Summary: Very simply, the men mess up the rooms while the women are out. Written in answer to Challenge 43 on the ADMM Board. The challenge was to write about a male flaw from a woman's point of view. Very simply put, the men mess it up and expect the women to clean it up.
Rating: Safe for everyone here to read.
Cleaning Up Does Not Require Magic
"Poppy. I really enjoyed our shopping trip to Hogsmeade today. Would you like to come up for a nice cup of tea?" Minerva smiled at her friend as they approached Hogwarts castle after a nice afternoon outing.
"I would greatly enjoy a cup of tea, Min. Thank you for inviting me." Poppy replied. "My feet are so tired I will be very happy to sit down for awhile."
"I know the feeling. Mine are tired too," Minerva sighed. "And, don't call me, Min."
At that comment, Poppy just rolled her eyes. She had been annoying her friend by calling her 'Min' since their school days. It never failed to get a rise out of her. She followed Minerva through the castle to the gargoyle that guarded the stairway to the Headmaster's office and quarters. Few people knew that Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were married. Poppy Pomfrey was one of the select few who did, so she was not surprised by Minerva's destination.
"Lemon Tabby," Minerva said to the gargoyle. It leapt aside and the two women stepped onto the revolving staircase that carried them upwards to the Headmaster's office. Minerva led the way through the office towards the door to the rooms behind it.
"Lemon Tabby?" Poppy questioned her.
"It is a compromise between Albus and me. I was tired of just candy names for the password so he came up with Lemon Tabby. Lemon for his favorite candies, and Tabby for me.
"Very different." Poppy commented. "But very nice. Are you sure we won't be disturbing Albus with my visit. I know he likes to rest on Saturday afternoon."
"No," sighed Minerva. "He has a meeting at the Ministry with Cornelius Fudge. He said it would probably last all day. I took advantage of that this morning and cleaned our rooms from top to bottom and I didn't use any spells. I decided to do it the muggle way to see how long it would take. Merlin, I don't know how the muggles do it all the time. It took me four hours to do just our four rooms. The bathroom took the longest. I'm not doing it the muggle way again."
"That was quite a challenge," Poppy commiserated with her friend. "I don't blame you, it sounds hard."
"It was hard." Minerva replied, opening the door and gesturing for her friend to enter first. "But it was satisfying too."
"Oh my!" she heard her friend remark with a gasp.
"Looks nice doesn't… it…….." her comment died on her lips as she took a good look around the living room that she had cleaned earlier that day. "What happened?"
"I would hazard a guess that Albus is home and Alastor is with him." said Poppy, stating the obvious fact that two men had made their way through the rooms.
Inside the door, making a wet spot on the light colored carpet, were Albus and Alastor's muddy boots and wet socks. A few feet further inside the room, slung over her favorite chair, was Albus' heavy, and very wet, outer cloak. Alastor's was on the floor. Albus' hat was discarded on the top of the sofa, and the remains of their snack was sitting on the coffee table in front of the couch. In fact, some of the snack was on the floor (two grapes and a banana peel). There were crumbs all over the sofa and the table. The Daily Prophet was draped over the top of the sofa, and had made its way onto two of the other chairs, too. The cushions from the couch were helter skelter and one was on the floor.
"I hate to think what the rest of the rooms look like." Minerva sighed.
"They can't be as bad as this one, can they?" Poppy questioned, with her eyebrows raised. "Min, I'm sorry Alastor seems to be a part of this."
Minerva just shook her head and headed for the kitchen. She opened the door and gasped. Poppy followed her friend and stood on her tiptoes to look over Minerva's shoulder. Her eyes grew big. The kitchen was totally trashed. Bread crumbs were all over the counter. Peanut butter and jelly were smeared together on the counter and the front of the cabinets. The sink was full of dirty containers and silverware. There were empty cans and dirty pots and pans on the stove. The trash bin was full and running over. There were grapes and olives on the floor and a can of fizzy soda had apparently exploded somewhere in the middle of the room due to the fact that it seemed to cover almost every surface and was also dripping from the ceiling. Minerva closed her eyes and counted very slowly to ten and opened them. It didn't look any better. She sighed and headed for the bathroom.
"I'm not sure I really want to look." Minerva leaned against the closed door and worked up her courage to open it.
"Come on, Minerva." Poppy urged her. "You're a Gryffindor. Where's your Gryffindor courage."
"I think it left." Minerva sighed a very deep sigh, and pushed open the bathroom door. She gave a small shriek as a flood of water covered her feet. Quickly pulling out her wand, she cast a spell to shut the water off. She and Poppy surveyed the destruction of the small room. It seemed like every towel and washcloth she and Albus owned were either wet or smeared with mud. There was toothpaste and soap smeared on the mirror over the sink, and it was muttering to itself "Men…are…such…messy creatures. Hah! Just see if I let him use me to shave in again." Toilet paper was floating in the water near the toilet. The toilet lid, itself, had been left at attention, and the toilet had not been flushed. The men's muddy clothing was heaped in the middle of the floor.
