First of all, thanks for the interest in this story! While I'm not a new writer, this account is new, and I've never written for either Dragonball Z or Harry Potter, and I know that crossovers like these- especially from an author no one knows- aren't exactly popular, so I'm grateful if anybody's willing to give this fic a chance.
This story takes advantage of some of the plot holes we've all seen in DBZ and my passionate, almost obsessive love for the Son family in general and Gohan specifically. It deals a lot with Chichi's life before Goku, and the growth Gohan goes through in the seven years after the Cell Games. I'll be going by the DBZ Dub timeline, so Gohan's 11 years old (after the Hyperbolic Time Chamber) and Cell was beaten only a few months before this story starts, just a little while after Gohan's birthday in May. There's a few tweaks I'm going to be making that you should be aware of in regards to the DBZ 'verse. The biggest of which are;
* In this story, the DBZ world is situated on a large land mass in the Atlantic Ocean near Europe. Known as Chikyuu, this land is inaccessible and unknown to almost all the rest of the world, and hosts a number of incredible creatures, people and places who came to Chikyuu centuries before the start of the story after being offered refuge by a powerful witch who claimed it would be a place where they could freely be themselves without discrimination or threat. It is extremely difficult to go to or depart from Chikyuu, but the people of Chikyuu are at least relatively aware of the world outside of their land. In Muggle lore, the Chikyuu Continent is better known as the 'Lost' Continent of Atlantis.
* Though it is not evident in the dub, in the original Japanese storyline Chichi, Goku and most of the other residents of Mt. Paozu speak in a dialect. I have a weakness for accents, since I feel that they add a certain flavor to a character and tell you a lot about who they are and where they're from, so I'll be keeping the dialect in this story. I apologize in advance if this makes the story harder to read, but I feel that the accents are an important part of the characters that the Dub should not have left out in the first place.
That should be everything for now. I'm sorry for wasting so much time and space with this nonsense, but I didn't want to start the story before explaining these things. Please enjoy this work of fiction, and give me a review as feedback, if you would be so kind! Thanks again for the interest!
Chapter 1- The Wrath of Son Chichi
It was the little things that were most painful sometimes.
For nearly two months now Chichi had to try and adjust to the fact that her husband wasn't coming back to life ever again. Well, 'adjust' wasn't really the right word; it would probably be a little more appropriate to say that she diligently ignored the horrible way her heart broke a little more with every breath she took. After all, she was widowed at the age of twenty eight with an emotionally shattered son who blamed himself for his father's death. Which was why she couldn't let herself dwell on her own loss, not when Gohan still needed so much help dealing with his.
But sometimes, Chichi would be going through old clothes in the closet and catch a whiff of the unique scent of forest, old sweat and assorted spices that would always remind her of her husband. Sometimes the growling of a predator in the woods would sound remarkably like the noise Goku's stomach would make while he was pouting at her and whining for food. Sometimes, she's roll over in the middle of a cold night to try and find warmth in a body that was no longer there.
And in the moments after these 'sometimes' she'd realize what she was doing, and it would feel as though she had lost Goku all over again. Like right now.
"I'm so, SO sorry Mom!" Gohan flustered, trying in vain to clean up the horrific mess that had been Son Chichi's formerly spotless kitchen. It took Chichi a second to find her voice as she shook of the pangs of déjà vu, ignoring the memory that tickled at the back of her mind of the day after she'd come back home after giving birth to Gohan to find her home in a similar state of disarray and her husband looking just as out of his element as her son did now.
"'S fine, Gohan." Chichi said, trying to smile at her son. She knew Gohan probably just wanted to surprise her with breakfast, and she was honestly touched by the gesture, but the unintentional reminder of her husband just made her chest throb painfully and her eyes prick with tears. "Really, ya don't hafta worry about it, I'll get-!"
"But you're not feeling well!" Gohan scolded her fussily. "I heard you getting sick last night!"
"Gohan, it was justa stomachache." Chichi scoffed, an honest smile working its way to her face. The hovering habit her son had developed since Goku had died was heartbreaking and amusing all at once. At eleven years old, Gohan was a remarkably mature and dependable boy, two traits he had most certainly not inherited from his goofy, loveable father. Even before they had married, Chichi knew that Goku had a tendency to be irresponsible and impulsive, so from day one she had stepped up to be the sensible one in the house. The one who kept things clean and managed the money that Goku had won from the tournament and planned out everything to make sure that there would always be a roof over their heads and food on their table. Even when she was pregnant, Chichi was still cooking and cleaning and keeping everything ship-shape, right up until her water broke and Goku flew her to the nearest hospital at supersonic speed.
Chichi's smile widened a bit as she thought that wonderful, painful and terrifying day, and of the way her husband- Mr. Big, Strong Savior of the World- had looked down at his infant son when Gohan had first been placed into his arms. Never in her life had she seen anyone so awestruck, so overcome with joy and terror and pride and humility all at once. In that moment, Chichi knew that Gohan would always be Goku's greatest weakness, and the greatest incentive he could ever have to be stronger. And in return, Gohan grew up to adore his father with all his heart and soul.
