Negima: 25 Days of Christmas
Chapter 25: All I Want For Christmas Is You
While the group's concern over Evangeline's disappearance grown, Evangeline was out in the deep woods outside of town. Her front side was flat down in the snow and one of her arms was extended in the snow. As the winds whisped and the snow pounded down, the locket that Evangeline held had fallen out of her grip during the fall and it was in the snow a few feet ahead of her. The locket's picture was open and the locket itself was still in perfect shape despite the fall. In Evangeline's mind, a old memory from her past echoed in her head.
"Here. This is for you." a young boy said. He handed Evangeline a lucky charm and she held it in her hand. This was the first time, before Jennifer came to be, that Evangeline was ever shown concern by anyone.
"You probably want it back. Well, I promise. I'll come back to see you when Christmas comes next time." Evangeline said. And she kept the charm with her at all times. However, when she came back the following Christmas, she learned that the boy had passed away in an accident and she lost who she believed was the last person to ever show her any kindness before Nagi.
"No...it...can't be..." Evangeline said. After that, Evangeline's eyes slowly opened and she heard the wind whisping around and she saw the snow falling. When she finally regained consciousness, she got up on her hands and knees. She looked up and saw she fell off the cliff. She looked for the locket and she saw a raven was about to take it!
"Hey! Get away from that!" Evangeline shouted. But the raven didn't hear her and it hopped closer towards the chain. Evangeline gasped and started making her way towards the locket.
"No! I won't let you! That is mine!" Evangeline shouted. She used whatever energy she had to dive and she caught it. The raven got spooked and it flew away. Evangeline looked at her hand holding the locket tightly in her grasp. Tears began to fill her eyes and she pulled the locket back to her. She kept it against her heart and she sniffled.
"No. This...can't happen. It shouldn't! It couldn't! It mustn't! It...wouldn't! Not now! Not...t..then! Not ever again!" Evangeline said shivering. She was on her knees crying as the snow built up on her shoulders. Meanwhile, Negi was watching the storm continuing to blow outside and he grew ever worried of Evangeline with every passing second.
"I can't just let her freeze! I'm going to find her!" Negi said. Nekane stopped him and said it was too dangerous for Negi to go all alone. Asuna stood up from her seat and looked at Negi.
"She's right. I'm going with you!" Asuna said. Nekane gasped and Negi looked at her startled. Chachamaru and Jennifer said they would help as well.
"But...you'll all surely freeze out there. This storm is blowing too hard for any of you to see through!" Nekane said. Negi turned around and looked at Nekane.
"I'm sorry sister. But vampire or not, Evangeline IS my student AND my responsibility!" Negi said. Konoe and the other teachers looked at Negi with a smile on their faces. Nekane looked at Negi with surprise in her eyes. It seemed that all of his time at Mahora Academy had taught Negi the true meaning of being responsible and he truly had changed. While it wasn't an external change, it was a change from inside his heart.
"Well, I suppose I can't stop you Negi." Nekane said with a sigh.
"But...Nekane...I thought..." Anya said. Nekane shook her head and looked at Anya.
"No Anya. Negi's grown up. And...while I'm not too happy about sending him out in this kind of weather, I'm proud to see Negi like this." Nekane said. She put her hand on Negi's shoulder and she kneeled down to his height.
"You've grown up so much Negi. You're sounding...just like your father right now." Nekane said "And that's no lie." Negi thanked Nekane and they hugged. Tears came from their eyes and the other girls smiled.
"Way to go teach. You're probably the greatest teacher we've ever had." Asuna thought. Zazie's fire fighting friends loaned their support as well. They gave the kids each a head lamp and they gave Negi an end of a rope. There was so much snow that it would easily block out their vision of the street.
"If you get lost, just look for the rope!" Joe said. Asuna thanked them and they grabbed their winter clothes. With their winter clothing on, Asuna helped Negi tie the rope around his waist so he wouldn't lose it. She made sure to tie it onto him tightly. He then looked back at everyone else.
