|SIYE Time:20:35 on 16th December 2018|
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Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: Fluff, General, Humor
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry has a camp out in the backyard with his sons.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3480
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
This does fit into my little Potter Family series. It would come after Drama in Diagon Alley.
“Dad, can we camp outside tonight?” asked nine year old James Potter.
“Yeah Dad, can we?” asked eight year old Albus.
“Me too, said five year old Lily.
“Not you, Lily-loo. Me, Al and Dad. Men only,” scoffed James, with an indignant look at his sister, who stuck her tongue out at him.
“And I'm the boss!” James exclaimed.
“Harry, what do you think?” asked Ginny.
Three sets of eyes fell on Harry.
“Hmm. The Placement charm will help keep the tent stable and I can add a Protego Totallum just to make sure of extra protection. Of course, inside I'd do a warming charm and-”
“No, I wanna do it just like the Muggles. Andrew was telling us about how he went camping with his class, and it sounded fun, didn't it, Al.”
Al nodded, excitedly.
Ginny smiled at her two young boys. “Okay well then, I'll pop to the shops and get some snacks for your camp out. Anything you'd like?” she asked.
With the children’s help, she made a shopping list. Then she and Lily left, while the boys followed Harry out to the shed to get the tent out. He muttered the charm for the tent to open and set itself up.
“Ah, Dad, I don't think it's big enough for more than one person,” said James, looking disappointed.
Harry chuckled, remembering thinking the same thing at the Quidditch World Cup. He placed a hand on James's shoulders. “Trust me, son. Just go in and have a look. Then come out and tell me what you think?”
James went in, and Al went to follow. Harry stopped him. “Just James, for now,” he said.
James popped his out, a huge smile on his face. “It's brilliant, Dad. Come on in, Al,” he said to his brother.
Al looked at his dad, who nodded encouragingly. He went inside and looked around in surprise.
“Wow, where did all this room come from?” he asked.
“It has a built in extension charm. Your Grandpa added it when we went to the World Cup many years ago, let's see there was some of the Weasleys and me and Hermione, so that made, hmm, seven of us in here, and we were quite comfortable. Plenty of room for us,” said Harry looking around.
“Dad, you're not gonna make us let Lily stay, are you?” asked James.
Harry smiled. “No, I think your mum will find a way to distract her. It will just be you two boys and me out here. All alone. All night,” said Harry, solemnly.
Al felt a bit worried, but James shrugged. “We'll be fine.”
“Right then, how about we let the tent air out, and you guys can go and pack what you want to bring out. You'll need blankets and pillows. Bring a couple of lanterns. Maybe take some cards and we can play Exploding Snap. Or what about that Muggle board game Andrew brought for us to play with? Your Mum and Lil will be back soon. How about a barbecue for tea? Seems appropriate,” suggested Harry.
“Boy, you know a lot about camping, Dad. Did you go camping when you were our age?” asked Al.
“No, son. I would have liked to, though,” said Harry, with a sad smile.
“How do the Muggles keep the tent secure?' asked James.
“They use tent pegs, and they secure the ropes from the tent by hammering them into the ground,” said Harry.
Let's do that,” said James. Al nodded.
Harry shrugged. “Let's see if we have any, shall we?”
The three returned to the shed. James found the tent pegs and Al found the mallet.
“Are you sure you want to do this like Muggles?” asked Harry.
Both boys nodded. “Okay then. So, put the rope around the peg like that and hammer it in the ground with the mallet. You'll need to do it here, here and three over there. You start, and I'll come and check soon. I think I hear your Mum's back,” said Harry.
Harry went inside and found Ginny in the kitchen, She was unpacking the groceries she had bought, while Lily was playing with the family cat, Misty.
“How's the tent?” asked Ginny.
“Looks all right. We haven't used it since we were on the Horcrux hunt. How did we end up with it anyway?” asked Harry, swiping a biscuit as Ginny put them in the biscuit tin.
“Hmm, let's see if I can remember Ron's actual words. 'There's no bleeding way you're getting me back in that tent ever again'. And if I recall, Hermione totally agreed with him. Besides, I don't think Hugo is the camping type, do you?” asked Ginny with a laugh.
Harry chuckled. “No, neither of Ron's kids are the camping type,” he agreed.
