I just finished Howl’s Moving Castle and oh god guys I have so many feelings about this book
I could go on and on about how wise and funny and wonderful it is (and I might, at some point, but I’m sure people infinitely more eloquent than me have already shared their thoughts) but right now I need to talk about Sophie and Howl because HOW I LOVE THEM
Probably my ultimate weakness is those couples that you don’t see coming, the ones that sneak up on you. The problem with couples that are obviously endgame from the first is that (although there are some that are well written) the majority just end up being dull. When you know from the very first scene that two people are going to get together, there’s nothing to root for.
When it comes to my OTPs, I need to be caught off guard. I need to fall in love with them slowly, even as they fall in love with each other.
And that’s where I think Howl’s Moving Castle shines. I watched the movie before I read the book, so I knew how it ends, but I really do believe that anyone who hadn’t already seen the film could make it through at least half the book without thinking, well, Howl and Sophie are definitely endgame. Their relationship up till then is a thing of beauty in and of itself, even without the factor of romance.
And, oh, god. Don’t even get me started on the snark. I adore snarky couples in any and every permutation. I read them. I watch them. I write them. When I die, bury me in wryly sarcastic OTPs.
(Note that there is a world of difference between snarky and cruel. I do not need or want couples who are terrible to each other, but OTPs who bat conversation back and forth between them like a ping-pong ball, who keep each other on their toes - ah, they are my catnip and kryptonite. See also: Jeff/Annie, Merlin/Arthur)
Okay so i love supernatural and fantastical creatures so of course when i saw this prompt my eyes just lit up and i mean after the Halloween event. Reinhardt is perfect for this so i hope you all enjoy!
Also Witches while commonly used to refer to women, is also still used for men which is why i used it.
Edit: whoops! Didn’t realise that i hadn’t written milord after milady. Sorry everyone it’s fixed now!
You were a simple baker living in a small town a few miles from Eichenwalde, the destroyed city in Germany. You were one of the two bakers in town, you handled everything from simple bread to extravagant tarts. The other baker in town specialized in cakes, it was a good deal you had going on with you sending customers who wanted really special cakes to the other baker and the other baker doing the same for you.
There was no hate between the two of you or between you and anyone else that lived in the town. You’d been living there since you were born and had decided to stay when your parents moved away after you graduated. You had of course gone to a culinary arts school and had some training but you’d been welcomed back home afterwards.
You liked your home, it was quiet most days with you mostly getting ring in orders or the occasional couple coming in for a date. It was nice and just how you liked it.
When things are quiet, no one asks questions.
You were working in the kitchen when the bell from the door rang as the door opened and you cleaned your hands quickly
“Just a minute!” You called
“Take your time!” A loud booming voice called back and you quickly cleaned yourself off and took off your apron before moving to the front of the store to see…a very large, very tall man standing there. A big grin on his face.
You couldn’t help but be a little intimidated
“What can i help you with Sir?” you asked politely and he grinned
“Well i was pointed your way by a few people and i was wondering if i could buy a box of cupcakes, 8 cupcakes. I am treating my friends as we pass through” He told you and you let out a quiet hum but his next words made you pause “We are passing through to go to Eichenwalde”
“Eichenwalde you say? why on earth would you want to go there, nothing but ghosts left in that town” you told him, leaning forward on the counter. You should know. You’d banished some of them. You noticed his grin dropped and he looked serious
“A lot of Crusaders lost their lives there and i want to collect my Master’s armour and give him a proper burial” He said
It suddenly struck you that you’d seen this man before
“T-That’s…That’s very noble of you Reinhardt but, that place it’s, It’s full of dangerous spots and quite a few traps that the people of that town set up but were never triggered. It’s dangerous” You said trying to warn him off but he shook his head, looking firm.
“No, it is my duty” He said and you let out a quiet sigh, nodding
“Alright, well a box of 8 will cost you 10 dollars” You said and he paid you, you held up a finger before going into the store room and relaxing once you shut the door.
You had enchanted to room to keep the baked goods fresh since you baked the stuff you sold every day the night and morning before, you walked over to the shelf you had marked ‘With Luck’ and grabbed 8 cupcakes.
All of them enchanted and magical.
Reinhardt and his friends were going to need all the luck they could get to avoid the traps and do what they wanted to unharmed. You were just giving Lady Luck a boost and a prompt.
2 Vanilla, 2 Strawberry, 2 Chocolate and 2 Red Velvet.
They all had the same black base icing with golden swirls on the top so they weren’t anything fancy. Just your normal everyday magical cupcakes.
You walked back into the store front, shutting the door behind you before you put the cupcakes on the counter, grabbed a flat-pack box and quick assembled it before putting the cupcake holder in and put all the cupcakes inside. Shutting the box was easy and you showed Reinhardt how to open and close the box before giving it to him
“Thank you” He told you, his big grin back on his face and you smiled. Giving him a nod
“You are quite welcome Sir, thank you for all you did while with Overwatch and for all that your doing” you said, giving him a knowing wink. He just smiled and gently took your hand, pressing a sweet kiss to it causing your cheeks to redden
“It is an honour milady/milord" he said before he returned your hand to the counter and left the store, leaving a very flustered you behind the counter.
