A New Arrangement
Chapter One

China, grounds of Long Xing Academy, September 3, 2020.

"Look out!" shouts Song Mei Xian.

The Fireball's tail whips out from the canopy, and Bai Yu Lian veers upwards, the tips of her sneakers grazing the Chinese Fireball's scarlet scales.

"I always look out!" Yu Lian shouts back. She turns sharply, enjoying the wind whipping around her, the clean air of the jade forest. She's never felt as comfortable in herself as when she's on a broomstick. She grins back at Mei Xian, then scans the trees in confusion. "Mei Xian! Where -"

A squeak jumps from her throat as a huge burst of flames shoot towards her. Yu Lian shoots with full force to the right, heat rippling the air behind her and threatening to scorch the straw off her Thunderbolt 20. With no time to spare on balance, the broom spirals and she holds on for life as sky and forest spin around her. Air slices at her clothes and skin as the contrast of hot and cold rips at her outline. "Mei Xian!" she calls again, once the heat fades behind her. With a slam of wings, Da Huo rises up behind her. Her ears burn with the screech he emits in her direction.

"Easy," she says. She slowly edges her broom in his direction. "It's just me, Da Huo. Your friend Bai Yu Lian? I don't want to take your eggs -"

She dodges a burst of ash as Da Huo huffs.

"See? Friend."

He narrows gold eyes at her, slowly flapping his great wings to stay afloat.

"Do you know where Mei Xian went?"

Da Huo snorts a stream of golden embers. Several meters away, Yu Lian feels the heat on her cheek. Da Huo sniffs at the air, then dives back into the canopy, the rush of his body whipping dextrously to avoid the branches. Guess he wants to get back to his wife, thinks Yu Lian, realizing she should probably be quieter. Mrs. Da Huo is much less compassionate towards students who wander near her territory - a fourth year boy is still in the hospital ward a week after a careless quidditch practice, and Doctor Shu's strict manner intimidates Yu Lian even more than the Fireball couple's wrath.

"I can't believe you." Mei Xian's voice emerges from the branches below her. She rises from the trees until she's back beside her friend. "Asking a dragon for help? Honestly?"

Yu Lian shrugs with an attempt at nonchalance. "Well, they're supposed to be smart..."

"They also eat humans."


"I'll never understand how someone so shy can be so reckless as soon as you put her on a broomstick."


"Just take it as a compliment."Mei Xian smiles thinly. "We should get out of here though."


Yu Lian stretches her arms above her head, prompting pops from her joints and a wry look from her friend.

"Don't fall."

"I won't."

An animal noise shakes the air and Yu Lian startles, broom swaying wildly until she reaches down to steady herself - just in time to barrel out of the way as two enormous dark shapes split the sky, bursting from the trees with a wild snap of branches. As the couple rockets past, dark wings pulsing against the blue of sky, Yu Lian spots gold flicker in the larger creature's claws.

"She took her eggs."

"Come on." Mei Xian's voice is tight, compressing her words into clipped syllables. "If something scared the dragons, we really need to get out of here."

Something is really wrong, for her to move her eggs. Mrs. Da Huo would never risk -

"Bai Yu Lian! We need to go!"

"I know, but -"

"We don't have time for but!"

"Mei Xian!" her voice is struck through with panic. Mei Xian pauses her broom in the air, but she doesn't look back. "We can't go there," says Bai Yu Lian. "We can't go back to the school.

"We have to, Yu Lian."

"But the thing the dragons are fleeing from, it's in that direction."

She catches up to her friend and squints through smudges glasses in the direction of the castle.

And, very slowly, a white mist creeps over the school.

A Note from the Author: Hello, thank you for reading my story. If you are interested in this fanfiction, please let me know in a review, and I will write more. The second-generation cast of characters (Scorpius, Albus Severus) will appear in future chapters. I have not yet planned out which pairings will appear in this story, but there is likely to be slash and femmeslash as well as het pairings.

And just in case anyone is curious, and since the writing program I'm using wouldn't let me put tone marks, the Chinese characters used are:
Long Xing - 龙星 - Dragon Star
Bai Yu Lian - 白玉莲 - White Jade Lotus
Song Mei Xian - 松美安 - Pine Beautiful Peace
Da Huo Xian - 大火先 - Mister Great Fire
Da Huo Taitai - 大火太太 - Mrs. Great Fire
Shu Daifu - 书大夫 - Doctor Book (a common surname)
(I also welcome feedback on my Mandarin because I've only been learning for a few months so my knowledge is pretty limited)