By Torina Archelda

Severus' first trip to the pool. Thanks to thesewarmstars and atypicalsnowman for the beta!


Severus frowned as he prodded the water with his wand. He stared at it a moment longer before shooting off a few quick spells, the tip of his wand turning first red, then blue, then green. His frown growing more pronounced, he stood and turned his back to the pool.

"Harry?" he called sharply, his nerves getting the better of him.

Harry gave a loud sigh as he emerged from a nearby stall, shutting and locking it behind him. "What is it now, Severus?" he asked, exasperation clear in his tone.

"The chlorine levels in this water are far too high," he replied immediately, refusing to let Harry's tone affect him. "I have also detected the presence of fluoride, and more varieties of bacteria than I can count. The chlorine and fluoride can both be very dangerous, in case you were unaware, and I should hope you capable of deducing that bacteria-"

"Severus!" Harry interrupted, cutting off Severus' thousandth lecture on the dangers of the outdoors. "There is supposed to be chlorine in the water- it disinfects it and kills a lot of those bacteria of yours, and actually makes the pool much safer. As long as you don't drink gallons of it, you're fine. If there is any fluoride in the pool, it's in almost undetectable amounts and so is in no way harmful. They check these pools every day, Severus. And as for the bacteria, you know that's a ridiculous argument- there are bacteria everywhere. You don't go around sanitizing the air, and you're not going to do it to this pool either."

With each of Harry's words, Severus' heart sank further. This wasn't a good idea, it wasn't safe. Severus allowed himself to acknowledge that the feeling curling in the pit of his stomach was fear. He opened his mouth to voice another objection- what, he wasn't sure- but Harry beat him to it.

"And before you say anything else, we've already established that the sun block eliminates the danger of skin cancer, there are no bird-flu-carrying mosquitoes in the area, and there is no chance that anyone in a hundred mile radius is going to contract Ebola while we are here. Is there any otherridiculous concern you'd like to come up with, or can we get in the pool now?"

Harry's exasperation held a hint of frustration, and now Severus just felt lost. He didn't know exactly where these thoughts kept coming from- he'd known the Ebola was ridiculous even before he'd said it- but Harry should have been able to see through his earlier concerns and known how he really-

"Daddy?" a sharp rapping sound came from the stall door Harry had just vacated. "I'm ready, Daddy!" Something pulled at Severus' heart as he heard the excitement in that voice. He wanted-

"Hang on, David," Harry called, turning away from Severus for a moment. "We'll be right there." He looked back into Severus' eyes, and his expression softened at the clearly lost look on his face.

"Severus," he said softly, pulling his husband gently into his arms. "I know you want to protect him. I do too. But he's really going to be fine. People swim in pools all the time and no one gets hurt. And we'll be right here the whole time. It's not like he's going to drown or anything." Severus relaxed into Harry's arms, holding him tightly and fighting back this fear that was somehow more intense than any he had felt during the war.

"I just love him so much," he murmured into Harry's hair. "If anything were to happen to either of you-"

"I know," Harry replied warmly. "But he'll be fine, I promise." Harry flashed that charming grin of his at him- the one that had made him fall in love with him in the first place. "He couldn't be in better hands- how many times did you save my neck during the war?" As it had so many times in the past, Harry's unwavering confidence reassured him. With this man by his side… Severus knew he could do anything.

He twisted out of his embrace but kept an arm wrapped around his back, and together they walked toward the stall where their son was waiting. Harry unlocked the door with a few quick spells, and David immediately jumped out and into Severus' arms.

"Ready to go swimming, Dad?" he asked brightly. And with the familiar feel of his Harry pressed against his side and the weight of their son in his arms, Severus knew the answer to that.