"But what if it gets worse if you overwork yourself? You need to rest, mom. I got this, I promise!" Gohan insisted, practically shoving Chichi into the nearest chair before turning to start picking through the mess to see what could be saved. Chichi was torn between laughing and screaming at her son's overprotective attitude, but did neither. She knew Gohan didn't mean any harm with his hovering. He just wanted to make sure she was okay.
After all, Goku's last request before his death was for Gohan to take care of her.
Big oaf. Ya should be here ta do that yerself. Chichi thought, her laugher dying away at that thought. Despite her constant assurances to everyone that she was fine and that she was coping with Goku's death well, Chichi knew that nothing could be further from the truth. She was far worse this time than she was with Goku's first death. At least then, she knew from the start that he'd be back. In those days, she had pushed aside all her feelings except for her anger at Goku for dying and allowing his arch nemesis to steal their child and the terror that gripped her at the thought of seeing her baby on the same bloody, violent road his father travelled, not wanting to dwell on anything else for fear that she couldn't handle it. What she had gone through in that lonely year without her husband and son was nothing like guilt and silent suffering that she felt now.
As hard as it was for her though, Goku's death was a near fatal blow for their eldest son. Gohan hero-worshipped his father, something Chi-chi knew better than anybody. Ironically, the only other person he admired as much was the surly alien warrior who had once tried to murder Goku and take over the world (Chichi still wasn't thrilled about that. The others might have been willing to let old grudges die and forgive Piccolo, but it was her family that he had dragged into danger, thank-you-very-much, and she wasn't going to forget that any time soon). As much as she loved Gohan and as much as Gohan loved her, she knew that there were bonds between her husband and son that she could never understand, even if she had her whole life to observe them. Perhaps it was a saiyan thing, but Chichi sort of doubted that since the only other saiyan she knew was hardly Father-of-the-Year material. Though Bulma had told her that Vegeta was getting better around Trunks (or at least making an effort now), Chichi had yet to be impressed by the former Prince's paternal instincts.
No, Goku and Gohan's bond wasn't some weird alien thing or other such nonsense. It was purely the fact that her boys got each other in ways that outsiders could never understand. They were so proud of the other's accomplishments, so excited just to spend time with one another, whether they were sparring in preparation for some global evil that threatened to destroy all of mankind or simply fishing the day away on the shore of the lake by their home. Goku and Gohan connected, in ways that made even Chichi feel left out every now and then.
"Um, mom? I don't think this is salvageable… S-should I just throw it out, or…?" Gohan broken into her musing meekly, holding up a warped metal… thing that Chichi rather hoped wasn't her good stainless steel pot. Chichi stared at the melted cookware for a few moments before a steely glint entered her eyes and she stood up sharply, making her oldest son jolt in shock. "Mom? What-?"
"Get yer shoes, Gohan. We're goin' on a picnic." Chichi said breezily as she unearthed a sturdy wicker basket from the closet and started filling it with various things. Gohan gaped incredulously at the dangerously temperamental woman for a moment before finding his voice.
"Don't pretend ya didn't hear me, Gohan. We're goin' fer a picnic!" Chichi had to get out of the house, she'd go mad if she didn't. The fresh air and exercise would do her some good. Gohan too, for that matter. They both needed to escape Goku's ghost for a day…
"Yer point?" Chichi countered with a shrug. Over a decade of experience had taught her that saiyans didn't much mind when or where food was served, and it would make for a fresh experience. She hadn't done anything spontaneous or silly in years, and the feeling was long overdue.
"But what about the mess?"
"Leave it." The woman ordered, making her son look at her like she'd just sprouted a second head out of her elbow. "We'll deal with it when we get back. Right now, I just wanna lil' family time, just the two of us."
"I'm not in trouble, am I?" Gohan asked warily. His mother was acting out of sorts, after all, so he was a little concerned this was some sort of elaborate punishment. Granted, those weren't Chichi's style, but his mom could do some pretty strange things sometimes.
"No, but ya will be if ya don't listen ta me 'n get ready, young man." Chichi said sternly, fixing her dark eyes on her son with a glare that promised bad things if he kept questioning her. Wisely, Gohan dropped the subject, scurrying off to the room to get his shoes. Chichi smiled smugly as she watched them go before she turned back to packing their breakfast.
Yep, I still got it. She thought gleefully. Now that she had frightened her insanely powerful son into listening to her without question, there was absolutely nothing that could go wrong with her scheme to get the two of them away from the depression and guilt they were wallowing in, if even just for a day. She and Gohan were going to have a nice, normal morning out.
And Dende help anyone who tried to get in the way of that.
Mom's smiling again.
Gohan couldn't help but grin himself at this observation as he glanced over his shoulder at the woman following him back to their home, their picnic done and a damaged kitchen waiting to be cleaned. Amazingly enough, Chichi had been in an oddly good mood this whole morning. She didn't scream at him for destroying half the house trying to make breakfast, brought them outside to enjoy their meal surrounded by nature and even entertained him with stories of his grandpa and the childhood she had in the Ox Kingdom.
Gohan had been reduced to tears of laugher at a particularly funny tale about how his mother had gotten lost in the mountains trying to find a flower and wound up accidentally getting engaged to some sort of lizard man. Chichi had tried to explain to the guy that she was already engaged, but the lizard wouldn't take no for an answer, and thus Chichi had to resort to force to get him to let her go, and THEN spent years trying to get the guy to lose interest. Finally, the lizard managed to find a frog woman he fell madly in love with and, regretfully, broke off his engagement with Chichi. According to Chichi, she cried harder than anyone else at the wedding, and didn't bother to correct the lovesick idiot when he mistook her tears of relief for sorrow.
