When the man began to pry off pieces of its skull, exposing its brain to the fierce fingers of the wind, the house began to reconsider its choices. Perhaps it had been hasty with the water torture. Perhaps it should not have caused two floods in one day. The house wanted time to think, but thinking is difficult when one's brain is being tugged into the darkening sky.
The man wasn't completely responsible for the lost brains; the house had enough wits to admit that. It was the blasted weather, conspiring against both of them. As the man struggled for purchase on the top of its head, banging and prying and maybe swearing softly when he pounded his thumb between hammer and nail, the house collected its thoughts.
There was the black thing, firmly attached now. The black thing that had looked at the house with such cold disdain. The black thing that was connected to the house's heart and had belched its fiery breath into that heart. The black thing that the man and his family had stood around, smiling and holding chilled hands out to it. What if the black thing was not as treacherous as it had once seemed?
What if the man were not as evil as the house had once thought him to be? The house recalled (wispily) the thorny bushes the man had removed from its breast. The grass and trees the man had pruned and tended. The new exterior the man had laid. The stonework and the addition and the porches and the patio and the paint and the trimwork. What if the man was not seeking to hurt the house, but to help it?
As the house watched, a gust of wind caught the man and he wheeled his arms to find balance. He began to slide off the house. His shoes were old and slippery and his fingers scrabbled for purchase, but the man kept sliding. The house heard him grunt. The house felt the dread in his heart.
And the house moved. It had never moved before, but it moved for this man. It put a chimney in his path and the man grabbed it, his rough fingers like silk on the raw red brick. The house felt the man sigh and it knew then that the battle was over.
The house shivered and let the wind do what it would; the man would protect it from harm and likely make it better when he was done.