Minerva gave a small sob, and simply shut the door to get rid of the horrifying sight. "I don't want to see the bedroom. I don't want to see the bedroom. I do not want to see the bedroom." She chanted to herself.
"Do you want me to look?" Poppy asked meekly. Minerva nodded. Poppy steeled herself and opened the bedroom door and entered it.
"Well?" She questioned Poppy's silence. Poppy came back out and merely shook her head.
Minerva ran to the door and stuck her head in. It seemed that every stitch of clothing that Albus owned was either on the floor or on the bed. Drawers were pulled out and their contents had been dumped on the floor. The lamps by the bed were lying sideways. Fawkes was missing from his perch in the corner. Minerva really couldn't blame him. Fawkes hated it when Minerva and Albus fought, and he had left because he was sure there was going to be a real loud one when Minerva found Albus.
Minerva walked out of the bedroom with tears of anger in her eyes. Poppy looked at her friend in alarm. She could see Minerva's animagus form coming through.
Minerva hissed loudly "Albus…Blessed…Dumbledore…you are going to get it good when I get a hold of you. You won't like what going to happen."
Poppy shivered at the venom in Minerva's hiss and eyes.
Minerva swept the Daily Prophet off of one of the chairs in the living room and sat in it, prepared to wait for Albus and Alastor to come back from wherever they had gone in the castle. Poppy knew that the longer her friend had to wait, the angrier she was going to become. Poppy settled herself to wait with her friend. She was angry because Alastor had certainly done his part in wrecking her friends rooms. He was definitely going to get an earful too.
The two angry witches only had to wait about fifteen minutes when they heard the two men approaching through Albus' office. Albus opened the door and let Alastor enter first. When he saw the two women, he smiled broadly.
"Well, they're back. We missed you two. Did you have a good shopping trip?" His questions died out as he took in the sight of his wife and the anger he saw in her face. "What's wrong, Tabby? You look like you bit into a sherbet lemon."
Minerva came out of the chair like a cat with its claws out ready to rake him from stem to stern. "What's wrong? What's wrong, you ask? Just take a look around this room Albus…Percival…Wulfric…Brian…Dumbledore and you tell me what's wrong."
"Well, it's a little messy, but it won't take you long to clean it up, my dear." Albus said with a twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Oh…..I…have…no…intention…of…cleaning…it…up!" Minerva spat at him. "I am planning for all those responsible for messing it up…to clean it up. For your information, I spent all morning cleaning our rooms up, and they were all beautiful when I left to go shopping with Poppy. I invited her up to have tea, and instead of walking in to a pleasant place to have a friend over…I find a pigsty…thanks to my husband…and his friend. Alastor shuddered as Minerva stared him in the eye. His magical eye swiveled around to look at his wife. Poppy looked just as mad as Minerva.
"Uh, Albus…maybe we should just apologize and get out of here." Alastor suggested.
Albus looked at his furious wife and friend. "Not a bad idea, Alastor, my man."
"Oh no you don't." Minerva sent a locking spell toward the door. It slammed shut and the lock clicked just as the men reached it. "You two are not going anywhere till these rooms are spotless again."
Alastor sighed and looked at Poppy with puppy dog eyes. She just glared back at him with the medi-witch glare she used to keep patients in bed in the hospital wing. He knew there was no getting out of it for him.
"Alastor…Sean…Micheal…Patrick…Moody. Did you help make this mess or not."
"Yes." He answered softly, his eyes (both magical and not) cast toward the floor.
"Then you will do your share of the cleaning up." Poppy stated. Alastor merely nodded.
Albus suddenly perked up. He looked at Alastor. "All we have to do is use the Scourgify spell and everything will be cleaned up instantly." He said cheerfully. He pulled out his wand to cast the spell. "I will do the living room and the kitchen, and you can do the bathroom and the bedroom." Alastor nodded happily. This would be easy after all.
Poppy protested to her friend, "You're not going to let them get off that easily, are you?"
Minerva had a look on her face like the cat that had eaten the canary. "Oh no, it is not going to be that easy gentlemen." She let out a cry of "Expellaramus." Both wands came zooming into her hand. "Albus, you are going to clean these rooms in the muggle way… with lots of sweat and hard work."
Albus had a look of horror on his face. "You mean I have to clean up everything without using any magic at all?"
Alastor looked at Poppy. She smiled at him and he shuddered. "I agree with no magic at all."
Minerva smiled, an evil look in her eyes, "Exactly, and we are going to sit here and watch you do it. Believe me, I think we are going to enjoy every minute of it. I know I am. Now, gentlemen, and I use the term loosely, you had better get busy."
Albus gave Alastor a defeated look and began picking up pieces of the Daily Prophet.
"Poppy, wouldn't you enjoy a cup of tea while we watch the men clean up the rooms? I know I would." With that last comment, Minerva sat down in her chair and conjured up tea for herself and her friend. "We might even have time for a second cup, or a third, or even a fourth."