A silver tom with moonlight shining on his pelt, crept through the tall green ferns. Where are they? He thought, his brilliant blue eyes looking for one thing in particular. After another moment or two, he came out of the bracken. One tail length in front of him sat a ginger tom, a blue-gray she-cat and a golden-brown tom. "Greetings Jayfeather." The she-cat meowed. Jayfeather dipped his head in respect to her and the ginger tom. "Greetings Bluestar, Firestar." He looked at the golden tom. "Lionblaze, where's Dovewing?" "Hello to you too," Lionblaze joked. "Here I am!" A pale gray shape ran down to the four cats. As she skidded to a halt, she got some dirt on Jayfeather's pelt. "Watch it!" He complained. "Sorry Jayfeather." Dovewing apologized, "I'm just nervous." "You mean about the kit?" Jayfeather asked. Dovewing snorted. "Who else? She's been stirring up StarClan since we learned she's going to be born! I'm telling you once, and I'm not saying it again! That kit is going to stir up trouble in the clans someday, mark my words!" Firestar's whiskers twitched with amusement. "You don't sound like Dovewing at all!" His green eyes twinkled in the moonlight. "You sound more like Yellowfang! Where is she anyways?" "She was right behind me." Dovewing mewed. "I'm coming, I'm coming." An old gray she-cat came down the hill. "I don't have - the energy - you kits have today," she panted. "Let me rest for a moment." When Firestar got up to brush muzzles with Yellowfang, he let out a purr. "You look worse than when I last saw you! A moonrise ago." Yellowfang snorted. "Enough chit-chat. What are we going to do about the kit?" Firestar's purr stopped. "We don't know yet," Bluestar admitted. "We were going to see if you had anything to say." The old flea bitten she-cat muttered, "great Thunder, you don't think my poor old brain is better then all of your newer brains do you?" Before any of the other cats could reply, she let out a rusty purr. "Well maybe you're right. With age comes wisdom they always say." She looked at Jayfeather. "What have you come up with so far?" Jayfeather looked at the starry sky and muttered, "why is it always me?" He put his head down and sighed. "Ripples in the lake will be the most dangerous in the clans. But silver bracken will save us all." Lionblaze rolled his eyes. "Jayfeather, that's horrible!" "Hey, I said I didn't want to do it! But you made me! 'Jayfeather, why don't you do the prophecy ' I said no, but you made me anyways!" Jayfeather spat. Dovewing put her tail on his shoulders to calm him down. "Jayfeather, Lionblaze is teasing." She cast a glare at her former mentor. "It's a good prophecy. Don't worry. It will be hard to figure out right now, but easier in a few moons." Jayfeather calmed down at her soothing tone. "Who will give who the message?" Lionblaze paced back and forth on the soft grass. "I can." Dovewing offered. "I haven't done one in ages!" The pale gray she-cat looked around. "But someone else can give the prophecy if they want." Everyone shook their head. Dovewing stood up. "Then I will leave." "Who will you give it to?" Bluestar asked. "Leafstar or Rosecloud?" Firestar's green eyes shining in the moonlight. "Pinebranch or Sunpatch?" Jayfeather pressed. "No." Dovewing shook her head. Then she looked up to the stars above. "I will give it to all four, but I will send it to a fifth." The other five cats leaned toward her, anticipation sparkling in their pelts. "I will give it to the kit."
