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By Nightfern. Part of The Hollyleaf Chronicles.


Hollyleaf is stuck in the tunnels. She's running out of air. But someone saves her- James, Sol's son. And this tom brings Hollyleaf a whole new vision of the world.

Chapter 1

Hollyleaf struggled and let out a yowl.

"Lionblaze! Jayfeather! Help!" she shrieked, only to be stopped as dirt flew up her mouth. She was lying on her side, and dirt completely covered her. The only thing that was stopping her from dying was a rotting log stuck above her head, allowing her to breathe. She coughed. "Help!" she wailed. Memories flooded in her head: she was running into the tunnel, it collapsing on her, drowning her, suffocating her- she let out a screech again as more dirt got in her face. Suddenly, the log above her head shifted. Hollyleaf stiffened. The log shifted again, this time, sand flew down and a small crack opened. A small, strong light beamed in. Fresh air flooded her senses. The crack broadened. A black muzzle poked through. Hollyleaf growled and pressed her lean body closer to the ground. The cat grunted.

"Give my your scruff, mouse-brain." the voice snarled. Hollyleaf whimpered and tried to stand up. She gasped as the cat, with brute, pure, strength, grabbed her by the scruff and heaved her out of the hole. Hollyleaf sat down on the grass, and looked at the tom for the first time. He was a handsome, lean calico tom, with gold and black patches and amber eyes. He looked familiar. He stared at her for a second.

"What's your name?" he asked.

She stared down at her slender black paws. "Hollyle-" Her voice stopped. She wasn't a ThunderClan warrior anymore. Leafpool and Squirrelflight had betrayed her.

Her new name was Holly.

"Holly. My name is Holly." she replied. "What's yours?" she asked.

"James." Holly looked around at her surroundings for the first time. She wasn't near Clan territories. Strange. Where she was was the most beautiful place she had ever seen. Rich, thick maple, sycamore, and oak forests grew atop small hills, and a small pond was at the edge of a forest. Maple trees branched over the pond, seemingly protecting it with its long, shady branches. The air was cool- not hot, not cold.

Was she is StarClan?

Or just dead?

James seemed to understand. "Oh, you must have... err... tumbled down a few miles from the lake."

Holly looked at the tom in surprise. "How did you know I was a Clan cat?" James's paws kneaded the ground. "Um... my dad was here for a while. Yeah."

"What was your dad's name?" James's father must have been to the clans recently. He was her age.

"Sol."

Chapter 2

Holly's mouth was wide open.

She didn't know what to say.

Should she have been angry?

But at what?

That Sol had taken a mate- who was not her?

She shook her head, hating herself for a minute.

She had never loved Sol.

Or had she?

So she just snarled.

Holly raised her hackles, and her sleek black fur bristled along her neck. She curled her lip, revealing thorn- sharp white teeth. Her green eyes flashed with fire and fury.

"Stay away from me! Sol destroyed my life, and the Clan's!" she spat. James looked surprised. "Sol never meant to hurt you Clans. He was given a special power, and he used it as best as he could." His voice was smooth and low- too much like Sol's.

Holly didn't believe we was defending his father. She spit and unsheathed her claws.

James was looking exasperated. "Cool it. Put the claws down, mouse-brain." he growled lowly.

Holly screeched and lunged toward the arrogant tom. Her claws tore at his neat white patched fur, and he yowled in fury. James's paws flailed under her weight and he kicked her in the belly with a snarl. She flew off the muscular tom and landed in a patch of grass. She leaped up, ready to fight again.

To her dismay, James simply snorted and sheathed his claws.

"Claws hurt, but words kill," he murmured. He was right. Sol had brought down ShadowClan with words, not claws and teeth.

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