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17 February 2012 @ 01:29 am
Fan Fiction Final Draft & Reflection  

Title: Re-encountering Haku the Dragon
Author: pinguina_0827
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Chihiro, Haku, Chihiro's mother, Lin, Yubaba, Zeniba, Boh, Mika, Mamoru,
Summary: During Chihiro's time in the Spirit World, she developed a deep friendship with Haku, a white dragon who was an apprentice of a witch called Yubaba, who owned a bathhouse. Haku promised to meet Chihiro in the future but had not appeared at all for 7 years. Chihiro decided to forget Haku and go to college. 
Disclaimer: All rights are to Hayao Miyazaki, who is the creator of the movie.

Link to the post on another community: http://spiritedxaway.livejournal.com/84518.html


Chapter 1
"Congratulations for getting into University of Tokyo! Your dad and I are very proud of you Chihiro!" Mom grabbed Chihiro and held her tightly.
          "Thanks mom!"
"It is the best school in the Japan! I mean... what can you possibly wish for other than this?"
Chihiro nodded with a bitter smile. She knew that she would gladly give up college if only she knew where Haku was right now. During her journey in the spirit world, Haku protected her from the malice of Yubaba, a witch who owned a bathhouse in the spirit world. Although Haku was an apprentice for Yubaba and was responsible for stealing magics from others, Haku had a strong sense of justice deep in his heart. He risked his life to help Chihiro find a job so that she would not turn into pig like her parents; he gave medicine to Chihiro to prevent her from becoming transparent; he flew to Zeniba’s house to take Chihiro home (Zeniba was Yubaba’s sister.) Before she returned to the real world, Haku had promised her to meet her in the future. But for so many years, Chihiro had to live without any knowledge of his whereabouts. It’s been so long Haku, Chihiro mumbles, where are you?
"Haku? Who's Haku?" Mom looked confused.
“Oh.. Ummm.. that’s my friend from high school. I forgot to ask which college he is going.” “Ok. Well don’t forget dinner with your grandparents to celebrate your acceptance into college.” Mom shut the door behind her.
 
