Wraith Arc: Chapter 4
In a dream, Homura runs through a barren desert. Someone calls her name and Homura turns, wondering if Madoka is there. Madoka calls out to Homura once more, beckoning her. As Homura begs Madoka not to leave her, she reaches forward. Homura stands in a field of what appears like hair as she looks upward. Madoka tells her she's been waiting for this moment, the moment when they are finally able to meet.
Homura awakens in Mami's bed, her soul gem sits on a table nearby. Mami walks into the room holding a tea tray. She scowls at Homura and begins lecturing her for taking on the giant wraith alone and breaking her promise. Homura tries to defend herself by saying she could've hunted the wraith if it traveled on its own but without complete information an unexpected situation occurred. Mami apologizes for not explaining wraiths better to Homura, but she's still upset that Homura placed too much trust in her own abilities especially when she's fighting for her life. Mami smiles and pours some tea, relieved that Homura is safe despite a small injury. Homura gets up to leave, but Mami stops her saying she has more important things to discuss with her. She asks Homura to transform into a magical girl in front of her. She does so and Mami then asks her to summon her weapon. Homura becomes upset, not seeing the point in this exercise. She scoffs and reaches her hand out, trying to summon her bow but nothing happens. Homura looks surprised and stares at her hand. Mami infers that the wraiths most likely stole some of her magical powers since their magical powers are derived from emotional energy, which the wraiths consume. She points to Homura's soul gem, which is a darker shade entirely from before unlike the staining that occurs when a soul gem becomes polluted. Since Homura can still transform at least, Mami believes her condition isn't entirely fatal. Homura then remembers that the wraiths stole more than just her powers from her: they stole Madoka's ribbon as well. Homura grabs Mami by the shoulders, demanding to know how to recover her powers immediately but Mami doesn't know how, this being the first time she's seen it done. Homura asks if there's a possibility she'll recover her powers if she destroys the wraith that stole them. Mami says it may be possible, but even so how will Homura fight against it without being able to summon a weapon. She emphasizes to Homura the need to recover herself and rely on Mami and Kyoko for help against the giant wraith and if she disagrees with her order as leader then Mami will take her up on her quarrel. Homura transforms back into her school uniform and hangs her head. As she looks back up at Mami, her eyes glaze and Mami becomes suprised. Homura then smiles broadly and thanks Mami for her rescue. If she had been there alone the wraiths would've stolen her feelings as well. She thanks Mami once more and not wanting to be a burden, goes home. Mami looks relieved and is glad Homura's injuries were slight. She warns Homura to be careful in the future and Homura smiles warmly once more.
In a skyrise above the city, Kyubey warns Homura that Mami will get mad at her if she uses forcible means like that again but Homura doesn't seem to care. Kyubey sits and says her memory-manipulation magic is useless against wraiths. Homura responds that even against people the effect is limited and magic like that is better than nothing, even if it is inconvenient. Kyubey replies that time-manipulation magic would be very useful and he would love to examine that ability in detail should Homura ever recover that magic. Homura drops down into the city. As she falls, she thinks about how her magic changed once she appeared in this new world. All she had were her memories of Madoka and this new magical power. Despite not having any memories of this new world, she was able to attune herself thanks to her memory-manipulation magic. But Homura is still not sure why she now has memory magic rather than time magic. As she lands, Kyoko recognizes her as she is passing by. Before she can make a move, Kyoko assures her she's not there to take her back to Mami's home. Kyoko of all people knows how much Mami can lecture. Homura asks Kyoko why she still stays in the city if Sayaka has disappeared. Kyoko munches down on a stick of Pocky and tells Homura she's here to avenge Sayaka and destroy the wraith that defeated Homura. Homura then asks Kyoko if they can exchange information on the giant wraith since she wants to find him as well but Kyoko doesn't want to give up her prey. Homura tells Kyoko her revenge doesn't interest her so long as she gets back something the wraiths stole from her. Kyoko agrees so long as she's the one to give the finishing blow and jumps off into the darkness.
