Disclaimer: Yumeiro Pâtissière and Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not the property of Uena. This story and concept is however Uena's property and is exclusive to viewing in Fanfiction dot net. Prior knowledge of both series is not required to enjoy this story.
Cover Image is an official art that could be easily found over the net. I claim no ownership of it.
If you read any words do not understand, feel free to ask me by reviewing or messaging me.
Start of Chapter
"… I hope that you'll be happy from now on."
The girl sat straight up from her bed, gasping for breath as her nightmare ended, her face beaded with sweat. She wiped her forehead with an arm, pushing away the blankets as she tried to make sense of her situation.
The wind blew through the open window, causing the pale-pink curtains to shift and grabbing the girl's attention. The bright morning sun greeted her with its warm rays, basking the city in light.
The girl looked away, her eyes still blurry from sleep. She tried to rub the cloudiness away, but realized she couldn't. That's when she saw her glasses on the nightstand near her bed, and she made to grab it.
After putting it on, she turned back to her window to see the peaceful neighbourhood she lived in, causing her to close her eyes in regret.
"I… failed then."
A Yumeiro Pâtissière and Puella Magi Madoka Magica Fanfic
Chapter 1 : Old and New Dreams
"Onee-chan, are you finished yet?" A young, light brown-haired girl called up to her older sister from the bottom of the stairs. The girl and her family are all dressed to leave the house, with the exception of the older sister who was fretting over her ribbons in front of the mirror.
"Give me a moment! I'll be down there in a minuite!" Ichigo Amano called back. She returned to the task of tying her brown hair in twin-pigtails. "Ah, oh no. The ribbons aren't tied properly."
She tugged on her white ribbons, hoping to fix it before they leave. Her family, however, won't wait for her.
"Ichigo, we'll be leaving without you!" The voice of a woman echoed from the hall. Ichigo quickly finished tidying up and grabbed her purse, not noticing her wallet still sitting above her bed. She ran out of her room, the strap of her purse snagging on the door's handle.
Her mother, impatient at the delay and risking her other daughter to be late at her Piano Recital, scolded Ichigo. "Get a hold of yourself!"
"Ah, Mama's angry!" Ichigo cried, running to the stairs.
Ichigo Amano is a fourteen year old middle schooler with brown hair, and brown eyes. She has average grades, poor at sports, air-headed, and a terrible cook. Her only talent she could speak of is her ability to play the piano, and even there her younger sister has her beat.
She's also quite the ditz, tripping over herself quite often.
So it has come to no surprise to Natsume Amano, Ichigo's younger sister, that her Onee-san lost traction on her slippers as she stepped on the stairs.
Natsume, Natsume's mother, and Natsume's father who was outside waiting in the car, cringed as they heard the rather spectacular fall Ichigo made as she tripped the stairs.
Kyouko, the mother of the two girls, placed her hand on her hip as she stared at her daughter who is lying down on the floor where she crashed. This isn't the first time her daughter fell down the stairs, but she isn't worried. Her daughter is made out of sterner stuff."Are you alright?"
"I-I'm okay…" groaned Ichigo.
Natsume kneeled beside her sister and shook her by the shoulder. "Ah, Onee-chan. What are you doing?"
Ichigo could only laugh sheepishly. Her sister and her mother helped her into the car, and finally the Amano family is able to leave for their family outing.
At the same time as Ichigo fell down the stairs, another girl, this one with raven-black hair and clear purple eyes walked down her own stairs, but unlike Ichigo is more careful and is in no risk of tripping.
Sill wearing her pyjamas, Homura Akemi observed the foreign, yet familiar house she found herself in. It was quite the mystery, actually. Consciously, she doesn't know the house itself, but her body can easily walk the halls like it was second nature to her.
She passed by a wall of pictures, each one showing the smiling faces of a family of four. There is one scene in a park where the family is spread out having a picnic, a woman watching fondly as her husband carried their youngest on his shoulder, while being led somewhere by a slighter older girl; another picture of only the parents, cuddling comfortably on the docks as they watched the sunset paint the lake orange; and even one of the children as they made a mess of themselves as they painted.
Homura couldn't help the tug of a smile on her lips as she admired the happy family. Her eyes roamed the frames, and one photo stopped her cold.
