Without A Heart, Without Love
Three years had passed since the boy lost his heart bringing the fire demon Calcifer to take its place outside of his body. The two had been traveling together for a while, although it was hard to keep Calcifer unseen by the modern people for who knows how long until finally Howl came to the realization (once Calcifer told him) to put him in a lamp so that he could provide both light and warmth. He often got weird glances from people in broad daylight when he carried him around but usually he left Calcifer wherever he was staying.
Madam Suliman had allowed Howl to go out on an adventure like he had the first year of his separation, so in turn he went south to a place he'd never been before. The Isle of the Blessed, a small island off the coast of the main country where many magical men, women and creatures lived together in harmony. It was a peaceful place where the people were kind and gave him a warm place to stay (especially since he had the Queen's seal with him).
At the first hotel he came to he stopped at the man who booked the rooms. "I'd like to book a room." He stated loudly, catching the attention of the man, he looked down confused.
"Where are your parents? They should be booking the room, not a child." He chastised lightly, trying not to offend the child.
"I'm on my own, though I have the seal of the Queen. I'm her apprentice." He stated shoving a paper and stamp to the man quickly. He apologized profusely as he looked at the beautiful insignia. Leading the boy to a room he gave him a key and walked away.
Howl walked inside holding Calcifer in his small, pale hands. His dark hair had been cut short recently by a stupid barber who found it disgusting that he had such long hair. It was styled stupidly but it was the only way to make himself look presentable at least. His clothes were in pristine shape so he couldn't look like a ruffled up dog with his hair sticking up everywhere. He sighed when he looked into the mirror before walking to his big bed, flopping down onto it.
"When I'm older I'm going to get a bed as big as this one." He breathed closing his eyes in happiness.
Calcifer looked at the young boy with slightly sad eyes, the boy was so vain it was no good for him although nothing could change his thoughts on it. "Why don't you go get some air Howl, see the city in the daylight. We can go back at night if you want." He suggested, telling the boy to go off on his own. The lazy apprentice sat idly on the bed, kicking his feet back and forth before hopping up.
"I guess you're right Calcifer, I'll find us some dinner I guess. I am starved." He muttered out, rubbing his eyes before walking out of the room calling a goodbye to his friend.
The raven haired boy walked along the roads to the market place, his dark eyes glanced around the city in amazement. Everything was so beautiful and the types of magic people showed off was outstanding in so many ways. Women grew plants in the blink of an eye for their meals, men casted enchantments on objects so they'd do their bidding and so much more. He was amazed and the sight gave him the high to want to learn his magic from the Queen better than any other.
He continued along until he found the market. Not many were there, a good amount so that shoulders weren't bumped easily. As he picked out some potatoes he noticed a young girl with a blank expression on her face as she talked to a boy. He noticed how beautiful she was, he plain face held dark green eyes were colored darkly around the edges and her ruby red lips were obviously painted on. He could tell if the makeup was wiped away from her face she'd be much more pretty but it seemed not much was on her face anyway. Her hair was long and done up simply but seemed to have been pulled down from something eccentric.
He was pulled by her beauty in an instance. He noticed another fact. The ugly boy in front of her began to advance on the young beauty and her eyes widened just a tad, but enough for him to notice the fright in her eyes. He quickly marched over to the two with the potato still in hand.
"Hey princess, look what I found!" He called to her, pushing the boy out of the way. She looked over to him with her dark green eyes looking to him widened, the fear more noticeable up close.
She raised an eyebrow at him looking into his eyes noticing the small clue he was giving her and then to his hand. "A… potato?" She asked, unamused by what he had brought. As if the two were old friends in a sense.
"Not just any potato, the best potato! It'll be great in the stew for your mother tonight." He said with an award winning smile.
She still looked unamused, but before she could say another thing the ugly boy quickly stood from where he fell and pointed a shaky finger at Howl. "And who do you think you are?" He asked in a huff not appreciating being pushed over by the boy.
