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Chapter 1

Snowpaw

Snowpaw yawned and stretched as she woke up in the apprentice den. Nearby, Briarpaw and Blossompaw were curled up next to each other, but their brother Bumblepaw had already gone out on the dawn patrol. Snowpaw bounded eagerly out of the den, and glanced around for her mentor, Graystripe. He was nearby, choosing fresh-kill from the pile. Snowpaw headed eagerly over to him. She had only been made an apprentice last night, and it had been too late for training."Hey Graystripe." she mewed. "What are we doing today?"

"Well, we'll explore the territory, but then you'd better rest, because Firestar wants you to come to the gathering tonight!"

Snowpaw's eyes opened wide in shock and excitement. She hadn't realised the gathering was so close! If she went, she might see her brothers and sisters, who were in the three other Clans. Snowpaw and her siblings had been born to a rogue cat, Katya, and she had travelled around the lake, looking for places for her children to stay. For a reason that Snowpaw didn't know, one of her siblings had each been given to a Clan, so that all four Clans held one of Katya's children. Katya herself had left soon after, with her two elder children, Rascal and Goldie. Snowpaw bounded happily in the air, before racing over to the fresh kill pile and grabbing a mouse. She gulped it down, turned around, and sprawled into Whitewing with her kits beside her. Snowpaw shook herself all over, and scrambled to her feet.

"Sorry Whitewing, but Graystripe's taking me to explore the territory!" Snowpaw cried, unable to supress a meow of excitement.

Whitewing smiled indulgently. She had suckled Snowpaw along with Dovekit and Ivykit when Snowpaw had come to ThunderClan as a kit. Now, Ivykit hurried over to Snowpaw with her sister in tow.

"Can we come too Snowpaw?" she asked eagerly.

Snowpaw shook her head. "No, not until you're six moons, you know that!" she mewed.

"But that's two whole moons away." Dovekit gasped, sounding horrified.

Before Snowpaw could answer, Graystripe called her away from the other side of the hollow. Snowpaw bounded over to him, then squeezed out of the tunnel after him. Out in the forest, Snowpaw leapt around, looking and smelling at everything.

"Come on!" Graystripe called, enthused by his apprentice's energy. They ran across the forest, pausing for Graystripe to explain things, until they reached a strong and yucky scent. Snowpaw curled her lip in disgust.

"What's that?" she asked.

"ShadowClan." Graystripe answered.

Snowpaw bounced with excitement.

"ShadowClan? That's where Lionkit lives! He might be an apprentice too by now! Can we go and say hello?"

"No, you'll probably see him at the gathering in any case. Come on, WindClan border next!"



Chapter 2

Lionpaw


Lionpaw padded out of his nest in the apprentice den. Ferretpaw, Pinepaw and Starlingpaw were all waking up also. Lionpaw glanced at them, but they all ignored him. A lot of the ShadowClan cats were still nasty to Lionpaw because of who his mother was. Starlingpaw was the nicest of the apprentices to Lionpaw, as they had suckled together, and Tawneypelt was Starlingpaw's mentor, so she didn't encourage him to be mean becuase of where a cat was born. Lionpaw headed out of the den with the other apprentices. All four of them were on the dawn patrol to the ThunderClan border, with all their mentors. Border patrols were very important for ShadowClan, and many cats went on them. There were two dawn patrols, one for the ThunderClan border, and one for the RiverClan border. In the middle of the campe were Oakfur, Ratscar, Tawneypelt and Tigerheart, waiting for their apprentices to come. Lionpaw padded slowly up to his mentor. It was his first day as an apprentice, and he thought it should be interesting. Starlingpaw had been an apprentice for a moon longer than Lionpaw, and all the others two moons longer, so Lionpaw knew he would have to work extra hard to be fantastic on this patrol.

They bounded off, away from the camp. As they neared the ThunderClan border, they stopped to hunt. Oakfur signalled with his tail for Ferretpaw to hunt. Ratscar did the same for Pinepaw. Lionpaw looked up at his mentor anxiously, did Tigerheart want him to hunt. Tigerheart padded up to him.

"Don't worry, just be sneaky and quiet." Tigerheart mewed, before padding over to stand beside his mother, Tawneypelt.

