Same thing before:

0. All people not mine. Diana Wynne Jones'

1. You read.

2. You like.

2. You hate.

3. You review.

4. You write flame, I send Calcifer, burn you.

4. You write nice, I send Calcifer bring nice present.

5. We all happy.

Good. Now READ!

The next morning, both Calcifer and Michael were surprised when Howl swept downstairs, picked up Sophie and greeted her with a kiss. They were even more amazed when she didn't attempt to fight him; rather, she socked him gently on the chest as she laughed.

"Put me down, you cad! Michael and Calcifer are watching and the bacon's burning."

Gently, he set her down, refusing to release her. Twice, Calcifer had to warn Sophie about the bacon and Michael had the hardest time asking Howl what went wrong in his latest experiment before "Miss Angorian" had sprung up.

"Why are you two so detached today?" Michael asked, once he realized that the definition of "coagulated" is not 'a monkey'. But he was unable to get either Sophie's or Howl's attentions.

Before breakfast, Howl cleared his throat. "I… err… have an announcement to make. Sophie and I are getting married."

Michael tried to master the emotions of shock, horror, and happiness in his face before giving up and congratulating them. Calcifer sent off so many fireworks and noise makers that Market Chipping thought it was an attack. "It's about time!"

Sophie blushed but was still able to reprimand Calcifer as she thanked Michael. "Quiet down!—Thank you, Michael—Calcifer! You'll frighten the neighbors!"

"Now that that's over with, let's eat." A forkful of bacon was already on its way to Howl's mouth when Sophie was struck by a question. "Howl… how are we going to let our families know? Especially yours?"

"Oh, I've got that all planned out. We'll put announcements in the papers and invite your family over for lunch. Later, we'll invite Megan and her family over for dinner and get her—ah—acquainted with this world. Then, we can invite BOTH of our families over and watch them quarrel politely over the nature of the wedding!"

"Knowing you, that was too easy and something's going to go wrong," Calcifer muttered, but he dropped the subject as Sophie dropped a log and all the breakfast ends on him, nearly smothering the poor fire demon.

"Howl? Exactly when were you planning to invite our families?"


"Today! But we have to get the house tidy and get a proper meal ready instead of stew and leftovers and decorate the house and make sure that Calcifer shuts up when Megan's here until she's ready to take a talking fire and—"

"Slow down, cariad! Don't worry. Everything's going to be fine. Besides, I can take care of the cleaning and decorating. And Michael can do the shopping. I want you to rest today."

"Can you even sweep?"

"You've forgotten that I can do this." He muttered a simple cleaning charm and whistled a few notes. Immediately, the house was immaculate.

"You never told me you could do THAT! Why'd you make me break my back trying to clean this house?" Sophie asked with a hint of reproach in her voice.

"I just found that spell a few days ago to help your work!" he protested, trying to keep himself from getting that Sophie-glare. "Anyway, the house is clean, all the dishes finally match and the sink is no longer colorful. The spiders I have asked to hide for a while. But I can't guarantee that Calcifer will shut up."

"Oooh! You're infuriating! Why am I marrying you again?" But she wasn't angry at him.

When she showed Michael the shopping list, he nearly fainted. As it was, he had to sit down hard, as Sophie got him a glass of water. "Sophie! Are you trying to kill me? I can't buy all of this at once!"

"Make two trips."

Okies. We all know the drill by now, yes? Constructive criticism please; I really don't know what the psycho side of me will do if you give me evil reviews, and I won't be responsible for any damages, injuries, or hospital bills.

Thanks to: Anonymous-cat, whoever you are… my first review! Merci beaucoup! Et je t'aime bien!

The Forbidden Fox!

And last but not least, Quill in Hand!

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