“I know why you think you can’t tell him.” Piccolo corrected sternly.
Dumbledore turned, pain and anger hidden deeply in the shadow of his eyes.
“If Harry knew what he must do,” Dumbledore’s voice rang, “it would tear him apart. He should not have this burden so early in his life!”
“Sometimes people need to know things so they can be prepared.” Piccolo responded calmly. “You care about the boy, but it blinds you from reality. If you wait until something horrible happens to tell him, how do you think he’ll feel then? It may even be too late for him to know.”
Dumbledore didn’t answer; he just returned to the windowsill and kept looking out. Fawkes softly crooned to calm the headmaster, but to know avail.
“I’m not going to blow the whistle on you, Albus.” Piccolo informed the elderly wizard. “It’s you who’s got to tell him, not anyone else. I won’t let it slip to Gohan either; that kid can’t keep things from friends. You can tell Harry when you want to; you can wait until tomorrow, next month, next year, in three years, even twenty. But I do want you to think about this though. Sometimes people can surprise with how they handle things.” He smiled kindly, “Especially kids. You never know how they’ll take things. If you let them, they could get rid of the worst evil before they even hit puberty.”
Piccolo got up, and bowed to Dumbledore. The wizard turned and also bowed respectfully to the former-Guardian.
“I’ll be back soon.” Piccolo promised. “I’ve got to find the others and tell them what’s happened.” A grim expression shown on his face, “I don’t think they’ll take it well.”
As he left the room, he stopped before he hit the doorway. He turned, and looked Dumbledore in his bright blue eyes.
“And think about what I said.” He added solemnly.
Then, he walked out of the room, his footsteps lightly going away.
Dumbledore turned back to the window, watching the moonlight shine onto the lake. Sometimes, he really thought he didn’t have all the answers.
He sighed miserably, I am so sorry Harry. But I don’t think you are ready just yet.
Dumbledore turned, and finally moved away from his current spot. He exited Professor McGonagall’s room, Fawkes slowly joining him. He gave one last look around, stared at the sword of Gryffindor in one hand and then the Sorting Hat in the other, and sighed deeply once more. Then, he left to attend to the feast, silence taking Professor McGonagall’s room again; this time though, it was more permanent.
Gohan, at first didn’t know whether this particular Hogwarts feast was usual for the school. But then he saw everyone except himself, Harry, and Ron were in their pajamas. As lenient as this school was on most subjects, he didn’t think this was routine. That being said, this was likely a spur of the moment feast, to rejoice that those who were Petrified were to be cured tonight. The celebration lasted all night, and it was the most fun Gohan had seen Hogwarts capable of. Everyone laughed and enjoyed the other Houses’ company, moving from each table to congratulate and relax with their other classmates (except the Slytherins of course, who were the opposite of everyone).
Gohan turned and saw Vegeta stuffing his face up at the Professor’s table, taking the seat of former DADA teacher Gilderoy Lockhart. The other teachers looked incredulously at the man, and Gohan didn’t know if it was because of his eating habits or that he was a foreigner to them. Gohan and Harry saw the two that sat beside the Saiyan Prince, and laughed extremely hard, pointing the scene out to Ron.
McGonagall stared at Vegeta with slight disgust and disdain, her first impression of Vegeta not helping her opinion now. She looked to Gohan surprisingly as she realized who Vegeta’s eating habits reminded her of, and the boy gave her an amusing grin. Then they saw Snape, who made the connection much quicker than McGonagall. He looked from the pigging warrior to Gohan, face attempting a sneer but came out a combination of scorn and perplexity.
Then, the funniest thing happened. Snape felt someone tapping on his shoulder, and turned to them. What he didn’t expect was to come face to face with Vegeta, who stopped eating to look Snape in his pitch eyes with his onyx ones. He might have recognized the man from Gohan’s descriptions. Gohan focused and heard Vegeta ask the professor if he was Severus Snape. Snape, putting back on his face of contempt and arrogance, nodded to the shorter individual puzzlingly.
Vegeta gave the Potions Master a once-over inspection, and smirked.
“I’m not impressed.” He told Snape bluntly, and then resumed eating. Though Gohan could have sworn he heard Vegeta mutter in-between food intakes “That greasy peon like me? The boy must be slipping.”
Gohan relayed this to Ron and Harry, whose laughter soon amplified to roaring and hollering. Gohan had to actually clap Ron on the back to help his food get down before he chocked.
But then, it happened; Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey came into the Great Hall, leading all those who were Petrified in. much whooping and clapping rang into existence, and sounds of which doubled when Harry, Ron and Gohan joined in. Justin Finch-Fletchley came over from the Hufflepuff table and continuously apologized to Harry and Gohan (mostly Harry), clapping them on the back before returning to his other friends.
