Ginny looked up to him, her wide eyes registering his new features. She seemed scared for a moment, but seemed almost, just almost… fascinated, intrigued by his new persona. Gohan detected a faint blush when she looked at him, probably embarrassed about seeing Gohan’s muscles and torn fighting clothes. She then saw the brown fur coiled around his waist, seeing it twitch occasionally. Gohan didn’t bother to make any motion to announce it was his tail to her.
“G-Gohan?” She asked, looking into his blue eyes. “I-is that you? W-what happened to you? Why do you look like-”
“I could be the poster boy for the anti muggle-born association?” He finished, earning a giggle to rouse from the red-head. “I’ll explain it all a little later, okay? But in the mean time,” his face turned serious, “I need you to tell me everything you know about why Cell helped Riddle.”
Ginny tilted her head to the side, her eyes blank and confused with that information. Gohan frowned a little; that was not the reaction he had been hoping for. Then, for some reason her eyes opened wide once more, her pupils relaying her fear and bewilderment to the Saiyan.
“C-Cell?!” She cried. “T-the guy that threatened the world a year ago?! That THING that killed all those people? He was here? HELPING RIDDLE?!”
Gohan laughed nervously, “I guess you didn’t know that… I suppose Cell only appeared while Riddle possessed you, so you wouldn’t go and tell me about him.”
Ginny started shaking timidly, looking deathly pale and frightened. Apparently, the fact a homicidal world threat hovering around her without her knowing didn’t help her condition. Gohan knelt down and lightly hugged her for aid and help, and unexpectedly she leaned into the hug. She started bawling her eyes out on his shoulder, tears flowing down him. Gohan, unable to know how to take that, awkwardly patted her back.
He looked to Harry for support, help if possible, but he just gave Gohan a look that said “I’m just glad it’s not me she’s crying on”, telling Gohan that Harry wouldn’t know what to do either.
Is this what girls and women do in situations like this? He thought uncomfortably. Girls are really emotional and puzzling too. She likes Harry and she’s hugging me for support; now that’s just confusing.
“… It’s going to be okay Ginny.” Gohan soothed, thinking of how he’d treat Goten in situations like this. “He won’t bother you or anyone else anytime soon. Cell’s gone. Not dead per say, but I suppose me kicking anyone’s butt in ten different directions would make them leave.”
Ginny looked amazed, stunned even. “You… fought Cell. You beat Cell?”
Gohan flashed the Son Grin, “Yeah, nothing new for me. I was a little rusty though… last time we fought I killed him.”
Ginny looked like her eyes would pop from inflating so much, staring at him with almost disbelief. Harry grinned, putting his hand over his mouth from chuckling. Gohan took Ginny’s hand, and helped her to her feet slowly.
“But, that’s another story for another time.” Gohan finished. “Right now, we need to get out of here and find your brother. He’s probably freaking out by now, and with Lockhart with him his temper won’t be very-”
That seemed to snap Ginny back into her first attitude, and her eyes began to weep tears and she started gasping.
“I’m going to be expelled!” She moaned and cried, Harry taking over to look after her. “I’ve looked forward to coming to Hogwarts ever since B-Bill came and n-now I’ll have to leave and- w-what’ll Mum and Dad say?”
They saw Fawkes waiting overhead for them, flying just over the Chamber entrance. Harry helped Ginny forward. They passed through the stone doors guarding the entrance, and heard the hiss of the doors closing behind them. They made their way into the ever going on tunnel, Ginny clinging to Harry in the darkness of the passageway. Gohan would have fired up his aura for light, or formed an energy blast in his hand if he wasn’t afraid Ginny would freak out even more from the stress and trauma. The saiyan wizard shook his head, feeling sympathy for the young witch. She was the most innocent victim in this entire school, even more than Hagrid. She hadn’t asked to be housed by Riddle’s memory, nor did she want to do those horrible things. And this all happened in her first year at this school. He could only imagine what she thought was going to happen to her.
