AvatarCat11: Hello, everyone! And welcome back to the Nightfang series! This time, we're gonna go through Nightfang Potter And The Prisoner Of Alcatraz! And Harry is with me today, but Katara and Holly will return soon.
Harry: Hey there, everyone. It's good to see this series picking up the pace! And this is when my cat form meets his...
AvatarCat11: Don't spoil the story yet, Harry! Wait till everyone reads through. Now would you like to say the disclaimer and book summary?
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling and Erin Hunter correspondingly own Harry Potter and Warrior Cats, not AvatarCat11.
Summary: For twelve long years, the dreadful fortress of Second Alcatraz off the coast of southern Alaska held an infamous prisoner named Padfoot Black. Convicted of murdering thirteen Twolegs with a single attack, he was said to be the supposed heir of the Dark Bear, Red Helmet.
Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues for where he is headed: new warrior Nightfang Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's ruin as well. And the guards of Alcatraz even heard him mutter in his sleep, "He's at the Forest... He's at the Forest..."
Nightfang is not safe, not even in the walls of his island school and with his friends. Because on top of it all in third year, there may be a traitor, waiting to strike.
Publishing Date: December 10, 2011
AvatarCat11 and Harry: Enjoy Nightfang Potter Book 3!
The cat's tail-wand glowed brightly before he hid under the covers. A bigger cat had come into the room and sniffed the air, trying to find the source of the light. When he didn't find it, he gave a snort and stomped away. This happened five more times before he gave up, not returning after that.
Nightpaw Potter was a very strange cat in many ways. For one thing, he hated greenleaf vacation more than any other time of year. For another, he wanted to do his homework, but he was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night.
And let's not forget he was a warrior cat.
It was nearly moonhigh, and he was lying on his belly in his nest, the covers drawn right over his head like a tent. He was holding a flashlight underneath one paw and a large leather-bound book (A History of Warriorism by Midnight Bagshot) buoyed open against a pillow. Nightpaw moved the tip of his eagle-feather quill down the page, frowning as he looked for something that would help him write his essay. It was 'Warrior Cat Hunting in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless. Discuss with an essay.'
The quill paused at the top of a likely looking paragraph. Nightpaw nervously licked his tongue over his nose, moved his flashlight closer to the book, and read:
Humans (or known to warriors as Twolegs) were particularly afraid of magic and cats in the Middle Ages, but they were not very good at recognizing magic. On the occasion they did catch a real warrior cat, burning had no effect at all. The warrior would perform a basic Fire-Freezing Charm and then pretend to screech with pain while enjoying a gentle tickling sensation. Indeed, Wildface the Weird enjoyed being burned so much she let herself be caught no less than forty-seven times in various disguises.
Nightpaw put his quill between his teeth and reached under his pillow for his inkbottle and a roll of parchment. Slowly and carefully, he removed the ink bottle, dipped his quill into it, and began to write, pausing often to listen, because he didn't want to hear if any of the Dursley cats heard the scratching of his quill on their way to the bathroom. He would probably find himself locked in the cage in the downstairs closet for the rest of greenleaf.
The Dursley cats of Number Six, Evergreen Avenue, were the reason Nightpaw never enjoyed his greenleaf vacation. Uncle Bristle, Aunt Tulip, and their son, Tubby, were Nightpaw's only living kin. They were kittypets, and they had a very feudal attitude toward magic. Nightpaw's dead parents, who were warriors themselves, were never mentioned under the Dursley cats' roof.
For years, Tulip and Bristle had hoped that if they kept their nephew as beaten as possible, they would be able to crush the magic out of him. To their fury, they had failed. These days they lived in terror of anyone finding out that he had spent most of the last two years at the Forest, School of Warriorism. The most they could do, however, was to lock away Nightpaw's spell books, tail-wand, pot, and wings at the start of greenleaf, and prevent him from talking to the neighbors.
This separation from his spell books had been a real problem for Nightpaw, because his mentors at the Forest had given him a lot of homework. One of the essays, a nasty one about reduction potions, was for Nightpaw's least favorite mentor, Brokenfang Snape, who would be glad to have an excuse to give Nightpaw detention for a moon. Thus, Nightpaw seized his chance in the first quarter-moon of greenleaf. While his relatives had gone out into the front garden to admire the new company car (in loud voices so that others would notice), which belonged to their Twoleg, Nightpaw crept downstairs, picked the lock on the cage in the closet, grabbed some of his books, and hid them in his bedroom. As long as he didn't leave spots of ink on the sheets, the Dursley cats would never know he was studying magic and Warriorism at night.
Nightpaw wanted to avoid trouble with his aunt and uncle at the moment, as they were already in a bad mood with him. It was all because he received a phone call from a fellow warrior cat one quarter-moon into the school vacation.
Redpaw Weasley, one of Nightpaw's best friends at the Forest, came from a whole family of warriors. This meant he knew a lot of things Nightpaw didn't, but he had never used a phone before. Most unhappily, Uncle Bristle was the one who had answered the call instead of their Twoleg.
"Bristle Dursley speaking."
Nightpaw, who was in the room at the time, froze as he heard Redpaw's voice answer.
"HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? I WANT TO TALK TO...NIGHTPAW POTTER!"
Redpaw was yowling so loudly that Bristle jumped and held the receiver away from his ear. He was staring at it with an expression of mingled fury and alarm.
