A Magical Addition

Chapter 11

Hey guys. Thank you all for reviewing as always. I know the plot of this story is a bit unstable, I've just been trying to keep it alive as at times I feel like just forgetting about it but I don't want to do that to all you supportive fans. So we battle on, onwards and upwards. I have also started another HMC story called 'A Girl and a Wizard' which is a challenge I have set myself of writing 100 drabbles about Howl and Sophie's life together, take a look if you're interested an let me know if I should continue to pursue the challenge. Thanks.

She stared up at the rather large set of shining steps, however they seemed much less daunting than they had been the first time she climbed them. She hesitated briefly, her mind flashing back to her elderly days where she had battled the witch of the waste to the top, dragging that nuisance of a mutt with her.

With a deep breath she readjusted her boater hat and patted her bump reassuringly before mounting the first stair. And with each one she climbed her slight anxiety lessened and lessened, she had to be strong for him. He needed her help! She could see him, fading, slipping away from her. Calcifer said he'd never seen it so bad. He was so weak, it was too painful for her to watch. She was beginning to miss the green slime tantrums and sudden passionate, lusty mood swings. She could feel the faint thump of his heart against her palm once more. It radiated through her like a devil's drum;

Thump thump…thump thump…thump thump…thump thump…

Before she knew it she was at the top, and it appeared she had practically sprinted up them by the baffled expressions on the doors men's faces.

'Are you quite alright madam?' The one to the left asked. Sophie glanced up suddenly. His face…his hair…his voice…

'Howl!' She practically cried stumbling over into the man's uncertain hold.

'Madam!' He repeated haughtily, doing his best to stand her up and keep her away.

Sophie looked again. Small…stout…comb-over…definitely not Howl! She shook her head in disbelief, was she going delirious? She was certain it was him! He had given her that look of sincerity with those tiffany blue gems. His hair was blond like it was when they first met. His voice was strong and assertive, the way it was the night Market Haven was bombed.

'Sophie…Sophie…help!' She heard. Her gaze shot over to the door man on her right.

'What did you just say?' Her voice quivered, her eyes burning into his like lasers.

'I said do you have an appointment?' She stared on at him, her breathing becoming raspy. 'Why don't you sit down mam? Would you like some water?'

Sophie shook her head, turning sharply and making her way meekly into the lobby. She half walked half ran down the long row of uniformed men, each one of them watching her and nudging each other. Some opened their mouths to speak but she had passed them so quickly they didn't get a chance.

'Your name please Ms?' The deadpan woman at the front desk asked. She wrinkled her nose in disgust as she inspected Sophie, their eyes finally meeting.

'Sophie Pendragon. I need to see Madame Sulliman! It's urgent!' She panted, her hands clutching her belly as if she tried to hide it.

The woman raised an eyebrow and opened her mouth only to close it again in a tight line.

'Well I'm afraid she's rather busy but I can book you-' She was cut off my Sophie's hands slamming down on the desk. She flinched slightly, her eyes travelling from Sophie's hands up to her rather flustered face.

'I don't think you heard me!' Sophie snapped. 'I need to see Sulliman urgently! My husband, he's a wizard! He's sick and I think its serious and I don't want him to die because I love him so so much and I'm pregnant with his child and I need him and he was once the sorceress's apprentice and-'

'You're Howl's wife?' The receptionist asked quite calmly, her expression softening as a few tears began to prick in Sophie's eyes.

She simply nodded, taking in a sharp gasp of air.

'He needs my help.' She didn't bother asking the woman how she knew Howl, mostly because she didn't have time for idle conversation, but partly because she felt she probably didn't want to know.

The woman sighed in defeat but not necessarily reluctantly. She then pointed to two large double doors on the right hand side of the room.

'Good luck.' She whispered with a faint smile.

Sophie approached the entrance, removing her hat and dusting off her dress before knocking the door rather assertively.

After several moments of waiting she heard a familiar voice.

'Enter.' It called. Sophie placed her hand on the handle, pausing for a brief moment before opening and slipping in. It was a large room with a fireplace to the left and in front of it Sulliman sat in her overly sized wheel chair. The rest of the room was cluttered with books, each wall stacked to the ceiling, several other tables piled high.

'Sophie.' She said in her dulcet tone. Sophie froze, how did she know who it was? She wondered. Her back was turned to her, her body hidden by the large back of her chair. 'Come here dear.' She said softly.

Sophie obeyed clutching her hat tightly in front of her bump. She did her best to curtsey in front of the rather fragile looking woman who sat with her face aglow from the light of the fire. Her head turned slowly, eyes scanning Sophie from head to toe.

'My my. My prediction was right. You are in a delicate situation. There can't be long to go now hm?' She asked, a quaint smile playing on her wrinkled lips.

'Five weeks Madame.' Sophie replied impishly.

'How very exciting. And how is Howl these days?'

Sophie's breath caught in her throat as she suddenly remembered the reason she was there in the first place.

'Well that's the thing you see. He's ill and very very weak. We thought it was Wizard's flu but it appears to be much worse! I need your help Madame Sulliman, I don't know what to do!'

The sorceress's brow furrowed.

'Worse you say?'

Sophie nodded, those tears that had pricked earlier reappearing and dribbling down her cheeks.

'And on my way in here I was almost certain I could hear his voice! He was calling for me!' And she was on her knees, melting into floods of tears in front of the crippled old woman.

Sulliman sighed.

'You poor child. Never did I think I'd see the day where a girl would truly love that scoundrel as much as you do.' Sophie continued to sob.

'Please help, I couldn't think of where else to go.'

And for once in her life, the sour woman actually felt sympathy. She didn't like the feeling, it made her heart swell. She could've thrown up at the thought.

'Don't worry my dear. I hope you know that if it wasn't for you I would've dispatched of Howl long ago, right back when he was medalling with the king's war plans. But you…you broke his curse…you showed him true love and you saved him. I had never seen an apprentice with such talent and I would've been loathed to strip him of it. I guess for that reason I am grateful to you Sophie…I owe you a favour.'

The distressed girl looked up at the witch's content expression and wiped her tears with a growing smile.

'Thank you Madame…thank you so much.'

She lifted a bell that sat on a small table beside her, ringing it softly and setting it down once more. Within seconds a little blond boy appeared in a small doorway across the room. Sophie always found it creepy the resemblance between those little boys and Howl.

She spoke to him firmly, making her orders precise. The boy nodded several times and then bowed before moving swiftly back towards the door he had entered through.

'I'll try my best my dear. You must be optimistic.'

Thanks for reading. I know that was quite short but I promise the next one will be longer. Please review. Thanks.