Minutes of slow walking through the darkness of the tunnel continued, everyone carrying on in silence. Eventually after much advancement into the dark corridor, the sound of crashing rocks was heard. Ginny involuntarily flinched, probably out of fear of what it was. Gohan had an idea though; Ron must have been shifting rocks to get out. Gohan paled slightly; how would Ron react when Gohan told Ron he lied about the rocks?
“Ron!” Harry yelled, quickening his pace. Harry must have figured it out as well. “Ginny’s okay! We’ve got her!”
Both boys heard Ron shout out a hoarse cheer from the opposite end of the rocks. They turned around to the next end of rocks, and saw Ron’s anxious face sticking from a substantial gap in the wall of rocks. Ron must have wanted to go help find his sister a lot. Either that, or he just wanted to get away from Lockhart; either one was a valid reason to Gohan and Harry. At the sight of his small sister, Ron broke into a big smile.
“Ginny!” Ron cheered, moving an arm through the hole. “Give me your arm; I’ll help you get through first.”
Gohan rolled his eyes, regretting what he was about to do. The hybrid put his right arm around Harry and Ginny, Fawkes catching his eye and landing on his shoulder in a graceful swoop. Gohan use his left arm to put his index and middles fingers to his head, closing his eyes in concentration. On the spot Gohan used Instant Transmission on him and the others, teleporting them to the other side of the rock fall. Ginny and Harry staggered, wondering what had just happened. Seconds later Harry figured Gohan must have done something, so he immediately calmed down from his paranoia. Ginny, seeing the other two survivors so calm, took a deep breath in relief (though still curious how they got there). Ron heard the sigh of relief from behind him, and swiftly turned around to see all four (Fawkes included) of them behind him. Ron jumped, obviously not used to people disappearing and reappearing. When Ron’s face began to turn red Harry pointed to Gohan for blame, who simply shrugged his shoulders.
“What? We got your sister didn’t we?”
Hearing those words, the blush of anger that began to spread across Ron’s face disappeared, and in its place a smile and wide eyes appeared. He ran over to hug his little sister, who eagerly jumped into his arms. Ron seemed to not even consider letting go, only until he saw Ginny’s tear-stained blue face did he decide to release her.
“You’re alive! I don’t believe it! What happened?” He looked back to the others and saw Fawkes, still perched on Gohan’s shoulder affectionately. “How-what-where did that bird come from?”
“He’s Dumbledore’s.” Harry answered.
“And without him,” Gohan added, stroking the bird kindly, “This whole school would be a pile of stones… well more stones.”
Ron gaped at Gohan, as though trying to figure out who he was. Ron seemed puzzled, then intrigued, and finally speechless. Harry chuckled.
“… Gohan, is that you?”
Gohan grinned, “In the flesh, thankfully. Ron… I’m sorry about lying to you about the rocks not being able to be moved. I know I shouldn’t have, but it was the right thing to do. No offense, but I was afraid you would get yourself killed out there, and you would have been a distraction to me. And from what me and Harry saw and went through back there, I definitely made the right call.”
Ron nodded, looking dazed throughout the whole thing. It appeared he only listened in-between, still focusing on what he was seeing.
“Why do you have blonde hair and blue eyes?” Ron demanded, all these different emotions rushing through him. Though he sounded serious, his expression was one of gapping. “Why is your hair standing up? Why is there a tooth under your wrist. then he saw Harry, and what he was carrying. “Where did you get the Sorting Hat Harry? How come you’ve got a sword?”
“We’ll explain everything when we get out of here.” replied Harry, walking up to Ron.
He cast a glance to Ron’s side, and Gohan followed his gaze. Ginny, who had just become in the middle of Ron and Harry, was now crying and weeping out more tears than before. Obviously the sadness and happiness and hysteria combined into a hailstorm of wild emotions. It wasn’t wise to discuss the events in the Chamber so soon; especially with Ginny standing there bawling her eyes out about it.
“He said later Ron.” Gohan said shortly. Telling Ron everything that happened would mean telling him about who opened the Chamber; even though she didn’t mean too, telling Ron about Ginny in her current state was reckless and cruel.
