“It’s over.” Piccolo muttered, turning his back from the scene.
Gohan felt himself twitch, hearing the cries and tears of his friends. Gohan saw his younger self and his initial shock increased when he saw the fear and hysteria in his eyes. The urge to go over there and help his doomed friend was strong, but he didn’t think it would help.
Yamcha gave a shout of pain, and the light reached its peak. A resounding BOOM filling the air as the Saibaman cackled.
The scene shimmered, and altered slightly just as Gohan saw Yamcha’s body disintegrate. Yamcha and the Saibamen were gone, but he was still in the wasteland jungle area. Now though, two from the scene were high in the air, struggling with one another. Normally, Gohan wouldn’t have been aware of the second person because of his small stature; but then again, he couldn’t really forget how Chaiotzu had sacrificed himself to (try and) save the Z Fighters from Nappa.
He watched miserably as Chaiotzu clutched to Nappa tightly, hearing the screams from Tien not helping his emotions.
“Chaiotzu, don’t!” Tien pleaded; his face was frantic and agonizing to watch.
Chaiotzu smiled sadly, “I have to. It’s the only way to stop this guy.”
Gohan saw Nappa once again struggling to get the small fighter off his back, clawing behind him to no avail. Chaiotzu began to glow dimly, Tien’s protests and shouting not stopping the events about to pass.
“Goodbye, Tien.” Chaiotzu mumbled, smiling still as he closed his eyes.
“GET OFF!” Nappa called out, anxiety and fear taking over.
“NO!” Tien screamed, tears forming and pouring down his face.
Then, another explosion, and smoke filled the spot where Nappa was and Chaiotzu wasn’t anymore, his sacrifice in vain.
The scene swirled around again, this time Tien’s tragic death at Nappa’s hands shown. Gohan could only watch in horror at the cold ending of his friend’s life, done so maliciously and carefree by the saiyan tyrant. Why was this happening? All of these memories, these horrible… horrible memories kept repeating themselves in Gohan’s head. These were the first times he had truly dealt with death, understanding what it meant. What purpose did these—
Finally, the background swirled and shimmered once more, this time Gohan’s eyes widening and his breath stopping. He looked down momentarily, and noticed he was shorter, his hands and clothes different. He was his past self. His blood ran cold at the memory, shivering instantly. Not this one. He could handle the others, but why this one?
“HHAA!” Nappa roared, bringing his giant arm forward furiously. From his hand, a blinding white light emitted the battle zone, brightening everything to a colorless pallid. Soon though, a mountainous blast of ashen energy burst forth toward the hybrid child.
The wind blew in all directions, Gohan bringing his arms up to shield himself from the attack. His face froze in terror, petrified and nervous as he shook. This was the end, there was no way he had the strength to block this attack. Why did he have to be so weak? Why couldn’t he be more like his dad—oh Kami, he wouldn’t get to see dad or mom ever again. Why didn’t he train more seriously when—
“AAAAHHHH!” Piccolo cried out, his body shielding Gohan from the attack. Gohan’s eyes widened in shock; when did Piccolo get there?
He looked at Piccolo strangely, slowly realizing what Piccolo was doing. Before he could say anything, Piccolo screamed in pain as the blast impaled him. His skin and clothing singed at the contact, his cries of anguish only further making the scene horrifying. An explosion more powerful than any before resounded the entire area, dust and rock flying everywhere as Piccolo’s voice echoed.
Gohan watched all of this from the body of his younger self, knowing what was happening and not able to cry. He tried to yell, tried to move, tried to do anything to change the outcome of the battle. Sadly though, this was still just a memory, and Gohan must endure it continuously.
It seemed to have gone on for an eternity, before the attack halted and the dust cleared. The smoking body of Piccolo stood shakily as his breath shook, pain twitching in his face. Nappa grinned with feral glee, chuckling lightly to himself at his handiwork.
“P-Piccolo?” Gohan gasped, looking at his mentor distressingly.
Piccolo grinned weakly, “It’s okay kid… No sweat, hehehehe—ah!” He crumpled to the ground, his eyes beginning to whiten as his breathing stopped momentarily.
'“PICCOLO!” Gohan screamed as fury and anguish filling his being. He couldn’t take this anymore, he needed to take control! He wouldn’t stand by and watch Piccolo die again, he wouldn’t!'
“Gohan, Gohan! Are you okay?”
Gohan slowly came out of his state, and was greeted by the lights stinging his eyes for a moment. Wait, the lights?
Gohan’s vision returned to normal, and the shapes and fuzzy images began to clear. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, and Harry (though the latter looked quite pale and shaky) all surrounded Gohan worriedly. Apparently, while Gohan was out of the moment the train resumed moving once more, the lights also turning back on as they blare overhead.
