Prologue - Feather (Hope)
"Today, we will now have two new apprentices," announces Flamestar, "Snowkit, from here till you get your warrior name, you will be known as Snowpaw. Your mentor will be Hailheart."
I glance at my excited sister. How is she so excited? Being apprentices means you have a lot of responsibility.
Flamestar looks at me and says, "Featherkit, from now till you get your warrior name, you will be known as Featherpaw. Your mentor will be Petalfall. "
"Snowpaw! Featherpaw!" chants ThunderClan.
My sister grins at me. I give a slight smile back.
Stop worrying. Just enjoy the moment.
Petalfall walks up to me.
I dip my head and place my muzzle in her tortishell pelt.
"You will be an excellent apprentice," meows Petalfall.
"Thanks!" I say happily.
"Congratulations Snowpaw and Featherpaw!" congratulates Blizzardpaw with a smile.
"Thank you," says Snowpaw proudly.
I turn my back to the congratulating cats. Sometimes, it is nice to be alone.
Away from the noises.
Away from the sounds.
I walk to the Apprentice's Den. I must find a place to sleep tonight. I find a nice spot in the corner of the Apprentice's Den. It has no nest but the cold stone feels nice in the blazing New-Leaf.
I curl up, placing my tail in front of my nose.
Closing my eyes, the noises seem to disappear.
Silence engulfs me and sleep seems to follow.
"Featherpaw, remember this,
Forbidden and lost.
Forgotten and but can be found
Beyond the borders
your destiny can be bound."
Chapter One- Light (Deer)
"May all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather beneath me!"
"Today two kits will become apprentices." Sagestar announced. "Stagkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and are ready to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Stagpaw. Your mentor will be Stormclaw. I hope he will pass all he knows on to you."
"Lightkit!" She continued. "You have reached the age of six moons, and are ready to be apprenticed. From this day on, until you receive your warrior name, you will be known as Lightpaw. Your mentor will be Berrystripe. I hope she will pass all she knows on to you."
"Stagkit! Lightkit!" cheered everyone. Lightpaw looked over to see his parents cheering louder than anyone else. He smiled. Berrystripe, his new mentor, came over. "This is going to be so fun! Do you want to see the territory?" she asked, practically bouncing up and down. Lightpaw wondered what it would be like, having the youngest warrior in the Clan as a mentor. "Sure." he mewed to her. Suddenly, he felt dizzy. He sat down. He could barely hear Berrystripe saying "Are you alright?", when the voice came. "Listen." it whispered.
"Lightpaw, remember this,
Forbidden and lost.
Forgotten and but can be found
Beyond the borders
your destiny can be bound."
Chapter Two- Feather (Hope)
I walked over to the fresh-kill pile. I lick my lips ready to have my morning meal.
"Hey Featherpaw!" greets a voice behind me.
"What is it Lionpaw?" I ask with a hint of irritation in my voice.
"Well, I was wondering, if you would like to go hunting?" he asks with a hopeful look on his face.
"Fine!" I say an roll my eyes.
Always competing for she-cats.
He smiles and then turns. I follow him.
It would have been rude to say no.
Padding out into the forest, ThunderClan's camp seems to be more distant every time I turn back.
"So, how is being an apprentice?" he asks with a grin.
"Good, there is a lot more responsibility though!" I meow.
"Well you are one more step closer to being a warrior!" he explains.
No need to state the obvious.
I tried not to say that out loud.
My ears twitch at the slightest movement. A bush shakes and my heart beats excitedly.
This may be the clan's next meal. I crouch and silently stalk the noise. The bush shakes and once I get closer I realise it is a vole. I look down, making sure I don't step on any sticks, twigs or dry leaves.
I leap into the air and land on the vole. With one slash, the vole was cleanly.
"Great catch!" complements Lionpaw.
His golden pelt seems to shine in the sun's rays.
I look beyond the forest.
I think back to my strange dream.
Beyond the borders
your destiny can be bound.
