A/N: Well, here we are. I didn't want to do this but I did it to say that I didn't want to do it but I would anyway…..and that I like to quote Hot Hot Heat. Anywho, I promised myself not to do a Wonka fic, but I have been so obsessed with this movie since it came out, that I couldn't stop myself. I have a few directions this sucker could go in and we'll see. This first chapter's just going to be some set up and I will probably only post more if I get some response. Sorry, that's just the way I am ;-) I'm trying not to turn this into a romance/Mary-sue fic. At this point I figure Willy has enough crazy fan girls lining up to marry him, he just needs a friend (who happens to be female and over the age of 11). So here we go! Good times
The Dreamers of Dreams
Charlie Bucket had never been an extraordinary boy by any stretch of the imagination. He was one of the smallest children in his age group and was often overlooked by his peers. He wasn't any smarter or attractive or more athletic than the other children. He was never picked first for games but he was never picked last. He had friends but could not be considered popular.
Charlie's family had never been well off and the small shack they lived in at the edge of town was the first testament to that. Surviving primarily on cabbage soup, Charlie, his parents and his four bedridden grandparents did the best they could. Charlie never complained though, always accepting his lot in life with an optimistic attitude and a smile though dreaming of something better.
At the time, Charlie didn't know it, but his entire life was soon to change. A single golden piece of paper in a chocolate bar was Charlie's ticket to a life he could not have dreamed of. For with that golden ticket, Charlie soon entered a magnificent factory and met an eccentric man named Willy Wonka. After a day of trials and tribulations, Charlie beat the competition by being himself and won the ultimate prize. Charlie Bucket, the ordinary boy, became the heir to Willy Wonka's entire chocolate factory.
Charlie and the rest of his family soon moved into the factory and Charlie began learning all he could from Willy Wonka. The boys would spend most days creating, concocting, dreaming, brain storming, and generally working. After a while it seemed everyone had settled into an almost normal routine and life could not have been better.
On one normal Tuesday afternoon, Charlie came home early from a particularly good brainstorming session. The boy quickly ran into the house but was soon absolutely silent having realized his grandparents were taking their afternoon nap. He snuck silently over to his mother and gave her a tight hug.
"You're home early today, aren't you dear?" His mother asked him in a whisper, chopping potatoes for the stew she was preparing for supper.
"I know. Mr. Wonka got so excited about one of our new ideas that he ran off to start work on it," Charlie explained to Mrs. Bucket. "He was off in his own world and I figured I'd give him some space to think."
Mrs. Bucket smiled at her son, "That was very considerate of you Charlie and a good thing for me as well."
"Why's that, mum?" Charlie asked.
"Well, you see, I started fixing dinner and realized I'm out of carrots. I need you to run down to the store and get me some. Would you mind?"
"Of course not!" Charlie beamed. Though he loved being in the chocolate factory, sometimes Charlie missed being outside. It wasn't as though he was quarantined to the factory, but he seldom found time to do things as simple as running errands for his mother.
Mrs. Bucket smiled back at her son and handed him money from her purse. "Be good now and hurry back." She lightly kissed Charlie on the head then pushed him toward the door.
Charlie could never seem to get use to the stark difference between the interior of the factory and the world that lay beyond it. He had once heard his father compare the initial shock of it to suddenly being awoken from a vivid dream and Charlie couldn't have agreed more. Colors never seemed as vibrant and lines were never blurred. Shaking off his thoughts, Charlie ran out of the factory's gates and down Main Street to the local grocer. He found the carrots his mother had asked for, paid the grocer and left the store all the while feeling the stares of those around him. No one actually approached the boy, but he knew that they were all watching the heir to the chocolate factory with astonished eyes. The grocer had been the only one to give Charlie a knowing wink and smile as he paid.
Outside the shop Charlie decided that, aside from the awkward stares, it was too soon to head back home. He turned to his right and continued down Main Street for a block and a half. The boy came to a stop outside of a small shop he had not been in since leaving for the factory. The green sign above the door proclaimed "Golden Hope Café" in light blue faded letters. Charlie smiled to himself, having found the perfect diversion, and slowly opened the café door.
The Golden Hope Café was one of the oldest buildings in Charlie's town. The Hope family had owned the small café since the town had been founded and it had passed down through the generations like a precious heirloom. Currently it was owned by Danica Hope, one of the few remaining Hope's. Danica had dark green eyes and auburn hair that was usually pulled back in some fashion. Though she was considered quite pretty and had friends, Danica had never married and had little time for anything more than work and her niece. She had inherited the Café after her older brother, Seth, had passed away.
With the café, Danica had also been given custody of Seth's daughter, Lillian. Lillian Hope had been friends with Charlie Bucket since they were young. Lily had light sky blue eyes and always wore her hair in two long strawberry-blond braids. She was the same age as Charlie and though she was cute she often fit into the same non-extraordinary category. Sadly, in all the craziness surrounding his acceptance of the factory, Charlie had not seen Lily or Danica in a few months.
Inside the Golden Hope, Danica Hope, looked up from the dishes she was washing as the bell above the door signaled the arrival of a customer. She quickly wiped her hands on a dish rag, pushed a few loose strands of auburn hair behind her ears, and walked over to the counter with a smile. When she realized the customer was Charlie Bucket, her niece's playmate, her smile actually became more genuine. "Charlie Bucket, what are you doing here?"
