In Which Willy Wonka Gets His First Customer

Professor McGonagall did not look happy. She did not look happy one bit. Her lips were so thin that they were practically just a line. Every so often her left eye twitched and Willy could swear that she was growling. Those were all actions that were not associated with happiness. Overall, it did not bode well for the young second year Ravenclaw.

"What made you even consider that your actions were in any way alright?" McGonagall's scottish accent seemed to be even more pronounced than normal.

Nope, Willy thought. This was not an ideal situation to be in.

"You could have hurt yourself," McGonagall continued. "Or killed or permanently disfigured yourself! There is an entire ward in St. Mungos for permanent residents that injure themselves through pure stupidity the way that you almost did."

"But I had to test it on someone," Willy said. "And I didn't want anyone else to get hurt so I just figured that I should try it."

He was so close to getting it. Hellebore syrup couldn't be the only way to successfully make a draught of peace. The plant was toxic in almost all of its forms so it couldn't be healthy to use in a potion that people ingested on a regular basis. Plus, it tasted awful and nobody wants something that tastes awful. If someone ate something that tastes awful it could make them feel awful. It was the exact opposite of what Willy was trying to achieve with his latest experiment, chocolate ice cream that was specifically made for breakups and depression.

"You could be a great potions master one day, Mr. Wonka," McGonagall said. "But you are not there yet and if you continue with this foolishness then you won't live to be one at all. You are not to do this again. Do I make myself clear?"

Maybe if he tried to replace it with-

"Mr. Wonka?" McGonagall's voice was somehow even harder.

"Yes ma'am?"

"No more experimenting."

"Yes ma'am."

If Willy Wonka's fingers were crossed behind his back, Professor McGonagall didn't see it. But that is the purpose of crossing them behind one's back instead of in front.

"Now," McGonagall continued. "Curfew is in thirty minutes. Go back to your dorm."

"Yes ma'am," Willy turned to walk away.

"And don't think that I won't be talking to your head of house about this incident."

Uh oh.

"Professor," Willy begged. "You really don't have to talk to Professor Flitwick."

"I believe that I do."

Arguing was not a thing that ought to be done with Minerva McGonagall so Willy nodded, turned again, and trudged to his dorm without the usual spring he had in his step. He entered the common room after answering the riddle, took the stairs to his dorm room, and collapsed on his bed.

Professor Flitwick would almost certainly follow through on his threat from the week before. He had said that if he heard any more about Willy experimenting then Willy would have to talk to Dumbledore about it. And there it was. He had gotten caught and now he was going to be in trouble. He only hoped that the headmaster wouldn't kick him out. Or worse, send a letter to his parents. Death and permanent disfigurement were fare better than either of those two options.

Willy Wonka then had an idea. In comparison to his ideas in the future, it wasn't one of his best, but in his present situation it seemed amazing. At least, it seemed amazing to him.

The headmaster couldn't talk to him if the headmaster couldn't find him. He could just find an empty classroom, set up all of his equipment, and experiment until everyone forgot about the whole incident. Then he could show back up and everyone would be so happy to see him!

No. No they wouldn't. Upon reconsidering the situation he realized that no one would even realize that he was gone. Well, except Narcissa, but she had gotten a letter from home two days before and she always avoided talking to him after those letters. So it wouldn't matter if she noticed his absence or not. She wouldn't come looking for him.

Willy flipped over on his back his eyes squeezing shut in an attempt to prevent himself from crying. He wouldn't do it. He wouldn't sit around and feel sorry for himself. There was no time. He had an abandoned classroom to find.

Willy wished that he had invested in an expandable bag by the time he had made it down two flights of stairs. Every time he stumbled the large load in his arms clinked and clanked together. He tried to limit those noises as much as he could as he walked down a long corridor. His overstuffed bag he had even less control over than the items in his arms. He hoped that the small sampling of the new lemon drops he had created didn't get crushed. It would be even worse if his chocolate got broken or melted though. That's the problem with bags. You can never be sure how the items inside will hold up.

Willy rounded a corner and crashed. His items falling all over the ground, some of them shattering.

If he had simply crashed into a wall or a suit of armor then his loss of supplies would have been the worst of the fall. But it was not a wall or suit of armor he crashed into unless the walls and armor of Hogwarts now wore bright orange robes with pictures of fruit on them. Or if they had long white beards and half moon spectacles. No, that was no wall. It was the very person Willy was trying to avoid seeing to begin with.

"A good evening for a stroll, Mr. Wonka?" Professor Dumbledore asked with a small smile and a warning look in his eyes.

"Um," Willy didn't even bend down to pick up his dropped supplies. "Yes?"

"Then perhaps you should join me on a walk to my office," Dumbledore's voice was calm but left no room for Willy to decline.

"Yes sir," Willy bent down to pick up the salvageable remains of his supplies. He reached for a chipped beaker but pulled his hand away as it and the rest of his equipment flew back together and as many as would fit flew back into his bag.

Dumbledore picked up around half of what didn't fit and waited for a slightly flabbergasted Willy to pick up the rest.

Willy did so with a small, "Thank you," and the two began their walk to Dumbledore's office.

Dumbledore attempted to make light conversation on the walk. He asked questions ranging from the weather to what Willy thought his animagus would be if he had one.

Willy answered every question but never elaborated much in his answer without prompting. He kept it short a respectful, always remembering to add on the word sir at some point in the sentence.

In a way, Willy was grateful that the walk was filled with the sound of their voices. It requires him to put some of his thought towards answering. Which meant that that part couldn't be put towards his worry. The rest of his thought, though, was free for that.