Gohan narrowed his eyes warningly; their ocean blue color flashed a torrent of violent maelstroms. Ron seemed to understand the topic was sensitive somehow, so he quit persisting the subject dropped it immediately. When he saw that Gohan’s eyes returned to their original blue and he smiled and nodded.
Suddenly though, Gohan noticed the whole room seemed a little… too trusting and intelligent. There was something, or someone, missing-
“Where’s Lockhart.” Harry asked, looking around the room. Gohan guessed he felt it too.
“Back there.” Ron said, confused about the conversation still. He moved his head toward the pipe they traveled through, “He’s in a bad way. Come and see.”
Gohan led the way, emitting a bright glow of energy from his hands to light their path, as they headed back to the opening to the pipe. Fawkes soared overhead them all, a faint golden glow shimmered his wings when they flapped. Gohan and Harry’s eyes widened at what they saw. There they all saw Gilderoy Lockhart sitting at the mouth, looking happily at peace with himself, humming a cheery tune. Gohan extinguished the glow, shocked at the sight before him.
“His memory’s gone.” Ron explained, seeing the gapping faces of Harry and Gohan. “The Memory Charm backfired-”
“And it hit him instead of us.” Gohan finished, looking awestruck at the realization. “That explains the light hitting him a while ago. So he doesn’t know who he is?”
Ron nodded, “That and who we are or where we are. Told him to come here and wait for you guys. He’s a danger to himself now, even more so than before.”
After hearing that, Lockhart seemed to snap out of his little world. He peered to the group of students, and pleasantly smiled and waved to them enthusiastically.
“Hello there,” he greeted. “Odd sort of place, this, isn’t it? Do you live here?”
“No,” Ron responded, raising his eyebrows disbelievingly to his two friends.
Right after that, Gohan walked over to Ron and clapped him on the back congratulatory, then nudging his rib with his elbow. Ron looked at him strangely.
“What are you doing?”
“This,” Gohan answered, his eyes lighting up with child-like glee, “is my way of thanking you for this gift you’ve given me. I can not thank you enough.”
“Thank me for what?” Ron asked, dumbfounded by what he meant.
“Thank you for having the crappiest wand Ollivander ever made in his life!” Gohan declared, his arm still around Ron’s shoulder.
Everyone began laughing as he saw the look on Ron’s face. Slowly though Ron began to crack his frown and he too began joining in, and he howled in laughter as well. As they all came to their senses, Harry began to look up the pipe, seeing a dim light from the top.
“Have you thought of how we’re going to get back up this?” He asked Ron.
Ron shook his head. Gohan coughed rather loudly into his hand, continuing for several seconds. Finally Harry and Ron turned to him, getting looks from both boys.
“Sorry,” He said, grinning, “just couldn’t help myself. Why don’t you all just ride on Fawkes? Phoenix’s have amazing strength. Not as amazing as Saiyan’s, but it’ll do.”
“Fawkes?” Ron and Harry simultaneously asked.
At that moment, Fawkes soared down to the ground to land on Gohan’s shoulder again, cooing lightly. He waved his long gold tail feathers in the Harry’s direction, looking into his green eyes with his black beady ones.
“Well…” Ron started puzzled, “it looks like he wants you to grab hold… But we’re all much too heavy for that bird to pull up there-”
“Fawkes isn’t an ordinary bird.” Harry said, turning to the others. “We’ve got to hold onto each other. Ginny, grab Ron’s hand. Professor Lockhart-”
“He means you.” Gohan and Ron harshly told Lockhart.
“You,” Harry continued, pointing to Lockhart, “hold Ginny’s other hand-”
“Harry,” Gohan said, “give me the Sorting Hat and sword. I’ll hold them for you guys while you ride Fawkes.”
“You mean you’re not going on with us? Than how are you getting up?” Ginny spoke, her voice quiet and hoarse from the crying. Curiosity sparked those two surprising questions, as Ginny did not know Gohan could fly yet.
Gohan grinned, “I have my ways. Besides, I’ll be right behind you guys just in case one of you happens to slip off. If you do, I’ll have a free hand.”
