Chapter 12: The Dueling Club
Note: Okay, you caught me Hyperbole! It was me who wrote A Letter to the Devoted Fans. By the way everyone should check out my latest fic endeavor , just click on my name up there. Harry will answer your questions!
The set up of all Creation will be seen next chapter! I promice!
The Americans will
always do the right thing... After they've exhausted all the alternatives.
Winston Churchill, Sir (1874-1965)
Gohan noted, not without some amusement mind you, that the whole of the Hufflepuff house was being swindled by the Slytherins and quite a few of the Ravenclaws. A roaring trade in all sorts of supposedly protective charms, amulets, and other trinkets was taking place between classes and before meals. He thought to tell a few of his classmates that the junk they were buying was just that, junk.
Then he saw that it was really to his benefit to keep quiet, or rather he was bribed by all of his roommates. It wasn't money, no one could just buy off Gohan Son like a minor ministry official. It was a three week cease fire from Keith, use of Geoffrey's Invisibility Cloak, tutoring in Charms from Clyde, and from Dayvn came the best bribe of all. Dayvn's parents had a small movable one-room cabin far from prying eyes of the world and they gave it to Dayvn to do as he wished with as a Good-Bye gift. Dayvn told Gohan that as long as Gohan would be careful with it, the Sayajin could use it over the weekends. This in Gohan's opinion was the best thing in the world and was what really caused Gohan to keep silent.
Gohan's life seemed to be going just fine, even if that cat was petrified.
====== + ====== + ====== + ====== + ======
Days passed into weeks and then as three weeks passed a flyer on the wall during lunch on Thursday gave Gohan and Keith the best chance in the world at reinstating the war. A dueling club was to be held on the very day the cease fire was to end. Both boys talked about it at dinner the day they saw the notice.
"Gohan, um, do you recall when our little truce comes to an end?" asked Keith as Gohan finished eating. Gohan smiled.
"Oh, yes. This Saturday as I recall. Why bring that up?" asked Gohan knowing just why it was asked. Keith realized that this was going to be a very Slytherin conversation and put on his mask of perfection and ease.
"Well, I'm sure you have seen the fuss that will be going on that day." Said Keith carelessly. Gohan took note of all the housemates watching them converse so methodically and shrewdly, it was a beloved diversion they all took part in at one time and watching first years play was very rare. Calmly, he seemed to think over it.
"Yes. The club, dueling, correct?" asked Gohan with a slight smile. The key was to ooze confidence and show little emotion. Just like before a real battle.
"Quite. I must confess, I am curious as to if you are attending." Said Keith with a faint nod of his head. Gohan rubbed his chin seeming to be in deep thought about this.
"I trust you know just who our instructor will be." Said Gohan. Keith paused a moment and then nodded.
"Yes, yes I do. Your favorite Defense professor. Will you attend still? I hope the club won't be too much of a tasking event for you and your wand." Said Keith with an air of superiority. Gohan snorted.
"As I recall the last time I cast a spell the trouble was that my wand didn't need the incantation to cast it properly. You still need to say the magic words." said Gohan taunting his nemesis. Keith's face flinched. He knew it was true, but to admit it would mean he would lose and that was one thing that Keith's pride or something would not allow to happen.
"Off topic now, aren't we?" said Keith winning back control with a very smooth and obvious move. Gohan sighed.
"Too true. Well, to answer the question, it will be no trouble at all for me, but it may be for you if this a practical club and you face me and my wand." Said Gohan with a devilish smirk. Keith had lost, but no knew exactly what was going to happen on Saturday, and so did every Slytherin who was listening. A real duel between two stubborn first years was something to remember.
====== + ====== + ======= + ====== + =======
Saturday came quick enough, Gohan had spent all his spare moments and his History of Magic classes as well learning various curses, jinxes, hexes, and charms. He absorbed the information like a sponge, and at night he would sneak out to the roof and practice them without words.
It was amazing, he and his wand had never gotten along better. It seemed the ivory was from a rather aggressive elephant, and the Veela. was just as aggressive. His wand loved it, the less he even thought about words the more his wand responded and the more power seemed to grow within him. Alesia and Aster both told him to rest as did the whole of the Weasley clan, but he couldn't. He just couldn't stop. It was like the feeling of going Super Sayajin without the emotions, it was like a drug.
At last it was time to test what he had learned and prove to Keith that a potions geek could throw a good hex with the best of them.
Gohan just made it to the Great Hall just in time. Everyone in his dorm kind of forgot to wake him from his nap after lunch, and thus he was lucky to make it in just by the skin of his teeth.
"Gather round, gather round! Can everyone see me? Can everyone hear me? Excellent!" called out the dumb blonde Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Gohan spotted Keith, talking to Draco, his mentor of sorts. Gohan caught the other boy's eye and looked pointedly at a dark corner that was close enough to the stage that was erected by Lockhart no doubt. Keith broke off his conversation and met Gohan there. Lockhart was giving his spiel. Both boys waited for their chance to fight.
