Mahou Sensei Negima and all related elements and characters are the property and creation of Ken Akamatsu, and the author of this humble piece has made no material profit from it, and never will do. By the way, talking about the events of manga chapter 313, I… ahh, just forget it. I've had enough bitter discussions about it by now.
All the original characters mentioned here are co-creations between my fellow posters at the Negima fanfiction Thread of the TV Tropes Forum and me, however. You could see more of them in other future projects, although never in Unequally Rational and Emotional.
Enjoy, and have a happy Year 2011.
All that Remains in the End.
"Do you know the legend about this classroom?" the dark skinned Juliet D'Aguillon asked, momentarily forgetting the voodoo doll she was sewing.
"Legend?" the heavily accented Cheryl Dixon asked back, warily eyeing the amateur witch. It was her first day at Class 2-A, and her classmates already were creeping her out to no end.
"They say several students, most of the class, in fact, and their very young teacher vanished without a trace in a vacation trip to Wales fifteen years ago," D'Aguillon confirmed in a confidential tone. The girls had started to gather around her, most of them knowing the story by heart but wanting to see the newcomer's reaction to it. "There was a huge inquiry. They officially chalked it up to a plane accident, but no one ever found that plane or their bodies. To this day, some people rumors they... were lost somewhere else instead."
"Like the Bermudas Triangle, you mean?" the American girl asked.
Juliet smirked condescendingly. "Something much, much bigger than that."
"Not again with that," the black haired, elegant and distinguished Class Rep icily scoffed.
"You know it's true!" the wannabe witch claimed. "Your aunt Mana was one of them, wasn't she, Midori?"
The tall and thin Tatsumiya heiress seated two seats away calmly nodded, never saying anything or lifting her eyes from her book.
"You could ask Yukihiro-sensei, too, " Juliet said stubbornly. "She was lucky she was left behind when it happened, or she'd have died too!"
"We couldn't be that lucky, " an average looking girl snorted in annoyance from the back of the class.
"Sanzenin-san, please!" the Iincho scolded her.
"Have I heard a mention of my name?" a tall, gorgeous blond woman calmly strode into the classroom, and the Class Rep quickly ordered her fellow students to get up and salute. "Good morning, girls. Now, I think you were debating a matter that concerns me personally?"
"We only were telling her about this class' history, Sensei," the busty and freckled Hanagata Miyuki started, apologetically pointing at Cheryl.
"Ah, Dixon-san, " Ayaka recognized her. She had been the one who had shown the newcomer her new room the day before. The same room Yuuna and Makie had once shared. "I assume they were telling you about the disappearance of my old class?"
"Sorry, but you must admit it's too important a topic to ignore," Juliet said. "We had to explain her why we don't have class trips anymore."
Ayaka sighed. "What have you told her so far?"
"Only a few things," Cheryl replied. "Sensei, is it true? That was fifteen years ago, around the time you had that crisis with the World Tree. Was there any relation between both things?"
"Of course there is!" the local conspiracy theorist had slammed her hands down on her desk. Hinomori Misato was in the case again, her voice quickly gaining momentum and steam with each passing word. "It's all but publically confirmed fact now! There was a parallel world that used to have a link to the World Tree, and Sensei's class was lost there! But that whole world went poof, and the backlash of it almost wiped the school out!"
"Ridiculous," Sanzenin Madoka callously waved a hand around. "You're crazy."
"No, she's actually quite close to the truth," Juliet insisted in a far more stable tone.
Sanzenin shot her a glare. "That midget hermit has filled your head with all sorts of gravel."
"Watch your tongue when talking about Mademoiselle Mc Dowell!" D'Aguillon snapped. "She knows everything there is to know about this world and the ones beyond!"
The blond woman silenced them all, energetically hitting her desk with a ruler. "Enough! Dixon-san, to be bluntly honest, the disappearance of my class is a topic I'd prefer not touching. To this day, it still pains me, but I understand your curiosity bears no ill motives. Suffice to say, I have good reasons to believe they are still alive, somewhere, somehow."
"But that whole world collapsed, didn't it?" Misato insisted, and Juliet nodded in agreement. "No one could've survived something like that."
With the utmost respect and seriousness in her voice, the teacher said, "They could. They could do anything. To the end of my days, I'll hold on to that hope."
"Is it true you were in love with that teacher, Sensei?" Hibiki Aya asked, shuffling a set of playing cards between her hands out of pure habit.
Yukihiro-sensei would have panicked in another time about such an indiscreet question. Not anymore. "I loved him, yes, but maybe not in the way you're thinking. I loved him like you would love an idol on a pedestal, and yet also like you would love a very close brother. After he was gone, I learned there was much him and my classmates they kept from me, but I cannot hold that against them. They did what they considered best, and I'm sure they did that to the very end of that crisis. And that they still are doing it."
"And that's why you became a teacher?" Cheryl guessed. "To follow on his footsteps?"
"I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a big part of it, but also, I felt I had come to belong to this place, " Ayaka admitted. "Maybe it was partially to cope with that loss, but I realized I have never been really happy anywhere but here. I belong to this school, and she belongs in my heart as well. And yes, you're a large part of that. I'm glad I can guide you through life, hopefully the same way Negi-sensei did for me."
"If I had your money, I wouldn't be wasting my life here, Sensei," Sanzenin dryly commented. "I'd be out there, seeing the world, making a big name for myself. You could be anywhere else, doing anything you'd want..."
"I want to be here, " Yukihiro stated firmly. "For the rest of my life if I need to. Waiting for them, never doubting them, but also hoping for you to be as good as they were. I have no regrets on that."
The short haired Shirogami Hitomi smiled faintly. "And we're glad to have you here, Sensei. Good thing to know you'll be teaching us this term, too."
"Actually, I will not," Yukihiro-sensei replied, somewhat ruefully. "I was informed I won't be your homeroom teacher this year. It seems they'll send a new replacement while I'm assigned to Class 1-D."
"Then why aren't you there now?" Sanzenin scowled.
"I don't know," Ayaka shook her head. "Minamoto-sensei told me to wait here while the new teacher arrived. Why, exactly, I have no—"
Then a small head peeked into the classroom from out the front door. Ayaka's words died down in her suddenly dry mouth.
"Excuse me," the tiny 10 years old girl at the door shyly asked, pushing her large round glasses up her nose. Her long reddish brown hair trailed down over her shoulders and to her waist's level. She was impeccably dressed, but her face still betrayed the eagerness of a lost child. "Is-Is this Class 2-A? I was told to come here. You're Yukihiro Ayaka-sensei, aren't you? My-My name's Nina Springf—"
Ayaka's eyes had welled up with tears. She was a 14-years old teenager again. And she felt complete once more. Sobbing loudly, much to the students' shock, she quickly crouched down and hugged the child against herself, tightly, burying her face into her right shoulder and allowing all the bottled up pain to flow out along with her happiness.
The little girl remained perfectly still and silent for a moment, her eyes wide, before slowly smiling and running an easing diminutive hand over the woman's back.
"Dad sends his regards, Yukihiro-sensei..."