CHAPTER ONE~ Pinebranch Edit
It was a beautiful night. The moon had just turned up and Pinebranch knew the gathering would be held tomorrow, and he knew he was going, as he was the clan deputy. He glanced toward the nursery where his mate, Sunpatch, was supposedly sleeping. But it didn't sound like she was sleeping at all. Pinebranch strained his ears toward the nursery entrance. "Sunpatch are you okay?" He called as he walked over. No answer. He hurried untill he was inside the nursery. There was Cougerclaw, her tan pelt rising slowly as she slept peacefully, and Jenny, the former loner, sleeping in a dark corner. But Sunpatch was up and moving, panting heavily, and Cougarclaw's little daughter, Brookkit was walking with her, talking softly, giving assurance that everything would be alright. Pinebranch panicked, as this was Sunpatch's first kitting, and he was a first time father. He rushed over to Jenny and woke her up. "Jenny! Jenny!" She slowly lifted her head. "Wha-Pinebranch? What's so important that you had to wake me up one moment after I lay down?" "Sunpatch is having her kits and I don't know what to do!" Jenny was up in an instant, issuing orders. "Pinebranch, wake Cougarclaw and tell her what's happening. Then go to Rosecloud and tell her that Sunpatch's having her kits. Also tell Leafstar. He'll want to know what's the racket. Brookkit, keep talking to Sunpatch. Make her calm. Here, I'll help you." When Jenny was next to Sunpatch, Pinebranch rushed over to Cougarclaw and shook her frantically. He accidentally woke up her son, Ripplekit as well, but when the tan queen awoke, she saw what was happening right away and she told Ripplekit to go find a really big stick. "How big?" The little tom asked as he stared at Sunpatch. "As big as you can carry!" His mother replied firmly. After Ripplekit left, she ran over to the other she-cats. "Pinebranch, Rosecloud and Leafstar, remember?" Jenny shooed him away. The frantic tom ran to the medicine cat den, where Rosecloud always slept. "Eh? What? Already?! But the kits aren't due until another quarter moon!" Rosecloud raced around her storage looking for herbs. Another quarter moon?! Thought Pinebranch. He didn't have time to think about it though, he had to tell Leafstar. He ran to the leader's den, where Leafstar and Deerleap slept together. "Leafstar?" Pinebranch whispered loudly. "Yes?" The reply came quickly and close. One moment later, a brown tabby head poked out from the vines covering the entrance. "What's up? I've been wondering what was going on and I was just about to go investigate" "Jenny told me to tell you that Sunpatch is having her kits," Pinebranch fretted. "What's the matter? What's happening? Did I hear you say kits?" Deerleap came out of the den as well. "Yes," confirmed Pinebranch. "I did say kits. And it's Sunpatch who's having them!" Deerleap ran her tail along his shoulders, trying to calm him down. But Pinebranch couldn't calm down. Deerleap and Leafstar followed the worried deputy to the nursery, where Sunpatch was finally laying down, chewing on a big stick. "I found it all by myself!" Deerleap herded a proud Ripplekit over to a corner. "Why don't you tell me all about it?" She settled into a comfortable position, blocking the kit's view. Pinebranch cast a grateful glance at Deerleap as she kept Ripplekit occupied. Leafstar whispered to his deputy, "I'm going to go sit outside and keep watch." Then he padded outside to look over the clearing. Pinebranch noticed that Brookkit was helping Rosecloud near Sunpatch. Cougarclaw looked at them with a thoughtful expression on her face. But he turned his attention back to Sunpatch. Jenny was sitting nearby her, soothing words coming from her lips. Pinebranch weaved his way to her and asked a question that had been burning in his mind since he saw Sunpatch pacing by the nursery entrance. "Is she going to be alright?" He demanded. "I couldn't have hoped for a better beginning." She replied softly. "Now hush. Sunpatch is looking worried. Why don't you go sit outside with Leafstar?" "No," came the stubborn reply. "I need to be here for her." Jenny sighed. There was no changing a tom's mind when it was made up. Sunpatch was now panting hard, and Rosecloud was