Chapter 28: The Melding of Two Worlds
The silence that hung in the room after that comment began to fill with many different emotions, most of them from the wizards and witches present.
Gohan saw McGonagall seemed to be shocked, looking like she’d seen Snape compliment her students for their colorful display of affection toward his own House. She seemed more stunned with the appearance of her late-student’s hair and eyes, not to mention the manifestation of two eccentric looking strangers, then what Gohan just stated. She probably doesn’t even realize what he was talking about.
Dumbledore seemed to have raised his eyebrows at the comment, amused as well as surprised at the way Gohan informed them of this information, and the horrible news itself. Gohan also noticed the slight millimeter widening of his eyes, but that was as much revelation as he could give off.
The Weasley family present, still jubilant that their little girl Ginny was safe and sound, hadn’t seemed to have grasped the concept yet. Their faces changed from ecstatic to frightened, let alone shocked, at the arrival and appearance of the three Z-Fighters. Their eyes traveled from Gohan’s bloody and torn appearance (as well as his newly, to them, attained gold hair and blue eyes) to the arrival of Vegeta, and then settled on Piccolo. They seemed most alarmed of Piccolo, who simply shook them more with his cold straight-forward gaze. While they made no physical gestures toward the towering Namekian, they did hug their children a little more closely to them and tightened their grasps on them.
Even wizards must have their limits. Gohan mused. They probably haven’t seen anything like Piccolo in their entire lives, even with their variety of magical creatures.
Finally, Gohan steered his gaze to Harry, the only one in the room to have a clear expression on his face. While he seemed to have gotten over the events that had happened down in the Chamber of Secrets, his only expression became bemused at the manifestation of the two strangers.
Gohan wondered how long it would take for Harry to realize that he was standing before the “Demon King” Piccolo. Granted, any pictures of Piccolo at that time would have been in black and white (while they mastered motion, apparently Muggles bested them in colors for pictures), and he would have looked much younger than he is now. Not to mention Piccolo still has his weighted clothes on, concealing his pointed ears and antennae. But that still didn’t deter the representation of “outlandish” in his figure.
… Well, this isn’t bad. Gohan thought, watching the two warriors intently. Silence is usually a neutral ground. They’re taking this a lot better than I expec-
“WHAT!!!” Vegeta roared, the draft in the room instantly becoming violent, circling the saiyan with ferocity and strength.
Everyone jumped in surprise (expect Dumbledore and Piccolo and Gohan, who weren’t shocked at the reaction) as it circled the Prince, his aura flaring instantly and disappearing within seconds. Papers and cloaks blew in a fury around the room, some objects being lifted into the air and crashing into the walls. Fawkes shrieked loudly and flew to the high points of the room, away from the madness. The wizards and witches (aside from Dumbledore) tensed and gasped, wondering where the sudden storm came from. As it subsided, Vegeta’s white aura still gleamed lightly around him.
Piccolo remained steadfast, though there was much distress and disturbance in his expression. He watched the elder alien with calculating eyes, then momentarily fluttering his gaze to his young student. Gohan didn’t look back, instead focusing his attention on the livid expression looming on the older saiyan’s features.
If the looming threat of the most powerful being the world… nay, the entire universe has ever known hadn’t just returned more powerful than before, Gohan would have thought the reactions in the room, not to mention Vegeta… humorous.
Even so, Vegeta’s reaction was well within his rights; everyone had thought Gohan had taken care of Cell, that he was the only one who could. Now that that monster returned, Gohan didn’t doubt Vegeta would go after the android himself, as a way to prove his power and his pride as a saiyan warrior over Gohan’s. He’d just have to hope that Vegeta wouldn’t kill Gohan before he had a chance to explain the situation has become deeper than it already sounded.
“Yeah…” Gohan started, laughing nervously at the death glare he was receiving from Vegeta. “That’s how I thought you’d take it. But, let’s take this time to reflect. I think we should all just sit down and discuss this like the calm, rational people we all—”
The next thing Gohan was hoisted into the air by his collar, the hand holding him up glowing dangerously gold and blue. Gohan knew it wasn’t wise to act like that with a pissed Super Saiyan prince, but how else were he to respond? While Gohan idolized his father, he wouldn’t take any negative attitude from people that made him feel bad for no reason (…except Bulma, Eighteen, especially his mom… basically every dangerous women in his life).
