Author's Note

  • This is the book after Aerial Fight.
  • This is the fifth book in the series. If you haven't started the series yet, start with Hatching.
  • The first set of this series (The First Journey) starts with a book titled Transformer.
  • See here for more details.
  • This is set before Bluestar became leader, before One-eye was born, before the reign of Pinestar... it was way before all of that. But it's after Owlstar's lead.
  • Enjoy! 4 the 4est! 12:43, December 24, 2009 (UTC)

Chapter 1

I unsheathed my claws, baring my teeth and snarling as Clawtooth came closer.
As he got into my reach, I leaped... knocking him over, spilling a small amount of blood on the grass.
He lashed his tail and charged back towards me. "When will you die, Ravenpaw?" he spat.
"When it's time," I snarled back, not bothering to tell him I was a warrior.
He jumped on me and I rolled, instantly gaining the advantage.
I clawed his belly, spilling more blood, and he yowled in pain and squirmed out from underneath me.
I bared my teeth. "You done?" I asked.
Clawtooth spat in my face. "Never, apprentice!"
I shook my head. "Okay, I'll have to kill you."
"Not before I kill you!" Clawtooth screeched.
I shook my head and rolled out of the way as he shot towards me.
He spat again and ran to meet me; I flipped over and kicked him away.
Clawtooth stood up, groaning. "I never hurt you," he whispered.
"You hurt everyone I loved!" I spat back. "You killed my only friend, and my leader!"
"They weren't worth it," Clawtooth groaned, coughing up blood. "Join me," he croaked.

Crowpaw knew something was wrong. Ravenflight had been gone for too long.
He could tell that Hawkwing sensed it, too. After hearing that Ravenflight would be taking two WindClan kits back to WindClan, Crowpaw was sure he would make it back safely.
Hawkwing bounded over to Crowpaw. "Brackenstar has given me permission to take you and go search for Ravenflight."
Crowpaw nodded. "Let's go, then."

"No!" I yowled. "Why would I do that?"
"Because I'm about to die," Clawtooth whispered.
I shook my head. "Sorry, Clawtooth, but I'm not going to join the cat that was banned from ShadowClan."
Clawtooth growled. I unsheathed my claws. "I don't think you want to fight with me," I growled, flicking my tail at him.
Clawtooth groaned. "Please, at least help me."
I shook my head.
That's when he leaped to his feet. He looked perfectly fine.
"You tricked me!" I spat. I leaped on top of him, stretching my claws...
That's when I smelled ThunderClan. Not many, but enough to get me out of this.
Enough to kill Clawtooth.
"Over here!" I screeched as I dodged Clawtooth's blow. "Help me!"
Hawkwing and Crowpaw raced towards me.