Lionpaw waited, then saw a small movement under some pine needles. Instead of leaping, he padded up to the movement, laying each paw stealthily. The, suddenly, he slammed a paw down on the movement, hearing the squeal of a mouse, and feeling it's warm body beneath his paw. Crouching, Lionpaw gulped down the mouse. The other apprentices had all hunted now too, so they continued to the border. Lionpaw sniffed the scent marks carefully, wanting to be able to recognise even the slightest trace of ThunderClan scent on ShadowClan territory.

"If you scent that anywhere in the territory you know what it is." Tigerheart mewed darkly.

Lionpaw nodded eagerly.

"Then I'll attack them." he replied.

Tigerheart nodded approvingly, and Ratscar was watching Lionpaw with eyes narrowed in interest.

"Good job Lionpaw." Tawneypelt mewed. "All of you have done well, I'll ask Blackstar about the gathering."

Lionpaw exchanged a nod with Starlingpaw.



Chapter 3

Tigerpaw


Tigerpaw followed his Clanmates through the night. Furzepaw and Whiskerpaw padded beside him with their mentors Heathertail and Owlwhisker. Tigerpaw looked around for his mentor, Swallowtail. She was just behind him, talking to Breezepelt. Breezepelt's apprentice, Boulderpaw, had not been able to come to the gathering, because there were already three apprentices going. Because of this, Breezepelt was furious with Tigerpaw, hinting to everyone that a non-Clan apprentice should not be allowed to come to a gathering. Tigerpaw sighed, and Swallowtail padded up beside him."Cheer up Tigerpaw. Everycat knows that Breezepelt is just like his father." Tigerpaw nodded glumly. Crowfeather, Breezepelt's father, was the nastiest cat in the Clan to Tigerpaw, and Breezepelt always copied his father. Suddenly, the scent of ThunderClan washed over Tigerpaw. He turned around to see Firestar's Clan in front of WindClan, already crossing the tree bridge. Tigerpaw gulped at the sight of the deep black water beneath the bridge. Swallowtail brushed her pelt reassuringly against his flank. As Tigerpaw weaved his way over the bridge, he was already wondering which cats he would see. Maybe he would see Lionblaze, ThunderClan's most famous fighter. Or maybe Mothwing of RiverClan and Tawneypelt of ShadowClan, Tigerstar's daughters. Tigerpaw was proud to belong to the only Clan that did not have a descendant of Tigerstar in it. The tabby cat had walked through the nightmares of every kit in the nursery once. Tigerpaw leapt down onto the island, and gazed at the mass of cats. Drawing in the air, Tigerpaw picked up an achingly familiar scent under the harsh tang of the other Clans. He bounded away, looking down at the ground, only following the scent, until he collided with a fluffy white pelt, bowling over a smaller and slighter cat.

"Tigerkit!" he heard the fluff gasp, and he realised that he had found the scent he had been following, that of his sister, Snowkit.

"I'm Tigerpaw now, and you must be Snowpaw." Tigerpaw mewed. His sister noddded.

"Come on! Let's go and find the others!" she cried excitedly. Tigerpaw nodded, but before they could go anywhere, a heavy weight struck him from behind. Writhing around, Tigerpaw recognised his brother's brown tabby pelt.

"Let off Lionkit, you great lump." he meowed.

"Lionpaw." his brother sniffed disdainfully, but he scrambled off.

"Come on!" Snowpaw meowed again. "Only one of us left to find!"


Chapter 4


Nightpaw


Nightpaw heard muffled meowing from nearby, and poked her head through a bush to see her two brothers scuffling on the ground like kits, while her sister Snowpaw looked on. Waiting until they finished fighting, Nightpaw then slid through the bush, her slender figure weaving through the twigs."Nightkit! I mean Nightpaw!" Snowpaw meowed confusedly. Nightpaw grinned at her sister. Even though they were opposite in looks, her black pelt and green eyes contrasting sharply with Snowpaw's white pelt and blue eyes, the two sisters had always been best friends. "Hey!" Snowpaw said suddenly. "Why don't we all introduce each other to our mentors before the meeting starts!"

Nightpaw nodded, and looked at Tigerpaw to see him nodding too.

"I don't know..." Lionpaw started.

"Come on Lionpaw. Please!"

Lionpaw nodded reluctantly.

Snowpaw led them all through a group of ThunderClan cats first. Nightpaw stared with wide eyes at Brambleclaw, the ThunderClan deputy and Tigerstar's son. She was so busy staring, she ran into Snowpaw as she stopped in front of a long haired gray tom.

