I've read the books and have seen both versions of the movie. However, I strongly favor the Wilder movie version, and haven't read the books in about ten years, so, this fic will be based upon Wilder's Wonka, as portrayed in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Life was grand.
After the relocation of Charlie Bucket's entire family to Mr. Wonka's Chocolate Factory, existence now revolved solely around childish delights and fancies, and allowed (nay, demanded) free-run of the imagination. It was the place every good little boy and little girl dreams of- for Mr. Wonka's factory, as those who'd seen the interior already knew, wasn't merely a building, a place to manufacture scrumdidiliumptious treats to ship out all over the globe.
Mr. Wonka's factory contained a world in and of itself, a world that would have had no place outside the iron gates and high walls- a world that couldn't exist outside of the factory. There was no room in Willy Wonka's world for envy and greed or unnecessary rules or any other forms of cruelty. His world was a place full of rich, creamy mysteries, of fragrant, sweet laughter, of warm, fluffy feelings, and of colorful, gooey magic.
The magic didn't just appear out of nowhere- that would have been silly, to say the least. The magic had to be created, shaped, and grown. It had to be nurtured, to survive and flourish. And though Willy Wonka had easily woven his magic like a gummi spider on a cotton candy web, he welcomed the addition of Charlie and his family, and welcomed the magic of their own that they would coax into existence, to mingle and twirl, twist and combine with his.
Charlie was proving to be all (and then some) of what Wonka had hoped him to be, upon the day of his appointment as heir to Wonka Industries. He was eager, attentive, respectful, inquisitive, imaginative, kind, and absolutely inspirational! The boy had come up with not one, not five, but nine new confections that ranged from ideas as simple as Singing Strawberry Licorice String (for children who can't carry a tune!) to miniature replicas of the Gummi Bear Trees, but that actually grew the gummi bears (for candy-lovers and horticulturists alike!) to a new recipe for a chocolate, pistachio, butterscotch, snozzberry juice, and popping-sugar rock candy bar (the name and advertisement slogan were still in the works)- and it had only been six months since his arrival!
But it wasn't just Charlie. Wonka's factory, the air, the candy, the very essence of it seemed to have rejuvenated the Grandparents. Grandma Josephine and Grandma Georgina worked tirelessly, happily, youthfully around the clock, trying out new materials to be sewn or knit into edible garments, using such delectables as licorice, cotten candy, taffy, caramel, marshmallow, and even fine strands of fudge. They were quite good at it too, and Wonka and Charlie discussed the very real possibility of starting a clothing line sometime within the next year.
Grandpa Joe and George, while offering creative ideas and input from time to time, much preferred helping the Oompa Loompas to keep the factory machines up and running, and to be on the front line of testing new Wonka products. It was rare that either were found without a strange hair color, or polka-dotted tongue, or floating around upside down around the factory, or walking around like crabs on all fours, or absently tugging at patches of feathers that had sprung up in strange places, or otherwise sporting some other strange, side-effect of candy that had not yet been perfected- and they couldn't have been happier.
In fact, Mr. Wonka himself couldn't have been happier!
Well... That wasn't entirely true. Despite his new, wonderful heir, and his fantastic, helpful grandparents, there was one tiny part of the entire equation that put a slight damper on Wonka's joy, that sometimes lessoned his charming, carefree grin into a thoughtful half-smile, and that seemed to turn the twinkle of excitement in his pale blue eyes to sparkles of concern.
You see, while Charlie and his grandparents had stepped into this new life, accepting and absorbing it entirely into their existence, there remained one member of the Bucket family who hadn't. This particular member hadn't changed at all since her arrival to the factory- of course her wan cheeks had grown healthier with adequate food supply, and her heart lighter knowing that Charlie's future was no longer unstable, but apart from that, she hadn't absorbed much of anything about the factory, other than the fact that it was run by a Mr. Willy Wonka, a man in a black top hat, plum-hued tail coat, and pleasant green trousers. The fact remained that she hadn't actually joined the others in the undertaking of a new way of life, and, to Mr. Wonka's knowledge, hadn't found her place in the factory.
And while Willy Wonka might have been able to overlook the fact that she was 'the odd man out', seeing that everything else was operating so smoothly, he wasn't a foolish man. A small problem, like a loose bolt in the mint cream machine might not mean anything at the present, but over time, it could potentially lead to a destruction of the entire machine, and mint cream all over the polished floor! And while Wonka wasn't the type of man to cry over spilled cream, he also wasn't the type to allow it to spill in the first place- and he feared that it would most certainly become a problem, in the long run, if the dear woman never found how she was to fit into the grander scope of things.
It was therefore that Willy Wonka decided that it was up to him to find out why it was that Mrs. Bucket had yet to be effected by the magic, and had altogether remained unchanged by the rapidly changing events.
And as a music maker and dreamer of dreams, it was his responsibility to see that the mother of the heir to his fortune remembered what it meant to to see the world in all the dazzling colors, mouth-watering scents, indescribable shapes, exotic noises, and extraordinary tastes.
Argh. I've started another fic, without having updated my old ones in months. I wrote this fic after reading a variety of the fanfiction set aside for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory... And though I've immensely enjoyed much of what I've come across, I was surprised to see that no fics addressed the issue of what became of Mrs. Bucket, when everything was said and done. So, there you have it, the birth of this story.
I'm not sure how quickly I will be updating this fic, though I do intend upon finishing it- please keep in mind it has about four other fics to contend with, however.
Anywho, Review, Review, Review, if you're interested in seeing more. This was a rather short chapter, more of a set-up for the story, really. A prologue, perhaps?