Chapter 3: Remembering Can Be Painful
So, what did Mr. Weasley talk to you about?” Gohan asked, watching Mr. and Mrs. Weasley fade from view through the window.
Harry gave him a pointed look, “What do you think?” He turned to Hermione and Ron. “I need to talk to you two in private.”
“Go away, Ginny.” Ron told his sister rudely.
“Oh, that’s nice.” Ginny jeered moodily, walking away to another section of the train.
With that done, the four friends head down the corridor in search of an empty compartment to speak in. It was the next day, after the reunion of the wizards and witch; the friends and Weasley family had taken two Ministry used cars from the Leaky Cauldron to Kings Cross. The ride was interesting, as Gohan had never ridden in a vehicle touching the ground; technology back home (thanks to Bulma) must have been extremely more advanced than most technology here. Then again, Bulma did say she kept here trade secrets to herself, and that she only let them be sold locally.
When they went through the barrier at Platform 9 ¾, Gohan had put up the cloak that Piccolo had given him up to keep people from noticing him; he didn’t think it was necessary, but just to be safe. The cloak was strangely silent, even though it had scale sown into it rather delicately. Not only that, but it was light. Really light. Granted it may have been because Gohan wore weighted clothing, but he was certain he would have felt some kind of force. Maybe one of the things that Piccolo had done to it was making it weightless or something.
Gohan followed around the Weasleys and Co through Platform 9 ¾, on account he didn’t want to be lost in this new place. The Hogwarts Express was surprisingly roomy, and looked as extravagant on the inside as the outside. Gohan didn’t outwardly show these feelings of wonder and fascination, but the others probably knew of them. After all, he never rode the train to school last year since the house-elf Dobby sealed the barrier to.
As they explored the Hogwarts Express, the group had found that every one but the last one at the end was full. When they slid the door open, they found a single wizard sleeping against the window. This wasn’t strange to Gohan, but Harry filled him in on the train being mainly for students. The only other adult they ever saw on the Hogwarts Express was the food cart witch.
The man was wearing scruffy and tattered robes, patches sown in different places where the colors had faded. He was pale, looking ill and worn out. He was young looking, but the brown hair that lay around his head had streaks of gray in some places.
“Who do you reckon he is?” Ron whispered to the others. They carefully slid the door shut and sat down opposite the man, giving him space.
“Professor R.J. Lupin.” Hermione replied instantly.
“How do you know that?”
“It’s on his briefcase Ron.” Gohan pointed out. Indeed, there was a small case on the luggage rack with those exact words on one corner.
“Wonder what he teaches.” Ron noted, looking critically at the man’s pale physique.
“That’s obvious.” Hermione rolled her eyes. “There’s only one vacancy, isn’t there? Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“Well,” Ron started hesitantly, “I hope he’s up to it. He looks like one good hex would finish him off, doesn’t he? Anyway…” He turned his head to face Harry, “What were you going to tell us?”
Taking a deep breath, Harry began to relay the conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Weasley to Hermione and Ron, as well as Mr. Weasley’s warning. Ron and Hermione looked shocked, Hermione’s hands covering her mouth almost fearfully. Gohan didn’t react until he heard of the warning, and his expression became amused. Harry was as much a magnet for trouble as his father was with villains.
“Sirius Black escaped to come after you?” Hermione said, lowering her hands from her face to speak. “Oh, Harry… you’ll have to be really, really careful. Don’t go looking for trouble Harry —”
“I don’t go looking for trouble.” Harry protested irritably. “Trouble usually finds me.”
Several more minutes went by, and Gohan could tell that Ron and Hermione were taking this news as bad as they could. Not only that, but when they had finally changed the subject to something else, Hogsmeade, it only made things worse. Harry didn’t get his relatives’ signature on his permission slip, so he couldn’t go with them. They discussed this in great detail, about if Harry should even be allowed in Hogsmeade with Sirius Black out and about. Ron and Gohan felt Harry would be alright since Gohan was there, but Hermione still believed in not risking it.
As the train ride went on Crookshanks made a nuisance in their compartment, angering Ron and causing Hermione to defend him; that cat would likely be the argument of the year for them. The most uncomfortable thing at the moment for the quartet was that Professor Lupin was still sleeping. Granted, it looked like he needed it, but even when the food trolley came he didn’t bother waking up. Gohan bought the remainder of the sweets she had on the cart. One, because since they were in the very back of the train there was no one else who would have gotten it; and two, because they would need it if Gohan was going to satisfy his saiyan hunger and share with his friends. However, the teacher’s presence on the train proved to be useful; during their continuing ride, the compartment door opened and three very familiar, and very arrogant boys stood in the doorway.
