A/N: Found this while digging through my files and I thought, hey, why not post it? It's probably ridden with errors and the like, seeing as how this was written about a year/two years back... but I hope you still enjoy!

Warning: Major OOC issues and an Mary-sue-ish OC at the end

The final hour was upon me. I was facing Walpurgisnacht once again, with the fate of my dearest friend and the universe riding on this battle.

This time, I was not alone.

"That sure is one heckuva witch," Kyoko remarked, leaning against her spear. Her long, red ponytail was being beat back by the pouring rain. Beside her, Sayaka drew her sword, blue hair, skirt and cape billowing out.

"Be sure not to die," Mami said, likely remembering her own near death experiences, the most recent one being with the witch Charlotte. Flipping a silver old-fashioned gun, she transformed into her magical girl outfit. While I'd normally scoff at her attempt to show off, I was just glad that she was still alive.

"Same to you," I answered. I transformed into my magical girl outfit, a purple diamond appearing on my left hand. Looking directly at the person behind me, I asked, "You remember what I said?"

The pink-haired girl nodded behind me. She was still in her school uniform, making for an odd sight among all the other magical girls.

"Don't ever make a contract," she repeated to me. She paused and looked straight at me. "B-be careful...!" she stuttered.

"Don't worry about a thing, Madoka," Sayaka smiled. "You looked out for all of us, now it's our turn to look out for you." Her words stirred a memory within me. I turned to look at the oncoming witch once again.

She should be giving us the signal any moment now… I thought. At that moment, a yellow-white beam of light burst from the top of the witch.

"That's the signal."

"Alright team, let's move out!" Sayaka cheered, leaping forward from building to building and summoning multiple swords to follow behind her. Kyoko did the same, rushing ahead of Sayaka and deflecting all of the oncoming magical projectiles Walpurgisnacht's familiars and minions were throwing at them with her spear. Mami summoned an enormous amount of guns all around her and fired into the giant mass that was Walpurgisnacht. An extremely tiny part of the witch was ripped off, but she immediately attacked Mami without showing any sort of damage. I rushed in front of her, blocking the attacks with my sand-colored time shield.

"Mami!" I shouted, holding out my shield arm. Instantly knowing what I was about to do, she summoned a ribbon and wrapped it around my ankle. With a click, the shield turned 90 degrees around and time stopped. While Mami dashed off to connect the other magical girls to her, I pulled out rocket blaster after rocket blaster out of my shield.

For Madoka! I shouted in my head as I fired. The projectiles froze midway in the air, stuck in time. I could begin to feel the strain on my soul gem from overuse of magic.

You have never succeeded in fighting Walpurgisnacht alone, a voice in my head echoed. Without a doubt, I knew it was Kyubey, the small, white, cat-bunny monster who turned us into magical girls and brought us into all this mess in the first place.

It's not like you know what happened in all those other timelines, I hissed back at him.

But why else would you continue repeating this timeline if you've never defeated Walpurgisnacht? After that, he went silent. I felt myself wobble and collapse onto the ground.

I froze time for too long.

Around me, everything unfroze, sending the projectiles flying at Walpurgisnacht. Looking at my hand, I noticed the darkness growing and spreading through my soul gem, threatening to corrupt me and turn me into a witch myself.

No! I thought. I was so close… Everyone is alive and Madoka doesn't have any need to make a contract! I won't allow myself to turn into a witch just because Kyubey distracted me into using too much magic…!

He must've been waiting so that I'll be forced to rewind and give him another shot at turning Madoka into a magical girl…!

"Homura!" I heard Madoka exclaim as her footsteps thunked against the broken concrete road. I struggled to get to my feet, cursing Kyubey with all my might while doing so.

"Madoka, STAY BACK!" I screamed, pulling out a machine gun and opening fire at the witch. The darkness in my soul gem was only growing, and there was nothing I could do. There weren't any grief seeds that I had in order to allow me to use more magic; I used all of my spares in the attempt to save the other magical girls.

No, I won't allow it to end like this...! I won't let myself turn into a witch...! I can't-!

A burst of light shone in front of me. As it disappeared, the form of a girl appeared, with flowing black hair and a white dress shining with a yellow aura.

"Here," she said, handing me a grief seed. "Take it." When I looked up to her, she smiled. "We've almost won; I can't have you die on me now."

"This is the second time…" I whispered. "It's the second time you've saved me…"

"Helping you was in my best interests as well," she explained, the smile disappearing from her face. "Do you remember what I first said to you when we met?"

I flashed back to that one moment nearly a month ago.

"I know everything that was and is to come. If you want to save Madoka, meet me at the abandoned warehouse."

At the time, I had distrusted her. Who wouldn't? If there was someone who you've never seen in any of the previous timelines suddenly walk up to you and say that she knew all of the pain that you have faced and what fates were going to befall the others, you would've thought that she had gone mad. But in the world that I had lived in… nothing was impossible.

"I didn't think that you would accept my offer, but you did. You trusted me, when you didn't trust anyone else with your secrets before. Not after when you tried to tell the others."

"But why?" I asked. "All you did was rope yourself into this mess… this mess that I created…"

"...I wanted to see something special," she explained. "Something you might've never achieved." The smile returned to her face, though much more distant and bitter. "This time Madoka would've become a god and wish to rid the world of all witches, past, present, and future. Only you would've remembered her sacrifice. I didn't want that. I wanted to see everyone be joyful. To be together. To resolve their differences and work together for the first time. To feel like there was nothing else coming at them. No more pain. No more sadness. No more despair. I wanted to give you all the happy end that you deserved, the ending… that destiny would never allow you to have..." Tears were spilling down her face, the first time I've ever seen her cry since we started off on this crazy adventure of saving everyone from their fates.

"...Ella," I interrupted, grabbing her hand. "...Thank you. For everything."

"...It's no problem," she whispered after a pause. "And thank you, for letting me." She turned towards Walpurgisnacht, wiping away the tears from her eyes.

"Now let's go kill a witch!" she cried.

And the two of us leaped into combat.