Chapter 28: Time is on My Side
The silence that hung in the room after that comment began to fill with many different emotions, most of them from the wizards and witches present.
Gohan saw McGonagall seemed to be shocked, looking like she'd seen Snape compliment her students for their colorful display of affection toward his own House. She seemed more stunned with the appearance of her late-student's hair and eyes, not to mention the manifestation of two eccentric looking strangers, then what Gohan just stated. She probably doesn't even realize what he was talking about.
Dumbledore seemed to have raised his eyebrows at the comment, amused as well as surprised at the way Gohan informed them of this information, and the horrible news itself. Gohan also noticed the slight millimeter widening of his eyes, but that was as much revelation as he could give off.
The Weasley family present, still jubilant that their little girl Ginny was safe and sound, hadn't seemed to have grasped the concept yet. Their faces changed from ecstatic to frightened, let alone shocked, at the arrival and appearance of the three Z-Fighters. Their eyes traveled from Gohan's bloody and torn appearance (as well as his newly, to them, attained gold hair and blue eyes) to the arrival of Vegeta, and then settled on Piccolo. They seemed most alarmed of Piccolo, who simply shook them more with his cold straight-forward gaze. While they made no physical gestures toward the towering Namekian, they did hug their children a little more closely to them and tightened their grasps on them.
Even wizards must have their limits. Gohan mused. They probably haven't seen anything like Piccolo in their entire lives, even with their variety of magical creatures.
Finally, Gohan steered his gaze to Harry, the only one in the room to have a clear expression on his face. While he seemed to have gotten over the events that had happened down in the Chamber of Secrets, his only expression became bemused at the manifestation of the two strangers.
Gohan wondered how long it would take for Harry to realize that he was standing before the "Demon King" Piccolo. Granted, any pictures of Piccolo at that time would have been in black and white (while they mastered motion, apparently Muggles bested them in colors for pictures), and he would have looked much younger than he is now. Not to mention Piccolo still has his weighted clothes on, concealing his pointed ears and antennae. But that still didn't deter the representation of "outlandish" in his figure.
… Well, this isn't bad. Gohan thought, watching the two warriors intently. Silence is usually a neutral ground. They're taking this a lot better than I expec-
"WHAT!" Vegeta roared, the draft in the room instantly becoming violent, circling the saiyan with ferocity and strength.
Everyone jumped in surprise (expect Dumbledore and Piccolo and Gohan, who weren't shocked at the reaction) as it circled the Prince, his aura flaring instantly and disappearing within seconds. Papers and cloaks blew in a fury around the room, some objects being lifted into the air and crashing into the walls. Fawkes shrieked loudly and flew to the high points of the room, away from the madness. The wizards and witches (aside from Dumbledore) tensed and gasped, wondering where the sudden storm came from. As it subsided, Vegeta's white aura still gleamed lightly around him.
Piccolo remained steadfast, though there was much distress and disturbance in his expression. He watched the elder alien with calculating eyes, then momentarily fluttering his gaze to his young student. Gohan didn't look back, instead focusing his attention on the livid expression looming on the older saiyan's features.
If the looming threat of the most powerful being the world… nay, the entire universe has ever known hadn't just returned more powerful than before, Gohan would have thought the reactions in the room, not to mention Vegeta… humorous.
Even so, Vegeta's reaction was well within his rights; everyone had thought Gohan had taken care of Cell, that he was the only one who could. Now that that monster returned, Gohan didn't doubt Vegeta would go after the android himself, as a way to prove his power and his pride as a saiyan warrior over Gohan's. He'd just have to hope that Vegeta wouldn't kill Gohan before he had a chance to explain the situation has become deeper than it already sounded.
"Yeah…" Gohan started, laughing nervously at the death glare he was receiving from Vegeta. "That's how I thought you'd take it. But, let's take this time to reflect. I think we should all just sit down and discuss this like the calm, rational people we all—"
The next thing Gohan was hoisted into the air by his collar, the hand holding him up glowing dangerously gold and blue. Gohan knew it wasn't wise to act like that with a pissed Super Saiyan prince, but how else were he to respond? While Gohan idolized his father, he wouldn't take any negative attitude from people that made him feel bad for no reason (…except Bulma, Eighteen, especially his mom… basically every dangerous women in his life).
Vegeta eyes radiated from black to blue as he gazed into the Halfling's eyes, which shined in a combination of fear and slight amusement.
"DO NOT mock me boy," Vegeta hissed, his face twitching slightly. "You expect me to be calm now? Before I got here I was agitated, you of all people stupidly revealing yourself so foolishly to these creatures. But NOW, I'm just about considering-"
A streak of red light struck Vegeta in the shoulder, making his body falter against the wall and drop Gohan to the ground. The Weasley's, Dumbledore, Piccolo, and Harry turned to see who sent the Stunner; there stood Professor McGonagall, wand in wand hand outstretched in front of her with a look of fury.
Aww man, Gohan thought as he saw her. I'm gonna miss the old cat (like bat, hehehe). She let me out of my homework.
Vegeta, who for the first time was unnoticed by anyone, regained everyone's eyes with his moving body. He miraculously (to the wizards) got up from the wall, slowly as if to increase suspense. He paused, his back facing everyone but Gohan, not moving once he regained his composure. Then, he quickly turned his head, several cracking noises being heard. Vegeta turned to face McGonagall and the others, rubbing his neck as he frowned darkly at the magic-using people. His eyes filled with a maniacal rage, almost as if he dared her to try it again.
"Woman," Vegeta smirked, "you had better thank that blasted Namek up there. My kind is not as frail or weak as yours is. We are stronger, more durable. And, you only caught me off guard with that flashlight of yours."
McGonagall didn't say anything, merely turning paler than her current state and eyes wide in shock. Her mouth almost stayed in an O shape, had it not been for her lip twitching occasionally.
"Not to mention," Vegeta continued, "your aim is off. You're arm is aiming for my back, to get a better shot I assume, yet you hit my shoulder blade."
He chuckled, "Your skill gets weaker in your old age I suppose. I on the other hand," His hands glowed bright blue with sparks in response, "am in my prime, and will be for a good long while."
The Weasleys and Harry gapped in response, paling at the threatening manner Vegeta posed as. McGonagall simply stood there, continuing to pale and tremble somewhat in his presence.
Vegeta flexed his fingers in response, the orb of energy growing and shrinking with crackles emitting each time. His eyes narrowed into slits, and he grinned with feral intensity at the old witch as she watched him. The blast in his hand began to swirl, the amount of energy in the blast beginning to peak.
Finally, after the brief silence seemed to pass very quickly, he casually flicked his wrist in her direction. The sphere propelled itself speedily at the woman, soaring past objects and other people around the room. The strange thing was that although its speed was great, Gohan felt that time seemed to have slowed down, at least for him anyway. Maybe it was the fact his eyes were much more keen and trained to see things at speeds others couldn't, or maybe because he was the only one in the room aside from Piccolo who wasn't human. Either way, it was slow.
But this only lasted for a moment, and then time sped to normal. In the next instant the sphere exploded into thousands of smaller bits, each not capable of any harm as they evaporated into the air. The remaining sparks momentarily floated past McGonagall's head, slight heat emitting from them. Everyone, even Vegeta and Piccolo, had their eyes widened (in different variations between certain people) at this unexpected circumstance.
"Please keep your temper under control while you are in my school," Dumbledore said; his deep voice was steady and calm. Everyone turned towards him to see his wand just lowering to his side. "I understand your frustration, but I will not stand for violence of any kind towards any of my students or staff."
The twinkle in his eye was gone for a moment, replaced with a cold torrent gaze that powerfully pierced the Saiyan Prince's actions. Vegeta didn't show any recognition of intimidation, his expression returned to his usual frown and glare now fixated upon Dumbledore. Finally though, Vegeta relented, tossing his shoulders back and shrugged.
"I wasn't actually going to hit her," Vegeta mused, now looking at his glove with mild interest, "but I will not take such an insult to royalty like that lying down."
Dumbledore cracked a mild smiled, "Even so, please keep your power in check. And thank you for listening to me, I—"
"I didn't do it for you old man!" Vegeta snapped, glaring coldly at the wizard. "There are far more horrid consequences, brought by the most malicious beings, as a result of that witch's demise than a pathetic old man with a twig running a preschool for toddlers."
Piccolo whispered "Bulma" under his breath to Gohan. Vegeta shot the two a look of loathing and pure hate before his cheeks flushed with red.
"Have we met?" Mr. Weasley asked suddenly, looking to Piccolo curiously. He seemed to have gotten over the Namekian's peculiar appearance rather quickly. "You seem familiar… have you ever come to the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office in the Ministry before? There were these… sun cream bottles that turned people's skin bright pink with burns. Did you try fixing it yourself?"
"… No." Piccolo replied slowly. "I'm not from around here. I get that a lot… I just have one of those faces. "
Gohan noticed the thoughtful, grasping look in Mr. Weasley's eye as Piccolo hesitated at the direct question. Mr. Weasley was probably starting to realize who Piccolo was. Fawkes, sensing the danger was over, swooped down majestically and rejoined Dumbledore on the desk.
"But back to the matter at hand." Dumbledore stated, turning from the Saiyan Prince to the hybrid Saiyan. "Gohan, I need you to tell me exactly what happened in the Chamber. We need to know exactly how all of this started."
Gohan nodded dully, and then turned to Harry.
"You know as much as I do Harry, so how about you explain?" Gohan's eyes wisped over to Vegeta for a moment, noticing those cold eyes on him. "I think someone else needs to be in the spotlight."
Gohan then gave Harry a stern gaze, obviously hoping Harry would choose his words carefully, which Harry correctly deduced as to meaning to not mention Gohan being an alien yet.
Harry shrugged, "Al—Alright I guess."
Then, under the watchful gaze of the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and the two strangers (Gohan just glanced around the room in anxious silence) did Harry begin the tale that had started at the beginning of the school year. However, Harry did not say anything about what Cell or Voldemort had told them, only what he and the others had deduced themselves. He told them of the ethereal voices that he and Gohan heard, Aragog and the spiders, Hermione discovering it was a Basilisk and the pipes, Moaning Myrtle and her being a victim of the Basilisk, and her bathroom being the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.
"Very well," Professor McGonagall started, cutting Harry short as he paused to gather his thoughts, "so you found out where the entrance was—breaking a hundred school rules into pieces along the way, I might add—but how on earth did you all get out of there alive, Potter?"
Then, after finding the right words, Harry continued to talk, now telling them about Fawkes' arrival and the Sorting Hat producing the sword. But then, Harry stopped mid-sentence, hesitating to continue, which made Gohan drag his eyes away from wandering around the room to look at Harry curiously.
Finally, after much thinking, Gohan's eyes widened a little. Ginny! Harry didn't say anything about Riddle's diary yet, or about Ginny getting it and being possessed. Obviously he's afraid of her being in trouble for having to do with the attacks, but Dumbledore really wouldn't expel Ginny, would he? Then again, with the diary "dead" how are they supposed to prove anything? Right now Cell was the farthest thing from either of the boy's minds, because they all knew HE was there. But how could they prove Voldemort was here?
Gohan's eyes automatically turned to the elderly wizard, narrowing them slowly as if to see if he knew the truth. This was Dumbledore after all, and anyone who had been at Hogwarts for a week would know that Dumbledore could do things most wizards couldn't imagine.
Gohan snorted silently. Maybe he's a mind reader. That'd sure be lucky for us.
As he thought this, Dumbledore turn his twinkling blue eyes on Gohan, shining faintly with a smile through his moon-like glasses.
"What interests me most," spoke Dumbledore softly, turning to face everyone, "is how Lord Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny, when my sources tell me he is currently in hiding in the forests of Albania."