Chapter Three- Light (Deer)
Lightpaw woke up suddenly. What was that? "What happened? Where am I?"
"You fainted in the middle of camp. I didn't know what happened to you, so I brought you to Tansysplash." Lightpaw looked over to see Berrystripe and Tansysplash, the medicine cat, standing worriedly near the entrance to the den.
"Lightpaw, do you know what happened?" she asked. Lightpaw remembered the last words of the whispered voice. Do not tell anyone, it had said, right as he drifted into unconsciousness.
"I don't know." he mewed. "One moment I was walking after you, the next I was on the ground, unconscious."
"Well, at least you're better now." Berrystripe mewed. "Do you think you're up for a hunting lesson?"
Lightpaw was taken aback. "Of course I am, I've been wanting to become an apprentice for so long!"
Berrystripe nodded. "Then let's go!"
He followed her out of camp.
Chapter Four- Feather (Hope)
I turn, snapping myself into reality.
"Are you alright?" asks Lionpaw.
"Yes, Yes!" I meow.
His eyes seem to look at me in a way I haven't seen anyone look at me before.
Does he actually like me?
I flick my tail angrily at that thought.
I am an apprentice. So is he.
I don't want cats gushing over me because of my looks. I want cats to actually get to know me and like me because of my heart. So many cats think their looks are all that matters. Is it? Should I forget my dream of being leader and become a queen? No, I will follow my dream.
I pad over to a puddle. It looks quite clean. I bend down and lap at the water. It ripples slightly and then it stops. It doesn't really quench my thirst.
"Why don't we go down to the river?" offers Lionpaw.
"No, I will go down by myself." I huff, still angry at the Lionpaw's attraction to me.
He seems to be unsure about my decision.
"Are you sure?" he asks.
I nod and walk off. I wave my tail as a goodbye and make my way down to the river. The wind rustles the leaves which make a soothing sound.
The river comes into sight and I decide to run the rest of the way. I leap into a sprint and make my way down to the river.
When I get there, it seems to be more beautiful than I expected. This is my first time going to the river. It is sparkling blue.
Bending down I lap at the water.
The RiverClan border is just across the river.
Chapter Five- Light (Deer)
"Okay, Lightpaw!" mewed Berrystripe. "Today, we're going to try fishing! Let's head towards the river."
Lightpaw followed her to the river. "So, how do you fish?" he asked.
Berrystripe pointed towards the water. "You see all the fish, right? Well, you're going to have to be patient. If you just splash about, the fish will all swim away. You have to sit and wait, and make sure your shadow doesn't show on the water, because then the fish will know you are there. Okay, time for you to try."
Lightpaw edged closer to the water, making sure his shadow wasn't on the water. He waited until he saw the perfect opportunity. There was a big, slow fish coming right towards him. He watched, carefully, until it was at the perfect spot, then pounced into the shallow water on top of the fish, knowing it was too big to scoop out. He slashed at its throat, but the fish was too strong, pushing and wriggling its way out from under him. No! I missed it. My first chance to impress my mentor, and I missed it. He dragged himself out of the river, dejected.
"It's okay." mewed Berrystripe. "You'll get it next time. Why don't you go on the other side of that tree over there and practice on your own. Maybe without the pressure of me standing here, you'll do better."
Lightpaw walked toward the tree, head drooping. She's disappointed, I know she is. She just wants me to go away so she can catch something without me messing everything up. It's my fault. He walked to the other side of the tree. He was about to start fishing when he noticed a cat drinking the river. "Oh! Um, hi, I mean, isn't this RiverClan territory? Oh wait, you're on the other side of the stream. Never mind, um, hello, um..." he stuttered. "I mean, who, um, what's your name? I'm Lightpaw."
Chapter Six- Feather (Hope)
I looked up to see a tom.
"I- I'm Featherpaw," I answer with a smile.
The tom grins at me.
"I was newly apprenticed. What about you?" I say.
"Same!" Lightpaw answers.
