“Tell your son to stay away from those superior to him.” He whispered sinisterly into Mr. Malfoy’s ear. “And by that, I mean my kind. Now, move along.”
Mr. Malfoy turned from the Prince and slowly walked to the door, noticing Piccolo as he made his way and quickened his pace. He threw the door open with as much force as before. As the house-elf came trotting up to his master, Mr. Malfoy kicked him through the doorway, squealing in pain all through the hallway. Gohan frowned sadly, he wished there was something he could do for him…
“Professor Dumbledore.” Harry asked suddenly, turning to the headmaster, “Can I give that diary back to Mr. Malfoy, please?”
“Certainly Harry.” answered Dumbledore serenely. “But hurry. The feast, remember…”
Harry nodded, and grabbed the diary. He took off one of his socks and put the book in it, dashing out of the room in haste.
Gohan stared at the door frame, before turning to Piccolo and Vegeta.
“Yeah, that wasn’t weird at all.” Gohan said sarcastically.
Both of them shrugged, not knowing what it meant either. Gohan then slowly turned to Dumbledore, looking him humorously in the eye.
“Um…” He started, “Not to sound rude or anything… but could I –”
“Yes, you may join Harry, Gohan.” Dumbledore responded. He sighed “Just be sure—”
“Feast, right.” Gohan interrupted, making his way to the door. “Thanks.”
He jogged out just in time to witness the scene. Harry looked satisfied as Mr. Malfoy stood there with the sock in his hands, looking down at it in shock and disgust. Dobby the house-elf, however, looked happier than Gohan thought he had ever been.
“Got a sock.” Dobby spoke, his voice high and squeaky with glee. “Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free!”
Gohan had no idea what that meant, but apparently the house-elf was out of Mr. Malfoy’s control now. Mr. Malfoy’s head rose from the sock to the elf, frozen as he looked at him. And then he turned to Harry, and his eyes flashed dangerously with hatred. He threw himself at the younger boy, his rage taking him over.
“You’ve lost me my servant, boy!” He screamed.
The elf said something, but Gohan wasn’t listening. In that instant he phased over in front of Mr. Malfoy and threw a weak energy blast at the older man. But this was met with a BANG, and Mr. Malfoy was thrown back several feet. Gohan turned to see Dobby standing beside him, scowling confidently at his former master. Gohan grinned; apparently the little guy gained a backbone as well as his freedom.
Mr. Malfoy got up slowly, his face contorted with rage and anger. He turned to face Gohan, glowering at him venomously.
“How dare you touch me, you little half-breed.” Mr. Malfoy hissed, his hand going for his wand.
In that moment, Gohan was two inches from Mr. Malfoy with his hand stretched outright in the elder’s face, glowing blue and crackling with electricity.
“Go ahead.” Gohan said coldly. “See how many syllables you can make before you see why Vegeta warned you about us.”
That’s when Mr. Malfoy heard the Prince’s threatening words in his head, and regained his thoughts. His hand returned from his side, and his hate-filled face melted away.
“You shall go now.” Dobby shouted fiercely, wagging his finger threateningly. “You shall not touch Harry Potter. You shall go now.”
Sensing defeat and knowing his place, Mr. Malfoy did all he could and stormed out of the corridor, muttering curses under his breath. Before he rounded the corner he gave one last glowering stare at the three, and then left. Gohan smirked, satisfied greatly, and rejoined the elf and wizard behind him.
“Harry Potter freed Dobby!” The house-elf shrilled, the moonlight shining down on him from a window. “Harry Potter set Dobby free!”
“Least I could do, Dobby.” said Harry, grinning madly. “Just promise never to save my life again.”
The elf’s face now turned into a semi-deformed wide smile, understanding the joke. Gohan walked over to his friend, strolling over casually.
“Do you have any idea what just happened?” He asked Harry. “I am completely lost here. I get Dobby was freed, but what’s with the sock?”
“Later.” Harry informed. He turned to Dobby, “Dobby, this is my friend Gohan. I think you both know of each other already?”
Gohan smiled, “It’s nice to meet you Dobby.” He outstretched his hand. “I’ve heard a lot of… interesting things about you.”
“It’s truly an honor Gohan Son, sir.” Dobby squealed delightfully, taking his hand and shaking it eagerly. “The boy who defeated the mighty Cell, what a privilege it is to meet you. I did warn Harry Potter about your race sir, but only because he wasn’t to mention it to you.”
“… Right.” Gohan said, confusion taking over. “That makes sense, I guess.”
