“Yesterday.” Gohan answered.
Ron grinned, “Well it’s a good thing then you’ve got Super Saiyan speed on your side, Boy Who Fought.”
Hermione and Harry all laughed at this, Ron joining them. Gohan groaned overdramatically over the laughter.
“Okay, that’s it!” Gohan stood up, acting both theatrically and serious, “I realize the entire magical community reuses everything they have, but names?! We are officially changing my nickname; from now on, you will all address me as… um… the Z Mage! Yeah… yeah that’s it, the Z Mage!”
At this point, after a two second silence, the foursome of magic users broke out in laughter. Eventually, they all almost broke hysterically. Gohan wiped away a tear that formed as his giddiness decreased. It was good to be back with them.
Eventually, they all settled down, and Gohan returned to his seat. He turned to Harry.
“Why are you here Harry?” Gohan inquired curiously. “No offense, but I didn’t think your aunt and uncle would let you stroll over anywhere magical until they dropped you off at Kings Cross.”
Harry hid his face slightly as it grinned, and Ron started laughing again as Hermione glared nastily at him.
“Well,” Harry spoke over Ron’s chuckles, “do you remember my Aunt Marge I mentioned in my letter?” Gohan nodded. “Well… she’s not the most pleasant person to be around, and she doesn’t really like me.”
Gohan rolled his eyes, “Who in your family does?”
Harry smiled faintly, “True, but she didn’t take me in, nor would she have. Anyway, she started talking about my parents, then about my dad and I… I guess got a bit upset.”
Gohan raised an eyebrow, “How upset?”
“He blew up his aunt!” Ron exclaimed cheerfully, his receding laughter suddenly returning full force.
“WHAT?!” Gohan yelled, his eyes widening. He turned to Harry, “Harry, sometimes I think Vegeta’s a pain but I don’t use the Kamehameha Wave on him!”
“It was an accident, and not that kind of blowing up you dolt!” Harry protested. “I got mad, and I accidentally used magic on her. She started inflating like a balloon, and rather than facing my angry red-faced Uncle I got my stuff and walked out of the house.”
“Then how did you get—”
“The Knight Bus.” Harry cut in. “It’s the Greyhound version for magic I guess. Apparently I waved my wand out in the street, and that’s a signal for them that a wizard needs a ride. They took me to the Leaky Cauldron, and I met the Minister there.”
“Fudge right? That guy in Hagrid’s hut last year?” Gohan questioned.
Harry nodded, “He sent some guys to fix my Aunt and erase her memory. I’ve been hanging around here and the Leaky Cauldron since the night I sent your letter.” Harry frowned, “Funny thing though; Fudge left me off clean about the accident, even though Dobby got me a warning before.”
Gohan shrugged, “He probably wouldn’t waste time on it; you are their savior after all, and it wouldn’t look good I guess.”
“That’s what I said.” Ron added, his giddiness gone. “But now that you are here Gohan, you can come with us to King’s Cross tomorrow! We’re all staying at the Leaky Cauldron. You should get a room too!”
Gohan grinned, “I am so there. Did you guys get any of your new Hogwarts stuff too?”
Ron beamed, “Yep, all of it. And look at this Gohan.” He pulled out a long thin box from his bag and opened it, revealing a wand. “Brand-new wand. Fourteen inches, willow, containing one unicorn hair.”
“And why does Hermione have three bags of books?” Gohan said blankly, gesturing to the three bags of books Hermione held loosely.
“Because Hermione’s Hermione.” Ron muttered lowly.
“I’m taking more classes than you three, aren’t I?” Hermione countered, ignoring Ron’s comment. “These books are for Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination—”
“That’s great Hermione,” Gohan smiled, “tell me the rest later. But I have to ask, did you waste—spend all of your money on schoolbooks?”
Hermione shook her head, “I’ve still got ten Galleons. It’s my birthday in September, and Mum and Dad gave me some money to get myself an early birthday present.”
