They turn out to be neither, and go about their own agenda, despite attempts by multiple groups.
Gecko Ending: In addition to the sudden and Mood Whiplash-laden ending to the original anime, the manga itself concluded with rushed sequence that felt more like a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue than an ending. Many dangling threads were indeed tied up, but far from satisfactorily, and the central driver for much of the action — Negi's search for his father — is resolved off-screen, between chapters and never explained.
Chisame and Haruna both fit this trope, though Chisame expresses it more, predicting the paths of various other characters in regards to love with Negi.
A lot of characters dabble in this on occasion whenever there's talk of their roles as main and side characters.
Genre Shift: Trope picture. The later chapters barely even resemble the first few. The series essentially started as Love HinaWITH MAGIC, but eventually developed into an action series rivaling the likes of Naruto and Bleach. After the Magical World arc, it goes back to the old hijinks and then skips all the supposed action to tell a Distant Finale.
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Asuna to Setsuna, Nodoka to Yue, Yue to Negi, Asuna to Negi, Chisame to Negi (twice), Nagi to Arika (also twice), and Jack to Negi.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Loads, and from a certain point of view the first two volumes could be seen as a grand scheme to get the rest of the series past the executives. But, on a more traditional note, a good example is an early chapter where the girls are giving Negi a bath to cheer him up (everyone's wearing swimsuits) and someone shouts "Negi is so small and cute! Let's watch him grow!"(linguistic tip) Original Japanese text is ambiguous here. It can as well be translated as "Negi's is so small and cute. Let's watch it grow!" "He's only ten, I don't think there will be much 'growing...'"
In the very first episode of the English dub, in the commotion of a fight between Asuna and Ayaka you can hear one of them call the other a twat.
Girls Love Stuffed Animals: In the early-chapters, Negi ventures to the lair of Evangeline, an ancient Vampire and infamous 1000 year old mass-murderer (with the appearance of a 10 year old little girl) at the request of her servant Chachamaru, to look after her after she caught the flu. To his surprise, instead of a cobweb covered catacomb littered with skulls, he finds a brightly beatiful room filled with adorable toy animals and glowring with warm innocence. This is a glimpse into the psyche of Evangeline (who was turned into an immortal at ten), hinting that she still wants to be an innocent and happy little girl again in spite of living ten centuries of blood, violence, cynicism and hate.
Giving Up the Ghost: When Negi is training with Rakan, Rakan tells him to use his strongest attack on him so he can estimate how tough he is. When Negi does and it hurts more than he expected, Rakan hits him back so hard that this ends up happening.
Gladiator Games: Negi and Kotaro enter several gladiator tournaments in the Magic World.
The Glomp: More examples than you could possibly list.
Goggles Do Nothing: Negi's pince-nez glasses, too small to work, sometimes absent, never commented on ever.
They may actually be useful if he's farsighted. Not everyone is Mr. Magoo, after all.
Going Commando: During the Kyoto arc, Asuna has to find new clothes after the ones she wore were turned to stone and shattered (she herself was immune to the effect). She is midway through a fight with a massive army of demons when one of them remark on her boldness, and she realizes in panic that she forgot one particular article.
Goldfish Scooping Game: Negi and Asuna play it during their Chapter 77 date. Asuna isn't too good at this so Negi tries to help her... but this being Negima, he grabs her where he shouldn't and they end up in a position strangely resembling a certain infamous two-digit number.
Great Big Library of Everything: The school library; both lampshaded and played straight. It's a city-sized underground library so massive that Mahora actually has a school club dedicated to exploring it.
Hair Decorations: A lot of examples here. Asakura has a hair clip, and whatever holds her hair up in that pineapple shape. Asuna has her trademark hair-bells. Yue has baubles at the ends of her braids. Ku Fei has those things giving her hair those... spike...things. A form of cloth binding is used in the hair of Chao, Hakase, the Narutaki twins, and Mana. Even Negi has his hair bound back into a ponytail.
Something this troper found funny happens at the climax of Negi versus Fate, after Negi has truly accepted the darkness of Magia Erebra. Negi goes up to where Fate is and deactivates his Raiten Taisou. What's funny is that amongst the seriousness of the situation, his hairband comes out of nowhere and magically ties up his hair as he walks towards Fate (as his hair in lightning form is long and flowing).
Hammer Space: Used constantly, especially because the pactios allow the partners to summon "artifacts" out of nowhere. Also used for Hyperspace Arsenals such as Mana's, and Setsuna's wings.
Hammerspace Hideaway: Kaede's Artefact is a cloak (essentially a flat piece of tattered cloth) that can hide several people inside... it does have a fully furnished house in there after all.
