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Fanfic / A History of Magic

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In the penultimate episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey showed Madoka that not only have the Incubators been on Earth for as long as human history existed, but that they've been recruiting Puella Magi for that long too.

These are their stories.

A History Of Magic by Danny Barefoot can be divided into two parts. The first part consists of stories of girls from history, mythology, and literature that have made a contract with the Incubators, the battles they faced, and the horror as they learn what it means to be a Puella Magi.

The second half is of Puella Magi trying to make it in a post-Madoka world, and Incubators trying to meet their quota, which becomes tough when Puer and Puella Magi manifest without ever making a contract.

The story was originally posted on Fanfiction Dot Net, but was deleted, after the author decided the worldview it expressed was dishonouring to God. It can currently be read here, or as a PDF here.

Note that the story predates Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion and Puella Magi Tart Magica.

Warning: Knowledge of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is needed to read this so there will be marked and unmarked SPOILERS below.

A History of Magic provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: By the end of the story, it's a Total Extinction type. The interesting part is seeing it go through Focused Destruction, Societal Disruption, and Societal Collapse first.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Himiko studied the rest of the Puella Magi under her care to learn their powers.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: As all the Puella Magi learn the hard way.
    • A good example is Sigrid, who wished to discover a country no Viking ever explored before, she discovered it all right by being transported there immediately, with no way home.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Cleopatra crushes her own Soul Gem than let herself be turned into a witch.
    • Sarah tried to do this, but the teachings that suicides are barred from heaven kept her from going through with it. Anne did it for her instead.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Incubators, specifically the Incubator Directors, are the antagonists trying to turn girls throughout history into Puella Magi and Witches as usual, but on the other end is Pandora, a Puella Magi who became the first Angel, engineered all the despair in the world out of boredom, and wants to control/destroy humanity.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Humanity is extinct. It might be a straight Downer Ending if not for the fact that everybody is finally reunited in the afterlife.
  • Broken Masquerade: When Billy used Haitian magic to become a Puer Magi without making a contract, it set off a chain reaction of teenagers becoming Magi spontaneously.
  • Cain and Abel: The Trope Namers themselves. Their struggle came down to this: Cain was an Anomaly, someone who manifested magic without the help of the Incubators. Abel claimed that the white spirit (Kyubey) said that mankind would be destroyed in a generation if they practiced magic not from him. Cain snapped and killed him.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: When Hitler threw a fit that Walpurgisnacht wished for Germany to never be defeated, rather than the Nazi party, Walpurgisnacht turned on her brainwashers, called them out on their failings, and declared herself the worst joke there ever was.
  • Cassandra Truth: Obviously, given that Cassandra is in this story, but before that, an Egyptian Puella Magi tried to warn Cleopatra that they're lichs and doomed to become witches. Cleopatra brushed her off.
  • Continuity Nod: Many figures in mythology and literature were actually witches. Circe was the witch form of Cassandra, Morgan le Fey was the witch form of Nimue. Alice Kingsley's witch form is a horrific mixture of the Queen of Hearts and the Jabberwocky.
    • Not to mention Kyubey was mistaken as many things by Puella Magi and potential magi: the White Rabbit, Pagur Ban, a fairy, the child of the Egyptian goddest Bast.
  • Cry for the Devil: The girl that would become Walpurgisnacht was brainwashed by the Nazis to wish for their eternal power, then the witch Pandora got to her and showed her how much other Puella Magi despaired.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Alice Kingsley.
  • Despair Event Horizon: As par the course for Puella Magi to become witches. Specific examples are:
    • Joan of Arc: upon realizing the French will never rescue her.
    • Cassandra of Troy: seeing Odysseus kill Coroebus.
    • Nimue: When Kyubey tells her that England will never be peaceful because strife increases the amount of contracts they make, and they have a quota..
    • Sacagewea: After seeing that she doomed the Native Americans by guiding Lewis and Clark.
    • Eve: After being betrayed by Adam and marked as an enemy of mankind.
    • Debbie: After having to kill a Nazi to save Anne.
