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Role-Playing Central Scrumptious Surroundings (closed to icemousey and Samantha Bradley)



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Charlotte Rivers couldn't believe her eyes when she unwrapped her Wonka Bar and saw the gold foil ticket peeking out from inside. She was so excited, in fact, that she actually dropped the chocolate to the ground. This was something she would never have done, as she loved the taste of chocolate more than anything in the world, especially Wonka chocolate. But this - this was something very special - once in a lifetime special. It was a golden ticket, and the prize was the best one of all, for it was a tour of the Wonka factory and there were only five tickets like it in the entire world! Of all the kids out there, how had she possibly gotten so lucky? Charlotte was just an average 11 year old with freckles, skinned knees due to constantly falling off her bike and dirty blonde pigtails. She would never stand out in a crowd and nothing extraordinary or special had ever happened to her - till now.

"What are you looking at, Char?" her brother Jim had asked her, noticing her staring straight ahead at the wrapper. She was sitting on the sofa in the living room and Jim was the last person she wanted to be bothered with right now. He would probably try and get that ticket for himself and sell it to his friends. That's just the way he was, always thinking of himself and getting ahead. Their mom always said that he would make a great lawyer some day, though Charlotte had no idea what those words meant exactly. It didn't sound like any compliment, that was for sure, and yet weren't lawyers supposed to be the smartest people in the world? Weren't they the ones who got elected President and stuff?

"Nothing," Charlotte answered. "I was just thinking about somethiing."

"Probably a new baby doll," Jim taunted. He knew very well that Charlotte hadn't played with dolls for over a year now. She was on to more mature things like the Disney Channel nowadays. "Did you get a Ross Lynch doll?"

Those words reminded Charlotte of her favorite Disney actor, but only for a second. How had Jim found out about that in the first place? Probably through eavesdropping on her phone calls or reading her texts to friends, as usual.

"Shut up," Charlotte said, her irritation growing. She began to shove the candy wrapper into her pants pocket.

"What's that?" Jim asked. Why did he have to be so observant about everything?

'Nuh-nothing," Charlotte stammered.

"Yeah, right," Jim retorted. "You're hiding something, and I intend to find out what it is."

Charlotte was certain he was going to ask her more about that wrapper, but he finally left and went up to hs room, to her relief. She was free and clear now, as the tour was going to be the very next day! This was going to be the most epic adventure of her life, and she couldn't wait to get her hands on some of that candy! She wondered if she could take some back with her to eat in her room or share with her mom and friends. One thing for sure, she wouldn't be sharing any with Jim.



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Mousey's hands trembled as the tiny sliver of gold foil became visible through the chocolate bar's wrapper. With painfully slow care, she unwrapped the rest of the paper and carefully placed the chocolate bar, its small squares shedding tiny chocolate shavings onto her skirt, onto the kitchen table.

Underneath the bar sat the golden ticket.

The small girl stared at it, still unwilling to believe an actual golden ticket was in her posession.

She didn't have long to stare. A door slammed somewhere in the house, startling her. Quickly, she folded the ticket precisely in two and tucked it into her pocket, transferring the chocolate bar back onto the wrapper, snapping a square of chocolate off the bar and shoving it in her mouth just as the kitchen door opened, revealing her stepfather. He waddled his way to the table, beady eyes narrowing at the skinny grey-haired girl at the table.

"What are you doing, little mouse? Got you some chocolate? I'll have that, thanks." He snatched the bar from the table and took a huge bite, not bothering to break the bar into squares.

Barbarian, Mousey thought disgustedly, dusting her skirt off with her long, slim fingers.

Mousey's stepfather finished the bar and sucked his fingers. "What are you still doing here?" he snapped at Mousey. "Get gone."

Mousey hopped off the chair and scampered away, golden ticket safe in her pocket. Tomorrow she'd tour the chocolate factory and, for a day, her problems would be gone.
 

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It was getting late, but Charlotte had to do something before she went to bed for the night. Not that she expected to get much sleep or anything, as she was so excited from the incredible excitement of discovering that ticket, but there was one person she needed to talk to before she even thought about going on her adventure. That person was Samantha Jane Rivers, her mother.

She found her sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of green tea with milk and lemon and eating a croissant with butter. She loved how her mother held the croissant so daintily, as if it were something of great value rather than just a bit of baked goods. A smile lit up her face as she walked over to the table and took a seat across from her. "I did it, Mom! I got one of the golden tickets!" Charlotte exclaimed, reaching into her pocket and pulling out the slightly bedraggled ticket. "Can you believe it?" she asked, a slightly awed tone in her voice.

She handed the ticket to her mother, who held the ticket gently in her hand and stared at it with the same wonder in her eyes that Charlotte had in hers. "It's beautiful," her mother proclaimed after a moment. "Look how it shines so golden in the light. Just like the sun. I'm so happy for you, Charlotte! I knew you could do it!" Her mother stood up from the table and embraced her in a hug.