Ginny eyed Harry, then put her arms around him. “Maybe we could all go camping one day. I've never been. If we go next summer, we can take Teddy, when he's home from Hogwarts. That will give us heaps of time to find a fun place, where we can go for nice long walks and gather fire-wood,” suggested Ginny.
“Yeah, and fishing and swimming. Oh, what a great idea, love,” said Harry, excitedly. He went out the kitchen to talk to Lily.
Ginny's eyes followed him. She realised this was something Harry had wanted to do for a long time. Maybe they could buy a new tent, so this one didn't remind him of the Horcrux hunt. 'Something to think about', she thought.
The boys came downstairs, carrying their sleeping bags, blanket and pillows. Ginny smiled at the sight of her two boys.
“Mum, we set the tent up all by ourselves, the Muggle way,” called Al.
“Don't worry Mum, Dad showed us how to do it,” reassured James.
“Okay then, you go and put that stuff away, and then we'll have tea,” said Ginny.
Lily came down the stairs carrying her pillow and a purple dinosaur. “Me too, Mummy,” she said.
Ginny smothered a laugh. “Hey Lily-Loo, how about you have a special camp in here with me tonight?” she asked.
Lily cocked her head. “Can I be the boss?” she asked.
Ginny chuckled. “We'll see,” she said.
“Really. You're going to be the boss?” asked Harry with a wink to Ginny, while he picked up Lily and nuzzled her neck. She shrieked with laughter.
“Right, let's get the barbecue cooking, shall we?” said Harry. Lily followed him outside.
Half an hour later they sat at the table eating burgers. James and Al were full of plans for what they were going to do in the tent. Lily told them what she and Mummy were going to do in their special tent.
“We're going to brush Misty's fur, then have a tea party and draw pictures,” she told her brothers, importantly.
James and Al rolled their eyes. “Well, we're going to play cool games and tell ghost stories. Maybe we'll even go hunting for wild animals,” said James.
Lily's eyes widened. “There's no wild animals around here, is there Daddy?”
“No, love, not around here,” assured Harry.
Lily turned back to James. “You fibber. You'd get scared if you saw a wild animal, anyway,” said Lily.
“Would not, infinity.”
“That's not fair! Dad!” wailed Lily.
“Oh hush you two. Right then, if you've finished dinner, I guess you boys can go out to the tent. Here's your snacks and drinks. Is there anything else you want? Okay then, I guess I'll see you in the morning. Night boys,” said Ginny.
“Night Jamie, night Albie. I left a surprise for ya in the tent,” teased Lily.
James and Al were already headed for the door, but stopped as Lily's last words registered.
“What did you do, Lil?” they asked, slightly worried.
“Hee hee, you'll see,” said Lily.
“Where is it?”
“You'll find out.”
“Lily-Loo, what did you do?” asked Harry.
“Hey, that's pretty good Dad. You're a poet and you didn't even know it. Get it. Get it,” snickered James, nudging Al.
Al just rolled his eyes, more worried about what his sister had done.
“I left you all a special cupcake cos I love you, that's all, Daddy,” said Lily, batting her eyes.
“Aw, thank you sweety, that's so nice. Isn't it boys,” said Harry, picking up Lily and hugging her. “What do you say, boys?”
“Thank you Lily.”
“Okay, out you go. I'm just going to help your mum tidy up, get my stuff then I'll be out,” said Harry.
“And you can't come back in till breakfast,” said Lily.
“We have to come in to use the toilet,” protested Al.
“Boys can wee outside,” said Lily.
“But what about p-”
“Fine. It's what we'd have to do if it was real camping anyway. That's what Andrew said,” said James, determined not to let little Lily get the better of him. “Let's go.”
They went outside, where it was starting to get dark. They went into the tent, unrolled their sleeping bags and laid them out with a blanket on top.
“Come on, let's play a game of Exploding Snap,” said James.
Meanwhile, Harry had finished in the kitchen and gone upstairs to change into some track pants and a jumper. He grabbed a blanket and pillow, and headed downstairs. He felt quite excited at the thought of doing some camping with his boys, even if it was only in the back yard.
Lily was looking out the window, in the direction of the tent. Harry came up behind her.
“You and Mummy will have fun tonight, too,” said Harry.
