Just finished House of Many Ways – can not BEGIN to tell you how much I'm disappointed in the 'sequel'

Just finished House of Many Ways – can not BEGIN to tell you how much I'm disappointed in the 'sequel'.

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Sophie glared up at the ceiling. 'Twinkle' and Morgan were clamoring to get into the bed she was on, bouncing and making noise. She had spent the day chasing after Morgan, who had chased after Twinkle, who was having the time of his life playing at being a child. Sophie had yelled so many times to keep Morgan off the furniture, running into walls, and summoning various toys that she had gone hoarse.

Her head hit the wall as Morgan and Twinkle bounced on the bed.

"Howl," she rasped, staring at Howl as he jumped with Morgan. Howl stopped jumping for a moment, giggled nervously when he caught Sophie's glare, and moved to sit on the bed as his blonde curls fell around his angelic features.

"Sophie, I was only having fun with Morgan. Don't be mad." He crawled to lay a pudgy hand on Sophie's arm. She glared at the hand and quickly got up from the bed. She leaned over and picked up Morgan, who squirmed and demanded to be put down again.

"Fine. While you relive your childhood, I'm going downstairs to sleep. Wake me when my husband comes back." She finally put Morgan down, who immediately went to Howl and tugged on his sleeve to bounce again. Sophie whirled and walked down the stairs, making Howl wince as he heard each step. Humph, Howl thought, crawling to sit against the wall. He conjured a small teddy bear for Morgan.

Morgan was the one in the first place who wanted to see 'Twinkle'. Was it really his fault he was so charming and fun to play with? Still – Sophie had looked tired and irritable after a day of chasing after Morgan. A pout formed on his rosebud lips; he hated to admit when he was wrong. But maybe not completely wrong, he quickly amended. Sophie did not have to be so touchy just then.

He glanced down at Morgan, who had already curled up with the bear and fallen asleep. Howl transformed back to his normal size. A blanket appeared in his hands and he wrapped Morgan in it before picking him up in his arms. Howl walked downstairs quietly.

Sophie had fallen asleep in the chair by Calcifer, who looked to give Howl a nasty look.

Howl sniffed – he didn't need this from the fire demon at the moment. Ignoring Calcifer, he walked to stand by Sophie. The dark bags under her eyes were illuminated by the fire's dim light. She mumbled in her sleep, barely discernable through her hoarse voice. He pulled the bench to sit down and looked at her, while cradling Morgan in his arms. He didn't realize he had nodded off until he was shaken, and quickly turned to find Sophie looking at him through bloodshot eyes.

"Silly man," she said. She helped him up with one arm and they walked up the stairs to bed. Sophie fell into bed, almost immediately asleep. Howl lay down besides her, Morgan still dead to the world. He moved Morgan to lie between them, and turned to rest an arm around Sophie's waist. It was a little uncomfortable, but he felt better being able to feel some part of her as h drifted to sleep as well.