Summer had just arrived, and Gohan couldn’t believe what had happened over the last few weeks. He found out about an Invisibility Cloak, saw Hagrid leave for Azkaban, met the Minister of Magic (though he didn’t know), and to his displeasure saw Lucius Malfoy again. When he and the others had went to see Hagrid under the cloak they were almost caught by Malfoy (Lucius), Dumbledore, and the Minister of Magic (who he learned from Ron was Cornelius Fudge). Gohan thought it was pretty uncomfortable under the cloak, and would have used the Micro Band had he not forgot it in his dresser. What was even worse was that Dumbledore had to leave Hogwarts because of Malfoy, and now the school may as well have lined up all the muggle-borns in front of the Chamber of Secrets. Hagrid had hinted as he left to “follow the spiders”, but that didn’t help much seeing as they had somehow vanished from the castle.

Everyone seemed to be on edge for the rest of the time, with the exception of Malfoy of course. He seemed to be strutting more than usual around the castle, as though he was protected by an invisible force. Gohan had no doubt it was because his father had gotten rid of Dumbledore, and add the fact that he kept saying to Snape that he should be Headmaster and that his father could help. When Malfoy kept kissing up to Snape (who seemed to be absorbing it all up), neither of them seemed to notice Seamus pretending to vomit in his cauldron, and Gohan whisper to Harry, “If you have any kindness in you and value our friendship, drown me in your cauldron now. I promise you I won’t fight back.”

Then as Snape walked away, Malfoy said something that got on the nerves of practically every Gryffindor within earshot of him.

“I’m quite surprised the Mudbloods haven’t all packed their bags by now. Bet you five Galleons the next one dies. Pity it wasn’t Granger, though maybe if we’re lucky Son will be dead by dinner.”

The bell rang then, and it’s lucky for him that he was already out the door and that Gohan could care less about his comment to him. Ron had tried to strangle him but nobody seemed to notice since it looked as though he was trying to grab his books and bag. Ron threatened to kill him with his hands, but Gohan stopped him further.

“Don’t bother,” He claimed softly, “I’ll get him for that crack about Hermione later, but don’t worry about me. I’ve taken better remarks before without care.”

During Herbology, Ernie Macmillan came up and apologized to Gohan and Harry. He said that he realized it couldn’t have been them, Hermione was their friend after all. A few minutes into a conversation about Malfoy and the Heir, Gohan noticed something. A few large spiders were making their way on the other side of the window, moving in a straight line walking strangely. Harry noticed this to, and met eye contact with Gohan. He nodded, and hit Ron with pruning shears.

“Ouch! What’s your problem”-

Gohan and Harry pointed to the spiders, all three of them following their advancement.

Ron asked, “That’s all good, but how the heck can we follow them-“

He was cut off again when Gohan nudged him, gesturing slightly to Hannah and Ernie who were listening to them. Gohan’s vision was a lot better than humans since his are more developed through training, and he saw them head toward what appeared to be the Forbidden Forest.

Gohan said, “They’re heading into the Forbidden Forest.”

At this, Ron looked as though he ate a particularly nasty piece of food. Professor Sprout took them all over to Defense Against the Dark Arts class after the lesson, and Harry and the other boys were in the back of the group.

“We’ll have to use the Invisibility Cloak again,” Harry said to them. “We’ll take Fang too. He’s used to the forest with Hagrid, he may be able to help us.”

“The cloak is nice and all, but it’ll be better if only the two of you use it. I can use the Micro Band and stay on your shoulders.”

Ron protested to this, but eventually Gohan and Harry convinced him that it would be alright. But Defense Against the Dark Arts didn’t help his mood very much though. Lockhart was being his original dim-witted self and kept talking about Hagrid doing the stuff and annoying everyone. Gohan had to contain his anger and not tell him off about Hagrid. He talked to them all as if he was talking to a couple of toddlers, and this didn’t help his popularity. Harry wrote to Gohan and Ron, telling them that they would go into the Forbidden Forest tonight, to their (or should I say Gohan’s) delight. When they were in the Common Room at six (in the evening) and were much more crowded than usual seeing as McGonagall’s rule was still in effect. And it wouldn’t get any emptier until around past midnight when everyone usually left. Gohan, Harry, and Ron played Exploding Snap with Fred and George while Ginny watched, and Gohan entertained most of the Gryffindors by calling for the Flying Nimbus (it could go into the building because it’s a cloud for god’s sake) and demonstrated using it and flying around the room. he let the occasional person ride it, and also demonstrated ki again to pass the time. Gohan and the others waited patiently until they finally heard the dormitory doors close, and then they sprung into action finally.