“Well,” Malfoy sneered lazily as he opened the door, “look who it is. Potty and the Weasel.”
Crabbe and Goyle, looking as ugly and brutish as the previous year, chuckled lowly. The three Slytherin’s malice-filled eyes were on the Trio, who reciprocated with dark glares. Gohan was sitting next to the door of their room, so Malfoy probably hadn’t noticed him yet. Or if Malfoy did, he was doing an impressive job of ignoring him.
“I heard your father finally got his hands on some gold this summer, Weasley.” Malfoy continued, his eyes flaring malevolently. “Did your mother die of shock?”
Ron abruptly got to his feet angrily, knocking Crookshanks’ box onto the floor. Harry and Hermione saw Ron reach for his wand, likely contemplating using it on the Slytherin boy. Knowing the consequences, Harry and Hermione looked to each other worriedly as they began to move towards their friend.
“I heard your father finally came under the Ministry’s radar, Malfoy. Heard he got a stern talking to and a spanking by the Minister himself.” Gohan icily spoke, his voice filling the room unexpectedly. Malfoy and his cronies turned to face Gohan, their faces becoming paler (if even possible for Malfoy). “Not to mention Vegeta’s and Piccolo’s attentions are on your family now. Did they mention what it was about?”
No reply came from the Slytherin boys, their mouths open into a small O shape. Malfoy frowned portentously, knowing not to start anything hastily.
“You might want to run along with your hired help trolls, Mouthwash.” Gohan smirked. “This compartment’s jam-packed enough without your ego hanging around. Use that empty space in your heads.”
Malfoy growled, reaching for his wand as Crabbe and Goyle started towards Gohan threateningly. Gohan’s hands crackled with electricity, the sparks flying off his fingertips making sizzling sounds. Professor Lupin snorted loudly. Malfoy noticed the man, as did Crabbe and Goyle, who all stopped their movements and stared at him.
“Who’s that?” Malfoy questioned, stepping back a little at the sight of the grown wizard.
“New teacher.” Harry replied, getting to his feet next to Ron. “What were you saying, Malfoy?”
Malfoy’s eyes thinned eerily, glowering at the Quartet; apparently, he had enough sense to not pick a fight with a super saiyan and a teacher in the room.
“C’mon.” He hissed to Crabbe and Goyle, walking back through the door of the compartment. As they opened the door to leave, they turned and saw Gohan grinning darkly at them.
“See you at school.” Gohan snickered, waving a wand mockingly towards the. Malfoy glared venomously at the boy, as did his companions, and then left.
Harry and Ron sat down once more, Ron staring bitterly at his balled-up fists.
“I’m not going to take any crap from Malfoy this year.” He said angrily. “I mean it. If he makes one for crack about my family, I’m going to get a hold of his head and—”
“Ron!” Hermione whispered heatedly as he made a violent gesture. She looked cautiously at Professor Lupin, “Be careful.”
The wizard teacher was still asleep.
Gohan rolled his eyes, “Relax all of you. With Vegeta’s threat to the Malfoys and my being basically invincible, I highly doubt Malfoy will try anything. He might know I won’t hurt him, but he doesn’t know Vegeta.”
Time went on, and the weather outside the train worsened. The rain picked up as the train sped down the tracks, the wind roaring against the metal and glass as rain poured violently onto the window. Professor Lupin remained asleep.
“We must nearly be there.” Ron spoke, looking out the black landscape through the window. An instant later the train began to slow down. Ron got up to try and get a better look, “Great, I’m starving. I want to get to the feast…”
“We’re not there yet.” Gohan said slowly. “We still have another fifteen minutes to go.”
“So why are we stopping?”
As Ron asked, the train began to decrease in speed, getting slower and slower every second. Gohan could sense people moving out of their carriages, probably wondering what was going on.
Then, the train abruptly stopped slowing and halted. People shouting and thumps echoed the train from people and luggage being forced from their spots and being shoved around. Right after that, all the lamps went out and the darkness of the day and train enveloped all of them.
“What’s going on?” Gohan heard Ron’s voice shout.
