CHAPTER 1: SASHA AND JUNO –MAGISTER ANIMAGUS?
The morning started off pretty normal – at least, semi-normal for the ten-year old junior high professor Negi Springfield. It was the start of a promising spring break and he had planned on spending some time with a few of his students, or rather he was told he was going to spend some time with them. He was expecting the normal chaos and mayhem from his students just like any other day, only this time they wouldn't be confined to a classroom. Negi sighed heavily and dressed himself, glancing over his shoulder when he heard rustling from the bunk-beds.
"Good Morning, Negi," came the sleepy voice of Konoka. She sat up and flashed a friendly smile.
"Oh, Good Morning. Sorry, did I wake you?"
"Nope! I guess Asuna left already?," Konoka slipped out of bed and flattened her hair down before proceeding to make her bed.
"Seems that way. She said that she wanted to head out on her paper route a bit early today," Negi informed as he fixed himself a cup of coffee. He watched Konoka as she started on breakfast – the girl seemed happier these days, more than usual. He wondered why that was…Negi looked down under the table as something soft touched his leg.
"…Hey, 'morning Brother! What's ta eat I'm starvin' here."
"Shh! Be quiet Chamo. You know you're not supposed to be heard talking," Negi whispered. The Ermine dropped his head and flopped down on his stomach.
"I can't help it. These last few days have been so boring. Even that evil vampire has been keeping a low profile…" He was right – Evangaline hadn't been trying to suck Negi's blood for a while now. He wondered if she was up to something. But he wasn't about to go confront her, figuring if he could avoid her the better off he'd be. Maybe she had just given up. Every time she had tried to attack him she was thwarted by Asuna's powerhouse kicks to the face. Whatever the reason, so long as she wasn't causing trouble that was fine with Negi. One less problem for him to worry about. But he should have known that things wouldn't stay quiet forever. And the young sorcerer would find this out later in the afternoon, in the form of a girl with brilliant white hair…
Sasha Hamilton exited the train at Mahora Academy Central Station, pulling several luggage bags behind her. Even though her family was rich and could have ordered her a limo to get to the junior high, she wanted to do things on her own. The girl didn't want anyone giving her special treatment because of her reputation or her family history. Dragging her things off to a corner, Sasha slumped against a wall and pulled out a map, soon grumbling to herself and stuffing it back into her pocket in frustration – she never was any good with reading them. But since she couldn't fly out in broad daylight, she'd have to get there on her own two feet. She looked down at her watch. It was only ten minutes to noon so she had plenty of time to get to the Junior Academy. A rustling in her bag drew her attention and she knelt down to peer inside. A black cat with gleaming red eyes grinned up at her.
"Are we there yet?," she mewed. Sasha looked around her to make sure no one was listening.
"No, not exactly. I'm still at the train station. You won't believe how big and confusing this place is. And this is only part of Japan…I didn't believe Father when he said this place was highly active," the girl whispered.
"Why not just teleport? It's easier than going by foot."
"No, Juno remember…No magic in front of people. I want to keep a low profile here. I'm entering this school as a Junior High student…even though I'm really here to investigate the rumors of there being magical activity. This is a great opportunity for me to practice all my skills as a sorceress." Juno yawned and blinked as she popped her head out of the bag for a quick look around.
"Doesn't look so great to me. When can we go back home?"
"Oh, come on Juno, where's your sense of adventure?," Sasha asked as she hoisted her travel bag back on her shoulder.
"I tried that once, didn't like the health plan. One rogue dragon too many for my liking. Don't get me wrong, if the time should come I will change back and be your Ministel Magi again. But until then…,' Juno yawned again and curled back into a ball, covering her face with her long bushy tail, ' …I'll enjoy my life as a cat."
"Professor Negi, do you have a moment?
This was around two o'clock after the class party had been in full swing for the past thirty minutes. And in that thirty minutes the ten year-old teacher had been passed around between all of the girls at least once, amongst arguments and squealing. He was glad to be torn away from them for two seconds by the Junior HighSchool nurse Shizuna. The tall woman smiled and patted the boy on the head.
"Yes, what is it?," Negi asked. The woman handed him an envelope and gestured for him to follow her.