Charlie grinned at the woman. "I was getting something for my mother and on my way home I saw the café and thought I'd stop in to see you and Lily."
"Um..Charlie, the factory's the other way down the street." Danica smiled making her way around the counter. The young boy blushed being caught in his fib. "But if you were taking the long way, I can see how we'd be on the way. Come here." She wrapped the boy in a hug he was more than happy to receive.
"How have you both been, Ms. Hope?" Charlie asked pulling away from Danica.
"First of all, how many times do I have to tell you Ms. Hope is too formal? Call me Dani or at least Danica." She explained leaning against the counter. "Secondly, we've been good. I know Lily's missed you. She's upstairs, I'll get her for you if you promise to watch the shop for me."
Charlie smiled even more as Danica took off for the back of the store. She opened a large wooden door that led to a small set of stairs which in turn lead to the loft above the café. After a few minutes, Charlie heard footsteps thundering down the stairs. The back door opened and Lillian Hope raced from the entrance toward Charlie. "Oh my gosh!" she squealed at the sight of her friend. Lily ran toward the boy and grabbed him in a hug.
"She didn't believe me when I said you were here," Danica laughed heading toward the two at a much slower pace.
Lily quickly began spitting out a million questions, "How are you? What's been happening? How's your parents? Why haven't you come by? What's the factory like? How many new candies have you invented? What's Willy Wonka like? How long can you stay here? Will you come back?"
"Lily!" Danica called from behind the counter, "Calm down, let the boy breath. One question at a time, hun."
Charlie smiled at his friend though he felt his head spin slightly under her barrage of questions. "I can answer some of those. Um..I'm fantastic. Lots and lots of things have been happening. My parents are brilliant. I haven't had time to stop by. The factory's amazing. I've helped invent a few candies, but nothing that's been sold yet. Willy Wonka's a genius but slightly odd. I can only stay here a bit long and I can try to come back soon."
Lily and Danica stared at the boy for a moment. "I'd like to congratulate you for silencing my niece" Danica laughed.
Lily smiled and hugged her friend again, "I missed you Charlie!" she admitted.
"I missed you too."
While Danica began closing up the café, Charlie and Lily continued talking about everything that had happened to the chocolate factory heir since he had moved. The boy could hardly contain his enthusiasm while he tried to explain everything. As he began talking about his parents, Charlie suddenly remembered he had promised his mother he'd hurry home. "If I'm any later she'll be upset." Charlie explained grabbing his earlier purchase off the counter, "But I have a idea and a question."
"What is it Charlie?" Lily asked.
"Well, if it's all right with your aunt, I was wondering if you'd like to come by the factory sometime."
"Can I go Dani, please!" Lily pleaded to the older Hope, cleaning more dishes on the other side of the counter.
"I don't know Lil. I mean, you know what happened to every other kid that went to the factory," Danica began, recalling the events that had led to Charlie's inheritance of the chocolate factory. "I don't want you to be a blueberry."
"Oh, but Ms. Hop…Danica," Charlie caught himself and tried to lapse into the improper, "This is nothing like that. This would just be a visit, and Lily's not like those other children who came to the factory."
"I know she's not, but I just don't know if it's safe." As she finished her sentence, both children put on their biggest puppy-dog eyes.
"Please Aunt Dani! I promise I'll be good and do all I'm told and I won't turn into a blueberry!" Lillian pleaded.
Danica sighed, quickly weighing the options. "Okay, here's the deal. After you make sure it's okay with Mr. Wonka if you have someone over, Lily can go, but I want to come the first time to make sure she'll be okay. Is that fair?"
Large grins crossed both children's faces, "That's a brilliant idea." Charlie beamed, "I know my parents would love to see you. And Mr. Wonka won't have any problem with the two of you coming over."
Danica smiled, somewhat nervously, other thoughts flashing through the back of her mind, "All right then. Meet us here at 2pm, Charlie, and you can take us on the grand tour. Now, you better scoot. Your mother will never forgive me if I make you late for dinner."
Charlie nodded in agreement "See you both tomorrow!" The boy continued smiling as he ran out the door.
Once the door had closed, Danica's smile fell slightly. Lily ran around the counter and threw her arms around her aunt "Thank you Dani! I know we'll have fun."
"Of course we will. But, you know you owe me big time." She released the girl and turned back to her dishes. "Now help me close up the shop so we can go start dinner."
A/N: Bwha ha ha! The wheels are in motion and the gears are running pretty well. Willy will be in the next chapter I swear. I wanted him in this chapter but I changed how I did the intro, plus he was too busy inventing to be bothered with being in the first chapter of a fan story. I will admit he's fun to write for. Charlie's difficult….but I'll stop now, I swear. Please review if you read. I need the motivation…constructive criticism is always welcome but flames are dumb, so keep evil mean options to yourself. If I can refrain from bashing every story I don't like then you can be nice to me I'll give you cookies. Okkay, off to bed now, I have work in the morning. Peace out
Disclaimer: I own Dani and Lily...I wish I owned Wonka (or Johnny Depp for that matter) I don't, however.