“… Ginny Weasley.” Professor McGonagall answered.
Gohan’s body stiffened at these words; he was stunned that another they knew had fallen victim to the Basilisk and the Heir. He felt Ron slide down onto the floor of the wardrobe, though Gohan kept his eyes glued to the opening of the wardrobe.
As Profesor McGonagall became persistent on speaking, her voice contained deep sadness and disbelief.
“We shall have to send all the students home tomorrow,” continued Professor McGonagall. “This is the end of Hogwarts. Dumbledore always said…”
Suddenly, the staffroom door opened instantly, a loud bang echoing throughout the hall and room. Gohan was sure, that everyone in the room was hoping it would be Dumbledore. Even he had hoped that the old man that introduced him to the magical world was going to show up… though the second that door opened Gohan couldn’t have been any more wrong and annoyed. It was Lockhart, beaming at everyone in the room and strutting as if there wasn’t a care in the world right now.
“So sorry- dozed off- what have I missed?”
Gohan couldn’t have been more angry at that buffoon that anyone else in the room; the only reason he wasn’t going to burst out of the wardrobe and break that man’s spine in two was that there were people in the room that would see him and the others. Apparently, Gohan wasn’t the only one thinking that either; everyone in the room looked at Lockhart with such hatred that it was surprising Lockhart didn’t show any sign of recognizing this. Then, Snape stepped forward.
Snape then told Lockhart that Ginny was taken, and started talking about what Lockhart told everyone the night before, how he knew what the monster was and where the Chamber was located. Everyone then goaded Lockhart into find her and bring her back, which left a very nerve racked and panicky Lockhart to agree, and leave to get ready. Professor McGonagall then told everyone they will tell the students what happened, take them to the Hogwarts Express will take them home tomorrow. Then the teachers started leaving one by one. Once they were all gone Gohan, Harry, and Ron started to lave the wardrobe. They were all silent as they got out; Ron was shaking even as he was standing. Gohan looked to Harry and Ron, who returned his gaze with clouded, blank stares.
“Guys,” Gohan started, “I’ve got to go and think for a while… okay?”
They both nodded, though didn’t say anything. Gohan smiled to them, and then turned so that he was facing their backs, and then phased out of sight to be in the Owlery.
Minutes had gone bye and he had not said anything, merely thought about what had happened the last few days. The next thing he knew an hour and a half had passed. He tried to concentrate on what to do; to save Ginny, to find the Chamber, and kill the basilisk before it struck again. But he just couldn’t, his mind was blank; for some reason he couldn’t concentrate on doing anything.
I’m afraid. Gohan thought. I’m afraid that if I do anything, my friends will get hurt. I’m afraid anyone will get hurt. But I’ve got to save Ginny, I have to. But her ki isn’t anywhere; it’s like what was happening before. Ginny must have been taken because I was right, she did know something about the Chamber and the Heir got to her before she could say anything. I mean she’s a pure blood, what other reason could there be?
Gohan then started searching for her ki again, hoping that it would turn up somewhere. Suddenly, Gohan happened to feel Harry and Ron’s ki in Lockhart’s classroom, and they were both rather high for average people. Confused (because they should have been in the Common Room, and he got away), Gohan phased so that we was just outside the door to his office. He was surprised, a lot of his portraits were down and many things were scattered around the room. He then walked into the class and heard Harry and Ron from beyond the staircase… were shouting?
“What the heck have they gotten into now?” Gohan muttered, walking up the spiral staircase to Lockhart’s office.
Once he got up there, he pushed the door open to see that Lockhart’s room was empty, with most of his things in boxes and bags. He also saw Lockhart backed up against the desk, frightened, and Harry and Ron coming up to him with fury on their faces.
“Mr. Son-er- what a pleasant surprise.” Lockhart said, his voice filled with unease. “Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley were just discussing with me the… um-”
“SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!” Harry and Ron yelled.
Gohan looked amused, though most of him was surprised that they would lash out like this. He walked between Lockhart and his friends so they wouldn’t come near Lockhart.