Still confused, Ginny looked to her brother and Harry for answers.
“He’ll be fine Ginny,” Ron assured, “let’s just get ready.”
Harry nodded in agreement, and handed Gohan the sword and the hat. Gohan noted the sword had words engraved into the blade, but couldn’t make them out in the darkness. Gohan watched as Harry grabbed onto Fawkes, Ron grab onto Harry, Ginny grab Ron, and Lockhart clumsily grab Ginny. Immediately after everyone was set, Gohan saw Fawkes take off up the pipe, Lockhart laughing with joy.
Gohan smiled, this Lockhart wasn’t so bad. Sure he was annoying still, but not as idiotic (he had his memory erased after all). Gohan silently took off after them, immediately right on their tail. Gohan could hear Lockhart shouting “Amazing! Amazing! This is just like magic!” and a chuckle couldn’t help but escape his lips.
Surprisingly, the flight up didn’t seem as long as the ride down. Just as Gohan could enjoy flying silently, it ended with him having to halt his flight midair, almost crashing into the girl’s room ceiling. Gohan looked down, seeing Fawkes unload its passengers carefully onto the tile. Gohan quickly floated down to meet them, landing softly next to Fawkes and the others. Gohan saw Ron and Harry look to him, their faces asking if he was okay. He nodded, and threw Harry the Sorting Hat and sword. Harry caught them rather clumsily and with slight difficulty, as Gohan forgot what is light to some people might not be to others. That earned a glare from Harry, and Gohan laughing nervously, holding his hands up in surrender.
“Well,” Gohan started, walking closer to the group, “did you have a nice trip?”
“You’re alive,” they heard from above them. Everyone looked up to see Moaning Myrtle staring through her glasses at them.
“Thanks for those kind words of congratulations.” Gohan noted sarcastically.
“Yeah,” Harry added grimly, “no need to sound so disappointed.” He wiped the dried blood and slime from his glasses rather roughly.
“Oh, well… I’d just been thinking… if you had died, you’d have been welcome to share my toilet.” Myrtle choked out, a blush creeping through her transparent face.
Gohan and Ron laughed hysterically at that remark, holding their sides tightly as they did. Everyone walked out of their rather awkwardly, but Ron and Gohan were still gasping for air through their chuckles. Once they made it out of the lavatory, they calmed down.
“Urgh!” Gohan groaned as they began to walk. “I think Myrtle’s gotten a little too attached to you Harry. She likes you.”
“You’ve got competition Ginny!”
Gohan saw Ginny still had silent tears moving down her face, but decided best not to say anything to Ron. Though he didn’t have to, as Ron saw this as well and instantaneously became her “big brother”.
“Where now?” Ron questioned, looking at Ginny with concern.
Harry answered by pointing to Fawkes, who had begun to make his path away from the others, going down the corridor with a golden glow surrounding him.
“Seems he knows what he’s doing.” Gohan observed, and began to walk after the phoenix with slight hace.
The others followed behind wordlessly. As they made their way following the phoenix, they finally found themselves standing in front of Professor McGonagall’s office door. Looking to each other Ron and Harry and Gohan just shrugged to each other, as if daring one of them to open the door.
Gohan sighed, “Fine, I’ll do it.”
Gohan moved forward and knocked on the door. Then, he slowly turned the knob, and pushed it open. For some reason, Gohan had to adjust to the brightness to the room, as his eyes were still too adjusted to the darkness of the Chamber of Secrets. He could sense McGonagall and Dumbledore being there (makes sense that Fawkes would have led them to his master), but the others were a mystery, or at least unrecognizable.
For Gohan, it was a rather strange and uncomfortable sight to behold. Seeing Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart in the doorframe covered in slime and (for Harry) blood. But Gohan would have loved to have seen the looks on the people in McGonagall’s office’s faces when they gazed on him. It probably wouldn’t have been bad if it were only his tattered bloodstained training Gi, bulging muscles, many cuts and wounds scattered on his body, and the bruises and scratches he had received. But he bet that (apart from Dumbledore) everyone there was just gawking at his blonde hair and blue eyes, maybe thinking a spell gone awry. Gohan finally acquired his sight back, and began to look at the shapes in the-
Gohan heard a piercing scream, and for a moment thought his mother was there.
