Co-written with Stormypup
Disclaimer: All places and characters belong to JK Rowling and the WB and various publishers. We just take good care of their characters in the mean time. No money is being made off this piece of fiction.
Warnings: Implied Mpreg
A/N: Welcome to the sequel to Bonds of Water! I hope you all find it every bit as fun a read as the original.
Beta'd by Rakina and CarpetDiemon
Severus Snape cut through the water toward the surface. He knew he would find Harry sitting on his usual rock, playing his violin. Hogwarts would be back in session soon, and Harry wouldn't play with the students about.
Severus felt a pang of guilt about the fact that Harry could go no further from the lake than his rock. His friends, mainly Granger and Weasley, visited him on occasion, but he could not venture out to call on them. He was tied to the lake, even more tightly bound than Severus was himself.
Forcing his mind away from the well worn path of culpability, he broke the surface, shaking the water from his eyes to find his mate, as expected, playing the violin atop his rock. The melody was serene and content, which helped ease the last tendrils of guilt still lingering in Severus' chest.
Harry stopped playing and set the violin on the rock beside him. He leaned back on his palms enjoying the warm August sun, knowing he wouldn't be allowed out in the daytime much longer.
"I feel like a turtle," he grumbled, trying to fight the smile that was forcing its way onto his face.
"You're sunning yourself like a vain mermaid," Severus teased, pulling himself up onto the rock beside Harry.
"I am not 'sunning' myself. I'm getting a nice tan. We can't all be pasty like you." With a teasing grin, Harry poked him in the side.
"I prefer the term 'pale'. I've yet to find a way to tan instead of burn. I'll look like a sodding lobster if I stay out here too long."
Harry laughed, getting to his knees. "I happen to love lobster, best type of seafood."
Severus squinted his eyes against the sun. "You have absurd tastes," he answered as Harry's shadow fell over him.
"No more than you do."
Severus closed his eyes and tilted his head back. "Your son is being obnoxious."
"What happened?" groaned Harry.
"Aside from the fact that he's apparently smuggled a Beater's bat into the lake and is chasing Ariana around like a lunatic? You just had to send him to Hooch for flying lessons."
"You love Quidditch just as much as I do, don't deny it."
Severus opened his eyes enough to glare at Harry. "Yes, I like Quidditch. When it's played in the air, not underwater."
"That is not my fault."
"Right, it's my fault you can't play in the air with your son," Severus said, souring at the reminder.
Harry frowned. "I never said that."
"You don't have to say it. You're tied here, tied to me," Severus said softly.
Harry reached out to tuck a strand of wet black hair behind Severus' ear in a practiced motion. "I've said it before; I'd rather be confined to the lake with you than live without you. That hasn't changed. It will never change."
"You cannot deny that if our son joined his house's Quidditch team in a few more years, you wouldn't be heartbroken for missing the match," Severus said. "I'm trying to find a way, Harry. If I can just create a potion that will allow you to leave, even for a little while…"
"You can't fight nature," Harry pointed out, staring out over the lake. He exhaled quietly, the sigh dying before it began. A small smile appeared on his face as he stretched and lay down on the rock. "Have you seen him fly yet?"
Severus' expression turned irritated. "No, Hooch kicked me out."
Harry laughed. "I could see him earlier. He's still nervous, but he's doing so well."
"It would be safer for him to learn by flying over the lake. If he falls, he'll be perfectly fine. If he hits the hard ground, he's liable to break a limb!"
"Rolanda won't let him get hurt. They barely go above ten feet."
"He's not even five years old! He should still be on a training broom," Severus groused. "Is my nose burning?"
Harry rolled onto his stomach and pushed himself up onto his elbows. Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to the crooked nose before pulling back with a thoughtful expression. "It does feel a bit warm."
"Lovely. Would you like to accompany me to get your son? I'm sure Ariana is in need of rescue by now."
"I'd love to." Picking up his violin and bow in one hand, Harry slid off the rock and dropped below the surface of the water.
Severus drifted slowly downward until he caught up to Harry. He wrapped his fingers in Harry's and was rewarded with a smile as they went in search of their son. When they found him, he was transformed and swimming circles around Ariana, their sometime nanny and tutor, swinging a Beater's club.
"Douglas!" Severus shouted, getting his son's attention. "Put that down this instant!"
Douglas froze, the Beater bat hanging in his limp fingers. "But Papa!"
Severus held up a finger, silencing him as he looked to Ariana. "Was he any trouble?"
The mermaid sighed. "No more than usual."
Harry grabbed his son by his shoulders when the boy tried to sneak away, drawing him into a tight hug. Douglas' arms went around Harry's waist causing him to smile. He could give up life on dry land so long as this never changed. He pressed a loving kiss to the shaggy black hair.
"We'll take him off of your hands then. Douglas, what do you say to Miss Ariana?" Harry asked, turning the boy around.
"We'll see you tomorrow," Severus said, nodding toward the mermaid before turning to join his family.