"NEGI-BOZU…!Where ya goin?!," one of the Narutaki twins called after him. That caught Asuna's attention and she looked up from her plate of sliced watermelon. Likewise, the class rep Ayaka turned her head to see the boy walking away and she started to dart after him.
"Oh, Negi-sensei! Don't leave yet…WAUGH…!," the blonde fell flat on her face as Asuna tripped her with her out-stretched foot.
"Leave him alone for once…Can't you see it's none of your business!?," Asuna grumbled. Ayaka scrambled to her feet and faced her classmate.
"How dare you, you over-violent mountain troll! You'll pay for that…! Rgh! Look you made me rip the dress I especially wore for Negi!" Asuna shrugged off the other girl's rants and looked the other way.
"A transfer student? Do they usually do things like that so late in the semester?"
"This is a special case. She'll be living in an apartment off-campus, but the Dean thought that maybe you can look out for her. Or maybe…," Shizuna smiled and looked down at Negi's curious face, '…She could look out for you." Negi scratched his head and looked at the address in the envelope again. According to this, she'd be staying pretty close to the school, about a block away. The housing closest to the academy were expensive, so he figured that she must have a wealthy family. He had a good feeling about this girl – she hailed from Wales like him, a few towns over. There wasn't much else information about her except that she would be joining his class – maybe she could help the others calm down, being the proper English young lady.
"I'm sure the rest of the class will like to meet a new friend. Is she at the school yet?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact. The Dean sent me to come get you so you two could become better acquainted. He thinks you two will get along very well."
"Oh, well that's good to here. I look forward to it," the boy professor commented.
"Ah, Professor Springfield come in, come in. There's someone I'd like you to meet." Shizuna stepped aside and let Negi step through the doors to the Headmaster's office. He sat in his chair and waved him over. Negi then caught sight of the transfer student, wearing the Mahora Junior HighSchool uniform. She glared at him with searching golden-yellow eyes and ran her fingers through short gleaming white hair. And perched lightly on her shoulder was a lean black cat wearing a gem-studded collar.
"So this is the famed Negi Springfield? Strange, somehow I expected him to be…well a bit older?" Negi blushed and sheepishly scratched the back of his head.
"Now now Hamilton-san, let's try to get along shall we? Afterall, this wonderful boy is going to be your homeroom teacher. Negi, allow me to introduce Sasha Hamilton. I believe you know about her family?," the Headmaster wondered. Negi gasped as stepped forward.
"Of course! The Hamiltons are an entire clan of powerful Magisters…Alaster Hamilton is the most powerful Animagus in the world, he himself can transform into a Dragon…They're famous!," Negi exclaimed. Sasha sighed and averted her gaze out the open window. Her familiar Juno hopped lightly from her shoulder and landed gracefully on the Headmaster's desk.
"Pleasure to meet you Negi. We know about you as well…Son of the Thousand Master. I'm Juno, Sasha's Ministel Magi. Though for the time being, I'm just her familiar," Juno grinned and held out her dainty paw. Negi nodded and gently shook the cat's out-stretched paw.
"The pleasure's all mine Juno-san. I have to admit that this is the first time I've meet an Animagus, two at that. I look forward to getting to know you both better." Sasha couldn't help but grin lightly – She was miles from home, but at lease she had someone she could talk to that was from her home country. She turned to look at the Dean.
"Headmaster, I've been hearing rumors that there was a vampire about? Has it been give you trouble? I'd like you to know that I am qualified as an expert ghoul exterminator," Sasha informed.
"And I'm sure you are. But you needn't worry yourself about Evangaline-san. She's been very well behaved, right Professor Negi?"
"O-Oh, yes sir! She hasn't been causing any trouble." The Headmaster nodded his head and smiled to Sasha.
"Well now, I believe that Negi's class is having a gathering. Now would be a good time to greet your classmates. Go and have fun. Oh, and Juno…" The Dean patted the cat on the head, '…No talking in front of anyone else. You're Sasha's 'pet' from now on. I'll let you know if I have any jobs for you to take care of for me, how does that sound?"