Gohan's eyes shot out of his eyes, his tail twitched noticeably from his waist.
WHAT THE—are you trying to embarrass me, Dende?
Gohan saw Harry breath outward in relief, his face finally looking less stressed.
"W-what's that?" Mr. Weasley managed to say through the shock. "You-Know-Who? En-enchant Ginny? But Ginny's not… Ginny hasn't been… has she?"
"It was a diary." Gohan spoke, instantly defending Ginny and speaking on her behalf. Harry, thinking the same thing, took out the diary and showed it to Dumbledore. "It was Riddle's when he went to school here. He started writing in it when he was sixteen. Made some sort of memory into it to live on in the future… kind of a back-up Voldemort with puberty problems."
Dumbledore slowly retrieved the book from Harry, ink dripping occasionally onto the floor. He peered into its pages with interest and wonder, fascinated at such magical use.
"Brilliant," Dumbledore mumbled. "Of course, he was probably the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen ("Besides me." Gohan muttered obnoxiously)." He then turned to face only the Weasleys, who were obviously the least-involved and the most confused.
Dumbledore went on to sum up to everyone (facing the Weasleys) Tom Riddle's fall to dark magic, how after he left Hogwarts he traveled the world learning the Dark Arts. How he became the evil Lord Voldemort the Wizarding World has grown to fear and cower, undergoing many horrific magical transformations to become what he was.
"Hardly anyone connected Lord Voldemort with the clever, handsome boy who was once Head Boy here." Dumbledore mused.
"Yes…well…" Mrs. Weasley started. "But what about Ginny? What's our Ginny got to do with—with—him?"
"His d-diary!" Ginny cried. "I've b-been writing in it, and he's been w-writing back all year—"
Her father, though concerned, reproached her for her actions and should have known better than to mess with anything "if you can't see where it keeps its brains". Personally, Gohan agreed with him, but telling this to a ten year old girl who almost died and is having hysterics was stupid and thoughtless. He was surprised that she simply didn't fully break down, not even bother talking and just let it all out.
Piccolo and Vegeta simply looked uncomfortable at this point, not sure how to react to all of this. They were simply here for Gohan at first, but then they were bombarded with news of Cell and this world's Dark Lord returning to power. And now they had to deal with all of that and one VERY upset little girl.
"Miss Weasley should go up to the hospital wing right away," Dumbledore cut in with finality in his voice. "This has been a terrible ordeal for her. There will be no punishment (at this, Gohan sighed lightly in relief). Older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort." He then walked over to the door and opened it, suggesting hot chocolate and bed rest for her current state. "You will find that Madam Pomfrey is still awake. She's just giving out the Mandrake juice – I daresay the basilisk's victims will be waking up any moment."
"So Hermione's okay!" Ron exclaimed vibrantly, his face shinning with happiness.
"There has been no lasting harm done, Ginny." consoled Dumbledore kindly.
Mrs. Weasley helped Ginny out of the door, but not before walking past Piccolo and Vegeta in order to get out. She looked at Vegeta first, who didn't glare nor smile at her as she passed, only looking stern and silent with his arms crossed. Then she turned to Piccolo, who also remained impassive and blank in her gaze. However, seeing Ginny's trembling frightened form, he gave her a shadow of a smile. In the next instant Mrs. Weasley's eyes widened a bit in realization, and her grip on Ginny tightened as she bolted for the door. Mr. Weasley followed, looking questionably at Piccolo before following his female family, looking shook up. Piccolo's smile soon faded.
As they left the room, Vegeta laughed hoarsely and deeply.
"I suppose they figured where they've seen that shade of green on you before, eh Namek?" Vegeta sneered knowingly.
Piccolo didn't say anything, but his fists clenched tighter in response. Gohan glared pointedly at the elder saiyan, his blue eyes narrowing dangerously. Vegeta grinned, but did nothing more and choice to stay silent.
"You know, Minerva," said Dumbledore, breaking the silence as he turned to Professor McGonagall, "I think all this merits a good feast. Might I ask you to go and alert the kitchens?"
At that remark, Vegeta and Gohan's stomach's growled loudly and they both had pained expressions on their faces.
She raised an eyebrow questioningly, making a point to turn to Vegeta and Piccolo with suspicion. Vegeta smirked at her and tensed his right hand, while Piccolo returned the look of mistrust to her.
"I can assure you that I will be fine." Dumbledore spoke to her. He then turned to Harry and Gohan and smiled, "We will all be perfectly fine. These men have business that I believe they came here to handle themselves. No harm will come to either of your students Minerva, correct you two?"
"Not here anyway." Vegeta muttered, earning a jab in the ribs from Piccolo.
Piccolo smirked triumphantly as Gohan giggled, resulting in a venomous look from a red faced and fuming Vegeta.
"Right." Professor McGonagall spoke, doubt in her voice. She began to walk to the door, stopping and turning to the boys. "I'll leave you to deal with Weasley, Potter, and Son, shall I?"
"Certainly." Dumbledore cheerfully confirmed.
She exited the room, leaving all three young wizards to turn their now nervous gazes onto their Headmaster.
Gohan tried to process what he had just heard. What did McGonagall mean deal with? Were they — were they actually going to be punished for saving the school and Ginny? They don't even get a gold star on their sticker page or something?
"I seem to remember telling you three that I would have to expel you if you broke anymore rules," Dumbledore's voice rang out. He then turned to Gohan, "As well as doing certain other things I recall."
Ron looked as if he had gone twelve rounds with Aragog and his pals, and Harry was looking a little shaken and pale. Vegeta raised his eyebrows questionably, a subtle sign of protest on their behalf (though he would never admit it). The only one who didn't look concerned was Piccolo, who remained expressionless and… somewhat bored.
Then again, this was Piccolo, and he may know more about Dumbledore's personality and his games than he lets on. So in light of his mentor's passive attitude to the statement, Gohan didn't cut in or argue with Dumbledore.
"Which goes to show," Dumbledore (brightly) continued, "that the best of us must sometimes eat our words. All three of you will receive Special Awards for Services to the School and — let me see — yes, I think two hundred points apiece for Gryffindor."
Gohan turned to Piccolo, who simply grinned back at his pupil audaciously. Gohan returned the gesture with his own careless smile; of course Dumbledore would spoil them for saving Ginny and Hogwarts. How could he have not guessed that at all? Piccolo knew that and he only met Dumbledore once.
"But one of us seems to be keeping mightily quiet about his part in this dangerous adventure." Dumbledore said. "Why so modest, Gilderoy?"
Gohan turned to Lockhart and, sure enough he was simply standing in a corner and smiling brightly at the group. As Dumbledore addressed him Lockhart turned around and looked over his shoulder several times, not knowing who he was, to see who he was speaking towards. Gohan looked to Harry and Ron, who also met his gaze, and all three grinned slightly. It was nice that, even though Lockhart lost all of his memories, it seemed to have allowed him to be polite and act considerate of others.
Vegeta and Piccolo, hearing the mention of this name, turned to each other and had dubious looks on their faces. They looked at Lockhart, who looked at them and waved vaguely, and then back at each other. Piccolo bent down a little and whispered something into Vegeta's ear soft enough for not even the hybrid to hear, (Gohan definitely though heard "Stupid", "Gohan's teacher" and "Hercule wanna bee) and the Saiyan Prince let out a low laugh.
"Professor Dumbledore, there was an accident down in the Chamber of Secrets." Ron spoke, his voice swift and strained. "Professor Lockhart—"
"Am I a professor?" Lockhart asked surprisingly, "Goodness. I expect I was hopeless, was I?"
"You don't know the half of it." Gohan muttered darkly, making Vegeta and Ron smirk.
"He tried to do a Memory Charm and the wand backfired." Ron finished explaining to the Headmaster.
Dumbledore shook his head sadly, "Dear me. Impaled by your own sword, Gilderoy!"
"Sword?" Lockhart asked hazily. "Haven't got a sword. That boy has, though." He pointed to Harry. "He'll lend you one."
It was at this point where Vegeta was having trouble to stifle his continuing (arrogant) laughter, even going so far as to bite into his glove to keep quiet. Ron and Gohan also let out the occasional burst of chuckling at that, trying very hard to breathe normally. Even Dumbledore seemed to have a much broader smile now.
"Would you mind taking Professor Lockhart up to the infirmary, too?" Dumbledore requested to Ron. "I'd like a few more words with Harry and Gohan…"
Ron nodded, and led the still dazed Lockhart out of them room. Before he left though, he cast one final, peculiar glance at the two strangers, Gohan, Harry and Dumbledore as he was shutting the door.
As the door creaked to a close, Vegeta just snapped and started to uncontrollably howl with laughter. He tossed his head back and clutched his sides gasping for air in between, not even trying to control the volume of his voice. Piccolo grinned wider also, blushing a little as he did so. Gohan also began to laugh, not as loud as Vegeta but noticeable nonetheless. Harry and Dumbledore watched the saiyans curiously, not knowing how to approach this.
"HAHAHAA!" Vegeta laughed, barking it out as he did so. "HAHAHAHAHA, what an imbecile, even for a human! I'd hate to have met him before he hit his head."
"It was a spell that Obliterated his memory, not a rock." Gohan pointed out.
Vegeta snorted, "Like it makes a difference, I don't care." But then, he narrowed his eyes dangerously at the hybrid. "But now that the kids and their parents are gone, I want the full truth about what happened."
"What do you mean?" Gohan asked, raising his eyebrows. "Harry and I told you everything—"
"WRONG brat!" Vegeta snarled. "All you told us was about that blasted wizard these people are afraid of, and his pet grub putting people in comas to kill scar-face there!" He pointed to Harry, who flinched at being noticed. "I know you left Cell out so those wizards wouldn't question anything, but they're gone now. Everyone in this room knows about him and you, so COUGH IT UP!"
As his crescendo reached its peak, a gust of wind burst around him, along with traces of gold energy within it. It went away quickly though, and Vegeta stood their glaring at Gohan as he calmed down.
An awkward silence filled the room, no one speaking as they all took in the meanings of Vegeta's words. Finally, realizing something, Gohan spoke.
"How did you know?" Gohan said softly. "I thought that Cell had put up barriers all around the school—"
"Maybe around the school," Piccolo interjected. "But that doesn't apply to that Forest out there." He gestured to the window in the room. "Whatever Cell did, he didn't do it until he was in the school and safe from detection. I sensed you go ape out there with your friends, and figured you'd have told them everything. You say he put up barriers?"
"Yeah," Gohan said distantly. "He said that you guys couldn't sense anyone inside the school because he put up magic barriers around it. He didn't say what kind except for sensing power levels."
Piccolo nodded, "That would explain why none of us could sense you or anything else in the castle. I guess he also put some sort of magic force field to shield everything happening in there too eventually. We knew where you were, but didn't know where there was or what you were doing until you left the school area—"
"Wait a minute Namek." Vegeta cut in, eyes wide with shock. He turned to Gohan, now looking almost… frightened. "Cell can do what you can do? He can use this… magic?"
Gohan nodded gravely, "Apparently, Dr. Gero put more into Cell than he let on. He not only put our cells in, but those of witches and wizards too."
Vegeta growled, "Great, just great. And I suppose he's grown dramatically stronger now too, right?"
Gohan again nodded, and this time Vegeta groaned frustratingly.
"This is NOT how I wanted to spend my day!" He seethed furiously. "When I woke up today all I wanted to do was spar, eat, and train my son. Now I find out the spawn of Kakarot's put Cell on our doorstep with more power now than when he was a serious threat. Anything else you'd like to add to my now-growing plate child?"
"… I beat him by fully Ascending. I can control it now." Gohan replied evenly.