The family is smiling, but unlike the rest of the pictures where they were happy and content, the smiles on the faces of the four are fake. This shot was taken in a hospital room, probably before a surgery is to take place. The younger sibling was crying, clutching the older sibling as the parents stood to the side. But it was the older sibling that allowed Homura to recognize the people in the pictures.
"This is me…" She whispered to herself, touching the frame to check if it was real or not. There was a pinch of paint that snapped her out of her revere, and Homura stepped back. "When was this taken? I don't remember this…"
Realizing that a picture frame wouldn't answer her questions, she resumed exploring the house.
She was already sure it was her's, even if she can't remember it.
Soon enough, she found herself in the kitchen in front of a dining table filled with plates of food. A young woman with dark hair is tending to the stove, a frying pan on one hand while on the other she held a ladle filled with creamy batter.
The woman saw Homura walk into the room and turned to face the girl, the woman's blue eyes sparkling with joy. "Good morning, dear. Breakfast is ready."
The affection in the woman's voice made Homura pause and stare. It was the woman from the pictures. She had the same hair, the same smile, and the same purple eyes that looked at her with all the love a mother could give.
She took a step, and another, before she clutched her mother around her middle, burying her face in her chest. "Mama…"
"There, there." Her mother patted her head, setting aside what she was cooking to hug her daughter. Breakfast could wait, especially if her daughter is crying. "Did you have a nightmare again?"
"Yeah…" Murmured Homura. "It was all a dream."
"Ahahaha! So she fell again?" Ichigo's father laughed from the front seat of the car. His wife didn't find it as funny as he did.
The family are on their way to Nijigaoka for the 48th Nijigaoka Music Festival where Natsume will perform. The drive is a short, yet eventful one.
"This is no laughing matter! That's the third time this month, there's a limit to falling down."
"Still, it's amazing that she doesn't get hurt." The father smiled.
Kyouko glanced at him unimpressed, turning back to the road to drive. "That is not something you should praise." She sighed. "Honestly, who does she take after?"
At the back seat of the car, the children are bickering over the Ichigo's clothes.
"After all that fuss, you still chose to wear your school uniform?" Natsume couldn't believe her sister. She tugged on the ribbon on one of her sister's pigtails, tightening it so that it doesn't fall off.
"Today is your day. It would be bad if I stood out more than you." Ichigo said, scratching her forehead. She looked out of the window, admiring the city as their car came out of the tunnel.
Lately, Ichigo has been wondering about her life. Unlike Natsume, her skills on the piano are not really noteworthy. It's one of the reasons their mother favours Natsume more than Ichigo. She also has trouble studying, and she tires easily due to her lack of any sports. One thing she can boast about is that she's still slim, even after devouring several cakes.
In fact, she's a champion cake eater, having already taken home a medal in a contest. But it isn't something that can help her in the future.
So she is pretty lost on what to will do in the future, especially now that she's in Middle School. She has no particular goal she wants to achieve.
She sighed, not letting her frustration show.
'Will I be alright?' She thought to herself.
"So how does it taste, Homura-chan?" Homura's mother smiled at her daughter, her face perched on her hands as Homura eat the pancakes she prepared.
"It's even better than I remembered." Homura said honestly, taking another bite.
"Ahaha. Is it that good?" The woman asked. When Homura nodded, she smiled even brighter. "You're just saying that. It's just pancakes."
Homura shook her head. "It's more than that."
A comfortable silence descended on the mother and child, the woman content on watching her daughter eat. Homura slowed down her pace her thoughts drifting off as she observed the face of her mother.
"Hmm?" The mother noticed the change in her daughter's demeanour. "Is something wrong?"
"No, it's nothing." Homura tried brushing away her mother's worries. "I just remembered my dream."
"If it bothers you so much, why don't you talk about it?" Her mother encouraged her. "It always helps to get these things off your chest."
Homura picked at her pancake, moving it around on her plate. She looked up to her mother and nodded. "Well… I had this dream…"
"In it, I just finished my operation and just got out of the hospital, I also transferred to a new School." Homura began her story. "Because I was in the hospital for a long time, I couldn't follow the lessons, I also tired out easily during P.E., and during the introduction I was so nervous that I kept stuttering."
"It would be unfair for them to think otherwise, Homura." Her mother insisted. "You've been bedridden for months and just had your operation."
