose. Better than that, his own children would be attending, a shiver of longing, of want suffused him. A smug smile began to creep upon his face, oh, he would make Dumbledore redundant. Untrusted, unwanted, and if he tried anything unlamented.
Orion arched a brow, staring at Hayden in amusement, who used the word neat in any context such as the one they were using? It must be a future thing, Orion realized, everything about the future screamed a terrifying familiarity with everyone. Recalling the way 'Harry' had hugged friends he'd only known them what, nine months? Or rather they hugged him, 'Harry' hadn't been one to initiate contact he'd noticed until later in his life. Like it had taken 'Harry' nearly seven years to finally realize it was safe, that he was safe to touch those he cared about without suffering for it. Jealous and envy bit into his soul, wishing he was the one receiving it. Distracting him from the realization of how much changed from now and the future.
Hayden shook off his thoughts, noticing Orion's reaction and recalled his last words, "I meant that it was impressive," Hayden amended his statement, green eyes gleaming in merriment. Oh, he reckoned he knew what Orion's problem was, although he was so far off, he may as well been on another planet. "How do you think your grandparents would react to us dropping by for dinner?"
"They would tell us to leave," Orion replied dryly.
Hayden blinked, "Are you really being serious?" sniggering inwardly, Sirius had always loved making jokes of Sirius/serious.
"Oh, yes, it's incredibly rude to just drop in and expect a meal, my grandmother is a stickler for the rules, my grandfather less so." Orion explained, "Someone coming last minute to a special occasion is different. Enough food was made for everyone, and there was no way they'd disgrace themselves by denying me. Also, the fact your last name was guaranteed to get an inn for the family." Adding to the statement knowing Hayden's next point would likely mean pointing out the Yule festivities that he'd joined.
The wizard at the counter, froze, like deer in the headlights, when Hayden approached the till. He didn't seem to be able to get over what he had seen, like magic used so casually was mindboggling. "Do you offer gift-wrapping services?" Hayden asked politely.
"Yes, Sir," came the squeaked reply.
"I would like for a charge to be made to my account for any inscribing that's etched into the crystal, most won't happen now," Hayden explained, "I do want a heart on the vase with Lucretia and Ignatius inscribed along with this date inside of it." Snatching up a quill and piece of paper, and wrote their names out in block capitals and the date of the wedding. As an afterthought he added a heart to make sure the wizard understood explicitly what he wanted.
"I'll get that done, delivery or pick up, Sir?" came the quiet voice.
"Pick up," Hayden replied, "Gift wrapped also,"
"Colour?" he asked.
"What's her favourite colour?" Hayden asked. "Rainbow sparkly?"
"It's not just hers, traditionally one uses white, silver or sedate colours for wedding gifts," Orion quietly explained for Hayden.
"Two in rainbow paper and sparkly ribbon, the others in silver with silver ribbon with green and red stitching." A nod to Slytherin and Gryffindor, which wouldn't have happened in his time. The animosity had reached new unbelievable level, Arcturus Black had married a Hufflepuff, Lucretia was marrying a Gryffindor…it was nice to see if he was honest.
The wizard froze for a second, glancing between both Orion and Hayden before swallowing thickly and doing as bid.
Orion just groaned, well, he couldn't say he's too surprised, Hayden made a habit of rushing roughshod through any 'traditions' and was just completely unapologetically himself. Orion should hate it, he really should, it's the reason he hated Muggle-borns, they come in roughshod over their traditions and ideas. Yet with Hayden, he found it amusing, liberating, and it made him love Hayden all the more.
Perhaps what they said about love being blind was true.
They both watched as the gifts were boxed up carefully and wrapped to Hayden's exact specifications, everything except the vase naturally.
"How long will it take for it to be inscribed?" Hayden asked, well aware it wasn't going to be just a few seconds, but he'd literally inscribe everything with delicate precision.
"It should be ready within two days, Sir," the wizard explained, anxious of the possible reprimand from the powerful wizard.
"Perfect, thank you," Hayden replied, watching surprise flicker through the wizard's gaze, glancing down at his name tag, he found only a last name. Umbridge, oh bloody hell, his stomach rebelled but he managed to keep the smile on his face. It had to be the wrong one, all he'd picked up was he worked in the Ministry as a cleaner, it couldn't be the same wizard surely?
Once he was told how much, Hayden removed his check book and wrote out the total, before ripping it out at its designated spot and handing it over. "Have a good day!" he added, before taking the wrapped items and walking out of the shop, pleased with the haul, it should definitely let Lucretia know he cared. He held everything to his chest and opened the door without waiting for Orion, expecting him to follow. "Will I keep them in the tent or shall we head back to yours and risk her seeing them?" not that there was anything to see except for bright colourful paper.
"Tent, she's home today," Orion declared, popping away before Hayden could say anything more.
More than a little perplexed, Hayden Apparated to his estate, and stepped in, Orion naturally had full admittance now, they were betrothed. Moving into the tent to find Orion drinking from a stash Hayden had been sure was put in the basement of the estate before the work was even begun. "Seriously, Orion, what on earth has gotten into you today?" exasperated.
"Why are you avoiding touching me?" Orion bit out, sitting staring at Hayden, the accumulation of drinks finally getting Orion to spill his guts.
The darkness that overtook those beautiful green eyes were not encouraging at all.
Orion had the disconcerting feeling he'd just pissed Hayden off.
A/N – Honestly, my Luna is the unluckiest pooch in the world, a Gastro bug yet again! It's been bad for three weeks and she's slowly recovering - glacial! – she has to have a bland chicken diet, which is something she shouldn't be eating due to another pre-existing problem *facepalm* which causes another pre-existing condition – anal glands – to act up…ugh always this time of the year too. Luckily though we're doing well enough 😊 able to make ends meet which is the most important thing. Although, the ice is starting to creep up and I actually had to put the heating on today for an hour for the first time since what Feb maybe when the weather was at it's worst from last year. Got almost all my presents – yay! - 😊 so yeah, compared to last year we're doing really good. I wonder if I'll always think of last year as the worst and compare them all to it, maybe I will 😊 so anyway enough about me!
Looks like Orion and Hayden are heading for their first argument, will the argue it out or will they end up sleeping in different buildings until one of them gives in? Would Hayden risk that? Would Orion? Not a hundred percent sure but I think I've had a promise between the two not to leave things unfinished – but I'll need to check – 😉 it could be a few of them I've got going right now lol 😉 it will be the first time I'd be really writing out a fight scene between two main characters and I'm rather looking forward to it…scratch that not first but in HJE it was set up but the argument became real lol – in story real – anyway there we go!