Charlotte held onto her mother, not wanting to let her go. "I want you to go there with me in the morning," she stated. "It says that I'm allowed to bring one person with me and I want it to be you!"

"Not Jim?" her mother asked. It was incredible how she was so naive about the relationship, or lack thereof, between the two siblings.

"Definitely not Jim," Charlotte answered unhesitantly. "I want it to be you and only you!"

"How can I refuse?" her mother said softly. Charlotte could have sworn she saw the hint of a blush on her mother's cheeks.

"Thanks, Mom!" Charlotte said before turning from the room and bounding towards the stairs. "We have an early morning, so make sure you get enough sleep!"

"Which one of us is the mother here?" her mother teased.

Try as she might, Charlotte didn't get much sleep that night. She spent part of the time on her computer, mostly playing games, and then laying on her bed and staring up at the ceiling. She noticed a small cobweb up there, and wondered how long it had been up there. This was the first time she had ever seen it, but she supposed it contained a harmless spider if it contained any spider at all.

As the morning light broke, Charlotte rushed down to the stairs to find her mother ready to go. She was wearing her best blue dress and jacket, and Charlotte knew that this day was just as special and important to her mother as it was to her.

"It's time to get going," she told Charlotte. "Let's have the adventure of a lifetime, the most delicious adventure there could ever be!"

"Ummmm, yes!" Charlotte agreed. "I bet we see a whole river of chocolate there. I've read about such a thing, you know!"

Neither of them paid much attention to their journey over to the factory, and waited anxiously for the gates to open. There were other children there, including a very small girl who, like Charlotte, was very unlikely to stand out in a crowd. Impulsively, Charlotte turned to the girl with a smile and said "hi". She wasn't sure why, but she somehow sensed that this girl could use a new friend.



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Pureblood
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Mousey stayed in her room all evening in a bid to keep her stepfather from noticing her. Finally, when dark fell, she got into bed, her golden ticket in the pocket of her nightgown, wrapped in a handkerchief.

She barely slept that night, terror that her stepfather would discover the ticket and take it from her induced nightmares. His face loomed in her subconscious, scaring her awake every time she managed to doze for a few minutes.

Finally, when dawn broke, she dressed silently and slipped out the front door, easing it closed so she wouldn't make a sound.

Then, fast as her legs would go, she sprinted to the factory. It was early yet, and only a few people milled around the scrolling iron gates. Mousey knew she'd have hours before the tour, so she settled in to wait.

***


Finally, it was nearly time for the gates to open. It was easy to tell apart the other winners of the golden tickets. Some gave interview to the media, but most stood quietly waiting.

Mousey noticed that everyone else had a friend or a parent with them. Gnawing on her thumbnail, Mousey wished she'd thought to ask someone from school. But who would she ask? She didn't have any particular friends. Her stomach growled. She hoped the tour included samples of candy. She hadn't eaten since school lunch the day before, aside from the single square of chocolate she'd managed to consume before her stepfather had taken the bar away.

Mousey had just stopped gnawing her thumbnail and was about to start on her index finger when the girl next to her turned toward her.

"Hi," the girl said, smiling.

Mousey looked over her shoulder.

No, it appeared the girl was talking to Mousey.

Mousey bit her lip. "Hello." She bit her lip and wondered if she should introduce herself. Or maybe inquire after the other girl's health?

[i]This is why you don't have any friends,[i] she thought derisively at herself.

"I'm Mousey. What's your name?
 

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Charlotte grinned. "Mousey," she repeated. "That's a very unique name. I don't think I'll have any problem remembering it." It was kind of sad, because the name seemed to suit the girl in a way, but yet there was so much more under the surface. There were things Charlotte could sense that were far more special than Mousey would ever imagine, much more than met the eye. She could see pain and fear in the girl's expression, but there was also evidence of an iron resolve just under the surface. She sensed someone had tried to break her spirit and been unsuccessful, or something. This made her sad. There was no one here with Mousey, and that made her glad that she had been the one to have spoken to her. It was hard to imagine someone having to show up here without a family member or friend.

"I'm Charlotte," she said proudly. "And this is my mom. We're both chocolate lovers, but aren't we all? We were so lucky to have found those tickets! I'm not sure what's going to happen today, but whatever it is, I know it'll be just FANTASTIC! What's your favorite Wonka candy, by the way? I'm torn between the big Wonka Bar and the Everlasting Gobstopper because it lasts so long, but I think I would have to say I love them all!"