"That's not all…" Homura continued. "In the end of the day, I was too shy and couldn't make any friends. I walked home to the apartment alone."
"Okay." Her mother nodded, wondering why her daughter was living in an apartment in the dream. From the sounds of it, she was alone in the flat.
"But on my way back, I met someone. She was kind, caring, loyal, a bit naïve at times, and very self-less. She became my first friend." Homura smiled, surprising her mother. "She was the kind of person who wouldn't give up on her friends, even if things were bad. She couldn't stand anyone suffering, even if it's someone who isn't kind to her, or just a stray cat."
"She sounds like a great person." Her mother told her. "What's the matter then?"
Homura looked away shamefaced. She was a great person, and that's why she felt more guilty not being able to help her. "She was… tricked by someone and got into trouble."
Homura's mother could only sigh. She should have seen this coming. People like that are easily taken advantage of by other people; it is human nature to look out for their own. But even if that is the case, there must be more to the story for her daughter is this upset.
"I… I wanted to help her. So, so much." Homura gripped the pants of her pyjamas, trying to keep her tears from flowing, but the pain was too much to bear and they escaped from the edges of her eyes. "But I was too weak, and I couldn't do anything. I could only watch as she was hurt and suffered."
"When I tried to do something to help her, it turns out that I'm only making things harder for her. I tried many times to save her, but I failed each time." By now, Homura's mother sat beside Homura as she hugged her daughter, letting Homura cry on her shoulder. "I kept making mistakes. I didn't know what to do. But I couldn't give up, I kept trying"
"Shh, shh… I'm here now. It's alright." She patted Homura's head rocking her from side to side as she let her daughter's sorrow pass. "It's okay, just let it out."
The two stayed like that for quite a while, the mother cradling her daughter's head as she sobbed. Eventually Homura stopped crying, the two simply cuddling as Homura's breakfast went cold.
When Homura's mother thought that her daughter was fine now, she stood up and cleaned up the table. She turned around, winking at Homura, before saying "You know, I have just the thing."
Homura furrowed her brows. What was her mother talking about? Her question is answered when a plate of chocolate cake was placed in front of her.
"Henri-sensei gave this to your father. We were supposed to have it at dinner, but I won't tell if you won't." The mother said, handing her daughter a fork and tapping her lips with a finger.
"Henri-sensei?" Homura asked, staring dumbly at the cake. She has a feeling that she should know that name.
"Oh, right." The woman pumped her fist into her palm. "I forgot to tell you, Henri-sensei is in Japan right now. We could visit him if you want!"
"Okay…" Homura mumbled, taken aback by the sudden declaration.
In the end, she wasn't able to eat the cake.
"The next performer will be entry number 18, Amano Natsume-san." The host of the music contest announced.
"It's finally Natsume's turn." Ichigo said to her parents, holding a program schedule. While Ichigo and her father watched eagerly, her mother wore a worried face.
"But I wonder if she will be alright, since this is her first time preforming in such a big hall?" Her mother asked to nobody in particular. Ichigo's father reassured his wife that Natsume will be fine.
"You don't have to worry about anything. Her teacher prepared her very thoroughly, right?"
"Well, yeah…" Kyouko agreed, but she didn't look convinced.
"She will be preforming Beethoven's Piano Sonata Number 14." The host continued, and the crowd applauded. Natsume appeared from the side of the stage, walking stiffly towards the piano on the center of the stage.
"Eh?" Ichigo gasped, finding her sister's reactions odd. 'She's walking strangely. Is she nervous?'
True to her thoughts, when Natsume bowed to the crowd, her music sheet slipped from her folder and fell to the ground. Her sister quickly made her way to the piano sheet and tried to play, but her fingers stopped just shy of touching the keys.
When the crowd began to get restless, and Natsume still frozen in front of the piano, Ichigo decided to do something to help her sister get rid of her stage fright.
She stood up, gathered her breath, and shouted for the whole concert hall to hear "Hey, I've been waiting for you! Nijigaoka's very own genius pianist! Go on, play and win!"
The crowd thought it was funny. Her mother thought she was doing something crazy and urged her to sit down. Her father didn't know what to think. But as for Natsume, she could only feel embarrassed for her sister.
