Wraith Arc: Chapter 3
The chapter begins with Saotome-sensei introducing the new transfer student, Homura, to the class. Homura stands at the front of the class and introduces herself, Madoka’s ribbon tied on her head in lieu of her usual headband. The girls in the class crowd around Homura, asking her about her previous school and admiring her hair. Homura feigns feeling unwell and steps out of the classroom, declining the help of one of the other students. As she walks down the hallway, she remembers Madoka and grits her teeth.
Homura reaches the rooftop where Mami and Kyoko are waiting for her. Homura apologizes for leaving all the work to the other magical girls and for not arriving sooner last night. They tell her not to worry about it and Homura asks if Kyoko is studying at the same school. Kyoko, it seems, only borrowed a school uniform so she could sneak into the school for their meeting. Mami turns to Homura and tells her they are meeting because of the giant wraith that appeared in the city. Mami, Kyoko and Homura discuss their plans. As they talk, Homura considers this new world: here, magical girls are tasked with fighting wraiths, not witches, in exchange for being granted a miracle. However, unlike the former world where magical girls became witches, the law of cycles gives them salvation instead and allows magical girls to fulfill their mission without losing hope. In her mind, Madoka was the only person who understand Homura and now in this world there is no evidence left of witches or of the miracle she prayed for. Only Homura remembers her. Mami calls to Homura, snapping her out of her reverie and reminding her to stay focused and report back should she encounter the giant wraith. Homura watches the days go by, sitting in on Saotome-sensei’s lectures and watching Madoka’s family from afar. At night she helps to destroy the wraiths side-by-side with Mami and Kyoko.
Homura faces down a wall of wraiths and unleashes a magical arrow from her bow, striking them all down. As she is finishing up, Kyubey appears, congratulating Homura on working hard but reminding her she needs to pace herself to her abilities. Homura sighs and tells Kyubey that she can use her power however she wants since she’s not fighting these battles for them. Kyubey asks if she’s doing it for Madoka Kaname. Homura asks if they don’t believe in her. Kyubey responds that even though his race may not believe in her, they are deeply interested in this “law of cycles” that destroys the transition phase from hope to despair. If they would use that energy, then Homura’s dream of another world could prove quite fantastic. Homura insists her dream was not a dream, but real. As Homura uses the grief cubes to cleanse her soul gem, Kyubey continues on with their conversation, saying if only they had clue to prove her story was real, such as the time shield she spoke of. With time-manipulation magic they could bring Madoka back to this world. As Kyubey stares hungrily at Homura, she shakes her head saying her magical ability is not what it was. She looks down and more wraiths have materialized in the streets below. Before Kyubey can warn her, Homura has already leaped down, charging an arrow of immense magic on her bow. She unleashes it and the arrow pierces through several of the wraiths. Homura unleashes a second volley of arrows and clears the way towards the center of the mass where the giant wraith awaits. Kyubey advises her to retreat temporarily and call for her teammates, but Homura claims she can deal with it herself and raises her hand, summoning her black magic bow and shooting an arrow straight into the sky. A large magic symbol appears, similar to Madoka’s but with diamond patterning rather than circles. As the symbol finishes charging, it rains down a multitude of magic arrows destroying nearly all of the wraiths that await below. Homura aims her bow upwards once more and shoots another arrow, this time the arrow begins swirling in midair, gathering power until it suddenly turns and races downwards burning the remaining wraiths. Kyubey remarks on Homura's power as she aims her bow at the giant wraith that remains. Before she can fire, the ground beneath her breaks up into the cubes that wraiths use, forcing her to fire down at the ground instead. Taking advantage of her distraction, the giant wraith sneaks several laser attacks at her.
Mami and Kyoko hurry to where Homura is located, cutting through smaller wraiths on their way. Homura awakens, seeing her reflection in the frozen miasma that surrounds her and realizing she is in her school uniform and no longer transformed. She reaches over to where her soul gem lies frozen on the ground but before she can reach it the large wraith with the staff looms over her, with several smaller wraiths nearby. As she looks at the hoard of wraiths that reach out to her with grasping hands, the giant wraith appears to suspend Homura's magical girl outfit. As she faint on the ground, Homura remembers Madoka bidding her farewell, telling Homura she had to go meet up with everyone else and would one day see her again. A wraith reaches down, taking Madoka's ribbon from her hands and walks off with the other wraiths. Mami and Kyoko finally reach the site, and find Homura unconscious on the street.