"This is Graystripe, he's my mentor." Snowpaw mewed. "Graystripe, this is my sister Nightpaw and my brothers Lionpaw and Tigerpaw."

Graystripe dipped his head to them, then Tigerpaw impatiently led them off again.

He padded up to a dark gray she-cat.

"Swallowtail, these are my brother and sisters. This is Swallowtail, my mentor. She's great!" Tigerpaw mewed excitedly.

Swallowtail nodded, and gave a faintly amused smile.

"I want to go last." Nightpaw mewed before Lionpaw could say anything. He sighed.

"Ok, but I won't introduce you properly, that's just silly."

Padding over to a dark brown tabby tom, Lionpaw gestured to him and said, "That's Tigerheart, he'smy mentor."

"Ok, ok, now my turn!" Nightpaw mewed eagerly as soon as Lionpaw closed his mouth. She bounded through the cats until she came to a gray she-cat with blue eyes.

"My mentor, Mistyfoot." Nightpaw said proudly. "The RiverClan deputy, former mentor to the famous Feathertail, and daughter of Bluestar and Oakheart, a leader of ThunderClan and a RiverClan deputy."

"Wow, ok, don't overdo it." Lionpaw snapped. "My mentor's the son of the famous Tawnypelt and grandson of the equally famous Tigerstar, so there."

"Oh, keep your fur on." Tigerpaw said exasperatedly. "We all have famous mentors except me, now let's go and listen to the meeting."

At the same time, Mistyfoot spotted her apprentice.

"Nightpaw, come over here. Introduce these cats to me, then listen to the meeting."

Nightpaw dipped her head. "Sure Mistyfoot. This is Snowpaw of ThunderClan, my sister, and my brothers Lionpaw of ShadowClan and Tigerpaw of WindClan."

"Greetings." meowed Mistyfoot. "Now you had better hurry and find your mentors, the meeting's about to start."

Nightpaw watched sadly as her siblings meowed goodbyes and hurried off. She would miss them.

"You can sit here." Mistyfoot meowed. "I have to go and sit on the roots with the other deputys."

Nightpaw sat and watched as Leopardstar yowled to signal the start of the meeting. Firestar spoke first, his flame coloured pelt glowing in the moonlight.

"ThunderClan has made one new apprentice. Graystripe is now mentor to Snowpaw."

Yowls of approval broke out over the hollow. Nightpaw turned to see her sister sitting proud, almost literally glowing with excitement.

Firestar continued. "Prey is good, but both streams on ThunderClan territory have begun to flow less, and are running dry. However, we still have more than enough water to drink." Firestar dipped his head for Blackstar to speak next.

"ShadowClan has made a new apprentice also. Lionpaw is being mentored by Tigerheart."

Nightpaw glanced at her brother. He didn't look excited or proud, merely sat with his head raised.

"ShadowClan has not noticed any difference in the stream, but then, we are not a picky Clan." Blackstar added, with a hostile glance at Firestar.

Nightpaw was buzzing with excitement. So far, this was a fantastic, exciting gathering.




Chapter 5

Training


Snowpaw sat beside Graystripe, watching as Blackstar sat back down, and Onestar rose to his feet."WindClan also has a new apprentice. Tigerpaw's mentor is Swallowtail. We are finding plenty of prey, and green leaf is being good to us." "He didn't mention the streams." Snowpaw whispered to Graystripe. "Is that good or bad?"

"Well..." Graystripe replied. "At least he didn't dissmiss it completely, like Blackstar."

Leopardstar rose to her paws on the branch.

"RiverClan has a new apprenitce also. Mistyfoot, our deputy, is mentor to Nightpaw."

Nightpaw's black fur shone silver under the moon, as she raised her head proudly.

Snowpaw glanced at Graystripe.

"Is the gathering over now?" she asked. Graystripe nodded.

"We'll go now."

Snowpaw followed her Clan away fron the clearing, over the bridge. She glanced back once, wanting a last glimpse of her siblings, but she couldn't see them, and she continued home.



Snowpaw bounded eagerly out of her den, the next morning. Graystripe had promised to take her training in the hollow, with Blossompaw and Hazeltail. Now, Snowpaw was eager to go. Blossompaw came up behind her, and pounced on her.

"I'm going to win this morning!" she gloated.

"Oh yes?" Snowpaw asked.

Blossompaw gave a purr of amusement, then bounded over to Hazeltail as she emerged from the warriors den.

"Let's go, Hazeltail!" she mewed.