It was the most animated that Chichi had been in a while now, and Gohan couldn't pretend that he wasn't relieved.
She hasn't even said anything about my schoolwork. Gohan thought, slightly amazed by this fact. Chichi had made it her life's mission to make sure that Gohan had safer career options than a life as a fighter, after all, and if he were honest with himself, even he knew he had been neglecting his books since his father's death.
That thought had the smile dropping from Gohan's lips, his energetic pace slowing until Chichi cuffed him on the back of the head in censure.
"Come on, Gohan! That kitchen's not gonna clean itself, ya know!" The mother scolded smartly.
"Yeah, coming!" Gohan said, forcing a smile back onto his lips before Chichi could notice his mood and ask what was wrong. He couldn't risk upsetting his mother, not when she was finally acting happy again…
"Honestly though, I dunno how ya can catch 'n cook yer food over an open flame for a whole year when ya were four, but one mornin' in my kitchen has the place lookin' like a bomb went off." Chichi huffed, a smile still on her lips even as she scolded the boy. Gohan wrinkled his nose in response.
"I didn't have to deal with stoves and all those instructions out on my own." He defended himself.
"This comin' from the boy who built a robot outta broken toys when he was six?" Chichi countered, chuckling as Gohan blushed brightly.
Gohan was about to try and defend himself again when suddenly the boy drew up short, a puzzled look on his face. Seeing how serious Gohan looked, Chichi paused, growing concerned when her son turned sharp eyes in the direction of their house.
"Gohan…?" Chichi ventured cautiously, hoping against hope that their peace wasn't about to come to an abrupt end.
"Someone's at our house." Gohan said quietly, sounding far more serious then an eleven year old should.
"What?" Chichi said, turning to try and see for herself despite knowing that the house was still quite a ways out of sight. "Someone… Maybe it's one 'a Goku's friends again?" The rest of the warriors had gotten into the habit of checking on Gohan to make sure he was holding up okay. Though she had never really gotten all that chummy with most of Goku's friends, she prayed that their unexpected visitor was one of them. So when Gohan shook his head in response to her question, Chichi's heart sank down to her feet.
"I've never felt this ki before. Whoever it is, they're not a warrior, but they're… strange. And they just appeared out of nowhere, like they Instant Transmitted or something." Gohan frowned in concentration at whatever he was sensing before a surprised look overtook his face. "They're gone now. They just stood outside our door for a few minutes and left the same way they came."
"That… um… maybe it was a salesperson?" The excuse sounded lame even to Chichi's ears, but anything was better than the thought of something that would drag her baby back into the same violence and bloodshed that had claimed his father's life twice now.
"I'm going to go ahead and check it out, Mom. You-"
"Yer not goin' ANYWHERE without me, Son Gohan!" Chichi barked, glaring down at her child.
"But what if-?"
"Now ya listen ta me, mister! I'm the parent here and yer only eleven years old, so if ya think yer goin' ta fly off inta danger by yerself, ya gotta 'nother thing coming! I don't care if ya beat a monster that was tryin' to destroy the world with only one good arm, Ya. Ain't. Goin'. ANYWHERE. Without. ME!" Chichi was only vaguely aware of how hysterical she sounded as she was screaming these words at her son in the middle of the forest, but she didn't particularly care. Sure, there wasn't much she could do to help her son against anything that was strong enough to be a threat to him, but at least being with him was better than running through the forest on her own, half-blind with the terror of finding Gohan missing or dead when she reached their home.
"Y-yes ma'am." Gohan said meekly, knowing better then to argue with his mom when she got that look in her eyes. After getting a hold on Chichi's waist, Gohan took to the skies heading towards their house, sharp eyes scanning the forest below for anything abnormal.
Despite their worries, everything looked normal when Gohan and Chichi landed in their front yard. The house and the forest around it were completely undisturbed, and there were nothing even remotely threatening lurking around anywhere. That didn't make Gohan feel any more at ease about the matter, though Chichi seemed to calm down some when she failed to find any evidence that they're home had been intruded upon by unnatural forces like her son claimed.
"Are ya sure that ya sensed somethin', Gohan?" Chichi asked, feeling a bit annoyed at being frightened over nothing.
"Of course." Gohan replied with a frown. He didn't make mistakes, not when it came to sensing ki. He's been doing it since he was four, after all, and had picked up the skill under the strict tutelage of his Nemekian mentor. Piccolo wouldn't have rested until he knew Gohan's ability to sense his enemy was absolutely perfect.
Maybe they did something to the house? Gohan wondered, turning a cautious eye to his home. Deciding to check it out before Chichi could do it herself, the boy hastily made his way to the front door, lifting a hand to turn the knob for entrance when…
Startled, the boy looked down at his feet to see what he had stepped on, blinking in surprise at the thick envelope that was caught under his shoe, made of what looked like old parchment paper. After hesitating for a second, Gohan bent to pick the object up, his confusion growing as he noted that it was indeed a letter.