The host noticed that the outburst is over, and asked Natsume if she would play now. It was then that she noticed that her fingers were no longer tense. She nodded her head to the host, inhaled, and began to play.
Ichigo smiled, happy that her sister finally started to act more like herself, and her family breathed a sigh of relief now that the ordeal was over.
Despite the minor setback, Natsume still won the contest. She received a shiny gold trophy to take home, and right now is taking pictures for the news together with her mother and father.
Ichigo stood by the stairs, waiting for them to finish. The cameramen wouldn't stop, their professional cameras flashing bright with each click. The smile on her face waned as she felt alienated. Despite Natsume's success, she couldn't exactly share it with her.
She sighed, walking out into the street. With the amount of media gathering around her sister, they would probably take a little longer than she expected. She decided to wander around, trying to brush away her depressing thoughts.
The crossing light turned green, and she walked to the other side of the street. As she passed a few of the people by, she caught a whiff of scent that beaconed her into the mall.
'They smell like sweets.' She thought. 'I wonder why?'
"Hm?" She hummed, her eyes catching a banner near the entrance. "AH! Sweets Fiesta!"
She ran in to the room where the expo is being held. Once inside, she marvelled at the different shapes, sizes, colors, and scents of sweets made by different Pâtisseries from all around the world.
Ichigo, true to her nature, grabbed a tray and picked out a few cakes for her to eat. She was trying to find a table when she bumped into a raven-haired girl, nearly spilling the cakes into her shirt.
"Ah, sorry!" She apologized.
"Hn." Remarked the girl. She pushed up her red-framed glasses and stepped aside.
"Thank you." Ichigo said, about to leave when the girl called her.
"You have to pay for that."
"What?" Ichigo turned around, seeing the girl point at a line of people holding the same kind of trays Ichigo had. "Oh, right."
She headed to an open cashier to pay. She laid the tray down on the counter, patted her bag down for her wallet, and came out empty. Confused, she looked inside, only to see that she did indeed leave her wallet at home.
"I-I left my wallet at home…" She mourned. She picked the tray up dejectedly and began to walk back to the buffet table, swaying as she did so. "I'm sorry, I'll put it back."
"Ah, there she is! Onee-chan!" Natsume came running towards Ichigo, their parents in tow. "See, Mama? I told you she'd be here."
"Natsume?" Ichigo stopped, nearly bumping into Natsume.
"Wow, they look delicious. Will you be able to eat all of that, Onee-chan?" Natsume asked curiously. She tilted her head, peering into the face of Ichigo. "Huh? Why do you look so sad when you have sweets?"
"I forgot my wallet and can't eat them." Ichigo sobbed.
Natsume and her mother sighed, used to her carelessness. Her father pushed forward, patting Ichigo on the head.
"It's all right, Papa will pay for them." Natsume grimaced, her father didn't know what beast it unleashed.
"Yay!" Ichigo's dejected face instantly morphed into one of pure joy, "I'll go and get more then!"
"Eh?" Ichigo's father stared dumbfounded as her eldest daughter proceeded to pile up more and more cakes into her tray. He soon found himself emptying his wallet just to pay for the sweets that came to a total of 12,500 Yen.
'Oh well,' He thought, 'At least Ichigo is happy.'
Her mother, a bit behind on the line, whispered to Natsume, "Pretend not to know them."
Natsume, being the obedient daughter that she is, and not really wanting to be associated with Ichigo right now, simply nodded.
After paying for the sweets, Ichigo found a free table and proceeded to taste each one. Even after just one bite, she was already in bliss, feeling the soft custard melting together with the puff pastry, the perfect balance between tangy strawberries and sweet cream.
In her words, she could 'taste the French Revolution.'
"Onee-chan, thank you for your help earlier." Natsume sat on the seat directly in front of Ichigo.
Ichigo tilted her head, fork still in her mouth. "For what?"
"I heard from Papa that you raised your voice earlier all of a sudden to help me get rid of my nervousness, right?" Natsume said. "I'm really grateful you did that."
"No problem!" Ichigo smiled, cutting out a bit of a sweet she hadn't eaten yet. When she tasted it, a sense of familiarity washed over her, piquing her curiosity. "This taste is… Excuse me."
Ichigo stood up, picking up the plate of cake she just tasted and tried to find where she got it from, when a voice cut off her thoughts.
