Hey guys! Here's part two! Some of them are quite long and not really drabble-y. But, you know. It happens. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Obviously still don't own.
Morgan took after his father. Tears streaming down his face as he sat in his mother's lap, the six-year-old demanded to know why Lizzie from school would not let him hold her hand, despite all the nice things he said to her.
It was raining in Market Chipping, Calcifer was careful to point out. That was the only reason he was even in the grate. And he was only letting Sophie cook on him as a special favor; don't expect it in the future. But he was still there when the rain cleared up. Granted, that may have been because Howl and Sophie started one of their magic squabbles and the show was too amusing to pass up.
Howl loved it when he woke up before Sophie to find her snuggled up against his chest, her hair gleaming in the early morning sunshine streaming from the window. But he would never tell her that. It would just ruin their daily morning quarrel. And where's the fun in that?
The only thing winter was good for, Sophie reasoned, was snowball fights. Particularly if she happened to be winning them. "Go on then, snow," she said to the patch of white next to her. "Wouldn't it be wonderful to be shaped like a ball? So round and even and pretty! That's it, pack in nice and tight. Now you see that fellow over there? The one in the impractical suit with the ridiculous hair? I think you ought to knock him down a few notches. Go get him! Quick, before he turns around!"
Sophie, darning some of Michael's socks in front of the hearth, flinched a little and looked up as her husband, clad only in his bathrobe, threw open the bathroom door bellowing her name.
"You've been experimenting with my bathroom spells again, haven't you? This has your name written all over it, Mrs. Nose!" Howl gestured emphatically at his hair, which was currently a dark brown color. Calcifer bobbed out of the grate to get a better look.
"Oho! That looks like your natural color!"
"Don't rub it in!"
"I don't know what either of you are talking about," Sophie sniffed, her eyes back on her work. "But if that is your natural color, I don't know why you feel the need to change it. I think it's lovely. Now go put some clothes on. You look ridiculous."
"Of COURSE I look ridiculous! Look at what you've done!" Howl paced back and forth in despair. "Even that pink from a year ago was better than this! And I can't get dressed. I'm too distraught. You just don't understand, Sophie dear. Not all of us can be as naturally beautiful as you. Now change it back."
Sophie fixed him with a hard glare. Howl countered with puppy dog eyes. Sophie sighed. "I'm not saying that I did it in the first place, but I suppose I could talk the color back for you if you really want me to. But only if you get dressed first. Lettie and Ben will be here in half an hour and while we may be used to you strutting about in next to nothing, I'm not sure Lettie will be able to keep a hold of herself."
So Far Away
"Mum! Mum! Mum!"
"I'm sorry, Morgan. Mum's not here right now. She's decided to go to High Norland." Sniff. "Without us."
"Mum! Mum! MUM!"
"I know! I can hardly believe it either! It's like she doesn't even care. And we could even help her, couldn't we? But no, she just leaves us here to rot."
"Hmmmm. We've got to figure out a way to go after her, don't we, Morgan? And it's got to be clever so that it doesn't seem like we're interfering."
"I have an idea! And it involves disguises. And a second childhood. Oh, this is going to drive her mad! Come with Dad, Morgan. We've got to get you packed because we're going to go find Mum!"
Since the divination spell revealed that a djinn was headed their way, the moving castle was an absolute blur of activity. Howl and Calcifer were dashing about the castle setting up defenses and shouting instructions to Michael and the new apprentice. A very pregnant Sophie helped by commanding every spell and charm to quintuple its strength and informing the walls and doors that they would have hell to pay if they let anything bad inside.
After a time, Howl could see that there was no more to be done and they would just have to wait and see if their defenses held. He sent Michael and the new apprentice away to keep them safe. He tried to send Sophie to Wales, where he knew she would have access to a good hospital should anything happen to him, but of course she wouldn't go because she just does not get on with Megan and she could be of more help here and besides, they already decided that they would have the baby in Ingary. So they bickered. And bickered. And several alarms started to shriek shrilly. And then-
Utter silence fell as the alarms and spells and charms winked out and a huge magical presence infiltrated the castle so thoroughly that Howl realized there was nothing he could do. Then chaos broke out. He quickly shouted the cat spell as everything was pulled up by the roots and flung in all directions.