“I’ve just got one question, Dobby.” Harry stated to the creature. “You told me all this had nothing to do with You-Know-Who, remember? Well —”
“It was a clue, sir.” Dobby explained, looking at Harry as though it was obvious. “Was giving you a clue. The Dark Lord, before he changed his name, could be freely named, you see?”
“Yeah Harry,” Gohan said loudly, “what’s wrong with you. How could you not see that? Come on man, you got to think once in a while. The answer was SO obvious.”
Harry glared at Gohan, who grinned cheekily.
“Right.” Harry said weakly, knowing not to start with Gohan. “Well, we’d better go. There’s a feast, and my friend Hermione should be awake by now…”
Dobby threw his arms around Harry and hugged him tightly, then moving on to Gohan (who jokingly hugged back enthusiastically).
“Harry Potter and Gohan Son are greater by far than Dobby knew!” He sobbed, looking at the boys in awe. “Farewell, Harry Potter and Gohan Son.”
And then he disappeared, a loud crack the only sign of his departure.
As Harry made a start for the Great Hall, Gohan stopped him suddenly.
“What?” Harry asked.
“Give me not even two minutes!” Gohan declared. “I’ve got to go ask Piccolo and Vegeta something, okay?”
Harry nodded, “Alright, but sooner or later you’re going to have to sit me, Ron, and Hermione down and explain everything. I’m tired of all these surprises you’ve been giving us.”
Gohan smiled, “Sure.”
Gohan ran to McGonagall’s office, greeted by Dumbledore and his two companions. All three looked towards him, Piccolo smiled and Vegeta nodding to his arrival.
“Well?” Dumbledore asked vibrantly. “How’d it go?”
“Interesting enough.” Gohan replied. He turned to face all of them. “There’s something I want your opinions on, all of you.”
This took all of them by surprise, but nodded in understanding.
“What’s on your mind, kid?” Piccolo gruffly asked.
“… I think it’s time.” Gohan said
“Time for what?” Vegeta spoke irritably.
“… Time for the magic world to know about our world.”
Vegeta’s eyes widened in response, and Piccolo raised an eyebrow questionably.
Dumbledore smiled brilliantly at his student.
“And what brought this decision to mind, Gohan, if I may ask?” Dumbledore inquired.
Gohan took a moment to think about his answer. Then he took a deep breath.
“Keeping my secret has been a lot of hard work and stress this year.” He explained, looking each of them in the eye. “It was hard enough to keep it from my best friends, but now I have the whole school to deal with, let alone a whole world. Everyone in this world is already hiding a secret, keeping those who don’t about it in the dark and safe. That’s what Vegeta, Piccolo, everyone else and I do on a daily basis. I’d like it so that I won’t always have to keep my tail around my waste, make excuses for my strength, taking insults from people and all the other stuff. I’m tired of hiding, plain and simple.” He took a moment before continuing. “So, what do you all think? I won’t do this unless all of you agree with it.”
Dumbledore beamed, “My dear lad, I think this is a wonderful idea! You never should have had to hide in the first place. If anything, after all you and your family and friends went through you deserve this. The magical world can handle a few more little secrets. I’ll deal with the Minister and go through all the appropriate measures though, I can assure you.”
Gohan turned to Piccolo, who looked deep in thought. He appeared to contemplate the whole thing in his head, the positives and negatives. Finally though, he sighed.
“I already said back at the Lookout that I’d go with whatever you wanted.” Piccolo announced. “Besides, I also said we have the advantage of revealing their world to the ‘humans’ (Dumbledore didn’t agree with this, but knew it would never come to it).”
Finally, Gohan looked to Vegeta, the one person who Gohan was unsure of. His vote would ensure there would be no protest from anyone, but it was a long shot.
After what seemed like days of looking into Vegeta’s scowling face, he huffed in frustration. The saiyan looked at Gohan intently.
“In all honesty,” Vegeta started, “I don’t care. Granted, I’d like to keep my seclusion from the rest of this planet. That oaf Hercule showed me how idiotic and foolish these people get when they learn of ‘strong’ people. I don’t want that, or anyone seeking to attack me or my family for fame or anything. I could kill them, but risking my son and wife’s lives is something that would earn me fewer meals.” Gohan’s spirits lowered, looking down as Vegeta said this.
Vegeta smirked. “But then again, I have missed people cowering in my presence and fearing my power. And being a god among insects would be a nice change. What the hell; scream it from the clouds for all I care.”