Harry waved goodbye to her, and the three of them set off for home.
"Did you have fun, Doug?" Harry asked, resisting the urge to grab his son and carry him like he used to.
"Yup! We read 'bout fairies an' did letters and pretended Quidditch!"
Severus had to fight the urge to correct their son's hideous grammar, as it only irritated Harry when he did so.
"That does sound like fun." Harry laughed, glancing over at him.
"Papa, can I have my bat back?" Douglas asked, swimming a quick circle around Severus.
"We'll see," Severus replied.
Douglas pouted, but Severus ignored him, refusing to give in to his pitiful look.
They reached their little house on the floor of the lake and Severus and Douglas changed back to their human form out of habit as they stepped through the door.
Their home was in a kind of protective bubble of air, keeping the water at bay so that Harry and Douglas had a semblance of a normal surface life.
Harry stepped up behind Douglas and lifted him, quickly flipping him upside down. Soon his laughter filled the house.
Severus couldn't help but smile. It was times like this that any guilt he might have felt was totally absent and he felt nothing but contentment. He cocked his head sideways to look at his upside-down son. "Go and put this in your room," he said, handing him his Beater's club.
Douglas grabbed it with a delighted smile, and Harry dropped him slowly to the ground so he wouldn't hurt his head. Douglas took off out of the living room, before either adult could change their minds.
Harry leaned into Severus' side with a heavy sigh, eyes slipping shut. "He's going to be five in a week. Isn't there a spell to keep him from aging?"
Severus wrapped his arms around Harry, resting his chin on the top of his head. "You've been asking me that since he was six months old."
"I keep hoping you'll answer yes someday."
"What are you going to do when he's living in the castle?"
"What I assume Molly must have done. Cry myself to sleep at night, but then realize he's not that far away, and can come home anytime he wishes."
Severus snorted and kissed the top of Harry's head and pulled away. "I won't have him running home when things get rough at school. He'll stay and work it out on his own like the rest of the children. He can return only when it is physically required by his body."
"You'll miss him every bit as much as I will and--"
"Yes, love?" Harry turned around to see Douglas hovering in the doorway.
"Are you sad?"
Harry tilted his head to the side in confusion. "I'm not sad, Doug. Why are you asking?"
"'Cause you're cryin' an' Ariana says that means you're sad. 'Cause I assidental mighta hit her wif the bat."
"You what?" Severus asked sharply, causing Douglas to run to Harry.
Harry carded his fingers through his son's hair, calming him down. "Doug, why did you hit her with a Beater's bat?"
"It was an assident!" he said, burying his face against Harry's stomach.
Snape pulled out his wand and summoned the bat in question, scowling as it landed against his palm. He cast a shrinking spell on it and slipped it into his pocket.
"Papa!" Douglas cried. "You broked it!"
"Broke it," Harry corrected with a wince, "and he just shrank it for safe keeping. Now why don't you tell me what you were doing that you ended up hitting her by accident. Hm? And then I'll make you some chocolate milk."
Snape rolled his eyes. "Right, punish him by giving him chocolate milk," he grumbled.
Douglas' grip around Harry's midsection tightened a fraction. The silent tension in the room was palpable, and Harry counted backwards from ten before responding.
"You don't punish him more when he already knows he did something wrong."
"You don't give him sweets either!" Severus argued.
It was Harry's turn to roll his eyes. He pried Douglas' face off his waist and tipped his chin up. "Love, did you tell Ariana you were sorry?"
Harry sighed. "All right then. We'll go and apologize first." He looked up to meet Severus' displeased eyes, but there was nothing he could do to fix it. Not until Douglas fixed his problem first. "Are you coming?"
"No, I'm going to start dinner," Severus said, turning on his heel and walking away.
"Daddy, does Papa hate me?" Douglas asked, lip quivering.
Hearing the question, Severus stopped and turned to face his son. "Douglas, come here."
Harry gave Douglas a small push and an encouraging smile. "Go on," he whispered.
Douglas stood in between them for an indecisive second before moving toward his papa. He stopped a foot away, gazing up at him with a wary expression.
Severus dropped to one knee and crooked a finger at Douglas until he closed the distance between them. Severus took both of Douglas' hands in his own.
"I could never hate you, Douglas. You are my son, and I will love you no matter what. I am, however, disappointed in your behavior."
Douglas wrapped his arms around his papa's neck. "I'm sorry, Papa. It was a assident."
Severus patted his son on the back. "I know. Now go with your father and apologize to Ariana."
Douglas pulled back. "Then can I have it back?"
Snape tapped him on the nose with a long finger. "No. Now go."
Douglas pouted. "S'not fair."
"Life rarely is, love," Harry sniggered, taking Douglas' extended hand when he crossed the room. "Come on, then. Let's get this over with."
Severus watched them leave and shook his head. He would take Harry aside later to 'discuss' his idea of punishment. "Chocolate milk," he scoffed.
And, even if he was going to make Douglas' favorite meal for dinner, that was an entirely different thing altogether.