"Kakarot?" a new voice rang; curiosity and fear were heard in it. Everyone turned to see Harry standing there, looking from Vegeta to Gohan slowly. "You called Gohan 'spawn of Kakarot'."
"So the wizard boy finally speaks." Vegeta noted sarcastically. "What a wonderful sentiment you shared with the rest of us. Yes I called him that, because that's what he is; the spawn of that dim-witted low level Kakarot."
"But," Harry started, thinking as he said it, "Gohan's father's name is Goku. His saiyan name is Kakarot, right? Why would you call him that?"
Vegeta snorted, "Kakarot was the name given to him on our planet. The name "Goku" is simply his alias on Earth as far as I'm concerned. He is a saiyan, and will be addressed as such by his Prince."
"Our planet?" Harry asked to himself aloud, looking from Vegeta to the floor. Vegeta gave a blank stare to Dumbledore.
"Are all your students this slow, or is it just the way you teach?" Vegeta sneered. "He turned to Gohan, "Have you told him about me yet in your little "talk"?"
Gohan rolled his eyes, "Of course I did, and I mentioned everything about the saiyans. But in case you haven't noticed Vegeta this right now, is the first time I've mentioned your name. How do you expect him to connect the dots?"
At this, Harry's eyes widened dramatically. He looked at Vegeta, and then noticed the smirk on the older man's face. The black eyes, black standing-up hair, and Prince.
"You're Prince Vegeta," Harry concluded, "one of the surviving saiyans."
"Congratulations, you got it right." Vegeta noted dismally. He grinned maliciously, "Now if you recognize where Piccolo here is from," Piccolo glared at Vegeta, "you'll get a prize."
The mention of the name "Piccolo" brought many images to Harry's mind. The picture from that book, "The Demon King" title, what he did, and what it said about him and Gohan's dad's rivalry all appeared before his eyes. So many things were going through his head right now Harry had trouble distinguishing between them.
Harry finally took a good look at the being with the other man Vegeta, and instantly recognized the physical similarities from the picture. The hands, arms, face, almost everything was the same. The only difference was the guy in the picture looked more… feral, less human. Not to mention the fact this guy was green threw him off, and the picture was in black-and-white.
"Piccolo, the Demon King." Harry said, looking warily from Gohan to the "demon".
"I only used that title once for show," Piccolo replied. His deep voice and unexpected interjection surprised Harry. "That wasn't me. For lack of a better term, I'm King Piccolo reincarnated as his son. He died right after I was born, sending me as his legacy. The Demon King name was something he came up with; I'm actually an alien like Gohan."
"…And that's supposed to make me less nervous?" Harry remarked lightly.
Piccolo smirked, "I like this kid. He reminds me of Goku."
"Hopefully this horrible sense of humor is the only way," Vegeta commented, looking disdainfully at Harry. "I only put up with Kakarot because he was my rival. Not sure if I could take another one."
"Vegeta," Piccolo started warningly, "keep it up and I'll tell Bulma."
At this, the royal saiyan frowned and said no more.
"With all do respect gentlemen," Dumbledore's mystical voice softly spoke, "I believe it is time 'cleared the air', as the saying goes, on some rather prudent matters. Wouldn't you both agree?"
Vegeta was about to snap back something, but Piccolo beat him to it.
"You're right, we apologize. It's time we sorted everything out now."
Vegeta didn't say anything, but dropped his head slightly to signify a nod.
Dumbledore got up and crossed to a couple chairs by the fireplace, and gestured to them.
"Dear boys, please sit down." He requested gently.
Both wizards did so, looking at each other with anxiety and unease. Dumbledore returned to his desk and sat down, his bright blue eyes on them with ambiguity.
"First of all Harry, Gohan, I would like to thank you both." He began, his eyes twinkling on them. "You must have shown me real loyalty down in the Chamber. Nothing but that could have called Fawkes to you."
He responded to his statement by stroking the phoenix affectionately, which had currently floated down onto his knee. Gohan and Harry hid chuckles with grins as they saw this; Vegeta looked annoyed at the scene while Piccolo continued to stay steadfast.
"And so you met Tom Riddle," Dumbledore commented thoughtfully. It appeared he was saying this more to Harry than Gohan. "I imagine he was most interested in you…"
"Professor Dumbledore…" Harry said, looking distressed and confused. "Riddle said I'm like him. Strange Likenesses, he said..."
"Did he, now?" Dumbledore asked, thoughtfully gazing down at Harry with a mysterious look in his blue orbs. "And what do you think, Harry?"
Gohan frowned, looking at Harry intently with concern in his azure eyes. Something was obviously bothering Harry, but what it was he didn't know.
"I don't think I'm like him!" Harry shouted abruptly, forgetting anyone else was in the room. "I mean, I'm — I'm in Gryffindor, I'm…"
Harry became silent, looking down with a concentrated look on his face. He was likely trying to make sense with his words, rather than rambling on.
"Professor," He resumed once more, his voice calm. "The Sorting Hat told me I'd – I'd have done well in Slytherin—"
This cry came not from Dumbledore, but Gohan. Everyone turned to him, and saw his face looking incredibly flustered and shocked.
"The Sorting Hat told you that too?" Gohan asked incredulously, staring into Harry's green eyes. "It said you'd do well in Slytherin also? (If I said in earlier chapter he did know or implied it, forget that. I'm too lazy to check)"
"It told you that you could be Slytherin?" Harry responded, hysteria creeping in his voice like Gohan. "You?"
"Well… yeah." Gohan admitted, looking relieved and alarmed at the same time. "It told me before it Sorted me I had the potential for Slytherin. What about you?"
"The same." Harry answered; he was glad someone else had this burden to share, especially someone who could sympathize. "Except it was a year ago."
"What's the big deal?" Vegeta growled, agitation creeping into his voice. He was tired of these meaningless interruptions, and from what he heard before had a basic understanding of the revelation. "So some rag suggested you into a school club or whatever. That doesn't make you anything like this 'Riddle' person."
"But…" Harry looked helplessly at Dumbledore, unsure what to say. "Everyone thought I was Slytherin's heir for a while—"
"Again, the same thing with me." Gohan countered sternly. "But that doesn't mean I'm going to go around killing magical babies and making anagrams out of my name."
"But I'm not an alien. And they thought I was the heir because I can speak Parseltongue like Slytherin." Harry mumbled, obviously losing steam from the continuous disruptions.
"You can speak Parseltongue, Harry," spoke Dumbledore serenely, "because Lord Voldemort — who is the only and last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin – can speak Parseltongue."
"… Oh yes," noted Vegeta sarcastically, "that explains everything. It's all coming together now; the pieces are putting themselves together for sure!"
"Unless I'm much mistaken," continued Dumbledore, "he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar."
Everyone in the room's jaws dropped (yes, even Vegeta), and stood open mouth in silence. Some tried speaking, but they could barely make any sounds from shock. Gohan's upper lip trembled, trying to form words silently.
"Not something he intended to do, I'm sure…" Dumbledore added reassuringly, easing any questions held at the outrageous news.
"Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" said Harry, awestruck and bedazzled.
"It certainly seems so." Dumbledore agreed.
"Anymore twists and this may as well be a soap opera." Piccolo muttered to no one in particular, though Gohan could see Piccolo grinning at the young boy. Gohan returned the gesture with a cheeky smile.
Harry kept trying to make himself the bad guy, and convinced he had to be in Slytherin. Dumbledore kept insisting that while he would have been Slytherin's ideal choice for his house, the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor for a reason.
"You know why that was." Dumbledore told Harry. "Think."
"It only put me in Gryffindor," Harry persisted dejectedly, "because I asked not to go to Slytherin… ("Same with me." Gohan added quietly enough for all to hear.)"
"Exactly." Dumbledore happily replied, smiling at him. "This makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Harry, slowly realizing this, sat still. Gohan knew while Dumbledore told all this to Harry, he meant for Gohan to listen as well. "If you want proof Harry that you belong in Gryffindor, and you if you feel this way Gohan, I suggest you look more closely at this."
Dumbledore reached for the sword lying on McGonagall's desk, and produced it to the two boys for them to see. Gohan grabbed the blade and Harry the handle, and together held it near the firelight to look at the weapon. They turned it over and saw the rubies imbedded in the hilt shine crimson in the fire. And that was when both boys saw what was written just below the hilt.
"No way." Gohan whispered. Harry nodded mutely in agreement.
"Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that particular sword out of the hat, Harry." said Dumbledore finally, ending the discussion.
The next minute, no one spoke. Not even Vegeta chose to quip something in the air. Everyone knew now was the time for everyone to settle and accept all these revelations.
Finally though, Gohan had enough of the somberness.
"So you see Harry," Gohan grinned, "there's nothing to worry about. The only one in the room who is actually evil is me!"
"And how, may I ask, did you come to this conclusion Gohan?" Piccolo asked; there were traces of worry and concern in his voice.
"Well Harry got his dark magic ability from Voldemort." Gohan answered simply. "His Parseltongue power is untainted, as pure as that ability can get. Mine isn't."
"That maybe," Dumbledore smiled mysteriously, "or it may not."
"What?" Gohan questioned, eyes narrowing.
"Do you recall how Cell was… incapacitated last year?" Dumbledore asked tenderly.
Piccolo and Vegeta now looked around the room distractedly, knowing how uncomfortable the room was about to get.
Gohan's eyes hardened, "Of course I remember. My father died that day —"
"Exactly." Dumbledore finished happily. "Now how did he die?"
"My dad… he took Cell away from Earth before he exploded. Ended up destroying King Kai's planet instead, along with King Kai and himself (and anyone else there)." Gohan smiled, a tear beginning to form in his eye. "He saved us all."
"So Gohan," Dumbledore continued readily, "would you say that in order to protect the ones he loved, he sacrificed himself for their safety? And would you also agree that he knew what he had to do, and accepted it just so that you, your family and friends would be spared from harm?"
"I… I guess so." Gohan hesitated, unsure where this was going.
Dumbledore and Gohan turned to Harry, who seemed to be thinking hard as he looked into space. His expression showed realization, though working through his thoughts.
"Sacrificing himself to protect people…" Harry muttered, thinking hard. Where had he heard that before?
Then, he remembered. The lights in his brain flicked on; this wasn't that unfamiliar to him. Harry looked up to Dumbledore.
"Isn't that what you said my mother did Professor? You told me she shielded me from Voldemort to protect me, and that made it so Voldemort couldn't kill me while I had her protection."
Dumbledore nodded, "That is correct Harry. Her pure, undying love for you is the reason Voldemort ceased to be. Your mother died to keep you safe and left a protection upon you so that Voldemort, who your mother was shielding you from, could never kill you." He then turned to Gohan. "And that is exactly what your father did for you Gohan."
Gohan, Vegeta, and Piccolo all gasped in surprise, their eyes wide with shock and disbelief. Silence filled the room for a full minute before anyone spoke. The only thing was it wasn't Gohan who first responded to this news.
"What the hell are you talking about wizard?" Vegeta demanded harshly, glaring at the old headmaster. "Kakarot had nothing to do with killing Cell except for screwing it up the first time. He may have helped with moral support for the brat here from the Kai's planet, but I hardly call that protection."
"I do not imply that Goku simply gave 'moral support', Prince Vegeta." Dumbledore answered calmly. "Whether he knew it or not, Goku was extremely instrumental in Cell's downfall. Your father's sacrifice Gohan, not knowing if Cell would die but that he himself would to protect you, laid upon you the same fortification Lily Potter gave Harry the night she died. In doing that, Cell could not kill you so long as that barrier exists. His love for you, the driving force for his actions, kept you and everyone else safe that day."
"But… my father…" Gohan whispered as tears swelled in his eyes, "… he wasn't… he couldn't have been—"
"A wizard?" Dumbledore finished. Gohan nodded slowly.