“Guys, what the heck is going on here? I mean, why are you trying to attack Lockhart here? I know he’s a bad teacher-”
“And a coward!” Ron shouted as face was red with fury.
“What?” Gohan blurted.
“And a Fraud!” Harry added.
“WHAT?” Gohan exclaimed.
“Lockhart here was going to ditch the school.” Ron explained, his eyes glaring at Lockhart. “Apparently he didn’t know anything about the Chamber; he was just bragging and boasting like he always is! HE WAS GOING TO LEAVE MY SISTER TO DIE!”
“Really?” Gohan uttered, his voice was emotionless and his eyes staring angrily at Lockhart.
“Yes… well,” Lockhart stuttered, “I really feel bad for young Miss Weasley, but-”
“And after he said that, he told us that what he did in those books he wrote was a lie!” Harry included. “He said that he got the real people that did these things to tell them what they did to those monsters down to the last detail, and then cast a Memory Charm on them so that they would forget what they did and he could take the credit for himself! He’s just a big spineless fake who takes other people’s work as their own!!”
Gohan just stood there, glaring at Lockhart with hateful eyes. His gaze caused Lockhart to cringe when he saw his face. This guy was a liar! And more he was going to leave right after he said he’d go and save Ginny! Lockhart then got up, pulling out his wand.
“Yes well, all the same. I’m awfully sorry boys, but I’ll have to put a Memory Charm on you now. Can’t have you blabbing my secrets all over the place. I’d never sell another book-”
He had barely raised his wand before Harry had gotten out his wand and cry, “Expelliarmus!”
A jet of red light erupted from the tip of his wand, sending the other wand out of Lockhart’s hand. Ron caught it in the air, and tossed it out an open window. The whole time, Gohan just stood there, stunned by the information he had just heard earlier. He had not moved a muscle, still registering the news.
“Shouldn’t have let Snape teach us that one.” Harry growled, kicking aside Lockhart’s trunk. Lockhart once more looked weak and pitiful in front of the three boys. Harry was still pointing his wand in the man’s face.
“What d’you want me to do?” Lockhart asked feebly. “I don’t know where the Chamber of Secrets is, you know that already. There’s nothing I can do.”
“You’re in luck,” Harry replied, his voice hoarse as he forced Lockhart to his feet, keeping his wand pointed at him. “We think we know where it is. And what’s inside it. Let’s go.”
“Not yet.” Gohan’s voice said, it was low and deep. “I’d like to talk with our professor for a minute.”
Harry and Ron blinked, “What?”
“Really Mr. Son, is this necessary?” Lockhart asked, his voice slightly quivering.
“Yes it is.” Gohan barked, causing everyone in the room to jump. “Now, let me get this straightened out.”
He edged closer to Lockhart, causing the man to back away from him instantly.
“You tricked innocent people out of their accomplishments, deceived them so that they would forget, and then took the credit as your own?” His voice was deathly calm, though it was as cold as ice.
Well,” Lockhart stuttered, “Um, you see Mr. Son-”
“And then,” Gohan added, his voice still cold, “you milked it for all it was worth, getting publicity and fame for transparent deeds and walking around acting as though the world was yours?”
“Er,” Lockhart started, “That’s a very complicated thing-”
“And after that, you come to this school, thinking it will improve your career, teaching meaningless things and giving pathetic quizzes about your books to kids, hoping they will worship you like a god. And once a student is in true danger, YOU WALK AWAY WITHOUT A CARE FOR WHAT HAPPENS?” Gohan shouted.
“Don’t make me sound like I’m a bad guy.” Lockhart declared, his voice growing a little. “I deserve what I got, those other people didn’t earn the right to have such attention-”
Suddenly, Lockhart was hoisted into the air, his throat being chocked. Gohan had gotten across the room and held Lockhart’s throat up above the ground by at least a foot. Everyone in the room was wide-eyed, though Lockhart may have been like that because his air supply was cut off.