"I'm her boyfriend." He said. The girl scoffed as he put an arm around her shoulders, crossing her arms over her chest though she didn't say anything.
"Doesn't look like it." He scoffed, although he could see it. They were both beautiful people and seemed like total opposites, he just didn't want all his flirting to go to waste.
"How so? You don't seem too sure yourself in the fact. We just had a bit of a tuff but it'll be fine." He smiled again, holding her closer to himself. "She got all flustered because I tried to kiss her." He whispered to him and the girl had enough.
"Let's go." She said annoyed, grabbing the lapel of his shirt and pulled him away from the ugly boy. They turned down a few streets and stopped in an alley. "Thanks but I could've handled it myself."
"It didn't seem like that from where I stood." He said pointing his hand out to her which still held the vegetable in it.
"Don't worry about it, it happens all the time." She huffed seemingly annoyed. "Somehow boys see me as beautiful for my money and pursue me. I turn them all down." She looked up to him and narrowed her eyes. "Even you, pretty boy."
"Well princess, one day I'll capture your heart just as you've taken mine. Not for your money but because of yourbeauty. I'll build you a castle and I'll come back once more." He called to her retreating back, he sighed softly.
Walking along the market he found the man whom he'd stolen the potato from on accident. "What an honest young boy, I thought I'd never get my money for that." The old man laughed, his stomach jumping up and down with his jolly tones.
"Ah well, I still need some food for dinner." He said grabbing a few more things as he looked around. "Say, who is that girl who was being pursued by that ugly boy?" He asked handing the vegetables and slab of meat to the man so he could total it.
"That's Ophelia, her father is the High Priest of this island. They're very rich so all of his daughters get chased after by the boys of the island. Their parents explained to them what they are, what they could become and greed takes over the boys. Her two other sisters both date and dump but she rejects all that come crawling her way. She is the black sheep of her family." He told him the total quickly so they could continue. Howl nodded absently as he scrounged his pockets for his payment. Finding the right amount, he set the money into the old, wrinkled hand.
"Well, I understand now. It seems she doesn't take to commitment very well because of the greed in the hearts of those ugly boys." He mused, placing his thumb and fore finger onto his chin in thought.
"Yes, her father is one of the best sorcerer's in the land and has been called to the court in Kingsbury. They should be moving soon." The old man explained with a small, sad smile. "She's a good kid, just uninteresting in the eyes of her family so she makes herself into it."
The two said their thanks to each other before Howl made his way back to his room where Calcifer waited patiently for him, asleep. Howl closed the door and turned on the fireplace in the room. Producing a pan form thin air into his hand he placed the meat onto it cooking it. Calcifer was awakened by the smell of meat and looked at the raven haired boy.
"What took you so long?" Calcifer asked, yawning in the process as he raised up from the oil.
"I saved a girl from being molested by some ugly thirteen-year-old boy." He muttered with a smile, turning to look at the fire demon.
Calcifer raised an eyebrow at the teen and quickly laughed. "Oh man, kid you better not have fallen for her." He laughed some more before looking back at him, his laughs turning into nervous chuckles. "Howl, you didn't-"
"She was so beautiful Calcifer! You should have seen her! I can't believe she's even real, she looks like a princess from a fairy tale but she's so cold and indifferent to everything."
"Howl, you know what happens when a boy falls in love?" Calcifer asked quietly looking at the happy boy.
"What?!" He exclaimed jumping to him.
"HIS FOOD BURNS!" He yelled as the smell of burnt meat came from the fire place and Howl quickly jumped over to it trying to save their dinner.
Calcifer sighed watching the boy as he tried to blow out the flames. 'The boy who has no heart falls in love with the girl who has no love to give.' He remembered the words Madam Suliman had told him to be careful for when they were in Kingsbury. 'It may break his heart, his spirit, if he has no will to go on where will you be when she hurts him.'
Hey guys, thanks for reading! I appreciate feedback a great deal! This is my first fanfiction for Ghibli movies and I'm not entirely sure how this whole story is going to work out but I have the first five chapters planned out.