"Ok, ok, go get Graystripe." replied Hazeltail, with a yawn.

Blossompaw headed inside the den. Snowpaw could hear mews of dismay and annoyance as Blossompaw blundered around, looking for Graystripe. Eventually she emerged from the den with the grey warrior behind her.

"Ok, I'm ready, let's go." he groaned.



Blossompaw landed squarely on Snowpaw's back, her paws pressing hard on Snowpaw's shoulders.

"Yow!" Snowpaw yowled in pain. She flipped neatly onto her back, pinning Blossompaw beneath her. However, Blossompaw, who was bigger and stronger, thrust upwards, throwing Snowpaw off. Suddenly, Bumblepaw burst into the hollow on his way to camp.

"ShadowClan are attacking! They've moved the border! Mousewhisker sent me to get help!"

Graystripe leapt up from where he had been sitting, watching the apprentices sparring. Snowpaw and Blossompaw also leapt to their feet. Graystripe took control of the situation.

"Bumblepaw, go back to camp and warn Firestar. Snowpaw, Blossompaw, Hazeltail and I will go and help the patrol."

Snowpaw watched anxiously as Bumblepaw raced off, then she followe dher mentor towards the ShadowClan border.



Chapter 6

Battle


Lionpaw stood with his mentor and other warriors on the ThunderClan border. They were hidden behind one of the few thick bushes in ShadowClan territory. They were waiting there as backup, ready to attack. Lionpaw could hear the yowls and screeches of his Clanmates as they battled just ahead. Lionpaw wished that ThunderClan could understand ShadowClan's need for more territory. They just never seemed to care that ShadowClan needed space and prey. Also, if Firestar was going to weaken his Clan by accepting any cat, he should expect to be attacked. His kittypets and loners were weakening ThunderClan. Lionpaw glanced up at Tigerheart. His mentor was staring at the border, his pelt bristling. Lionpaw could just see the first attack party through the trees. Russetfur, Oakfur, Rowanclaw, Smokefoot and Toadfoot were easily overpowering the ThunderClan warriors. Lionpaw thought again how lucky Ferretpaw was, he was fighting alongside his mentor."Are you ready, Lionpaw?" Tigerheart asked.Lionpaw nodded. There were two backup parties waiting. The first one was led by Applefur, and the other warriors were Crowfrost, Ratscar, Snowbird and Tawnypelt. Ratscar and Tawnypelt had Pinepaw and Starlingpaw with them. The second party was led by Shrewfoot, and the other warriors were Scorchfur, Redwillow, Tigerheart and Dawnpelt, as well as Lionpaw. Olivenose and Owlclaw had stayed behind to defend the camp. Lionpaw watched eagerly as four more ThunderClan cats came bursting through the trees.

Easy! he thought, his pelt bristling with anticipation. The four cats leapt into battle. Russetfur kinked her tail over her back, the signal for Shrewfoot's party to attack. Lionpaw pounded forward beside his mentor, his eyes glowing with the light of battle. A tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat leapt at Lionpaw. She was bigger than Lionpaw, but he could tell she was still an apprentice.

"Get out of our territory!" she hissed.

Lionpaw didn't bother replying. He leapt high into the air, coming down squarely on the she-cat's back. He dug his claws in viciously, snarling. The she-cat wriggled out from under him and darted away. Lionpaw leapt at the nearest cat, not bothering to chase a fleeing apprentice. He caught a glimpse of a white pelt before ducking to the ground, rolling under the cat, and raking at their belly. The cat yowled in agony, and Lionpaw recognised his sister's voice. However, he didn't hesitate for an instant. Nothing could distract him from loyalty to ShadowClan, not even kin. He ducked away from Snowpaw's belly, fastened his teeth in her tail, and rolled sideways, pulling her down onto the ground. He leapt on top of her and scratched her ears.

"Get out." he snarled.

Snowpaw simply stared at him, hurt and anger battling in her eyes. Lionpaw leaned closer, and bit her hard on the shoulder. With a final defeated snarl, Snowpaw leapt up, and raced away through the trees.

Suddenly, Russetfur gave a commanding yowl. It split the air, over the noise of fighting cats, and Applefur's party exploded from behind the trees in a whirlwind of teeth and claws. Lionpaw felt a glow of pleasure warm him from within. ShadowClan would win this battle. Suddenly, a huge warrior landed heavily on Lionpaw, squashing him to the ground and shoving the breath out of him. It was a cream-coloured tom with a stump for a tail. Lionpaw tried to claw his opponent, but they were crishing his paws beneath him. Then, a vicious mewing split the air. Lionpaw looked on with shock, as Pinepaw and Starlingpaw pulled the warrior off Lionpaw, clawing him until he fled.