    • Himiko: The death of Genji.
    • Anne: It started when she became the last Musketeer standing, and she was too tired to even fight back anymore, then she got sent to the camps, and it came to a head when Margot died. If Madoka hadn't intervened, she would have become a witch.
    • Homura: Killing Mitsuko in cold blood. Since her despair is so deep yet she refuses to fall into it, she became an Angel.
  • Dirty Coward: Deconstructed. We won't hate you, Alice Liddell. You took the right way.
  • Exact Words: What doomed Joan of Arc. France would indeed be inspired by her and would eventually free themselves from English rule like she wished. She just has to die to do it.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The downside of Cassandra's wish.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sadako Sasaki. She chooses to wish that the atomic bomb is never used again rather than cure her leukemia. She thinks the sacrifice worth it, bringing a rare moment of remorse from Kyubey.
    • Billy let everyone think he was behind the Zombie Puella assassins in an attempt to prevent a war between magi and humans.
    • Yuma used her last sliver of magic to restore a boy's legs.
    • Homura sacrificed any chance she'd see Madoka again to make sure the last human left on Earth didn't fall into Kyubey's clutches and went to Madoka. It was still enough to get her to Madoka.
  • Historical Domain Character: The point of the first part of the fic, to tell the stories of historical figures that were Puella Magi, such as Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, going all the way back to Eve.
  • Historical Domain Superperson: The first part of the fic covers women from history that became magical girls with all of the trials and horrors that came with it such as Sacagewea, Anne Frank, Pocahontas, Lady Jane Grey, and Mary I of England.
  • Honor Before Reason: Why Cassandra won't attack the Greek envoys before they can let their army in. They are her father's guests after all, and to attack them would be dishonorable.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The Incubators will do whatever it takes to get Puella Magi to harvest. Kyubey even more so after 2B starts showing compassion for the humans and is declared insane.
  • Insistent Terminology: Joan of Arc is not a Puella Magi, but God's handmaiden.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: This is what happens when a girl attempts to wish away war or death or disease, they end up imagining a world like that, and transform from a lack of grief seeds.
  • Make a Wish: How the Incubators contract Puella Magi, after all. Known wishes are:
    • Joan of Arc: That France hears God through her, and frees herself. See Exact Words
    • Cleopatra: That any man she chooses would love her more than life itself. Caesar still loved his empire more than that, and it wasn't enough to save her and Antony from Augustus.
    • Cassandra of Troy: To see the true future. Cue Cassandra Truth.
    • Thetis: To have the strongest, most handsome son in the world. With one weakness in case it's better he die. His name, Achilles.
    • Penthesilea: To be the strongest woman warrior. Which only attracted Achilles's attentions.
    • Nimue: That everyone who heard of Merlin would believe in his magic. It drives a wedge between them.
    • Alice Kingsley: That no one would tell her what to do, that'd she'd be a girl always and have fun. She lost the ability to feel sadness or compassion.
    • Pocahontas: Peace between her people and the Jamestown settlers. It directly led to her death.
    • Sacagewea: To be free. She was...for a time. Then the white settlers attacked the Indians and moving in.
    • Charlotte Corday: To know her purpose in life. She is to be Marat's assassin.
    • Eve: That humans would rule the earth forever. And in doing so they were targeted by the Incubators as energy sources.
    • Sharbat Gula: That someone would see her and everyone would know what she suffered. She would be the 'Afghan Girl' in the famous picture, but she lost her chance to get her parents back with her hasty wish.
    • Aisha: A moral system to bring perfect harmony between man and Allah. Humanity rejected it.
    • Lady Jane Grey: To never stop believing in God. It got her executed.
    • Mary Tudor: To bring England back to the Catholic Church. It only lasted five years.
    • Queen Himiko: To be a queen who rules with wisdom, and brings peace to the land. She became a dictator in the process.
    • Sadako Sasaki: That the atomic bomb is never used again. She chose to sacrifice herself in the process since she was suffering from leukemia.
    • Anne Frank: That the world would see the real pure her from deep inside. It would only come with the posthumous publication of her diary.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The second part of the story, from present day to the future, incorporates Puella Magi Madoka Magica with Puella Magi Oriko Magica, with characters from Battle Royale, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Rose of Versailles, Firefly, Michiko & Hatchin, El Cazador de la Bruja, Gunslinger Girl, The Ruby In The Smoke,Hellsing, and various others mentioned.