Vegeta eyes radiated from black to blue as he gazed into the Halfling’s eyes, which shined in a combination of fear and slight amusement.
“DO NOT mock me boy,” Vegeta hissed, his face twitching slightly. “You expect me to be calm now? Before I got here I was agitated, you of all people stupidly revealing yourself so foolishly to these creatures. But NOW, I’m just about considering-”
A streak of red light struck Vegeta in the shoulder, making his body falter against the wall and drop Gohan to the ground. The Weasley’s, Dumbledore, Piccolo, and Harry turned to see who sent the Stunner; there stood Professor McGonagall, wand in wand hand outstretched in front of her with a look of fury.
Aww man, Gohan thought as he saw her. I’m gonna miss the old cat (like bat, hehehe). She let me out of my homework.
Vegeta, who for the first time was unnoticed by anyone, regained everyone’s eyes with his moving body. He miraculously (to the wizards) got up from the wall, slowly as if to increase suspense. He paused, his back facing everyone but Gohan, not moving once he regained his composure. Then, he quickly turned his head, several cracking noises being heard. Vegeta turned to face McGonagall and the others, rubbing his neck as he frowned darkly at the magic-using people. His eyes filled with a maniacal rage, almost as if he dared her to try it again.
“Woman,” Vegeta smirked, “you had better thank that blasted Namek up there. My kind is not as frail or weak as yours is. We are stronger, more durable. And, you only caught me off guard with that flashlight of yours.”
McGonagall didn’t say anything, merely turning paler than her current state and eyes wide in shock. Her mouth almost stayed in an O shape, had it not been for her lip twitching occasionally.
“Not to mention,” Vegeta continued, “your aim is off. You’re arm is aiming for my back, to get a better shot I assume, yet you hit my shoulder blade.”
He chuckled, “Your skill gets weaker in your old age I suppose. I on the other hand,” His hands glowed bright blue with sparks in response, “am in my prime, and will be for a good long while.”
The Weasleys and Harry gapped in response, paling at the threatening manner Vegeta posed as. McGonagall simply stood there, continuing to pale and tremble somewhat in his presence.
Vegeta flexed his fingers in response, the orb of energy growing and shrinking with crackles emitting each time. His eyes narrowed into slits, and he grinned with feral intensity at the old witch as she watched him. The blast in his hand began to swirl, the amount of energy in the blast beginning to peak.
Finally, after the brief silence seemed to pass very quickly, he casually flicked his wrist in her direction. The sphere propelled itself speedily at the woman, soaring past objects and other people around the room. The strange thing was that although its speed was great, Gohan felt that time seemed to have slowed down, at least for him anyway. Maybe it was the fact his eyes were much more keen and trained to see things at speeds others couldn’t, or maybe because he was the only one in the room aside from Piccolo who wasn’t human. Either way, it was slow.
But this only lasted for a moment, and then time sped to normal. In the next instant the sphere exploded into thousands of smaller bits, each not capable of any harm as they evaporated into the air. The remaining sparks momentarily floated past McGonagall’s head, slight heat emitting from them. Everyone, even Vegeta and Piccolo, had their eyes widened (in different variations between certain people) at this unexpected circumstance.
“Please keep your temper under control while you are in my school,” Dumbledore said; his deep voice was steady and calm. Everyone turned towards him to see his wand just lowering to his side. “I understand your frustration, but I will not stand for violence of any kind towards any of my students or staff.”
The twinkle in his eye was gone for a moment, replaced with a cold torrent gaze that powerfully pierced the Saiyan Prince’s actions. Vegeta didn’t show any recognition of intimidation, his expression returned to his usual frown and glare now fixated upon Dumbledore. Finally though, Vegeta relented, tossing his shoulders back and shrugged.
“I wasn’t actually going to hit her,” Vegeta mused, now looking at his glove with mild interest, “but I will not take such an insult to royalty like that lying down.”
Dumbledore cracked a mild smiled, “Even so, please keep your power in check. And thank you for listening to me, I—”
“I didn’t do it for you old man!” Vegeta snapped, glaring coldly at the wizard. “There are far more horrid consequences, brought by the most malicious beings, as a result of that witch’s demise than a pathetic old man with a twig running a preschool for toddlers.”