"Is there something wrong with the cake I made, Ojou-san?" Asked a tall, blonde-haired man. He wore a green chef's uniform and a toque. Pinned on the left side of his chest is a name tag with his profession written on it.
St. Marie Academy Pâtissier
"No, it isn't that. This cake tastes similar to the one my grandmother made for me a long time ago." Ichigo raised the cake higher to show off the cake.
"Your grandmother?" Henri said. "Could it be that your grandmother is a Pâtissière?"
"Yes, my grandmother had a home-made cake shop in a small village town." Ichigo is always happy to talk about her grandmother. She has many fond memories of her, and she was the only one that could bring a smile to her face when she was feeling quite down with her special strawberry tart.
"Had? What about now?" Henri asked.
"Grandma passed away two years ago." Ichigo avoided his eyes, a bit sad to mention that detail.
"Oh. I'm sorry for your loss." Henri palmed his face. How tactless he was.
"No, it's fine. My uncle has taken over the running of the shop. So Grandma's work didn't go to waste." Ichigo tried to think of another topic to talk about. Preferably about sweets, anything just to get out of this somber topic.
"If I may ask… Did your grandmother study in Paris when she was young?" The blue-eyed Pâtissier asked.
"If I remember correctly… She did say something about studying in a school in Paris called St. something Academy." Ichigo recalled, her thoughts drifting back to the time when she was a small child and asked how her grandma was able to make such delicious cakes.
"It's St. Marie Academy." Smiled Henri, finding some kind of connection with Ichigo. "Might your grandmother be Madame Michiko, perhaps?"
"Eh, how do you know that?" Ichigo is amazed that he knows her grandma.
"I thought so." Henri said. "Your grandmother possessed an amazing talent. I heard that she made wonderful cakes that astounded even the lecturers back then."
Ichigo's face brightened as Henri continued to tell stories about her grandmother's skills. It was good to know that she's not the only one who thinks that her grandma is special and talented.
"In fact, my great-grandmother is the founder of St. Marie Academy." Henri continued. "Naturally, having come from the same school, your grandmother's cakes and mine would taste similar.
Henri then changed the direction of the conversation. "But to be able to tell from a mouthful, you have an amazing talent."
"Ojou-san, may I have your name?" Henri asked politely.
"I'm Amano Ichigo." She bowed to him. "It's nice to meet you."
"Well then, Amano Ichigo." Henri picked up a spatula and began working. "In honor of your taste-buds, I'll let you be one of the first to sample my new creation."
As Henri worked on his cake, Ichigo stood entranced at his movements. It was like he was preforming. His hands are fluid, the creations smooth, and his effort sincere. She found the way he made cakes enjoyable.
The end result was a small pink hill, capped by white cream and topped by a sliced strawberry. Candy-art wings sprouted from both sides of the fruit and plated with strawberry syrup on the edges, making the dessert appear like a fairy resting on a pink rose bud.
"Here, please enjoy it Ichigo." Henri laid a cup of tea on the table as he sat her down.
She nodded, took her fork, and took a bite.
Instantly, it was like she was transported into a vast flower field, running hand-in-hand with the person she loved. It's delicious. But she couldn't properly explain it.
'What is this?' She wondered. 'A tingling sensation of strawberries overflowing from the soft, sweet milk mousse to melt on my tounge. Two flavours resounding with one another, leaving a bittersweet sadness before vanishing.'
It's just like…
"First Love." Ichigo breathed, still relishing the taste in her mouth. "I never knew such a cake existed."
"You surprised me." Henri said, his eyes wide in disbelief. "This cake is named 'First Love', and is based off the feeling of a maiden's first love."
Ichigo opened her eyes, turning to Henri as he spoke.
"To understand the message of my cake is indeed…" He trailed off. "Ichigo, you have a wonderful sense of feeling and taste."
Ichigo looked down at the dessert in front of her as she was praised again. She isn't used to other people praising her.
"Ichigo, do you want to attend St. Marie Academy?" Henri proposed. "The culinary school that Marie Lucas founded to groom pâtissier and pâtissières?"
"Pâtissière?!" Ichigo exclaimed, standing up from her seat.