Note to self. Gohan thought. Give Harry his birthday present later when getting the capsules out won’t result in panic…One more thing; get Hermione a gift for her birthday.
“How about a nice book?” Ron said simply.
“No, I don’t think so.” Hermione raised her head in thought. “I really want an owl. I mean, Harry’s got Hedwig and Gohan’s got… um… do you have one Gohan?”
“I have Ikarus, if that’s what you mean.” Gohan answered innocently.
“Okay,” Hermione went on, “and Gohan has his… Ikarus, was it? And of course you’ve got Errol Ron—”
“I haven’t.” Ron corrected grimly. “Errol’s a family owl. All I’ve got is Scabbers.” He pulled the pet rat out of his pocket. “And I want to get him checked over. I don’t think Egypt agreed with him.”
Gohan observed the rat lounging on the table, and had to agree with Ron. Since Gohan saw him last Scabbers was much thinner, and his whiskers seemed to have sagged down.
“There’s a magical creature shop just over there.” Harry pointed to a store not too far off. “You could see if they’ve got anything for Scabbers, and Hermione can get her owl.”
They all agreed, and headed off to Magical Menagerie. There wasn’t much space inside, because many witches and wizards were there about their own pets, some of them with their owners. Ron went over to a lady about Scabbers, leaving Hermione, Harry, and Gohan to look at owls. Finally, though, their observing the pristine birds became silent. Harry decided to break it.
“So… you mentioned you had ‘Ikarus’ earlier?” Harry asked inquisitively.
“Yeah.” Gohan smiled. “I’ve known him for eight, maybe nine years.”
“Why haven’t we ever seen him?” Harry asked.
“I never used him.” Gohan told them. “Dende told me over the summer that Dumbledore wanted him to not use his ‘Guardian of the Earth’ magic for me at Hogwarts anymore (except electronics I have are already charmed to work). Apparently, he was afraid the protective spells around Hogwarts might get damaged or vanish if Dende kept interfering more than he should. So now I have to use more practical means to send letters instead of Dende; thus, I instantly went to my friend Icarus. He can get to my house from here in one day, two at the most.”
“It sounds like Icarus can fly pretty fast, flying across like seven countries in that time.” Harry noted, impressed. “Do you have him now?”
Gohan shook his head sadly, “He’s too big and noticeable. I told him to fly over in a week; he’ll hang out in the Forbidden Forest while we’re at Hogwarts. The fact we’re best friends makes this whole situation more enjoyable.”
“What kind of owl is he?” Hermione inquired fascinatingly.
“An owl?” Gohan gave a surprised look, “who said Icarus was an owl?”
“He isn’t an owl?” Hermione said shockingly.
“An owl can’t go that fast; that’s just stupid.” Gohan reprimanded, using a tone Gohan never thought he could use on Hermione (which was great!).
“So what is he?” Harry questioned. “Is he a phoenix like Fawkes?”
“Nope.” Gohan stated cheerfully. “He’s a dragon!”
At this, Hermione and Harry gasped. Hermione straight away brought her hand over Gohan’s mouth, receiving a questionable glance from the boys. A couple people looked at Gohan strangely, and then shook their heads to return to the masses of people around them. Gohan finally got her off of him.
“What was that for?!” Gohan exclaimed heatedly.
“You don’t just go saying you have a pet dragon Gohan!” Harry told Gohan quietly. “Dragons are one of the most dangerous creatures in the magical world! It’s illegal to have one.”
“They’re categorized as “XXXXX Creatures’,” Hermione added sternly, “meaning they are known wizard killers and are impossible to train or tame.”
Gohan rolled his eyes, “Come on guys, let’s be serious. Those categories are biased, even if only slightly.”
“Other creatures known to be in the XXXXX class are Acromantulas, like the ones Hagrid raised, and Basilisks!” Hermione hissed venomously.