Lily nodded. “I know. Me and Mummy and Misty are gonna sleep here in the lounge. Mummy's gonna put a tent up for us in here, so we'll be just like you, and Jamie and Albie, only better,” she said.
“Well, you be a good girl for Mummy,” said Harry.
“But I'm the boss, so Mummy has to be a good girl for me,” said Lily.
Harry chuckled. “I'll be sure to tell her that.”
“Tell me what? Bath is ready for you, Lily-loo,” said Ginny.
“Hey Mummy, you're a poet and didn't even know it,” laughed Lily, running up the stairs. “Bye Daddy. You can come into the house tonight if you want.”
Harry and Ginny watched their daughter run up the stairs for a bath. Harry took the opportunity to slip his arms around Ginny.
“You have to be a good girl tonight, Lil's orders,” said Harry, kissing her neck.
“Then I guess I can be a naughty girl for you tomorrow night,” said Ginny, putting her hands on Harry's bum and squeezing.
Harry drew in a sharp breath. “I'm going to remember you said that, Gin,” he growled as he kissed her hard.
Ginny giggled. “You better go. But remember, you have the boss's permission to re-enter the house. I'm up for a midnight rendezvous if you are, Mr Potter. Now go, before the boys come looking for you. And Harry?”
He had just moved towards the lounge, but stopped and looked back.
“I left a surprise for you in the tent, too! It's not a cupcake, though” smirked Ginny.
Harry grinned and picked his pillow and blanket up from the lounge, where he had dumped them before talking to Lily.
“Have fun, love,” said Ginny, smiling at him.
He kissed her on the lips as he headed for the back door. “We will.”
He went to the tent, and chuckled as he noticed the sign that his son's had tacked up on the flap. 'Men Only. No Girls (especially sisters) He went inside and found his sons.
“Dad, you didn't do the secret men's knock on the door,” protested Al.
“You didn't tell me the secret knock,” said Harry, laying down his bedding.
“Oh yeah,” said Al, looking thoughtful.
“It's okay, Al. Dad, tell us about the times you stayed in the tent. You said you went to the World Cup? What was that like?” asked James.
Harry told them all about the fun times he had with Fred and George, Ginny, Hermione and Ron. Then the boys wanted to hear some ghost stories. So Harry told him about the time he, Ron and Hermione went to Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday party.
“Ghosts aren't so scary,” scoffed James. “Andrew said ghost stories are scary and spooky.”
“Ghosts are scary to Muggles. It's just another way we are different to them. It doesn't mean one is the right way or not, it's just what you know. You'll see lots of ghosts at Hogwarts,” said Harry.
“I wish Andrew could come to Hogwarts for a visit just once,” said Al. James nodded.
“Well, there might come a day when he will. More and more witches and wizards are marrying Muggles, or Muggle borns. It only makes sense that their families could come to visit. I know I liked it when Nana Molly came to visit me when I was in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Parents are now allowed to come and visit for Quidditch matches, or if there is a Hogsmeade visit,” said Harry, pleased to be able to discuss this with his boys.
“If I was Minister for Magic, I would make it so families could visit more. Maybe a special day or somethin',” said Al thoughtfully.
“That's not a bad idea, son. I can't believe you'll be going to Hogwarts in a couple of years, James. I'm still getting used to the fact that Teddy is there already,” smiled Harry, shaking his head.
“I'm hungry. Let's have a snack,” said James, rubbing his stomach.
He and Al headed into the little room where they left the food and drinks. “Don't drink too much, or we'll need to wee. Maybe just have some sips,” said James.
“It is getting pretty dark out there,” said Al, peering out a window.
“You're not scared are ya?” asked James.
Al shook his head. “Nah, not with Dad here. Hey, what's this can got in it?”
He opened it and yelled, as a fake snake flung out of the can. “Aaahh, it's a snake!” yelled Al, throwing the can away.
Harry came up and checked it out. “It's okay, it's not real. Somebody's idea of a joke, I'd say.”
The boys looked at it and together said, “Lily!”
Harry chuckled. “Come on now, it was pretty funny. The old snake-in-a-can trick, it's a classic. Now, let's find those snacks. Ah look, here are the cupcakes your sister said she got for us.”
Al and James looked suspicious. “I don't know, Dad. I'm not sure I want to eat them. Who knows what Lily's done to them,” said James.