encouraging her. "Here comes the first one!" When the little bundle slid out, Rosecloud ripped the thin sack around the tiny kit and passed it to Jenny. Jenny started to lick the small black bundle and Pinebranch watched her every move. "What is it?" He asked. "A tom." Jenny showed Pinebranch how to lick the kit so it was dry and warm. "You can do the next one." Jenny promised. She picked up the black tom and carried him towards Sunpatch, so he could suckle. "Can I see him? Please oh please?" Begged Ripplekit. "When he's older I wanna play with him!" Deerleap looked at Rosecloud and Pinebranch for permission, and when they both nodded their approval, she took him to sit by Brookkit. He sat silently, and watched, fascinated. "Another one's coming!" Announced Brookkit proudly. This time looked a little less stressful for Sunpatch, and when a little golden kit came, Jenny took it and nipped the sack open, and Pinebranch started to wash his precious kit. "Which one is it?" Asked Ripplekit. "Another tom?" "No, a she-kit!" Pinebranch meowed proudly. Ripplekit made a face, but Brookkit looked happy. "Yay! Someone for me to play with!" One son and a daughter! Pinebranch was almost bursting with joy. But when he put his golden daughter next to her brother to suckle, Sunpatch didn't look at them. "Is she okay?" Pinebranch's voice rising in panic. "Of course she is!" Cougarclaw snapped. "There's another kit coming!" Another kit?! "Is that it?" He asked. Rosecloud nodded and told him to be quiet. "Hush now!" After another moment or two, a beautiful silver she-kit came into the world. Pinebranch licked her gently, then set her down by her brother and sister. Sunpatch turned her head to look at her three suckling kits. "Oh, aren't they beautiful?" She purred. Pinebranch sighed. "Yes, they are." The ginger and white she-cat looked at Pinebranch. "Have you named them yet?" "What do you think? I wouldn't steal the chance of naming the first kit from you," he purred. Sunpatch gave him a lick on the cheek. "How about the tom is Webkit?" Suggested Sunpatch. Pinebranch nodded. "And the golden one is Honeykit?" Sunpatch purred at this name."But what about the third one?" Pinebranch pressed. Sunpatch looked thoughtfully at her silver kit. "Jewelkit? She is quite pretty." Pinebranch shook his head. "Shinekit? Like her radiance." Sunpatch didn't look like she liked the name. And then it hit him. "How about Silverkit?" He asked quietly. Sunpatch purred. "I think that's a wonderful name!" She nuzzled her kits softly. "Webkit Honeykit and Silverkit." She sighed. "Welcome to FeatherClan, my beautiful children." Deerleap and Rosecloud sneaked out of the nursery, and Cougarclaw followed them. She was whispering, "Rosecloud, Leafstar, can we talk somewhere?" When they left, Jenny took Ripplekit and Brookkit over to the medicine cat den, where they could sleep and not disturb the new family. Pinebranch knew he wouldn't be able to sleep in the warriors den that night, so he curled up next to Sunpatch and fell asleep once he knew his kits were safe. He woke back up instantly, but he wasn't in the nursery. He was in a lush green forest, all by himself. "Sunpatch! Kits!" He called. "Anybody there?!" Suddenly a twig snapped behind him, and he spun around. There was a pale gray she-cat, her fur lined with bright stars. "Hello Pinebranch." The she-cat meowed. Pinebranch noticed her starry pelt and his legs trembled. "Am I-" he swallowed "Am I dead?" The she-cat softly purred with amusement. "No, it's not your time yet. I am Dovewing. I am your ancestor. I am your father's mother's mother's father's mother's great grandmother's Mother." Then her eyes grew serious. "But I must tell you something." Her eyes then looked like they were staring in another place. "Ripples in the lake will be the most dangerous thing in the clans, but silver bracken will save us all." Pinebranch was confused. Silver bracken? Danger? "What does this mean?" Pinebranch demanded. "Why tell me this, when there is Rosecloud and Leafstar?" Dovewing looked at him sympathetically. "They are having this dream as well." Then she shook herself. "No matter. Remember this dream in moons to come, when you are an elder. Remember...remember...remember..."
