My name is Ellie Pendragon. I bet you haven't heard of me, but you've probably heard of my parents: Howl and Sophie Pendragon. Yeah, you know them? From Howl's Moving Castle. And that's where our story starts: Howl's moving castle.

I woke up and lay, staring up at the beams of the sloping ceiling, only a few feet above my head. I share that room with my elder brother Morgan. I sat up, carefully, so as not to bang my head. I wandered downstairs and sat in the chair by the fire.

"Morning." I said to it.

"Morning, Ellie." said the fire. That's because it was our fire demon, Calcifer. I picked up my book, which I had left there the night before. About half an hour later someone else came down the stairs. It was my mum; Sophie dressed in only her night gown, as I was.

"Morning, Ellie! How long have you been up for?"

"Morning, Mum! Not long."

"Do you want some breakfast?"

"Shouldn't we wait for the others?"

"They won't be up for ages" she said "Let's have some bacon and eggs!" She got out the frying pan and began cooking the eggs and bacon on Calcifer. We ate them and she was washing the plates and I had gone back to my book when another person came in.

This time it was my fifteen year old brother Morgan, with a blanket draped around his shoulders like a patchwork cape. His brownie-blonde hair was sticking up in all directions.

"Morning Mum, morning Ellie, morning Calcifer!" He grinned and sat down on the three legged stool.

"Morning Morgan! Is your dad up yet?" said Mum, cheerfully.

"Nope." he grinned "Can I have some bacon?"

"Can't you wait?"

"You couldn't!" Morgan pointed out. Mum glared at him.

"We got up at a reasonable time!" Morgan was about to protest, but stopped, seeing that Dad was up anyway.

"Morning!" he said "Can I have some breakfast? Or are only females allowed it now? Is that it? Morgan and I can starve while you have breakfast?" He gave me a tragic look.

"I'm not stopping you!" I said, looking up from my book.

"Do you have any work to do today?" Mum asked him. Dad put his arm around her shoulders.

"I might be able to spare a few hours for my family…"

"Good. I was thinking we should all do something, as a family."

"If it will stop you from cleaning for a while, anything!"

"I know!" I said, suddenly exited "We could have a picnic! In the chipping valley!"

"That's a great idea Ellie!" Mum looked exited too now. "We could invite Abdullah, Flower and Sabrina!"

"And Michael and Martha and Edward and Kate!" chipped in Morgan.

"Do we have a picnic basket? Or a blanket?" I asked.

"No, but I'm sure Martha will." replied Mum. That settled, I went back to my book while Dad fried more bacon and eggs.

"What are you reading?" he asked, leaning over my shoulder.

"House of Many Ways" I said.


"What? It's a good book. And it's funny reading about people I know and seeing how they've change in thirteen years." The book was very battered from reading so many times and a few pages were falling out. This trilogy was my favourite. A few years ago, when I was sitting in the same chair, reading Castle in the Air again, a woman had come to the door. The Wales door.

She and Dad had talked in Welsh, which I didn't know much of then, before she gave him a book. That book was House of Many Ways. Mum and I spent the rest of the week annoying Dad and Morgan by reading out extracts.