“Don’t you dare say that.” Gohan hissed, his voice held back with rage. “You are the one that didn’t deserve it, you weak little maggot. Those people had to go through pain and danger to do what was right, while you did what you did for greed and self gain. I should just snap your neck off right now and end you. You’re more like Hercule than I thought, or even more pathetic than he is. At least he did what was right in the end, even though he took the credit. You on the other hand are a sad, greedy, thick, and above all a cowardly diminutive man.”
His hand suddenly tightened a little, causing a groan to erupt from Lockhart’s mouth. Harry and Ron stepped forward, pulling on Gohan’s arm.
“Gohan, put him down, you’ll kill him!” Harry shouted, his eyes showing alarm.
Gohan paused, as though trying to decide whether to break his neck now and then reply or now. He then abruptly dropped Lockhart, who fell to the ground on his knees, clutching his throat and gasping for breath. Gohan looked down on him, and Lockhart looked up at him, his eyes filled with terror.
“Get up.” Gohan ordered, his voice still composed.
Lockhart immediately got up, and they all started walking towards Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Harry and Ron looked up to Gohan occasionally, though he always kept his eyes on Lockhart. Harry couldn’t understand why was so angry at that moment. And why did he mention Hercule? Harry had never seen Gohan get out of control like that before, and wasn’t about to ask him why at the risk of ending up like Lockhart.
Once they got to Myrtle’s bathroom, they had Lockhart go in first (who they were pleased to see was shaking). Once they all got in, they saw that Moaning Myrtle was sitting in an open stall on a toilet.
She looked up and saw Harry and Gohan, “Oh, it’s only you people. What do you want?”
“Myrtle, we wanted to ask you how you died.” Gohan said, his voice back to normal now, though it was a little rough.
Everyone was surprised by how Myrtle responded; she acted as if it were the most flattering question she had ever heard. She went on explaining how she was hiding from a girl who had made fun of her, and then heard a boy speaking in a strange language, and then looked out to see a pair of big yellow eyes and then dieing.
Gohan thought that it made sense; the Heir had snuck in through the entrance with the basilisk, and Moaning Myrtle was just caught in the line of fire.
“But where did the noise originally come from?” Harry asked delicately.
“Somewhere over there.” She replied, pointing to a sink that was across her toilet.
Ron and Harry moved closer to the sink so that they could examine it, while Gohan was left making sure Lockhart wouldn’t do anything (something Lockhart found very uncomfortable). They found it was an ordinary sink; they checked all of the sides and every part of the sink but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. And then, they found something. On one of the copper tapes was the etching of a tiny snake. Gohan noticed, and walked over to them, dragging Lockhart by the collar of his robes.
“You guys found something?” asked Gohan.
Ron and Harry nodded, and pointed to the snake engraving, causing Gohan’s eyes to widen much.
“That tap’s never worked.” Myrtle said cheerfully as Harry and Ron tried to turn it.
“Harry, Gohan, one of you two- say something. Something in Parseltongue.”
“Um”- Gohan and Harry said, apparently thinking the same thing.
Neither one of them had ever spoken Parseltongue without a real snake there, making their confidence in this plan lower. Harry leaned in, looking at the snake to imagine it was real.
“Open up,” Harry ordered.
He looked to Gohan and Ron, both of them shaking their heads.
“English,” they replied.
Gohan stared at the candlelight for a second, seeing the shadow of the snake move as the flame danced. Then, he had an idea! He stepped forward, pulling Lockhart with him. He tossed Lockhart at Ron and Harry’s feet, who made a rough landing on the tile.
“Watch him while I give it a try.” Gohan replied.
They both nodded, and Harry pointed his wand at Lockhart so that he knew he’d still be in danger. Gohan raised an index finger, and let it glow with a bright gold light, and kneeled down to face the snake carving. The light from his finger made the shadow move, making it look as though it were real, and forced him to see it as a real thing.
“Open up!” Gohan called.
