Nekane Springfield is Negi's cousin (whom he calls older sister, since they grew up together (and even slept in the same bed). Nekane and her parents took the orphaned Negi in after his father disappeared.
Six years prior to the start of the story, when demons attacked the village where she and Negi used to live in, she was almost turned to stone while trying to protect Negi from a petrification spell, but was saved by the Thousand Master, her uncle Nagi, just in time. Her legs were turned to stone, however, and broke off. A later shot of her in Volume 10 reveals that her legs have been restored, although it is not clear if they were magically restored, or if she wears prostheses.
Her gentle personality is largely based on interpretations through disjointed flashbacks, so it is hard to identify precisely what she is like. What has been indicated however is that she took on more of a motherly role in his life. As a side note, Asuna and Nekane feel similarly for Negi
Nekane in Other Media
- Negima!?: Although initially appearing as a background character, Nekane does gain a greater role in the second anime. As the Star Crystal crisis slowly grows, Nekane chooses to assist her little brother by disguising as the Black Rose Baron, an enigmatic character initially seen not working for either Negi or for the one controlling the crystal. Eventually, Nekane appears as herself to assist Negi and his class in the running of the day-to-day activities, but Negi eventually discovers her secret. However, he is forced to keep Nekane's other identity a secret to protect her and his students.