Chapter Two ~ Leafstar Edit
Leafstar woke up in the bright morning. That was a strange dream. No, it wasn't a dream. It was real. Oh well. I'll think about it later. The gathering is tonight, I'll have to choose who goes. Deerleap woke next to him. "Good morning," she purred. "Tonight's the gathering. Who are you taking?" Leafstar sighed. "I don't know whether to bring Pinebranch or not. He didn't leave the nursery at all last night. And I don't think he wants to go." "Well, you'll never know unless you ask." Deerleap pointed out. Leafstar sighed. "I'll go check with him." Leafstar rose to his paws and stretched. He made his way to the nursery where Pinebranch and Sunpatch were grooming their kits. Pinebranch looked at Leafster in the eye and Leafstar knew they were thinking the same thing. "I'll go," mewed Pinebranch uncertainly. "You don't have to. If you don't go, then Deerleap can take your place." Pinebranch shook his head. "No, Sunpatch and I discussed it, and we decided that I should go." The tabby leader resigned. "Okay. I'll choose who goes." He left the nursery, and came out into the clearing. Foxbird was taking his apprentice Rushpaw out of camp on the dawn patrol. Shoresky was with them. Leafstar called out a greeting. "May StarClan guide your path." Shoresky nodded, and Rushpaw piped a farewell, while Foxbird just grunted. Those three should come tonight, thought Leafstar. And Mark, Fogpaw and Deerleap.
Leafstar jumped up to the highrock. "All cats going to the gathering come to the entrance!" He yowled. Rushpaw and Fogpaw were practicing battle movements, Pinebranch was circling Sunpatch one last time, and Shoresky was talking with Sparrowsong when he called for the patrol. The summoned cats gathered near him, and when they left, they thundered through the forest. When they got to the log that led them to the gathering, they were the second to arrive. CreekClan was already there. The two clans began to mingle and talk. Lionclaw, a warrior from CreekClan, was looking very proud. "Hello Lionclaw." Leafstar greeted the young warrior. "You look happy tonight." Lionclaw looked a bit flustered at being greeted by a leader, but he replied. "Yes, I am. My mate had kits two moonhighs ago." Leafstar was surprised. That's a coincidence. "How strange!" Leafstar, astonished, purred. "Pinebranch's mate had kits last night!" Lionclaw looked like he was about to say something, when Shoresky called out, "the MoorClan and DarkClan are here!" As the four clans started to mix, Leafstar looked for Streamstar and Clawstar, the other clan leaders. He saw Clawstar jump to the largest branch on The Great Tree. "Let the gathering begin!" The ancient call sounded throughout the island. Leafstar Streamstar and Heatherstar ran to the mighty oak and each jumped onto a branch, one for each leader, with many other branches. Pinebranch, Dappleblade, Twilightnight and Coldheart sat among the roots of the tree, and all of the medicine cats gathered in the middle of the cats. Streamstar stepped first, as he was the oldest leader. "Our warriors have spotted dogs on the moor. They are coming closer than usual, but we have made precautions. Other than that, prey is running well, and Rosepoppy has given us a tom, Cloudkit and a she-kit Cinderkit. Three weeks ago." The clan cats cheered, "MoorClan! MoorClan! MoorClan!" Clawstar cleared hid throat and stepped forward. "We have scented rouges on our territory near the FeatherClan border. We warn all cats. They smell of blood and gore." Fear rippled throughout the clearing. "Can you scent how many?" Pinebranch seemed nervous at the news of rouges. "Yes." Confirmed Clawstar. "Very many. More than the cats in this clearing!" "Clawstar. Please calm down. Is there anymore news from DarkClan?" Streamstar seemed unnerved at DarkClan's warning. Clawstar growled then yowled, "Duckfeather has blessed us with Sweetkit." The cats all cheered for DarkClan. "CreekClan has also had kits this past moon," Heatherstar yowled. "Lionclaw's mate, Blackstreak, has two healthy kits, Brackenkit, and Berrykit." Everyone cheered for CreekClan. "Other than that, twolegs have put some black, sticky liquid on our territory. We-" "Have you touched it at all?" A sharp voice came from the medicine cat area. "Have you?" Rosecloud stepped forward. "No of course not. CreekClan's cats are smart enough not to go touching things they shouldn't." Heatherstar's haughty tone rang throughout the clearing. Rosecloud seemed to not hear her. "Might this be the same liquid that poisoned RiverClan so many generations ago, when they first came to the lake? " a new look came on Heatherstar's face. "Thank you Rosecloud. CreekClan had not thought of that before." She dipped her head in respect to the old medicine cat. Seeing this debate over, Leafstar stepped forward. "All is well with FeatherClan. Sunpatch and Pinebranch have given us more than two-" he stretched out the word "two" "kits this moon. Webkit, Honeykit, and beautiful Silverkit." "FeatherClan! FeatherClan! FeatherClan!" "And out warriors have scented a fox in our territory. So watch out. And prey is running well. That is all." He jumped down and ran towards the exit.