"Featherpaw!" calls a voice.
I turn to see Lionpaw with a shocked look on his face. I turn back to Lightpaw, his face seems to have dropped.
"Yes, Lionpaw," I meow, irritably.
"I was waiting for you," Lionpaw says and flicks his tail.
He pads down and stands next to me defensively.
"Why are you talking to a RiverClan cat?" Lionpaw asks and glares at Lightpaw.
"Why are you all up in my business?" I question.
Lionpaw seems to be jealous?
Lightpaw goes quiet and waits for Lionpaw to answer. The silence seems very noticeable.
"We probably have to get back to camp." meows Lionpaw.
I nod my head. That is true.
"Bye Lightpaw. I will see you at the gathering." I say happily.
"See you then." he beams.
I walk off with Lionpaw. His tail swishes angrily.
"What is up with you?" I growl.
Lionpaw exhales heavily. Then he says, "Featherpaw, I want to be with you. I know we are only apprentices but I love you."
Chapter Seven- Light (Deer)
Lightpaw watched Featherpaw leave in dismay. Why does that other tom hate me? I know he does. She probably doesn't like me either. That went so terribly. I bet no one likes me. He stared discontentedly at the water. Well, I should probably at least catch something. He waited until a fish was swimming in just the right place. Then he swiped. No! He thought just as he realized he overshot it and fell into the river, soaked.
"Are you okay?" Berrystripe rushed over. "I heard a splash-Oh! You're all wet! Let's go back to camp."
"B-but I d-didn't c-catch anyth-thing." Lightpaw shivered.
"Aw, it's okay! Hardly anyone catches something on their first hunting trip." Berrystripe mewed. Together they walked back to camp. Lightpaw walked into camp with his head down, embarrassed that everyone had to see that he was soaking wet.
He turned to see Stagpaw running over. "What happened?" he asked, guiding Lightpaw away from Berrystripe and into the empty apprentice's den.
"W-well, I almost c-caught a huge f-fish, but i-it g-got away, and B-berrystripe told me to go try t-to fish on the other side of a t-tree away from her, and I-i'm sure she's disappointed i-in me, and th-then I saw the ThunderClan c-cat, and she was n-nice, but another a-apprentice came and I-i'm sure he hated me, h-he made her go a-away, and then I t-tried to catch a-another fish, but I m-missed and fell in, and n-now everyone probably th-thinks I'm st-stupid." Lightpaw collapsed, whimpering, on his nest.
"Woah, woah!" mewed Stagpaw. "No one thinks you're stupid! You're awesome!" he snuggled closer to Lightpaw. "It's okay. You need to rest. You'll feel better later. I'll just bring you a fish, and you can sleep." He walked out of the den, and came back in with a fish. "Here, eat this."
Lightpaw ate the fish, and settled down into his nest, closing his eyes. Stagpaw walked out of the den. He's just saying that to make me feel better. It's so nice to have him as a brother. He slowly drifted off to sleep.
Chapter Eight- Feather (Hope)
"What?" I screech.
Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic. I think all the birds in the forest just flew off.
"I like you Featherpaw," he mumbled.
Well, it surely didn't seem like it.
I bite back those words. He probably already feels under pressure. So do I. What do I say?
"Um... well." I stutter.
He looks at me. His eyes glisten with hope.
I don't feel that way for him. But I am not the cat who declines others.
"Well, we are only apprentices. I will decide when I am ready to have a mate," I promise.
"That is better than a no," he laughs.
I am sorry Lionpaw. It is a no.
I turn and walk with him. At first, our paw steps are in time but I quicken my pace so they aren't.
Once we arrive at camp, I receive a warm welcome from my sister.
"Featherpaw!" she calls excitedly.
"Hey Snowpaw," I greet back.
I run to my sister and we touch tails. This is a thing we have done since we were kits.
"Did you have fun?" my sister asks.
"Well, we didn't catch anything but I got a good drink of water!" I laugh.
My sister laughs with me and a grin spreads across her face.