Heaven: According to the Cosmo Entelecheia wielders of the Code of the Lifemaker, those dissolved by it go to a garden where they meet all their loved ones. Also, humans (or those not born of the Magic World) leave a body behind. For some reason, this reassurance makes him all the more creepier.
Hermetic Magic: and traditional Japanese magic, too — an almost unheard-of combination at the time the series first appeared
Heroic Willpower: Although Negi certainly qualifies, Rakan takes the cake. The man willed himself into existing.TWICE!
This seems to be the secret behind Rakan's power: Every once in a while (such as when he takes Negi's point-blank Thunder Tempest and Nagi's Thousand Bolts) he uses the silent incantation "Willpower Defense" to survive things he really should not be able to survive. The reason Negi's Titan Slayer attack is able to stun him even briefly is that it was delivered at the end of a brutal series of attacks, so he didn't have time to muster his Willpower Defense. At least some of his endurance is due to decades of combat experience.
Homosexual Reproduction: Implied. Asuna sees in the future two children who look like small copies of Konoka and Setsuna.
Honorifics: Many of the girls call Negi "Negi-bozu", which in addition to its literal meaning is a pun on "negibozu", a variety of onion and a slang term for an inexperienced youth; also, Negi uses yobisute with Takamichi and Kotarou, as well as Anya, indicating their close friendship.
Hope Spot: Chapter 311. The team's plan goes off with barely any trouble and they were able to get Asuna and the Grand Master Key away from Fate in the middle of his ritual, only to find out Fate isn't the only averruncus Dynamis revived. Shit quickly hits the fan.
Hot Springs Episode: Mostly sento episodes, though Negi and Kotaro did create one for Asuna once. Unfortunately for her, this was during her training with Eva. Eva was so furious she threw her back out into the polar blizzard she'd just escaped, wet and naked.
There's also one for the Ala Rubra Drama CD. It also involves Eishun's glasses.
Hypocrite: Negi for a long time. He believes that,"Our Magic is not omnipotent... a little bit of courage is the real magic", and yet throughout the series he keeps trying to get more and more magical power because unless he thinks he's stronger than his opponent he won't show any courage and/or confidence. Made even worse when you realize that he doesn't seem to think that the courage that his students and True Companions show isn't worth much unless they have pactios or unless he's around to fight all their fights. Thankfully, right before the final battle he finally learns to trust his comrades and take into account their courage and determination.
I Am Not Left-Handed: Used by Chao in the Battle of Mahora arc, when Negi negates her power, she reveals she actually can use magic. Also, in the final tournament battle in the Magic World arc, done by Negi no less than five times. And every one of them is awesome.
Let's just say the Fridge Brilliance section answered the question right on our faces.
Idiot Hero: Invoked and subverted all to hell. Negi is notably not an idiot by any stretch of the word (well, except for his chastity, but he's ten), and it is made perfectly clear throughout the series that he is a bona-fide genius. However, by thinking too much, he has time to worry and despair. The Rival, Kotaro, is very much an Idiot Hero, explaining that Negi needs to learn how to act without thinking. In other words, he needs "that little bit of courage." Or, in Negi's own words, "learn to be an idiot".
"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: During Mahorafest, when Negi becomes the Kissing Terminator; played deadly straight in Ch. 285, when it's really more of a We're Going To Beat The Crap Out Of You While Evangeline Helps You Seal Your Evil Side Fight.
I Like Those Odds: As part of the big flashback, The Red-Headed Hero is saving the princess; meanwhile, the rest of Ala Rubra has to hold off the forces overseeing the execution, leading to this exchange:
Head Mook: Do I have the necessary forces? You Fool!. The guards for this event are more numerous than those you see here. There are two entire fleets stationed over a surrounding area of tens of kilometers, not to mention elite troops numbering around 3,000. You may be powerful, but even you cannot... Jack Rakan: Like I said. Are you seriously telling me you think that's gonna be enough?!
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Fate's girls are, indubitably, for the most part, characters worth the sympathy of the reader, even if they are unflinchingly devoted to Fate… and yet it seems that they can never win any fight they participate in, even if Rakan isn't the opponent.
Info Drop: It has what appears to be a joke from one of the characters (later revealed as the arc's Big Bad) when she claims to be from Mars. Yeah, turns out that it wasn't a joke.
Insufferable Genius: Nagi definitely counts, if "possibly the strongest man in existence" counts as genius. After all, he once told his son: "I can understand your feelings of admiration for this young, accomplished, yet super cool genius and undefeatable father who was also a hero..."