"That sounds fine, Headmaster. I hope that I can lead a quiet life here and not have to lend my powers. Though I doubt Sasha needs much of my help anymore. She's become a fine sorceress…"
Evangaline sat alone like she always did with the exception of her partner Chachamaru. They watched all the others milling around making fools out of themselves in the hot sun, unusual for this time of year. What was more unusual was that the evil vampire wizard had made an appearance to begin with. Normally, such activities didn't interest her but for some reason she felt that she needed to be here. She felt the need to be here even more the instant she sensed the magical barrier being tripped – Eva figured it was worth checking out. She definitely wasn't about to let anyone else interfere with her devouring Negi's blood. Her attention turned to the new girl walking up the path, accompanied with the young wizard, the school nurse Shizuna and Negi's fellow professor Takamichi. The vampire let her lips twist into a grin.
"What is it, Master?," Chachamaru asked. Evangaline flipped her long hair and stepped out from the shade of the large tree she had been hiding under.
"It looks as if things are about to get a little more interesting. So, the old man enlisted the help of an Animagus, did he?"
"You're not concerned?"
"Of course not, don't be stupid! One little girl isn't enough to bother me…Even if she is an Animagus, that won't give her an edge against me. Look, she doesn't even have a partner…"
"…Don't be so cocky, Evangaline," came a voice from above. Both the vampire and Chachamaru looked up to see a black cat with red eyes perched lightly on the high branches.
"How dare you talk to me that way, you grungy feline! How about I skin you and turn you into a fur coat?"
"I think that would make Lady Hamilton upset. And you'd have to catch me first…old hag."
"…WHAT DID YOU SAY!?"
"Ah, there you are Evangaline-san. There's someone I'd like you to meet," Negi smiled and nodded towards Sasha. The young Animagus didn't smile, only stared at the shorter girl with a hardened expression. Eva looked away and put her hand on her hips.
"Don't bother…I know who she is. Listen, little girl…,' Evangaline turned to look over her shoulder at the new-comer, '…I wouldn't be getting any ideas if I were you. You may be good, but I'm better. The next full moon, you'd both better watch your back." And with that, Eva walked off. Chachamaru bowed and then followed her master. Sasha grumbled and glanced down at Negi.
"You let her talk to you like that? If she thinks she can threaten me, then she's mistaken. She's lucky I'm not going to go after her right now," Sasha replied darkly.
Sasha wasn't sure of what to make of her 3-A classmates at first. Most of them seemed a little to rowdy and out-of-control for her taste. She was used to being in a more 'controlled' environment with more mature people in her age group. The most mature ones out of the entire batch were Ayaka, the class representative, Evangaline and her partner Chachamaru. After being bombarded by a million questions, Sasha sat under a tree by herself for a while – The sun was also a bit much for her. She yawned and sipped the fruit punch before leaning back and closing her eyes. This was going to be an interesting experience. Thrown into a class with an entire group of hyper-active 'children', as well as her new enemies the vampire and her accomplice. She wondered how she was going to get through the rest of the semester while trying to hide the fact that she was a skilled wizard…a Animagus no less. A sudden rustling in the grass caught Sasha's attention and with quick reflexes flattened whatever was hiding there to the ground.
"If you're smart, you'll never try to sneak up on me again…rodent. I know a delicious recipe for ermine stew…"
"Ack! N-No, please don't eat me! I wasn't doin' nuthin' honest!," Chamo squirmed and tried to free himself.
"No? So you weren't trying to steal my panties then?"
"No no I w-wouldn't dream of it! Not yours, that would be rude!"
"Mm, quite right," Sasha grinned and released him, '…I'm assuming you're Professor Springfield's pet. Well, you better hope that Juno doesn't find you in a dark alley. She'll definitely eat you, no questions asked."
"Eh, I'll keep that in mind," Chamo stammered and scampered away, leaving Sasha to herself again. She figured she'd let the little underwear thief go – She had better things to worry about, like how she was going to defeat the evil vampire Evangaline without attracting the attention from the others. It wasn't the huge reward money she was interested in, but the fact that she felt it was her duty as a sorceress to vanquish evil. She had to come up with a plan, preferably before the next full moon when Eva's powers were at her strongest.