            Like usual, even the most random conversation could bring Haku into Chihiro's memory, and every time that happened, it would take days for her to suppress the memory and longing. Let me read a book so I don’t think about him, Chihiro thought. She mindlessly picked out a book from her bookshelf and lied down in her bed. The book was covered with a thick layer of dust. The cover was engraved The Myth of the Spirit World and the White Dragon. She flipped opened the book and saw the pages, yellow with age.  Immediately tears swelled up in her eyes. For so many years she had been tirelessly searching online and reading books about the spirit world that she was once in so that she could find ways to rescue Haku from Yubaba’s hands. But it was always fruitless. She became despaired and believed that humans seemed to largely remain oblivious about this mysterious world, until one day she encountered this book at a flea market. She burst into joyful tears and believed that the book would clear the mystery and lead her back to Haku.  She rushed to her new home where she eagerly started reading. In the book it reported some instances in which people witnessed a white, long and wavy object flying in the sky and many of the witnesses speculated that the object resembled a dragon. Chihiro never saw any dragon around her neighborhood, neither did anyone she knew. She slowly drifted back to her depressed mode. Nor did her subconscious give her a break. She always had dreams about the unforgettable ride on Haku on the way back to Yubaba during which she realized Haku was the spirit of the Kohaku River and thus his name was Kohaku River. In those dreams she never wished to wake up. Occasionally she dreamed about the time when Haku was seriously injured from the malicious pursuit of paper birds. At those times she always woke up with a cold sweat. Is this a sign that Haku is being tortured by Yubaba? Is he still alive? Did he forget about me? What can I do to get him back…
Chihiro was walking on the meadow; there were rocks here and there. The grass was so soft they made a green wave that gently patted the rocks when the breeze blew. It hadn’t been raining, Chihiro thought, or the meadow would be covered by water! She walked to the other side of the hill and saw the food stores and, at the end, the bathhouse “Chihiro!” A voice called from the back, That is Haku’s voice! Chihiro’s heart almost stopped beating. She turned around and found nothing. “Haku! Is that you? Haku! Please come out!” “Chihiro help!” “Where are you?!” “The bathhouse. I am dying!” Chihiro rushed into the bathhouse and saw Haku lying next to the welcome desk with other people circling him and sobbing. “Haku!!” Chihiro pushed people aside and made her way into the circle. “Please.. Please don’t die…” It was then Haku’s body became thousands of pieces of scale. In the end, there was only a pile of scale on the ground. Chihiro cried hysterically, “ Haku!!”……
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!” Chihiro jumped up from her bed with sweat as big as bullets on her forehead. She gulped for air and put her hand on her fast-beating heart. I really should stop investing my energy on this, Chihiro thought, maybe the whole adventure was just a dream. Perhaps Haku never existed. Let’s from now on focus on your study and get ready for college Chihiro! If you allow your mind wander like this, you are bound to get behind! Alright it is decided! Gan batte!
Days went by very fast. Summer was coming to its end. Chihiro had a relaxing summer with her family and friends though she occasionlly fantasized how the summer would be had Haku been with her. She did not allow herself to think about that too often because she had promised herself to forget about Haku and the time in the spirit world. It was just a dream, one that was filled with magic and love, Chihiro reminded herself from time to time. However, dreams about her ride on Haku never left. She knew her subconscious still missed Haku. She was glad that she was leaving for college so that the craving for Haku would soon be replaced with busy school work. She believed it, or at least wanted to believe it.
A few days before she left for school though, Chihiro told her mom that she was going to Nagoya for five days with her friends as a farewell trip. Her mother believed her and prepared bentos for her to eat on the train. Only Chihiro knew that she was not going to Nagoya, but the Spirit World once again to search for Haku. She knew she promised herself that Haku did not exist, but her longing for Haku had far exeeded her reasoning. She decided to look one last time. On that day she carefully put up her hair with the hair tie that Zeniba made. Zeniba said it would bring her good luck because it was made by all her friends. Immediately after Zeniba finished making it, Haku appeared in front of Zeniba’s house. Chihiro deeply believed that the rubber band would guide her way back to Haku! After saying goodbye to her parents, she headed intrepidly for the Spirit World.
She knew exactly where the tunnel that led to the Spirit World was. She had always come sit on the stone frog in front of the runnel after school to see if she could see Haku flying in the sky like the witnesses in the book. She never dared go through the tunnel because she was only a girl then and she was worried that if she couldn’t return to the real world, her parents would become childless. However, she was almost in college now. She felt like she should be regarded as an adult and be able to make her own decisions. So here she was. In the woods that led to the other world, there were small blocks of stones. Mom once told Chihiro that they were shrines where little spirits lived in. Chihiro never believed it until her parents were tuned into pigs and that she started working for the Yubaba’s bathhouse where spirits replenished themselves. Chihiro bowed slightly to them and continued to walk towards the tunnel. The tunnel looked the same as 7 years ago. It was a waiting room for trains. Lights were dim and Chihiro could almost feel some invisible spirits around her. But she knew it was only her fear. Spirits could not appear during the day. She shook her nervousness off and walked out of the tunnel. She was presented the green meadow and blue sky! Same as it was 7 years ago. Nothing has changed.. The sky was, unlike any other sky, deep turquoise. The clouds seemed so soft and thick that they looked almost like cotton balls. On the other side of the hill were the different food stores. Behind them was the entrance of the bathhouse on top of which Yubaba lived. Between the bathhouse and the stores, there was a red wooden bridge. That’s where Chihiro and Haku first met. Chihiro walked into the bathhouse, and saw Boh, son of Yubaba! He was no longer a giant baby who couldn’t stand on his own. Wearing a Yukata, Boh was standing behind the front desk, organizing bath tokens. As Boh finished with the tokens, he raised his head. He let out a gasp when he saw Chihiro. “Sen! Is that really you? Everyone! Come over here! Look who’s here!” Oh yeah! My name was changed to Sen last time I was here. That was so long ago! Everyone ran out to the front and saw Chihiro. They rushed up to her and formed a circle around. Here was Lin, the lovely yong woman who protected Chihiro during her adventure here! She hugged Chihiro and said: “Sen you are back! You were tremendously missed! We always talked about how you saved us from being devoured by No-Face!” Everyone else nodded in gratitude. Chihiro was so glad to see everyone again, but she reminded herself on time the purpose of her visit. She turned to Boh, who was now a very handsome lad. “Boh, is Haku still here?” As soon as the word Haku was mentioned, everyone quieted down. “Sen, Haku left the Spirit World 2 years ago. After you returned to the real world, mama made him her slave and exploited him. She told Haku it was a price that he had to pay for your freedom. Haku obeyed her and her commands until one time mama ordered Haku to kill Zeniba so she would have no rival in this world. Haku refused to execute the order and started a fight with her. Both mama and Haku were severely injured maybe because of her old age or because Haku had been learning magic from Zeniba.” Chihiro’s mind was blank; she did not know what to say or what to think. Haku fought Yubaba? Yubaba and Haku were injured? Haku learned magic from Zeniba? How could this be possible? Seeing that Chihiro was speechless, Boh continued, “Haku fled and mama died soon after from her injury. I know I was Yubaba’s son, but I was and am on Haku’s side. I think mama’s acts were all too cruel.”
There is too much information for me to absorb it all, thought Chihiro, but I need to ask Boh about Haku. “I am so sorry to hear this but Boh, do you know where Haku have fled to?” “Sorry Sen I wish I knew. Do anyone of you guys know?” Everyone shook their heads. The few days that followed, Chihiro stayed in the Spirit World. Everyone treated her very well. They gave her good food and promised that it wouldn't turn her into a piglet. Chihiro also got to visit Kamaji, the water boiler and Lin. However, neither of them was able to provide any information of where Haku was. Chihiro returned home a few days later. I have met the right person at the wrong time, Chihiro thought, maybe Haku is dead, maybe he already forgot about me or maybe he never thought that I was importatnt as I thought he was. It is time to let go.
On the day of departure for college, her parents held Chihiro tightly and made her say that she would come home whenever she had time. Chihiro was reminded of the last day before Chihiro returned to the real world when Haku held her hands tightly and promised to see her again.

