Having to wait for Howl to escape from crowd of beautiful women didn't making Sophie too happy. She sat on one of the empty chairs near the door while Howl wasn't very successfully making his way to her and Michael was sweetly promising to visit Martha as soon as possible, which would likely be tomorrow. Having nothing else to do while she waited she began to talk to the bouquet now clutched in her hands.
"What lovely flowers you are, and to mark such a joyous occasion, you must be very proud."
As usual, there was no reply from the flowers, but Sophie had grown so accustomed to talking to things that she hardly noticed anymore.
"Perhaps someday I can have flowers as lovely as you at my wedding. I don't suppose you care to wait that long to make an appearance at mine do you? Well, there is no guarantee just how long you would have to wait. Howl still hasn't bothered proposing. He probably just assumes that I will go on living there always and that there is no need. Perhaps he is right; I don't think I could leave him, even only to make a point. And if I could then I certainly couldn't leave Michael, though Michael is nearly grown. He's already planning to marry Martha as soon as he turns eighteen, and he will be that in two months."
Again, the flowers didn't answer, but she could feel their sympathy for her and continued on with her rant. She found herself wishing the flowers could somehow make Howl ask her to marry him already. She was the eldest sister and already one of her younger sisters was married, and the other was soon to follow. She couldn't bring herself to be jealous of her sisters; she knew it had to be her luck as the eldest.
"And here I thought Iwas over the streak of bad luck in my life. I'm just so tired of waiting."Sophie finished on a sigh.
"Tired of waiting for what?" Howls curious voice chimed in.
She turned crimson, though not for talking to things this time, but rather from almost having him overhear this particular conversation. "Oh, nothing really, just that my seeds would hurry and grow into flowers as lovely as these." She said as her mind quickly searched for things that she could be waiting for.
He gave her a strange look at her hesitant answer. "Well, I can always make you a spell to make them grow faster if you are really that anxious for them."
"Perhaps that would be a good idea." Sophie replied thoughtfully.
"Once we manage to pry Michael from Martha's side are you ready to go home? Almost everyone else has left."
"Yes, of course. He might be more easily persuaded if you promised him time to see her tomorrow."
Howl chuckled as he made his way to his pupil. "Michael, it's time to go; Sophie is starting to talk to things again." As he turned to walk away he threw back over his shoulder, "Oh yeah, and she said to tell you that you could have time to see Martha tomorrow." With that he returned to Sophie's side.
As they began to walk the rather long trek home Howl pulled Sophie's arm into the crook of his, taking the bouquet from her hand to carry it for her. The three talked about the wedding all the way home, but Sophie couldn't shake the feeling that she had done something terribly wrong, but she refused to let that feeling ruin their walk. Walking was, after all, much more enjoyable now that she was young again and didn't need her walking stick. As she was so absorbed in getting to spend time with Howl, it took her the entire trip home to realize what the bad feeling was for.
"Sophie, would you walk with me in your flower garden for a bit? I need to talk to you." Howl quietly asked as Michael looked at Sophie then gave her a huge smile as he raced to his room.
Setting down the bouquet he grabbed her hand and led her back toward the door and turned the knob to purple-down. As he pulled her out the door she caught a last glance of the bouquet and it finally dawned on her what was wrong. It was very dangerous for her to talk to things now that she knew about the magic she possessed. Why did she have to tell the bouquet about her problem with Howls timing!?
"Howl, I don't think this is a good idea..." She managed to get out before the door closed behind them.
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