“All cats old enough to climb the highstones please gather for a clan meeting!” The call rang out through the forest clearing that RiftClan used as a camp. As the cats gathered, they realized something was wrong. A young black she-cat with deep green eyes was sitting in front of the large broken tree Miststar used for announcements. There were three warriors crouched around her, braced for attack. When all the cats had gathered, Miststar leapt down from where she crouched. “This she-cat,” she began, glaring sideways at the young black-furred warrior. “has been proven guilty of an unimaginable crime.” Cats whispered and shrugged, until Mistilverstar lashed her tail for attention. DriftClan's leader unsheathed dark claws. “This she-cat, Nightheart, has been conspiring with rogues!” Snarls of disbelief went up from the clan. Especially Alderbreeze, the young she-cat who had been Nightheart’s mentor.
“I don’t believe this!” She hissed, pushing her way to the front of the crowd. “I trained Nightheart to be a loyal warrior. You even said it yourself at her ceremony!” The brown tabby stood at the front of the crowd now, her muzzle a mouse-length away from her former mentor’s.
“Um, Alderbreeze, thanks for the support?” Nightheart murmured. But no one heard her. Cats were recovering from disbelief, and as Alderbreeze backed away from Miststar, cats started yowling at the leader.
“Kill her! Traitor! Drive her out! Destroy her and those rogues!”
Her clanmate’s yowls pounded Nightheart’s ears. Couldn’t they understand? If she had the chance to give her side of the story, she would have told them the truth. that she had been training the rogues so that when she asked for them to join the clan, they would have a higher chance of being accepted into the clan. That was the only reason she had been with the rogues. She was snapped from her thoughts as Miststar hissed.
“Well, Moonflash? Do you have anything to say in your sister’s defence?” The leader was sitting, facing toward Nightheart’s sister. “Or does she justly deserve punishment in your eyes?” As Moonflash faced her, Nightheart looked at her fiercely. She wanted her her sister to at least say something. But Moonflash looked away, and disappeared back into the crowd, with a last look at Nightheart. Her eyes seemed to say I love you, and I won’t forget you. Miststar cleared her throat. “Well, if Moonflash has nothing to say, then Nightheart. You deserve punishment. And you shall get it.” The leader spat. And after a moment’s pause, she looked around at the clan. “I have decided. You shall be punished by exile. Leave now, and if any warrior from any clan sees you, they have permission to give you no mercy. Now!” Nightheart gazed sadly back at her clanmates for the last time, tears making her eyes shimmer. Then she spun around, and ran out of the clans.
Chapter 1: (The Gathering) Edit
“Race ya to the star crystal!” Snowpaw’s yowl cut through the frosty air as she bounded over the small crystals beside her brother, Crowpaw. They were in Star Hollow, the place where all four Clans met at every full moon to exchange news and meet cats from other clans, there was also a truce, which meant that apprentices could show of their new moves, but no one had claws or teeth out. As the RiftClan apprentices padded over the uneven stones, the rest of RiftClan leapt over the glittering points behind them. And without warning, a small grey tom leapt in front of the two apprentices.
“No cat shall pass without being deemed worthy!” He grinned wickedly, showing a row of gleaming white teeth.
“Thistlepatch! Stop scaring the apprentices!” A sharp mew sounded from behind them, and a ginger she-cat padded up to the grey tom and gave him a flick over the ear. “It’s their first Gathering!”
“Sor-ry, Flickerstride.” Thistlepatch muttered. “But, ya know, you’re not deputy yet. So ya can’t really boss me around that much.”
Flickerstride twisted her muzzle imperiously. “Soon enough.” She hissed, falling back into the group.
“Um, I guess I just ruined your first Gathering.” Thistlepatch mewed, casting an apologetic glance at Snowpaw and her brother. "At least it isn’t going to be as boring as my first.” He sounded like he was about to start a story, which Snowpaw loved.
“Tell us!” She meowed happily, hopping over a crystal.
“Well,” Thistlepatch mewed. “Flickerstride was my mentor, and you know her. So, as soon as we entered Star Hollow, she started blabbing about the history of this place.”
“Ooh! I know!” Crowpaw squeaked. “This place was discovered by a HeathClan apprentice who was looking for shelter during a storm. Her name was Ebonypaw, and she became the third Leader of HeathClan.”
