Happy Birthday Markl!

Disclaimer: I do not own Howl's Moving Castle. If I did, it wouldn't exist.

Summary: I barely see any Markl fics out there, so I decided to make one for him. It's Markl's birthday! Sophie (and Howl…maybe) decides to throw him a little party. Awww. Some HxS hints

To RyuOni1989: Hey! YOU said I could only type 'that story' when you were online! You're not online now, are you? MUAHAHAHA! -suddenly sits in the corner, in fear of getting yelled at- Gomen, gomen! -hears whip cracking, an evil laugh, and the marching of an evil spork army-

Special Note: Since I loved it so much, I started reading the book again. Haven't seen the movie yet (so, sorry if Howl acts like the Howl in the book), but I shall soon. -grins widely- So… if Markl (or any other character) is OOC, don't hurt me… Besides… it's his birthday! Any little kid could be proud! …I want Castle in the Air.. (book sequel to HMC)

And just so you know, I have no clue when any of their birthdays are :P I don't even know if there are any websites that say, so I'm just making it up as I go, lol

Oh and I don't even know if Howl even changes in his room or not (since it's, like, STUFFED) but he will in this fic, lol. Yay.

Today was a special day. A very special day indeed. What kind of day was it? By the way Markl was acting, it must have been pretty special. He raced down the stares to sit at the table, smiling even brighter than any day Sophie had known him.

"Good morning, Markl," the young woman greeted, placing a plate with bacon and eggs on the table in front of him. "you seem pretty cheerful today." The boy nodded, eating, and Sophie smiled. She wondered why he was so happy. Could it be that it was the anniversary of his first coming to the castle? Or maybe it was the day Howl finally took him into apprenticeship, six months after moving in?

There was a loud crashing sound, and a nasty word escaped from a certain wizard's mouth. Howl walked out of his room, hand on his head (ahem, BED head), looking kind of angry.

"Hello, Howl," Sophie said, blinking. The raven haired man only grunted back in reply, and sat down by the table, hand still on head. Markl just continued to eat his breakfast, still smiling. Howl took note of this, suddenly understanding why the boy wasn't even showing any sign of caring if the wizard was all right or not, since he did just fall off the bed, hitting his head in the process, probably suffering a concussion already, and yelling out a word a boy Markl's age wasn't supposed to know. Sophie placed breakfast in front of Howl, who had started to just poke at it in thought.

By the time Markl had gone somewhere to work on a spell, the wizard had started eating. Sophie sat across from him with her breakfast.

"Do you know why Markl's so cheerful today?" she asked, sticking her fork into some bacon. "it's kind of different, but I like him better this way."

"If I am not mistaken…" Howl paused, staring at his food in thought. "…today is his birthday."

"Really?" the woman's eyes widened, and she seemed a tad bit excited "I've always wondered if he even cared about birthdays, let alone you, since you don't really seem like the type of person to care…"

"Hey, I care about birthdays, just as much as the next person…" the wizard said, grabbing some bread.

"Is that so?" Sophie raised an eyebrow, and crossed her arms, "then why did you forget mine?" Howl choked, and looked up at her, wide-eyed.

"…it was last week, wasn't it?"

There was a nod.


Markl looked throughout the research, working on a spell. He was having trouble concentrating on it, though, since the very first thing on his mind was, after all, his birthday. Since Sophie was here, maybe she would notice why he was so happy, and give him a present or throw him a party or something… Since Howl forgot his birthday LAST year.

The boy sighed and shut the book. But what if no one noticed at all? Markl's heart fell.

Ah well… he'd just have to work harder, and act meaner, for them to get it if they didn't know.


Sophie sat in her chair, mending some torn clothes. She was thinking on what to get Markl for his birthday. New clothes, since he always seemed to wear the same outfit everyday? Or maybe a toy? No, he wouldn't have any time for playing. Maybe she should give him a hair cut or a brush, since his hair was always so… sticking-up…-y. Nah, he'd probably look cuter the way he was now.

The woman sighed and set down the clothes, looking out into space.

"Calcifer?" she said, and the fire demon looked at her.

"Huh?" Calcifer blinked, wondering why she wasn't even looking at him.

"What should I get Markl for his birthday?" Sophie continued to stare into space. The demon grunted.

"How'm I supposed to know about birthdays and parties?" he crossed his flaming arms and twitched. Seeing the look on the young woman's face made him kind of terrified, since it looked as if she looked shocked, and was going to 'strangle' him right then and there. Instead, she jumped up with a delighted look.

"That's it!" she exclaimed. "oh, Calcifer, you are such a genius!" she raced upstairs to Howl's room, to speak with him of the plan.

"I am?" Calcifer asked when she had gone, then grinned. "of course I am! Calcifer, you sly little demon you…"


"Howl, I-!" Sophie barged into the wizards room, and heard a loud scream, or what sounded like one.