"He has a point." Piccolo put in grimly, looking at Dumbledore with seriousness. "Goku was from Planet Vegeta. Granted there are certain races that have also learned of magic, but none of them included the saiyans. Goku wasn't even part human, as much as he believed he was. There's no way he could have known about this magic, let alone do it."
"Piccolo… love is something universally known by all." Dumbledore explained, smiling to Gohan and Harry. "All creatures, whether it is for a person or for greed, have all felt the pull and feeling of love. Voldemort, though he may never be able to love someone else, has great love for himself and power (though he would not call it that). Love has a magic all its own; of all the miracles happening in the world, they all draw from the strength of love. Have you never cared for someone so strongly Piccolo, you would do anything for them?"
Piccolo froze, his expression still solemn. But then, his eyes drifted to Gohan, black linking with navy. Student and teacher gave each other a long, meaningful look. The bond between these two was strong, stronger than almost any other known. The one person the great Namekian considered a friend, the best friend he would ever have. The kid who he would protect at any cost; Piccolo loved Gohan the same way Goku did, becoming a reserve father for the boy without hesitation.
Piccolo's stern features melted into a warm smile and soft eyes. Gohan returned it with one of his own, looking up to him as 2nd only to his father.
"I thought as much." Dumbledore brightly continued. "The connection you and Gohan share, Piccolo, is but one of the examples how love's magic works. It changed you from the shell of your 'demonic' former self into the strong, caring, selfless being you are today. Your devotion to your enemy's son, your one true friend, and his respect and understanding for you transformed your malice and rage into love and helpfulness. Love can transcend any barriers, including whether one is magical or not."
Vegeta rolled his eyes in disgust, making a face and throwing Dumbledore a dirty look. However, so that he wouldn't be thrown in the spotlight on the topic 'love', said nothing on the matter.
"So you see, it is highly possible for Goku to have passed a barrier onto Gohan like Lily did for Harry." Dumbledore resumed.
Harry's brow furrowed, questions forming in his head.
"But sir," said Harry, "Cell could hit and kick Gohan down in the Chamber of Secrets when they fought. Voldemort isn't able to touch me because of my mother's protection, or he burns and stuff."
Dumbledore nodded, "Very good observation Harry. Yes, Cell is able to touch Gohan and not be hurt in any way. That aspect of defense is one thing differing from you and Gohan's security."
"A natural version of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy." Dumbledore answered simply. "There are some forces in this world that will routinely shield magic's existence from muggles. I'm not sure how to describe it myself, but I believe that because Gohan would more likely be attacked in public than you Harry, your safe-guard works more directly toward your attacker. And Gohan's protection, rather than straight influence, tweaks the circumstances to manipulate our surroundings." Everyone present processed this carefully, wondering the same things. "I'll leave it to your imaginations to figure out how this was done."
"But," Dumbledore again noted, "now to my point. It is possible that thanks to your magical defense Gohan that Cell, like Voldemort, inadvertently gave some of his vast powers to his victim. Would it not explain why you are able mimic your friend's attacks with inexplicable ease and skill?"
This never dawned on Gohan before, and asked himself this same question just now. How was he able to imitate the Z Fighter's attacks so easily? Granted he learned most from his dad's friends personally, but… it was the mastery over them that was puzzling. Not to mention, he did seem to be more proficient at mind reading since Roshi's guidance; he tried learning it for the androids, but it never seemed to click back then. Could Cell have the cells from Roshi? What about Yamcha, Chaiotzu, and the other fighters? Was it possible Cell had more of their DNA than he let on?
"However," Dumbledore interrupted his thoughts, "I do not believe your Parseltongue ability is included among them; Cell's Parseltongue is already heavily diluted being grafted onto him from Voldemort. I would say that you inherently had the ability, but it was hidden beneath generations of nonuse. Because Cell transferred some abilities to you, the now almost stripped Parseltongue from Cell from Voldemort reactivated your inert one." His eyes twinkled, "This is my personal opinion only though."
"… What about my magic?" Gohan asked nervously.
Harry, whose head was still spinning from all this confusing information thrown around the room, focused on Gohan. He was still pretty shook up by all this, and his face was slightly pale. Harry understood why though; he was afraid that the only reason he was a wizard was because he got magical abilities from Cell.
Dumbledore smiled warmly, "No Gohan, your magic was not at all a result from your father's sacrifice."
"But," Gohan protested wildly, "if I got my friends attacks from Cell, couldn't I—"
"You did not receive your friends attacks Gohan." Dumbledore soothed gently. "I thought I already explained this. You were merely able to use them much faster and expertly. You couldn't learn them on your own, but once taught it helped guide you to train them. The same applies to your magic; your power is your own, but the transference from Cell allowed you to be more open with skill and ability from his 'hosts'. And," he added furtively, "if you want proof your magic is your own, I suggest you look at what's in your pocket."
At this comment, everyone turned to Gohan once more, all eyes but Dumbledore's wide with anticipation and curiousness. Gohan, also wondering what his teacher meant, slowly put his hands into his pockets. He looked up to Dumbledore, who nodded enthusiastically. Gohan felt around, unsure what to expect.
Inside his right pocket, nothing at all. But then he focused on the left and… wait, that couldn't be right. Gohan pulled his hand out and brought along with him the object of his confusion; he twirled his wand in his fingers subconsciously. Vegeta and Piccolo looked at each other, surprise and shock written on their faces. Harry, however, didn't understand at all.
"His wand?" Harry asked, peering at it interestingly.
"Yes, Gohan's wand." Dumbledore confirmed.
"But… I don't understand." Harry told Dumbledore. "How does that tell anything?"
Piccolo and Vegeta, however, seemed to have slowly grasped the concept Dumbledore was implying. They stared at the stick in Gohan's hand with astonishment and awe.
"You feel that?" Piccolo asked Vegeta, his voice barely hearable.
"I feel it alright," Vegeta answered dazedly, "I don't believe it." He turned to Piccolo in shock and anger, "How is this possible? It's a blasted twig! Yet it's… it's…"
"Wands have magical cores of animals, most those who are also magical." Dumbledore enlightened.
"Of course." Vegeta muttered. Vegeta glared at the wand in Gohan's hand, "It figures. Even in death he mocks me."
"What are you guys talking about?" Gohan questioned, his eyes narrowing.
"Gohan," Piccolo said, "concentrate on your wand. Try sensing it."
"But…" Gohan rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
He did as they asked, and focused on his wand. What were they trying to make him do? It wasn't like — wait a minute. Gohan's brow furrowed again, they were right. There was an energy signature radiating from the wand. It wasn't strong, but it was… bright? Distinctive? He couldn't describe it. For some reason, his wand had a ki signal and it was almost familiar to him. If he didn't know better, it almost like —
Gohan's eyes widened in alarm, his blood running cold. He paled slightly, the grip on his wand tightening. He looked down at it now not like he used to, his eyes softened and his heart began beating uncontrollably. He lost his breath, tears beginning to form once more.
"… Dad?" whispered Gohan.
Harry turned to Gohan, concerned for his friend's condition.
"What, Gohan?" He asked anxiously.
"I can…" Gohan started slowly, "I can feel… feel my dad's energy… from my wand."
"What?" Harry shouted.
"It's strange," Gohan replied, "but I know it's my dad's ki. I'd recognize it anywhere." He turned to Dumbledore, unsure how to respond. "How did you…"
"Mr. Ollivander contacted me after you came to his shop." Dumbledore answered, his tone kind and relaxed. "When he told me which wand you received, he believed I should be contacted immediately."
"Why?" Piccolo asked suddenly, his tone slightly suspicious. "What is so important about Gohan's wand that you needed to know?"
"That wand, at the time," Dumbledore continued on, "was the only one in Ollivanders shop that had a different core other than the usual phoenix feather, unicorn hair, or dragon heartstring." Unconvinced, Piccolo gave Dumbledore a hard pressed stare. "Not to mention," Dumbledore added, "it was the wand that I made myself, with the approval and guidance from Mr. Ollivander."
The room had never been as silent as at that moment.
"You made my wand?" Gohan asked amazedly.
"With the association of Mr. Ollivander." Dumbledore corrected. "He was there to help me. At that time, I had dabbled in just about every magical art (save Dark of course). Out of curiosity, I approached Mr. Ollivander with the request of making a wand of my own. He agreed, though only in certain aspects; one must keep some secrets of wand-making to oneself, after all. We had much fun and experimentation with the whole thing. I had everything at my disposal except for a core; though Ollivander had his usual stash, I wand something more… unique. Then one of my eldest friends, and yours, Baba, suggested I should use a hair that she had. When I asked what animal it belong to, she replied 'most people don't know, not even me. My brother retrieved it during one of his little tournaments, said a giant creature attack!' I asked no more questions, and the rest is obvious; Ollivander and I made our wand, and I gave it to him for safe keeping."
"Of course." Piccolo stated, stunned. "The 21st Martial Arts Tournament. That was—"
"Goku's first official tournament." Dumbledore finished, smiling. "The one where he transformed into his ape-state. And although his tale wasn't cut off, plenty of hair was scattered around the scene. Roshi kept a few for safe keeping, and the rest is history." He turned to Gohan, beaming at the boy. "Your wand Gohan contains the tale hair of your dad's ape form. 11 ½ inches, Rowan, and those hairs make up the wand you hold in your hand. Not to mention, since the wand chooses the wizard, I would not be surprised if your wand reacted with you far greater than any other wand would. Is it any wonder why it chose you, or why you are able to do so much with it with such power?" (I said his wand was oak a while ago, but forget that. I was young and not as inventive and/or literarily fluid)
Gohan heard, but wasn't listening anymore. He trembled with glee as his eyes lit up at the sight of his wand. This was unbelievable; his wand's core was his dad's tail hairs. This was amazing, the best thing he could have heard all day. And better yet his dad was 13 at the time, and Gohan's almost 13 too!
Piccolo and Vegeta observed the happiness creeping into the young warrior's face. This was too strange, even for them strangely. Looking at a wand with Goku's hair was… interesting, to say the least. And the fact it had a slight miniscule ki would also need getting used to.
Harry wasn't blown away by this startling revelation, as there had been like twenty already. But, he was extremely happy for his friend. This was the first time he'd seen Gohan truly happy in a while. Harry wondered if this was what Goku must've been like most of the time, care-free and jubilant without worry.
No one dared to speak for several moments, as the tradition of letting silence take over news had been so many times before.
Then, Dumbledore reached into the desk and pulled out McGonagall's quill and a bottle of ink.
"What both of you need now is some food and sleep. Stop worrying about what has happened and all these disruptions." He looked to Vegeta and Piccolo. "There will be time for details later, but that hardly seems needed immediately. I suggest you all go down to the feast while I write to Azkaban – we need our gamekeeper back." Harry and Gohan grinned gleefully at this. "And I must draft an advertisement for the Daily Prophet, too. We'll need a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher… Dear me, we seem to run through them, don't we?"
Gohan and Harry exuberantly got up and walked towards the door, practically skipping their way to it. but as they were about to argue who should open the door whom, it burst open with such strength it hit the back wall loudly and bounced off.
Lucius Malfoy stood in the doorway, his face livid and furious. But most strangely, Gohan observed, was a small little creature with floppy ears wrapped in bandages. It appeared to be cowering being the man's leg.
"Good evening, Lucius." Dumbledore greeted pleasantly.
As Mr. Malfoy strode in, he almost knocked Harry down. The creature followed in his footsteps, holding his cloak in fear. Had McGonagall's desk not be between them, Gohan was sure Lucius would have made it inches from Dumbledore. When they halted the thing tried shining Mr. Malfoy's shoes, but he was ignored as the elder Malfoy glared at the other wizard.
