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Ein ganz besondrer Saft by SailorPtah, homura/madoka, 3.6k
    Homura gets Madoka out of a witch's barrier alive, but not unharmed. Now Madoka needs someone to take care of her while (if) she recovers.
    Ahhh, this was such a cute and sweet fic... well, cute and sweet in the way that anything Madoka Magica related could be. Well. As cute and sweet as anything in Homura's life can be by this point in time. And I love that the fic could have just been this isolated little bubble of Homura comforting a hallucinating Madoka, that it could have just been about feelings or the bare bones of plotful structuring to focus on reactions, but no! Instead the author puts in so many gorgeous little details, whether it's about the witch that Homura is fighting or Madoka's hallucinations after she's poisoned and what those mean in the grander scheme of their time loops, all of those were amazing! But they're used to show just why Madoka is so wonderful (the image of Madoka fighting back in her own way is perfect and precious) and why Homura loves her, in familiar and new ways no matter how many loops she goes through, rather than just being fixated on her. And that's exactly what I want out of my Madoka Magica fandom.

The City of Witches by pocketbookangel, homura/madoka, 1.8k
    Every street in the city of witches leads to despair, but Homura Akemi will never lose her way.
    Sometimes you read those fics that leave you utterly stumped for how to write a rec, because nothing you can say will really convey the beautiful language of the piece or all the dozen little details that you want to talk about or the feelings it inspired in you for Homura's struggle. The only thing I can really put into words (well, half-put into words) is that this fic does a beautiful job with both language and detail of the witches and the world they live in and the magic around them, using those things to make it feel a bit like a dream, which works with this series and its atmosphere. It's such a perfect supplement to the series, even little touches of humor (that Mami likes them to name their attacks!) just further... doing justice to everything that I want from the Madoka Magica fandom.

Persephone's Waltz by SailorPtah, sayaka/madoka + homura/modoka + kyouko + mami, some nsfw scenes, time loop, 70.6k
    The more times she fails to save Madoka, the more desperate Homura gets...until kidnapping her and locking her in a basement until Walpurgisnacht is over stops sounding like such a crazy idea.
    Right now, I feel like the Madoka Magica fandom is complete and I need nothing else from it, after reading this fic, because it's that one fic for me, that one where it's just about everything I could have asked for from the fandom. I started reading this a few days ago and have hardly been able to read anything else, despite that I immediately fell into that feeling of, "Oh, no! This fic is so good! I must immediately ration it, because, once I finish it, there will be no more!" which is a great feeling to inspire in a reader, as it means that I loved the fic, but also a terrible thing because I've lost momentum on far too much fics because of it. Still, this one kept me hooked and kept me reading, because it is utterly gorgeous and everything that a Madoka Magica fic should be.

It is a fairly long fic, at a little over 70k, but it just absolutely sails by because it's so smoothly written and the author does a rather breathtaking job of getting the feel of the series and the characters down. It's in the big things, like the descriptions of the witches and the plot that's being built here and the relationships between the characters, but it's also in the little, almost undefinable things. It feels so Japanese sometimes, the way the characters think or refer to each other or their attitudes. I could have cried and/or kissed the author just for that alone! But this fic is so, so much more than that.

I was initially wary of reading a fic that had such a heavy focus on Sayaka/Madoka, as I like their friendship, but I don't ship it much, except... this fic shows why it's different in this timeline, why they would fall in love here, and it never takes away from the vague undercurrent that Homura/Madoka is still the ultimate otp of both the author and the series as a whole. This fic really requires that Madoka fall in love with someone else and the writing made me whole-heartedly believe that Madoka and Sayaka would fall into this relationship. This is at the same time that you feel echoes of the canon we saw in the anime, where Kyouko and Mami are important as well, even if they're not directly in the story much.

There are also action scenes (the last chapter or two are just gorgeous for how chaotic and intense the fight scenes felt!) and gorgeously done scenes inside witch barriers and an incredible fight with Walpurgis Nacht, and it all ties into the plot as necessary to the story. This is a story that feels like such an extension of canon because it balances everything in the way canon would, and wound up being just as engrossing to me for it. And I want to talk about all these things about this story, because there's so much here, there's so much that's satisfying and incredible, I feel like I could go on for three pages about it.

But it's almost to the point that it's a bit overwhelming and this ends up being a terrible rec because I can hardly rein my feelings back in. I will say, though, that as beautiful as the entire fic is, if you don't read that final chapter with your heart nearly in your throad, I don't know what to do with you. The entire fic has such incredible dynamics between the characters, that perfect balance in this world where Homura has kidnapped Madoka and stashed her away in an attempt to keep her from making a contract, which means she and Madoka aren't friends first here, but, oh the characterization of Homura is so pitch perfect, as someone who has been through such hell in these time loops and this Madoka who doesn't understand any of that, there's a different dynamic here, but it's still... Homura and Madoka, you can feel that. The author does a brilliant job of portraying Homura as someone who is splintering both mentally and emotionally, but holding herself together with an iron grip, even as she's perfectly aware that she's doing something villainous.

That's all wonderful, but it's the final chapter, where everything has come to a head, where Madoka has to truly face whether or not to make a contract, the way it winds together Homura's desperation and all that suffering she's been put through, winds that together with the entire point of this fic, why all of this was so necessary even if it's doomed to failure, winds it together with the hidden steel of Madoka's personality and the true relationship she has with Homura... oh, that had me absolutely riveted to the fic and was not going to let me go until it was done. With time loop fics, especially ones that are a previous loop to what we see in the canon, knowing that it ultimately will be erased, you run the risk of making the story being told feel pointless. But this story is anything but that, it's ultimately so necessary, even beyond what it changes for Homura. It's necessary to show just how much she suffers and what she goes through. It's necessary for showing what is at the core of these characters and how they handle things. And it's necessary just as a really goddamned good story. Plus, if you don't sit there just trying to take in everything after Madoka makes her wish in the final chapter, a little awed at just how well this fits together with canon, well. I don't know what to do with you about that, either. I could not have asked for more from this fic.

L'Estasi di Santa Homura by SailorPtah, homura/madoka, NSFW, 1.6k
    Who needs a corporeal partner to have great sex? Not Teresa of Avila, and not Homura, either.
    Often times, when I'm in the middle of longer fics in a fandom, especially ones that are 70k+ (as is another fic by this author), I have to stop and read something shorter so that I'll feel like I actually managed to finish something. Usually something porny because I can't take the lack of resolution in the longer fics. Though, I firmly firmly kept the characters in mind as being older and it is set post-canon, so I think Homura would be at least in her late teens, enough to be old enough that I'm comfortable with her having sex like this. But, oh, the writing of this piece is so gorgeous, the author does an incredible job of capturing that sense of being inside a witch's barrier (or similar enough) and balancing it with really beautifully done porn. Setting it in such an odd setting (as all the backgrounds in Madoka Magica were odd) ran the risk of being too pretentious or having purple prose, but this author pulled it off so very well! I was also delighted with how well Madoka's personality came across, even as she's not really in corporeal form here, and it was so easy to imagine her half-being there with Homura, her presence was so strongly there. Plus, wow, that was really beautiful porn and is a great post-series piece.

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