"All right. If you see the rope being tugged, that is the signal that we've found Evangeline. So don't lose the rope!" Negi said. The fire fighters saluted to Negi and he saluted back. Chachamaru and Jennifer stood with Asuna at the ready and he opened the door leading out into the storm. Yue held onto Evangeline's hat and they all watched as Negi's group went out into the windy streets. But right behind them was Nodoka with another head lamp and her winter clothes.
"Wait professor! I...I can't think of losing you! I'm coming too!" Nodoka said. Negi nodded firmly and he said he would need all the help he could get in finding Evangeline. After they heard, Fuka, Fumika, Kazumi, Kaede and Fei Kū all joined them. Satomi gave Kazumi a tracker and told her not to lose it. The fire fighters also lended them a set of walkie talkies. Kazumi held it in her hand and she would use it wisely. From Chisame's lap top, she opened a program and it showed Kazumi's tracker beeping perfectly.
"Now then! Let's go! Let's find our friend!" Negi said. The girls all nodded and they made their way out. Nekane watched with worry growing in her eyes. Anya stood by Nekane's side nibbling at her nails.
"Negi. Please come home safely..." Nekane and Anya thought. Out in the blustering winds and pounding snow, the girls' head lamps shined brightly through the fog of the storm. They shouted out towards the snow hoping to hear Evangeline's voice. Meanwhile, Evangeline had regained what little strength she had left and she made her way through the terrible storm. Her feet went deep into the snow and she almost tripped a few times.
"Everyone! If you can hear me, I'm coming! I'm coming home!" Evangeline shouted. From a ledge looking over Evangeline, a figure in Nagi's robes watched her push and fight her way through the snow. Evangeline kept Jennifer's locket around her neck and she held onto it tightly when the strong winds blew in fear of the chain snapping.
"Evangeline! Evangeline! Where are you?! Answer us!" Asuna shouted at the top of her lungs. Chachamaru shouted loudly towards the snow banks but they still did not hear a thing but whisping winds. In reality, Evangeline could hear them faintly but the winds were too strong for her to shout loud enough for them to hear her. She then tripped and she fell face first in the snow. The girls had reached the entrance to the woods and Kazumi called to everyone else saying they were going into the forest.
"OK. Be careful you guys." Chisame said on the other walkie talkie. The others were all watching the screen very worried and Tina wished for their safe return. Meanwhile, Evangeline cried with her face in the snow. She lifted her face out of the snow and she looked ahead of her. All of the crying she did caused her cheeks to turn bright red.
"Jennifer. I'm...I'm sorry..." Evangeline said softly. She then started to sniffle and cry again. Just then, a loud "Evangeline!" broke through the storm and Evangeline heard it loud and clear. And from the fog was Negi's search party!
"There you are!" Negi shouted. Kazumi called to the others and told them they found Evangeline. The others cheered loudly and Kazumi heard all of it over the speaker. Negi and the others reached Evangeline and helped her up.
"Here you are. Silly Evangeline. Did you think you could leave and forget about us? No way." Asuna said.
"You're apart of our class Evangeline. We can't leave you behind." Fuka said. Fumika said that she agreed with her one hundred percent. Jennifer looked and she saw the locket hanging from Evangeline's neck still.
"The locket! You still have it!" Jennifer said. Evangeline looked at it and smiled. She told Jennifer that she hung onto it tightly ever since she opened it. Jennifer's eyes filled with tears and so did Evangeline's. They both hugged each other.
"Evangeline. I'm...I'm always your friend! Count on it!" Jennifer said. Evangeline gasped as she remembered that the boy said something EXACTLY like that before she left. Evangeline's hug tightened and Chachamaru could see that her smile was pure and true this time. Just then, a glitter gathered around Negi and the others and they vanished. On Chisame's laptop, Kazumi's tracker suddenly said that they were right in front of the house. Nekane rushed outside and she saw Negi, Evangeline and everyone else out in front of the house. Somehow, Evangeline's storm had vanished and the moon was seen brightly in the sky. Negi's group looked around.
