Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN the rights to anything related to Mahou Sensei Negima—manga, anime, or merchandise. Those rights belong to Ken Akamatsu and various corporations that have licensed them.
Author's Notes: Phew! Finally, the second chapter! It's mostly just exposition. What? I had to do it!
Three days earlier:
A disbelieving shout echoed through the halls of Mahora Academy's junior high building, followed by the sound of a hand slamming against the top of a desk and the scrape of a chair moving back as its occupant stood up.
"A class play??" Kagurazaka Asuna shouted (again), staring incredulously at the onion-headed child sensei who had just delivered the news.
"That's right," the class's teacher, Negi Springfield, said with an apologetic half-smile. "As you all know, we have a school festival coming up, and the headmaster says that after what happened last time, our class isn't allowed to choose its own activity. So, he decided to choose it for us." Immediately after the words had left his mouth, the class went into an uproar. Knowing he was powerless to stop the class's outbursts, Negi settled back against his desk with a little sigh.
Contrary to what one might expect, however, the class's outburst was not altogether an angry one. In fact, the only ones that seemed angry about the prospect of having to go on stage in front of an audience and perform were Asuna and one Hasegawa Chisame, who may have reveled in the limelight of the net idol world but was less than thrilled at being involved with the members of 3-A in any way. There were some less than excited at the possibility of being placed under such scrutiny, such as Sakurazaki Setsuna and Miyazaki Nodoka, but the rest of the class seemed genuinely excited about the idea of a play.
The Narutaki twins, Fuuka and Fumika, were already cooking up pranks to pull during rehearsals. Mahora's paparazzi and 3-A's human database, Asakura Kazumi, was grinning at the opportunity for an article and photos of the class in costumes; and maybe, just maybe, a scoop. Class rep Yukihiro Ayaka was fantasizing about being in the spotlight with her beloved Negi-sensei; the same sort of fantasy Ayase Yue was planning for Nodoka. Zazie Rainyday, the class' resident stage magician and acrobat, was thinking excitedly about the prospect of performing her craft for a large audience. Karakuri Chachamaru, the class' resident robot, wondered if the play would involve animals. Murakami Natsumi, the local drama club member, was on Cloud Nine. Even 3-A's resident ghost, Aisaka Sayo, was getting excited about the play.
"Ah! Wait, everyone!" Negi cried, suddenly remembering something. He jumped up from his desk and waved for attention. "Everyone! I forgot! I have another announcement!" Unfortunately for the child sensei, however, his cries were drowned out by the excited voices of his students. Normally Asuna or the class rep would come to his aid, but each was too wrapped up in their own thoughts about the play to notice poor Negi-bozu.
Suddenly, one of the most unexpected voices of all rose to help him.
"Hey! Brats! The bouya has something to say!" shouted one Evangeline A.K. McDowell, the cursed vampiric student of 3-A, from the back of the class. The normally aloof, taciturn student's sudden vocalization was enough to stun the excited class of 3-A into enough silence for Negi to speak.
Negi, however, was just as surprised as the rest of the class, leaving little to no room to even remember what he was about to say, let alone give voice to his announcement. His mouth hanging slightly open, his eyes glazed with a look of blank shock, Negi simply stood staring at Evangeline, along with the rest of the class. A long silence followed, with Evangeline growing increasingly impatient with the child sensei's silence. Seconds ticked by slowly as the pause grew in length and awkwardness.
"Well come on, Negi-bozu!" Evangeline finally shouted in exasperation. "Are you just going to stand there with your mouth open all day?! The flies will get in!"
"Oh! Um…uh..I.." Negi said, flailing about in his startled state, causing more than a few snickers amongst his students. After a few more seconds, he managed to recompose himself and continue with his announcement. "The headmaster has also told me that we have to adapt a fairytale for the play." He paused with a nervous half-smile before continuing. "Apparently he's not taking any chances with us." That last comment, however, was drowned out by another uproar from the class.
The class seemed even more excited by this announcement than by the initial news of the play. Among those especially excited were Ayaka, Yue, Haruna and, surprisingly, Ku Fei.