You watched him until he walked away from the windows of your store and then furiously fanned your face, flustered beyond belief as you walked back into the kitchen and grabbed yourself some water.
‘No the knight is off limits, he is probably here on Overwatch business and like he said, he’s just passing through’ you mentally scolded yourself and after you finished your drink. You went right back to work.
A few days later you were opening shop when a few of the older ladies hurried over to you, wanting to get out of the cold and you quickly ushered them all inside and turned the heater on.
Making them some warm tea-which they all thanked you for-you gave them all a slice of cake-magically enchanted to warm the person who ate it for a few minutes-like you always did and you listened to them as they got you up to speed with the most recent news while you set up shop.
A particular piece of news hitting your ears and making you almost drop the plate you were carrying
“Marge? Could you repeat what you said about Eichenwalde?” You asked politely as you set the display plate down and put a lemon tart down on it
“Oh of course dear. One of the Crusaders is asking for help restoring the place. He found out that Lord Balderich left the castle to any remaining crusaders in his will and he said that he wants to get his old home thriving again. Can’t you imagine it dear? We will get new people to talk to as they pass through. It’s going to be wonderful” Marge said happily and you let out a hum of agreement just to move the ladies along topic wise.
You were hiding your panic
You often went to Eichenwalde to grab ingredients and you couldn’t do that if there was people living there!
‘It will take months and people might not even want to move there, it’s fine. it’ll turn out okay’ you thought to yourself as you continued setting up shop. ‘At least i hope it will’
The rest of your morning went without incident thankfully, you were about to start eating lunch when the door opened and in walked Reinhardt.
Your thoughts flicked back to the hand kiss and you quickly shoved it down before you started to blush
“Hello again Reinhardt, what can i do for you?” you asked, your smile more real this time…even if there was a hint of shyness to it.
“I was wondering if you could sit and talk with me?” he asked and you furrowed your brow, looking confused before he laughed and quickly continued “I would like for you to make me something to bring with me to the council members when i meet with them to discuss bringing glory back to my home!”
“You mean you want me to make you something to soften them up?” you asked, a amused twinkle in your eyes and you laughed when he managed to look sheepish
“Yes” he answered, rubbing the back of his neck and you just giggled softly
“Do you want a tart, more cupcakes, biscuits, cookies or sweet bread?” You asked and he looked delighted that even with you guessing what he was planning to do, you still agreed
“Come Come, we shall sit and talk” He said gesturing to one of the tables and you smiled nodding.
The two of you spent most of the afternoon talking after Reinhardt and you both had some freshly made sandwiches, you had both agreed on a tart of the berry variety. Reinhardt was trusting your bakers instinct to take it from there and you were thankful for it.
You were bursting with ideas and thankfully Reinhardt had come to you a week early so you had plenty of time.
You looked down at your notes and smiled before looking up at the excited German man
“I will have a tart ready the morning of the meeting, thank you for trusting me with this Reinhardt” you said happily and he smiled at you, you pretended you couldn’t feel the blush on your cheeks
“You honour me by making it my dear” He said, pressing a kiss to your hand again. Your blush just getting worse as he stood up “I will see you soon?”
It should have been a statement but it sounded more like a question and you smiled, nodding
“I’ll see you soon” You agreed and he sent you a warm smile before leaving the store, you immediately ran into the kitchen to get started.
Rosaline found herself drifting between sleep and waking not long after checking the poultice on Benvolio’s abdomen. His back would need to be checked when the physician and apprentice returned, as she was unable to turn him on her own and unwilling to risk injuring him further. He’d been still for some time, the shallow rise and fall of his chest the only indication that he was in fact still alive. Shaking herself to stay awake, Rosaline took a moment to consider their relationship. So much had changed in the short time since they’d met; where she’d once hated the sight of him, she had since come to rely on his companionship. She’d been so sure of his ill character then, blinded by her hatred for his family’s name, that it had taken some persuading for her to see the goodness in his heart. If ever she’d attempted to apologize for her behavior, Benvolio had laughed, brushed it off, and reminded her that he’d been no better.
The lady was returned to the present when her betrothed began to moan softly. She looked up, checked his bandages once more, and realized that his discomfort was the result of an apparent nightmare. His distress quickly became more pronounced, and Rosaline stood quickly to tend to him. Her hand settled carefully on his bare chest (had his state not been so dire, such would certainly be inappropriate…and enticing in a way she was not yet used to associating with her betrothed), and she pressed down when he started to fight her restraint. “You are safe, dear Montague.” His pulse pounded wildly under her touch.
“Rosaline!” he pleaded, hand coming around her wrist as his steel blue eyes snapped open. Despite his weakness, his fingers were tight and he nearly succeeded in dislodging her. His gaze, full of fear and desperation that stole her breath away, searched the room frantically before meeting her own. In a beat, relief took over and his grip loosened. His hand slid down her wrist to cover her fingers, holding her hand against his chest as if to reassure himself she were real.
Ever felt like binge watching your favourite Jeff x Annie episodes but couldn’t remember what episode that specific shoulder hold/goggly eyed stare was from? Now you have a reference! All episodes featuring significant Jeff x Annie summed up in a few sentences. Under the cut.