Chapter 2
Time continued to fly without mercy. Chihiro was now almost done with her second year of college. And she was acing every class. She often chatted on the phone with her parents when her mother hinted that it was time to start searching for a person that would make her content. Every time this conversation started, Chihiro could not help think about Haku. Haku made Chihiro so happy, even though work in the bathhouse was suprisingly hard; he gave her strength and support when she was weak; he gave her food when she was hungry; he reminded her of her real name when it was taken away by Yubaba. She was so satisfied with Haku. But he was no longer with her. Her friends had also been looking searching for boyfriends for Chihiro, not that she lacked admirers. Many guys in her classes were attracted by Chihiro because of her brave, straightforward and caring personality. Chihiro, on the other hand, was not interested in any of them. She compared every one of them with Haku and became disappointed. After a while, Chihiro voiced her annoyance to her friends. However, her friends liked her too much to watch her stagnate on an imaginary person and wither. So they never quit hooking her up with guys, especially Chihiro's best friend, Mika. Just a few days ago, her friends told her that they had met a transfer student and that they thought he’d be a ultimate perfect fit for Chihiro. Chihiro told right up them no and that she would not get out of her dorm on that day. Her friends realized that they could not possibly drag her out once Chihiro said no. So they thought of another way to let these two people meet.
On that day, Chihiro, as she had promised, did not step out her room at all. By the end of the day, she was starving, and to make it worse, her Ramon noodles had run out! “What good fortune!” Chihiro said sarcastically. It's already 6 o'clock, Mika should be gone. let me get some food really quickly and come back.

