Chapter 22: Gohan’s Hand is Forced
The next day Gohan and Harry rarely spoke to anyone (including Ron and Hermione); making it obvious they were thinking about the night before to themselves and their two comrades. Ron told Hermione the details Harry and Gohan confided with him, and all four of them couldn’t imagine Hagrid attacking anyone. All four of them had known that Hagrid’s taste in pets and animals was pretty limited… mainly to the kinds of creatures that had a very good chance of taking something attached to you off. Gohan had been informed by Ron and Harry about their encounters with the kinds of creatures Hagrid raised, such as Fluffy the (humongous) three headed dog and the baby Norwegian Ridgeback dragon Norbert. Gohan was about to explain that running from huge guard dogs or fire-breathing dragons in his opinion was far less dangerous than fighting dinosaurs or giant animals for years, but decided that the shock of them finding out such things still existed was something to explain another day.
But aside from his monster obsession, there was nothing else that could enlighten Hagrid being the Heir. Gohan always thought Hagrid was in many ways similar to his own father; kind, sympathetic, fun to be around, both of them loved animals of all kinds, and no matter what they were always liked by everyone (with the exception of people with evil influences or are evil, like Malfoy and Frieza). He just couldn’t believe that Hagrid was the Heir, there was no way. Gohan told the others that Riddle must have made a mistake, that he must have caught the wrong person. But the memory of Riddle confronting Hagrid in the dungeons was just too clear in his mind to be forgotten.
He didn’t even train that evening once night rolled around, something he hadn’t done for months. He couldn’t figure out what to do that whole night, so he just decided to hang out with Harry and the others the whole time, doing homework and playing games with each other. But they never decided to discuss the Chamber that night; Gohan supposed they wanted a break to think about Hagrid and other things. As time passed all the occupants that were still awake decided to finally go to their rooms and go to bed. Gohan was the only one that still wanted to stay up.
“I’ll be fine,” Gohan assured his friends, “I’ll only be a few minutes long, half an hour at max.”
Though still uneasy, they trusted him and bade him goodnight, and left the Common Room. Gohan was left in the darkness for a while, just sitting and thinking in front of the fireplace about school, the Chamber, and Hagrid continuously the whole time. It was not for a couple of minutes until Gohan realized that the fireplace was empty.
“Guess I better illuminate the room, don’t want to go blind.” Gohan muttered.
Gohan held out his right hand, and a bright yellow energy blast the size of a baseball appeared in his palm. Gohan released it slowly, and the ball made contact with the logs, instantly setting them on fire, the room bathed with a bright orange light, the shadows of objects and furniture dancing.
Gohan gazed into the fire, his eyes reflecting the light, “Like I need to see anyway, I just could feel their energy move if the need arose, or better yet hear them moving out of their beds or something.”
“This is outrageous. How could Hagrid be the Heir of Slytherin? He isn’t a Parselmouth as far as I know (since me and Piccolo’s think the Heir is one), and I’m pretty sure when he went here he wasn’t in Slytherin’s house. Except for Riddle’s diary’s little trip down memory lane there is nothing that can connect Hagrid with the Chamber of Secrets. And to make stuff even worse than they are now, people are getting more paranoid about me and Harry every single day. It’s only a matter of time before someone else besides Harry, Ron, and Hermione start to get suspicious about my night trainings before, and then my freedom here will be even more limited.”
He realized something that was happening today, or something that wasn’t happening to be exact. Why hadn’t Ron and Hermione asked where Gohan had been the whole afternoon and evening? He was sure they’d want to know seeing as he left them after his heated confrontation with them and Harry. Or better yet, why hadn’t they even mentioned that whole argument to him? Surely they weren’t afraid he’d go ballistic at them, right?
“I guess Harry told them to lay off the questions for a while,” Gohan muttered. “I can’t say I’m not pleased about it, but it would have been better had they at least told me they were sorry rather than just ignore the whole thing that happened.”
Gohan left the subject at that, and tried to think about the Chamber of Secrets once again. He was sure there was something he was missing if the answer was that Hagrid was the Heir, but what?
“Something must have been neglected fifty years ago,” Gohan concluded, “and whether it was that headmaster, Riddle, Hagrid himself, or even Dumbledore that overlooked it I don’t know. But there’s nothing I can do to find out. No one here knows anything, and if they do, I don’t know who they are so it’d be a waste trying to read their mind.”