"Thank you." Lionpaw mewed fervently.

Starlingpaw merely nodded and dashed off, but Pinepaw stopped, her golden eyes looking at Lionpaw searchingly.

"Are... are you alright." she mewed nervously.

Lionpaw nodded. He stared at her with the same intensity as she rested her tail briefly on his flank, then dashed off into the battle. Lionpaw soon lost sight of her black pelt among the other warriors. Nearby, Lionpaw caught Ferretpaw glaring at him with undisguised hatred. Lionpaw tried to shrug it off, and tried to ignore the memory of Pinepaw's beautiful golden eyes, and her soft voice. He flung himself back into battle with his pelt still bristling with happiness.



Chapter 7

A Hint Of Trouble


Tigerpaw was hunting on the ThunderClan border when he heard it. He was practising his squirrel stalking. All WindClan apprentices now had special training in hunting on forest land, so that they were not completely dependent on rabbits. Tigerpaw had just caught a squirrel and a pigeon when the wind from ThunderClan territory carried with it the sound of battle. From behind Tigerpaw came soft pawsteps. Tigerpaw whirled around to see Whiskerpaw, a light brown tom and Owlwhisker's apprentice, coming up to him. Whiskerpaw was Tigerpaw's favourite denmate. They did a lot together. It helped that their mentors were good friends too, perhaps even more. Now, Whiskerpaw padded to Tigerpaw's side."What is it, ShadowClan and ThunderClan fighting again?" he mewed, trying to sound lighthearted.Tigerpaw nodded solemnly. He was loyal to WindClan, but he couldn't supress a twinge of fear for his two littermates, Snowpaw and Lionpaw. He quashed it at once, and, picking up his squirrel and pigeon, mewed to Whiskerpaw; "Race you back to camp!"Whiskerpaw's eyes gleamed as he replied.

"You're on." Whiskerpaw raced off, and Tigerpaw followed, his paws almost a blur in spite of the prey weighing him down. Tigerpaw almost laughed in delight, the wind rushing his fur as he ran across the wide open moor, beneath the grey sky that signalled an approaching storm. The wind had an extra chill from the coming rain, which made Tigerpaw feel happier than ever. He didn't know why, but he could always remember loving rain, and grey skies. Nightpaw had been the same. When they were kits, known then as Tiger and Night, the two of them had watched the rain together, while their littermates and mother huddled under trees or Twoleg bridges.

Tigerpaw bounded into the camp, and hurried over to the fresh-kill pile, dropping his catch on it. As he did so, Ashfoot padded up to him.

"We're moving the fresh-kill inside so it won't get wet." the grey she-cat mewed. "Carry your stuff into the medecine cat den."

The medecine cat den was inside an old badger set that had been there when the WindClan warrior Crowfeather found the camp. No cat slept there, as WindClan loved the open sky, but Barkface, who had been the medecine cat then had said that the cold wind didn't do sick cats any good. Tigerpaw padded in now.

"Tigerpaw!" Kestrelflight, the new medecine cat, greeted him. "Drop it over there." he continued, gesturing with his muzzle while his paws continued sorting herbs. Tigerpaw nodded, and dropped his prey in the spot Kestrelflight indicated, before backing out and heading to the apprentices den with a mouse. Whiskerpaw, Furzepaw and Boulderpaw were all already there, although only Whiskerpaw was still eating.

Boulderpaw glared at Tigerpaw as he entered the den, and muttered something under his breath. Whiskerpaw came towards Tigerpaw and murmured.

"Don't mind Boulderpaw, come to your nest."

Tigerpaw nodded gratefully, and slid into his nest beside Whiskerpaw. Furzepaw, Boulderpaw's sister, was asleep in a nest nearer Whiskerpaw and Tigerpaw than her brother. Tigerpaw was thankful for this sign of loyalty to him. He liked Furzepaw, she was a nice cat, even if her brother was really annoying.


