|"Lionpaw felt guilt and worry tug at his belly, but Heatherpaw's blue eyes were sparkling at him hopefully. It did sound like fun. He could always say he'd been practicing night hunting. And Heatherpaw was right. They wouldn't be doing any harm, like stealing prey or spying. No cat would ever know if they were careful about it."|
|— Lionpaw about meeting Heatherpaw in secret in Dark River, page 25|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of Dark River. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 6-25
- Lionpaw is play-fighting with Hollypaw and Jaypaw. They are pretending ShadowClan warriors are attacking camp while they are planning to ambush them. They are fighting them, Hollypaw taking on three ShadowClan warriors. Squirrelflight, the mother of the three apprentices, scolds them. Their father who they pretended was a ShadowClan warrior, Brambleclaw, tells them it was a good ambush, but they shouldn't be playing here.
- Lionpaw slides to the ground, mewing sulkily that it's the only good place for a surprise attack. He looks around the half-finished den. Hollypaw pads toward them, leaving her imaginary foes behind, pointing out they aren't getting in anyone's way. She fluffs her fur out against the wind. Newleaf sunshine has taken the chill from the hollow, but the afternoon had brought a breeze from the mountains that reminds Lionpaw that leaf-bare was less than a quarter moon behind them.
- Squirrelflight demands what if all the apprentices start to practice their battle moves there, the walls would be broken and all of Birchfall and Graystripe's work would have been for nothing. Brambleclaw adds that they need to expand the warriors den before the other apprentices become warriors, the den is already crowded. Jaypaw lifts his chin, mewing they get the point. His fur is ruffled with bits of leaves sticking out of it.
- Squirrelflight licks Jaypaw roughly between the ears, scolding her kits for making themselves filthy, as they'll be leaving for the Gathering soon. Lionpaw begins to wash the leaf dust from his chest before his mother could start licking him. Jaypaw ducks away from Squirrelflight's tongue, complaining he can do it himself. Brambleclaw meows to his mate to leave them be; he's sure they'll smarten up before they leave. Lionpaw promises they will, adding they've been waiting for this for ages, his question aimed toward Jaypaw.
- His brother mutters and Lionpaw flexes his claws, wondering why Jaypaw had to be so grumpy all the time. This would be his first Gathering, he has to be looking forward to it. He has missed the last two once because of his punishment and once because his medicine duties had kept him in camp. Lionpaw knows his littermate well enough to know how important it is to be able to do what the other cats did, despite his blindness, and that included going to Gatherings.
- Squirrelflight orders them to hurry up, before Firestar notices, while herding her kits toward the gap in the wall, adding they should go find something from the fresh-kill pile. Lionpaw's tail pricks with excitement at the thought of the Gathering, he can almost smell the pine scents from the island.
- But Hollypaw's eyes glitter with worry as she says she hopes the other Clans don't pick on ThunderClan again. She asks if they know if Millie is coming; perhaps she should stay behind this time. Squirrelflight points out that Millie can take care of herself. Brambleclaw adds that the contest seems to have smoothed things out. Hollypaw asks for how long. Jaypaw snorts she's always fretting over something, and it's like living with an anxious owl.
- Squirrelflight points out that Newleaf is here, and there's more prey running around, so the Clans should be less prickly. Hollypaw glances at Jaypaw, meowing that some cats are still prickly with a full belly. Squirrelflight hushes her, nudging Hollypaw with her nose, telling her to go eat. Hollypaw mews she was only telling the truth, starting forward, but Jaypaw barges past her. She lets out a yelp, glaring after her brother, who is already half-way to the medicine den, complaining that he nipped her.
- Lionpaw's whiskers twitch, teasing her that she can fight of ShadowClan warriors single-pawed, but one nip from her littermate and she squeals like a kit. Her soft tail flicks his nose, mewing he'd have squealed too. Lionpaw says he hasn't squealed since he left the nursery. Hollypaw narrows her eyes mischievously, saying how about she nips him and they'll see how brave he really is. He mews she'll have to catch him first, then darts away, his sister pounding after him. He skids to a halt beside the fresh-kill pile and tosses her a mouse as she catches up, telling her to nip that instead.
- The full-moon floats in a clear blue sky, and ahead, the island rises up from the lake. Lionpaw walks beside Hollypaw, following his Clanmates along the pebbly shore. He glances at Jaypaw again, who's padding alongside Leafpool. Her flank occasionally grazes his, steering him around sharp stones or protruding roots. Lionpaw wonders if he should warn Jaypaw about the tree-bridge.