Gohan cringed with agitation; all of these complications and thoughts were giving him a humungous headache. Like he needed anymore obstacles at the moment, Gohan tried to relax. He crossed his legs into a Lotus style position, folded his hands and started to levitate over the couch, his eyes closed.
I should have thought of this before, Piccolo always said that this was the best way to clear your head and think.
Gohan opened his eyes immediately, and started to descend onto the couch while unfolding his hands and legs. He started repeating the sentence in his head for a minute. How could he have not thought of it before? There was away to find out if anything was amiss in that memory, and the best part was that he could find out right now if he wanted to. He got off the couch, and made his way toward the middle of the room, glancing toward the entrance to and from the room.
Gohan exhale noisily, “I’m sorry for having to break our agreement Dumbledore, but this is something that I really need to know, and if leaving the school is what it takes to talk with Piccolo, than so be it.”
He put his fingers to his head, and as he was using the Instant Transmission technique and his body was fading from sight, he looked toward the fire still burning brightly.
“I just hope that the Gryffindor Tower doesn’t burn down while I’m gone.” He spoke.
And the next second he was gone, leaving the Common room still glowing with red and orange, and everyone asleep without a thought.
Piccolo floated a few feet above the ground, meditating as he always did all the time. It was night for all the Z warriors, and probably everyone in the entire area was asleep with the exception of himself and Vegeta. Both of them rarely slept, since they always trained so they could get stronger and someday actually hope to defeat Gohan.
Ever since Gohan left for his wizard school, Vegeta and (though mostly Vegeta) Piccolo became very restless and out of the ordinary. Piccolo became even more distant from everyone than he already was, with the exception of Mr. Popo, and of course there was his replacement Dende when he asked about advice with his heavenly job and duty. Though no one knew of his intentions to isolation, he was trying to keep his word to Gohan and discover anything knew about the Chamber of Secrets from Kami’s memories and doing this had required complete concentration and no distractions from his surroundings, even if they were miniscule. He has always cared for Gohan ever since he began training him years ago, and if he asked for something that both of them knew was important he would see that it would be done thoroughly and fast.
As for Vegeta, he rarely ever came out of the Gravity Room anymore, not that this wasn’t normal for him. He demanded that all of his meals were brought to him outside the GR door (the room would be too dangerous for anyone else to step in), and he almost all of the time even slept in the room. He always kept intensifying the gravity, though he would return it to a normal (though still very high) rate for sleeping or resting; everyone guessed that Vegeta must have realized he shouldn’t overexert himself if he wants to stay healthy and not end up in Other World for the rest of eternity.
Piccolo snorted. If only Vegeta realized how much he’s changed since he first came to Earth. His attitude hasn’t been replaced, that’s for sure, but he’s gotten a lot smarter and wiser in battle and even socially since Cell was around. He’s starting to actually talk to people other than when he wants something, however rarely it happens. And he’s even calling me and Gohan by our names now and even more miraculously Bulma when she threatens him to starve for a few weeks. Of course, he would doubt it immediately if anyone told him so, and he’d try to break most of their bones to prove it. The only person I’m sure of he wouldn’t do that to would be Gohan, and that’s only because he wouldn’t have anymore goals in his life if Gohan were gone.
Piccolo was then during the next moment contemplating over everything Gohan and he discussed before he left for his magic school, hoping to help him in his quest to find the Heir. Then, from the darkness the sound of the wind rustling in one spot was heard, and a second later Piccolo sensed something he, the former guardian of the planet Earth, hadn’t expected. He opened his eyes and turned to the direction the sound had come from, and where the ki he was sensing was. From the darkness, he could make out the dark outline of a person with wild hair, who was a little higher than Piccolo’s waist. Piccolo didn’t have to guess who this was, only that it was very surprising he’d be here.
“Not that I’m not pleased at this surprise,” Piccolo said to the person, “but what are you doing here? It’s not like you to break a promise to someone, especially to someone like Dumbledore, who I might add is in a very high position of power in your school, and could have you expelled from that wizard school once he finds out.”