Gohan instantly smiled widely as he saw Hermione in full health running over to the trio of boys screaming “You solved it! You solved it!” He nearly tackled them from their seats, forcing them all into death-like vice-grip hug. When she got to Gohan, she stopped from her hug, looking at his torn and battered body. Gohan was so in the moment, he had not realized he didn’t get his wounds heal; it’s not that they hurt, but to anyone else they probably looked really bad.
“Those could get infected! What happened to you?” gasped Hermione, looking him over with concern and worry. She grabbed one of arms to look at the damage.
Gohan smiled cordially, “Nothing that wasn’t worth this.”
He brought Hermione into a friendly hug, and had to remind himself not to go all out or risk crushing her. She hugged back eagerly, and then the remaining two boys joined in to form a group hug.
The next that happened rivaled Hermione’s recovery; Hagrid stomped into the Hall at 3:30 am., Gohan starting a clapping montage that swept the school as Harry ran up to Hagrid and have him received a big hug. The same went with Ron and Hermione, who were as pleased as the rest of them.
Hagrid walked up to Gohan, giving the boy a hug with all his strength as Gohan reciprocated (with the same force). Hagrid winked down the smaller half-human.
“Dumbledore brough’ me up ter speed.” Hagrid explained, tears beginning to swell in his eyes. “Yeh did i’ again Gohan! I couldn’ be more proud!”
Gohan laughed, “We’ll see about that.”
Hagrid frowned bafflingly, “Wha’ do yeh mean by tha’?”
“Oh, you’ll see.” Gohan answered, giving Hagrid a similar twinkle in his eyes Dumbledore always gave.
Only an hour later was it revealed that the combined 600 points for Gryffindor earned by the Gryffindor (male) trio brought Gryffindor the House Cup, easily topping Slytherin for the lead. This experience was new to Gohan, as he wasn’t here last year when Gryffindor won for the first time in years. But he could guess it went like it did now; the Gryffindors roaring victoriously as Slytherin scowled and glared at them, McGonagall almost on the verge of crying and Snape too (though for different reasons, like rage). Vegeta rolled his eyes at the two of them, giving Gohan a small pointed stare, then briefly a grin, before going back to eating.
McGonagall also added that, as a way of bringing the school year’s horrors to a close, it was decided there would be no exams this year. This above anything, even the Petrified being revived (though this was probably a joke), got everyone including Slytherins out of their seats and applauding wildly. Gohan was indifferent, seeing as he would have passed all his exams perfectly (it isn’t pride, it’s a fact) (Hermione however, whispered disappointedly “Oh, no!”). Had she not been in the Hospital Wing Petrified, Ron or Gohan would have said something sarcastic to her.
Finally, Gohan decided on what the best news was as the joy and laughter of Gryffindor died; Lockhart was gone. Dumbledore came out to the floor (looking rather tired and exhausted) to explain that Lockhart would not be back as their professor. He needed time to go away and retrieve his memory. Everyone now, students and teachers, got up dramatically and clapped, shouted, cheered, and whooped at this. Even McGonagall and Snape got up and clapped (though not fast) with everyone.
“Shame.” Ron told the others, “He was starting to grow on me.”
“Like cancer.” Gohan mumbled, causing Harry to laugh.
Hermione blinked, “What do you mean?”
“Later.” Gohan informed her.
Finally though, Dumbledore motioned for everyone to calm down and become silent. Eventually they all did, and after twenty seconds everyone was back seated, looking at their headmaster.
Dumbledore smiled, “Thank you all. My, my, this year has been full of surprises now, hasn’t it?” Everyone chuckled heartily. “But now I wish to give the floor to someone else who has something to say. I believe you all know who he is, and if you don’t I suppose that doesn’t matter since you will find out now.” Some of the students grinned, giggling silently. “May I introduce to you all, Gohan Son!”
As the hall erupted into claps and cheers and applauding, Gohan’s eyes widened. He was going to tell them now?! He thought he was going to go up to people in the Ministry or wherever and tell them, not the school! He saw Dumbledore and Vegeta looking at him, Dumbledore smiling brightly and Vegeta impatiently rolling his eyes.
Oh Well, Gohan sighed. It’s not like they weren’t going to find out soon. And, he though brightly, at least here I can see Malfoy’s reaction! That’s a good thing!
Someone tapped Gohan on the shoulder as he got up. He turned and saw Harry, Hermione and Ron staring at him quizzically.
“Why’d he call you up?” Ron asked.
“Let’s just say,” Gohan started, “I’ve decided to let my tail out.”
Harry and Ron gasped, their eyes widening. Hermione though, looked bewildered for the first time Gohan had ever seen.
“What does that mean?” She queried, peering at him oddly.
“Like I’ve said before,” Gohan winked, “you’ll see.”
