Mrs. Trent couldn't regain control of her class. The students were, afterall, Americans that grew up on the stories of freedom and democracy so Harry's act of rebellion acted as the start to a full Charms class revolution. For the first time in that class the students were unafraid to say no and not participate.
So, with a short angry shout, Mrs. Trent dismissed her class early for the first time in her career.
Her hands balled into fists as she walked to the classroom exit. The door slammed against the wall behind it as she threw it open. Her heels clacked at a fast uniform pace as she stormed down the hallway towards the principal's office. She would be sure that the miscreant that caused her to lose control of the class would be expelled.
Charlie watched Mrs. Trent leave. Once she was half way down the hallway Charlie threw his book into his backpack and sprinted out of the classroom. Instead of taking the hallway to the principal's office, he took a left after leaving the classroom and exited the school through a door that led into the courtyard.
Charlie ran past windows of classrooms and different doors leading back into the school until he got to the door he wanted.
He pulled the door open and went inside.
The room he entered contained almost nothing besides fireplaces. It was the floo lobby.
Now, you might be wondering what Charlie was doing there when his best friend was in the principal's office facing the demonic teacher known as Mrs. Trent. Well, the answer is simple. For you see, Charlie had a plan. He knew that Mrs. Trent would speak over Harry and not allow him to tell his side of the story as soon as she got to the office. That was very unfair in Charlie's opinion. Charlie would have went to the principal's office to be Harry's witness but he knew that that wouldn't be allowed. Fortunately, Charlie also knew that Harry didn't care what the school did to punish him. Harry only cared about what his father thought. So, Charlie's plan was simple. He'd catch Harry's dad as soon as he came through the floo and explain what happened before Mr. Wonka could get to the principal's office and hear the skewed version from Mrs. Trent. It was a perfect plan!
Charlie just hoped he hadn't already missed Harry's dad.
His fears were found unfounded, though, when a fire place on the far end of the room, Floo 1, lit up in green flames and a rather regular looking man stepped through.
The man waved his cane in front of himself and cleaned the soot off of his plain suit.
At first Charlie was thrown off because the man look almost nothing like the pictures he'd seen of Willy Wonka, but he soon remembered his best friend's metamorphmagus abilities. The man with the cane shared a few physical similarities to Harry which, if this was Mr. Wonka, was probably intricately planned.
Charlie decided that the only way to know for certain if this man was Harry's dad was to ask him. And if he wasn't, well, Charlie would just have to wait and ask the next person to come through.
"Excuse me," Charlie said to catch the man's attention as he walked up to him. "Are you Harry's dad?"
The man just looked at Charlie for a second. Charlie began to have his doubts until the man asked, "Are you Charlie Bucket?"
Charlie didn't expect that but nevertheless answered with a polite, "Yes sir."
"Then yes," the man said. "I am Harry's dad."
Good, Charlie thought. It would have been weird if he had just approached a random stranger. He was glad that it was Mr. Wonka.
It was Mr. Wonak. Mr. Willy Wonka. The greatest chocolatier that ever lived. Charlie's hero. And Charlie was talking with him and he even knew Charlie's name!
"I need to get to the principal's office," Mr. Wonka said. "It's this direction, correct?"
"Yes sir," Charlie answered, still starstruck.
"Thank you," Mr. Wonka said as he began walking that direction.
In that moment Charlie snapped out of his starstruck state.
"Wait!" he called after Mr. Wonka. "I've got to talk to you first!"
Mr. Wonka stopped and turned back to face Charlie.
"I've got to tell you what actually happened and why Harry's in trouble because Mrs. Trent's going to make it sound like it's all Harry's fault and it's not!
Charlie thought for a second that Mr. Wonka would dismiss him and go on to the office without first hearing what Charlie had to say. Instead the chocolatier motioned to the chairs on the other side of the floo lobby.
"Well," Mr. Wonka said. "They did call me away from my work so I don't see why I shouldn't keep them waiting a little while. Let's sit down while you inform me of the situation.
Harry and Mrs. Trent were in a staring match. When the teacher first entered she wasted no time before she started yelling at and about Harry. The principal, Mrs. Morelock, ordered her to be quiet and not to speak until all parties were present. She obeyed and instead bided her time by glaring at Harry.
Harry lifted his chin and met her gaze.
That was the sight that greeted Willy Wonka when the secretary let him into the room. His presence did not deter Mrs. Trent's or his son's concentration at first. It wasn't until he cleared his throat that Mrs. Trent turned her steely glare from Harry to Willy.
Willy met her eyes and raised an eyebrow. He decided that he did not like this woman one bit.
"Mr. Wonka," Mrs. Morelock said. "Thank you for coming."
Willy looked away from Mrs. Trent and walked over to shake Mrs. Morelock's hand.
"Thank you for contacting me," Willy said. "I understand that there's a problem?"
"The problem," Mrs. Trent butted in before Mrs. Morelock could answer. "Is your son. The little miscreant thinks that he can get away with not participating in my class and then saying that it's my fault. He's disrespectful and a nuisance!"