“If,” The figure in the dark replied, “if Dumbledore finds out, which he won’t since you and I are the only ones who know I’m gone, and I know we both won’t tell anyone. But this is important; I want to ask you something Piccolo. Something’s happened and I couldn’t wait to tell you until Easter, because a situation has occurred recently.”
“Before we get into why you’re here (which I’m sure is important), could you stop lurking in the shadows and let me see you? It’s kind of annoying to be talking to someone you can’t even see.”
The person chuckled, and walked forward from the pitch black darkness so that he was right in front of Piccolo. Gohan was still wearing his wizard robes, and he had on the four star Dragonball around his neck, gleaming in the moonlight. His expression showed humor and slight cheerfulness in it, though his eyes were a different story. They were dark and serious, as though he were once again facing Cell like he did a year ago. Piccolo grew more concerned then, wondering what was going on through his pupil’s mind.
“Is this better?” Gohan asked.
“Good then, because I really needed to talk with you Piccolo. Something happened last night involving the Chamber of Secrets.”
Piccolo showed signs of interest, “Really, do tell then.”
“I think,” Gohan said. Gohan paused for a second then. “I think my friend Hagrid is the Heir of Slytherin.”
Piccolo looked slightly taken aback, surprised Gohan thought someone he considered a friend was responsible for the things happening at his school. Gohan then went on to explain the diary, and how Tom Riddle showed him and Harry his memory and how Riddle had caught Hagrid, and described the creature that came out of his box. Piccolo listened intently to Gohan, taking in every word. Piccolo found this very fascinating and knew Gohan would want his opinion on things before he jumped to conclusions.
After he finished Gohan looked into his teacher’s eyes, waiting for an answer. Finally, after what seemed like hours but only minutes later, he spoke to Gohan.
“Out of curiosity, has the fact that you saw this memory the diary showed you affect your judgment and thinking at all? Because I believe that you are forgetting key things in the memory that in my opinion are extremely obvious.”
“Well then,” Gohan said, “why don’t you explain them to me then? What did I miss?”
“Well for starters I think you didn’t pay very much attention to that memory you were in, or the conversation we had not too far back.” Piccolo responded. “We established whatever was attacking your classmates was a snake since you and your friend Harry can only understand and hear the monster. That being the case, why would you think your friend was the Heir if what he had in his box looked nothing like a snake?”
Gohan froze, stunned that he had not realized that earlier. Of course! That would have explained Hagrid being innocent; the thing that he had in that box of his didn’t look anything like a snake.
“Of course,” Piccolo continued, “because your friends can’t and don’t know about the monster most likely being a snake, you can’t tell them what you’ve just learned from me.” He saw Gohan’s reaction and spoke, “I understand that this is very agitating, but until you decide tell them about your Saiyan heritage and about myself and the others, your friends are going to have to be in the dark about this.”
Gohan nodded grudgingly, “I understand.”
“Besides,” Piccolo added, “I told you before your friends are too curious for their own good. You have no idea what they’ll do if you tell them.”
Gohan grinned, “I have a very good idea about what they’d do when they’re curious, and it’s not a good experience I learned from. But how do you know what they’re like, you’ve never even met them.”
“I did a little research on all your friends, incase the occasion called for me to tell you anything important. Your friends did a lot of very impressive things last year when they started at your school. I assume they told you their ordeal?”
“Yep, they told me everything. I thought it was very interesting.” Gohan answered.
“As did I,” Piccolo responded. “But what did you mean when you said you had a good idea about their curiosity?”
Gohan then went on to explain their snooping the last few weeks, and how they found out about Goku and himself. He also told them of the fight that they had, and now they were all back to the way things were before.
“I should be surprised they found anything about me, but strangely I’m not.” Piccolo sighed. “Your dad and my former self always did tend to show off and get people’s attention when they were together or not, I guess it’s only natural there would be something about him and me.”
Gohan grinned, “Especially when you’re considered a demon in the magic community.”
Piccolo frowned at this, “Yes, well besides that you should also know that this Hagrid couldn’t be the Heir anyway.”
“So I see that you’ve improved your ability to down on the world and its history in mere moments since I left. I suppose it’s thanks to Kami and the fact you’ve been training nonstop since Cell?” Piccolo nodded. “But why do you think Hagrid’s not the Heir?”
“His wizard father is not related to Slytherin.” Piccolo said simply.
“But, could his mother have been related to him?” Gohan asked.
