Yeah, this is based off the movie, which I love and adore, by the way. Unfortunately I never read the book, though I hope to change that... point is, this is a one shot about Sophie's sister Lenette, and how she feels about her sister living with a wizard known to eat women's hearts. Yeah, her opinion isn't very high, as you could probably guess... anyways, it's alright in the end, so, no worries. I hope you like it, and as usual, please, enjoy.
There came a knock at the door, and Sophie, as usual, ignored it as Marcle hurriedly placed his disguise. Sophie heard him open the door.
"May I help you mam?" Sophie almost chuckled. She still found Marcle's 'Old Man' voice completely ridiculous, though he had been getting better.
"Please," the voice of a timid young woman floated up the stairs. Sophie paused. That voice was almost familiar... "Is this the house of the Wizard Howl?" Now Sophie was definitely curious. Few people knew who Howl was under his many aliases.
"Why..." Sophie watched as Marcle stuck his head out to look about suspiciously, "Yes," he said finally, "Yes it is."
"Please, is he in? I must speak with him." Sophie tried to get a good look from the top of the stairs, but Marcle remained in the way. The poor girl sounded as if she might be crying...
"I'm afraid he's out on business, but if there is any way I can assist you I-
"Please," the young woman cut him off in desperation, and Sophie caught a bit of yellow dress, "Please, is there a young woman living with him? About my age? Mother said- please... I don't what she may have done, but Howl must let her go! He's got to! I'll do anything! Please..." The girl broke down in sobs in front of the startled boy, and to Sophie, everything finally clicked into place.
"Lenette?!" Sophie ran down the steps, pushing Marcle out of the way to reach her sister, who looked up in a gasp.
"Sophie!" The two embraced as Lenette sobbed into Sophie's dress. "I thought I'd never see you again! When the hat shop burned down, we went to the Magistrate, but she said you were fine! I-I knew something was wrong! Why would you stay away from us? That shop was your life! Why would you leave it to ruin? I looked every where, asking everyone I knew, and when I found out... Oh Sophie, I'm so sorry! I will get you away from him, I will!"
Sophie looked down at her sister's head in sadness. Oh what she must have gone through. Sophie had tried to find her family, to let them know, but she never did find out who mother's husband was.
"Lenette, you've got it all wrong," she assured her sister, "I chose to stay here. Please, come inside, and I'll explain everything."
An hour later and two cups of tea, and her sister still found it difficult to swallow what Sophie was telling her.
"And you're sure he doesn't have a spell on you?"
"Yes! Lenette, I don't think you understand! Howl is nothing like what we were told as children. He's sweet, and funny, and kind. Lenette, he almost became a monster, just to protect me. Please understand. I love him." Lenette looked at her in disbelief. Sophie sighed.
"Even if I didn't, he's a good man, and I could never leave Marcle behind in any case. He needs me," she hugged the boy to her side, "We're a family." Lenette hesitated.
"You do look happy," she conceded, "happier then I've seen you in ages."
"I am happy."
"Do you think..." Lenette hesitated, still somewhat afraid, "Do you think I could meet him? See for myself?"
"Of course!" Sophie agreed happily, "He should be back soon, and the you can see for yourself! Oh Lenette, you really will love him. He's the best!" Lenette smiled weakly, but did not give an opinion on the matter.
As they waited, Sophie introduced her sister to the other occupants of the house. It was certainly a surprise to meet Calsifer, and there was a slight panic upon Lenette's introduction to the Witch of the waste, but Sophie thought it went pretty well. Lenette adored Marcle, and found Calsifer to be charming after a while.
Finally, Howl came home, and Sophie leapt forward to meet him as her sister stood timidly at her seat. "Howl! You're home!" Sophie called as she hugged him tight.
"Are you going to greet me this way every time I go out?" Howl asked in amusement.
"As long as those horrible battle ships are still in the sky," she nodded into his chest. Howl smiled softly.
"Maybe I'll have to keep a few up there then." Lenette watched as her sister and this wizard looked softly at each other and finally grasped... Sophie really did love this man, and it was quite apparent to Lenette's eye that he loved her as well. Still... he was a wizard...
"And who is our charming guest?" Howl asked. Lenette gulped.
"Oh, Howl, this is my sister Lenette," Sophie gestured.
"How do you do?" Howl asked graciously, bowing to kiss the girl's hand.
"She came looking for me," Sophie explained quietly. "She thought... well to be quite honest she thought you might've taken me prisoner."
"Really?" Howl asked, laughing joyfully. "Well I suppose that's what happens when someone keeps as fierce a reputation as I do. Never did think about how it might effect any potential in laws. Dead useful for everything else." Howl turned to the stunning young woman in front of him. There was a time when he would have pursued her in an instant, but now... the thought of anyone other then Sophie in his heart made him feel almost unable to breathe.
"My dear Lenette," he said, "You must believe that I would never do anything to harm Sophie in any way. She saved me, and she saved my household. She made this place a home, and us a family. Even if she didn't have my heart, I owe her a great deal. You must believe me in this."
Lenette searched the man's eyes for lies and deceit, but could not find any. They were so sincere and honest... Lenette reminded herself that this man was a great and powerful wizard, capable of anything, but... she realised that even if her sister was under a spell, Sophie was happy, and this wizard truly did want to keep her safe.
"I believe you," she said nodding, "She really does love you, I can see it."
"Yes," Howl looked softly over at Sophie, "I have trouble believing it myself sometimes." The two gazed at each other for a moment, only to be interrupted by a cough from Marcle. Howl shook his head to clear it.
"Yes, Sorry about that," he apologized, "You wouldn't believe how often that happens..."
"I would," Marcle grumbled, causing Lenette to giggle.
"In any case," Howl pressed on despite the interruption, "Would you join us for dinner Miss Lenette? Our table could always use another, in fact, you're more then welcome to stay if you like. Our family could always use new members."
"Howl!" Sophie chastised, "You make us sound like some sort of club!" Howl laughed.
"Yes, I suppose I do, but the offer still stands. If you'll excuse me, I must finish something upstairs in my study before it gets to late, but I promise I'll be down for dinner. We can talk more then Lenette. It was a pleasure to meet you." Howl reached for Sophie's hand and gave it a squeeze before climbing the stairs and disappearing from view. If anything, this action clinched it for Lenette that her sister was, in fact, adored by the master of this house.
"Didn't I tell you he was wonderful?" Sophie asked.
"Yes," Lenette agreed, "He is indeed."
Yay! Lenette sees the light! As for whether or not she sticks around I'll leave up to you, though personally, I don't think she will. I almost don't want her to, she should be in candy shops where men can admire her, and besides, she'd steal too much of Sophie's sparkle. Again, review if the mood hits you, let me know how I did. I rather like this one, actually, but then, how can I not? It's Howl!