Gohan activated the Micro Band, and used it to shrink to maybe five or six inches, since he didn’t need to be that small. Then they threw the Invisibility Cloak over themselves and climbed through the portrait hole. As usual, it was very hard to navigate through the castle unseen, and occasionally Gohan had to send an energy blast (though small it had as much power as a regular one) to distract a teacher. But they eventually got to the gates and headed toward the Forbidden Forest, and at that point Gohan returned to normal size. Ron tried to persuade them to go back, but Gohan dragged him to the edge of the forest.

They then got Fang (who was really happy to see them), got him on his leash and then headed back to the boundary from the forest. Gohan and Harry used ‘Lumos’ to light up their wands to give them light. It took a minute to let Ron mutter up courage to get going.

“Alright, let’s do this.”

And so they started walking, following the occasional spiders they saw cross their path deeper and deeper into the Forbidden Forest. With Ron whimpering sometimes, and Fang barking at the darkness it was a pretty boring walk for Harry and Gohan. Gohan looked up at some point during their trip into the forest and noticed that there was no moon out tonight. Gohan gave a sigh of relief.

At least I don’t have to worry about accidentally looking up at the moon tonight. Even though I can control myself now, I can’t stop from transforming if I look at it, and that would be a problem.

Maybe half an hour or so went by then, and all four companions were tired and sore from walking so long. Until suddenly, Fang had started barking uncontrollably, his bark echoing throughout the dark corners of the forest. Apparently they encountered the Weasley’s car again, and after a few they went deeper into the forest, but by that time they had lost the trail of the spiders. But then, suddenly, Ron gave a cry and Fang howled and barked. Harry and Gohan turned around, and saw something’s carrying Ron and Fang. Suddenly, Gohan felt something pick him up too, and what he saw he couldn’t believe. He saw an eight legged (two of which were holding him) thing with fuzz all over it carrying him, with pincers and many eyes. It was a large spider that was carrying them There was also other of them, one carrying fang, Ron, and Harry as well. They were all taking them into the forest, which was where they wanted to go.

Gohan snorted. This is pathetic. I could get of this if I wanted to, but this definitely beats walking the whole way. I’ll just let them take us where they want to, maybe then we’ll get some answers for once.

It felt like another half-hour until they arrived, and what Gohan saw stunned him. they were in a hollow, cleared of most of the trees. But what was in the hollow was amazing; there were maybe hundreds and hundreds of spiders there all looking down on them with there eyes. The spiders carrying the others dropped them, all of them landing in the dirt, picking them up. Gohan’s spider dropped him too, though he landed on his feet, glaring at the spider.

“You could have warned me first.”

Gohan looked at Harry and Ron for their reactions. Harry seemed nervous, though he remained calm and collected. Ron was another story though; his eyes were wide with fear, and his mouth looked as though he was giving a silent scream. Gohan moved toward them, and Harry moved to Ron since he wouldn’t be moving any time soon.

Gohan heard the spider that dropped Harry clicking with his pincers, though he was sure he was also saying “Aragog! Aragog!” And then, suddenly from the middle of the group, a humongous gray spider the size of an elephant crawled forward, with eight huge eyes looking in many directions around them. Gohan could tell he couldn’t see anything by the way his eyes moved. He was blind. Its head was cream-like white all over his head.

“What is it?” It clicked fast.

“Men.” The smaller one responded.

“Is it Hagrid?” Aragog asked.

“Strangers.” The smaller one replied.

“Kill them.” Aragog clicked agitatedly, “I was sleeping.”

As the spiders had begun to surround them, Gohan leapt forward and powered up slightly, his white aura flashing threateningly. The spiders closest stumbled back, and the others figured out that they should keep a distance for the moment.

“Nobody will be hurt unless I say so, so back away or be dead.” Gohan shouted unflinchingly.

“I didn’t know you could do that. How can you?” Harry whispered, looking at his aura.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about me. This is just my ki when I’m angry.” Gohan answered back, never keeping his eyes off the spiders. He then powered down, leaving the only lights left their wands.

The spiders then clicked furiously, as though trying to figure out what happened.

“Sorry about that, but we need your help. We’re friends of Hagrid’s.” Harry shouted, now feeling as though he wanted to leave right now.