". . . Myself have done on countless occasions- for full details, see my published works."
"Which he has conned us all into buying." Said Keith with a poisonous tone. Gohan laughed a bit at that.
"Let me introduce my assistant, Professor Snape," Lockhart flashed his million watt smile and Snape who was standing at the other end of the stage looked ready to kill the idiot, "He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about dueling himself and has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration before we begin."
"How much you want to bet that he was either tricked or lost a bet?" asked Gohan.
"No way. You know that he was or he wouldn't be there glaring at that fool." Said Keith with a slight smile.
"Now, I don't want any of you youngsters to worry- you'll still have your Potions master when I'm through with him, never fear!" quipped the oblivious Lockhart.
"Oh, look at that! I bet that not even the Gryffs have seen that dark of a look." Said Keith. Gohan laughed, it was very funny.
"Maybe Snape will finish him off for all of us, he knows all of the Slytherins loathe that idiot." Said Gohan hopefully.
"What about the witches? There are a fair number who would be after his head on a silver platter if they find so much as a hair out of place." Said Keith logically.
The two adults stood facing each other and bowed, sort of. Lockhart did a great deal of gestures and flourishes, Snape barely nodded his head. Both then raised their wands like swords before them.
"As you can see, we are holding our wands in the accepted combative position. On a count of three, we will cast our spells. Neither of us will be aiming to kill, of course." Said Lockhart with a great grin.
"Oh yeah. . ." said both boys at the same time. Both had their fingers crossed. Lockhart counted to three and Snape cast the first spell that launched Lockhart off of the stage and crashing into the wall near Gohan. As he fell to the floor Gohan noted with great disappointment that he was still alive. Some of his housemates cheered then sighed when he announced that he was just fine. The girls in the crowd came to his aide, helping him off the floor and giving him his wand.
"Well, there you have it! That was a Disarming Charm- as you see, I've lost my wand- ah, thank you, Miss Brown- yes, an excellent idea to show them that, Professor Snape, but if you don't mind my saying so, it was very obvious what you were about to do. If I had wanted to stop you it would have been only too easy- however, I felt it would be instructive to let them see. . ."
Gohan snickered at the look the head of Slytherin was giving the blonde. It was the most angry that he had ever seen his potions professor look, and Gohan was very glad he was not on the wrong end of it. Lockhart had obviously seen it and decided to shut up about the way he would have stopped the charm.
"Enough demonstrating! I'm going to come amongst you now and put you into pairs. Professor Snape, if you'd like to help me-" Keith and Gohan grinned at each other, both plotting to do awful things to each other.
"Ready?" asked Keith as Lockhart came over to them.
"Are you?" asked Gohan as Lockhart saw they were paired up and went to go pair up some of his more friendly students. Keith's wand let off a small silver flash. Gohan's responded with a small flash of a multitude of colors. Gohan and Keith took a few steps away from each other and waited for the start.
"Face your partners and bow!" called out Lockhart. The boys grinned, silently agreeing not to bow or follow any other silly rules, "Wands at the ready! When I count to three, cast your charms to disarm your opponents- ONLY to disarm them- we don't want any accidents- one, two, three-" At that instant Gohan just managed to dodge a spell cast by Keith only a second before.
"Oh, that was not fair!" yelled Gohan as he shot a leg-locker at Keith who dodged and flung another curse at Gohan. Gohan jumped up and created five spells of varying power at once. Keith was hit by the weakest one, and then he shrugged it off. "Now that is really not fair!" called out Gohan when Keith smirked at him.
"Who cares. Furnunculus!" Gohan jumped out of the way, and saw that it hit a Hufflepuff. He looked around, a lot of the curses were hitting other students and Lockhart was yelling for it all to stop.
"Finite Incantatem!" Thundered Snape, all the spells ended as a haze of green covered the crowd and Gohan watched as the other students picked each other up. Lockhart went around the crowd picking up students and tutting over the state that everyone was in. Gohan turned to Keith.
"We hit at least five others with our curses."
"We weren't aiming to kill. They're fine." Said Keith flippantly. Gohan growled.
"We promised Professor Snape that our war wouldn't hurt anyone else!" snapped Gohan. Gohan left the hall with one last glare at Keith. As soon as he left the hall, he closed his eyes, his head was pounding. 'I just need a nap.' Thought Gohan as he went back to the dungeons.
Gohan staggered back to the common room, or tried to at least. He noted as he descended the stairs that his vision was flickering between painfully sharp and horrendously blurry and that his stomach was doing flips. As he walked down the empty hallway his mind went blank and he felt as if his head was flying but his body was made of stone. As he felt his way to the part of the gray stone wall where the secret door was he closed his eyes just for a second. Or rather that's what he intended. Instead he hit the stone cracking his head against the cold hard floor.
====== + ====== + ====== + ====== + =======
"Huh?" Gohan tried to refocus his eyes in the bright white light that filled the room. He was on a slab of a bed covered in cotton sheets. His head was throbbing and he blinked, he was in the hospital wing and surrounded by very concerned faces. Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Aster, Alesia, and all of his roommates except Keith were there. Both of the girls looked not only worried but furious with him.