“CoughcoughBULMAcoughcough.” Piccolo spoke loudly to no one in particular (Gohan), thunderous enough for everyone to hear. Vegeta shot the two a look of loathing and pure hate before his cheeks flushed with red.
“Have we met?” Mr. Weasley asked suddenly, looking to Piccolo curiously. He seemed to have gotten over the Namekian’s peculiar appearance rather quickly. “You seem familiar… have you ever come to the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office in the Ministry before? There were these… sun cream bottles that turned people’s skin bright pink with burns. Did you try fixing it yourself?”
“… No.” Piccolo replied slowly. “I’m not from around here. I get that a lot… I just have one of those faces. ”
Gohan noticed the thoughtful, grasping look in Mr. Weasley’s eye as Piccolo hesitated at the direct question. Mr. Weasley was probably starting to realize who Piccolo was. Fawkes, sensing the danger was over, swooped down majestically and rejoined Dumbledore on the desk.
“But back to the matter at hand.” Dumbledore stated, turning from the Saiyan Prince to the hybrid Saiyan. “Gohan, I need you to tell me exactly what happened in the Chamber. We need to know exactly how all of this started.”
Gohan nodded dully, and then turned to Harry.
“You know as much as I do Harry, so how about you explain?” Gohan’s eyes wisped over to Vegeta for a moment, noticing those cold eyes on him. “I think someone else needs to be in the spotlight.”
Gohan then gave Harry a stern gaze, obviously hoping Harry would choose his words carefully, which Harry correctly deduced as to meaning to not mention Gohan being an alien yet.
Harry shrugged, “Al—Alright I guess.”
Then, under the watchful gaze of the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and the two strangers (Gohan just glanced around the room in anxious silence) did Harry begin the tale that had started at the beginning of the school year. However, Harry did not say anything about what Cell or Voldemort had told them, only what he and the others had deduced themselves. He told them of the ethereal voices that he and Gohan heard, Aragog and the spiders, Hermione discovering it was a Basilisk and the pipes, Moaning Myrtle and her being a victim of the Basilisk, and her bathroom being the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.
“Very well,” Professor McGonagall started, cutting Harry short as he paused to gather his thoughts, “so you found out where the entrance was—breaking a hundred school rules into pieces along the way, I might add—but how on earth did you all get out of there alive, Potter?”
Then, after finding the right words, Harry continued to talk, now telling them about Fawkes’ arrival and the Sorting Hat producing the sword. But then, Harry stopped mid-sentence, hesitating to continue, which made Gohan drag his eyes away from wandering around the room to look at Harry curiously.
Finally, after much thinking, Gohan’s eyes widened a little. Ginny! Harry didn’t say anything about Riddle’s diary yet, or about Ginny getting it and being possessed. Obviously he’s afraid of her being in trouble for having to do with the attacks, but Dumbledore really wouldn’t expel Ginny, would he? Then again, with the diary “dead” how are they supposed to prove anything? Right now Cell was the farthest thing from either of the boy’s minds, because they all knew HE was there. But how could they prove Voldemort was here?
Gohan’s eyes automatically turned to the elderly wizard, narrowing them slowly as if to see if he knew the truth. This was Dumbledore after all, and anyone who had been at Hogwarts for a week would know that Dumbledore could do things most wizards couldn’t imagine.
Gohan snorted silently. Maybe he’s a mind reader. That’d sure be lucky for us.
As he thought this, Dumbledore turn his twinkling blue eyes on Gohan, shining faintly with a smile through his moon-like glasses.
“What interests me most,” spoke Dumbledore softly, turning to face everyone, “is how Lord Voldemort managed to enchant Ginny, when my sources tell me he is currently in hiding in the forests of Albania.”
Gohan’s eyes shot out of his eyes, his tail twitched noticeably from his waist.
WHAT THE—are you TRYING to make me look like a jack-ass Dende?
Gohan saw Harry breath outward in relief, his face finally looking less stressed.
“W-what’s that?” Mr. Weasley managed to say through the shock. “You-Know-Who? En-enchant Ginny? But Ginny’s not… Ginny hasn’t been… has she?”