“Ouch!” Hermione cried out. “Ron, that was my foot!”
D’you think we’ve broken down?” Harry asked, his voice strained from the stop.
“Maybe…” Gohan replied, closing his eyes in thought. The train couldn’t have broken down; it was only used like four times a year! And even if it did, they’d have been able to fix it by now, what with wizards and magic being transported and used.
Gohan heard a faint squeak, and opened his eyes towards the sound. It wasn’t total darkness, so Gohan could still see (thanks to his saiyan vision) Ron’s darkened form looking out the window. He swiped his sleeve against the glass, peering out curiously.
“There’s something moving out there.” Ron told the others, scrunching his face in concentration. “I think people are coming aboard.”
Gohan stopped his observations and thoughts, thinking about what Ron had said. People were coming aboard? But surely Gohan would have sensed that… right?
Ignoring the arrival of Ginny and Neville, having sensed them both approaching seconds ago, Gohan shut his eyes. He tried sensing for the people Ron spoke of; it wasn’t if they were strong, but the fact Gohan couldn’t sense their ki that worried Gohan. He reached out, focusing all of his senses on finding the people who boarded the Hogwarts Express.
He tried to differentiate between the ki of students and everyone else, but he couldn’t find anyone different. How was this possible? Did the Ministry learn how to block there ki or something. Was it even the Ministry? Could it have been dark wizards like Sirius Black or something. Maybe… maybe it was even Ce—
Gohan twitched, flinching as he forced himself from his activities. What was that he felt? It wasn’t… it didn’t feel like ki, but it was radiating off like, like three different people. At least, Gohan thought they were people.
Gohan raised his head from the floor, staring at the compartment door sternly. Whatever they were, one of those things was coming towards their end of the train. It was weak, but he could faintly sense it.
“Come in and sit down—” He heard Hermione say.
“Not here!” Harry spoke heatedly. “I’m here!”
“Ouch!” Neville said.
“Quiet!” A gruff and raucous voice shouted. It had to have been Professor Lupin, who had just woken up by his movements. Everyone became silent.
A dim, crackling noise was heard, and a wispy amount of light filled the compartment. In Professor Lupin’s hand were spherical flames, outlining his gray and exhausted looking face. His eyes, however, beheld a sense of attentiveness and awareness.
Professor Lupin turned his gaze to Gohan, who watched the elder wizard from his peripheral vision while keeping his eyes on the door. The grown-up stared not as a teacher, but almost like Gohan was an adult.
“What is it?” Professor’s hoarse voice rang out, looking from Gohan to the door warily. Now, the eyes of all the wizards and witches were on the hybrid.
“Something’s coming.” Gohan replied evenly, not taking his eyes off the door.
The Trio exchanged looks of concern, while Neville and Ginny slowly realized what he meant. Professor Lupin got up, feeling for something (likely his wand) in his pocket.
“Stay where you are.” He told the children, his voice raw and rough. With the handful of flames, he slowly made his way towards the door.
Gohan, as saiyan curiosity began creeping into his mind, closed his eyes once more. He needed to know what was unusual about this energy. It wasn’t that it was a different amount or significant energy… it was different. Even Cell had real ki, it was just spliced together from several people.
Gohan opened his senses, and reached his mind out across the train. It was still there, but Gohan still had much trouble sensing it. Finally deciding to forget about the risks, Gohan focused all of his will on sensing the being. Within seconds, Gohan could clearly sense it; it was at their end of the train, only a minute away from—
“Argh!” Gohan hissed, his nerves freezing up.
His body cramped and jolted as he sensed the thing, unable to stop himself. It ignored all the other compartments, now making its way to theirs—
“Ah!” Gohan gasped, the feeling of pain and emptiness now increasing dramatically.
This feeling, he had never felt when sensing someone. It wasn’t that the ki was strong or dangerous, maybe they were. No, it was how the ki felt. It felt… Dende, he couldn’t describe it with the ache and stinging that sensing this being was giving him. Gohan’s legs buckled, and he landed with one knee up on the floor. His face contorted into one of agony and suffering, unable to not sense the creature making its way to them.
“Gohan!” Harry said, rushing over to his friend. Hermione and Ron also sprinted over, helping their friend to his feet. Professor Lupin paused momentarily, but then even slower made his way to the door. “Gohan what’s wrong?”