"Can we be doing Aladdin??" Ku Fei asked excitedly. "He Chinese, you know!"
"CHINESE?!" Yue shouted incredulously, instantly forgetting her scheme to use a fairytale play to hook up Negi and Nodoka. "How is Aladdin Chinese?! There is absolutely NO mention anywhere in the tale of Aladdin about him being CHINESE! Everyone has an Arabic name! Aladdin is clearly of Middle-Eastern origin! Chinese, honestly!"
"Is true!" Ku Fei replied happily. "I learned on 'Jeopardy'!"
"Where did you even see 'Jeopardy' in Japan?!"
While Ku Fei and Yue were locked in their quasi-intellectual debate about the origin of a fictional character, Ayaka was busy entering her usual Negi-induced giggling, salivating monkey form. Of course, the rest of the class paid little attention, as they were quite used to hearing the usual "Oh, Negi-sensei" from the class rep every few seconds. The only class member who bothered to pay attention was, also rather unsurprisingly, Asuna, interrupting the class rep's fantasy of Negi and herself during a romantic moment on stage with a swift kick to the face.
"Asuna! How dare you kick my face!" Ayaka shouted, startled out of her thoughts.
"How dare you think about a child that way?!" Asuna shot back, taking an aggressive stance.
"I'll have you know that Negi-sensei is very mature for a child!" The class rep responded, rising to meet Asuna's offensive.
"Oh shut up, you pedophile!" And with that, another pair in the class was locked in a confrontation. With all the commotion from the two pairs of opponents and the various bits of the class that had gathered to cheer on the fighting and make bets, everyone managed to miss the approach of the "Ogre."
"DO YOU GIRLS HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT TIME IT IS?!" Nitta the Ogre roared indignantly as he threw open the door to the classroom. "Homeroom is over! OVER! That means finished!"
"B-but Nitta-sensei…" Negi blubbered helplessly. Nitta looked on unsympathetically, before opening his mouth to issue one word in a dooming proclamation.
The class groaned, collectively.
One day later:
"All right, everyone," Negi began, nervously placing a hand behind his head as he attempted to address the class again. "Let's try this again. The headmaster had informed me that we're to do a class play, and, furthermore, that the play must be an adaptation of a fairy tale. Does anyone have any ideas, or—?"
Once more, Negi's voice was drowned out by the ensuing uproar from the class. How the child sensei's meek words could cause such uproar amongst his students would probably remain for all time an unfathomable mystery. Perhaps the students of Mahora's 3-A class very just naturally spirited and lively, so any outlet that was particularly opportunistic was immediately jumped upon with great enthusiasm. Or perhaps they were just insane. It was anyone's guess, really.
Whether they were natural enthusiasm-fueled or insanity-fueled, myriad shouts and suggestions began emanating from the students. Negi, nearly blasted backwards by the sheer force of volume, could only whimper in self-pity as the class once again took control out of his hands.
"Aladdin!" Ku Fei's voice yelled out from among the confusion.
"For the last time, he's not Chinese!" Yue's angry voice replied. "I say Sleeping Beauty!"
"Sleeping Beauty!" Saotome Haruna's voice concurred.
"S-s-sleeping beauty?!" Nodoka's timid voice was just barely audible above the din as she questioned her two friends.
"I concur! Sleeping Beauty!" the class rep shouted, before adding in a haughty tone, "and of course I will play the title role!"
"In your dreams, rep!" one of the Narutaki twins yelled back.
"Little Red Riding Hood!" someone shouted.
"Hansel and Gretel!" came another voice.
"What's with all the western fairy tales?!"
"The tale of Princess Kaguya!" Sayo shouted enthusiastically, seeming to momentarily forget the fact that almost no one in the class could see or hear her without her making a tremendous effort.
"I don't think that'll fly, Sayo-chan…" her journalist friend replied with a slightly exasperated smile.
"E-Everyone, please..!" Negi pleaded his students, although his voice barely penetrated the commotion.
"I've never heard of that one!"
"Kannazuki no Miko!"
"That's not a fairy tale, that's an anime!"