Gohan looked up to all three of them, the shadow of a smile flickered on his face.
“But what about Cell?” Gohan said, looking at Dumbledore and Piccolo.
“Cell won’t be a problem for a while.” Piccolo stated, thinking about it. “He knows he won’t be anywhere near your strength now that you mastered the next form. Not to mention that he’ll predict we know about him now too; he’ll go into hiding until the moment is right.”
Gohan grimaced, “That doesn’t sound like the Cell we all know and love.”
“He’s got the power now,” Piccolo clarified, “so his next order of business is survival. He won’t risk attacking you to be ambushed by all of us, Cell’s cleverer than that. He can wait years for the right moment. So just don’t think about him, we’ll worry about that.”
“And what the Ministry doesn’t know won’t hurt them.” Dumbledore joined in pleasantly. “Cell isn’t their problem until he attacks them. I see no reason to worry the world of another tyrant on the loose. You may tell Harry, Ron, and Hermione when she recovers, but I strongly advise you to only keep Cell’s ‘resurrection’ to those you trust. When he poses a threat, we shall tell everyone. Besides,” Dumbledore grinned mystically, “Cell is your enemy by origin.”
Gohan pursed his lips, wanting to protest, but decided it was better not to.
“Thank you all so much!” He said gratefully, bowing slightly to them out of respect. “I don’t know what to say.”
“How about you revert to your normal form before you let anyone else see you? It would not be wise to show everyone before telling.” Gohan nodded, agreeing hastily.
“And,” Dumbledore added, “I suggest you no longer keep Harry waiting and go join the feast.” Dumbledore suggested. “It has been almost two minutes you know.”
Gohan frowned, “How did you…” he then saw the twinkle in Dumbledore’s eyes. “You know what, never mind.”
Gohan jogged out of the room, powering down as his gold-then-black hair brushed the doorway. This left the adults to linger in silence. All three men looked at one another, unable to start a conversation. Finally, Vegeta’s stomach growled. Dumbledore chuckled lightly as Piccolo gave Vegeta a pointed glance.
“…I’m going to go see how ‘great’ this feast is supposed to be.” Vegeta growled, getting out of his chair and making his way towards the door.
“You can sit at the professor’s table, if you want!” Dumbledore called out, but Vegeta had not bothered to stop.
“It’s not being impolite to him.” Piccolo said, “It’s just his hunger is rather… urgent.”
“Oh I quite understand.” Dumbledore agreed. “I have seen Gohan in the Great Hall occasionally, and I have an idea of how most saiyans eat.”
Piccolo chuckled, “If it’s any consolation, Gohan’s the neatest when eating.”
Both smiled carelessly at the thought, then returned to silence. Dumbledore got up and moved to the window, watching the grounds underneath the moon.
“The diary, was it one of them?” Dumbledore asked unexpectedly, continuing to look out the window with mild interest.
Piccolo nodded distantly, “Yes. The Myrtle girl’s death was one he used for the ritual. It would have seemed appropriate to him, I think you would agree. You’ve got one less Horcrux worry about now.”
Dumbledore smiled sadly, “And yet, there are still five more out there.” He turned to look at Piccolo, “And you have no idea where or what any of the others are?”
Piccolo shook his head, “No. The Dark Lord, though not all powerful, is impressive enough to block his activities from higher-ups. Whatever Dark Magic he learned after Hogwarts, it sure paid off for him in the long run. But you can narrow it down to items he deemed important, which cuts the list to unknown, but few, things.”
“What are you going to do now that you know about them?” the Namekian questioned. “It’s a rather moot point. Although he’s gone you have no idea where to start.”
“Well,” Dumbledore reacted amusingly, “I shall study up on him and see where it leads us. I do suggest that we wait until he returns to act on anything. Use the method of ‘hiding in plain sight’, so to say.”
Piccolo shrugged, “If you want. It’s your quest, not mine.”
Another silence entranced them both, their first conversation done and to the point.
“You can’t protect him forever, you know.” Piccolo commented, staring at Dumbledore fixedly from his spot.
“What do you mean?” Dumbledore asked evenly, though his tone held unease.
“I know about Harry, Albus.” Piccolo stated, eyeing Dumbledore keenly. “‘Neither can live while the other survives.’ Being Guardian of the Earth lets you know a few things about a few people.”
Piccolo noticed Dumbledore tensed up, his hands clenching on the windowsill.
“Then you know why I cannot tell him.” Dumbledore replied quietly.