“Oh, come on. They're from the store. I saw your Mum unpack them. Look, I'll have a bite. Mmm mmm, yum. They're really good,” said Harry, finishing off every crumb and licking his fingers clean.
“Well, okay. Hmm, yeah they're pretty good,” said Al, with a mouth full of cupcake.
“Hey, I want one, too,” said James, grabbing one. “Mmm, mmm, mmm, good stuff.”
“Okay, let's play some games, then time to climb in our sleeping bags,” said Harry.
Harry had turned a couple of lanterns on to provide light, and he also used his wand to cast a little blue flame in the jar, like Hermione had done, so many years ago. The lights cast shadows on the tent wall, and Harry amused the boys by making shadow puppets.
They were getting ready to settle for the night. Harry was getting a drink, and Al was in his sleeping bag reading a comic. James was just about to get into his sleeping bag when he pulled his blanket back and yelled “Aaahh!”
Harry came rushing in. “What is it, what's wrong?' he cried.
James pointed to his bedding. “S-sp-spider. Big, huge, hairy spider,” he whispered.
Harry went over to James's bedding and pulled the covers right back. A huge spider, as big as Harry's hand, lay on top of his sleeping bag. When it didn't move when it was exposed, Harry got suspicious. A couple of prods with his wand confirmed it was a fake spider.
Al giggled, while James turned red. “Bloody, Lily, she knows I hate spiders,” he muttered, low enough that Harry didn't hear him swearing.
“I can't sleep in there,” James said, pointing to his sleeping bag.
“But it was a fake spider, not a real one,” said Harry.
“Doesn't matter. I can't sleep in that. Al, let's swap.”
“Fine,” grumbled Al. “Anything for some peace and quiet. I'm getting sleepy.”
The boys crawled over each other and got into their bags. Harry extinguished all but one light, as he too got ready for bed.
“I wonder what Mum and Lily are doing?” pondered Al.
“Doing girly stuff,” sniggered James.
“Well, your Mum said something about making popcorn, then having hot chocolate with marshmallows before bed. Lily's probably asleep now, anyway,” said Harry, missing the familiarity of his wife's body next to his.
“Hot Chocolate sounds good, doesn't it, James?” asked Al.
“It's girly. We're men,” reminded James. “Firewhiskey puts hair on our chest. Uncle George told me that.”
“Hmm. Well, goodnight boys,” said Harry, mentally noting he needed to have a little chat with George.
“Night Dad,” chorused both boys.
They had just dozed off when Al was awoken by a noise. It sounded like growling. He lifted his head and froze.
“Dad. Dad! James!” he whispered frantically.
Harry wasn't fully asleep so he heard his son call out. “Al, what's wrong?”
Al pointed to the tent wall. The shadow of a giant creature prowling around outside was silhouetted on the tent wall. It was nearly the size of the whole wall.
“I heard it growling. I think it's hungry,” whispered Al, his eyes wide with fear.
Harry looked at the silhouette, and tried to smother a grin. “Stay here. I'm going out there,” he said.
“No Dad, what if it gets you and eats you? What will I tell Mum?” asked Al, worriedly.
“Tell her my last thoughts were of her,” said Harry, going out of the tent.
“Huh?” asked Al.
James woke up, and saw Harry gone and the tent open. “What's going on?” he asked sleepily.
“Dad's gone out to kill a huge, hungry beast that's prowling around. I heard it growling. What if it eats Dad? Mum will kill us,” said Al.
James sat up quickly.
“Mum won't need to kill you, Al. Here's your huge, hungry beast. You're probably right about the hungry and the beast part. However, the shadow on the tent made her appear larger than normal,” said Harry, coming back into the tent. He deposited a bundle onto Al's sleeping bag.
“Misty! Oh, you naughty cat, you scared me,” said Al, in relief. “Come on, you have to stay here with us now. Dad, can I sleep in your sleeping bag? Please. This one is too close to the door.”
“Are you worried that if the big bad monster comes in, it'll eat you first,” teased James.
“That's enough James. Al, are you sure you want to swap?” asked Harry, yawning.
Al nodded. “Okay then, but the cat sleeps with you,” said Harry.
He and Al traded sleeping bags, and all three Potter men settled down.
“Hey, what's this, Dad?” asked Al. He pulled something black and slinky out of Harry's sleeping bag.