He resumed his walk up to the teacher’s table, applause still ringing out. Many people clapped him on the shoulder as he passed, and many others cringed at his appearance. Finally he was up by Dumbledore, the wizard giving the boy a proud smile. His eyes twinkled as he took his seat looking at the boy with delight.
Gohan noticed Vegeta motion for him, calling him over to speak. Gohan conceded and joined the Prince by Snap and McGonagall.
“You sure you can handle this?” asked Vegeta softly, hints of disquiet in his voice
“Yeah.” Gohan replied, uncertainty in his voice.
“How much did you tell the Potter kid and the red-head?” Vegeta whispered sharply.
Gohan shrugged, “Exactly what you said to me.”
Vegeta nodded in approval, “Condense what you told them, but keep it like that. If you want, tell them about Cell the first time.”
Gohan understood, and walked back to the front. All eyes were on him, no one making a sound. If the mood wasn’t so bright and happy before, Gohan would have thought they all chose to be like this.
“Um……” Gohan began. This was really difficult to start up. “The food sure is good tonight, huh? Probably couldn’t tell with me, I always eat like that!”
Everyone laughed, clapping at the remark in humorous agreement. Gohan smiled, this wasn’t so bad.
“Well anyway, thanks for having me at Hogwarts. What a first year it’s been for me. I’ve found out I’m a wizard, had a lot of fun, and met a lot of good people. Oh,” he added, “you too Slytherins!”
Every House laughed at the statement, though the Slytherins remained normally silent and venomous (those who did laugh stopped quickly from glares by neighbors). Snape glowered at the boy, about to muttering something under his breath before stopping when Vegeta glared at him.
“But anyway,” Gohan continued, knowing not to push it. “As most of you know, I’m a semi-renowned martial artist, and my father was one as well. What most of you may not know, is that my father and I are… unique.”
Mutterings and whispers pierced the air, neighbor talking with neighbor hastily and hushed. Gohan waited a moment before resuming his little speech.
“This is because we were afraid we wouldn’t be accepted, and people would scorn and try to hurt us.” Gohan kept up. “Not because we would get hurt, but because we might hurt them defending ourselves. I’ve talked with some of my friends, and we’ve agreed to let you all in on our secret, since we hoped you all would understand secrecy and acceptance. I trust you all to keep this knowledge the same as you do about the magic world, with care and normality.”
He looked out, hidden eager sweeping through him to see how they felt so far. Most were intrigued, others encouraging him with smiles. The Weasleys he saw all smiled at him, Ginny giving him a shaky one as well. Ron and Harry nodded positively, approving his approach so far. Hermione just simply looked confused, but waited patiently for Gohan to resume. Even the Slytherins did not ruin the moment, though several (Malfoy included) looked bored and unimpressed.
This did not intimidate Gohan though; he had come too far now to give up. Everyone he cared about was behind him, and that was all that mattered. If this was a bad idea, they would help him get through this. If it isn’t then it isn’t. Either way, his was about to be half as careful with his secret now.
“So now, before I begin, I only have one question for all you…” Gohan stopped, his face scrunched in concentration. And then, the wind picked up.
Then, many people gasped, others laughed while most remained shocked in silence. Vegeta looked to each person in the hall and just lost it, laughing and laughing hoarsely and uncontrollably. Even Dumbledore had trouble hiding his chuckling. McGonagall looked like she was going to have a second heart attack for the night, and Snape looked as though he himself were Petrified. Malfoy spat out the pumpkin juice he was drinking, gagging and coughing violently as Crabbe and Goyle stood their stupidly. Hermione shrieked, though not frightened, just in surprise and awe. Ron and Harry grinned; it was good nothing these things ahead of time.
A brown, furry tail sprung from Gohan, freeing itself from his waist, wagging happily behind him in the open air. Gohan stood in the room, his eyes closed in absorption for the moment. His gold hair swayed as the wind died down slowly. His now sapphire eyes opened and revealed a distinct change in mood. The fiery golden aura that surrounded him vanished, leaving him just a Super Saiyan.
Gohan flashed the Son Grin, “What do you guys know about aliens?”
The next few days went rather smoothly, as far as Gohan was concerned. After he and Dumbledore calmed everyone down, and Gohan explained his being half-alien, almost everyone automatically treated him the same. The only thing different was they knew he was capable of annihilating a single planet with enough concentration, so nothing bad. Others, though, trusted him warily, neither liking nor disliking him after that. He knew it would take time for some to accept, but whatever. Others simply feared him now; that wasn’t too bad though, because it was mainly the people that either didn’t like him (Malfoy and others) or he didn’t like (Malfoy and others again). More people were awed and stunned that he (not Hercule) beat Cell than the fact he was half alien. It made sense when they thought about it, but still.
Hermione’s reaction was the funniest though; when he found her and the others in the Common Room after his explanation, she wouldn’t stop asking questions. This would normally be routine for Hermione, but it seemed to be the only way to keep her from freaking out.