Chapter 8

Swimming, Fishing And All Things Wet



Nightpaw leaped into the water, feeling it soak into her fur. She had launched herself so far that she couldn't feel the ground under her paws, and was swimming, her front and hindpaws churning the waves. Nightpaw loved swimming. She liked the way her slim, streamlined body moved so rapidly through the water, and she liked the feel of the water. Nightpaw had been curious about the way only RiverClan cats pelts seemed to shed water. Mistyfoot had said it had something to do with eating fish. Nightpaw didn't like fish as much as she liked swimming, but they were still tasty prey.A sleek head surfaced next to Nightpaw, the grey fur slicked back so that it looked almost as dark as Nightpaw's own pelt. Mistyfoot shook her head, and spat water out of her mouth."I'll teach you how to dive tomorrow, Nightpaw. We'd better get out now.""Why?" "What can you smell?" Mistyfoot answered Nightpaw's question with a question of her own.

"You, me, water, fish, Mossypaw, Troutpaw, Minnowtail, Graymist, Mothwing, Willowshine, and rain."

"Well, it's the rain that's important. Can you smell if it's a lightning storm?"

Nightpaw shook her head.

"Exactly. We can't tell. But you know that water is the most dangerous place to be in a storm. Look, Graymist and Minnowtail are taking their apprentices out too. Even Reedwhisker and Pebblefoot are heading back."

Reedwhisker and Pebblefoot had been practicing battle training near the lake with their apprentices Hollowpaw and Rushpaw. Graymist and Minnowtail had been finetuning the swimming skills of their apprentices, Troutpaw and Mossypaw.

Nightpaw swam close to the shore, then waded the rest of the way out. All of them started to pad back to camp. Mothwing and Willowshine caught up, with their jaws full of herbs. The herb scent made Nightpaw's fur stand on end. It wasn't nice.

Plop! A sudden drop of rain fell on Nightpaw's nose. She jerked in surprise, and wrinkled her nose, then pawed at it. Mistyfoot gave a snort of laughter.

Plop! Another drop spattered Nightpaw's flank.

Plop! Plop! Plop! Three drops fell on Mossypaw's brown and white fur in quick succession. She squeaked indignantly.

Nightpaw gave a mrrow of amusement, and ran ahead. Two pelts brushed either side of her. Hollowpaw, a dark brown tabby tom, and his brother Rushpaw, a light brown tabby. They were also Mossypaw's brothers. Mossypaw ran up to join her brothers, and Troutpaw, her pale grey tabby fur slicked back from the rain, caught up. Troutpaw's brother had died when they were kits, but she got on well with the other apprentices, and wasn't often lonely. Nightpaw was also very popular among the other apprentices. Now, she mewed over her shoulder to them.

"I love rain."

"Mousebrain!" Hollowpaw purred affectionately. His brother agreed, swiping a tail over Nightpaw's ear. Troutpaw laughed.

"Graymist says that anyone who likes rain is a frog, and will be eaten by ShadowClan warriors. I'd watch out, Nightpaw."

Nightpaw yowled in mock fear. She raced back to the other cats. Hiding behind Reedwhisker, she quaked with mock fear. With a snarl that really was worthy of ShadowClan, Hollowpaw pounced, bowling her out from behind his mentor. Nightpaw mewled for mercy, and ran off to the others when Hollowpaw let her up. Mistyfoot watced her apprentices innocence as she played, and sighed, at the secret hanging over all the Clans, about these four apprentices.


Chapter 9

Betrayal




Snowpaw bounded through the forest towards the ThunderClan camp. The wounds all over her body stung painfully. Heading through the tunnel, she ran into Brambleclaw on his way out. Seeing her wounds he gasped."Is the fight bad, then?" Snowpaw nodded."Which cat did this to you?""Lionpaw." Brambleclaw nodded, then let her pass. Snowpaw scurried through the camp to the medecine cat's den.

"Jayfeather? I need some herbs."

The grey tabby padded out of the den, his sightless blue eyes flicking from side to side.

"Yes, you do." Jayfeather answered. He herded her into the den. Snowpaw sat still, in a state of shock, as Jayfeather put cobwebs on her belly wound, and slapped chewed up marigold on her tail and ears. He then put down a single poppy seed for her to eat.

"I don't want you sleeping, in case they attack the camp, but this will ease the pain. Can you give this one to Blossompaw too? She has some nasty scratches on her back." Jayfeather added, rolling another poppy seed to Snowpaw. She headed for the apprentices den.

"Here, Blossompaw. Are you ok?"

Blossompaw was twisting around to lick scratches on her back.