- Hollypaw mews beside him that it'll be good to see Willowpaw. He echoes her, distracted. There is only one apprentice he is hoping to see; Heatherpaw, the pretty WindClan apprentice. He lets out a small sigh. Hollypaw nudges him, asking what he's thinking about. Lionpaw mews quickly that he's thinking about Jaypaw, if he could make it over the tree-bridge. Hollypaw warns him to not let their brother hear that.
- Lionpaw suddenly feels cold water seep over his claws. Firestar had led them onto the marshy edge of RiverClan's territory. Sandstorm picks her way after him. Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight pad beside Millie and Graystripe, while Birchfall and Dustpelt follow, talking quietly. Hazelpaw is listenng to her mentor while Berrypaw dodges from side to side, sniffing among the clumps of grass as if he is going to find prey.
- Hollypaw reminds him hunting on another Clan's territory is forbidden. Berrypaw snorts that he knows, but there isn't harm in looking. Hollypaw mews just as long as he's looking. Graystripe lets out a loud purr, calling to Firestar and meowing that it looks like Hollypaw is preparing to challenge him for leadership. Lionpaw glances back at his sister, wondering if that was the gray warrior's gentle way of telling her not to be so bossy.
- Firestar purrs back that she can challenge all she wants, he doesn't think he'll have to worry until she's a little bigger. Hollypaw fluffs out her pelt, claiming she was just telling him. Firestar halts among the snaking roots of the fallen tree the crosses the water between the shore and the island. The scents of WindClan and ShadowClan are fresh on the bark.
- Lionpaw pricks his ears, hearing faint mews drifting from the island. Sandstorm jumps up nimbly and weaves her way between the stumps and knots until she reaches the other side. One by one, the Clan follows. Lionpaw stands back as Hollypaw leaps after Hazelpaw. She asks if he's coming.
- Jaypaw mews from behind them he's waiting to make sure he doesn't fall in. Lionpaw explains it's only because he almost fell in last time. Jaypaw reaches into the tangle of roots, feeling his way with his forepaws. Leafpool jumps past him onto the trunk, meowing it's not too high. Jaypaw lifts his nose and sniffs, then pushes off with his hindlegs and claws his way through the trunk beside her. His forepaws instantly slip.
- Lionpaw's heart lurches as Jaypaw shoots sideways, but Leafpool darts toward him and he has already dug his claws into the bark and steadied himself. Lionpaw fights the urge to jump up and help his brother. Hollypaw calls from the shore for Jaypaw to jump that way. Jaypaw leaps down, landing a little clumsily. Lionpaw feels a wave of relief.
- Berrypaw is trying to push past Lionpaw, so he leaps onto the trunk to block the cream toms way, but Berrypaw leaps right after him. Lionpaw feels his breath hot on his heels, urging him forward. Brackenfur warns Berrypaw, but that doesn't stop him. Berrypaw starts to meow something, which is cut off with a yelp. Lionpaw glances back to see him sliding off the trunk into the water. Brackenfur darts forward and grasps his scruff. The apprentice jerks and dangles as the golden tom hauls him back onto the trunk.
- Lionpaw continues along the trunk, glad Berrypaw isn't rushing him anymore. RiverClan scent is fresh from the shore and he scans the edge of the water but there is no sign of them. Firestar calls if everyone is ready, as he, Berrypaw, Brackenfur, and Ashfur jump down to the beach. The cats nod and Firestar signals with his tail and the party begins to head into the trees.
- Lionpaw's paws tingle with excitement as he prepares to spring after Hollypaw, but Jaypaw isn't moving, he is just staring into the trees. Lionpaw reassures him that the clearing isn't far, just past the bracken and he rests his tail on his brothers flank. Hollypaw comes crashing back, wondering what is taking so long. Jaypaw flicks his tail, saying they were planning their entrance. The brittle fronds of bracken scratch Lionpaw's nose as he follows his littermates toward the clearing, but he can feel soft new leaves beneath his paws.