Who'd send a letter to our house? Gohan thought, baffled. The Son family didn't have many close acquaintances, and the ones they did have would have visited rather than sending them mail. Bulma even hand delivered the invitation to the wedding she and Vegeta would having at the end of the month (and even now Gohan didn't have a clue as to how the heiress managed to talk Vegeta of all people into getting married).
Studying the letter more closely, Gohan's eyebrow rose as he took in the wax seal, which featured a stylized H surrounded by a lion, a snake, a badger and a raven. He didn't even realize that people still used seals in this day and age… Amused, Gohan turned the letter over to check the return address to see where the letter had come from.
His shock returned full force when he saw the emerald green writing on the front of the envelope.
Mr. G. Son
2nd Bedroom on the Ground Floor
Forest Near the Foot of Mt. Paozu
439 East District Area
"Gohan? Whatcha got there?" Chichi asked, seeing the letter that had captured her son's attention. Jumping slightly, Gohan blushed before hastily handing the thick envelope over to his mother for her to inspection.
"Um, it's a letter. I think it's for me, but it's addressed… kinda weird…" Gohan told her, still a little confused at the mildly creepy address. Granted, he probably would have figured it was meant for his dad if they hadn't mentioned his bedroom, since 'G. Son' seemed more likely to be Goku then Gohan. "Maybe Krillen left it as a joke or something… what do you think, mom?" Turning to get Chichi's opinion Gohan's eyes widened in alarm when he saw that his mother's face had gone white as a sheet. "Mom! Are you alright? What-?"
"Gohan." Chichi said, cutting him off abruptly. "Go pack a bag. We're gonna stay at yer grandpa's fer a little while."
"Is something wrong, mom?" Gohan asked, glancing at the letter again. "Wait, mom… do you know who sent that?" Chichi didn't respond to her son's question, hastily tucking the letter away out of Gohan's sight as if half afraid he'd be able to peer through the envelope and see the contents of the letter.
"Never mind Gohan, just go get yer things t'gether." Chichi said hastily, shooting Gohan a look that implored him to listen to her demand. Protests dying in his throat, Gohan nodded meekly at the woman and turned to enter the house. Once he was out of sight, Chichi turned back to the letter with a dark scowl, the envelope crumpling in her grip.
Not on yer life, Dumbledore. Chichi thought bitterly as she shoved the abused letter into the pocket of her dress before following her son into the house, protective instincts at full kilter. I'm NOT gonna to let ya steal my baby away from me…
Gohan kept a nervous eye on his mother as the two of them climbed out of the Capsule car, the half saiyan carrying both of their overnight bags as they made their way to the front doors of the Ox King's Castle. Chichi was acting strangely again, and not in a good way this time. First, she hadn't tried to make Gohan pack any of his schoolwork, first aid kits or protective gear when they left their house, just clothes and other essentials, which relieved and concerned the hybrid at the same time. Then she been jumpy and overly paranoid the whole drive to the Ox Kingdom, looking over her shoulder constantly and nearly plowing into the face of a mountain more than once. Gohan even had to blast a hole into one to keep them from getting killed, scaring some poor dinosaurs half to death. Gohan had tried to reassure her that they weren't being followed at least a hundred times before he finally gave up and focused on stopping Chichi from killing them or some innocent animal with her lead foot.
That's it, there's definitely something weird going on with that letter that mom doesn't want me to know about. Gohan thought, darting forward to catch some poor maid Chichi bowled over in her mad rush to get to her father. Flashing the woman a weak smile and murmuring a hasty apology, Gohan hurried to keep up with the woman.
"Gohan! Chichi!" Ox King bellowed happily as he bound towards his daughter and grandson. "Well, this is a surprise! What brings ya two ta Ox Kingdom?"
"We gotta problem, dad." Chichi answered severely, shooting a nervous glance towards Gohan.
"Problem?" Ox King's smile fell away into a concerned frown. "More aliens? Or androids? Is someone tryin' ta destroy the world again?"
"No, Grandpa." Gohan assured the man hastily with a guilty flinch. It said something about their lives when someone just had to say the word 'problem' and everyone's minds went straight to potential apocalypses… "I got a weird letter today, and I think it scared mom a bit."
"…A letter?" Ox King repeated, sounding justifiably baffled. After all, Gohan had faced down aliens, monsters, androids and a whole array of freaks and come out relatively unfazed, so the thought of a letter being associated with any sort of problem was strange to say the least. As Ox King turned a confused expression to his daughter in hopes of getting some sort of explanation, Chichi wordlessly pulled the letter in question out of her pocket and held it out to the gigantic man in front of her.
As soon as Ox King's eyes fell on the emerald green ink, his face when disturbingly blank.
Narrowing his eyes, Gohan looked between his mother and grandfather, sensing that something was going on and feeling frustrated at being kept out of the loop, even though it involved him.
"You guys know what this letter's about, don't you." It wasn't a question. Gohan would've had to have been an idiot not to see how affected his family was by the mere envelope, to say nothing of whatever it contained. Ox King's eyes went wide at Gohan's accusation, and he turned to Chichi with a sharp look.
"Ya still haven't told-?"
"Gohan sweetie, go find yer room and put yer things away." Chichi ordered softly, sounding drained as she cut her father off. Temper rising, Gohan stood his ground, giving his mother a hard look.