"Why don't the two of you go off and do some exploring?" her mom asked suddenly. "I just got a text that I'm needed at the office for a few hours, so it looks like I'm not going to be able to go in there with you, after all. I'm sorry about that, but I'm sure you girls will do fine." Charlotte's mom worked part-time at a charity agency, though she did most of her work at home. She basically wrote up brochures explaining about the various programs and what they did. Her mom had a gift for words, Charlotte supposed, though she had never really thought about it that much.

Charlotte frowned slightly, then brightened up immediately after that. "What do you think, Mousey? Would you like to explore with me on our own? I plan to try at least one of every kind of candy in there. They've got to give out samples, don't you think? I bet there are some new, never before seen candies that we'll be the first ones ever to try! Didn't that happen on the very first tour, the one that Charlie Bucket went on?" Charlie Bucket was a household name to everyone now. He had come from the most humble background and had been the one who Willy Wonka had felt worthy enough to inherit the factory. "I want to see the oompa loompas! i bet they're absolutely amazing!" Those were the two things she was looking forward to the most; devouring a ton of candy and seeing the oompa loompas. "I wonder if they really sing those little songs?" Charlotte wanted to hear the songs, but hoped she wouldn't be the subject of any of them. That would be very bad. She thought about what had happened to that girl Veruca Salt, happy she wasn't greedy like that. Mousey didn't look like the greedy type either, so that would be one thing they wouldn't have to worry about.

Charlotte stopped, hoping she hadn't said too much. She certainly didn't want to scare Mousey off with her big mouth!



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Pureblood
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A shy grin stole across Mousey's face as Charlotte chattered away at her. Maybe making friends isn't so hard, she thought.

Mousey nodded when Charlotte's mother left

"I don't think I know what an Oompa Loompa is. But I do love chocolate. I'm not really picky about food, to be honest, although I do love sweets."

Mousey dusted imaginary lint from her skirt, embarrassed that perhaps she'd said too much.

All of a sudden, with a massive creak, the iron scrolls of the factory gates swung inward and a small man in a giant purple top hat smiled out.

"Welcome to Wonka! Holders of Golden Tickets, this way, please!"

He grinned widely and gestured toward the factory.

Mousey stood in line behind Charlotte until it was her turn to hand over the precious Golden Ticket. For a moment, Mousey mourned the loss of her ticket, before shaking herself. She was about to tour the famous Wonka Factory! She had no right to be sad over a little ticket.

Thus resolved, she followed the man in the purple hat. They walked through a cloak room and then to a small blue door with a giant knob in the middle.

"Welcome, welcome! I am William Wonka III, current manager of the factory. My grandfather started Wonka with the goal of fulfilling all of his childhood fantasies. Inside this room, you will see the nerve center of the entire factory. You may eat whatever you like -- everything inside the room will be edible."

At this, Mousey started salivating. She was so hungry. Perhaps there would be chocolate inside the room!

When the man stopped talking and looked at her, Mousey realized she hadn't been paying attention.

"I'm sorry, did you ask a question?"

Mr. Wonka looked at Mousey with kind eyes. "I think you and your friend there had better lead the way inside. You look hungry, my dear."

Mousey smiled shyly and made her way to the front of the group with Charlotte in tow.

When she drew even with Mr. Wonka, he gestured for her to turn the giant silver knob.

She grasped it in her hand and gave it a firm twist and pull. The door was heavier than she had expected and she nearly toppled over trying to get it open.

When she regained her footing and looked inside the room, her eyes widened.

I must be dreaming.
 

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Charlotte was following closely behind Mousey, letting her lead the way. She hadn't known her long, but she had known her long enough to know that the two of them had a lot in common. When Mousey had told her of her love for sweets, Charlotte had responded enthusiastically. "Sweets are the best!" she said. "I would give up almost every other food there is as long as I could get them!" The words sounded a bit strange, but she knew that they were true. She would rather eat candy than meat, fruit or vegetables any day!

The sight of Willie Wonka himself had practically left her speechless for once. She knew that the fabled man would no doubt be present for the tour, but she somehow hadn't quite prepared herself yet. It was like standing before a king, almost! He looked so majestic in his top hat and tails, but the empire he presided over was far better than that of any king who had ever ruled before. His land was the stuff dreams are made of. She knew she would like him on the spot, as she saw the kindness in his eyes when he spoke to Mousey. Here was someone who truly cared about children!

Mousey was turning the largest doorknob Charlotte had ever seen in her life, how she had the strength to open that massive door was truly beyond her comprehension. Somehow she got it open all by herself, and Charlotte saw her staring at something ahead of her in complete disbelief. There was an expression she had never seen before, one of absolute amazement and awe. She was going to have to see this for herself!