Harry leaned toward Gohan, whispering "Dobby" into his ear. So this was the little house-elf that almost killed Harry over and over again. Gohan could see why Harry pitied him. Did Harry know this elf served the Malfoys? Probably not, or he would have throttled the creature.
"So!" Mr. Malfoy declared, eyes narrowing dangerously at the elder wizard. "You've come back. The governors suspended you, but you still saw fit to return to Hogwarts."
Vegeta and Piccolo, both a fair distance from Mr. Malfoy and Dumbledore, looked at each other confusingly. Apparently, Mr. Malfoy must have been so furious that he either ignored or hadn't noticed anyone else in the room. Piccolo whispered hastily to Vegeta about who this new wizard was, and Vegeta's eyes scanned Mr. Malfoy in observation. Apparently, he was trying to see if he was a threat or how 'bad' he truly was.
How had Mr. Malfoy found out so quickly? Maybe Malfoy Jr. spotted Dumbledore and wrote to his dad. Gohan looked to Harry, wondering what he thought of this. Harry noticed this, and motioned to Dobby before throwing a look of surprise on his face. Harry must have been overly surprised at seeing the creature in the Malfoy's service. Then again, the little guy did try to help Harry and save him, while the Malfoys would have done the exact opposite.
Gohan regained focus on the conversation between the two adults, and apparently they reinstated Dumbledore when Ginny was gone. Not to mention the only reason they did do it was because Mr. Malfoy threatened their families. Mr. Malfoy paled, as hard as it was to imagine, as Dumbledore said this little tidbit of information. Piccolo and Vegeta went back to their hushed discussion, with Piccolo muttering something like "the wizard-you" and Vegeta frowning at the comment.
"So—have you stopped the attacks yet?" Mr. Malfoy sneered, drawing back Gohan's attention. "Have you caught the culprit?"
"We have." Dumbledore replied brightly.
Mr. Malfoy's expression didn't change; if anything he seemed… smug. Gohan frowned; that's unexpected to say the least. He would have thought Mr. Malfoy would be furious that they stopped. What did he know?
"Well?" demanded Mr. Malfoy harshly. "Who is it?"
"The same person as last time, Lucius." said Dumbledore enjoyably. "But this time, Lord Voldemort was acting through somebody else. By means of this diary."
He held up the small black book to Mr. Malfoy, the distinct hole in its center still wet. Dumbledore watched Mr. Malfoy's reaction, and Gohan followed suit. He didn't seem too overly surprised, more like shocked. But there was also a trace of… was it fear? But why would he act like… unless…
"I see…" replied Mr. Malfoy slowly.
Now Gohan turned to see Harry looking at the elf Dobby, who kept pointing to the diary and Mr. Malfoy then hit himself over and over. Gohan's eyes narrowed; he was beginning to understand now! The elf knew there was a connection to the diary and Mr. Malfoy, and whatever it was, it couldn't have been good.
"A clever plan." Dumbledore added, continuously looking at Mr. Malfoy in the eye. "Because if Harry and Gohan here," Mr. Malfoy shot Harry a sharp look and then to Gohan, but his eyes widened when he saw the saiyan child's appearance and quickly turned away, "and their friend Ron Weasley hadn't discovered this book, why – Ginny Weasley might have taken all the blame. No one would ever have been able to prove she hadn't acted of her own free will…"
Now Mr. Malfoy refused to counter, his face becoming a mask in response. Dumbledore resumed his speech of how it would have ruined Mr. Weasley and his Muggle-Protection Act and the Weasley family. So Dumbledore must have known also! Gohan kept his temper in check; threatening Mr. Malfoy, who obviously had very high connections, was a risk not even Gohan was willing to take.
"Very fortunate the diary was discovered," Dumbledore continued, "and Riddle's memories wiped from it. Who knows what the consequences might have been otherwise…"
"Very fortunate." Mr. Malfoy reacted laboriously, compelling himself to say it.
Then, a second later, Harry decided to break the awkward conversation between the two.
"Don't you want to know how Ginny got a hold of that diary, Mr. Malfoy?" asked Harry charily.
In that instant Mr. Malfoy loomed threateningly over Harry, glaring at him menacingly.
"How should I know how the stupid girl got a hold of it?" He scorned angrily.
"Because you gave it to her, idiot." Gohan snapped back, deciding to join his friend. Gohan stalked over to Mr. Malfoy, who began to stumble back in trepidation but forced himself to stop. "In Flourish and Blotts. We saw you pick up the old transfiguration book she dropped. I bet you slipped it in while you gave it to her, didn't you?"
"Prove it!" Mr. Malfoy hissed, his hand twitching near his wand. Piccolo began to make a move toward the wizard, but Vegeta put his hand on Piccolo's shoulder as Gohan waved the move off to his mentor.
If Mr. Malfoy didn't watch himself, he'd wind up at the back of the line to the Other World soon.
"Oh, no one will be able to do that." Dumbledore commented; the smile was still etched on his face. "Not now that Riddle has vanished from the book. On the other hand, I would advise you, Lucius, not to go giving out any more of Lord Voldemort's old school things. If any more of them find their way into innocent hands, I think Arthur Weasley, for one, will make sure they are traced back to you…"
Mr. Malfoy rose speedily, and for a moment his hand once more lingered closely to his wand, his fingers twitching as though pulling for it. Piccolo narrowed his eyes at the motion, but it was gone in an instant. He turned to his house-elf Dobby in a rage.
"We're going, Dobby!" He shouted.
He walked out of the room so fast he didn't notice Vegeta in front of him. He bumped into the saiyan, and turned his head up to yell at whoever was incompetent enough to walk into him. But then, as he saw who he bumped into, his face turned from rage to surprise and panic. Vegeta smirked, glaring at the man before him.
"You know who I am," Vegeta spoke eerily, "don't you human?"
Mr. Malfoy didn't respond, resuming his masked appearance.
"I thought as much." Vegeta deduced. "Then you should also know that like you, I can't stand those not of my kind. Except," he let his palm glow gold with energy, "I especially loath incompetent, self-absorbed, arrogant humans. And you're in my way, coward."
Mr. Malfoy moved to the right immediately as he said this, causing Vegeta's grin to become feral. But as quickly as the threat was made, Vegeta moved aside and extinguished the energy. Mr. Malfoy kept his mask up, but sweated as Vegeta moved in right beside him.
"Tell your son to stay away from those superior to him." He whispered sinisterly into Mr. Malfoy's ear. "And by that, I mean my kind. Now, move along."
Mr. Malfoy turned from the Prince and slowly walked to the door, noticing Piccolo as he made his way and quickened his pace. He threw the door open with as much force as before. As the house-elf came trotting up to his master, Mr. Malfoy kicked him through the doorway, squealing in pain all through the hallway. Gohan frowned sadly, he wished there was something he could do for him…
"Professor Dumbledore." Harry asked suddenly, turning to the headmaster, "Can I give that diary back to Mr. Malfoy, please?"
"Certainly Harry." answered Dumbledore serenely. "But hurry. The feast, remember…"
Harry nodded, and grabbed the diary. He took off one of his socks and put the book in it, dashing out of the room in haste.
Gohan stared at the door frame, before turning to Piccolo and Vegeta.
"Yeah, that wasn't weird at all." Gohan said sarcastically.
Both of them shrugged, not knowing what it meant either. Gohan then slowly turned to Dumbledore, looking him humorously in the eye.
"Um…" He started, "Not to sound rude or anything… but could I –"
"Yes, you may join Harry, Gohan." Dumbledore responded. He sighed "Just be sure—"
"Feast, right." Gohan interrupted, making his way to the door. "Thanks."
He jogged out just in time to witness the scene. Harry looked satisfied as Mr. Malfoy stood there with the sock in his hands, looking down at it in shock and disgust. Dobby the house-elf, however, looked happier than Gohan thought he had ever been.
"Got a sock." Dobby spoke, his voice high and squeaky with glee. "Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free!"
Gohan had no idea what that meant, but apparently the house-elf was out of Mr. Malfoy's control now. Mr. Malfoy's head rose from the sock to the elf, frozen as he looked at him. And then he turned to Harry, and his eyes flashed dangerously with hatred. He threw himself at the younger boy, his rage taking him over.
"You've lost me my servant, boy!" He screamed.
The elf said something, but Gohan wasn't listening. In that instant he phased over in front of Mr. Malfoy and threw a weak energy blast at the older man. But this was met with a BANG, and Mr. Malfoy was thrown back several feet. Gohan turned to see Dobby standing beside him, scowling confidently at his former master. Gohan grinned; apparently the little guy gained a backbone as well as his freedom.
Mr. Malfoy got up slowly, his face contorted with rage and anger. He turned to face Gohan, glowering at him venomously.
"How dare you touch me, you little half-breed." Mr. Malfoy hissed, his hand going for his wand.
In that moment, Gohan was two inches from Mr. Malfoy with his hand stretched outright in the elder's face, glowing blue and crackling with electricity.
"Go ahead." Gohan said coldly. "See how many syllables you can make before you see why Vegeta warned you about us."
That's when Mr. Malfoy heard the Prince's threatening words in his head, and regained his thoughts. His hand returned from his side, and his hate-filled face melted away.
"You shall go now." Dobby shouted fiercely, wagging his finger threateningly. "You shall not touch Harry Potter. You shall go now."
Sensing defeat and knowing his place, Mr. Malfoy did all he could and stormed out of the corridor, muttering curses under his breath. Before he rounded the corner he gave one last glowering stare at the three, and then left. Gohan smirked, satisfied greatly, and rejoined the elf and wizard behind him.
"Harry Potter freed Dobby!" The house-elf shrilled, the moonlight shining down on him from a window. "Harry Potter set Dobby free!"
"Least I could do, Dobby." said Harry, grinning madly. "Just promise never to save my life again."
The elf's face now turned into a semi-deformed wide smile, understanding the joke. Gohan walked over to his friend, strolling over casually.
"Do you have any idea what just happened?" He asked Harry. "I am completely lost here. I get Dobby was freed, but what's with the sock?"
"Later." Harry informed. He turned to Dobby, "Dobby, this is my friend Gohan. I think you both know of each other already?"
Gohan smiled, "It's nice to meet you Dobby." He outstretched his hand. "I've heard a lot of… interesting things about you."
"It's truly an honor Gohan Son, sir." Dobby squealed delightfully, taking his hand and shaking it eagerly. "The boy who defeated the mighty Cell, what a privilege it is to meet you. I did warn Harry Potter about your race sir, but only because he wasn't to mention it to you."
"… Right." Gohan said, confusion taking over. "That makes sense, I guess."
"I've just got one question, Dobby." Harry stated to the creature. "You told me all this had nothing to do with You-Know-Who, remember? Well —"
"It was a clue, sir." Dobby explained, looking at Harry as though it was obvious. "Was giving you a clue. The Dark Lord, before he changed his name, could be freely named, you see?"
"Yeah Harry," Gohan said loudly, "what's wrong with you. How could you not see that? Come on man, you got to think once in a while. The answer was SO obvious."
Harry glared at Gohan, who grinned cheekily.
"Right." Harry said weakly, knowing not to start with Gohan. "Well, we'd better go. There's a feast, and my friend Hermione should be awake by now…"
Dobby threw his arms around Harry and hugged him tightly, then moving on to Gohan (who jokingly hugged back enthusiastically).
"Harry Potter and Gohan Son are greater by far than Dobby knew!" He sobbed, looking at the boys in awe. "Farewell, Harry Potter and Gohan Son."
And then he disappeared, a loud crack the only sign of his departure.
As Harry made a start for the Great Hall, Gohan stopped him suddenly.
"What?" Harry asked.
"Give me not even two minutes!" Gohan declared. "I've got to go ask Piccolo and Vegeta something, okay?"