- Hollypaw calls that ShadowClan and WindClan are waiting in the clearing, but RiverClan hasn't arrived. Lionpaw mews he smelled them from the tree-bridge. Jaypaw lifts his nose, saying he's right, but something isn't right. Lionpaw opens his mouth and tastes the fresh scent of RiverClan again. It smells the same as always, and he guesses they're probably eating too much fish. Hollypaw urges them through the bracken and out onto the edge of the clearing. Jaypaw stiffens, his voice a whisper as he asks if there are always so many cats.
- Lionpaw gazes at the warriors, apprentices and medicine cats who crowd the clearing and wonders if Heatherpaw is there. Whitetail, and WindClan she-cat rushes toward Millie, saying hey kittypet. Her apprentice, Breezepaw hurries after her, ears flat. Lionpaw unsheaths his claws, ready to defend his Clanmate. Whitetail rubs muzzles with Millie and twines her tail with hers as if they are old friends. Lionpaw lets his claws slid back in. Hollypaw gasps if they know each other and Lionpaw shrugs as a reply.
- Breezepaw stares wide-eyed as his mentor steps away from Millie and blinks warmly at her, purring her thanks to her for giving them a rabbit during the contest. Millie dips her head, meowing it was a day for sharing. Hollypaw whispers to Lionpaw that the contest did some good after all. But another WindClan warrior, Tornear, is staring at Millie with narrow eyes, Russetfur is watching too, pelt bristling as she leans over to whisper in a Clanmates ear. Breezepaw doesn't say anything to his mentor, just pads away through the clearing.
- Berrypaw and Hazelpaw are chatting with a crowd of ShadowClan and WindClan apprentices. As Breezepaw joins them, Lionpaw's pelt bristles with expectation when he thinks he sees Heatherpaw's pale tabby fur among them, but he can't see her. Jaypaw asks why he is so disappointed. Lionpaw stares at him, stammering he wasn't disappointed. Jaypaw mews that a mouse on the moor could have heard his tail hit the ground. Lionpaw admits he was hoping to see someone. Hollypaw flicks her ears anxiously, asking if it was Heatherpaw.
- He retorts that she wants to see Willowpaw, his fur bristling. Hollypaw says it's not the same. Lionpaw protests it is, they're just friends. As he speaks, a warm familiar scent touches his nose. Heatherpaw is racing across the clearing toward him. His heart skips, then he glances nervously at Jaypaw, wondering if he is listening to his heartbeat.
- Lionpaw gives Heatherpaw a cool greeting. Ears twitching, she says he doesn't sound very pleased to see her, and that she's been on her best behavior so Crowfeather wouldn't leave her behind. Lionpaw feels a flash of guilt, then anger pricks his paws, and wonders why he should feel guilty, she is just a friend. Hollypaw steps between them and brushes her muzzle lightly against Heatherpaw's.
- Heatherpaw's eyes shine when she notices Jaypaw, and jealousy runs like cold water down Lionpaw's spine. He is almost grateful when Jaypaw snaps at her that nobody brought him, he came with his Clan. Heatherpaw mews at once, apologizing. Leafpool calls Jaypaw, saving the apprentice from her flustered apology. Lionpaw watches as Jaypaw joins his mentor and the other medicine cats, mewing to Heatherpaw that he's as grumpy as a badger. A voice behind him makes Lionpaw jerk around and his heart plummets when he sees Breezepaw padding towards them.
- The black apprentice sits down beside Heatherpaw, asking if she's going to waste her time talking to them, and that Ivypaw and Owlpaw have just challenged Berrypaw to see who can jump the highest. Heatherpaw suggests he go and watch it. A challenging glint sparks in Breezepaw's eyes as he asks why doesn't she go with him. RiverClan arrives and Hollypaw stretches up on the tips of her toes beside him to watch the Clan file into the clearing. Something appears wrong, their tails are down and ears flat. Hollypaw narrows her eyes, saying Leopardstar doesn't look very happy.
- The golden tabby is touching muzzles with Firestar, her tail flicking impatiently, her gaze flitting around the clearing. Willowpaw breaks away from her Clanmates and hurries over to Hollypaw. The medicine cat apprentice is out of breath as she mews she can't stay, she has to join Mothwing, but she wanted to say hello. Hollypaw asks if everything is okay, and at that moment, Crowfeather pads over to join them, and Lionpaw's whiskers twitch with frustration, wondering if he'd ever get a moment alone with Heatherpaw. The WindClan warrior greets his apprentice briskly, suggesting she go talk to some of the apprentices from the other Clans.
