This idea came about because I wanted to see what it would be like inside Howl's head.

Disclaimer: Diana Wynne Jones is not me; I am not she. [I'm not a poet either -.-]

In Which Howl Meets a Little Gray Mouse

Chapter 1

"Calcifer! Move the castle 10 miles to the north!" Howl yelled before re- submerging himself in magical bath products.

"Wahh? So close to town? It's barely midday Howl, someone might see us!"

"Exactly." Howl had never mastered the art of subtlety. If he wanted to be seen, by Jove he would be seen! And what a show it would be. If he played his cards right, he knew Calcifer would be amenable to shooting off fireworks. And the girls love fireworks, he thought. Perfect. Everything would work out just as he planned it. He would join in the festivities of Market Chipping, accost some girl, and woo her over with Calcifer's fireworks. Better still, the girl might very well be frightened by the loud noises and the brilliant magic, making her look to him for protection. Marvelous!

But wait, Howl frowned, finding a flaw in his plans. Did he really desire to accost some girl? Shouldn't she be…Howl searched for the right world…special in some way? Would it be more desirable to accost someone who was unique, or did Howl need someone who was comfortable but predictable? Was he looking for complacency or a challenge? Howl's head began to hurt, which was odd for wizards never get headaches. He attributed it to an overdose of philosophizing too early in the day. Anyway, Howl would know what exactly he was looking for the moment he saw her.

Now Howl was not at all thinking of the girl's feelings he was planning on to accost. That would come later, if at all. Nor was he thinking of his own. Feelings were the least that was on his mind. In fact, Howl had given up feelings a long time ago when he had given up his heart; not to any woman, ideal, or subject, but to a fire demon. He didn't plan on getting it back anytime soon, nor did he think it possible. But Howl didn't miss his heart or his feelings. For you cannot miss what you cannot feel. Howl had forgotten these human emotions. Instead he focused on his thoughts, his wants, his pleasures. Accosting girls was not for love, it was for adventure! It was a challenge, but a non-binding one. That was the essential thing: non-binding. It was why accosting was so perfect for him. He was what you may call a slither-outer, and it suited his interests to chase after a girl and leave once he had accomplished his mission: the return of affection. After that he left, moved on; he had not yet found any reason to stick around after his purpose had been completed.

But you mustn't judge too harshly – it is hard for one with a heart to understand the workings of a person's mind that is lacking one. Howl didn't feel guilty not only due to his flighty feelings but mostly because it never occurred to him that others possessed the feelings he lacked. They may have hearts, yes, but he had forgotten the emotions that stem from the heart. He never experienced love or heartbreak so why should others? That is why he always left – he could not understand the complexities of the heart having given his own up at a very young age.

Yet Howl was happy, or so he thought. He did not have to confront problems (confrontations were the worst!), he only had to run away leaving a trail of magic in his wake. He had Calcifer, his fire demon, and Michael, his apprentice. He was not ugly either, in fact he was beautiful. He accosted girls as he pleased, and he was possibly the most powerful wizard alive. What else could he possibly want?

Howl was finally ready to go. He donned his enchanted blue shirt that had long trailing sleeves with scalloped edges and silver insets. It went perfectly with today's hair color: an elaborate blond. He would not be needing his guitar today – Calcifer had agreed to the fireworks plot (after all a yes is a yes no matter how reluctantly given). Howl left the castle feeling exceptionally giddy – and he wasn't even drunk yet. What a May Day this would be.

A/N Thoughts? Critiques? Reviews are most welcome. ^^ This fanfic is not planned to be super long, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. You can probably guess what's coming haha. Oh well.