Gohan changed his footing, his legs trembling from his former hysteria. He knew enough that it wasn’t real and true (anymore), but seeing your friends killed over and over didn’t really help one’s health. Gohan was visibly paler, and sweat protruded down his face as he looked around. How did he just zone out like that; did the others realize he had just been standing there.
“Are you feeling alright?” Hermione asked, worry and concern spread across her face.
Gohan nodded shakily, “I—I’ll be alright. Just a little dazed, that’s all.” Gohan sensed the icy signature was gone, and then realized the cloaked figure wasn’t anywhere on the Express. “What happened? Where’s that… that Grim Reaper wannabe?”
SNAP! Everyone jumped reactively to find Professor Lupin breaking a couple bars of chocolate into pieces. He walked over to the group, handing a piece to each student. The pieces he gave to Harry and Gohan were particularly larger than the others.
“Here. Eat it.” He told them. “It’ll help.”
Gohan looked at the teacher skeptically, “Do you really think that’s going to be enough for me?”
“What was that thing?” Harry asked, not eating his chocolate yet.
“A dementor.” Lupin replied. “One of the dementors of Azkaban.”
No one spoke; they all just stared at Professor Lupin, who crumpled the candy wrapper into his pocket.
“Eat.” He repeated sternly. “It will help. I need to speak to the driver, excuse me…”
He walked past them and exited the compartment.
“Are you sure you’re okay Harry?” Hermione inquired, looking at the boy anxiously.
“Wait.” Gohan interrupted. He turned to Harry “Something happened to you too?”
“Yeah…” Harry answered restlessly. Gohan noticed he was also pale and shivering, but his case was more severe than Gohan’s. Sweat poured down his face. “I don’t get it… What happened?”
“Well,” Hermione started, “that thing—the dementor—stood there and looked around—and you—you—”
“I thought you were having a fit or something.” Ron added, shuddering fearfully. “You went sort of rigid and fell down and started twitching—”
Hermione explained how Professor Lupin told the dementor Sirius Black wasn’t here and it should leave. When it didn’t move, he used his wand to shoot a silver spell thing at it, forcing it to leave.
“You know Gohan,” Hermione told the saiyan, “you froze up at it too. You kind of just froze, like you were in shock or something. What happened?”
“I… don’t know.” Gohan admitted, half-lying. “One minute I feel fine once I went Super, but the next it was like the dementor thing was… was sucking the light right out of me.”
“It was horrible.” Neville joined in, who looked more nervous and frenzied than usual. “Did you feel how cold it got when it came in?”
“I felt weird.” Ron said, squirming uncomfortably. “Like I’d never be cheerful again…”
“But didn’t any of you—fall down at all?” Harry inquired, almost desperately.
They all shook their heads.
Soon after that, Professor Lupin returned. He halted once he entered, looking around to everyone in the room, and then smiled warmly.
“I haven’t poisoned that chocolate, you know.” He told Gohan and Harry.
Gohan looked at the chocolate piece and shrugged; like any food would be bad for a saiyan. He ate the whole thing in one bite, savoring the taste with every chew. Surprisingly though, as he finished it Gohan could feel a sudden warmth entering his body. The frostiness that invaded his body began to melt, and he soon felt his ki flaring up like it always was. To test though, Gohan flexed his fingers and formed a fiery sphere of golden energy, extinguishing it merrily.
“We’ll be at Hogwarts in ten minutes.” Professor Lupin told them all. He then looked pointedly at Harry, “Are you alright, Harry?”
Gohan didn’t bother wondering how Professor Lupin knew Harry’s name. Apparently, Harry didn’t either.
“Fine,” Harry muttered, his face flushed with embarrassment.
Professor Lupin then turned to Gohan, “Are you alright too, Gohan?”
Gohan shrugged, “Hey, give a saiyan some food and he’ll perk right up.”
Professor Lupin smiled humorously, and then went back down to his spot and sat.
No one talked much the rest of the trip. However, just as they were a couple minutes from the station, Gohan pulled Harry aside as they prepared to depart the train.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Gohan asked curiously, not mimicking pity or concern. He knew Harry wouldn’t respond to that.
“… I heard someone scream.” Harry whispered. “But no one else did.”
“Am I the only one who knows about this?” Gohan said.
Harry shook his head, “I told them before they got you back, but I didn’t want to discuss it again… It was so… familiar.”
Gohan raised an eyebrow, “Are you trying to tell me something dark about your personal life Harry?”
Harry grunted, “Funny.” Harry’s brow furrowed, lost in thought. “I don’t know how to explain it. There was someone screaming, it was so loud and they were so terrified. And so much white fog; it was the only thing I could see.”
