Co-written with Stormypup
Beta'd by Carpet Diemon
A crisp November wind blew across Hogwarts' grounds, making Harry wrap his cloak around himself tighter. Douglas appeared impervious to the chill as he ran ahead towards the Quidditch pitch. His winter cloak flapped behind him as he ran. Harry's hand sought out Severus', and he took it in his own, squeezing gently. He drifted closer, until their black cloaks seemed to blend together.
"He seems happier," Harry said, grinning up at Severus as he shaded his eyes with his hand.
"Yes, he does."
It was only recently that Douglas felt comfortable enough to run ahead of them without fear. The way he was carrying on now, Severus felt confident his son felt no fear at all at the moment. He wished he could say the same for himself.
"I can't believe I let you talk me in to this," he said, frowning at the broom in Harry's hand.
Harry laughed, eyes sparkling. "You know how happy Douglas got when he found out you would come with us this time."
"Are you sure it's long enough? It doesn't look long enough."
Harry squeezed his hand again. "It'll be fine."
"Will you hurry up?" Douglas hollered, having stopped some twenty yards in front of them.
"I swear to you, Potter, if a student sees us, I'm taking it out of your hide. I have a reputation, you know."
"As what? A lake monster?" Harry teased, taking off at a run before Severus could exact revenge. He grabbed his son's hand as he caught up to him, and, with twin laughs, they sped off towards the pitch.
Severus muttered to himself, taking his time to reach Harry and Douglas who were waiting impatiently on the broom. "Get on back, Papa!"
Rolling his eyes and thinking of all the ways this could go horribly wrong (most of which ended in him falling to his death), Severus joined them. He sat behind Douglas and wrapped an arm around his waist. "Hold on to your father," Snape ordered gruffly.
Harry felt smaller arms go around his waist and then a larger hand settle over his stomach. He looked over his shoulder with a mischievous grin.
"Great!" Harry stated cheerfully and, with as much force as possible, kicked off the ground.
It took an actual effort not to gasp out loud, his hand moving from Douglas' stomach so he could wrap both arms around Harry, securing Douglas between them. In his mind, he began going over the various ways he could torture Harry for this. The ideas became particular graphic when Harry began a steep climb that made Severus certain he was going to fall off the back of the broom.
Harry felt the arms tighten around him and leveled off, just hovering for a few seconds. He looked over his shoulder and saw Douglas beaming up at him. His hair stuck out at all angles, much like Harry expected his own was. Then he met Severus' eyes and winced.
"Are you all right?"
"Splendid," his mate answered, smiling through clenched teeth.
"Papa, you're squishin' me," Douglas said, wiggling a little too much for Severus' comfort.
Severus took a deep breath and relaxed his hold slightly.
"Do a dive, Daddy!"
"No. Don't you dare do a dive."
Harry smirked, urging the broom forward at a lethargic pace. "Do a dive, you said?" he asked as he sped up just a bit, the wind whistling in their ears.
For a moment, Severus actually believe Harry wasn't going to do it. And then the brat had the audacity to laugh, and they were diving toward the ground, Douglas whooping and hollering the whole way.
He vowed in that moment that when they were back on the ground, Harry was going to be severely punished. Harry leveled off just before they hit the ground, the soles of their feet brushing against frost covered grass.
"Do it again!"
Harry looked over his shoulder at Severus, who was glaring daggers at him. "How about if Papa gets off, and we'll show him how fast we can go?" Harry asked, attempting to give Severus an out.
"Wanna see, Papa?" Douglas asked, craning his next to look back at Severus.
Severus planted his feet on the ground. "Don't let him fall off, Potter," he growled, sliding off the back of the broom.
"Get in front of me, Doug," Harry ordered, pushing backwards against the little boy, making him flop off the broom. He laughed at the scowl that earned from Douglas. He held out a hand to help him back onto the broom, then hefted him up and situated Douglas in front of him.
"Grip the broom with both hands."
Douglas did so with a look of fierce determination. Harry wrapped one arm around him, pulling him backwards until he was held securely against him. "Ready, love?" he whispered, resting his head on top of Douglas'.
"Ready!" Douglas answered excitedly. "Watch, Papa!"
"Hold tight," Severus replied, frowning slightly. It wasn't that he didn't trust Harry, but accidents did happen.
Harry sniggered and pushed off again, doing one low loop around the Quidditch pitch before heading back up towards the clouds.