A Castle of Beautiful Rubbish
Years had passed since Howl had seen the fair woman who had stolen his heart. Well, not literally, that was Calcifer. It seemed to him everyone somehow had a piece of him except himself. He had no clue where she was other than Kingsbury (most likely), her first name was Ophelia and with that he took on to searching the city.
Three days of searching and he found the girl who had grown up from the fourteen-year-old he met previously. "Princess!" He shouted, jumping up from where he stood to race towards her with a big goofy grin on his face. The girl suddenly tensed more then she had previously, her head turned slightly to look back at him over her shoulder with a bit of worry in her eyes, he noticed that her hair had grown out so that bangs could cover up her eyebrows.
"Who are you?" She asked looking at the tall nineteen-year-old, his blonde hair was unfamiliar to her yet the smile and glint in his eyes reminded her of someone, unsure of who though. His smile faltered a bit but remembered how he had dyed his hair one night after that beautiful woman told him he'd be much prettier with light hair.
"Oh it's me, Howl! Remember. I saved you from that boy who tried to pull moves on you on the Isle." He exclaimed, her eyes widened slightly.
"Oh, I thought I'd never see you again." She managed to say after clearing her throat. She turned around to look at him with a blank face. "How'd you find me?" She asked quietly, looking to her feet.
"Oh well, back on the Isle a man told me about how you were moving to Kingsbury because of your… dad or something? Whatever… anyway, I thought after I made that castle I told you about you'd fall in love with me and we could run away together!" He said in excitement, his eyes so full of hope.
"No." She stated blankly, picking up her bag to pull over her shoulder and quickly turned away from him annoyed by his perusal. Howl stood stunned but quickly caught up with her again.
"How do you know my name?" She asked shocked, she had never uttered the words to him.
"The old man in the other market told me." He told her happily. "And I have remembered it for all these years." He laughed, although she did not seem too amused.
"How strange." She muttered but then continued on her way, pushing her blonde hair back up into a high ponytail, curls springing from the knot.
"That you don't seem like the other boys." She replied looking at him a bit fascinated by his actions, not him.
"Well, I do try. Although your wealth holds no value to me, only you." He whispered, grasping her thin hand trying to kiss it though she quickly pulled it away. He only kissed air.
"No." She stated harshly.
"Well, would you at least allow me to show you the castle I promised?" He asked.
"Will it make you go away?" She asked, tiredly, rolling her eyes at him.
"Of course, with you a long side me in the world we call our own!" Howl exclaimed taking her wrist and pulling her towards the fields of Kingsbury. She sighed as he tugged her along to see this 'castle' of his, not sure what to expect she allowed herself to be pulled.
"Oph, dearest. Where are you going?" One of her snobbish sisters, Anastasia, asked while she ran past the girl with her newest piece of flesh by her side. "And what are you doing with a boy?" She asked, her voice darting ever high in jealousy that her boy was nothing compared to the wizard.
"Oh, we are off to the fields to where we shall kiss until sunset!" Howl shouted to her sister and then quickly took hold of Ophelia's waist. "Now, I learned this awhile back but you have to trust me." He whispered in her ear and then it seemed the ground beneath her feet had gone missing. Looking down she noticed how the ground seemed to move away as she soared higher and higher, her sister looking up in amazement and then anger.
"Oh, brother. I'm dead meat now." She sighed, then looked over to Howl who looked at her happily.
"Why's that?" He asked.
"Well it seemed she took a liking to you." Ophelia responded her voice monotone, while her eyes didn't hold any emotion as if none of this seemed to faze her.
"Yes, it seems so. Years ago you said the boys could not keep away from you, but it seems since I've become such a great wizard none of the girls can keep their hands off me." He looked back at her for a moment. "Well, except you of course. Although I still like you far more than any of those psychos."
"That's nice to hear." She said sarcastically as Howl took her down to the ground once more, it seemed they were in the middle of the forest right outside of the fields. Howl grasped her shoulders than covered her eyes saying something about surprises.
The two walked a bit more but then stopped when they were standing outside of the castle. "Alright, three, two, one." He pulled his hands away from her eyes and awaited praise.
Ophelia stared at the castle in astonishment, in four years he had truly created a castle fit for, well, himself. It was entirely beautiful although it was nowhere near a real castle. Though the problem was she would never admit these thoughts to the ego of Howl.
"It looks like rubbish." She stated, hearing the deflated noises of Howl behind her. "Maybe in time I'll come to like it but for now I must be off. I must deal with my…" She sighed before turning around and walking away. "sister. Well Howl, maybe we'll come to see each other again, but I doubt it." She called and quickly hopped away into the forest and back home.
Howl watched the girl with sad eyes as he entered the castle, depressed from her words. "Another day of no luck." Calcifer greeted when he walked in.
"No I found her, though she seems less fond of me then when we had first met." He said, heaving a large breath and leaning back in the large arm chair that sat in front of the fire. The castle was very clean and not much was inside of it since it had been recently built.
"That's too bad, buddy. Maybe she was just saying things to keep you away." Nothing seemed to help his mood, Calcifer sighed. "How about I make you a hot bath and we rest here for the night." He asked, Howl nodded lightly and walked upstairs without a word.
Ophelia had made it back home where her sister waited, her bright yellow shoe hitting the floor beneath her while she clumsily tried to stand from the weight of her big blue dress that held no matching with her shoes.
"What were you doing with that boy?" She asked annoyed, surprisingly it seemed she hadn't told her best friend and their sister, Marge, about what had happened yet.
"He wanted to show me his castle." Ophelia stated simply trying to walk past her. She was caught though with ease as he sister blocked the doorway.
"What's that supposed to mean, is that a type of kiss or something inappropriate?" She asked in a huff as Ophelia looked at her shocked.
"What? Why would I be doing that? And anyway I meant a real castle, well his castle. His name is Howl; you may have heard of him." Ophelia stated looking thoughtfully around the room.
"Ophelia you idiot, everyone has heard of Howl and his moving castle. Oh it makes much more sense, but why would he take interest in a worm like you?" She asked, looking distastefully at the girl in front of her. She stood in a dark blue dress and had tired eyes. "It seems his eyes have been cursed by a witch. He must be seen to find the most ugliest girls beautiful and women like me ugly."
"Aren't you already?" Ophelia muttered under her breath.
Anastasia turned red in anger as she looked down at her sister. "What was that?"
"Nothing. I'm off to bed, see you in the morning sister dearest." She replied dodging her sister's grabs and walking off into the King's castle to her family's quarters where her bed was waiting for her.