Harry nodded, "Alright, but sooner or later you're going to have to sit me, Ron, and Hermione down and explain everything. I'm tired of all these surprises you've been giving us."
Gohan smiled, "Sure."
Gohan ran to McGonagall's office, greeted by Dumbledore and his two companions. All three looked towards him, Piccolo smiled and Vegeta nodding to his arrival.
"Well?" Dumbledore asked vibrantly. "How'd it go?"
"Interesting enough." Gohan replied. He turned to face all of them. "There's something I want your opinions on, all of you."
This took all of them by surprise, but nodded in understanding.
"What's on your mind, kid?" Piccolo gruffly asked.
"… I think it's time." Gohan said
"Time for what?" Vegeta spoke irritably.
"… Time for the magic world to know about our world."
Vegeta's eyes widened in response, and Piccolo raised an eyebrow questionably.
Dumbledore smiled brilliantly at his student.
"And what brought this decision to mind, Gohan, if I may ask?" Dumbledore inquired.
Gohan took a moment to think about his answer. Then he took a deep breath.
"Keeping my secret has been a lot of hard work and stress this year." He explained, looking each of them in the eye. "It was hard enough to keep it from my best friends, but now I have the whole school to deal with, let alone a whole world. Everyone in this world is already hiding a secret, keeping those who don't about it in the dark and safe. That's what Vegeta, Piccolo, everyone else and I do on a daily basis. I'd like it so that I won't always have to keep my tail around my waste, make excuses for my strength, taking insults from people and all the other stuff. I'm tired of hiding, plain and simple." He took a moment before continuing. "So, what do you all think? I won't do this unless all of you agree with it."
Dumbledore beamed, "My dear lad, I think this is a wonderful idea! You never should have had to hide in the first place. If anything, after all you and your family and friends went through you deserve this. The magical world can handle a few more little secrets. I'll deal with the Minister and go through all the appropriate measures though, I can assure you."
Gohan turned to Piccolo, who looked deep in thought. He appeared to contemplate the whole thing in his head, the positives and negatives. Finally though, he sighed.
"I already said back at the Lookout that I'd go with whatever you wanted." Piccolo announced. "Besides, I also said we have the advantage of revealing their world to the 'humans' (Dumbledore didn't agree with this, but knew it would never come to it)."
Finally, Gohan looked to Vegeta, the one person who Gohan was unsure of. His vote would ensure there would be no protest from anyone, but it was a long shot.
After what seemed like days of looking into Vegeta's scowling face, he huffed in frustration. The saiyan looked at Gohan intently.
"In all honesty," Vegeta started, "I don't care. Granted, I'd like to keep my seclusion from the rest of this planet. That oaf Hercule showed me how idiotic and foolish these people get when they learn of 'strong' people. I don't want that, or anyone seeking to attack me or my family for fame or anything. I could kill them, but risking my son and wife's lives is something that would earn me fewer meals." Gohan's spirits lowered, looking down as Vegeta said this.
Vegeta smirked. "But then again, I have missed people cowering in my presence and fearing my power. And being a god among insects would be a nice change. What the hell; scream it from the clouds for all I care."
Gohan looked up to all three of them, the shadow of a smile flickered on his face.
"But what about Cell?" Gohan said, looking at Dumbledore and Piccolo.
"Cell won't be a problem for a while." Piccolo stated, thinking about it. "He knows he won't be anywhere near your strength now that you mastered the next form. Not to mention that he'll predict we know about him now too; he'll go into hiding until the moment is right."
Gohan grimaced, "That doesn't sound like the Cell we all know and love."
"He's got the power now," Piccolo clarified, "so his next order of business is survival. He won't risk attacking you to be ambushed by all of us, Cell's cleverer than that. He can wait years for the right moment. So just don't think about him, we'll worry about that."
"And what the Ministry doesn't know won't hurt them." Dumbledore joined in pleasantly. "Cell isn't their problem until he attacks them. I see no reason to worry the world of another tyrant on the loose. You may tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione when she recovers, but I strongly advise you to only keep Cell's 'resurrection' to those you trust. When he poses a threat, we shall tell everyone. Besides," Dumbledore grinned mystically, "Cell is your enemy by origin."
Gohan pursed his lips, wanting to protest, but decided it was better not to.
"Thank you all so much!" He said gratefully, bowing slightly to them out of respect. "I don't know what to say."
"How about you revert to your normal form before you let anyone else see you? It would not be wise to show everyone before telling." Gohan nodded, agreeing hastily.
"And," Dumbledore added, "I suggest you no longer keep Harry waiting and go join the feast." Dumbledore suggested. "It has been almost two minutes you know."
Gohan frowned, "How did you…" he then saw the twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes. "You know what, never mind."
Gohan jogged out of the room, powering down as his gold-then-black hair brushed the doorway. This left the adults to linger in silence. All three men looked at one another, unable to start a conversation. Finally, Vegeta's stomach growled. Dumbledore chuckled lightly as Piccolo gave Vegeta a pointed glance.
"…I'm going to go see how 'great' this feast is supposed to be." Vegeta growled, getting out of his chair and making his way towards the door.
"You can sit at the professor's table, if you want!" Dumbledore called out, but Vegeta had not bothered to stop.
"It's not being impolite to him." Piccolo said, "It's just his hunger is rather… urgent."
"Oh I quite understand." Dumbledore agreed. "I have seen Gohan in the Great Hall occasionally, and I have an idea of how most saiyans eat."
Piccolo chuckled, "If it's any consolation, Gohan's the neatest when eating."
Both smiled carelessly at the thought, then returned to silence. Dumbledore got up and moved to the window, watching the grounds underneath the moon.
"The diary, was it one of them?" Dumbledore asked unexpectedly, continuing to look out the window with mild interest.
Piccolo nodded distantly, "Yes. The Myrtle girl's death was one he used for the ritual. It would have seemed appropriate to him, I think you would agree. You've got one less Horcrux worry about now."
Dumbledore smiled sadly, "And yet, there are still five more out there." He turned to look at Piccolo, "And you have no idea where or what any of the others are?"
Piccolo shook his head, "No. The Dark Lord, though not all powerful, is impressive enough to block his activities from higher-ups. Whatever Dark Magic he learned after Hogwarts, it sure paid off for him in the long run. But you can narrow it down to items he deemed important, which cuts the list to unknown, but few, things."
"What are you going to do now that you know about them?" the Namekian questioned. "It's a rather moot point. Although he's gone you have no idea where to start."
"Well," Dumbledore reacted amusingly, "I shall study up on him and see where it leads us. I do suggest that we wait until he returns to act on anything. Use the method of 'hiding in plain sight', so to say."
Piccolo shrugged, "If you want. It's your quest, not mine."
Another silence entranced them both, their first conversation done and to the point.
"You can't protect him forever, you know." Piccolo commented, staring at Dumbledore fixedly from his spot.
"What do you mean?" Dumbledore asked evenly, though his tone held unease.
"I know about Harry, Albus." Piccolo stated, eyeing Dumbledore keenly. "'Neither can live while the other survives.' Being Guardian of the Earth lets you know a few things about a few people."
Piccolo noticed Dumbledore tensed up, his hands clenching on the windowsill.
"Then you know why I cannot tell him." Dumbledore replied quietly.
"I know why you think you can't tell him." Piccolo corrected sternly.
Dumbledore turned, pain and anger hidden deeply in the shadow of his eyes.
"If Harry knew what he must do," Dumbledore's voice rang, "it would tear him apart. He should not have this burden so early in his life!"
"Sometimes people need to know things so they can be prepared." Piccolo responded calmly. "You care about the boy, but it blinds you from reality. If you wait until something horrible happens to tell him, how do you think he'll feel then? It may even be too late for him to know."
Dumbledore didn't answer; he just returned to the windowsill and kept looking out. Fawkes softly crooned to calm the headmaster, but to know avail.
"I'm not going to blow the whistle on you, Albus." Piccolo informed the elderly wizard. "It's you who's got to tell him, not anyone else. I won't let it slip to Gohan either; that kid can't keep things from friends. You can tell Harry when you want to; you can wait until tomorrow, next month, next year, in three years, even twenty. But I do want you to think about this though. Sometimes people can surprise with how they handle things." He smiled kindly, "Especially kids. You never know how they'll take things. If you let them, they could get rid of the worst evil before they even hit puberty."
Piccolo got up, and bowed to Dumbledore. The wizard turned and also bowed respectfully to the former-Guardian.
"I'll be back soon." Piccolo promised. "I've got to find the others and tell them what's happened." A grim expression shown on his face, "I don't think they'll take it well."
As he left the room, he stopped before he hit the doorway. He turned, and looked Dumbledore in his bright blue eyes.
"And think about what I said." He added solemnly.
Then, he walked out of the room, his footsteps lightly going away.
Dumbledore turned back to the window, watching the moonlight shine onto the lake. Sometimes, he really thought he didn't have all the answers.
He sighed miserably, I am so sorry Harry. But I don't think you are ready just yet.
Dumbledore turned, and finally moved away from his current spot. He exited Professor McGonagall's room, Fawkes slowly joining him. He gave one last look around, stared at the sword of Gryffindor in one hand and then the Sorting Hat in the other, and sighed deeply once more. Then, he left to attend to the feast, silence taking Professor McGonagall's room again; this time though, it was more permanent.
Gohan, at first didn't know whether this particular Hogwarts feast was usual for the school. But then he saw everyone except himself, Harry, and Ron were in their pajamas. As lenient as this school was on most subjects, he didn't think this was routine. That being said, this was likely a spur of the moment feast, to rejoice that those who were Petrified were to be cured tonight. The celebration lasted all night, and it was the most fun Gohan had seen Hogwarts capable of. Everyone laughed and enjoyed the other Houses' company, moving from each table to congratulate and relax with their other classmates (except the Slytherins of course, who were the opposite of everyone).
Gohan turned and saw Vegeta stuffing his face up at the Professor's table, taking the seat of former DADA teacher Gilderoy Lockhart. The other teachers looked incredulously at the man, and Gohan didn't know if it was because of his eating habits or that he was a foreigner to them. Gohan and Harry saw the two that sat beside the Saiyan Prince, and laughed extremely hard, pointing the scene out to Ron.
McGonagall stared at Vegeta with slight disgust and disdain, her first impression of Vegeta not helping her opinion now. She looked to Gohan surprisingly as she realized who Vegeta's eating habits reminded her of, and the boy gave her an amusing grin. Then they saw Snape, who made the connection much quicker than McGonagall. He looked from the pigging warrior to Gohan, face attempting a sneer but came out a combination of scorn and perplexity.
Then, the funniest thing happened. Snape felt someone tapping on his shoulder, and turned to them. What he didn't expect was to come face to face with Vegeta, who stopped eating to look Snape in his pitch eyes with his onyx ones. He might have recognized the man from Gohan's descriptions. Gohan focused and heard Vegeta ask the professor if he was Severus Snape. Snape, putting back on his face of contempt and arrogance, nodded to the shorter individual puzzlingly.
Vegeta gave the Potions Master a once-over inspection, and smirked.
"I'm not impressed." He told Snape bluntly, and then resumed eating. Gohan was sure he heard Vegeta mutter "That greasy peon like me? The boy must be slipping."
Gohan relayed this to Ron and Harry, whose laughter soon amplified to roaring and hollering. Gohan had to actually clap Ron on the back to help his food get down before he chocked.
But then, it happened; Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey came into the Great Hall, leading all those who were Petrified in. much whooping and clapping rang into existence, and sounds of which doubled when Harry, Ron and Gohan joined in. Justin Finch-Fletchley came over from the Hufflepuff table and continuously apologized to Harry and Gohan (mostly Harry), clapping them on the back before returning to his other friends.