“Yep. She told me every single historic event that’s ever happened here, too.” Thistlepatch nodded. “It was pretty boring, and now my brain is filled with stuff about the first leader to step onto the Star Crystal, instead of useful facts about hunting!” He finished, his pace quickening as they approached where PebbleClan and HeathClan were already waiting. Snowpaw and Crowpaw padded over to a group of other Apprentices.
“He-hello,” Snowpaw mewed shyly. “May we sit with you?”
A brown and ginger tom sprang up. “Of course! You can sit next to Wingpaw.” He flicked his tail at a large Apprentice she-cat. “I’m Copperpaw, by the way.”
“I’m Snowpaw, and this is my brother, Crowpaw.” Snowpaw mewed, settling beside Wingpaw. “This is our first Gathering. I’m so excited!”
A dark grey Apprentice who was sitting beside Copperpaw cocked her head. “This is your first Gathering? Really? You two look halfway through your apprenticeship!”
“Well, we are ten moons old, but Crowpaw got sick for almost two moons, and I didn’t want to go without him, then I hurt my shoulder and couldn’t run for a while. But now we’re here!” Snowpaw mewed.
The dark grey she-cat nodded. “I’m Ashenpaw, by the way.” She glanced behind her. “Oh, look! I can see NightClan coming!” She called over her shoulder.
“Let the Gathering begin!” HeathClan’s leader, Silverstar, called.
Batstar, the leader of NightClan, crawled onto the Star Crystal quickly. “I shall start.” She announced, her dark brown fur shining in the moonlight. “We have new kits on the way, Sprucetail is expecting!” Snowpaw looked around to see a thick-furred grey she-cat licking her chest fur, and a yellow and white tom beside her, both smiling. “As well,” Batstar continued. “I have chosen an Apprentice, to be the future Leader of NightClan! Branchpaw!” The Clans cheered, and Ashenpaw smiled widely.
“Branchpaw is my brother.” She whispered happily.
Batstar stepped back, letting Silverstar step forward. “HeathClan is thriving, and we have three new warriors. Welcome, Cinderfur, Darkfrost, and Littleseed!”
“CINDERFUR! DARKFROST! LITTLESEED!” The underground cavern was filled with cheering. Snowpaw stood up, and saw between the cheering warriors, three silhouettes, sitting at the front of the crowd. That must be Darkfrost, Littleseed and Cinderfur, she thought. I can't wait to become a warrior myself.
Reedstar padded to the front of the Star Crystal as Silverstar hopped onto a smaller branch. “PebbleClan is doing well, and one of our warriors, Stonetooth, has decided to become an elder.” He mewed. “He has served PebbleClan well.” The cats dipped their heads in respect, and Snowpaw shot a glance at Reedstar. He looks a little sick, she thought. Just then, Alderstar leapt to the front of the crystal.
"RiftClan is doing well, although one of our beloved elders, Tawnytail, has passed due to old age. We continue to be thankful for her service as a warrior." Alderstar mewed. The cats all put their paw to their muzzle and lifted it into the air, murmuring
"Tawnytail, we thank you, and we will miss you." She did it, and saw Crowpaw doing it as well.
“It’s a sign of respect and thanks,” Ashenpaw mouthed to Snowpaw. The white apprentice nodded as the Gathering Ended. Alderstar leapt down from the crystal gracefully. “The gathering is at an end!” The cats swirled, regrouping and leaving the cavern.
“See you at the next Gathering!” Ashenpaw called, heading toward NightClan, with Wingpaw beside her.
“Bye Snowpaw!” Copperpaw meowed cheerfully, waving his tail.
“See you later!” Snowpaw mewed, going with Crowpaw back to RiftClan.
As they headed back into RiftClan’s camp, Crowpaw’s mentor, Plumblossom, padded up beside them. “How’d you like your first Gathering?” She asked.
“Great!” Crowpaw purred. “I never knew there were so many other apprentices.”
“And I never thought they’d ever be so friendly!” Snowpaw added. “And most of them are our age!”
Plumblossom smiled. “Well, you two better get some sleep, who knows what tomorrow will bring!”
Chapter 2: (The Ceremony) Edit