For the first time as leader of SkyClan, Leafstar calls a Clanmeeting. She and Firestar had discussed what to do, but she hadn't told him all the announcements she would make. The ginger tom hopes she'll have the support of her new Clan no matter what. The rest of the SkyClan cats' eyes shine with excitement; Clovertail'skits bounce around and get under everyone's paws. Bouncekit slips on a damp stone, almost falling into the river, but Sharpclaw grabs his scruff and places him on dry ground. The warrior gives him a stern reminder that he's about to be an apprentice, and all three kits line up next to their mother. Mintkit and Sagekit ask why they aren't allowed to be apprentices; Rockkit retorts in a lofty tone that they aren't old enough. Firestar exchanges an amused glance with Sandstorm as the black kit adds that they'll have to wait moons. The rest of the SkyClan members settle in the clearing, so Leafstar begins the meeting.
Reciting the words Firestar taught her, Leafstar names Sharpclaw as her deputy. Pride and uncertainty shows on the tom's face, and, dipping his head to his leader, the new deputy thanks her. Firestar and Sandstorm exchange another look, knowing that the dark ginger tom had wanted to be leader. Sharpclaw could have made Leafstar's life difficult, but his courage and fighting skills would match well with the she-cat's softer personality. The next ceremony the leader performs is Echosong'smedicine cat ceremony, and a secret look passes between the two she-cats. Firestar guess they're remembering the experiences of the previous night. The small tabby bows her head, and the rest of the Clan cheers her name.
Leafstar then waves her tail to beckon Cherrypaw and Sparrowpaw; the two apprentices' eyes are shining. She asks Sharpclaw if his apprentice is ready to be a warrior, and he solemnly replies that she is. The leader says the same for Sparrowpaw; she leaps down from the Rockpile, reciting the words to the warrior ceremony. A shiver runs through Firestar, for not until today could a cat from SkyClan have spoken them with such certainty. The two apprentices swear to protect their Clan and to uphold the warrior code. Cherrypaw is given the name Cherrytail; Leafstar names her honored traits as enthusiasm and bravery. Sparrowpaw is given the name Sparrowpelt, and his honored traits are his courage and strength. The Clan calls out their new names, and the tortoiseshell warrior gives a massive leap into the air.
Leafstar calls up Clovertail's three kits next, and their mother looks ready to burst with pride. Bouncepaw is given Patchfoot as his mentor; the apprentice squeals, touching noses with his mentor. The warrior's eyes glow with pride at being chosen as a mentor. The leader continues, saying that though Cherrytail is a new warrior, she has proved herself multiple times, and will be mentor to Rockpaw. She continues, saying Sparrowpelt is young but skillful, and he will mentor Tinypaw. Leafstar announces that all warriors will work together to train the young cats, for SkyClan is still growing. She continues on to thank Firestar and Sandstorm, explaining that before they came along, all these cats were just rogues and kittypets. The Clan chants their names, and Firestar feels himself fill with pride. He realizes that the anxiety of leaving his Clanmates and the danger of the journey was all worth it. Sandstorm murmurs in his ear that it's time to go home, for they've successfully rebuilt the lost Clan. The ginger tom knows she's right, but he's reluctant to leave the cats who have become his friends.
Leafstar approaches Firestar, anxious as to whether she recited the ceremonies correctly. The tom tells her it was perfect, and that she doesn't need them anymore. Sadness creeps over the she-cat's face, and she tells him that while his own Clan needs him, SkyClan will never forget him. The rest of the Clan gather to say goodbye as they realize they're leaving. Cherrytail brings up the time they met, noting how she thought Firestar and Sandstorm looked like dangerous cats, but she's dangerous too now. The ginger tom reminds Leafstar of all the possible threats to the rebuilt Clan. Sandstorm stops him, telling him that the brown-and-cream she-cat knows that already, so SkyClan will be fine. The two cats leave; Echosong follows them as far as her den. When they arrive at the den, the medicine cat touches her nose to Firestar's, her eyes filled with regret.
Echosong meows that they might meet in their dreams, but her heart believes they will not. She thanks the two ThunderClan cats, and Firestar tells her that SkyClan is lucky to have her. As he and Sandstorm leave, the ginger tom feels anxious, wondering if the cats will be able to carry out their assigned roles. They then spot a patrol with Leafstar in the lead, and Clovertail carrying a small creature in her mouth. Sandstorm purrs, telling her mate that there's nothing to worry about. The tom lets out a long sigh; they had rebuilt SkyClan, and now they could return to where they truly belong. Firestar presses his muzzle into his mate's shoulder, and they head towards the forest.
Cats of SkyClan, my first duty as leader is to appoint a deputy. I speak these words before the spirits of my ancestors, that they may hear and approve my choice. Sharpclaw will be the new deputy of SkyClan.
Thank you, I shall be honored to serve you and our Clan.
Echosong. Our warrior ancestors have chosen you to be our medicine cat. Now I give you the care of SkyClan into your keeping. We trust you to use your skills for healing and to interpret the signs that the spirits of our ancestors will send us.
I promise I'll do my best, Leafstar.
Reference: Firestar's Quest, page 502
Cherrytail and Sparrowpelt's Warrior Ceremony
I, Leafstar, leader of SkyClan call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these two apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Cherrypaw, Sparrowpaw, do you promise to uphold the ways of the warrior code, and to protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your lives?
Cherrypaw and Sparrowpaw:
Then by the powers of StarClan I give you your warrior names. Cherrypaw, from this moment on you will be known as Cherrytail. StarClan honors your bravery and enthusiasm, and we welcome you as a full member of SkyClan. Sparrowpaw, from this moment you will be known as Sparrowpelt. StarClan honors your courage and strength, and we welcome you as a full member of SkyClan.