Gohan instantly smiled widely as he saw Hermione in full health running over to the trio of boys screaming "You solved it! You solved it!" He nearly tackled them from their seats, forcing them all into death-like vice-grip hug. When she got to Gohan, she stopped from her hug, looking at his torn and battered body. Gohan was so in the moment, he had not realized he didn't get his wounds heal; it's not that they hurt, but to anyone else they probably looked really bad.
"Those could get infected! What happened to you?" gasped Hermione, looking him over with concern and worry. She grabbed one of arms to look at the damage.
Gohan smiled cordially, "Nothing that wasn't worth this."
He brought Hermione into a friendly hug, and had to remind himself not to go all out or risk crushing her. She hugged back eagerly, and then the remaining two boys joined in to form a group hug.
The next that happened rivaled Hermione's recovery; Hagrid stomped into the Hall at 3:30 am., Gohan starting a clapping montage that swept the school as Harry ran up to Hagrid and have him received a big hug. The same went with Ron and Hermione, who were as pleased as the rest of them.
Hagrid walked up to Gohan, giving the boy a hug with all his strength as Gohan reciprocated (with the same force). Hagrid winked down the smaller half-human.
"Dumbledore brough' me up ter speed." Hagrid explained, tears beginning to swell in his eyes. "Yeh did i' again Gohan! I couldn' be more proud!"
Gohan laughed, "We'll see about that."
Hagrid frowned bafflingly, "Wha' do yeh mean by tha'?"
"Oh, you'll see." Gohan answered, giving Hagrid a similar twinkle in his eyes Dumbledore always gave.
Only an hour later was it revealed that the combined 600 points for Gryffindor earned by the Gryffindor (male) trio brought Gryffindor the House Cup, easily topping Slytherin for the lead. This experience was new to Gohan, as he wasn't here last year when Gryffindor won for the first time in years. But he could guess it went like it did now; the Gryffindors roaring victoriously as Slytherin scowled and glared at them, McGonagall almost on the verge of crying and Snape too (though for different reasons, like rage). Vegeta rolled his eyes at the two of them, giving Gohan a small pointed stare, then briefly a grin, before going back to eating.
McGonagall also added that, as a way of bringing the school year's horrors to a close, it was decided there would be no exams this year. This above anything, even the Petrified being revived (though this was probably a joke), got everyone including Slytherins out of their seats and applauding wildly. Gohan was indifferent, seeing as he would have passed all his exams perfectly (it isn't pride, it's a fact) (Hermione however, whispered disappointedly "Oh, no!"). Had she not been in the Hospital Wing Petrified, Ron or Gohan would have said something sarcastic to her.
Finally, Gohan decided on what the best news was as the joy and laughter of Gryffindor died; Lockhart was gone. Dumbledore came out to the floor (looking rather tired and exhausted) to explain that Lockhart would not be back as their professor. He needed time to go away and retrieve his memory. Everyone now, students and teachers, got up dramatically and clapped, shouted, cheered, and whooped at this. Even McGonagall and Snape got up and clapped (though not fast) with everyone.
"Shame." Ron told the others, "He was starting to grow on me."
"Like cancer." Gohan mumbled, causing Harry to laugh.
Hermione blinked, "What do you mean?"
"Later." Gohan informed her.
Finally though, Dumbledore motioned for everyone to calm down and become silent. Eventually they all did, and after twenty seconds everyone was back seated, looking at their headmaster.
Dumbledore smiled, "Thank you all. My, my, this year has been full of surprises now, hasn't it?" Everyone chuckled heartily. "But now I wish to give the floor to someone else who has something to say. I believe you all know who he is, and if you don't I suppose that doesn't matter since you will find out now." Some of the students grinned, giggling silently. "May I introduce to you all, Gohan Son!"
As the hall erupted into claps and cheers and applauding, Gohan's eyes widened. He was going to tell them now? He thought he was going to go up to people in the Ministry or wherever and tell them, not the school! He saw Dumbledore and Vegeta looking at him, Dumbledore smiling brightly and Vegeta impatiently rolling his eyes.
Oh Well, Gohan sighed. It's not like they weren't going to find out soon. And, he though brightly, at least here I can see Malfoy's reaction! That's a good thing!
Someone tapped Gohan on the shoulder as he got up. He turned and saw Harry, Hermione and Ron staring at him quizzically.
"Why'd he call you up?" Ron asked.
"Let's just say," Gohan started, "I've decided to let my tail out."
Harry and Ron gasped, their eyes widening. Hermione though, looked bewildered for the first time Gohan had ever seen.
"What does that mean?" She queried, peering at him oddly.
"Like I've said before," Gohan winked, "you'll see."
He resumed his walk up to the teacher's table, applause still ringing out. Many people clapped him on the shoulder as he passed, and many others cringed at his appearance. Finally he was up by Dumbledore, the wizard giving the boy a proud smile. His eyes twinkled as he took his seat looking at the boy with delight.
Gohan noticed Vegeta motion for him, calling him over to speak. Gohan conceded and joined the Prince by Snap and McGonagall.
"You sure you can handle this?" asked Vegeta softly, hints of disquiet in his voice
"Yeah." Gohan replied, uncertainty in his voice.
"How much did you tell the Potter kid and the red-head?" Vegeta whispered sharply.
Gohan shrugged, "Exactly what you said to me."
Vegeta nodded in approval, "Condense what you told them, but keep it like that. If you want, tell them about Cell the first time."
Gohan understood, and walked back to the front. All eyes were on him, no one making a sound. If the mood wasn't so bright and happy before, Gohan would have thought they all chose to be like this.
"Um…" Gohan began. This was really difficult to start up. "The food sure is good tonight, huh? Probably couldn't tell with me, I always eat like that!"
Everyone laughed, clapping at the remark in humorous agreement. Gohan smiled, this wasn't so bad.
"Well anyway, thanks for having me at Hogwarts. What a first year it's been for me. I've found out I'm a wizard, had a lot of fun, and met a lot of good people. Oh," he added, "you too Slytherins!"
Every House laughed at the statement, though the Slytherins remained normally silent and venomous (those who did laugh stopped quickly from glares by neighbors). Snape glowered at the boy, about to muttering something under his breath before stopping when Vegeta glared at him.
"But anyway," Gohan continued, knowing not to push it. "As most of you know, I'm a semi-renowned martial artist, and my father was one as well. What most of you may not know, is that my father and I are… unique."
Mutterings and whispers pierced the air, neighbor talking with neighbor hastily and hushed. Gohan waited a moment before resuming his little speech.
"This is because we were afraid we wouldn't be accepted, and people would scorn and try to hurt us." Gohan kept up. "Not because we would get hurt, but because we might hurt them defending ourselves. I've talked with some of my friends, and we've agreed to let you all in on our secret, since we hoped you all would understand secrecy and acceptance. I trust you all to keep this knowledge the same as you do about the magic world, with care and normality."
He looked out, hidden eager sweeping through him to see how they felt so far. Most were intrigued, others encouraging him with smiles. The Weasleys he saw all smiled at him, Ginny giving him a shaky one as well. Ron and Harry nodded positively, approving his approach so far. Hermione just simply looked confused, but waited patiently for Gohan to resume. Even the Slytherins did not ruin the moment, though several (Malfoy included) looked bored and unimpressed.
This did not intimidate Gohan though; he had come too far now to give up. Everyone he cared about was behind him, and that was all that mattered. If this was a bad idea, they would help him get through this. If it isn't then it isn't. Either way, his was about to be half as careful with his secret now.
"So now, before I begin, I only have one question for all you…" Gohan stopped, his face scrunched in concentration. And then, the wind picked up.
Then, many people gasped, others laughed while most remained shocked in silence. Vegeta looked to each person in the hall and just lost it, laughing and laughing hoarsely and uncontrollably. Even Dumbledore had trouble hiding his chuckling. McGonagall looked like she was going to have a second heart attack for the night, and Snape looked as though he himself were Petrified. Malfoy spat out the pumpkin juice he was drinking, gagging and coughing violently as Crabbe and Goyle stood their stupidly. Hermione shrieked, though not frightened, just in surprise and awe. Ron and Harry grinned; it was good nothing these things ahead of time.
A brown, furry tail sprung from Gohan, freeing itself from his waist, wagging happily behind him in the open air. Gohan stood in the room, his eyes closed in absorption for the moment. His gold hair swayed as the wind died down slowly. His now sapphire eyes opened and revealed a distinct change in mood. The fiery golden aura that surrounded him vanished, leaving him just a Super Saiyan.
Gohan flashed the Son Grin, "What do you guys know about aliens?"
The next few days went rather smoothly, as far as Gohan was concerned. After he and Dumbledore calmed everyone down, and Gohan explained his being half-alien, almost everyone automatically treated him the same. The only thing different was they knew he was capable of annihilating a single planet with enough concentration, so nothing bad. Others, though, trusted him warily, neither liking nor disliking him after that. He knew it would take time for some to accept, but whatever. Others simply feared him now; that wasn't too bad though, because it was mainly the people that either didn't like him (Malfoy and others) or he didn't like (Malfoy and others again). More people were awed and stunned that he (not Hercule) beat Cell than the fact he was half alien. It made sense when they thought about it, but still.
Hermione's reaction was the funniest though; when he found her and the others in the Common Room after his explanation, she wouldn't stop asking questions. This would normally be routine for Hermione, but it seemed to be the only way to keep her from freaking out.
Vegeta had left minutes after the feast ended, telling Gohan to stay safe and that he'd bring word to Bulma and anyone else he met (he wouldn't seek them out, but the gesture was nice). Piccolo… he didn't know where Piccolo had gone, but Dende sent word the next day via letter that he left to tell everyone what happened. His mom wasn't too happy about it, but the fact he was alive would leave him unscathed when he returned home. Everyone was alerted and remained calm, but Piccolo's reasoning calmed them all down. It would take a while for the threat of Cell to ease itself into everyone's minds, especially since he could be anywhere. But Piccolo was certain Cell would not attack soon, not even in the first few years. Gohan didn't believe that, but trusted his mentor's wisdom.
For the most part everything was back to normal, except DADA class was canceled of course, since there was no teacher anymore. Lucius Malfoy had also apparently been discharged as a school governor, which meant his spawn would no longer be boasting around the school anymore like he had diplomatic immunity.
Actually, now that Gohan thought about it, he hadn't seen much of Malfoy anymore. And when he did show his bleached head around he was sullen and moody, steering clear of Gohan and the others. Could his father have actually told Malfoy not to test the saiyan, like Vegeta cautioned? It didn't matter though; even Ginny, who had been the fastest accepting person about Gohan, seemed much happier after her experience.
What Gohan loved most though, was that the large majority of students at Hogwarts gave him the usual space. There were a lot of people who came up and gave him what he called "The Harry-Hercule Treatment", but the ratio was too great to notice. He saw Piccolo with Dumbledore once, but neither would say what they were talking about.
Unfortunately, though, it seemed that it was time for everyone to return home for the summer. Gohan could have used Instant Transmission or flew, but convinced everyone that spending time with his friends was more important than a few hours on a train. Besides, now that Cell returned he thought it would be highly unlikely he could stray too far from home. Vegeta and Chi-Chi would pressure Gohan into remaining with them, for their knowledge he's safe and to train.
Gohan smiled; he wouldn't be surprised if it was his mother, not Vegeta, who insisted he train a lot over the break. She seemed to have taken the fact Gohan barely beat Cell seriously, and wanted him to be able to protect himself easier next time.
Gohan, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny all shared a compartment for themselves on the Hogwarts Express. They all used these last few hours of magic using with great eagerness. Gohan especially took this to heart; he had been able to use it over the summer to practice, and did not think he could get used to no-magic again. Not to mention, having a wand with his father's 'power' fueling it made him want to overuse it before he couldn't. They played Exploding Snap, used the last of Fred and George's fireworks, and practiced disarming each other with their wands.