She then remembered a conversation she had with her grandma a long time ago, when she was just a child. She had said back then that she wanted to grow up to become a Pâtissière like her grandma, it was her dream. Somehow as she grew up, she forgot about it.
Perhaps it was because her grandma was her constant reminder of that dream, and when she was gone, took that dream of hers with it. She has lately been to self-absorbed at her lack of talents in music and school, and paid it little mind.
But now that she remembered it, a long buried desire inside her chest swelled up to the surface.
"I hope you will come. You have the talent." Henri told her honestly.
'Talent, really?' She thought about it. She didn't really know what she would be good at, but if Henri who was able to make such a wonderful dessert thinks that she can do it, then maybe she could?
She really wanted to make cakes like Henri did, and be more like her grandmother. Going to a school that teaches its students how to make the things she loved most doesn't sound too bad.
She nodded to herself.
"I'll attend St. Marie." She said, her face a mask of determination.
"That's good to hear." Henri said, grabbing a pamphlet from one of his apron's pockets. "Here's a booklet for our school."
Ichigo thanked him as she looked at the piece of paper. The cover was a picture of a castle-like academy, with the statue of someone in front. She browsed through it quickly, before remembering something.
"Wait, isn't St. Marie in Paris?" She asked.
"Yes," Henri said, "But there is a branch of the school here in Japan."
"That's a relief." She said, holding a hand to her chest. She didn't think she would survive in France for a week or learn French in such a short amount of time.
"The Japan Branch is two hours away from here in Nijigaoka, and it's a boarding school." Henri said. "In fact, the child of a friend of mine studies there and is about your age, too bad she's about to transfer out."
"I take it back, Henri-Sensei." The raven-haired girl Ichigo bumped into earlier spoke up. She was standing to his side and a little behind him.
"You're the girl from earlier." Ichigo mumbled, before she realized that she was talking to her. "Wait, how long have you been here?"
"Since Henri-sensei first talked to you." The girl said. "Don't worry, people hardly notice me. It was my mistake that you didn't see me. I also shouldn't have eavesdropped."
"No, it's okay…" Ichigo said, unsure as to the girl's demeanour.
"You said that you didn't want to be a Pâtissière." Henri said to Homura, "Why the sudden change of heart?"
Homura observed the girl in front of her. She didn't look much, being lean despite eating a lot of cakes. Her school uniform made her appear ordinary. She also sensed that somehow, this girl is a bit on the clumsy side.
But it was the ribbons that tied her hair, and the naïve, kind personality the girl has that attracted a lot of Homura's attention. And because of that, she couldn't leave the girl alone.
"Ah, I'm sorry." Ichigo said, thinking that the girl was staring because she hadn't introduced herself to Homura yet. "I'm Amano Ichigo."
"I'm Akemi Homura." She bowed, the hint of a smile on her face.
"It's a pleasure to meet you."
~ To be continued ~
Next Time: Chapter 2: Homura's Resolve
Petit Fours: Small desserts served in many confection shops. In French, it loosely translates to 'Tiny, small, a bit' and 'oven'. I don't actually know much about this dessert, as there are many different varieties of it.
French Corner – Petit
Petit also has many other meanings such as 'Petit déjeuner, which means breakfast; Petite-fille, which means grand-daughter; and Petit-fils, which means grandson. Mes petits-enfants literally translates into "My grandchildren."
Yumeiro's Anime showed the price of 10 cakes to total 12,050 Yen. That's like 100 US Dollars. Those are some expensive cake slices, though I wouldn't expect less.
Yes, I'm enjoying myself. I started getting ideas about this fanfic when I heard Ichigo and Madoka's voice. Having only one Seiyuu (Voice Actor), I naturally connected one to the other. It does help that Ichigo's first scene is in the mirror with ribbons, similar to Madoka's first scene. Never mind the fact that Yumeiro Pâtissière came first.
And in case you didn't notice, I really, REALLY hate accents.
I'll do my best to keep the Original Flavour of the two series intact… Pun slightly intended. And yes, there will be deviations.
Oh yes, there is a poll on the pairings (should there ever be) in this fic. Check out my profile to vote. I won't say that whoever wins will be the official pairing, but it should influence the story.
Although I got bored when I started writing up script parts, I wrote it much faster. I hope you all enjoy reading this.
Anyway! Until next time!