But then, as Gohan concentrated on what he was saying, it worked. It was not real words that came out of him, but a weird hissing noise. Immediately the tap glowed a fantastic bright white light and began to spin. The next thing that happened was the sink began to move, descending out of sight and leaving a very large pipe to be seen, wide enough for a person (from the size of it a very large person) to go through.
“So that’s what’s different from the boy’s bathroom.” Gohan joked, knowing it wasn’t time to crack such a (stupid) thing.
Everyone else in the room, gasped at the sight. Gohan and Harry knew what they had to do instantaneously.
“I’m going down there.” They both proclaimed, looking at each other once they said this.
They both realized that they couldn’t just leave after finding the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, now that they could save Ginny if she was still alive and end this terror. Honestly Gohan didn’t care if Ginny died because then they could revive her with the Dragonballs, but the fact of the emotional damage to the family and friends and Vegeta or someone would kill him if he did this outweighed his unconcern. Besides, he could kill two birds with one stone and kill the basilisk and save Ginny at the same time.
“Me too.” Ron added, his voice sounding more courageous than nervous.
There was a moment of silence in the air, as all the boys turned to face Lockhart again (Harry’s wand still pointed, though droopily).
Lockhart shown his old smile, “Well, you hardly seem to need me. I’ll just-”
As his hand gripped the door handle, all three boys raised their wands at him. Gohan also raised his right hand, letting a red energy ball form.
“You can go first!” Ron and Gohan bellowed.
The nervous and pale form of Lockhart moved forward towards the hole, looking down into it and then at the boys.
“Boys,” he said, his voice tiny and miniscule. “Boy’s what good will it do?”
The energy grew larger and brighter in his hand, and Harry jabbed Lockhart with his and. The man started to put his legs in.
“I really don’t think-”
By this time Ron gave him a push in, though it didn’t do much since Gohan kicked him in rather forcibly. Gohan smirked as he saw Lockhart fall into the darkness, hearing his shrill cries and screams. Harry immediately jumped in, followed by Ron.
“Well, I think it’s safe to say thank Dende that I can control my fall.” He mumbled.
He then jumped in, sliding down the pipe as he fell. It reminded Gohan of a very big, slimy slide. He could see pipes of all kinds and sizes (though not as big as theirs) sticking out through the walls, some of them unfortunately Gohan assumed were for the toiletries. They were falling even deeper than the school’s lowest points, and Gohan could only think of one thing to say as he fell further into the darkness.
His voice echoed through the pipe, causing there to be many Gohans shouting with joy. And then, when Gohan wondered how long till they fall, his question was answered. The pipe ended, and he slid out and was going to hit the ground hard. Was, being the key word, because as he slid out he stopped himself, landing gracefully on the ground, while he saw that all the others were on their rear ends. All of the others were covered in slime and apparently white.
“That… was… AWESOME! Can we go again?” Gohan said excitedly.
Harry rolled his eyes, “For some fierce warrior race you sure can be a prat sometimes.”
Gohan grinned. Ron looked the place up and down.
“Must be underneath the lake, I guess.” He supposed.
They all used the Lumos Charm so that they could have light, and then walked on into the place more. The whole place was filled with little animal bones, something that made them even more uncomfortable. They all (though not Lockhart) tried to not imagine if Ginny would be like this as they continued their walk, turning down the passages.
Ron gasped, “Guys- there’s something HUGE up there!”
They all froze, watching the figure carefully. It was very huge and sleek lying across the tunnel, and it wasn’t moving.
“Maybe it’s asleep.” Harry suggested.
Gohan shook his head, “No, it doesn’t have an energy signature. It’s either dead or it isn’t even an animal.”
This caused everyone to sigh in relief, until Gohan added, “Though I could be wrong. Magic animals may be different than the ones I know.”
All three of them cautiously raised their wands, the light hitting the figure. It wasn’t even animal, just a snake skin. A very, very, very, big, big dark green snake skin that lay on the tunnel floor by at least twenty-five feet. Gohan noted that it must have been the basilisk, seeing as it was a snake and it was supposed to be HUGE.