There in front of her laid what looked like a jungle - a jungle made of candies and chocolate! There was a river which appeared to be melted milk chocolate and it was running through the candy trees, separating them into their various groups. There were Sweetarts, Laffy Taffy, Runts and Nerds trees, lighting up the air with their bright, vibrant hues. Everlasting Gobstoppers grew on a somewhat shorter tree, along with some of the largest Wonka Bars that Charlotte had ever seen. She could feel herself beginning to salivate just looking at them. There was even a bush with Wonka Ice Cream growing on it! Despite the warmth of the room the ice cream wasn't melting, standing proud in its pristine coldness as if by magic.

"Can this be real?" Charlotte asked breathlessly. "Can such a thing really exist?"

And then she saw the Oompa Loompas, working amongst the various candy trees and tending to the chocolate river. Charlotte recognized them immediately. Their green hair, orange skin, white eyebrows and white lederhosen would make them stand out in any crowd. They weren't singing yet, just working quietly, and she recognized this as a good sign. They normally only broke into song when something bad was going to happen, like with that awful rich girl named Veruca Salt. Charlotte wondered where she was today and if she had ever changed before getting back to the business at hand - all the candy.

"Well, he said we could eat!" she exclaimed happily, hurrying over to the Wonka Bar tree. Upon closer inspection she saw something even more amazing. There were tiny chocolate bees and chocolate butterflies which were buzzing around the bars, and some white and dark chocolate flowers that were shaped like daisies were growing on the ground beneath the tree. She was so enchanted by the sight that she almost forgot to reach for the candy!



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Pureblood
Ravenclaw
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"Can this be real?" Charlotte asked breathlessly. "Can such a thing really exist?"

Mousey nodded wordlessly, her nose filling with the sweet chocolatey scents of the fantastic room.

A chocolate river flowed through the room, making a comforting wooshing noise. Brightly colored trees with various types of candy stood in groves separated by portions of the river. Even the paths looked to be made of chocolate stepping stones.

As Charlotte rushed into the room, Mousey stepped in carefully, her eyes as wide as they could go.

Mousey reached down to some grass just off the path and plucked a soft little blade. Touching it tentatively to her tongue, she tasted sweet spearmint. The blade melted away in her mouth and she licked her finger. Would it be greedy to take a handful? Mr. Wonka had said they could eat.

Mousey wandered over to Charlotte, stopping on the way to pluck a pink, raspberry-flavored daisy. It, too, was delicious. The center of the flower was made of soft nougat and the leaves were finely spun sugar.

"How does it all look so real?" Mousey wondered aloud when she'd finally caught up to Charlotte at the Wonka bar tree.

The other children were running around gleefully, stuffing their faces.

"Go ahead, my dear," said Mr. Wonka, appearing behind Mousey. "Take a bar."

She reached up and plucked a bar from the tree. A small leaf was attached to the bar, tasting it, she discovered that it was crunchy. And the Wonka bar! It tasted so fresh. It was even warm!

"Thank you, Mr. Wonka." Mousey blushed, feeling shy.

"Eat anything you like," Mr. Wonka said, smiling down at her once more, before he strode off to another group.

Mousey watched him go, chocolate from the rest of her bar staining her fingers.

"He's very kind, isn't he?" She sighed, smiling. "Charlotte, do you want to try to giant gummy bears over there? I see a white one. Those are my favorite flavor."
 

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Seeing Mousey's excitement made Charlotte happy. She watched the girl running from one candy wonder to another, watching the happiness and delight on her face. It was amazing; Mousey's entire appearance had changed. She was vibrant, positively glowing!

"I think he's kindest man I've ever met," Charlotte answered truthfully. Who else would let them enjoy all these amazing creations, or even let someone else see them? Her brother Jim would have kept all this stuff to himself, not sharing it with anyone else, and she knew there were even worse people than him out there. Not only was Mr. Wonka kind, but he was also trusting and giving, very much like a child himself. That was it! Mr. Wonka had never really grown up but had somehow been able to keep that gentle, child-like spirit that made him so different from the other adults. It was a tragedy that people had to grow up and become mean, but he had somehow found a way to avoid that happening. Amazing!

Charlotte had somehow missed the gummy bear tree. "Sure!" she told Mousey. "I like gummy bears too, especially the red ones." She was glad to see they didn't both like the same color, that way they could both be happy. "You can have all the white ones; I'll even help you find them!"

Charlotte made her way towards the tree, pausing for a moment to kneel down beside the chocolate river and take a quick slurp before they moved on. "I just had to do that!" she confessed. "I've always wanted to drink from a river of pure chocolate."

All her troubles were completely forgotten now as she placed a ruby red gummy bear into her mouth, letting the candy soften on her tongue. She wanted to make the taste last as long as she possibly could! "That is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten," she proclaimed, smiling at Mousey. "And can you imagine, this is only the beginning of the tour! I can't wait to see what comes next!"

With that, she plopped another gummy bear into her mouth.




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