Perhaps if Mrs. Trent knew who she was talking to then she would have been more polite with her words. Or perhaps not. Mrs. Trent wasn't the type of person that thought things through before she said them.
"Is that true, Harry?" Willy's asked his son.
"Well," Harry said. "I wouldn't say that I'm a miscreant or disrespectful nuciane. But I wasn't paying attention. But Mrs. Trent was really rude and called me out in front of everyone! She could have just asked me to participate or left me alone."
Mrs. Trent seemed to almost lunge at Harry. She bent down to where her nose almost touched his.
Harry's sinuses filled with the foul stench of bitter coffee, lingering cigar smoke, and a slight hint of tooth decay. His grandfather would not approve of this teacher's dental habits, he thought.
"I let you off easy, boy," Mrs Trent said. "If punishments were up to me, I'd lock you up somewhere tight and uncomfortable until you learned your place. But I'll just have to get by with the satisfaction of seeing you expelled."
Harry shrunk to the back of his chair, but not because of the threat of expulsion. You see, some memories stick with people for their entire lives and due to the brain needing to remember certain things to keep you safe from future threats, the old memories that are usually remembered in the most detail are painful and traumatic ones. It's a good defense in theory. If you remember bad physical incidents and recall them as a similar one is about to happen, you may be able to avoid it. In social situations, though, it's usually not as helpful. The reason why Harry shrunk back was because an old better forgotten memory of a fat walrus like man and a cupboard appeared in his head, bigger than life.
"Feeling guilty, are we, Wonka?" Mrs. Trent sneered.
"I'm feeling more angered than anything," Willy took the question. "I can't believe that you've allowed such a revolting woman to teach children for so long."
Harry shook off the tangles of his memory upon hearing his father speak up for him.
"Do not misunderstand me, Mrs. Morelock and Trent, I very much believe in children learning their lesson," Mr. Wonka said. "But I much prefer it when it is learned through them experiencing the natural consequences of their actions."
That was true, Harry thought. Harry could only remember a few times when Willy actually punished him for something. Usually he just let Harry learn for himself why his action was bad. Like the time when he was five and, after Willy warned him not to try to stop any ingredients from falling in case they were hot, Harry tried to grab a measuring spoon full of hot caramel filling after he knocked it off of the table. He ended up with a nasty burn on his left hand that Willy helped him treat, but he wasn't punished for the action of disobeying. Willy said that the pain was a lesson enough.
Harry rubbed the spot on his palm where, if he looked closely enough, the skin was still a little bit lighter than the rest of his palm.
"What would have happened if my son had missed what you said in the lesson today, Mrs. Trent?" Willy continued. "Would he have killed a class pet? Injured a classmate? Caused the downfall of the wizarding world as we know it? Or would his consequence just be that he might miss a section on his next exam, and if that's the case, how does it affect you? This school obviously doesn't keep teachers on because of their students' test taking abilities, Mrs. Trent. Otherwise a few teachers would already be fired. So let me ask one more question. Just one, Mrs. Trent. What makes you think that you can go around calling nine year old children hurtful names over something that has no negative effect on you? That just seems unnecessarily cruel to me."
Mrs. Trent sat in her seat, speechless from being lectured at twice in one day.
Seeing that he wasn't going to get an answer, Willy turned his attention away from Mrs. Trent and instead addressed Mrs. Morelock.
"Will Harry receive any disciplinary actions from the school, Mrs. Morelock?" he asked.
"No Mr. Wonka," Mrs. Morelock said. "I think that he knows not to yell at Mrs. Trent again, don't you Harry?"
"As long as she doesn't yell at me first," Harry nodded.
"In that case," Willy said. "I'll be taking Harry home for the rest of the day."
Mrs. Morelock agreed.
Just before the office door closed on Willy and Harry's way out, they heard Mrs. Trent start to yell. The Wonka's let the door shut and continued on their way back to the floo hall. Upon reaching it, they saw someone waiting.
"Harry!" Charlie ran up to his best friend. "They didn't expel you, did they? I'll start a revolt if they did."
"No," Harry said. "I didn't even get detention."
"That's good," Charlie said. "I was worried."
"There was no need for that," Willy said. "Everything went as smooth as milk chocolate."
"Oh," Harry remembered that his dad was there and that he hadn't introduced him to his best friend. "Dad, this is my best friend Charlie. Charlie, this is my dad."
"We actually met earlier," Willy said. "Charlie told me what happened before I went in. Now, it was wonderful meeting you Charlie, but Harry and I need to be getting home to prepare for Harry's interview tomorrow."
"Wonderful meeting you too Mr. Wonka," Charlie said. "Good luck on the interview, Harry! You'll do great!"
Upon saying their goodbyes and see you laters, the Wonkas and Charlie went their separate ways, Charlie to class, and the Wonkas to the factory.
Author's Note: Hello amazing readers! This chapter was kind of just a conclusion to the last one. We'll get more of what's going on with the competition in the next chapter! The chapter was a little too dialogue heavy for what I was going for but I'm working on it. Please leave a review if you liked it!