“….. Good point. But this is different. I have never tried to train or tame Ikarus.” Gohan sighed. “We’re friends; he’s more of a partner than a pet.”
“Wasn’t Aragog a friend to Hagrid?” Harry joined in, grinning mischievously.
“….. Shut up Harry.”
Harry, Hermione, and Gohan all laughed at this. They then made their way over to Ron as he finished up talking to the witch about Scabbers. They caught the two debating over how Ron’s rat hadn’t exhibited any powers, and should have died at three years old. Ron persisted, and the woman offered Ron some rat tonic.
“Okay,” Ron said to her, “How much—OUCH!”
Ron collapsed under the weight of something big and orange landing on his head. As soon as it made contact it jumped and aimed itself determinedly at Scabbers. The little rat jumped from the counter-witch’s hands the moment before the orange monster, scurrying around the floor in a desperate attempt to escape.
“NO, CROOKSHANKS, NO!” The witch shouted, though it was too late as the thing jumped onto her.
“Scabbers!” Ron cried out, running up and down the store chasing his pet.
It would have taken forever to catch Scabbers had Gohan’s eyes not locked on the rat eagerly, nor if Gohan hadn’t used his speed to outmaneuver the rodent and catch him within two minutes. Gohan caught him in his hand as it darted out of the store, right before it hit the street. He handed it to Ron, who cast a look at the rodent. Ron forced the shivering rat back into his pocket, rubbing his forehead irritatingly.
“What was that?!” Ron looked around the room wildly.
“It was either a very big cat or a quite a small tiger.” Harry replied.
“It was a cat.” Gohan stated. The other two wizards looked at him strangely. “What? I’ve seen enough tigers to know one; it was a regular cat.”
“… You know what,” Harry started halfheartedly, “I’m not even going to ask.”
“Where’s Hermione?” asked Ron.
“Probably getting her owl.” Harry answered.
They made their back to Magical Menagerie, and through the crowd spotted Hermione waiting for them by the exit. She was carrying something, but it certainly wasn’t an owl; she was cradling the ginger cat that trounced Ron.
“You bought that monster?” shouted Ron, his mouth quivering with shock.
“He’s gorgeous, isn’t he?” Hermione cooed, her face glowing with happiness.
Gohan couldn’t decide if ‘Crookshanks’ was gorgeous or not. In fact, wouldn’t male animals want to be called cute or handsome or something, rather than gorgeous? Gohan studied the feline, taking in its appearance. The thing had thick downy fur, and its face was scrunched like something hit it too hard. Granted, it wasn’t the ugliest animal Gohan had seen, but still…
Ron and Hermione started a brief quarrel about the cat’s behavior, Ron insisting the thing would antagonize him and his rest-needing rat. Hermione, still stricken with love for the creature, refused to believe Crookshanks meant to do anything and it wasn’t his fault. Gohan and Harry repressed their fighting, insisting they make their way to the Leaky Cauldron. They relented and soon they saw the entrance to their rooming.
As they passed they saw Mr. Weasley sitting at the bar, holding a Daily Prophet in one hand as he read it deeply. He looked up and saw the crowd of juveniles.
“Harry!” Mr. Weasley beamed at him, and then turned to Gohan with a similar expression. “And Gohan you’re here too! What a surprise. How are you boys?”
“Fine, thanks.” Harry said.
“As good as I can be sir.” Gohan replied brightly.
Mr. Weasley got up and walked towards the crowd, the paper falling to his side. The grim malevolent face of Sirius Black faced the children.
“They still haven’t caught him, then?” Harry asked, peering at the criminal with intrigue.
Mr. Weasley frowned grimly, “No. They’ve pulled us all off our regular jobs at the Ministry to try and find him, but no luck so far.”
“Anything I can do to help you guys?” Gohan offered kindly.