“It was a diary.” Gohan spoke, instantly defending Ginny and speaking on her behalf. Harry, thinking the same thing, took out the diary and showed it to Dumbledore. “It was Riddle’s when he went to school here. He started writing in it when he was sixteen. Made some sort of memory into it to live on in the future… kind of a back-up Voldemort with puberty problems.”
Dumbledore slowly retrieved the book from Harry, ink dripping occasionally onto the floor. He peered into its pages with interest and wonder, fascinated at such magical use.
“Brilliant,” Dumbledore mumbled. “Of course, he was probably the most brilliant student Hogwarts has ever seen (“Besides me.” Gohan muttered obnoxiously).” He then turned to face only the Weasleys, who were obviously the least-involved and the most confused.
Dumbledore went on to sum up to everyone (facing the Weasleys) Tom Riddle’s fall to dark magic, how after he left Hogwarts he traveled the world learning the Dark Arts. How he became the evil Lord Voldemort the Wizarding World has grown to fear and cower, undergoing many horrific magical transformations to become what he was.
“Hardly anyone connected Lord Voldemort with the clever, handsome boy who was once Head Boy here.” Dumbledore mused.
“Just like Darth Vader.” Gohan commented, shaking his head.
Everyone stared at him blankly. Vegeta’s eye twitched in agitation and Piccolo’s face began to flush uncomfortably.
“What?” Gohan asked, looking incredulously at them. “It’s a good analogy. A Powerful talented youth who betrayed everyone and turned to the Dark Side for power, becoming horribly scarred in the process. He even changed his name to a V name like Riddle.”
“… Dark Side?” Ron asked.
“Oh come on!” Gohan protested. “You guys have to know about Star Wars! Where’s your knowledge of popular culture?”
Vegeta’s face convulsed with anger, his face becoming beet red from embarrassment.
“Yes…well…” Mrs. Weasley started. “But what about Ginny? What’s our Ginny got to do with—with—him?”
“His d-diary!” Ginny cried. “I’ve b-been writing in it, and he’s been w-writing back all year—”
Her father, though concerned, reproached her for her actions and should have known better than to mess with anything “if you can’t see where it keeps its brains”. Personally, Gohan agreed with him, but telling this to a ten year old girl who almost died and is having hysterics was stupid and thoughtless. He was surprised that she simply didn’t fully break down, not even bother talking and just let it all out.
Piccolo and Vegeta simply looked uncomfortable at this point, not sure how to react to all of this. They were simply here for Gohan at first, but then they were bombarded with news of Cell and this world’s Dark Lord returning to power. And now they had to deal with all of that and one VERY upset little girl.
“Miss Weasley should go up to the hospital wing right away,” Dumbledore cut in with finality in his voice. “This has been a terrible ordeal for her. There will be no punishment (at this, Gohan sighed lightly in relief). Older and wiser wizards than she have been hoodwinked by Lord Voldemort.” He then walked over to the door and opened it, suggesting hot chocolate and bed rest for her current state. “You will find that Madam Pomfrey is still awake. She’s just giving out the Mandrake juice – I daresay the basilisk’s victims will be waking up any moment.”
“So Hermione’s okay!” Ron exclaimed vibrantly, his face shinning with happiness.
“There has been no lasting harm done, Ginny.” consoled Dumbledore kindly.
Mrs. Weasley helped Ginny out of the door, but not before walking past Piccolo and Vegeta in order to get out. She looked at Vegeta first, who didn’t glare nor smile at her as she passed, only looking stern and silent with his arms crossed. Then she turned to Piccolo, who also remained impassive and blank in her gaze. However, seeing Ginny’s trembling frightened form, he gave her a shadow of a smile. In the next instant Mrs. Weasley’s eyes widened a bit in realization, and her grip on Ginny tightened as she bolted for the door. Mr. Weasley followed, looking questionably at Piccolo before following his female family, looking shook up. Piccolo’s smile soon faded.
As they left the room, Vegeta laughed hoarsely and deeply.
“I suppose they figured where they’ve seen that shade of green on you before, eh Namek?” Vegeta sneered knowingly.
Piccolo didn’t say anything, but his fists clenched tighter in response. Gohan glared pointedly at the elder saiyan, his blue eyes narrowing dangerously. Vegeta grinned, but did nothing more and choice to stay silent.