"What the? What happened?! How did we get here?" Asuna said. Everyone heard someone's deep voice laughing and turned around. Behind them was Santa Claus himself with his bag of toys on his back!
"No way! It's him! It's...!" Fuka and Fumika said. When everyone saw this, they all shouted "Santa Claus?!"
"Yep. That's right. It was me who brought you home safely. My magic not only brought you back to where you truly belong, but it got rid of that awful storm. And it's a good thing. I couldn't see the town from my sleigh with that storm brewing." Santa said. Evangeline looked at Santa and then she looked away. Santa asked Evangeline if she thought she would get nothing since he obviously knew the storm was Evangeline's doing. She nodded sadly and walked off. But before she got a foot away, Santa called out to her.
"Then I guess you don't want to see what I brought you. Do you McDowell?" Santa said. Evangeline froze in her tracks and looked back. Santa had a gift box in his hands and the tag read it was for Evangeline with "a special someone" written as to who was giving it to her. Evangeline went back and held the present in her hands. When she reached for the bow, something suddenly broke through the wrapping and looked at Evangeline's shocked face.
"Surpirse! Merry Christmas master!" a voice said. Evangeline couldn't believe what she was seeing. In the box was Chachazero with a red ribbon tied around her head!
"Cha...chazero?" Evangeline said. She helped Chachazero out of the box and held the tiny puppet in her hands. Chachazero wanted to wish her a Merry Christmas and Evangeline smiled. She hugged her in her arms and Chachamaru smiled. Santa said that she was left all alone at Mahora Academy and thanks to a certain someone, her Christmas wish to see her for the holidays came true. When Negi asked how Santa could have possibly found Chachazero, he said he had something for Negi too. He pulled out a card in an envelope and handed it to Negi. On the envelope read "To my son Negi" on the front.
"My...father?!" Negi said. He quickly opened it up and looked at the card inside. Nekane, Anya, Asuna and Evangeline looked at it with him. Inside, Nagi had written:
I am sorry I'm not here to spend Christmas with you. I know you probably wished for that the most. But I hope you and Nekane have a merry Christmas without me. And I hope that someday, we'll be able to meet again.
From your dear dad, Nagi
Nekane and Asuna put their hands on his shoulders and smiled. Negi looked at them and smiled too. He knew in his heart that one day, he would find his father again.
"Father. I don't know if you can hear me, but...Merry Christmas to you too." Negi said quietly. The others looked up at the sky with Negi and Nagi himself watched them from afar.
"Hmm. Merry Christmas son. And a happy new year too." Nagi said. He then walked back towards the forest and vanished. After returning to their Christmas gathering, Santa joined them as he brought their presents as well. The girls got many nice things along with everyone else. Since it was still winter break at Mahora Academy, Konoe allowed the class to stay in Wales through New Years as well. The girls thanked their dean and he smiled. Evangeline looked at her friends and smiled.
"Merry Christmas everyone." Evangeline said sweetly. She looked at Chachazero in her hands.
"And God bless us everyone!" Chachazero said. Everyone snickered and soon started laughing together.
And after News Years came and went, the girls bid farewell to Nekane, Anya and Chao as she returned to the future once again. They caught the next plane back to Mahora Academy with all of their presents along with the inclusion of Frosty's snowglobe and Jennifer. When they returned home, the dean immedietally enrolled Jennifer in the school in the kindergarden level. Chachamaru promised to tutor Jennifer as well and he allowed it. Negi sat on the steps of the school looking up at the sky. Asuna sat next to him and said she would always be here to help him find his father.
"Thank you...Asuna..." Negi said softly. The two of them held hands and looked up at the sunny sky. And in all of their hearts, Class 2-A was sure to NEVER forget their Christmas in Wales with Nekane and Anya.
END OF CHAPTER
After the story finishes, everyone from the story including Class 2-A, Negi and Chamo, Nekane and Anya, Santa Claus, Nagi, Chao, Jennifer, Frosty, Chachazero in Evangeline's arms, and all of Class 2-A's friends from their adventures gather together. They look at you, the reader, with smiles on their faces. "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" they all shout together.