Chapter Three ~ Silverkit Edit
One Week Later
Silverkit yawned. She opened her eyes, which startled her. I can see now? She thought. She looked up and saw a pretty ginger and white she-cat that smelled like her. She looked next to her and saw a black and white shape and a golden shape, which also smelled like her. The big she-cat moved and squished Silverkit. "Eep!" She squeaked. The she-cat turned her head to look at her. Do I look like her? Thought Silverkit. The she-cat purred. "Hello Silverkit. Do you know who I am?" Silverkit tipped her head to one side. "Are you my mother?" She asked. "Very good! And what's my name?" "Sunpatch?" Silverkit guessed. Sunpatch beamed. "I bet you're the smartest kit in the clan!" Silverkit tried to stand up. She felt a little wobbly at first, but she soon got used to it. "Look mama! I'm walking!" Silverkit laughed. Sunpatch purred, "yes, you are!" The black and white kit lifted it's head and opened it's eyes. "Are you my mama?" It asked. The pretty queen purred. "Yes Webkit, I am. And that's your sister over there." Webkit cocked an eye at Silverkit. "You're my sister?" He mewed disbelievingly. "You're my brother?" Silverkit echoed. They eyed each other suspiciously, then when they decided that the other was okay, they started to play fight. Silverkit was surprised at how much Webkit weighed. She had to match his strength with her speed and agility. She started wrestling a little more fiercely, and Sunpatch looked surprised for some reason. But she quickly shook it off. Finally, little Honeykit rose up and stretched. She looked at Sunpatch for a minute to fill in her image. "Mama?" Her voice was soft and sweet. "Yes dear Honeykit? What is it?" "Who are those kits over there?" Sunpatch purred. "Those are your littermates." Honeykit was wrestling and playing before you could say 'mouse'! Silverkit giggled happily. One brother and a sister. They're both good fighters. Honeykit caught Silverkit's eye. They both nodded and teamed up against Webkit. "Hey! Not fair!" He laughed. "We don't have to be fair!" Silverkit squeaked. Sunpatch purred. The brambles that covored the entrance swished. A gray tom with silver eyes, and a brown tabby she-cat with blue eyes came into the nursery. The tabby's eyes widened when she saw the trio. "You're awake!" She exclaimed happily. Silverkit looked at the two. "Who are you?" The tom laughed. "I'm Ripplekit. And this is my sister Brookkit." "Come on! We'll show you the camp!" Brookkit mewed excitedly. Ripplekit and Brookkit raced out of the den. Honeykit looked a little frazzled at Brookkit's excitement. Sunpatch gave them a nudge toward the entrance. "Go on. They wont hurt you. They're just excited. They've been counting each sunhigh since you were born!" Silverkit boldly walked to the brambles. "I'm going to go follow them." Webkit and Honeykit exchanged a glance and quickly followed her. The sun was bright. Silverkit looked around the camp, looking for Ripplekit and Brookkit. She thought she saw Brookkit's brown tabby pelt. "This way!" She whispered to her littermates. "We'll catch them by surprise!" The trio got down and crawled after the scent Silverkit smelled. The scent got closer and closer, untill Silverkit Honeykit and Webkit jumped out of the bushes. "Ah ha!" Silverkit cried triumphantly as they pounced on the tail. But it wasn't Brookkit's tail. It was a warrior's tail. "Uh-oh." Webkit muttered. But when the warrior turned his head, he didn't look mad. In fact, he looked amused. "Well hello." He purred. "And what are you doing out of the nursery?" "We're exploring!" Honeykit