Piccolo paused for a moment, as if questioning if he should explain to the young Saiyan.
“His mother isn’t even a wizard.”
Gohan raised an eyebrow, “So she was a muggle?”
“Let’s just say that you and Hagrid have a lot more in common than you think.” Piccolo stated. Seeing the boy’s eyes widen, he hastily said, “No, he’s not part alien…” he sighed uncomfortably before he spoke again. “He’s part giant.”
“A GIANT?” Gohan blurted out. He flushed realizing his outburst. “Sorry about that, that just wasn’t the kind of response I expected. I guess it makes sense though, seeing as he’s so huge.” He stopped, trying to think of how to word his next question. “But how is that possible… biologically?”
“Is that even important?!” Piccolo asked curtly. “This is why I was hesitant at telling you. Your friend has had to deal with a lot of prejudice and hardships his life, most of them not including his background. Giants are feared greatly in this day by wizards, and if anyone found out of what he is not even Dende will know what could happen. His mother left him and his father before he was born, so he was taken care of by his father alone, who cared for him very deeply. His father died when he was a child, near your age for that matter. As you probably know, he was expelled from your school in his Third Year when he was accused for opening the Chamber, and was lucky Dumbledore was looking out for him and got him the job as Gamekeeper. You can’t tell anyone what you’ve just learned, do you understand Gohan?”
Gohan nodded, his eyes showing many emotions running through him at that moment. He couldn’t believe that Hagrid had to go through all of that stuff long ago. Nobody deserved all of that stuff happening to them less than Hagrid. Hagrid was always so cheerful and happy, and he always knew how to cheer him and the others up. Gohan would never tell anyone what he just learned; he would make that a promise. But what amazed him so much was that Piccolo cared and treated this matter so deeply and personally. Gohan though he was the only person who could see Piccolo for what he really was, and this one moment would have convinced anyone to see his point. An uncomfortable silence arose between the two warriors, until Gohan decided to break it.
“So, um… let’s change the subject to something a little more comfortable. When you were talking about Harry, Ron, and Hermione it sounded as though you deeply respected them and acted like they were powerful or like my dad. You rarely give out complements to strangers, let alone people that you’ve never even met. So what gives? Do you really think that they have a lot of potential as wizards and a witch?”
Piccolo nodded, “Wizard wise, they’re very incomparable with many of the other kids there. Your friend Hermione Granger has got more brains than anyone in your year, and knows probably more spells and magic history than most of the Third Years there (Gohan scowled when Piccolo didn’t mention except for him). Ronald Weasley may be pretty reckless, but he’s got a lot of courage and loyalty; combine that with the help of you and the others he could be a powerful ally when you’re older. And as for young Harry Potter,” he smirked, “He’s very similar to… well you in a way. Clever, brave, strategic, selfless, he may not be as smart as you and Granger but he picks things up quick, and loyal. Not to mention the things that not even he knows about himself, the things that make him what he is today.”
Gohan looked confused, “What do you mean by that?”
“Sorry, but that is something I definitely will not tell you. Please respect my wishes and don’t read my thoughts, this is something that I ask you as a friend.” As Gohan nodded in understanding, he added while smirking, “You might want to watch out for them grade-wise kid. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were even better than you at magic, seeing as they’ve had more experience and skill longer than you.”
Gohan was going to argue, and say something that he hadn’t told anyone, but stopped. There was something he was doing while he was at school, besides training his body, but he never mentioned it to a soul, not even Harry or the others. It was a different sort of perfecting and practicing something. He got the idea after his first few lessons, wondering who came up with the spells and potions he was learning. He assumed it couldn’t be that hard, and started trying to do it on his own.
He was interrupted from his thoughts and ponderings by Piccolo, noticing that his young friend was thinking about something, and was interested in what it was.
“What’s wrong? You never hesitate to try and argue when I question your abilities at anything you do. Is something the matter?” Piccolo inquired.
Gohan was silent for a few seconds, staring out into the glowing stars and the black sky that illuminated the Lookout.
Finally he spoke, “If I tell you something, you promise not to tell anyone? I’m not sure we’re allowed at my school, and I’m sure my mom wouldn’t approve of it if I told her that. And Vegeta would probably jump at the chance to get me back for Christmas (he said that last part with a small smile growing on his face).”