Author's note: This story is dedicated to my best friend Brandi. It was originally supposed to be a Lily/James fic, but it evolved into a Marauders friendship fic. Oh well. Hope you like it! (Please review and tell me if you liked it...heck, tell me if you hated it, just please review, and do it nicely!)
This isn't fair. Sirius thought for the billionth time. I've been tricked. When Lily had asked him if he wanted to go camping with her and James, Sirius had pictured his family's old tent, a five story Victorian style mansion with three towers, four chandeliers, six fountains, and a ghoul, but this was ridicules!
"Lily, can I have my wand back now?" He yelled up at the receding backpack.
"No, Sirius. I told you, we're camping the muggle way. No magical tents, no wands, and no connection with the wizarding world. Just us and nature. It's fun!" Lily looked back smiling. "Besides, I figured it would be easier to break James into the whole 'being married' thing if he had some friends with him on our first vacation. Right, honey?"
"It really is great to have you guys along." James supplied with a grateful smile. "Besides, it's only one night. How bad could it be?"
"It's only one night." Sirius mimicked. "One night of pure torture. I'm starting to think Peter was the smart one, turning this trip down. Besides," He added, looking dubiously at a caterpillar munching contentedly on a leaf. "I hate nature."
"It's not so bad, Padfoot." Remus laughed, hitching up his backpack. "It's just a bunch of plants."
"Easy for you to say, Moony. You're in your element. How much farther, Lily? We've been walking for ages!"
"Oh, for goodness sake, Sirius, are you a dog, or a kitten? We've been walking for ten minutes, and we're almost there!" It was then that they emerged from the dark forest path into a sun filled, flower-spotted clearing. "See?" The self-satisfied witch smiled. "This is it."
A small grove of trees, with birds singing in their branches, stood in the center of the small valley, a clear river running next to it. Fluffy white clouds framed the sun while deer grazed contently. All-in-all, it was quite a utopic scene. Sirius hated every moment of it.
"Well, come on." He said, trudging down the hill. "Let's get this over with."
Between setting up camp, and getting dinner ready, Sirius didn't have much time to complain. And, even if he had, it's not like anyone would have listened. Remus was in his own brand of heaven, surrounded by flowers and trees, while James and Lily were acting like the newlyweds they were, kissing over the stew pot.
Sirius grumbled as he set up his tent. His one man, no kitchen, no bathroom, no anything but a primitive sleeping bag on the cold, hard ground, tent. It was then that a very important question popped into Sirius's mind.
"Hey, Lily, where do we go to the bathroom?"
Without detaching herself from James, or pausing in stirring the stew, Lily motioned casually to the clump of trees just past the river.
"Nice." Sirius sighed, standing up. "Toilet paper?"
Again, Lily motioned, this time to a backpack. She smiled as she watched her disgruntled friend walk toward the trees. First time campers.
After a dinner of beef stew, the four friends sat around the fire, talking. As dusk approached, and the stars came out, one by one, Lily brought out a bag of marshmallows, and s'more works.
Sirius complained about the smoke, Remus remarked on the beauty of the sunset, and the Potters kissed some more. Your typical camp fire conversation, as night approached.
When the sun had completely gone down, and the crescent moon had risen, Lily spoke, smiling.
"Okay, boys, now it's time for the best part…ghost stories."
The comment was met with laughter.
"Lily, dear," James replied "We're wizards. I don't think there is a Muggle ghost story around that could scare us."
"We'll see about that, dear." Lily laughed. And with that, the stories began.
The next morning, three very tired Marauders gathered around the fire while Lily made breakfast.
"I didn't sleep a wink last night." Remus sighed. "I was up all night, thinking about Lily's stories."
"So was I! The one about the doll with the red eyes creeped me out." Sirius replied, his own eyes red from lack of sleep.
"Same with me." James added. "Not Lily though. She slept like a baby."
"Years of practice." Lily said as she walked up with a plate full of bacon. "Told you Muggle stories were scary. Now, everyone eat up so we can break camp."
An hour later, the four friends were hiking back up the hill they had come down the day before.
"See, Sirius." Lily smiled. It wasn't that bad, now was it?"
Sirius looked sheepish. "Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that." He said "Can I come with you next year?" His eager expression prompting laughter from his friends.
"I'm sorry, Sirius," Lily laughed "But, I think next year will just be the family. After all, one child will be hard enough to look after, without you around. Right, dear?"
James began to nod, figuring that it was just easier to agree with his wife, before the meaning of her words sank in.
"Whoa, wait!" He stuttered as he realized exactly what Lily had said. "You said child? What do you mean by, child? Child, like, your genes, and my genes, mixed together into a little sack of joyous love that we can name, and call our own? That kind of child?"
When Lily nodded, laughing at her husband's reaction, James pulled her into a hug.
"I'm going to be a dad!" He yelled as he swung Lily around. "I'm going to be a dad!"
"Good job, mate!" Sirius said, patting his best friend on the back, Remus following suit.
The conversation continued like that until they reached the small parking lot that Sirius's motorcycle was parked in. The others had apperated. After another round of congratulations, Sirius turned away, mounting his bike.
"Sirius, wait!" Lily said, running to the motorcycle. "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Sirius looked down, and realized that she was holding out his wand. Smiling, he took it, and kicking his bike to life, rode into the sky. Behind him, the three other friends turned, and with whip-like cracks, disappeared, two of them, welcoming this new phase in their lives.