"Not until I know what's going on." He extorted, earning him a sharp glare from his mom. "That letter was for me, right? So all this involves me. Don't I deserve to know what's happening?"
"Don't talk ta me like that, young man!" Chichi snapped back. "I'm yer mother, and I know what's best for ya! Now go find a room and do yer studies like a good boy, and not another word about that letter!"
"Gohan." Ox King broke in, cutting off Gohan's argument before he could start. "Please, just do what she's askin' for now. We'll let ya know what this is all about later, 'kay?" Gohan's growing anger cooled at the pained look his grandfather was giving him, leaving only an uncomfortable pain of guilt in its wake as he realized how much this was upsetting his family. Nodding meekly, the demi-saiyan easily shouldered his bags and headed up the stairs to find the room he usually claimed on the rare occasions his family visited Fire Mountain.
As much as Gohan desperately wanted to know what was going on, there was no way he could callously force his family to tell him, not when it was so obviously something that hurt them deeply. Especially his mom. Gohan knew how much Chichi had gone through these past few years because of him and his dad, and he couldn't bear the thought of making her suffer any more then he already had unless it was a life or death situation. No, Gohan was far too noble for something like that.
…Didn't mean he was above eavesdropping, though.
Thanking all the gods that he knew personally and several more he hadn't had the chance to meet yet that his mother and grandfather had never gotten the hang of sensing ki, and even giving a grudging nod of gratitude to his saiyan heritage for giving him such sharp hearing, Gohan sat crouched outside the door of his grandfather's office listening to the heavy footfall of the Ox King as he paced across the floor.
"I don't understand… How'd this happen?" Ox King asked anxiously. "Didn't ya say ya were gonna make sure Gohan wouldn't get it?"
"'Course I did!" Chichi responded, a touch defensively. "I did everythin' I could ta keep 'im from gettin' it! Ya think I wanted my son ta inherit that curse? There's gotta be some sorta mistake! He doesn't have it, I woulda noticed if he did!"
"Dumbledore ain't the kinda man to make mistakes 'bout somethin' like that, Chichi." The Ox King said with a heavy sigh. Gohan blinked. Dumbledore? And what was this curse his mom was talking about?
"He's up to somethin'. Schemin' again!" Chichi scoffed angrily. "He ain't goin'. Gohan 'n I are finally gettin' our lives back on track now that all that android nonsense is over 'n Cell's gone. Nobody's gonna take my baby from me again after all of that!"
"Chichi, he's gotta go, ya know that. If he really does have-"
"He doesn't have it!" Chichi hissed. "It's impossible! The chances were less than 2%, 'n even then if somethin' had leaked through, he'd practically be a Squib! There's no way he'd have enough for them ta spot 'im!"
…Squib? Gohan repeated, confused. That was a word he'd never heard before. And what was all this about him going somewhere? And what didn't he have? Or apparently, he did have it, if this Dumbledore guy wanted him to go somewhere his mom didn't want him going…
…Great. Now he was starting to give himself a headache.
"Then why'd he get this letter, Chichi?" Ox King demanded. It sounded like he was starting to get upset which was rare for the happy-go-lucky giant.
"Dumbledore must be tryin' ta trick me inta comin' back or somethin'. I bet he's countin' on the fact that if he takes Gohan, I'll return ta that world ta make sure he's okay."
"Oh cummon, Chichi!" Ox King said, sounding exasperated. "Yer mom spoke very highly of Dumbledore, 'n I've never hadda reason ta think that he'd do somethin' that underhanded!"
"Mom was killed 'cause of them, Dad!" Chichi reminded Ox King sharply. "'N I'm not gonna let them have Gohan, too. He doesn't have it, I know he doesn't!"
"At least let 'im know-!"
"NO!" Chichi said, slamming her hand hard against a desk. "I can't tell 'im now, Dad! He's goin' through so much right now, 'n I-!"
"This has nothin' ta do with what Gohan's goin' through and ya know it." Ox King said, his voice laced with heavy disapproval. "Yer scared he'll get angry or reject ya if ya tell 'im ya've been keepin' somethin' like this a secret from 'im 'n 'is father since before he was born. This is why I told ya ta tell Goku when ya two got married, like ya were supposed ta."
"I didn't think it'd be an issue, dad!" Chichi snapped defensively. "I'm as good as dead ta that world, 'n I'm happier fer it! Lily was the only decent thing that came outta that nonsense, 'n she understood why I wanted no part 'a that fer me 'n my family!"
"Ya need ta at least give 'im a choice, Chichi. He deserves that, just like ya did. Ya can't let yer fears keep Gohan from such a big opportunity."
"An opportunity fer what? More danger 'n people tryin' ta take advantage of 'im? I think Goku's friends have that cornered, dad." Chichi said, a bitterness seeping into her tone that made Gohan flinch. He knew Chichi was still holding a grudge with the guys for everything he'd been through, especially Piccolo.