Chapter 2

I lay on my back, panting, as Crowpaw and Hawkwing sat down next to me.
"You okay?" Crowpaw asked briskly, looking me over.
"Fine," I murmured, wincing as he nosed a long gash in my side. "Hey- stop. That hurts!"
"That means you're not okay," Crowpaw spat. "Come on, let's get back to ThunderClan."
My brothers had sent Clawtooth away, screeching in terror. Blood flowed behind him and settled in the grass, drying into the ground.
Hawkwing pushed underneath me and Crowpaw was ready on my other side. I collapsed against them as they helped me back to ThunderClan.
Great, it's my first day as a warrior, and I'm already hurt! I thought.
"Can we walk faster?" Crowpaw mewed hurriedly as we crossed the border. "I can feel the blood gushing, and it's-"
Hawkwing silenced the medicine cat apprentice with a hard look, and I looked to both of them. "Thanks for helping me today. I'll definitely be telling Leafclaw about this, Crowpaw," I added.
Crowpaw purred and his eyes turned light-hearted for a heartbeat, before he became serious again. "How did he know you were in WindClan?"
"How did you know I was in WindClan?" I retorted.
"Snaketail told us," Hawkwing retorted.
"And then Brackenstar gave us permission for us to search for you," Crowpaw added as we approached the camp.
We were silent until we made it to the tunnel, where I said, "I can crawl."
Crowpaw gave me a worried look. "Support him until the last second, I'll be on the other side."
Hawkwing nodded and Crowpaw disappeared, and then Hawkwing let me go. "Please, don't go too slow. You can't lose too much more blood."
I nodded and slipped through, I gasped in pain as I crawled.
As soon as I had reached the other side, Crowpaw helped me up, and in heartbeats, Hawkwing was on my other side, supporting me.
Waterheart looked astonished when she saw me, she called Runningfoot and Brackenstar and ran over. "What- what happened?" she asked.
"Clawtooth attacked me," I coughed. "But they helped me, and-"
Hawkwing stared at me, and I mewed, "Crowpaw finally beat me. He got out without a scratch."
Crowpaw's eyes widened in surprise, he began to purr. "Thank you..."
"Ravenflight, we have to get you into the medicine den, now!" I heard Leafclaw behind me, and I nodded. I could feel exhaustion surrounding me like a heavy pelt. I wanted to collapse and let it warm me...
Hawkwing and Crowpaw helped me hobble to the medicine den, where I collapsed in a makeshift nest.
"Fall asleep," Crowpaw commanded. "I can see you need it."
I let my eyes drift closed, and I was instantly in the forest.
"Ravenflight, we need to tell you something," a cat mewed.
"Smoothpaw?" I gasped. "Hello!"
Another cat stepped forward, and I gasped. "Gorsestar! And- Cinderstripe!"
"This is no time to catch up, Ravenflight," Gorsestar mewed. "We need to tell you that Clawtooth is still alive, and healing at the same pace as you. WindClan took him in to heal him, not knowing that he is Clawtooth, your worst enemy."
I could feel anger and fear twisting inside me, each threatening over and over to overcome the other.
But I ignored both. "I can take him," I growled.
"He is growing stronger with each heartbeat, Ravenflight!" Cinderstripe spat. "How do you expect to take him on?"
"I have two brothers, and a whole Clan behind me," I spat back.
"There's two other cats..." Gorsestar mewed. "A rogue- Goldfoot- and a ThunderClan cat- Bearface."
I felt my eyes widen. "I know that Waterheart has some business with Goldfoot..."
"The prophecy is about you, Ravenflight!" Smoothpaw protested, the light around his paws shining brightly. "Only- only Waterheart knows about it."
I could feel everything falling away, becoming less and less important. "You know what I can do," I told Gorsestar. "I told you myself, and you've seen Waterheart at it."
Gorsestar's eyes clouded. "I was hoping you could do it without that..."
"But it's the only way," I protested. "I'm a brand-new warrior, look! My first day I'm seriously injured like this. If I don't use my power, then how else will I win?"
Smoothpaw's eyes clouded. "By fighting from your heart. Both Goldfoot and Bearface hate you and your family, and Clawtooth killed Sparrowkit and Gorsestar."
Gorsestar nodded. "Don't use your power unless you have to, Ravenflight."
Everything faded away.

Chapter 3

"Ravenflight, wake up."
I heard Hawkwing's voice and groaned, "No..."
"Ravenflight, please, it's important!"
I let my eyes open and focus on Hawkwing. "What?" I moaned. I could feel pain now.
"Ravenflight, Grasspaw's somewhere. I don't know where..."
I sat up instantly. "W-what?" I sputtered.
Hawkwing nodded.
All the pain of my scars vanished and a new pain replaced it- one that broke my heart. "I have to save her, Hawkwing," I croaked.
"You need water," Hawkwing whispered. "You need strength."
"You don't understand!" I protested. "I-"
"You need to rest," Hawkwing murmured.
"That's impossible," I yowled. I coughed up something, and I realized it was blood.
"Crowpaw! Leafclaw!" Hawkwing yowled.
The two medicine cats appeared instantly. Leafclaw's eyes widened as he saw the blood in front of me. "Okay, Crowpaw, get him yarrow. Hawkwing, step back."
Crowpaw moved past Hawkwing and shoved an herb down my throat, I swallowed.
Suddenly, I coughed, and something disgusting came out, and there was blood in front of me...
When I was finished, Crowpaw mewed, "Ravenflight will be okay. Hawkwing, can you leave, please?"
Hawkwing's eyes hardened, but he left.
"Grasspaw," I croaked.
"I know," Crowpaw replied. "Brackenstar sent out a search party."
"I want- I want to find..." I couldn't control the sudden pain that came over me. I wanted to be the cat that saved Grasspaw, I wanted to be the hero...
"When you recover, Brackenstar wants to give you an apprentice," Crowpaw added.
"R-really?" I coughed again, but to my amazement, nothing came out of me. "Snaketail's kits are ready?"
Crowpaw nodded. "Now, Ravenflight, sleep. I'll be at the Moonstone tonight, and I've already briefed Hawkwing on what to do."
I nodded, and let my eyes close.
"Oh- Ravenflight- one more thing," Crowpaw mewed.
I flicked my tail, to show my brother that I was listening.
"Thank you for what you said yesterday," Crowpaw mewed. "You have no idea how much it meant to me."
I heard myself purr as I drifted back into a dreamless sleep.