“Kind of you Gohan,” Mr. Weasley smiled, “but no. The Ministry’s already spoken with your friend Piccolo (Mr. Weasley’s faced paled for a second) and this ‘Guardian of the Earth’ Dende about helping. Dende said Black is shielding himself somehow from our radars, but the Ministry hasn’t got a clue how, and neither do they. Piccolo also told us this included sensing his energy too.”
“Would we get a reward if we caught him?” Ron asked eagerly. “It’d be good to get some more money—”
“Don’t be ridiculous Ron.” Mr. Weasley feebly objected, his demeanor strained from work. “Black’s not going to be caught by a thirteen year-old wizard. It’s the Azkaban guards who’ll get him back, you mark my words.”
At that moment Mrs. Weasley walked into the bar, shopping bags gripped in her hands. Behind her followed four of her other children; the prankster twins Fred and George, the newly made Head Boy Percy, and last the youngest and only girl Weasley child Ginny. Ginny seemed to be much quieter than her usual self, likely because the two boys before her saved her life. She mumbled to both of them a “Hello”, and then turned beat red as she looked the other way. Percy though came up to the boys and enthusiastically shook Gohan and Harry’s hands at the same time.
“Harry, Gohan!” He said brightly. “How nice to see you both!”
“Hello, Percy.” Harry managed to get out, biting his cheeks to hold his laughter.
“Hey Percy.” Gohan grinned madly, knowing not to say anything.
“I hope you boys are doing well?” Percy continued ostentatiously.
“Very well, thanks—”
That was when the Weasley twins took over, practically shoving Percy out of the way as Fred went to Harry and George to Gohan. They both bowed overdramatically, practically kissing the floor as they did so. They then alternated places and bowed to the other boy.
“Harry! Gohan!” Fred shouted exuberantly. “Simply splendid to see you old boys—”
“Marvelous!” George added merrily, pushing his twin away and repeating his actions. “Absolutely spiffing!”
Percy frowned crossly and Harry looked uncomfortable; Gohan on the other hand, could barely contain his laughter at their antics. He really missed these guys. What would happen if Vegeta and Piccolo were locked in an unbreakable room with them?
“That’s enough, now.” Mrs. Weasley sternly asserted.
“Mum!” Fred remarked astonishingly, like he hadn’t seen her there, grabbing her hand and shaking it as well. “How really corking to—”
“I said that’s enough!” She repeated impatiently, removing her hand from her son’s grasp. Gohan had to bite his tongue rather forcibly to keep himself from laughing. “Hello, Gohan, dear. I suppose you’ve heard the exciting news?” She gestured to a gleaming silver badge on Percy’s robes. “Second Head Boy in the family!”
Gohan smiled earnestly, “That’s really great news Mrs. Weasley.” He turned so he could see everyone. “I’ll be right back. I’m going inside to check myself into this… inn.”
As he walked away, he heard the twins and their mother argue about their school, Percy joining in and then leaving. “We tried to shut him in a pyramid. But Mum spotted us” he heard George say, a mischievous grin springing up on the saiyan’s face.
He got the room on the same floor as Hermione, Harry, and the Weasleys, his parallel to Harry’s and by Ron and Percy’s. When evening came all of them headed down to have dinner together. All in all, the dinner was very enjoyable. Everyone, thanks to Tom the innkeeper, received a five course meal; Gohan however, received his own seven course meal thanks to Tom (this made tom one of his top twenty favorite people of all time).
As the dinner went on, Gohan found out the Ministry was giving them all a ride to King’s Cross via car, Mr. Weasley saying no more as his ears reddened deeply. Gohan offered to take them all by Instant Transmission, but Mr. Weasley asserted that the Ministry requested transporting them all. Gohan dropped the subject reluctantly; why was the Ministry so insisting about this? They all headed back up to their rooms after dinner.
Gohan started unpacking a new pair of clothes from his trunk (which he removed from a capsule), getting ready for tomorrow. Just then, he heard raised voice from across his room. They were loud and angry, and Gohan was pretty sure it was Percy and Ron. He walked over to find the brothers’ door was open a little, peering inside a bit. Harry was already in there and Ron and Percy were yelling at each other.