"Yeah, fine. It was that new apprentice they announced at the last Gathering, Lionpaw. He's only been an apprentice for a quarter moon!"

Snowpaw murmured in agreement, and went back out to the clearing. Dovekit and Ivykit were playing in the middle of the camp, with Daisy watching them. On an impulse, Snowpaw went into the nursery.

"Whitewing?" she asked.

"I'm here, Snowpaw. What happened?" Snowpaw's adopted mother answered.

"Lionpaw, my brother, he..." Snowpaw trailed off, realising she was whimpering in sorrow. Whitewing soothed her, and guided her over with her tail on Snowpaw's back. Snowpaw snuggled down by Whitewing's side. Her adopted mother's tongue rasped over her fur, and Snowpaw drifted into sleep feeling comforted from her brother's betrayal.


"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here beneath the Highledge for a Clan meeting." yowled Firestar loudly.

Snowpaw jerked awake. Whitewing was looking at her, amused, and Dovekit and Ivykit had settled down on either side of her. Snowpaw leapt to her feet, gave her chest fur a few quick licks to hide her embarrassment, and scurried into the clearing. Firestar stood on the Highledge, as the Clan gathered around him. Snowpaw settled down beside Briarpaw, Blossompaw and Bumblepaw and waited.

"What happened with ShadowClan?" she hissed to Briarpaw, realising she didn't know.

"We lost, for now." Briarpaw hissed back. She sounded angry that ShadowClan had taken even the smallest bit of ThunderClan territory.

From out of the apprentice den came Rosepaw, her dark cream fur glowing. Her mentor, Squirrelflight, walked beside her with the same sheen to her dark ginger fur. Following them came Toadpaw, his black-and-white fur even more carefully groomed than his sisters. Cloudtail walked beside his apprentice. Rosepaw and Toadpaw continued on to sit at the bottom of the Highledge, but their mentors stopped and settled down in the crowd of cats.

"I, Firestar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Rosepaw, Toadpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code, and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

Both apprentices sounded subdued as they replied.

"I do."

"I do."

"Then by the powers of StarClan I give you your warrior names. Rosepaw, from this moment on you will be known as Rosepetal. StarClan honours your patience and your honesty, and welcomes you as a full warrior of ThunderClan."

Firestar rested his muzzle on Rosepetal's head, and she licked his shoulder.

"Toadpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Toadstep. StarClan honours your strength and your bravery and welcomes you as a full warrior of ThunderClan."

Again Firestar rested his muzzle on Toadstep's head, and Toadstep licked his shoulder.

Snowpaw called out with the rest of the Clan.

"Rosepetal! Toadstep!"

"I heard it was because they fought so well against ShadowClan, even if we lost." Briarpaw muttered.


"Well, now that they're warriors, we have room for Dovekit and Ivykit in the den." Bumblepaw purred. He led the rest of the apprentices up to congratulate their old denmates. Daisy was purring at her kits as if she would never stop, but Spiderleg, their father, just gave a quick mew of congratulations and slipped away. Snowpaw had always thought that Spiderleg seemed embarrassed to have kits. However, Rosepetal and Toadstep were too excited to notice. Snowpaw knew that they would hold that excitement with them all through the long vigil. For the first time she felt a pang of longing to be a warrior.


Chapter 10

Succession




Lionpaw stood tall on the new ThunderClan border. His Clan had won the battle, and they were triumphant. Lionpaw couldn't believe how easy it had been to fight off those two apprentices, and a warrior. Pinepaw was standing beside him, her black pelt brushing his. Suddenly, a wave of Thunderclan warriors crested the ridge, yowling battle cries."Lionpaw, get help." Tigerheart spat.Lionpaw whirled around and raced off.Reaching the camp, he dashed up to Russetfur, and told her the news. Russetfur called all the warriors around her, and calmly gave orders. "Tawnypelt has reported that Blackstar's patrol containing Oakfur, Rowanclaw, Ferretpaw and Starlingpaw has been attacked by the RiverClan border. Smokefoot, Toadfoot, Applefur and I will go with Tawnypelt to back them up. Lionpaw reports that Tigerhearts patrol containing Ratscar, Olivenose, Owlclaw, and Pinepaw has been attacked by ThunderClan. Crowfrost, Snowbird, Shrewfoot and Scorchfur will go to back them up. Redwillow, Dawnpelt and Lionpaw will stay here and guard the camp."