  • Meaningful Rename: Pocahontas's name when she was forcibly assimilated into white culture was Rebecca. It was also her witch name.
  • Mercy Kill: How Sacagewea viewed killing witches, as part of the cycle of the life of a Puella Magi. Anne later does this to Debbie when she turns into a witch but has enough control to keep herself from attacking, and then Sarah before she could turn into a witch.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Mr. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) was mistaken as one when he was found with Alice Liddell, scratches on her, his clothes in tatters after the witch form of Alice Kingsley attacked them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Billy Kane after awakening his powers set off a chain reaction which led to government suppression, Magi rebellion, and an increase in demon activity.
  • Older Than They Look: Homura transforming into an Angel regressed her physical age to fourteen.
  • Origins Episode: Chapter 12 gives one for Walpurgisnacht.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The 'A' series of Incubators appeared as these, sometimes to tempt girls into becoming Puella Magi (namely Eve and Hagar) but mainly to manipulate men. They were phased out and replaced with the 'B' series (of which Kyubey is from) after a line about Satan appearing as an angel of light got into the Bible.
    • There are some Witches that can maintain memories of their previous lives. They were called Angels as well. Gabriel, the witch form of Aisha, was one, as was the witch known as Pandora.
    • You know how in the stinger of PMMM Homura has wings like a witch's barrier? Yeah, she becomes an Angel too, as does David Burrowski.
  • Refused the Call: Charmain, Alice Liddell, Queen Victoria, Teresa of Avila, Elizabeth I
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • The ten years of hell Odysseus spent with Circe was because Circe was what Cassandra had become after he killed Coroebus
    • Some Puella Magi have this as wish.
    • Mitsuko. To be fair, all her victims but Tatsuya had it coming.]]
  • Sadistic Choice: Homura could either surrender the last human left to Kyubey and let him clone the baby to create a new human race to harvest (running would do no good since Homura herself was dying), or smother the baby herself before she dies. She takes a third option and wishes that the baby would get into Madoka's heaven, have a "normal" life, and die as a human. At this point, she doesn't care what she will become. They both make it to Madoka as a result.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple:
    • Like Mami, Mirelle used muskets in her battles, and at least one is called 'Tiro Noir'.
    • The four Puella Magi Pandora showed Walpurgisnacht were the four magi that Madoka visited as she became hope.
    • Three of the Puella Magi in heaven are reminiscent of Charlotte, Gertrud, and possibly H.N. Elly.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Incubators fear above anything else an Anomaly that can awaken magical powers, not just in him/herself, but in all mankind. A fear realized when Billy Kane became the first Puer Magi.
  • The Unmasqued World: The world after Puer and Puella Magi began manifesting without making contracts.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: It took Kyubey 2000 years to see it, but he realized that Japan as a whole has a greater potential than other countries and are more readily adapted for Puella Magi magic, with him even suggesting to 230B that their quota would be fulfilled by a Japanese Magi. Leading up to the events of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • Unsexy Sadist: Ilsa, taking pure sexual delight out of physically and mentally torturing the Jewish Puella Magi.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Kyubey point blank tells Nimue and Merlin that the Incubators instigate wars because it produces more girls willing to become Puella Magi. They were behind the fall of the Roman Empire, they're behind the dissolution of the Round Table, and Kyubey aided the Manhattan Project to stop nuclear development in the other countries so they don't stockpile nuclear weapons and cause catastrophe/the destruction of the human race.
    • He-Man Woman Hater: At the same time, as he admitted to Lewis Carroll, they deliberately invoke this to get men to oppress women, again, producing women willing to take up the Puella Magi mantle. It started backfiring when women started to believe in it, hence Kyubey getting Alice in Wonderland published to get them to start dreaming.
  • Wham Line:
    A purple gem burst from Billy's chest, as the first Puer magi costume flashed into existence.
    In the last half-hour, six teenagers have become Magi spontaneously.
    Then the mystery of Demons is solved. They are the Familiars of Kremhild Gretchen, the world-eating Witch, sent back in time from her.
  • Woman Scorned: Nimue calls herself that before becoming Morgan le Fey.
  • The X of Y: A History of Magic