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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 2]

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Thanks a lot to my beta-readers, Duchess_Of_Arcadia and Pookah, for correcting my mistakes.

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to J.K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.

I’m not a native speaker of English!

Chapter 5 - The Toilet Monster

After half an hour, Minerva and Albus decided to end the first play session.

Severus still was playing with the toy cars on the carpet when Minerva knelt beside him. “Sev, you have to take a little break now, but you can play again after our afternoon snack.”

Severus was disappointed, but he didn't want the nice people getting mad at him, so he put the toy cars away.

Albus came over, picked him up in his arms and said, “ We’ll go wash your hands while Minerva organizes the snack from the house-elves, okay?”

Without waiting for an answer from Severus, he started to head to the washroom. It was beside Albus' and Minerva's bedroom. “Do you want to go to the toilet as well?” Albus asked Severus.

Severus shook his head. He didn't like to go to the toilet. His father said that a monster lived in there, and that it bit you when you didn’t do your business fast enough. He was never able to do it fast. He always tried to look between his legs to see if the monster was already there. But it never came, and Severus thought that maybe the monster in their toilet was dead. He didn't tell his father about it because he feared that he would buy a new one, which would bite him. But maybe in this toilet the monster isn't dead. I will only go when I can't keep it back any longer so I will be fast enough, so the monster won't be getting angry.

“You haven't been to the toilet for a long time, Severus. Are you really sure you don't need to?” Albus eyed him closely.

“Don't need to.” Severus shook his head vehemently.

He looks a little scared but maybe he just isn't used to someone being with him in the bathroom, Albus thought. “Do you want me to leave you alone?” he asked.

Alone with the monster? “NO!” Severus almost screamed. He ran over to Albus again and hugged his legs.

Okay, that definitely is strange, Albus thought. He knelt in front of the child and held Severus a little away from him, so that he could see his face. “What's wrong, Severus?”

“No want be alone,” Severus said pleadingly.

“It’s said, 'I don't want to be alone', Severus. Why don't you want to be alone? I thought you wanted a little privacy to go to the toilet.”

Hearing the word 'toilet', Severus scooted a little more away from it, but Albus was still holding him by his arms, and so he couldn't go far.

Albus followed Severus’ fearful glance towards the toilet and realized that the boy was trying to back away from it. “What's wrong with the toilet, Severus?”

Severus looked at Albus as if he was crazy. “Don't you know?” How can he live that long here and not know about the monsters in the toilet? Severus thought. Maybe he is always very fast and so he never saw it.

“Don't I know what, my boy?” Albus asked, still confused.

Severus glanced fearfully at the toilet again and then leant over to Albus to whisper in his ear, “The monster will bite me.”

“Severus, there is no monster in the toilet,” Albus explained to the scared child. Seeing that this didn't have an effect on the boy, he added, “Come on, we will check it.” With that he pulled the slightly reluctant child with him to the toilet and opened the lid. He positioned Severus in front of his legs and felt the boy lean his back on them. It was obvious that Severus wasn't happy to have to face the monster he thought would be in the toilet. “Look, no monster.”

This Albus man really has no idea about toilet monsters. “It is sleeping. It will come up when you sit too long on the toilet, if you can't do it quickly enough,” Severus explained to the ignorant adult. Severus never dared to look away from the toilet because he was sure at any minute the monster would turn up.

Albus knelt down again and slightly shifted the boy sideways to speak with him.

Severus didn't want to turn his back to the monster and so vehemently resisted Albus’ attempts to turn him. He wasn't willing to avert his eyes from the toilet.

“Severus, please look at me.” He didn't force Severus to turn his back to the toilet, but he wanted the child to look at him while he spoke to him. He pushed Severus a little further away from the toilet and placed himself between the imagined monster and the boy. Now he had Severus’ full attention.

Severus was happy that Albus was now blocking the way of the monster. He bit nervously on his bottom lip.

“Stop that, Severus. Your lips are already bruised enough.” It was true, his lips were bruised as if biting his lips was a bad habit of young Severus.

Severus stopped the biting immediately and looked anxiously at Albus, expecting to be beaten for it. But the old man seemed to be satisfied that he stopped and simply started to speak again.

Albus felt Severus tense up after he scolded him for biting his lips. He decided that it would be best just to continue trying to convince Severus that the toilet wasn’t scary.

“Severus, there is no monster in the toilet,” Albus said gently. He felt Severus relax a little, not because he believed him about the monster, but for not scolding him longer about the lip biting. “I have lived here for a long time, and I can promise you that there is no monster in it. You can take as much time on it as you need, Severus.” Maybe I should have read more of the child care books Poppy gave us, Albus thought while looking at the scared boy, who seemed not to believe a word he said.

“It's a monster-proof toilet, Severus ...” He felt Severus react now, he seemed to listen much more. Okay, go on like this, Albus. “I have checked it for monsters myself. I'm a great wizard, and no monster has a chance against me.”

He is very big and old, like Merlin. And Merlin was a great wizard, Severus thought. “No monster?” he asked.