The situation dragged on in a similar matter for the duration of homeroom, eventually bringing the wrath of the Ogre of Mahora Junior High down on them once more, which meant more formal seiza-sitting for all… including poor Negi. Every member of the class was either so busy wallowing in their misery caused by the pain in their legs, or fighting hard to maintain a show of dignity in the face of the punishment, that no one noticed a white ermine scurry onto an orange-haired girl's shoulder and whisper conspiratorially into her ear, "Ne, Ane-san… I have an idea."
The day after that:
"Once more, from the top," Negi began again, miserable tears streaming down his face like little waterfalls as he anticipated another outburst from his students. "We have to do a class play based on a fairy tale, so… any ideas?" He turned to face the chalkboard, a piece of chalk trembling in his hand, as the shouting began anew. Hew tried desperately to jot down and tally up all the suggestions he heard.
"Sessha, de gozaru!"
"That's not a fairy tale!"
Suddenly, a single voice rose above all the others, overriding the confused shouts with a single phrase.
All activity came to a halt, as the members of 3-A tried to discern where the loud voice had come from. The owner of the voice, however, said nothing else and blended into the mass of thirty-one students until it was impossible to find the source.
A few more moments passed. Then, almost as one, save for a few rebels, the class nodded in agreement. Soon the entire class was shouting "Snow White! Snow White!" in an excellent display of mob psychology. Negi smiled, relieved, and wrote "Snow White" on the board in the biggest characters possible for the child sensei's small arms and the board's dimensions.
"Snow White it is!" he chirped happily once the class had calmed down. "We've already used up two days figuring out what to do, so we're going to have to start preparations right away!"
Thus the class began the task of assigning jobs for everyone to do in order to help pull off the production in all of its anticipatedly grand proportions. Of course, the class rep decided to take it upon herself to order her fellow students around.
"Haruna, you'll design costumes! Nakase, you can work on props! Natsumi! You'll… work backstage!" This was followed by a disbelieving sob from Murakami Natsumi. "Come on, people, let's move! We've wasted enough of Negi-sensei's valuable time as it is!"
"But rep," Konoka broke in, "we don't even have a script yet! Or a story to make a script out of!"
Ayaka instantly deflated—figuratively, of course. Negi could probably turn the class rep into an inflatable pool toy if the desire struck him to abuse his magic in such a way, but it hadn't yet. So it happened that Ayaka merely stopped her shouting and seemed to instantly lose all of her energy, as if the air had been let out of her, concluding the day's lesson in metaphor. The following silence provided Asuna her chance to jump in for the second time that day.
"Hey, Negi!" she called from her seat, causing all heads to turn towards her. "Library Island might have a book of fairy tales or something, right? We find Snow White and have Yue or Bookstore adapt that into a script, right?"
"Ah! Good idea, Asuna-san!" Negi replied with a smile. "Why don't you come with me to go find the book later today?"
"Why don't you take someone from the Library Club with you?" Asuna shot back, before adding in an undertone, "I've had enough of Library Island to last me a lifetime, thanks."
"Oooh! Negi-kun, I'll go help you look!" Konoka suddenly chimed in, raising her hand.
"All right then, Konoka-san! You can come with Asuna-san and me to look for the book!"
"WHO SAID I WAS COMING, HUH?!" Asuna shouted angrily, jumping to the front of the class and seizing Negi's cheeks before pulling forcefully. Negi flailed helplessly in the strong girl's grip.
"Asuna! Take your hands off of Negi-sensei, you brute!" Ayaka cried, banging her hand down onto her desk,
"Stuff it, you pedophile!"
"WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!"
"ALL OF YOU!!! SEIZA POSITION, NOW!!!"
Another group torture session…
End chapter 2.
It goes without saying that Setsuna will come along to the library if Konoka's going, right? Right. I thought so.
I apologize profusely for this chapter being so very, very, unforgivably late, and give my sincerest thanks to all who read the first chapter and reviewed, and my deepest gratitude to anyone that decides to come back to this story!
I'm going to try to work hard on the third chapter. Writing KonoSetsu fanfics and making Kannazuki no Miko AMVs beats schoolwork any day!
Chugging bravely on,