"No, dad. I ain't changin' my mind. Not about this. Gohan can make so much more a' his life then just bein' a pawn fer other people! I'm sendin' a letter to Dumbledore tonight sayin' he ain't goin' to Hogwarts, 'n that's that!" Chichi emphasized this statement with another hard slam on the desk, which seemed to be the last the poor, abused furniture could handle judging by the terrific crash that followed. Sensing that his mother was starting to make her way out of the office, Gohan fled for the room he had claimed before he could get caught snooping and forced to suffer his mother's punishing wrath. As soon as the door to his room closed behind him, Gohan breathed a sigh of relief before pausing to mull over what he had heard.
Hogwarts… Gohan mused, trying to remember if he had ever heard of such a place before. Drawing up a blank, the young half saiyan frowned thoughtfully to himself. Whatever this Hogwarts place was, his mother and grandfather seemed at odds about him going. If Grandpa thinks I should go, then it's probably not anything bad. I wonder what mom has against it, though. I mean, there has to be a reason she's this worked up about it, right?
Well, it didn't matter one way or another, he guessed. His mother had decided that he wasn't going to this Hogwarts place, and once Son Chichi made up her mind there was nothing and no one that could make her change it. This whole thing would probably blow over in a couple days, and he and his mother would be back in their home on Mount Paozu before the week's end.
Figuring that it was best to just put his mother's odd behavior behind him for now, Gohan began preparing for bed, hoping that Chichi would be more willing to talk in the morning. After he finished dressing, Gohan climbed into bed, rolling over to face the window so he could see the stars, a habit he'd formed after his time under Piccolo's tutelage. As his eyes grew heavy with fatigue, Gohan gazed out belligerently at the darkened night sky, watching as clouds rolled in to blot the waning moon from sight and an owl flew silently over the trees and towards the horizon.
Gohan woke up the next morning with an odd feeling of wrongness. Opening his eyes, the young half saiyan was momentarily confused by his surroundings before the memories of the previous day came back to him and his apprehension faded. Crawling out from underneath his blanket, Gohan made his way over to get dressed, eager to meet his mother down in the dining hall to finally get some answers. Maybe after a good night's rest, Chichi would be a little more willing to open up about what was going on…
This hope died a horrible, cruel death as soon as Gohan entered the dining room and laid eyes on his mother.
Son Chichi was a mess. All of the proud woman's traditional Asian beauty was lost to unkempt hair that stuck out at odd angles, sickly pale skin and bloodshot eyes with visible bags. None of this was made better by the fact that she had an irritated snarl on her face that made Gohan decide that maybe bugging her wouldn't be the best idea after all.
Ox King seemed to think so too. He was sitting a few seats away from his daughter, eyeing her live a live bomb. As Gohan took the place at his grandfather's side though, the large man grinned widely at the boy.
"Gohan! How'd ya sleep, m'boy?"
"Very well, thank you." Gohan answered with a smile.
"Good ta hear." Ox King chuckled before shooting a quick look at the sole female in the room. "Wish I could say the same 'bout yer ma, boy. Chichi was up sick half the night, 'n after the day she had yesterday…" Ox King trailed off at that, but Gohan knew all too well. His mother was the type to fuss and fret over even the little things, after all, and when something happened that really upset her, she stressed out even more.
Gohan silently prayed that they'd make it through the day without any fatalities.
Apparently sensing that they were talking about her, Chichi looked up to glower dangerously at her son and father, and both males hastily turned their attention to the food Ox King's servants had brought out. As he piled everything that was remotely edible onto his plate, though, Gohan couldn't help but glance worriedly in his mother's direction again.
"Mom, do you think maybe you should see a doctor or something?" The half saiyan asked timidly. "I mean, if you've been sick for two days in a row now…"
"I'm fine, Gohan." Chichi sighed, though the hardness in her eyes softened at her son's obvious concern over her health. "It's justa stomach flu. I tooka lil medicine when I woke up, 'n I'm feeling much better." Gohan doubted that very much, but knew better then to press the subject and incite his mother's temper.
Slowly, the tension at the table dissolved as conversation between the three began to pick up. Chichi even smiled a little as Ox King laughed uproariously at Gohan's embarrassed account of his disastrous attempt at making breakfast the day before. By the time breakfast ended, Chichi's mood seemed to have improved drastically, and Gohan began hoping that maybe she'd be willing to answer a few of his questions after all.
That's then the maid came in, giving Gohan a curious look.
"Master Gohan? A letter just came fer ya in the mail…" The woman said, slightly puzzled since Gohan and Chichi's visit was a very spur-of-the-moment thing. In her hands was the letter in question, written in the same emerald green ink as the first.
Mr. G. Son
3rd Floor Bedroom by the Stairs Facing the West
Ox Kingdom of Fire Mountain
520 East District Area
With impressive speed for a human who wasn't using ki, Chichi bound out of her seat and across the room to snatch the letter out of the maid's hand, almost giving the poor woman a heart attack in the process.
"But I don't… how…?" Gohan knew he sounded like an idiot, but he was honestly baffled. How could whoever was sending these things know that Gohan hadn't received the first letter and send out a new one to a completely different location so quickly? And to again know exactly where Gohan was, right down to the bedroom he was staying in? Gohan should have sensed this person if they were watching him that closely, and if they were then why did they need to send letters at all? Couldn't they just come and talk to Gohan themselves?
Gohan's musings where cut off when Chichi let out a howl of rage, tearing the letter into a million different pieces.