            When Chihiro left the pizza place, the sky was already dark. There was not a soul on the street. On the way home, half of the street lamps were broken, and she could not see her surroundings well. Also it was the beginning of the lunar month, the moon only revealed herself by a pale outline, not to mention brightening up the earth.  Chihiro quickened her pace. After 15 minutes, she was around the corner from her dorm. Suddenly she felt strong arms wrap around her neck in a choke hold. She screamed and tried to escape from the hold. She tried her hardest and the arms did not budge. She felt like she was about to faint. It was then she heard from far away a man yell "What are you doing?!" in a voice that Chihiro swore she knew. Before she could think of whom the voice belonged to, the hold magically vanished. Chihiro heard the person that attacked her grunting as if he could not get enough air.  Chihiro turned around and saw him lying on the ground and holding his own throat with all his might. Why is he choking himself? As she was thinking, it seemed like the man was suddenly set free and he ran away wheezing for air. Chihiro was startled. Who is the person that saved me? Do I know him? Chihiro looked around to search for this man. He was standing behind her. When she saw him, her brain stopped thinking altogether. She felt as if the blood had stopped flowing; her heart was pounding hard as if it was going to explode. It is Hakiu! Chihiro's jaw almost fell to the ground. How could this be? Am I dreaming? What is going on?! Chihiro slapped herself and it hurt. I am not dreaming! Chihiro could manage to do nothing but to stare at  Haku. "Chihiro, I am back." Now her heart was beating even faster. She walked up to him and touched his face. It was warm and soft. Haku threw his arms around her and said "Sorry Chihiro, I have let you down." Tears rushed down freely on both people's faces.
             It must have been 20 minutes before either Haku or Chihiro could speak. "Boh told me that you fled from the Spirit World 2 years ago,"Chihiro said, " Where have you been after that?" "After my fight with Yubaba, I went to Zeniba to heal my wound. After I was fully recovered, I went out to the real world to search for you but I could not find you at all. I waited at the Kohaku River daily but I never saw anyone that resembled you." "Oh! I moved the first time I visited the Spirit World!" "Well that explains it." Their conversation went on for about an hour before Mika came with, surprisingly, the man who tried to assault Chihiro! "Mika! Why are you with this guy? He was trying to attack me!" "Chihiro I am so so so sorry for setting you up. This is actually my friend Mamoru from my Psychology class. I asked him to pretend to assault you and told Haku that you were waiting in front of your dorm so that Haku would witness the assault and "save" your life. We thought that maybe then you would fall in love with Haku. But... you guys knew each other?" 
  Chihiro and Haku looked into each others' eyes and smiled."Oh yeah!"


Reflection:
When I was first introduced to the fan fiction assignment, I felt really nervous and inadequate. I felt that I could not even write a traditional paper well, not to mention writing a fan fiction, which demands careful planning of characters and plots. I had no idea what to write about at all two days until the due day. I struggled to develop the story at the beginning, especially since there were so many directions I could go and they all sounded equally good.  After consulting my parents and other friends, I decided to let Chihiro and Haku reencounter each other in college. Now that I’ve written it, I have to admit that this assignment was very interesting because I had so much freedom in terms of writing the plot and describing the characters. It was also easier than a traditional argumentative essay. After this assignment, I had a much better impressions of fans and their fan fictions. I feel that fans are very similar to movie producers or book writers. They both write stories about imaginary characters. The mere difference is  the producers and the book writers have the original. My beta partner showered me with compliments. He said that I should continue to expand the story. I truly appreciated his comment but thought that if I completed the story then there would be no room for my audience to imagine. I believe that if I leave more questions and space, it will be more interesting and get more popularity.