Chapter 4

I woke up the next morning to a shining sun. Two days before, Clawtooth had attacked me on WindClan territory.
Hawkwing, who was sitting across from me in the den, looked up as I raised my head, his eyes shining in relief. "Good, you're awake. Crowpaw has something important to tell us, but he won't tell!"
Crowpaw appeared suddenly. "Good, I was just about to wake you up, Ravenflight."
I nodded sleepily. "C-can I stand?"
"Of course," Crowpaw mewed. "It looks like you're strong enough to now, I think you can take border patrols."
"What's so important?" Hawkwing burst out.
Crowpaw purred. "I got my full name at the Moonstone last night."
I gasped and fell down again, but it didn't hurt. Hawkwing purred as he nuzzled Crowpaw.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Crowsong," he mewed. "My name is Crowsong."
"Good!" I purred. "You deserve it, Crowsong."
"You do," Hawkwing purred.
"Leafclaw says he'll stay here a bit longer and make sure I have everything under control, and then he says he's going to leave," Crowsong mewed.
Hawkwing nodded. "You didn't expect him to stay here forever, did you?"
"No," Crowsong mewed, "it's just that we've become really close..."
Hawkwing purred. "Crowsong, it's okay. You've got us!"
I stood up again. "What about Grasspaw?" I demanded.
"Snaketail found her at the river, where Goldfoot tried to drown Waterheart," Hawkwing told me. "She was trying to find her father, so she knew who he was."
I felt my fur flatten along my spine, and I jumped, not realizing it had fluffed up.
"Anyway, she's forbidden to leave the camp for the next quarter moon, and she'll have a guard for a quarter-moon after that. Brackenstar's looking for cats..."
"I'll do it!" I mewed happily.
"I'll help you to his den," Crowsong mewed.
"I don't need help," I protested.
"I'll walk next to you, not touching you," Crowsong spat, annoyed.
"Okay, okay," I sighed. "Let's go!"
I bounded across the clearing, bringing Waterheart to my side. "You're up!" she mewed happily.
"I am," I replied. "I've got to see Brackenstar," I added.
Waterheart nodded and let me go, her eyes bright.
Leaving Crowsong, I entered Brackenstar's den, underneath the Highrock. "Brackenstar?" I mewed quietly. "Can I ask you a question?"
Brackenstar, who had been facing the opposite wall, turned to face me. "Ravenflight! Of course, what do you need?"
"I wanted to be Grasspaw's guard," I mewed. "When- when she's allowed to leave the camp again."
Brackenstar nodded. "Of course, Ravenflight. Full time?" he asked.
I nodded. "I need to get my strength again," I continued. "I think it would be a good way."
Brackenstar purred. "That's a great idea!"
"Thank you," I mewed graciously. "When are Snaketail's kits going to be ready?"
"In another half-moon," Brackenstar replied. "Do you mind getting one as an apprentice?"
"Of course not!" I mewed.
"I was thinking... Silverkit?" Brackenstar continued. "She likes you the most, and I was going to give Dirtkit to Hawkwing, and Adderkit to... Waterheart."
"That sounds fine," I replied.
"Okay," Brackenstar mewed. "I'm glad you're okay, Ravenflight. Isn't Crowpaw a great medicine cat?"
"Crowsong," I corrected.
Brackenstar's eyes widened. "Oh, good for him! Well, you should be going, Ravenflight. I have something important on my mind..."
I nodded an left the den, my heart pounding in excitement. In another quarter moon, I was going to spend all my time with Grasspaw...