"Howl? What are all these metal boxes for? And there's no fireplace in here. Should I just use… you know… to cook dinner?" Sophie poked her head out the door of her sister-in-law's kitchen. Megan and Gareth were taking a holiday away from the children and had enlisted Howl and Sophie to watch them because if they were going to barge in unannounced all the time, they might as well make themselves useful every once and a while!
"What? Sophie, I'll be there in a minute. Just don't touch anything," Howl said from the floor where he was helping Mari reassess her doll's wardrobe choices. Sophie pulled her head back in and examined again the food she was supposed to be preparing. Chicken nuggets and frozen peas. She couldn't figure out why anyone would freeze peas in the first place. What a silly idea! How are they supposed to be fresh and sweet if you freeze them? And then the package said something about a microwave. She didn't know what that was, but it sounded to her like something you would sail a miniature ship on rather than something you use to cook food. Sophie decided to ask Howl about it when he came in. Which was taking an awfully long time.
While she continued to wait, Sophie decided to take another look around the room. She opened a few drawers, but there was nothing stranger than a serving spoon inside. She examined some cupboards, and finally, took a look at the microwave.
"What in the world do you do?" she murmured. She pressed a button and it beeped loudly. Sophie jumped back, startled. "Just what do you think you're doing? You've no right to alarm people like that!" The microwave gave an apologetic sort of whir. "That's better. Now just… do whatever it is that you're supposed to do and we'll pretend this never happened! Get on with it! Go!" The microwave lit up and began to whir loudly, the window showing the empty plate rotating inside. It started going faster and faster and the whirring got louder and louder and the machine began to smoke.
"I hear a commotion. What did you do this time, Mrs. Nose?" Howl finally pushed open the door. He took one look at the smoking microwave and made a sharp gesture at it. It stopped. "I don't know why I thought you wouldn't go poking around when I told you not to. You'd think I'd have learned by now," Howl sighed dramatically as he pulled open the packet of frozen peas. Sophie snorted in defiance and went to help Mari with her doll.
In the Moonlight
A sharp cry in the night. Sophie groaned. Howl put his hand lightly on her shoulder.
"Shhh, Sophie. I'll get him this time."
"Hurmph snuffle hungry snort hnnng."
"No, it doesn't sound like a hungry cry. More like an I-was-dreaming-of-being-a-kitten-again-and-now-I've-woken-up-and-I'm-still-human-after-all cry. And as you've pointed out on numerous occasions, that's really all my fault."
"Huffle snarf sniff."
"Yes, I'm sure. Go back to sleep, cariad." He kissed her softly on the forehead and lightly leapt from bed.
"Alright, you three! It's time for bed! Yes, yes, you don't want to, I know. Okay, how about this: one story and then you go to bed. Deal? Deal. Come on, let's all sit on the ground here in front of Calcifer. That means you, Gwyn and Rhiannon! Stop pinching each other and come sit with your brother. Alright, here we go:
"Once upon a time, there was a wizard who had no heart. He had given it up a long time ago when he didn't know any better. But now, he knew he had made a mistake. He just didn't know how to get it back! So he went about his wizardly business all the while trying different ways to regain his heart.
"Then one day, an old witch appeared. She was a very, very old and very, very clean witch and she barged into the wizard's house and wouldn't leave. She got into all kinds of trouble: she almost caught a falling star. Remember what I told you? Never try to catch a falling star. She told the King that she was the wizard's mother. And she turned the wizard's lovely hair ginger. Almost a pink, really.
"But despite all this trouble, the wizard slowly grew to see how extraordinary the witch was. It was too bad that the witch was so old and that he had no heart! Then, on Midsummer's Day, an evil demon came to the wizard's house. This demon had found the wizard's heart and was going to destroy it. The wizard tried to fight it, but the demon squeezed his heart until he was almost dead! Luckily, the witch came to his rescue. She wrestled his heart back and pushed it into his chest. The wizard was saved! He killed the demon and when he turned back to thank the witch, he saw that she had been transformed into a beautiful girl. He asked for her hand in marriage and she said yes. And they lived happily ever after.
"The end. Okay! Up you get! Time to go to sleep! No, I said one story and then bed; there's no use arguing."