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Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 11 Summary

In Which Howl Goes to a Strange Country in Search of a Spell

  • The nothingness on the other side of the black knob is only an inch thick.
  • Once they pass through this veil, they find themselves in a rainy neighborhood of new houses.
  • All signs point to this being an ordinary neighborhood in Wales in our world.
  • Howl disguises their clothes to blend in and leads them into a yellow brick house.
  • A little girl throws herself at Howl, calling him "Uncle Howell" (11.8).
  • Howl introduces Sophie and Michael to his sister, Megan Parry, and his little niece Mari.
  • Megan is not exactly friendly to Howl—clearly there's a lot of tension between them—but she does agree that Neil did recently lose a homework assignment, now that Howl mentions it.
  • Howl goes to his nephew Neil's room.
  • Yep, that spell is actually Neil's homework assignment from his English teacher, Miss Angorian.
  • All he found was a sheet full of funny writing, which Neil gave to Miss Angorian to show he tried to do his assignment.
  • Howl decides to go see Miss Angorian.
  • But first Howl's sister starts laying into him about what a waste of space he is. (This family stuff gets pretty ugly, actually—family drama is the worst.)
  • Howl drives Sophie and Michael over to see Miss Angorian.
  • She's young and pretty, and Sophie fears that Howl has pretty much immediately forgotten about Lettie at the sight of her.
  • Howl asks about Neil's sheet of funny writing.
  • Miss Angorian hands it to him: it's a spell for making things bigger.
  • The weird thing is, Miss Angorian recognizes it as a spell.
  • Howl swears that he's just using it for academic research… and he also asks if Miss Angorian wants to grab some dinner that night. (Nod nod, wink wink.)
  • She says no very stiffly: she's still engaged to Ben Sullivan, even if he has disappeared.
  • Miss Angorian reads out the second verse of John Donne's "Song" since Howl asked, and when she does, Howl goes deathly pale and says that they have to go.
  • It turns out that the Witch of the Waste's curse has caught up with Howl at last.
  • On Midsummer's Day, when he's ten thousand days old, the Witch is going to get him.

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