“Blimey,” Ron breathed.
And then the moment was gone, as they heard a rustling from behind them. Lockhart’s knees had given in and the fell on them to the ground.
“Get up,” Ron said harshly, his wand pointed in Lockhart’s face.
Lockhart slowly got to his feet- and then jumped Ron, knocking him to the ground. Gohan’s eyes widened in surprise that Lockhart could think so cleverly, and was too distracted by this to notice that Harry dived for Ron’s fallen wand as Lockhart did. But Lockhart was quicker, and was panting and straightened his poise with a smile, pointing Ron’s wand at them.
“The adventure ends here, boys!” Lockhart declared arrogantly. “I shall take a bit of this skin back up to the school, tell them I was too late to save the girl, and that you two tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body- say goodbye to your memories!”
Gohan was about to react as he saw Lockhart raise Ron’s poorly reconstructed wand, but then realized something. He was using the wand that screwed up and almost backfired at everything it did! Gohan smirked, this was going to be fun to watch.
Lockhart brought down the wand, and cried, “Obliviate!”
The wand exploded with the force of Nappa powering up slightly. Gohan immediately looked to the ceiling, hearing the roof crack open. The roof was coming down, so he pushed Harry out of the way with him before the rocks hit. They each nodded to each other to signify they were okay, and then looked back to see a wall of brick and stone was blocking their entrance.
“Ron!” Harry shouted at the wall, “You okay?”
“I’m fine- but this gits’s not- he got blasted by the wand.”
Gohan and Harry heard an “ouch”, as though Ron had kicked him rather hard (Gohan smirked once again).
“You fine Gohan!” He shouted.
“Yeah, I’m fine!” he replied.
“This will take hours to get rid of!” Ron said. “Hold on- Gohan, can you get rid of these rocks now?”
Harry was going to reply for Gohan, but he beat him to it.
“Nope, I think these rocks are magic or something, I can’t lift any of them!”
Harry turned to Gohan, stunned by what he said.
“What are you talking about?” Harry asked, stunned. “I can lift some of these!”
“You have to understand,” Gohan explained. “Ron’s not in any shape to face anything down here. You saw what his wand did, what if that happened to Ron if he tried something? Besides, Ron’s minded is clouded by rage and guilt at the moment. He’s more of a risk than a benefit to me. I can’t concentrate knowing he’s in danger is I do anything. I don’t want him hurt if he can’t afford it.”
Harry and Gohan looked to each other. They paused in silence. And then, Harry spoke to Ron again.
“He’s right! Look, every second we waste could be used to find Ginny, so you stay with Lockhart and me and Gohan will go on ahead!”
“Alright, but try and hurry! I’ll try and shift some of this rock so you can get back, maybe the ones on your side can do that, but mine are normal.” Ron yelled.
“Alright, see you soon.” Gohan yelled. Gohan smiled to Harry, “Thanks.”
“Don’t thank me yet,” Harry responded, “We still have a lot to do.”
They walked down the tunnel again, passing more bones of animals and darkness. Both boys were nervous past measure, but knew they had to do this with every step they took. Both boys shook as they walked, but their eyes showed determination and courage. After what seemed like hours, they came across something. They saw a solid wall ahead with two serpents were intertwined together were carved, their eyes were big green emeralds.
“So, do you want the honors or should I?” Gohan asked, staring into the emeralds.
“How about we both do it.” Harry proposed. “Those eyes make them look real enough.”
Gohan nodded, and they each looked into a pair of emerald eyes, preparing. They both cleared their throats
“Open.” They ordered, a low hissing escaping their throats.
The snakes broke away as the wall cracked open, the two halves slid out of sight fluidly.
“Well, that was cool.” Gohan observed.
“So, this is it.” Harry said.
Gohan nodded, “Let’s do this.”
And then, they both walked through the door, both finally prepared to face whatever the Chamber of Secrets kept to confront them.