The last two hours though, were spent by Gohan telling the others of his numerous adventures in space and on Earth. He didn't get to explain all of them, as they all interrupted every other minute with questions. But it was pleasant; the air seemed much cleaner to Gohan now that he could freely tell anyone of his epics. Not to mention, he could say things about them that he could not with anyone else; the Z Fighters took the majority of their fights too seriously (Krillin probably the exception).
Ron, who had left to catch the trolley, came back into the train cart carrying more than Chocolate Frogs. He threw down the paper he had in one hand, the Daily Prophet pages scattering on the seat.
"Thought you might want to see that." Ron told Gohan. "And if you want, I suggest you frame it."
Gohan picked the paper up, and opened it as everyone crowded around him to glance at it. The front page had a picture of Gohan and fighting Cell in the air, dodging each other as they punched and kicked. Gohan was in Super Saiyan form, Cell snarling at the child. Neither picture person looked out; they just continued fighting each other with hate and passion in the moment. The caption read:
Hogwarts 2nd Year, Gohan Son, Really Defeated Cell!
Another article had a picture of the Z Fighters standing on the sidelines of the Cell Games, each of them looking at the ring. Their expressions were serious, though if they wanted they would look out at the camera. Some waved and smiled (Krillin) while other scowled and attempted attacking them (Vegeta). Gohan was with his father (also Super Saiyan) and Piccolo by his side. The picture seemed to focus mainly on the father and son, who strangely went from serious to playful as they moved. This one started with:
Aliens Exist! Guardians of the Muggle World Join Wizards!
"They're calling you the second "Boy Who Lived" you know," Ron commented, "seeing as you hang out with Harry and all. Dad said they're trying to come up with names for you. He even told us they're requesting interviews with that Baba woman."
Gohan snorted, "They can try." He stared at the picture of him fighting Cell. "I can't believe they found a picture of that. Where did they get it anyway?"
Ron shrugged, "They said the video camera guy is a squib whose sister works at the Daily Prophet."
"Great!" Gohan groaned. "Why couldn't that guy have taken a sick day or something? Who in their right mind goes to the Cell Games for RECORDING IT on film? Cell would have killed that guy if he wanted to! No one is that devoted to their work!"
Harry grinned, "You risked this when you told everyone you were half-saiyan, and then even more when you told them what a saiyan was. Don't start whining about it now."
"I guess." Gohan mumbled. The whole cart shook from the witches and wizards laughter from inside.
As they approached Kings Cross, amidst the arguing of everyone else over if Cell was worse than Voldemort, a thought popped into Harry's heads.
"Ginny – what did you see Percy doing, that he didn't want to tell anyone?" Harry asked suddenly, looking at Ginny curiously.
"Yeah," Gohan joined in, raising his eyes to meet Ginny's, "I remember that. When Percy drove you away he said you saw something, he didn't like you did it either."
"Oh, that." Ginny giggled at the thought. "Well – Percy's got a girlfriend."
Fred dropped a stack of books on George's head (Gohan laughed hysterically at the scene, earning a glare from George).
"What?" Everyone shouted, Gohan in-between breaths and chuckles.
"It's that Ravenclaw prefect, Penelope Clearwater." Ginny explained, smiling. "That's who he was writing to all last summer. He's been meeting her all over the school in secret. I walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day. He was so upset when he was — you know— attacked."
Her expression turned fretful, "You won't tease him, will you?"
"Wouldn't dream of it." Fred assured, looking gleeful at the idea.
"Definitely not." added George, stifling laughter.
"Yeah, they're absolutely going to drop it." Gohan muttered to the others. They all laughed at the comment.
The train began to ease up gradually, and then finally come to a halt. Harry took out a quill and some parchment, turning to Hermione, Ron, and Gohan.
"This is called a telephone number—"
"Really?" Gohan gasped, looking at the parchment in awe. "Amazing, absolutely amazing. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen! I can't believe how they give telephones their own—"
"I was talking to Ron you git!" Harry shouted, causing Gohan to howl with laughter.
Harry glared at Gohan, "Anyway." he turned it back to Ron, tearing the parchment into three and giving one each to Hermione, Ron, and Gohan. "I told your dad how to use a telephone over the summer, so he'll know. Call me at the Dursleys', okay? I can't stand another two months with only Dudley to talk to…"
"By the way Harry," Gohan's face turned serious, "if the Dursleys need a little crash course in 'wizard relations', let me get Piccolo and Vegeta to come visit."
Harry grinned, "Thanks Gohan, but I really don't think it's—"
"I didn't think Cell would come back either," Gohan countered darkly, his voice low enough for only the four to hear, "but we all know how that turned out." A hush arose.
"Look," Gohan sighed, "If they start giving you any trouble, then you tell me. That way I'll only interfere when needed, okay?"
Harry smiled, "Okay. Thanks Gohan."
"That's what friends do for each other." Gohan grinned kindly.
"Your aunt and uncle will be proud, though, won't they?" Hermione asked as they walked off the train onto the platform, mingling in with the crowd.
"Proud?" Harry remarked. "Are you crazy? All those times I could've died, and I didn't manage it? They'll be furious…"
Together, they walked back through the barrier and into the normal, muggle world.
Gohan smiled, looking at his friends with affection. He couldn't believe how lucky he was. Granted, the most powerful evil in all existence was roaming about with a vendetta against him, but Gohan didn't care. He had friends, real friends. Friends who knew about his heritage, and accepted him regardless of it. He found out that his father really did save the day a year ago, even if only by accident with his help. Whatever the future threw at him, Gohan didn't care. Because now, he knew that he could do anything.
As he saw his mother and brother, waving at him happily several yards away the Ron and (who he assumed to be) Hermione's parents, Gohan felt his heart swell with the love and friendship he had.
Can't wait to find out what next year will be like. Gohan grinned.
The forest chirped, livid with life and prosperity. Birds and other woodland creatures scampered across and above the ground. The trees swayed and bloomed with life and energy, a light breeze picking up. The sun began to shine down on the area, the edges of the sun's rays just creeping past the tree tops. The rivers and streams crossing each other dribbled and crashed lightly against rocks, the occasional fish jumping out to catch passing flies. One would have called it an oasis, the perfect place to live, had it not been virtually inaccessible by common man.
The wind picked up suddenly, cyclones of air appearing out of nowhere as dirt and fallen leaves danced and flayed in the air. Some of the smaller animals and birds immediately took off, squawking and whining at the disturbance.
And then it stopped, the atmosphere finally settling down.
A lone figure now laid on the ground, one knee up for support. His breathes were short and quick, exhausted from the trip. The remaining animals, sensing danger, scampered away from the spot. Within seconds, no other signs of life remained for miles on end.
After several minutes of resting, the figure finally regained his breath. He weakly got up off the ground, standing up tall as the sun continued to slowly move past the treetops to the ground. His wings just barely hovered above the ground, the top of his antennae being touched by sunlight.
"I… can't believe… that brat… did it…" he panted, still weak and tired from his journey. "That half-breed… got the better of me."
He started moving in circles, slowly making a distinct pattern in the dirt below.
"I was careless." Cell decided, looking at the ground in thought. "I let my grudge against the boy overcome my plan. He was to not get emotional or I'd have risked exactly what happened. And it didn't help that Riddle fueled my desire for vengeance." He looked down to his right hand, "Lumos."
The hand glowed bright gold, bright light surrounding it as a beam of blinding light shot from his palm. He muttered "Nox", extinguishing the light as he got his bearings.
"However," he grinned nastily, "the boy proved to be of use in the end, I suppose. He gave me the chance to depart from those sticky circumstances. And, his death will not go without meaning." He frowned. "Even if it did mean traveling across seven countries by low-level flying, the six day trip was worth it. I'm too far for anyone to sense me, and did it without anyone sensing me the whole time."
He looked into the sky, clouds lazily dispersing to reveal the sky. Cell scowled at the sky.
"But," he sneered, "now that I let those two brats live, Vegeta and the others will surely know by now. Their guard will be up dramatically, I'll have no chance to catch the boy unprotected. And the fact they know I can use magic will alert the old man Dumbledore, who'll ensure the boys house and the area within two hundred miles be protected from me. Even if I wanted to kill the boy now, I would need to wait years for their defenses to be remotely low enough."
Cell smiled malevolently, "So I'll just need a little help to speed up the process a bit."
He looked around, noticing the stillness of the environment. He looked at the forest with mild interest, his gaze lingering no where too long.
"So," Cell said amusingly, "this is Albania. I see why he would hide here. Secluded, empty, and utterly quiet. I'd expect this from one of his kind of… caliber to go off to."
He made a start forward, trying to decide where to start. He couldn't… he wouldn't risk powering up at all until he learned of a spell strong enough to hide his energy signature. And without his bookworm dark magic memory to help, he couldn't make or learn of any more spells. He needed someone who knew as much as Riddle…
No. He needed someone smarter. Someone stronger. Someone who had years of experience and knowledge that only they possessed. They had to be as patient and as meticulous about strategy and planning as Cell, and who would keep him from messing up like the times before.
And better yet, he knew where he could find someone like that. Riddle was the one who clued him in on this little jungle of a country. It must have been pretty unique for the teen to babble on and on about.
"Where to begin, where to begin?" Cell muttered. "This might take a while."
The sun now shone down from the sky, enveloping all Albania in a warm, basking glow.
He smirked, "But then again, I can wait. And in the end, the spoils will be worth it."
He decided upon a path carven by animals, almost as if the pathway were made for him. Cell casually walked up to the dirt road, letting his hand drag against the trees. It emitted fiery green power, the energy emitting from it singing the wood as he walked, burning deep into the tree. All paths needed markers.
"After all," He hissed maliciously, his Parseltongue stung the air venomously, "I only met the shadow of his former self previously. He is the only one I can trust. I know his secrets, in any case."
The darkness of the forest enveloped him, thick looming trees encasing the sky. The sunlight disappeared from the sky; no light, no shadow… only darkness.
"It's only appropriate I meet the real Lord Voldemort."
Harry Potter and the Super Saiyan Wizard? Done.
Gohan Son and the Prisoner of Azkaban? In production
Well, that's it gang. After all we've been through, almost three years of bonding, it's done. Or is it? If you want me to make the aforementioned story above, tell me.
Now, some of you may have questions from this chapter. Some of you may not, but would like to find out interesting pieces of knowledge about the chapter. And others of you might just want to read this because I've written it and want to see if what I'm writing is worth your time; well it must be, because you're reading it. Anyway, here's what I have to say:
I'm not sure how the Wizard World would have reacted to Gohan and the others, but this is how I imagined it. Nothing's perfect, so I hope you liked it.
Some of you may be questioning why I had Cell 'leave' Gohan alone for the time being. It's common sense; too many people with too much strength are looking for/ aware of Cell. Naturally, Cell, like Voldemort, would want to lay low until either the heat is off, or he has a chance of not dying when confronting them.
The idea of Goku doing the same thing as Lily came accidentally as I started writing again this week. It wasn't to make Gohan in the spotlight or make him the new, better Harry. I thought it was a creative way of looking at the situation. That's why I made his protection different from Harry's; that would seem really stupid to have a powerful fighter not have to fight, since his skin burns his enemy. Wouldn't you agree?
I didn't want Gohan to be too parallel to Harry; that would be stupid. That's why I wanted Gohan to not inherit anything directly from Cell. The only things it did were open his mind and/ or latent abilities. Not to mention, I liked to have seen one REAL Parselmouth that was naturally good.
Thank you, and please, tell me what you thought of the whole story. It is now 10:32. Story officially over.