squeaked. "And looking for Brookkit and Ripplekit." Webkit added. He stared curiously at the brown tabby. "Who are you?" "I'm Leafstar." The tom purred. The kits stared wild eyed at each other. This was the clan leader! They quickly dipped their heads politely, and Leafstar laughed. "Now, now. We're kin! No need for that." "Kin?" Echoed Silverkit disbelievingly. Kin with the clan leader?! A purr rumbled in Leafstar's throat. "Yes, kin. I am your father's brother." Then a thoughtful expression came over Leafstar's face. "You haven't met your father yet. Have you?" Silverkit shook his head. "No not yet. We were looking for Brookkit and Ripplekit. They wanted to show us the camp." "Ripplekit and Brookkit came past here a couple seconds before you came." "Oh no." Groaned Honeykit, dismayed. "Boo!" Shouted a high pitched voice. "Eep!" Squealed Honeykit. But it was only Brookkit. She rolled on the ground giggling. "I got you! I got you!" She squealed happily. "You got me? Well I got you!" Honeykit tackled Brookkit, and they play fought. Ripplekit attacked Silverkit and Webkit. Soon, all five kits were covered with dirt. Leafstar purred, "you'd better get cleaned up, or your mothers will have a fit!" The kits eyes each other, realization hitting them like a rock. They started grooming themselves quickly. When they were done, each inspected another critically, saying things like, "oops, there's a tuft of fur sticking up behind your ear," "missed a spot. Here, ill get it for you," Or "your tail looks like another wash wouldn't do any harm." Finally they looked so clean, their pelts shone in the sun. Suddenly, a strange scent came from the entrance. Leafstar pricked his ears. "What is it?" Silverkit scooted closer to Ripplekit, wimpering. Ripplekit crouched down, scared. "I don't know. Leafstar?" But the leader was padding over to the entrance. The scent of something, something horrid came out of the tunnel. Silverkit suddenly saw herself, sitting in the clearing, with her denmates beside her, and a sandy colored tom in the clearing, covered blood. A gray tabby is wailing next to him while a white she-cat works on him. Then, just as quickly as the vision appeared, it vanished. Silverkit looked around wildly, but everything was still the same! But not for long. A tortoiseshell tom and a ginger she-cat padded through the entrance, with a sandy colored tom on their backs. Brookkit gasped. "Who is it?" Honeykit looked confused. "It's-" Brookkit broke off as a gray tabby she-cat ran into the clearing, wailing. "Mark! Speak to me, please! You can't die! We have kits! It's me, Jenny! Remember? Speak to me! Please, please oh please!" Brookkit looked like she was going to cry. So did Ripplekit. Honestly, Silverkit was on the edge of bursting out in tears at Jenny's attempts. Then, a white she-cat came and started to work on Mark. "Who are all these cats?" Silverkit whispered to Ripplekit. "The gray tabby is Jenny, and the injured tom is Mark. They're former loners, and they just had kits about three moonrises ago. You can see them later." Ripplekit paused so Silverkit could memorize this. "The old white fleabag is Rosecloud, the medicine cat, the tortoiseshell is Mossleaf and the ginger she-cat is Sparrowsong." "Okay, thanks." Silverkit turned her attention back to the scene. "Sunpatch! Cougarclaw!" Silverkit's mother and a tanish-brownish she-cat ran from the nursery to Rosecloud. "Please take your kits and Jenny to the nursery. Do you think you have some more milk, Sunpatch?" Sunpatch nodded, and meowed, "I see where you're going. I'll nurse them."