"Th-there was 'nother addressed ta ya, Mistress Chichi." The now frightened maid added, her hands trembling as she presented Chichi with a second letter that seemed to be made from the same parchment, though this one didn't look as thick as the one they were trying to send to Gohan. If he wasn't still so confused, Gohan would have been surprised that the letter didn't burst into flames by the sheer force of the glare that Chichi leveled at it as she claimed it from the shaken maid's hands, tearing the envelope off and almost ripping the parchment she withdrew from inside in her rage. The abused envelope fluttered to the ground near Gohan's feet, address up.
Mrs. C. Son
5th Floor Suite on the East Side
Ox Kingdom of Fire Mountain
520 East District Area
Whatever the letter itself said did absolutely nothing to improve Chichi's mood, as she let out a string of curses after reading it before shredding this one as well. Before her father or Gohan could say a word, Chichi stormed out of the room screaming about a 'miserable ol' man tryin' ta tell me how ta raise my son!' and insisting that she was 'gonna fight 'em to the death! Just try 'n take my baby, ya ol' windbag!'
There was a beat of silence following this display before Ox King sighed heavily.
"Something tells me things are about to get very interesting around here." The giant man said in an exasperated tone as he stood up and followed his daughter.
Privately, Gohan couldn't help but agree.
'Interesting,' as it turned out, wasn't the right word for the days that followed Chichi's fit at breakfast that first morning in the Ox Kingdom. Six days later, the only way Gohan could think to describe it was 'Strange Even by the Standards of a Half-Alien Eleven Year Old Who Fought Intergalactic Overlords and Evil Bio-Androids.' Somehow, whoever was sending the letters knew that Gohan had never read a single one. Gohan couldn't help but think that they probably knew about Chichi's declaration of war, too.
And he knew they had a weird sense of humor.
The day after Chichi had sworn to fight the mysterious letter sender to her dying breath, Gohan had awoken to find his mother pacing in front of the doors to the Ox King's Castle, frying pan in one hand and eyes glued to the sky. After half an hour of trying unsuccessfully to coax his mother back inside for breakfast, Gohan decided to eat out on the front steps with her, much to the confusion of everyone who passed by. After eating his fill, Gohan tried to pour himself a cup of tea, only to find the pot was empty. Confused since he had filled the pot himself and neither him nor his mother had touched it until that point, the half-saiyan opened the pot to look inside.
And found a letter inside, addressed to a Mr. G Son, Front Steps of the Ox Castle.
Gohan was impressed, despite himself, but Chichi didn't seem to think the trick was anywhere near as cool as her son did. She tore up the letter and then stormed inside the Castle to fume for the rest of the day. Then the day after that Gohan found a letter rolled up and stuck inside his toothpaste tube, addressed to Mr. G. Son, 3rd Floor Bathroom of the Ox Castle. Unfortunately, Chichi walked in just as Gohan discovered the letter and quickly confiscated it, leaving him with no chance to read it.
The third day two letters found their way into the hands of Ox King, tucked in each of his enormous shoes. The giant man tried to sneak one to Gohan, telling his grandson to say that he had found it on the floor, but Chichi caught them and made both her son and her father pay dearly for their mutiny. Apparently Chichi had decided that she had to keep an eye on her son after that, ordering the boy back to his schoolwork on the next day (it seemed she hadn't been as out of it as he was afraid and had packed his homework after all). Not wanting to upset her, Gohan did as he was told, but as soon as he opened the book, a letter fell into his lap. Ten seconds later, Chichi and Gohan realized that the letters were tucked between every single page of each and every one of Gohan's books.
On the bright side, this got Gohan out of studying. Unfortunately, he didn't the chance to sneak any of the letters out without his mom noticing.
Five days into their little adventure, Icarus showed up with a bag containing a hundred of the letters and a large trout in his mouth. The dragon spent the rest of the day dodging an irate Chichi and her frying pan as a frantic Gohan chased after them in a hopeless attempt to calm his mother down before she hurt his friend. The sixth day, Gohan woke up to find the letters fluttering down from the sky all around the castle, like some sort of bizarre snowstorm. Gohan thought it was kind of funny to watch confused people running around with umbrella as the heavens pelted letters at them, but Chichi threw an absolute fit when she saw it.
By this point, Gohan had started looking forward to these daily displays. None of the little tricks were dangerous in any way, except for maybe to poor Icarus, and it was always a fun surprise to see where and how the letters were going to turn up. It was like getting treated to a surprise magic show every morning, even if most of the stunts were nearly impossible to explain. Still, it wasn't like he and his friends hadn't seen stranger in their adventures.
Which probably explained why Bulma only seemed freaked out by the raining letters around Ox King's Castle for a minute or so before braving past them to find her friends.
"I've been looking everywhere for you two, you know!" the blue haired heiress complained when she found the two Sons, glaring sternly at them. "Krillen almost had a heart attack when he went to your house and found it looking like a bomb went off and no signs of anyone having been there for a couple of days. I kept trying to tell him that there's no way something could have done something to you guys without someone realizing it, but he kept insisting you guys might've been kidnapped or something until I told him you were probably visiting Ox King or something. Why'd you guys just take off without telling anyone and leave your house a mess like that? And what's up with the mail storm outside?" Ox King chuckled a bit at Bulma's question, earning questioning looks from the other three that had him rubbing the back of his head sheepishly.