“You know, Minerva,” said Dumbledore, breaking the silence as he turned to Professor McGonagall, “I think all this merits a good feast. Might I ask you to go and alert the kitchens?”
At that remark, Vegeta and Gohan’s stomach’s growled loudly and they both had pained expressions on their faces.
She raised an eyebrow questioningly, making a point to turn to Vegeta and Piccolo with suspicion. Vegeta smirked at her and tensed his right hand, while Piccolo returned the look of mistrust to her.
“I can assure you that I will be fine.” Dumbledore spoke to her. He then turned to Harry and Gohan and smiled, “We will all be perfectly fine. These men have business that I believe they came here to handle themselves. No harm will come to either of your students Minerva, correct you two?”
“Not here anyway.” Vegeta muttered, earning a jab in the ribs from Piccolo.
Piccolo smirked triumphantly as Gohan giggled, resulting in a venomous look from a red faced and fuming Vegeta.
“Right.” Professor McGonagall spoke, doubt in her voice. She began to walk to the door, stopping and turning to the boys. “I’ll leave you to deal with Weasley, Potter, and Son, shall I?”
“Certainly.” Dumbledore cheerfully confirmed.
She exited the room, leaving all three young wizards to turn their now nervous gazes onto their Headmaster.
Gohan tried to process what he had just heard. What did McGonagall mean deal with? Were they — were they actually going to be punished for saving the school and Ginny? They don’t even get a gold star on their sticker page or something?
“I seem to remember telling you three that I would have to expel you if you broke anymore rules,” Dumbledore’s voice rang out. He then turned to Gohan, “As well as doing certain other things I recall.”
Ron looked as if he had gone twelve rounds with Aragog and his pals, and Harry was looking a little shaken and pale. Vegeta raised his eyebrows questionably, a subtle sign of protest on their behalf (though he would never admit it). The only one who didn’t look concerned was Piccolo, who remained expressionless and… somewhat bored.
Then again, this was Piccolo, and he may know more about Dumbledore’s personality and his games than he lets on. So in light of his mentor’s passive attitude to the statement, Gohan didn’t cut in or argue with Dumbledore.
“Which goes to show,” Dumbledore (brightly) continued, “that the best of us must sometimes eat our words. All three of you will receive Special Awards for Services to the School and — let me see — yes, I think two hundred points apiece for Gryffindor.”
Gohan turned to Piccolo, who simply grinned back at his pupil audaciously. Gohan returned the gesture with his own careless smile; of course Dumbledore would spoil them for saving Ginny and Hogwarts. How could he have not guessed that at all? Piccolo knew that and he only met Dumbledore once.
“But one of us seems to be keeping mightily quiet about his part in this dangerous adventure.” Dumbledore said. “Why so modest, Gilderoy?”
Gohan turned to Lockhart and, sure enough he was simply standing in a corner and smiling brightly at the group. As Dumbledore addressed him Lockhart turned around and looked over his shoulder several times, not knowing who he was, to see who he was speaking towards. Gohan looked to Harry and Ron, who also met his gaze, and all three grinned slightly. It was nice that, even though Lockhart lost all of his memories, it seemed to have allowed him to be polite and act considerate of others.
Vegeta and Piccolo, hearing the mention of this name, turned to each other and had dubious looks on their faces. They looked at Lockhart, who looked at them and waved vaguely, and then back at each other. Piccolo bent down a little and whispered something into Vegeta’s ear soft enough for not even the hybrid to hear, (Gohan definitely though heard “Stupid”, “Gohan’s teacher” and “Hercule wanna bee) and the Saiyan Prince let out a low laugh.
“Professor Dumbledore, there was an accident down in the Chamber of Secrets.” Ron spoke, his voice swift and strained. “Professor Lockhart—”
“Am I a professor?” Lockhart asked surprisingly, “Goodness. I expect I was hopeless, was I?”
“You don’t know the half of it.” Gohan muttered darkly, making Vegeta and Ron smirk.
“He tried to do a Memory Charm and the wand backfired.” Ron finished explaining to the Headmaster.
Dumbledore shook his head sadly, “Dear me. Impaled by your own sword, Gilderoy!”
“Sword?” Lockhart asked hazily. “Haven’t got a sword. That boy has, though.” He pointed to Harry. “He’ll lend you one.”