Chapter 5

After a quarter moon, Grasspaw was ready to be guarded. She didn't know who her guard was, Brackenstar had told me that he would tell her.
According to Grasspaw, whom I had talked to during her punishment, she was about to become a warrior.
Finally, the day came when Brackenstar yowled, "All cats old enough to catch their own prey can join below the Highrock for a Clan meeting!"
I bounded forward to sit next to Hawkwing, and heartbeats later Crowsong sat on my other side, squirming.
"We all know the adventurous apprentice that strayed out of the camp a quarter moon ago..." Brackenstar began.
All the cats nodded and Grasspaw stared at her paws.
"Her confinement to the camp is over," Brackenstar mewed.
Many cats looked distinctly annoyed that their leader had called them here for an announcement like this, but Brackenstar raised his tail.
"The second part is only beginning."
Grasspaw, who had looked up in surprise when Brackenstar had ended her confinement, now had eyes as wide as a cat's tail.
"Now, Grasspaw will have an assigned guard to accompany her wherever she goes," Brackenstar told the Clan.
"Who is it?" Runningfoot called out.
"I have assigned Ravenflight to be her guard," Brackenstar mewed.
Grasspaw looked at me with surprise and obvious pleasure. I felt my heart skip a beat as I padded to sit next to her.
"Wait- what if she has to make dirt?" Birdheart asked.
"Ravenflight will guard the tunnel," Brackenstar mewed simply.
"What about when she's sleeping?" Snaketail asked.
"It'll be Sunpaw's job to make sure she doesn't go anywhere," Brackenstar mewed, glancing at Grasspaw's brother. Sunpaw was a brown tom with golden feet, like Grasspaw.
Sunpaw nodded and I noticed his chest fur fluff out, I twitched my whiskers in amusement.
"So, Grasspaw, go about your usual business," Brackenstar told her.
Grasspaw instantly looked at me. "I want to find my father," she told me.
"Why do you want to find him so badly?" I quizzed.
"I- I just do..." Grasspaw's voice trailed off as she stared at me. "Please?"
"Okay," I mewed. As I thought of something, I mewed, "Wait a moment. I have to ask a cat something important."
As Grasspaw nodded, I bounded away towards Waterheart, who was about to leave the camp with Hawkwing and Runningfoot.
"Waterheart!" I called. "Wait, please!"
She stopped and turned to see me. "Yes?"
"W-what does Godlfoot look like?" I sputtered. "I- I had a dream, and I think he and Bearface are a threat..."
Waterheart winced. "Are you going to look for him?"
"No," I mewed quickly.
Waterheart gave me a look before she continued. "Goldfoot has a white pelt and rusty-colored feet."
I nodded. "Thank you, Waterheart!"
There was a distant look in Waterheart's eyes as I walked away, I guessed she was remembering the last time Goldfoot had come in contact with her.
"Okay, are you ready?" Grasspaw asked, appearing next to me.
I nodded. "Let's go, we can hunt on the way."
Grasspaw followed me out of the camp. We turned sharply and climbed the ravine, I could almost feel her excitement to be out of the camp again.
"So," Grasspaw began, "why were you injured in the first place?"
"A cat attacked me," I replied. "But Hawkwing and Crowsong found me."
Grasspaw's eyes widened. "Where is- where did Goldfoot attempt to drown your mother?"
"This way, I think," I replied, turning in another direction.
We continued for a short amount of time, and with sunhigh approaching, we reached the river.
And the cat I least wished to see pushed out of the trees, followed by two more.

Chapter 6

Moving in front of Grasspaw, I hissed.
"Ravenflight," Grasspaw whispered angrily, "I can defend myself!"
"I'm your guard," I pointed out quietly.
Grasspaw was quiet.
"So, Ravenflight," Goldfoot mewed smoothly.
"How do you know my name?" I spat.
"I have my sources," Goldfoot mewed smoothly, flicking his tail to the cat at his right flank: Bearface.
"Let's kill him now!" Bearface spat, lunging forward.
"And leave the pretty apprentice alone?" Goldfoot asked sarcastically.
"I just want to kill him, I don't care about Grasspaw," Bearface spat.
I heard Grasspaw hiss behind me, and I murmured, "Run away in terror. Get the Clan."
"Hold them off," she pleaded. "I'll go at the right time, I promise."
Goldfoot continued to speak, immune to my conversation with Grasspaw. "Ravenflight, don't you know? I attempted to drown your mother."
"Of course I know," I snarled back, taking a step forward, leaving Grasspaw in the open.
"Of course, she must of told you," Goldfoot mewed quietly. "What about the time she drowned Stonestar?"
"That, too," I mewed.
"Snaketail's arrival to ThunderClan?" Goldfoot continued anxiously.
I nodded slowly. "He was my mentor."
"Of course," Bearface mewed quickly, "she didn't tell you that she was captured in the first place?"
I kept my face straight, but they had gotten me this time. "Of course she did, Bearface. I'm her son."
Bearface stepped back.
"You look hurt, Ravenflight," Goldfoot snarled softly. "What happened?"
"I was attacked," I spat back.
I flicked my tail back at Grasspaw, who was beginning to look... 'scared.'
"By who?" Goldfoot asked. "By... Clawtooth?" The third rogue stepped forward at his name.
"Of course," I replied. "Who do you think?"
Grasspaw suddenly screeched in terror and ran away, I held my position. No cat could get past me.
"Well, looks like you've got a scared apprentice," Goldfoot purred.
Bearface leaned over and began to whisper to Goldfoot.
"Oh," Goldfoot mewed. "If Brackenstar trusts you, then..."
Bearface lunged forward as Goldfoot flicked his tail at him, and he was flying at me...

End of Book 5

Be sure to check out the next and final book in the series, Landing!
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