With that, Russetfur and her warriors dashed off after Tawnypelt, while the others headed to the ThunderClan border. Lionpaw headed to the entrance of the nursery and crouched there, his fur bristling.

"Lionpaw, what is it?" Kinkfur called from within the nursery. Neither Kinkfur nor Ivytail had any kits yet, but both were heavily pregnant.

"ThunderClan and RiverClan both attacking on the borders." Lionpaw answered tensely.


A while later, to Lionpaw's relief, Blackstar, Tawnypelt, Starlingpaw and Ferretpaw returned.

"The others went to the ThunderClan border." Blackstar explained. "It turned out the RiverClan attack was two vicious elders, Blackclaw and Voletooth, with three young warriors, Mallownose, Robinwing and Beetlewhisker. Trust RiverClan to make trouble without even a proper patrol."

Lionpaw gave a sigh of relief, but, just then, the other cats returned. They were subdued.

"We lost the battle, ThunderClan keeps their territory." Russetfur said dismally, when they reached the camp. Lionpaw wasn't listening. His eyes were fixed on a limp black shape being dragged along the ground by Ratscar. The scar along the brown tom's back had been reopened, and he was bleeding heavily. However, the shape he carried was bleeding more.

"Pinepaw!" Lionpaw yowled, flinging himself down by her side as Ratscar lay her in the middle of the camp.

"I couldn't see who did it. I looked around and she was just..." Ratscar's voice trailed away.

Lionpaw pressed his muzzle into her fur.

"Pinepaw, please. Pinepaw!"

Pinepaw's brother, Starlingpaw, came racing up to her. He too pushed his muzzle into her fur. Their mother, Snowbird, also came to them. Redwillow, their father, was beside her. Ratscar crouched down with the rest of the mourning cats. Lionpaw pressed his nose into her flank so hard he thought it would break. Suddenly, beneath his nose he felt a faint movement.

"She breathed!" he yowled. "Pinepaw's alive!"


Chapter 11

The First Dream


Tigerpaw was dreaming. He had always been able to tell what was a dream, ever since he was a kit. This dream was of chasing a rabbit. Tigerpaw was about to leap, when he heard something. He glanced sideways and saw a strange cat sitting nearby. He had black-and-white fur, and a long tail.

"Greetings, Tigerpaw. My name is Tallstar. I have a prophecy to give you."

Before Tallstar could say any more, he faded away, and was replaced by four different cats. The first was a dark brown tom with a white underbelly and ice-blue eyes. The second was a Huge black-and-white tom. The third was a long-haired tortoiseshell-and-white tom with enchanting pale yellow eyes. The fourth was a handsome golden tom with one blue eye and one green eye. All four dipped their heads to him, then vanished.

Now four more cats stood in front of Tigerpaw. The first was a white she-cat with beautiful blue eyes. The second was a dark brown tom with vivid amber eyes. The third was a golden tom, with brown stripes and amber eyes. The fourth was a beautiful black she-cat with glowing green eyes.

Tigerpaw jolted awake.

What was that all about? Tallstar? Did he give me the prophecy or not?

Frowning, Tigerpaw tucked his nose under his tail, and was soon asleep.



Chapter 12

Follow Father


Nightpaw bounded over with fresh-kill, Mossypaw by her side, to listen to the elders telling a story. Suddenly, a voice rang in her ears.

Each of the Four will follow a father...

It sounded like the voice was saying more, but Nightpaw could no longer hear it. For an instant her pelt bristled with the strange memory, then she shook the feeling off and scurried after Mossypaw.


END OF BOOK 1


Book 2 is called The Prophecy

A/N

(Please write on my Talk Page if you liked this or if you think it could be improved. Also can you tell me which apprentice is your favourite? There is a poll on my page. The next series I write will be about the kits of the apprentice that gets the most votes.

This is a series about Lionpaw, Snowpaw, Tigerpaw, and Nightpaw. Each book will have 12 chapters, because I don't want to waste too much time writing Fanfiction that can never be published, but there will be a few books squeezed in in spare time if people like this one.

The chapters 'A Hint Of Trouble', 'Swimming, Fishing And All Things Wet', and 'Betrayal' are all happening simultaneously, which is just after Lionpaw's chapter 'Battle'

Sorry I made Chapters 11 and 12 so short, but I really wanted to get onto the next book in the series. Also, it just felt right to have a mysterious prophecy just 'wham!' like that, rather than dragged out and boring.)

--Zaffie 07:50, January 28, 2010 (UTC)

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