"Don't you know how to knock?" Howl exclaimed, covering his lower half with his jacket. The woman let out a gasp, covered her eyes, and turned away. "sheesh, what's up with women these days…" she heard the man mumble.

"I am so sorry," Sophie couldn't help but giggle. "I couldn't help it, I just came up with an idea."

"No, you probably knew I was changing, and came up to see me in all my gloryness, while coming up with 'an idea' as an excuse to see me." Howl said, putting on his clothes.

"I'm serious." the woman twitched. "I… well, actually Calcifer, came up with a plan on what to give Markl for his birthday,"

"Is that so?" Sophie felt strong arms wrap around her waist, and Howl's chin rested upon her shoulder. "that's a good enough excuse. Go ahead and tell me."

"We should throw him a party."

"A p-party?" the raven haired man jumped away in shock. "do you even KNOW what horrors are in parties?"


"CLOWNS. Those… those evil… THINGS they are…" Sophie looked at him with an "Oh-my-God-I-Love-This-Guy?" look.

"There won't be clowns," she said reassuringly. "it'll just be me, you, Markl, Calcifer, Heen, and the Witch."

"Is that so…" Howl's eye twitched, and was about to say something related to clowns and witches, but kept his mouth shut. "…all right, fine. I'll send Markl out to go and shop or something, and I'll get the decorations and stuff up with my magic, and you--"

"--I will bake the cake." Sophie finished with a smile, and walked out the door. The wizard stood there.

"Actually, I was going to say something else, but that works too…"


Markl sighed in a depressed way, walking down Market Chipping. They really didn't know it was his birthday.

He kicked at a rock, and made his way to Cesari's, walking inside. Usually the place would be packed with men from all over, but today, thankfully, there were only a few of them. A young woman wearing a red dress with a pink apron, and her blond hair tied up, greeted him.

"Oh, you're Sophie's little friend! What would you like?" she asked, staring at Markl as if he was the cutest thing she had seen in the world.

"I'd like five cream cakes and six of those new biscuits you're selling," the boy said, reaching over the counter to give her a few coins. The girl gave him the food, and took the money. Markl thanked her, and walked out of Cesari's. He had a few more trips to make before getting back to the castle.


Sophie had managed to get to her old hat shop's kitchen, since Calcifer wouldn't let her get that gigantic baking pan on him. She used the oven to bake the cake, and afterwards, after letting it set out for a few minutes, applied the icing and stuck on the candles. The woman brought the cake back to the kitchen inside the castle, and had to slap Howl's hands away a few times from touching it.

The decorations were up, and the cake was ready, now all they needed was Markl and the rest of the food. It had been a while already.

"I knew it wasn't a good idea to send him away with such a large list, Howl," Sophie said, biting her lip. She held onto her skirt apron in a worried type of way, ringing in her hands.

"Nah. He's a good kid. He can handle it all." the wizard said, swiping some icing from the cake without the girl noticing. He licked his finger quickly before Sophie even looked at him. But she knew what he had done.

"You go and help him, or maybe I will go and bring some clowns in," she threatened.


Markl carried all the bags and boxes he had gotten. What was up with Howl, for giving him such a large duty? Even so, it made him feel more grown up, not getting all the little things now.

"Need help?" came a voice, and Markl tried his best to look over the stuff he was carrying, and saw Howl standing before him, with a smile. Even without an answer, the wizard took most of the boxes and bags off anyway. Before the apprentice could ask, the master added, "Sophie made me come and get you." Markl stared at him for a while, before feeling the cheerfulness from that morning suddenly came rushing back.



They got to the castle when it happened. It exploded, into millions, and millions of pieces. Howl's and Markl's eyes widened, and they dropped their belongings--

Just kidding.

The two got to the castle, and Howl opened the door. It was dark inside, and the wizard had Markl just leave the things on the ground, and led him to the kitchen.

It was suddenly bright, and then a few voices called out "Happy birthday!"

Markl felt excited. He knew he had smelt freshly baked cake from outside the castle. Now he knew why.

"You… you knew?" he asked, fighting back the tears of joy that threatened to come pouring down from his eyes (A/N Corny, yeah, I know lol).

"Who would ever forget your birthday?" Sophie asked, bending down to the boy's height. Even though she hadn't really guessed it in the first place, she could have figured out that it was Markl's special day anyway.

The party wasn't so bad. Heen was whining because he didn't get a cream cake, Calcifer said it was too noisy, but all in all, Markl actually enjoyed it.

Today was a special day. A very special day. Now, Markl just had to wait twelve more months again to celebrate that special day.


-let's out a sigh and yawns- It's almost 10 PM here…. Which means I might have to wake up at five tomorrow, instead of the usual three….

Well, did you guys like it? I typed this for you all, you know! (you you you you) Heehee. Markl is just so adorable, I just had to write a fic just for him.

Please review!