"Okay, dear, look at me in the eyes." Commanded Madame Pomfrey. Gohan did as she asked and she pointed a light in his eyes. She ordered him to do a few more things and sighed. "Well, a mild concussion, a bruised head, exhaustion, and serious drain on your magical reserves. Tell me how much have you been sleeping." Gohan blushed.
"A few hours last night, and not a whole lot for a little while." Admitted Gohan.
"Well, that would do it." said Madam Pomfrey. She was about to say more when Aster and Alesia scowled and Aster started to speak.
"I told you so!" snapped Aster, "You my not be human, but you need rest you idiot boy! I can't believe you were so dense, thinking channeling all that magic and ki without proper training or taking breaks wouldn't hurt you." Gohan felt like he had just been slapped.
"I really don't know why you did that to us. I have never felt so worried about anyone before, and I told you to rest up the day before! Never do that to us again you little pip squeak!" shouted Alesia. The adults looked surprised as did Gohan's roommates.
"Why weren't you sleeping and what is Miss Sable talking about?" asked Professor Snape eyeing Gohan critically. Gohan immediately started to sweat.
"Well, um, I was getting ready for the dueling club. I just wanted to be at my best going against Keith. He throws a mean trademark combo, Jelly-Legs Jinx to throw you off, Furnunculus to get to comfortable and to make you think there is nothing really left, then sends Locomotor Mortis to finish you off. By the way nice Expelliarmus, Professor Snape." Said Gohan.
"You are only telling half the truth! Tell them everything!" said Aster. Gohan sighed.
"Okay, umm. . . do you mind if I only tell the professors?" asked Gohan to his roommates. All three said good night and told him to get better soon then left. A few minutes after they left Gohan decided to start to try to tell the adults about everything.
"I found as I have been practicing charms that my wand responds better to my desires than the incantations. I can picture what I want and the wand will do it, but, as you know Professor McGonagall, my wand really hates when I don't truly desire what I am asking for. I guess that's why I am much better at potions. As I was practicing for the club my wand was helping me to find a way to combine what I can do with ki and my magic, the thing seems to be built for battle and loved what my intentions were. I was channeling massive quantities magic powered ki on Friday and Aster told me that she couldn't sleep all night because she is sensitive to that stuff and it was overwhelming her senses. I was just too caught up in the thrill to see the frayed ropes." Said Gohan, his head hung in shame.
"Hey, don't look so glum, it could have been worse." Said Alesia as she hugged Gohan. "I'm very glad you are okay. You're one of the nicest boys I know, and both Aster and I would hate to see you hurt." She almost whispered to him. Gohan hugged her back but very gently. Aster joined in hugging them both. After a few minutes Professor Snape cleared his throat and the girls stood back up.
"Okay, it's late girls. Go to bed, I will speak to both of you privately tomorrow." The girls said good night to Gohan and left. Madame Pomfrey did another check on Gohan.
"Now, Mr. Son, as I understand it you were practicing wand magic in your dorm late at night, is that right?" asked Professor McGonagall. Her face had hardened and she looked quite scary, almost as bad as Gohan's mother.
"No. I wasn't practicing in my dorm." Said Gohan.
"Then tell us where were you practicing late at night?" asked the Deputy Headmistress.
"In the sky outside." Gohan said with a wince. Professor McGonagall seemed to be getting ready for a massive tirade, Professor Snape looked equally angry and disappointed as well, and Madame Pomfrey looked shocked and more than a little ready to yell as well. Only the headmaster seemed like he wouldn't blow up, in fact the old man's eyes were dancing with what seemed to be amusement and questions.
"Well, as long as you don't plan on making this a regular thing I think a couple detentions will be all you need. You seem to have learned your lesson." Said Dumbledore before any harsh words could be said. All three of the other adults looked confused now.
"I have sir. I won't sneak out like that again. I won't become addicted to power again either." Said Gohan eagerly. Madame Pomfrey said something about getting a potion or two for Gohan and left the room.
"Good. I think Professor Snape can arrange the detentions. Now, let's not waste that potential. It seems you need a mentor for your extracurricular training in magic." Started Professor Dumbledore.
"As long as it's not Lockhart!" Gohan inserted quickly, "Can't stand the way he says he's done everything and that he claims to be better than everyone else. I bet if I fired a ball of ki and fried him he would say 'Now I only let you hit me. I could have countered that childish attack if I really felt that it was worth my time.'" Said Gohan. Everyone had to fight the urge not to laugh at Gohan's perfect imitation of the disliked collogue.
"Well, if you insist. I will find a suitable mentor, but until then I recommend that you and your rather opinionated wand get to know each other better, and you should make peace with your other half." Dumbledore stood up and smiled, "Have a good night and I hope that you will be feeling better tomorrow. Come with me Minerva, I have a book that will interest you greatly." With a quick good night from McGonagall, the two left Gohan and Professor Snape alone.