The spiders began to click continuously again, and then Aragog paused before speaking.

“Hagrid has never sent men into our hollow before.” He said slowly.

“Hagrid’s in trouble.” Said Harry, breathing short breathes. “That’s why we came here.”

“In trouble?” the huge spider asked, and Gohan and Harry thought there was concern in his tone and clicking. “But why has he sent you?”

“Hagrid has been sent to the wizard prison Azkaban. They believe he is setting a monster loose on students there.” Gohan shouted, eyeing his surroundings. He was taught to never let your guard down for anything, and this was not a situation in which to be defenseless.

Gohan heard Aragog clicking furiously now, and then all of the other spiders followed his lead. Ron and Fang were still quiet as this kept on going; apparently they didn’t want any part in this anymore. It was as though they were all clicking to each other, but Gohan could not tell whether they were good or bad things they were saying.

“That was years ago though,” Aragog said nervously. “Many years ago, I remember it all clearly. That is why Hagrid was forced to leave the school. They thought that I was that very monster dwelling in what they call the Chamber of Secrets. All of them believed Hagrid opened the Chamber and set me free.” There was slight amusement in his voice in the last sentence.

“So… you didn’t come from the Chamber of Secrets then?” Harry questioned uneasily.

Then, Aragog went into a fret and described how he came here to Hogwarts, and how Hagrid cared for him all of his life and found him a mate (and of course how many children he has now). He described how the girl was found in a bathroom when she died, and Hagrid protected him when they blamed Aragog.

Gohan then thought of something.

“But, do you know what the monster in the Chamber is, Aragog?” Gohan asked tentatively. “Because it is back again, and more people are being attacked now-”

It was as if a storm had just appeared. All of the spiders began clicking and moving uncontrollably, speaking to one another and Aragog. Their legs shifted in their places, it was as if a sea of black began roaring.

Finally, Aragog answered.

“The thing that lives in the castle,” Aragog said, “is an ancient creature that we spiders fear above all other things. I remember well how much I pleaded with Hagrid to let me go, when I sensed the beast moving in the castle.”

“What is it?” Harry and Gohan asked in unison.

This was a wrong question, because the next thing they knew there was evens more clicking and moving and it was even louder than before. And they were all closing in around the boys.

“We do not speak of it!” Aragog roared ferociously. “We do not name it! I never even told Hagrid the name of what that dreaded creature lurking in the school was, however many, many times he would have asked me.”

“That’s just stupid.” Gohan muttered to Harry, though he did not want to hear it.

Gohan felt that this was as much information that they would get from these spineless creatures, and if they stayed any longer they would most likely end up as their dinner. He saw Harry and Ron wanting to leave now as well, seeing as the spiders were getting closer and closer to them. Aragog must have not wanted to talk anymore because as he backed away his friends seemed to get closer every inch to them.

“We’ll just go then.” Harry yelled to Aragog, hearing the clicking get closer.

“Thank you for talking with us, but Harry’s right! We should get going now!” Gohan shouted also.

“Go?” Aragog spoke slowly?” I think not….”

“What do you mean?” Gohan demanded with anger as Harry said “But-but-!”

“My sons and daughters will not harm Hagrid when I command. However, I can’t deny them fresh meat, when it wanders willingly into our midst. Goodbye, friends of Hagrid.”

Gohan and Harry turned around, seeing that several feet away was an immense wall of spiders clicking, with gleams in their beady black eyes. Gohan and Harry knew they were outnumbered even if they used magic, but Gohan was having a conflict in his head; should he risk his secret or die right here and now? Luckily he was saved from having to answer that question, because right at that moment the Weasley’s car burst into the hollow with its headlights glaring into the black eyes of the arachnids. It knocked many spiders over on their backs, and rammed many to the sides. The car stopped in front of the boys and the doors flew open.

“Get Fang!” Gohan shouted to Harry, getting in the front of the car. Harry grabbed the dog by the collar and jumped into the passenger side while throwing the howling dog into the back seat, where Ron had just flopped into. Gohan slammed on the accelerator at that moment, ramming into spiders that had crossed in front of it. they sped for maybe thirty seconds, gaining more time over the following spiders; but then Gohan lost control of the wheel.

“Oh man!” He groaned, seeing what he was going to run into: a very huge boulder and rock formation that he had trained at many times before. He was driving into the very field where he trained many times before.