"Sorry, 's just… Mail Storm. Maelstrom. Geddit?"
Seeing that Chichi's eye was twitching dangerously as the Ox King laughed nervously, Gohan quickly jumped in before his mother could snap and try and kill them all.
"Sorry Miss Bulma, we didn't have time to contact anyone before we left." The boy said apologetically. "I kinda got this weird letter a couple days ago, and mom thought we'd be safer from whoever's sending them if we stayed here."
"I see how that's working out for you." Bulma said flatly, peering out the window at the poor groundskeeper, who was trying to sweep the letter up as they piled all over the ground, only to have more fill in any areas he cleared.
"Well what kinda bright ideas could ya come up with ta stop this, Miss Genius?" Chichi snapped, her temper frayed to the breaking point over the past few days.
"Do you know who's sending the letters?" Bulma asked practically, not looking all that bothered by Chichi's anger.
"Mom does, but she won't tell me." Gohan sighed in exasperation as Chichi's lips thinned dangerously. Wisely, Bulma decided not to press the subject.
"Well then can't you sense them, Gohan?" Bulma asked instead, mildly surprised when the boy shook his head in denial.
"I could the first time, but after that… it's like he did it all without ever setting foot in the area."
"You really think that's possible?" Bulma asked skeptically. "I mean, even with my technology, I don't think I could make it rain letters or get mail into a toothpaste tube or anything without you or someone else noticing something. And that trick with the tea pot-"
"Forget a 'bout how he does it!" Chichi hissed like an angry cat, though Gohan couldn't help but notice she looked a little nervous. "Just make 'im stop doin' it!"
"Well that's easy." Bulma said breezily. "Stay with me, at Capsule Corp."
There was a moment's pause at that before Chichi's eye twitched.
"That's yer big plan?" The irate mother asked irritably.
"Capsule Corp. has the best security system known to man and machine. Dad put a lot of stuff into our home security that's never even available on the market. And even without all that, there's Vegeta. I mean, no offense kid, I know you're one tough cookie, but Vegeta has been fighting a lot longer then you, and lived under brutal conditions since the day he was born. Even if this guy can make himself invisible to ki senses, I'll bet Vegeta can sniff him out."
"Makes sense to me." Gohan said with a shrug, not bothered in the least that Bulma thought Vegeta would be more reliable than him for keeping the mysterious letter sender away.
The half saiyan was well aware of his own faults and weaknesses when it came to battle, having had them pointed out numerous times by Piccolo, and then later his father. This had led him to see his abilities from a more practical angle. While he knew that he had everyone else beat when it came to speed and strength, the others tended to have better control and were more capable of staying focus on the fight without losing their heads. They were also better at multitasking during a fight, which was something the straightforward hybrid struggled with at times. For these reasons, Gohan knew that it was entirely possible that he had missed something that the older, more experienced Saiyan prince might notice about their invisible opponent.
"Well… I s'pose…" Chichi sighed out, looking as though she had run out of options.
"Great!" Bulma said with a grin. "I came to see if you guys were still planning on coming to the wedding anyways, since no one's seen or heard from you all week. But now that you'll be in my home for a while, I won't have to worry about it!" Gohan's eyes widened slightly. With all the mess going on with the letters, he had completely forgotten that Bulma and Vegeta's wedding was taking place in another five days.
"Are you sure it's alright for us to impose, Miss Bulma?" Gohan asked worriedly. He didn't know much about weddings, but he figured that they took a lot of planning and hard work, and he didn't want to get in the way and spoil the occasion for Bulma. Vegeta, he knew, probably couldn't care less about a human ceremony, but weddings were a big deal for girls…
"Hey, I invited you, didn't I?" Bulma laughed. "Relax, how bad can a bunch of letters be anyways?"
Ox King and Gohan exchanged worried looks at that, wondering if Bulma really knew what she was getting herself and her family into. Before the half saiyan could express this fear out loud though, his mother started yanking him up the stairs, taking the boy by surprise and nearly pulling his arm right out of his socket.
"We'll get 'r things then, Bulma!" Chichi called over her shoulder as she towed her son along behind her. As soon as the heiress and the Ox King were out of sight, though, Chichi gave a frustrated sigh. "Hmph! Dunno if that Vegeta's gonna make much 'a difference, but I guess an extra set 'a eyes can't hurt… with any luck, the ol' man'll take a hint 'n give up soon…"
"And maybe once we get to the city, we can get you checked over by a doctor?" Gohan added his two cents hopefully.
"I'm tellin' ya, I'm fine." Chichi huffed. Rolling her eyes. "Honestly, I dunno where ya get this overprotectiveness from, but it's unhealthy ina boy yer age. Now go get yer things, Gohan. And don't forget ta get those eyedrops from th' bathroom! Yer eyes have been lookin' a little dry lately. Probably from all that flyin' around 'n the wind!" Gohan considered calling Chichi out on her double standards, before figuring that he didn't want to risk it with his mother's recent temper. Instead, the half saiyan sighed heavily and departed to obey his mother.
I wonder if anyone else my age has to deal with crazy stuff like this all the time… he thought wryly. Somehow though, he sort of doubted it.