“Oh, er, nothing, Al, throw it to me,” said Harry, blushing.
“Isn't that Mum's?” asked James, curiously.
“It must be, the sleeping bag even smells like Mum. Has she slept in here too, Dad?” asked Al.
“No, I don't think so. Now goodnight,” said Harry, abruptly, trying to ignore his wife's heavenly fragrance and the silky negligee she had left for him. It was his favourite on her, a fact Ginny knew all too well.
Finally, they were all asleep.
It was only an hour later that Harry awoke. He didn't know why he awoke, but he felt something was off. He reached for his wand, and looked over to his boys. They looked cold. A wind was blowing, and Harry feared a storm may be on the way.
“James, Al, wake up,” said Harry, as loudly as he dared.
“What? What's the matter Dad?” asked a sleepy James.
“Hey, is the tent door opened. It's getting cold in here,” said Al, his voice muffled under the covers.
“I think a storm is coming. We should probably go inside,” said Harry, sitting up.
“Aw Dad, do we have to?” asked James.
“James, look at those clouds rolling in. I reckon we've got about five or ten minutes before the rain comes,” said Harry.
James looked up into the sky. “Woah, yeah. Those clouds are moving fast,” he agreed.
Al poked his head out from under the covers and he too looked up. “Wow, we better get inside,” he said.
They gathered their bedding and made a run for the house. They got there just as the first drops of rain started falling. They ran inside, where it was nice and cosy.
Ginny heard them come in, and she climbed out of her transfigured sleeping bag on the floor. Lily began to stir, too.
“Hey, why are you all in here?” asked Ginny.
“There's a storm coming, Mum. Merlin, it's nice to be inside. I was freezing out there,” said James.
He went to sit in front of the fire. Lily woke up and saw him there. “Jamie, you're back. Albie too?”
“Uh-huh. There's gonna be a big storm, Lil. You should have seen the clouds, all big and black”
“Oh no, Misty's outside. I hope she'll be okay?” worried Lily.
“It's okay Lil. Here's Misty,” said Al, bringing the cat to Lily. “Boy, that fire sure feels nice.”
Al sat on the other side of Lily, who was stroking the cat.
“How about some hot chocolate? Lily and I fell asleep before we could have any,” suggested Ginny.
“Sounds good, Mum.”
“That's be great, Mum.”
“Yes please Mummy.”
“I'll help you, love,” said Harry.
Harry and Ginny went into the kitchen where they made five cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. They carried them back into the lounge, but stopped at the sight.
Their three children had fallen asleep in front of the fire. Al and James were curled protectively around Lily, who was snuggled up against James. Misty was asleep at the top of their heads.
Harry and Ginny smiled at each other, then went back to the kitchen. They drank their hot chocolate, and turned out the lights in the kitchen. They left a low light burning in the lounge, in case one of their children awoke during the night.
Outside the storm blew on. Ginny and Harry used the expansion charm on the lounge, and cuddled down together. Harry sighed in relief as he wrapped his arms around his wife.
“So, I'm guessing the tent is gone,” chuckled Ginny.
“Oh yeah, it could be anywhere by now. What's funny is that the boys didn't even realise the tent was gone. When I told them the storm was coming and to look at the clouds, they didn't think anything of it,” laughed Harry, quietly. “Of course, it was my fault. I told the boys I would check they had secured the tent pegs properly, and I forgot,” he added sheepishly.
“But you had fun,” said Ginny.
“Yeah, I did,”admitted Harry. “Lily's pranks kept the boys on their guard, though.”
“Who said they were Lily's pranks,” said Ginny, with a wink.
“Ginny Potter, you scheming witch! I did appreciate the gift you left in my sleeping bag, even though Al found it first. So all Lily did was leave us a cupcake?” asked Harry.
“I really don't know. I left her with George while I was at the grocery store, so who knows,” said Ginny, with a shrug of her shoulders.
Harry and Al would find out the next day exactly what Lily had done. Mad at James for not letting her stay in the tent too, she had gotten some slow release itching powder and put it in James sleeping bag. Unfortunately for Lily, James was the only one who DIDN'T sleep in his sleeping bag that night. Several showers later, for both Harry and Al, and the itch was annoying but bearable.
Lily promised herself that she had better be on guard the next time they all went camping, for she knew that James and Al wouldn't forget her prank.
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