Mami rides the elevator to her apartment, sighing and thinking she's not really suited to be a senpai. She thinks back on how she lectured Homura and thinks she should have chosen her words better, realizing she made the same mistake with Sayaka. She looks at the magical ring on her finger a moment before shaking her head and telling herself not to lose courage. As she steps off the elevator, she feels the faint presence of a wraith. She cautiously walks towards the door of her apartment and holds her soul gem in her hand as she opens the door. The living room is dark and quiet but the miasma is thicker in here. She slowly approaches her bedroom door and turns the handle. She faces something unseen and says "I'm home"
Somewhere a girl wearing nothing walks through the streets, a ribbon loosely draped around her neck.
Homura and Kyubey walk down a busy street, with Kyubey asking Homura how her powers are doing. She tells him that she was hoping some of her powers would recover as time passes but not even grief cubes are having an effect. Kyubey tells her he's not surpised, since grief cubes only remove the impurities of a soul gem. Since the wraiths consumed some of her magical powers, it diminished the magical capacity of her soul gem. The grief cubes can only purify what's left of her magical power, not add to it. Kyubey then tells Homura that he's never heard of a magical girl recovering her powers by defeating a wraith that robbed her of her energy. Regardless, Homura feels impelled to search for the giant wraith despite all the wraiths seemingly disappearing after their last encounter. Kyubey hypothesizes that maybe the wraiths were only after Homura's power from the beginning and now that they have it they've left the city. There were an abnormal number of wraiths when Homura had an abnormally large amount of magic and now that she has no magic there are no wraiths. Mami appears as she walks down the street, passing Homura and Kyubey without so much as looking in their direction.
Mami meets up with Kyoko at the station. Despite searching every street in the city, they were only able to come up with 3 grief cubes. Mami sits down next to Kyoko and asks her how long it's been since Sayaka disappeared. Kyoko sips from her soda and responds it's been a month then asks her how long Mami is going to be making long faces. Mami asks her what she would do if the dead were to suddenly appear in front of her. Kyoko is taken aback and accuses Mami of being feverish. Mami asks her again what she would do were she to meet Sayaka and her family again in a dream. Kyoko says she honestly wouldn't know. They sit quiet for a moment, and Mami gets up to leave, saying she thought she understood that such a dream like that could never really happen before telling Kyoko to forget what she just said. As Mami leaves, she tells Kyoko they should work separately for now. Confused, Kyoko stands there until she hears someone hiding nearby. She calls out and Hitomi appears from around the corner. She introduces herself and asks if she can spare a few minutes to talk about Sayaka. Kyoko pretends she doesn't know what or who she's talking about but Hitomi heard the whole conversation she had with Mami earlier. Kyoko asks Hitomi what she wants with her and if she thinks they kidnapped Sayaka or something but all Hitomi really wants to know is the truth about Sayaka's sudden disappearance a month ago. Not even her family or other friends have a single clue as to why she disappeared. If Kyoko will tell her the truth, she'll forget the fact she met her here. Hitomi is the only one that knows Kyoko was in any way involved with Sayaka. Kyoko takes it as a threat initially, but Hitomi reassures her, telling her she doesn't think that they are criminals. According to Hitomi, Sayaka would talk about Kyoko very cheerfully, and must have relied on her a lot. Instead, Hitomi blames herself for Sayaka's disappearance. Kyoko asks Hitomi is she is Sayaka's close friend and if she can really promise to keep her lips sealed. Hitomi swears and Kyoko tells her of Sayaka's fate, the trains rolling past and their roar drowning out some of Kyoko's words. Hitomi stands there shocked as Kyoko tells her that she couldn't really consider herself her friend unlike Hitomi who has known Sayaka for a much longer time. Even so, she can honestly say that Sayaka would never have fallen into despair and disappeared from this world over someone's betrayal. Her face during her final moments seemed like a smile. Hitomi thanks her for telling her the truth and Kyoko asks her to forget about the other girl she saw talking to her earlier, referring to Mami. Hitomi promises she will forget about them two as well as the conversation they had. She hurries off upset, and Kyoko stands there, blaming herself for Sayaka's death. Suddenly, Sayaka is sitting on top of a light post next to them, grinning broadly and calling down, saying hello to Kyoko and Hitomi