Gohan glared at the floor, “I wish that was the only thing I saw.”
“What do you mean?” Harry questioned intriguingly.
Gohan flinched, cursing himself for letting that slip.
“Nothing,” Gohan lied, “it’s not important.”
“I thought you said you were done with secrets between friends?” Harry noted, his tone grave and solemn.
Gohan frowned, “Point taken, but could you have been a little more subtle?”
Taking a moment, Gohan tried to organize his thoughts. This conversation was going to involve the deaths of many people who had been brought back to life. Gohan chose to keep only one main secret from everyone in the Wizarding world, including Harry and the others; the existence of the Dragonballs. If people knew that they could obtain wishes, their inner most desires, any number of things could happen. People could use them for power or greed, or they could end up with another Garlic Jr. or Voldemort.
But that wasn’t what Gohan was worried about right now. It was of a much more valuable tool the Dragonballs provided; the gift of life. Gohan was sure Harry would do anything and try anything if it meant he could see his parents, possibly ending their friendship as a result. Until he knew that Harry would listen about the restrictions the Dragonballs held given ‘life’, it was best to not mention it.
“I saw… the first time I ever really fought in a battle.”
Harry grinned, “Couldn’t have been that bad; you’d wipe the floor with anyone.”
“A lot of my friends had died,” Gohan replied coldly. His eyes hardened. “They were killed by Nappa and Vegeta in cold blood.”
Harry’s expression was wiped from his face.
“Gohan…” Harry began, unsure how to explain. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”
“I know.” Gohan cut in quickly. “But it was horrendous.” He clenched his hands into fists. “I knew it wasn’t real, I knew it, but it was the first time I had ever seen someone killed… enduringly.” Gohan smiled sadly, “I forgot what they looked like back then, what we all looked like.”
Before Harry could say anything, the Hogwarts Express whistle blared, the train slowing ever so gradually.
Gohan sighed, “Well, back to school. This time though, I’m hoping I can be a little more liberated with my abilities.”
Gohan began to make his way toward the front of the exit, halting to turn to Harry.
“Don’t worry about me.” Gohan assured Harry, grinning cheerily. “I’m better now. Gotta hand it Professor Lupin, he sure knows how to appease saiyans’ appetites. Now you coming, or am I going to have to Instant Transmission you to school myself?”
For a moment, Harry simply stared at Gohan, after several moments of silence he broke into a careful smile. Gohan quickly put his new cloak on, raising the hood to hide only his hair.
As they got off the platform, Gohan noted how glad he was to have put his cloak on; it was freezing outside. They managed to see Hagrid greet them from by the First Years, but they couldn’t respond back. This time, like everyone else, they would be taking the horseless coaches over to the school while the First Years went over the Lake.
Gohan wondered if he could go by the Lake since he never had a First Year, and his beginning year to the castle was via the Weasley’s car. Then again, he already knew what Hogwarts looked like and enjoyed his first view of it.
As they made their way to the carriages, however, Gohan stopped in his tracks, his eyes widening. These were not horseless carriages. They weren’t even horse carriages.
The creatures could only be described as meaty skeletons of horses; however, these horses had fangs and what could only be bat-like wings attached to them. In fact, something about them screamed reptilian as well.
Gohan cocked his head to the side, and the ones who noticed him looking did the same inquisitively. Gohan smiled warmly, apparently appearances aren’t everything. Harry, Hermione, and Ron all got into the coaches, followed finally by Gohan. He reached out to pet one by the carriage he was getting into; the horse-creature actually leaned into the petting, crooning a little as it did so—
“What are you doing Gohan?” Ron’s voice perturbed Gohan’s mind, recalling him from his actions.
Slowly though, he realized what Ron had meant.
“You don’t see it?” Gohan incredulously questioned, looking from the horse to the others.
“See what?” Hermione asked. “There’s nothing here Gohan.”
Too tired to argue and too awestruck to explain, Gohan nodded leisurely.
“Right,” he mused, “of course.”
He gave one last look to the creature, which stared back at Gohan with its own onyx eyes, and then got into the coach as it began to move forward.
Soon, he would be back at Hogwarts, and his life could return to as it was; return to normal.
Gohan snorted. Normal? Yeah, a half-alien wizard who fights evil aliens on a yearly basis to save the world, and goes to a school for magic with a giant squid, spiders and wing horse skeletons is absolutely normal. Not to mention you could be going schizoid with seeing your friends dying.
As they rounded a corner, the castle could be seen shining under the moonlight. As he saw this, he could also see the First Years below in their candlelit boats riding toward the castle from the Lake.
He flashed the Son Grin. Of yeah, quite normal indeed.