Willy has never been to the headmasters office before, Professor Flitwick's office, certainly. He wasn't the type of student to follow all of the rules and he occasionally made what his professors referred to as a "smart remark," but he never got into serious enough trouble for Dumbledore to need to get involved. Actually, breaking curfew shouldn't be bad enough for Dumbledore to get involved. Which meant–

Either Flitwick or McGonagal must have already told the headmaster about his experimenting.

How stupid he was, Willy berated himself, to think that both of the professors would wait until the morning to tell him. Willy has misjudged. Dumbledore likely knew about all of the times Flitwick had discovered him and the most recent time when McGonagal walked in on his experiment.

Willy wondered at the efficiency of the two heads of house in their tattling abilities. The thought that Dumbledore was probably just suspicious of him carrying around what looked like potions equipment after curfew never even crossed Willy's mind. If it had, he likely would have kept his mouth a bit more shut when Dumbledore asked what Willy was doing out when they arrived at the man's office.

All too soon, Dumbledore came to a stop next to a stone statue.

"Gilly weed," Dumbledore said.

Willy assumes that that was the password for Dumbledore's office because as soon as the man said it, the statue lept out of the way to reveal a spiral staircase.

Dumbledore stepped aside and gestured with his free hand for Willy to go in front of him.

Willy looked at the headmaster. Then he looked at the staircase. Then back to Dumbledore.

Dumbledore smiled and nodded at Willy.

Willy got the message. Go. So, with a slight nod and a gulp Willy pushed himself forward and began his trek up the stairs. All the way up, his thoughts racing.

First step. How mad was the headmaster?

Second step. Probably pretty mad if he was taking him up to his office.

Third step. What was Dumbledore going to do?

Fourth step. He would certainly punish him.

Fifth step. But how badly?

Sixth step. Which would be worse? Sending a letter to his parents, or expelling him?

Seventh. Either way his father found out so it didn't really matter.

Eighth. No, strike that. If it was just a letter then he at least wouldn't have to see his dad until the end of the school year.

Ninth. Maybe he'd just get detentions until he graduated.

Tenth. Then his parents would never have to know.

On Willy's thoughts raced until he got to the top of the stairs.

Dumbledore opened the door to his office and let Willy through in front of him.

"Have a seat, Mr. Wonka," Dumbledore laid down Willy's equipment next to the desk and pointed at the chair in front of it.

Willy did as he was told, absently noting that it was a rather comfortable chair.

Dumbledore sat accross from Willy behind the desk.

There was a short pause and Willy had made up his mind that it would be best to just confess what he had done in that time.

"Sir," he started. "I know that Professor Flitwick told me to stop experimenting and Professor McGonagal also said it was too dangerous, but I'm so close to getting it right! I'm sure that Professor Flitwick already told you what I'm doing and it almost works. Please don't expel me!"

"Expel you?" Dumbledore asked. "My dear boy, I don't know what you're talking about."

"You don't?" Willy asked. "Then why did you take me to your office?"

"I was simply curious about why you were carrying all of that around after curfew."

"Oh," Maybe one day Willy would learn not to tell everyone who seemed interested everything on his mind.

"So," Dumbledore said. "What were you saying about almost getting your experiment to work?"

"Promise you won't expel me?" Willy asked.

Dumbledore promised and off Willy launched into his long explanation about what he'd been doing.

At the end of Willy's explanation, which Dumbledore attentively listened to, the headmaster asked, "Do you have samples of anything you've made?"

"Uh," Willy reached into his bag and pulled out a smashed up chocolate bar and his bag of, mostly intact, lemon drops. "Just some chocolate and lemon drops."

"May I try them?" Dumbledore asked.

"Yes sir!" Willy happily handed both over.

Dumbledore first took a piece of the chocolate. He chewed it thoughtfully and then said, "It's very good."

"Thank you, sir," Willy said. "But it's not there yet. I can do better."

"It is important for all of us to keep striving to better ourselves," Dumbledore agreed.

He then took a lemon drop, examined it, and put it in his mouth.

"Mmmm," Dumbledore hummed in delight. "I could eat the entire bag of these. Could I purchase them from you?"

"So you aren't going to expel me?" Willy asked. "Or tell my parents?"

"I think you and I should come to an arrangement," Dumbledore didn't answer the question.

"Ok?" Willy waited for him to continue.

"If you come to me with every new experiment you do, and sell me any more of these, lemon drops, did you call them?"

"Yes sir," Willy agreed.

"If you inform me of and show me all of your experiments," Dumbledore started again. "And you sell me a portion of all of the lemon drops that you make, I don't think that I'll need to take any disciplinary action against you experimenting."

"Of course, sir!" Willy said.

"But," Dumbledore added. "You were out after curfew."

"Oh," Willy said.

"So, for the next week I think that you should spend your evening with me in detention. Does that sound fair?"

"Yes sir," Willy agreed.

"Wonderful," Dumbledore went on. "Bring your supplies for your most recent experiment up here directly after dinner. You won't need to worry about equipment, though. My new password will be, lemon drops."

"Yes sir," Willy smiled. He had gotten off light.

"Here's a galleon for the lemon drops," Dumbledore sat the coin on his desk. "Let me walk you back to your dorm."

That week was the start of something new for Willy. He learned that any time he needed help the headmaster would be willing to listen to his problems. And all because Professor Dumbledore had developed a lemon drop addiction.

And that is how Willy Wonka procured his first customer.