by Min Farshaw

Chapter 1: In which an emergency phone number is called.

They were almost all gone. Almost.

" Sophie dear, really!"

" Fanny, you can come and visit tomorrow. But I've got things to do now" Sophie said firmly as she pushed her stepmother out the door and shut it. Sophie felt a little bad about kicking Fanny out like that, but it was nearly nine o'clock and everyone else was gone. She turned around and placed her back to the door. Howl came out of the closet running his fingers through his blond, disheveled hair.

" Micheal and Lettie won't be back for at least another two hours" He said, then corrected himself " Micheal and the Lettie under that disguise spell anyway"

" Martha. Her name is Martha." Sophie corrected.

" Right, Martha." Howl said distractedly, staring at Sophie. She felt a blush come, unbidden to her cheeks.

" Howl, did you mean it, what you said" Sophie asked, uncertain, hoping that hadn't really meant it, but dreading that possibility as well

" About living happily ever after?" He said, flashing that dazzling smile. Oh goodness thought Sophie He's going to be Honest again. He walked over to her and leaned against the wall next to the door. "I have my heart back now, and I don't think I've ever been so happy" He said, slithering out instead of answering the question. Sophie almost had time to breath a sigh of relief " But If you'll have me..." He trailed off, looking at her with those deep green eyes. Sophie gulped, feeling her stubbornness fade away.

Knock Knock

Just the distraction she needed. She turned around and opened the door.

" I've told you before Fanny, I'm perfectly alright up here in the Castle. You don't need to..." She said to an empty, if weedless drive. Fanny was not there. Calcifar chuckled merrily from the fireplace.

" It's not the mansion door." His face crinkled up in concentration " It's not the moving castle entrance or Market Chipping either." The knocking got more insistent. " Howl." Calcifar said worriedly

The colour drained from Howl's face, and a moment later Sophie paled as well. That only left...

Quickly, Howl gathered up a number of vaguely magical looking items. Sophie, being of a more practical nature, took up the poker from the fireplace, and held it out in front of her like a sword.

The knob spun round to black down of its own accord and the door burst open. Howl let the various items fall to the floor. Sophie peaked round the door (She had been trapped behind it) and saw a woman standing there, with an angular face and blue eyes.

"Megan!" Howl said weakly with surprise.

" Howell Jenkins. You will tell me what is going on right now."

Howl responded in typical slither – outer fashion . He slammed the door shut in Megan's face.

" Howl! " Sophie exclaimed . The pounding continued. " You aren't just going to leave her like that are you?"

" I can and I will ." Howl responded, back to the door , holding it closed . He reached up above his head and spun the knob round several times . The knocking ceased and Howl relaxed slightly. " Oh don't look at me like that miss Nose. Megan will eat me alive !"

" I'll bet she will." Sophie told him crossly. They were interrupted by a sudden ringing noise. Howl's colour, which had began to come back drained again. He said several rude words that weren't really fit for young ladies ears, but Sophie filled them away for future use.

" What is that noise?" Sophie asked curiously , and began poking around the room, searching for the source of the sound. She found it under the workbench , tucked behind a box on the shelf. It was a yellowing contraption, with some kind of handle on the top and rows of buttons down the front. Calcifar started laughing uproariously.

" Don't answer it Sophie! Howl said frantically." Sophie looked at Calcifar.

" Answer it. Pick up the handle and put it to your ear" the fire demon instructed. Sophie did as he said, just as Howl began to scramble across the room to wards her and the yellow contraption.

" Hello! Howell. Is Howell there? Came Megan's voice on the other end. Sophie looked about uncertainly. Calcifar , still shaking with mirth, mouthed " Speak into the other end"

" Um, Yes , he is."

" Who am I speaking too?" Asked Megan's disembodied voice

" Sophie."

"Sophie. Get Howell on the line then." Howl began to scramble back again. " Tell him that he isn't going to slither out of this one." Megan said fiercely. Sophie took a sudden liking to this Megan character.

" Howl." She said, taking her mouth away from the contraption, "It's for you." He looked at her like she was a snake, and looked ready to bolt. " She said no slithering out" Sophie smirked evilly, holding the contraption out

" Sophie, Cariad, you wouldn't feed me to wolves now would you?" He said, trying to make him self look pitiful. She just held the yellow thing out to him and glared. He took it.

" Hello? ... Oh, Megan. Now, there is no need to yell... You were at the door? I didn't see you, funny... Well, if you were at your door, it's no wonder I didn't see you. You wound me Megan... Why I would Never! Megan this is an emergency number... Can't we be civil about this?"

Howl slammed the handle down several moment later

"Well?" Sophie asked after she put the yellow thing down, hands on her hips.

" I'm going to see Megan tomorrow." Howl said unhappily. Sophie eyed him suspiciously, wondering why he was not trying to slither out. She opened her mouth and began to speak " Before you say 'Serves you right'" Howl said, hauling her sentence " You are coming with me miss Nose" He tweaked the end of her nose slightly at that.

Sophie gulped. This was not the way it was supposed to be at all.

A/n: There really needs to be more HMC fics, and, as there are none that really deal with Megan as main character, this popped into my head. It's obviously meant to be continued, so if there is any interest, I'll post up a few more chapters.

Poor Howl! How will he ever survive?