- Breezepaw urges her, wanting to see if Ivypaw out jumped Berrypaw. Lionpaw watches as Crowfeather and Breezepaw guide Heatherpaw away, then Blackstar's mew sounds from the Great Oak. The four leaders are lined along the lowest branch, silhouettes in the moonlight. Lionpaw hurries after Hollypaw as she pushes her way in among their Clanmates and sits down beside Brackenfur, while Lionpaw squeezes in front of her, sitting beside Ashfur, ducking when Hollypaw hisses for him to keep his head down.
- Blackstar announces that Tawnypelt has had three kits, and meows of congratulations rise from the crowd, the loudest from Squirrelflight, Blackstar goes on, saying they are named Flamekit, Dawnkit, and Tigerkit. The meows die in the throats of the older warriors, and Lionpaw wonders how Tigerstar could still frighten them when he was nothing but a memory from long ago.
- He mews over his shoulder to Hollypaw that if they're Tawnypelt's kits, they'll be their kin. Lionpaw daydreams about how Brambleclaw must feel about his sister being in ShadowClan. Firestar asks if there is anything else to report. Lionpaw glances back at his sister, asking if he missed anything. She shakes her head, but her eyes are shaded with worry.
- Blackstar looks satisfied, Onestar turns his head from the ThunderClan leader, signaling he had nothing to say. Firestar nods, saying all has been well in ThunderClan as well, before turning to Leopardstar, saying she's shared no news. She replies that there is no news to share, the fish are returning to the edge of the lake and hunting has been good, the Clan is well.
- Leopardstar declares the Gathering is over and the Clans begin to pad away. Lionpaw stretches and Hazelpaw nudges him, mewing they're going to have to train harder with three new ShadowClan cats, then follows her Clanmates. Lionpaw hurries after her, saying they're only kits. Hazelpaw reminds him that kits become warriors. Lionpaw feels Hollypaw pressing beside him, pelt bristling, her voice a whisper as she asks if he thinks they'll have to fight them.
- Squirrelflight overhears and tells them not to worry about fighting right now, three kits are a blessing. Leafpool catches up with Jaypaw at her side, meowing she noticed Tawnypelt was expecting last time she saw her. Squirrelflight is surprised and says she never mentioned it. Leafpool answers that it is not for her to say when it still lies in the paws of StarClan.
- A gruff mew startles the cats, saying it's none of their business. Lionpaw turns to see Rowanclaw and realizes he must be the father. Squirrelflight returns his gaze and congratulates him. Rowanclaw curls his lip, growling three health Clanborn kits. Squirrelflight sharply points out that doesn't matter unless they remain loyal to the Clan they were born to. Leafpool steps between the warriors, mewing there's no need to argue.
- A voice says he was only speaking the truth and Lionpaw snaps his head around to see Breezepaw standing with his father. Crowfeather stares at Leafpool with glittering eyes, mewing that ThunderClan celebrates mixed blood. Leafpool jerks her head back, as though he had raked his claws across her muzzle, before turning and hurrying away.
- Lionpaw unsheathes his claws, then feels his mother run her tail along his flank. She presses against him, telling him to come along, not to forget the truce. Lionpaw glares over his shoulder at the three cats. Heatherpaw bounds toward them, calling his name. Lionpaw stops and faces Heatherpaw while Squirrelflight waits. Heatherpaw wishes to speak to Lionpaw alone, so Squirrelflight nods, padding away after the others. Heatherpaw begs him to not be angry, Crowfeather has always been bad-tempered and Breezepaw already thinks he's a warrior.
- Lionpaw says they were speaking bad about ThunderClan, and they just can't let it go. Heatherpaw's shine as she says maybe they can't, but they can forget, and she has a plan. Lionpaw asks if it's to get back at them. Heatherpaw's eyes widen, saying of course not, her plan is entirely different, why don't they meet before the next Gathering. Lionpaw is surprised. Heatherpaw says they can meet tomorrow night, at the boundary in the woods, near the yew tree. Lionpaw is unsure, but Heatherpaw convinces him and he agrees to meet her.
References and citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Dark River, page 6
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Dark River, page 7
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Revealed in Dark River, page 12
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 13
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 14
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in Dark River, page 16
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 17
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Revealed in Dark River, page 19
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Revealed in Dark River, page 20
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Revealed in Dark River, page 21
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 22
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 11
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 15
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 18
|Dark River chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21|