It was Ron and Ginny’s mother, Mrs. Weasley, who Gohan had met briefly at Diagon Alley. Gohan saw Mr. Weasley running to his daughter too, both parents trapping their daughter in a loving (though tight) hug. Gohan smiled when he saw the scene. But then he turned his attention to another part of the room. They saw Professor Dumbledore standing next to the mantelpiece beaming at them, and also saw Professor McGonagall’s shocked and surprised expression. She seemed to be gasping for air every few seconds, clutching her chest with a vice-grip. Gohan had never seen her look so bewildered or speechless, let alone panic attack. He had to say, he rather enjoyed it. Fawkes flew straight past the two wizards, landing gracefully on Dumbledore’s welcoming shoulder.
The next thing Gohan knew was he, Ron, and Harry were all being held in an embrace tighter than Cell could ever accomplish by Mrs. Weasley, who was weeping hysterically into the boys.
“You saved her! You saved her! How did you do it?”
“I think we’d all like to know that.” Professor McGonagall replied feebly. “But first and foremost, how did you become like that Mr. Son?”
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley blinked, “Mr. Son?”
Then, they both finally seemed to register that the third boy, the one neither of them had ever met that helped save their daughter, was the dark-haired cheerful late-starter they had met a little less than a year ago.
“Gohan?” They questioned.
“Present.” Gohan said weakly. This was just great. He bet Dumbledore was getting a good laugh out of this.
“Um…..” He started, feeling everyone’s eyes on him. “You see… that’s a really interesting story actually, and-”
“I think we’d all like to hear about this “interesting story” you got Gohan.” A voice behind the group rasped. “Because let me tell you kid, I’m dying to hear it.”
Gohan froze, suddenly numb and cold. He couldn’t believe it, but he was more scared and frightened now than he had ever been today.
Oh Dende no. You sick little freak… you didn’t actually send him here did you? Well, I guess as least it’s not-
“You are in so much trouble boy!” Another voice snarled, hoarse and angry. “You better have a damn good excuse right now, or I will personally send your half-breed ass to Yemma, walk you to that blasted Kai’s planet and have you explain to Kakarot how you screwed up. And don’t expect to win this fight brat, because I am in no mood for games!”
......... You suck Dende. Now you’re just testing your divinity. First thing I do after school is coming after you…
Gohan turned around slowly, closing his eyes, hoping that what he expected to see wouldn’t be there. He opened his eyes, and paled; he was wrong.
Standing in the doorway, two shadowed figures leaned on either side. Slowly, they made their way into the room, and everyone but Dumbledore and Gohan gasped at the sight.
Vegeta’s flaming black hair swayed from a draft in the room, his scowl somehow magnified ten fold. He wore his usual training outfit, the white and blue glaring from the light. His arms were folded, tensing and closing randomly. His black eyes were slits, and it made Gohan relieved that Vegeta couldn’t fire lasers out of his eyes. His face radiated with anger, cold and impassive under the gaze of Gohan.
Piccolo being there didn’t help the situation much either. His weighted clothing, though never moving, seemed to be moving with the draft as well. His green skin and antennae twitched; obviously he was upset about something. His face was as passive and expressionless as usual, though his eyes were narrowed dangerously. He stared at Gohan patiently, waiting for his response.
Both warriors didn’t move any further, though everyone else seemed to move away from them. There seemed to be a growing silence, everyone waiting for Gohan to respond. The older fighters stood with their arms crossed, directly parallel to their young friend. Gohan swallowed nervously, clearing his throat under the interrogating gaze they sent.
“Well Gohan,” Piccolo started, earning several more gasps and looks, “we’re waiting.”
“…. Let me see……. Do you remember some monster we fought a year ago? Big guy, kinda powerful? He was egotistical. That bio-android called Cell? Ring any bells maybe? Remember how I killed him? Well,” he laughed nervously, “funny thing about that…..”