“… Cold…” Gohan murmured, looking at the door with suspicion and weariness.
“We’re all freezing Gohan,” Hermione told him gently, “the temperature dropped some—”
“No.” Gohan cut in, his voice soft and tender. He motioned to the door, “It.”
“What about… it?” Ron asked, looking at the door nervously.
“It’s ki.” Gohan whispered achingly. “Its ki is so cold.”
No sooner had he said that, and Professor Lupin’s hand reached for the door handle, the door slide open slowly. Illuminated by the simmering flames held in Lupin’s palm, a dark figure floated into the room. Concealed by a dark cloak, its face was completely hidden beneath the hood. A decayed looking, slimy gray hand protruded from the cloak, making its way to the center of the room.
Gohan glowered darkly, shaking off the pain and stinging he felt. The cold was still there, but the fury Gohan felt at this thing blinded him from everything else. He let out an animalistic growl, and let his golden aura unleashed itself. The wind picked up, circling Gohan like a cyclone of devastation. Gohan slowly got up, not making a sound as he did so. In an instant, Gohan’s hair stood up and turned into its golden spikes; his body pulsed as his muscles bulked up. His onyx eyes glared at the cloaked figure, narrowing into slits as their deep-blue nature sunk in.
The children in the room stared at Gohan, awed at the sight of his miraculous transformation. Granted, they had all seen Gohan become a super saiyan before, but that was only for maybe twenty minutes; and even then, he was not in any livid or animalistic state (Harry is exempted from this, as he saw Gohan as a true super saiyan).
Professor Lupin raised his eyebrows, obviously wondering what was going on.
The light emitting from Gohan momentarily blinded everyone, their eyes that had adjusted to the limited light of the fire becoming sightless. The compartment became a beacon in the cold and darkness, shinning with such intensity that everyone from every room on the train was forced to be witness to its brilliance. Even the creature that had entered the room staggered back— at least it would have had it had legs on the floor— at the ferocity of the golden energy Gohan was releasing outward.
Gohan didn’t power down, leaving the golden flame around his body burning intensely. He didn’t move, not even a muscle, just frowning furiously at the looming, dreary figure.
Slowly, though, the creature regained its balance. While not directly in front of Gohan, it was a couple of yards at the most from the boy. The creature’s dark hood (somehow not lightened by the illumination) turned towards Gohan, who in turn intensified the powerful aura a smidge. The other students, who remained behind Gohan, flinched as they saw its head move back.
Gohan hesitated, not knowing how to respond to the creature’s movements. However, before he could make a decision, the dark being drew in a long, raspy breath from beneath its hood. Its breath was long, almost like it was desperately trying to suck something from the air.
An instant freezing sensation swept through them all. Gohan, at first, didn’t feel the affects of it and smirked conceitedly. But then, the coldness that he felt when he sensed it was nothing compared to what he now felt. The cold swept over Gohan faster than he could react, his blood freezing in his veins.
He tried powering up, hoping to throw the creature back, but found the opposite effect of what he desired. Instead of an overpowering glow, his energy burst from existence, leaving the saiyan bare in the frosty air. Then, he felt himself unwillingly power down from super saiyan, the power rush now altogether leaving him.
Slowly, he felt himself being pulled downward, his body feeling heavier as his skin shivered from the cold. He wouldn’t fall to the ground, but it was nonetheless tempting to do. This creature, whatever it was, was causing Gohan to go into spasms or something, with hypothermia starting to take effect as well. However, Gohan fought it with all the endurance he learned from Piccolo, Vegeta, and his father. He knew how to at least stand up to these things, and—
Gohan froze, his thoughts disrupted. Was that… how did… did Yamcha’s voice just echo through his head?
Suddenly, Gohan’s vision was distorted, and then inexplicably returned. There was just one problem; he wasn’t in the Hogwarts Express anymore. He wasn’t even in England; it looked like he was back in time by East City. Gohan looked around the baron landscape, and his eyes widened. In front of him were all of the Z-Warriors, Vegeta, and that bastard Nappa; he was looking at the first time the Z-Warriors fought Vegeta!
Gohan looked around closer and saw Vegeta and Nappa smirking, surrounded by some of those Saibamen things. His friends all looked worried, himself particularly, and he turned to the center of the group. Yamcha was in a strength hold by a Saibaman, who grinned maniacally as he began to glow bright white.