Our conversation was stopped when Flamestar announces, "Cats of ThunderClan, I am going to announce the cats going to the gathering."
Chapter Nine- Light (Deer)
Lightpaw woke up to Stagpaw mewing in his ear, "Wake up!"
"All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather beneath me!" called Sagestar outside.
"He's announcing who's going to the Gathering!" mewed Stagpaw excitedly. Together they rushed outside.
"Today is the night of the Gathering! The cats who are going are me, Berrystripe, Stormclaw, Stagpaw, Lightpaw, Kestrelpaw, Cloudleaf, Tansypetal, Patchtail, Sunclaw, Tallgaze, Willowspiral, and Blazeheart."
"We're going to a Gathering!" mewed Stagpaw. "Our first one! It's going to be so exciting!"
"But there's going to be so many other cats!" Lightpaw cried. "What if I mess something up?"
"You'll be fine!" mewed Stagpaw. "Now come on, we have to rest so we'll have all our energy for the Gathering."
Chapter Ten- Feather (Hope)
I looked up at Flamestar. He doesn't seem to notice.
"Today, only three apprentices are going to the gathering. Last time there were nearly as many apprentices as there were warriors," announces Flamestar.
The odds aren't looking good.
"Petalfall, Snowpaw, Lionpaw, Hailheart, Whitebird, Shadowleap, Fogwhisker, Hazefire, Dustpounce, Featherpaw and myself will be going to the gathering." continues Flamestar.
I glance excitedly at my sister and she grins at me.
I am going to a gathering!
My first one!
Flamestar hops down from the rock and walks over to the cats. The cats going to the gathering crowd around him so Snowpaw and I follow them.
Lionpaw is smiling at me and I try and ignore him. But, when cats are watching me, I seem to say something wrong.
"Okay, we don't have much to say at the gathering so I won't speak. Featherpaw and Snowpaw, seeing as this is your first gathering I must explain some rules," says Flamestar.
I nod obediently and then keep listening.
"There is to be no arguing at the gathering. This is a time when the clans come together and share news peacefully!" explains Flamestar, his bright orange pelt sparkling in the sun.
I already know this rule.
"And the second is you don't speak of anything I haven't brought up." he orders.
I look at Snowpaw and then we nod in unison.
I am going to a gathering!
Chapter Eleven- Light (Deer)
Lightpaw yawned, stretching. Then he remembered. The Gathering! "Stagpaw! Stagpaw, wake up!" he nudged his brother. "Come on, wake up! The Gathering!"
Stagpaw jumped up. "Who's attacking!? What's happening!? The Gathering...oh." He padded over to his brother. "Is it happening already?"
Just then, Sagestar called from outside. "The Gathering will start soon! We are leaving!"
Lightpaw and Stagpaw ran out, heading towards the edge of camp where Sagestar and the rest of the cats waited. They followed them into the forest towards the Gathering grounds.
Chapter Twelve- Feather (Hope)
My paws ache.
I know we are only walking to the gathering but they just won't stop hurting.
I walk next to my sister, glancing at her from time to time. Lionpaw is padding behind me and I turn around sometimes. He grins and his tail is up in the air.
Why does he like me? I mean, I am not that attractive!
I look forward again, making sure I won't trip on anything.
Snowpaw smiled at me the next time I look at her and mouths, "Lionpaw likes you!"
"I know that!" I mouth back.
"Do you like him?" she mouths.
I glare at her and roll my eyes. I think she knows my answer.
Then, as I glance back in front of me, I see the gathering. Many cats are already there, chatting with cats from different clans.
This is amazing! I wonder if I will see that nice apprentice I met today!
Snowpaw gasps, "This is amazing!"
I nod and Lionpaw smiles, "It is isn't it!'
I glare at him and my eyes said everything.
No cat asked for your opinion.
I know it was harsh but he keeps intruding on my conversations.
When will Lionpaw realise I am not interested?
Chapter Thirteen-Light (Deer)