“I have no idea whether this is irony or poetic justice, but I do know it’s not good!” Gohan yelled as they were seconds from flying into it. Harry had no idea what he was talking about, but then he realized Gohan couldn’t control the car.

“Assume crash positions!” Harry shouted as they crashed into the rocks.

CRASH! SLAM! BANG! The car slammed into the rocks, being damaged in so many ways. The windows cracked even more than they were, there were several more dents in it, and a large portion of the bumper was off now. The hood was also completely torn off, and steam rose from the engine into the night sky.

Gohan looked around to his friends, “You guys alright?”

Harry gave a tired grin and gave a thumb up, “Let’s go again.”

“Er-, guys?” Ron said. “I know we’re alright now, but what about in a few seconds when we’re eaten by those eight legged freaks?!”

They both turned to what Ron was talking about, and saw that hundreds and hundreds of spiders were now crawling all over things and heading toward them.

“Damn, these little creepy-crawlys don’t know when to give up!” Gohan growled. “OUT OF THE CAR!”

“You don’t need to tell me.” Harry added.

Ron and Fang hopped out with the Harry and Gohan, and they started climbing onto the biggest rock formation there looking out to see the spiders getting closer and closer to them.

Gohan closed his eyes. There’s no other way. I need to kill all of these things now and fast, and the only certain way to do it isn’t an option. It’s not out tonight, there’s no way-

Gohan opened his eyes in realization. There WAS a way he could do it, but the question was, could he trust Ron and Harry.

“Guys,” Gohan started, “I have an idea that can help us. But before I do it, do you guys trust me no matter what?”

“WHAT?” The both of them shouted.

“Do you trust me?” Gohan repeated. “Guys, I’ll explain everything later, I PROMISE, but I need to know right now: DO YOU TRUST ME?”

They were silent. “YES OR NO?! NOW!!!" Gohan yelled as the spiders started crawling over the car, they then started crawling over the rocks toward them.

YES!!!!” Harry and Ron shouted

Gohan smiled, “Alright, now stand back.”

Gohan brought his hands together, and held them palm open facing each other. Suddenly, a white/ silver orb began to grow in his hands, both of the boys watched in awe as he released it into the sky. As it hit the night sky, an explosion was heard, and they all saw a huge bright orb glowing bright with power in the heavens.

Gohan looked to his friends, grinning, “I’ve gotta thank Vegeta for teaching me this on Christmas when I see him. Get ready guys.”

Gohan then jumped behind the rock, and looked into the orb deeply, intently. Harry and Ron had no idea what he was doing for several seconds, until they saw his eyes. They became bloodshot, almost inhuman. His body began to be compulsive, expanding dramatically slowly. Fur began to grow from his body, and then they saw that the belt he usually have on… was actually a tail! His face began to change, he was growing a snout, and he began to growl and howl uncontrollably. He started to grow, and grow, and grow until he was near over a hundred feet tall and have brown fur all over and his clothes rip off. In their friends place, stood a gigantic ape-like monster!

It roared in anger, frightening the boys as well as the spiders. Suddenly, it opened its mouth, and then sent a beam of light from it right at a pile of spiders! The beam made contact, created a huge explosion and completely obliterated at least a fifth of the spiders! He shot another, and more of them began to be destroyed under its wrath! The rest of them began to retreat, but the ape did not stop. To prove his point, he sent more beams of light into the sky, and a few more at some of the spiders until they were completely gone. The creature than slowly turned its head down to the two frightened boys and dog.

“Harry” Ron shouted, “That’s the thing me and Hermione saw a while ago! That’s IT!”

“…..Gohan?” Harry asked cautiously.

The creature nodded, and grunted. It then looked back to the orb in the sky, and sent several beams from its mouth directly at the orb! They caused the orb in the sky to have exploded, sending white sparks raining down from the clouds and stars. And then, the creature started to shrink, and as it did it became more human, and less furry. A minute later, they were staring at a fully naked (though he was crouched down) Gohan, with a brown tail wiggling freely from behind. He got up slowly, as if very dizzily.

“Hm,” Gohan said, examining him, “Good thing the artificial moon can be destroyed by powerful energy blasts, otherwise I would have had to stay ape all night. I didn’t know what would happen had I done that, but good thing it worked though.”

Gohan saw the expressions on his friend’s faces. “Um, I guess I have a lot of explaining to do huh? But before I explain, can you guys get me some clothes, it’s kinda cold here.”

Chapter 23