A very fluffy bit of finals procrastination. I decided to do one of those challenge thingies instead of writing my essay. I'm such a good student. They're basically just short snippets from different points in the lives of Sophie and Howl. Some of them are quite long and some of them are quite short, so I didn't exactly follow the challenge guidelines. Mostly, I just really wanted some short prompts. Spoilers for all three books.
This is part 1 of 5. I'm splitting it to 10 prompts per part because otherwise it would be way too long.
Disclaimer: Yes. I am Diana Wynne Jones and I have come back as a ghost in order to write fanfiction about my own books. What nonsense is this? Of course I don't own the characters!
Howl found it endearing that Sophie turned back into his little gray mouse and stumbled over to her flowers with a bright blush on her cheeks after the first time he kissed her. Sophie found it endearing that Howl was unable to form coherent sentences after the first time that she kissed him.
Sophie chalked it up as a victory when she cleaned Howl's room and his retaliatory tantrum only included some rather petulant moaning and a refusal to leave the bathroom, which he claimed was the only sanctuary left to him. (She was planning on cleaning that disaster the next morning.)
Howl marveled at the softness of Morgan's skin. He knew about baby skin from when Neil and Mari were small, but it was different when it was your own baby.
Are you there?
"Howl? Are you in there? Please come out; you're being silly and vain and I need to mop the floors. You look fine, I promise. It's really not that bad!"
"How would you know? You've never had your eyebrows vanished by YOUR OWN WIFE!"
Sophie loved it when she woke up in the middle of the night to find Howl cuddled up next to her with his arm slung protectively around her waist. But she would never tell him that. It would just go to his already too-inflated head.
Sophie wasn't sure how Howl would react when she told him the news that he would have to add a nursery on to the castle. Her fears were assuaged when he took her into his arms, spun her around, and waltzed her around the room.
Howl walked into the castle to find Sophie hurriedly trying to sew one of his suits back together that, to his knowledge, had been whole that morning. When he approached her, her cheeks colored as she told him she thought he'd… oh, never mind, it was a simple misunderstanding, it's all been sorted, go away now, please.
Howl was a coward. It was something that he could admit readily, but it was not something that he could change. As he liked to say, the only way for him to do something brave was to convince himself that he was not doing it. And so, after vague wishes of happily-ever-after's left both him and Sophie unsure about the exact nature of their relationship, Howl needed to figure out a way to clarify things without actually having to clarify things.
So he bought a ring. And he left it in his pocket. And then he ripped his jacket. He gave said jacket (with the ring conveniently forgotten about) to Sophie to mend on his way out the door to go to the King's palace.
And Sophie, being incurably curious, felt the lump in the jacket pocket while she was sewing up the tear and had to investigate. What she found was a little velvet box, inside of which was a very shiny ring.
"Oh, it's just so…"
"Lovely? Beautiful? Perfect?" Sophie jumped and discovered that Howl was back from the King and leaning on the back of her chair.
"…cowardly! This is possibly the most round-about and idiotic way of asking me to marry you that I can think of!" Howl looked rather put out. She stood up, walked over to him, placed her arms around his neck, and stood on tip toe to whisper in his ear: "Idiot. Why didn't you try just asking me?"
Howl smiled and hugged her to him. "You know I can't do anything this frightening without pretending that I'm not." And then he took the ring out of the box and slipped it on her finger.
When Sophie finally saw who it was that appeared out of the genie's smoke, she practically threw herself at him. Howl caught her and spun her around amidst kisses and "I love you's" and "Don't you ever turn me into a cat again or so help me I will cut up all your suits and turn your hair ginger" and "You stubborn beautiful fool I was only trying to protect you and Morgan and if you had listened to me you wouldn't have ended up a cat and I've come to be rather fond of ginger hair" and "It's red-gold!"
Howl had that wicked, mischievous grin on his face that always meant he was about to start a quarrel with Sophie. This time, apparently, about whether or not it was okay to let their son be a kitten on his first birthday, as a special treat. Howl, of course, had no intention of actually going through with it. He just liked to rile Sophie up.