“You’re not going anywhere till you’ve found my badge!” He heard Percy shout.
“I’ll get Scabbers’ stuff, I’m packed.” Harry told Ron exiting the room.
Harry bumped into Gohan, not looking as he went out of the room, and his expression looked a little annoyed.
“So, you heard the domestic dispute as well I take it?” Gohan chuckled.
Harry nodded, “Percy can’t find his Head Boy badge, and Ron left his rat tonic downstairs. Percy won’t let Ron leave the room until he finds his badge, so I offered to get the tonic for him.”
Gohan rolled his eyes, “Lucky you. I’d go in and offer to help find the badge, but I’m not going to our salt on the wound.”
“Smart move.” Harry commented “Well, see you later. Maybe I can find the tonic fast, that way I can get to sleep.” He walked away down the stairs. “Wish me luck!”
Gohan shook his head, laughing quietly to himself. It was amazing to be back with his friends. He felt so much more free, more his age now. He headed back to his room putting his trunk back into his capsule as he finished up.
Then, Gohan noticed the gold capsule Piccolo spoke of lying next to his others on the night stand. When had Piccolo slipped it in with his school ones? Hesitantly, Gohan picked up the gold one, clicking down the top and throwing it onto the bed. A small POOF was heard, wispy smoke rising from it.
Seven objects lay on the bed, six of them wrapped in simple wrapping paper, a solid black being their color. The one present not wrapped up was a cloak of some kind, accompanied by a peculiar kind of Gi. None of them looked like a regular fabric style though; both of them seemed to be blue-gray, scales of some kind shining and making the color much more intense. There was a letter pinned to the front of it; Gohan ripped it off and read it.
Because of Cell returning, I figured you needed some more weapons in your arsenal. This is unwrapped because I want you to spread out opening these, not all at the same time. Wait a little, because these are counting as your Christmas and birthday presents from me and Dende.
Anyway, remember the basilisk you and your friends encountered? I thought you would. I went down there to try and find any sign of Cell over the summer, hoping he left something we could use to find him (no luck). Well, there was a rather large skin shedding lying around the entrance; it was the basilisks. Basilisk’s skins are said to have similar magical properties to dragons’, probably better. I figured you needed a little more magical protection now that Cell can use it. I’ll let you figure out what it does, I’m not about to give you everything. But I will say I picked Dumbledore’s brain about stuff I could use on it; not much of a clue I know.
Have fun at Hogwarts kid.
Gohan gazed at the garments, fingering the Gi one in awe; Piccolo made him magical clothing. But what else could they do? He’d have to use it at some point and try to figure it out, maybe research dragons later—
He heard the creak of a floorboard from outside of his room; someone was walking up to their room. Gohan sensed and it was Harry; what took him so long? Gohan opened his door and saw Harry stop walking, and turned to see Gohan standing there. His expression was blank, no known emotion reigning on it.
“You found the rat tonic?” Gohan asked lightly, looking at his friend seriously.
“Yeah…” Harry replied distantly. He seemed to be looking beyond Gohan, lost in thought. “It was on the table like Ron said…”
“You okay?” Gohan inquired calmly. He knew to act tranquilly or Harry detach himself.
Harry shrugged, “I guess. I overheard Mr. and Mrs. Weasley talking about Sirius Black downstairs when I found the tonic.”
“The Azkaban breakout guy?” Gohan raised an eyebrow, “What about him.”
“Apparently, he was a big supporter of Voldemort,” Harry answered grimly, “supposedly his second-in-command.”
“And how is that particularly upsetting?” Gohan asked. “You just faced mini-Voldemort last year. One crazy fan who escaped isn’t a big deal.”
Harry smiled sadly, “Yeah, except for one thing. Sirius Black broke out of Azkaban because he wants to kill me.”