(PART ONE) Dragon Post
This is the sequel to my first story, Harry Potter and the Mirror's Gift, which I have also released on fanfiction.net. It is basically about an exchange programme Harry, Ron and Hermione had in a wizarding school in China. You might like to read Mirror's Gift first, if you haven't already, as some of the characters who appear in this story were introduced there. ~ Kim
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ HARRY POTTER AND THE JADE DRAGON. PART ONE. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I had a visitor tonight With tidings from a distant land. Those far-off shores are calling me; Should I respond? Or stay my hand?
It was a still and quiet night in early August. Harry Potter turned around in his bed, and tried to go to sleep. He had just managed to doze off, and was dreaming he was zooming around on his Firebolt, for some reason with Professor Severus Snape in hot pursuit of him, when a sharp tapping at his bedroom window jerked him awake again.
He sat up, half-asleep, and looked at the window. Instead of the owl he'd expected to see, there, peering at him through the glass was the strangest little creature. It had a slim, scaly, snakelike body, that glittered silver in the moonlight, and a wedge-shaped head with two gleaming eyes. It looked, in fact, exactly like a miniature dragon.
Harry, now wide awake, got out of bed and went over to the window. He looked out cautiously, to determine whether the creature was friendly or not. Tied to its back was a letter, and what looked like two rolls of parchment, one smaller than the other.
Harry opened the window, and the dragon flew in and landed on the bed. Turning its head, it opened its jaws and blew a small tendril of flame at the string tying the bundle to its back, so that the string broke and the letter and parchment fell onto the bed. Then, with a pleased chirp, it flew over to Aunt Petunia's discarded dressing-table nearby and landed on it, and then sat there, gazing into the cracked mirror and admiring itself.
Hedwig, Harry's snowy owl, had been sitting nearby watching all the while, and gave a rather sarcastic hoot. Harry went over to the bed and quickly unrolled the bigger piece of parchment. He was unable to read it; it was covered with Chinese characters, executed in beautiful, flowing brush-strokes. He unrolled the smaller parchment. It, too, was covered with Chinese characters, but there was also a horizontal line drawn at the bottom that looked as if one might place a signature there. He then opened the letter, which turned out to be in English.
-----------TIAN-LONG ACADEMY OF THE MAGICAL ARTS------------------
Dear Mr Potter,
This letter is the English translation of the notice in Chinese which you have just received. We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to participate in an exchange programme between Tian-Long Academy of the Magical Arts, in Long-Shan, China, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The programme will be carried out over a period of four months, with students from Hogwarts attending classes at Tian-Long from October - November, and students from Tian-Long attending Hogwarts during the period December - January.
The classes you will be attending at Tian-Long include :
Basic Chinese Divination Chinese Potions Care of Magical Creatures of China Protection Against the Black Way
As all the necessary spellbooks will be provided, you are not required to purchase any. However, you will need to bring the equipment you are currently using for your Potions classes at Hogwarts.
If you are interested in taking part in the programme, please sign the acceptance form (smaller roll of parchment) and return it to us. We await your dragon no later than 20 August.
Lady Hsu Wen-Li, Headmistress
Harry read through the letter twice, trying to get over his surprise. An exchange programme in China! He'd never imagined such a thing was possible. China seemed far away, on the other side of the world. Would he have to learn Chinese? What would the students there be like? Who else from Hogwarts would be going?
At this moment, two owls soared in through the open bedroom window. One was a minute, fluffy, grey one, which Harry recognised as Pigwidgeon, Ron Weasley's owl. The other was a tawny owl, bearing two letters, one with the Hogwarts crest on it. Harry opened the Hogwarts letter first.
----------HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY-------------------
Dear Mr Potter,
Please note that the new school year will begin on September the first. Attached is the usual list of books and equipment that you will require this year.
You have also been selected to participate in an exchange programme between our school and Tian-Long Academy of the Magical Arts, in Long-Shan, China. As the Chinese Magical Community has been isolated from the outside world for many years, we are hoping that this exchange will be able to contribute in some small way to the gradual opening up of its borders. You are therefore strongly encouraged to take part. Please note, however, that this will not exempt you from completing the usual coursework at Hogwarts. You will be given extra classes during the course of the year, and are expected to spend some of your time in China completing assignments which will be handed out to you.
If you wish to participate in the programme, kindly sign the acceptance form which Tian-Long Academy will be sending to you.
Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress
Harry opened the second letter which the tawny owl had brought. It was from Jeanne, who was assistant to Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwarts.
Remus and I send you our regards. This is a quick note because things are quite busy at the moment. How have your holidays been? I hope everything is going well with you.
You must have read Professor McGonagall's letter by now. I hope you'll take part in the exchange programme. To encourage you to attend, I thought I'd let you know that Hermione and Ron have also been selected. I may be going as well, tell you more about it when school starts.
love from Jeanne
Finally, Harry opened Pigwidgeon's letter, which of course was from Ron. It looked as if it had been scribbled in a hurry.
Exciting news, this small dragon just popped into the living room and gave Mum a fright. Seems that Hogwarts is having an exchange programme with a wizarding school in China and I've been selected to attend. Sounds interesting, doesn't it? I've decided to go. I really hope you're going too. Am writing to Hermione as well, I guess she should have been selected, she did so well in the exams last year.
I'll be getting the usual school stuff in London the week before term starts, shall we meet up then? Send a reply with Pig as soon as you can.
Harry laid all the letters and the rolls of parchment before him on the bed, and looked at them. Then, he did the only thing he felt he could possibly do : taking his quill and ink, he signed the acceptance form, and tied it to the little dragon's back. He then brought the dragon to the window (with some difficulty, because it seemed to want to continue gazing raptly at itself in the mirror) and threw it out. He stood at the window, watching it as it flew off, high into the night sky, and eventually disappeared.