“No monster, Severus. Do you want to try it out together?” he asked while already working on the button of Severus' trousers.

Severus didn't really want to try it out, but he thought, If there is a monster that only bites children and not adults, it will come out and then Albus will kill it.

“Is everything all right in there?” Minerva called anxiously from outside the bathroom. She had arranged the afternoon snack some time ago and wondered what was going on to prevent her two men from coming out of the toilet. “May I come in?”

Albus looked at Severus questioningly.

Severus nodded. The more the better. When the monster comes, it will be very scared to see them all here, he thought hopefully.

“You may come in, Minerva,” Albus said while lowering Severus’ trousers and briefs.

When Minerva entered the bathroom, the sight of her husband kneeling in front of Severus, who tried to look, with his trousers pooling at his ankles, over his shoulder into the toilet, made her smile. “So, what's wrong?”

“Severus here was scared that we didn't check our toilet for monsters that bite when you aren't quick enough doing your business,” he said, trying to give his wife as much information she needed, in hope that she would play along. “I already told him that I checked it myself and that there isn't one in there, but we thought we would try it out.” With that he lifted Severus onto the toilet.

Severus felt his fear return when Albus sat him on the toilet. He immediately spread his legs to be able to look into the toilet so that the monster couldn't sneak up.

Minerva, seeing the problem of this position, went over to Severus before Albus would feel the consequences of sitting in perfect target line. “Severus, you must push your wee-wee down if you want to look into the toilet while peeing.”

Severus looked up at Minerva and did what she had said. She doesn't look angry. No, she is smiling, Severus thought, relieved. Then he remembered that he had to observe the toilet for the monster and not the nice woman next to him and so lowered his gaze again.

“Don't forget to pee, Severus,” Minerva said, amused, and placed a calming hand on the lad’s shoulder. She felt Severus use it immediately to steady himself for leaning further down to have a better look

“I'm trying,” Severus said, concentrating. He always had problems with this because he feared the monster so much.

“It's okay, Severus, just relax,” Albus said while stroking Severus' hair. “There is no monster, and you have as much time as you need.” Albus looked worriedly up to Minerva, but then heard the triumphant 'Yes' from Severus and the splashing sound that made him realize their persuasions had been successful.

“Yes,” Severus said proudly when his genitalia did what he wanted them to do. He closely watched the inside of the toilet while holding his wee-wee down with one hand and his shirt up and near his body, for a better look, with the other hand. Having Minerva's hand on his shoulder made it much easier to look into the toilet without falling over. When he was finished, he looked up into the smiling face of Albus, who was still kneeling in front of him.

“You see, there is no monster in our toilet,” Albus said.

Again a glance in the toilet, to be sure that it hadn't been attracted by hearing him pee, and finally Severus seem to relax a little. I hope there really is no monster. Or was it only hiding because he knew that the adults were around? His thoughts were interrupted by a groan from Albus.

Albus tried to stand up and felt his bones protest. I'm too old to kneel in front of a toilet for that long. Next time I have to make sure that I put a cushion charm on the tiles. It was obvious that this wouldn't be the last time that they would have to convince Severus that there is no monster. The little tyke wasn't that easy to convince. Looking down at the child, he could see big brown eyes looking back at him. He patted Severus’ head and said, “Well done, my child.”

Severus was confused. Well done, what? Peeing? It took me some time again; so what was so good about it? Maybe they think that it was quick enough. Severus beamed at that. They are easy to make happy.

Albus took Severus under the armpits, shook him a little so that the last drops fell down and then lifted him from the toilet seat.

“Let me do this, Albus,” Minerva ordered, while already kneeling down to pull Severus' trousers up. “I think your bones have had enough kneeling for today.”

When the trousers were fastened and Albus had flushed the toilet, Minerva gently pushed Severus into the direction of the sink. “Come on, young man, we have to wash your hands.” She pulled a small footstool from under the sink. “That's your stool, Severus. When you step on it, you can reach the sink better.”

Severus tried out the stool. Yeah, that's great. When he felt the warm water splash on his hands while Minerva helped him to put soap in his hands and then rinse it off again, he thought, At home I always had to wash my hands at the cold water faucet. This is much nicer. Everything is much nicer here.

Albus passed him a towel, and Severus quickly dried his hands and arms. Then he gave the towel back to Albus because he didn't know were to put it.

“Oh no, young man,” Minerva scolded, taking the towel from Albus. “Your hands aren't dry.” Minerva started to rub Severus’ arms dry.

Severus was a little scared when Minerva scolded him. He didn't like the rough rubbing of the towel on his arms, but he hoped that the nice woman wouldn’t be angry with him any longer when she had rubbed his arms dry.

They are very different, he thought. They are happy with things father would never be satisfied with. So maybe she will be satisfied by just rubbing my arms painfully. When Minerva stopped, lifted him down from the foot stool and patted his head, he knew he was right again. She is satisfied with it and isn't angry any longer.

“A warm cup of cocoa is waiting for you, young man. Good thing that I placed a stasis spell on it as a precaution,” Minerva said and led them all out of the bathroom.

A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 2]

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