"WHO IS THIS?" he roared into the mouthpiece. "WHO ARE YOU?"
Redpaw bellowed back, as if they were speaking from opposite ends of a field, "I'M REDPAW WEASLEY! I'M A FRIEND OF NIGHTPAW'S FROM SCHOOL!"
Uncle Bristle's small yellow eyes looked around at Nightpaw, who was rooted to the spot, before roaring like it was going to explode. "THERE IS NO NIGHTPAW POTTER HERE! I DON'T KNOW WHAT SCHOOL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! NEVER PHONE ME AGAIN! DON'T YOU COME NEAR MY FAMILY!"
And he threw the receiver back onto the phone like he was dropping a deadly spider. The fight that had followed had been one of the worst one Nightpaw had ever been in.
"I had no idea he was going to yowl like that!" Nightpaw started protesting. "I swear I didn't know!"
"HOW DARE YOU GIVE THIS NUMBER TO CATS LIKE...LIKE YOU!" Bristle roared, spraying Nightpaw with spit.
Redpaw must have known he got Nightpaw in trouble, because he didn't call again. Nightpaw's other best friend from the Forest, Fawnpaw Granger, hadn't been in touch with him either. The young cat guessed Redpaw warned Fawnpaw not to call, which was a pity. For Fawnpaw, the smartest she-cat in Nightpaw's year, was kittypet-born, knew how to use a phone, and would probably have enough sense not to say she went to the Forest.
So Nightpaw had had no word from any of his warrior friends for a moon, and this greenleaf was going to be as bad as the last one. There was one very small improvement: after promising never to use her to send letters to his friends, Nightpaw was now allowed to let his owl, Katara, out at night. Bristle had given in because of the noise Katara made if she was locked in her cage.
Nightpaw finished writing about Wildface the Weird and paused to listen again. The silence in the dark house was broken only by the distant grunting snores of his overweight cousin, Tubby. It must be late, Nightpaw thought. His eyes were itching with tiredness. Perhaps he would finish this essay tomorrow night.
He replaced the top of the ink bottle and pulled an old pillowcase from under his bed. Nightpaw put the flashlight and his school stuff inside it, got out of his nest, and hid it all under a loose floorboard under his nest. Then he stood up, stretched his lean muscles, and checked the time on the glowing alarm clock on his bedside table.
It was one in the morning. Nightpaw's belly gave a funny jolt, yet it was the good kind of funny. He was thirteen years old now, but he didn't even know it for a whole hour. Yet another unusual thing about Nightpaw was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his entire life. The Dursley cats had completely ignored his past two birthdays and the others, and he had no reason to guess they would remember this one.
Nightpaw padded across the dark room and past Katara's large empty cage to the open window. He leaned on the sill, the cool night air of southern Alaska pleasing on his face after a long time under the blankets. Katara had been away for two nights in a row. Nightpaw wasn't too worried about her; she would often be gone for more nights. But he hoped she would be back soon. She was the only other animal in this house who didn't flinch at him.
Nightpaw, who was a skinny Maine Coon/British Shorthair mix, had grown a few inches over last year. His long jet-black fur, however, was just as it always had been: mulishly messy, no matter what he did to it. His tired were bright green and shaped like almonds, and recently, he had by accident stuck his right front paw in white food coloring; thus, he now had a white paw forever. And on his forehead, clearly visible through his head fur, was a thin white scar, shaped like a bolt of lightning.
Of all the odd things about Nightpaw, this scar was the oddest of all. It was not, like the Dursley cats pretended for ten years, a token of a monster crash that killed Nightpaw's parents, because Lilypelt and Darkfire Potter (British Shorthair and Maine Coon in that order) didn't die like that. They were murdered, killed by the most evil Dark Bear for a century, Red Helmet. Nightpaw had escaped from the same attack with just a scar on his forehead, where Red Helmet's curse, instead of killing him, rebounded upon its maker. Barely alive, the black demon bear fled for his life.
But Nightpaw had come face-to-face with him at the Forest. Remembering their last meeting in the Cavern of Secrets as he sat at the dark window, Nightpaw had to admit he was lucky even to reach his thirteenth birthday.
He skimmed the starry sky for a sign of Katara, maybe returning with a dead frog dangling from her beak, expecting praise. Gazing vaguely over the rooftops of the neighborhood, it was a few seconds before Nightpaw realized what he was seeing.
Outlined against the golden moon, and growing larger every moment, was a big oddly crooked creature, and it was flapping in his direction. Nightpaw stood quite still, watching it sink lower at him. For a split second he hesitated, still sitting on the window sill, wondering whether to slam the window shut. But then, as the odd creature soared over one of the street lamps of Evergreen Avenue, Nightpaw, realizing what it was, leapt aside.
Through the window soared three owls, two holding up the third, which appeared to be knocked out. They landed with a soft thud on Nightpaw, and the middle owl, which was small and brown, keeled right over and lay still. There was a large package tied to its legs.
Nightpaw identified the comatose owl right away; his name was Dodo, the Burrowing Owl who belonged to the Weasley family. Nightpaw dashed to the nest, untied the strings around Dodo's legs, took off the parcel, and carried Dodo to Katara's cage. The Burrowing Owl opened one hazy eye, gave a weak hoot of thanks, and began to gulp down some water.
The black cat turned back to the remaining owls. One of them, the large white-feathered female, was his own Katara, an odd mix of Barn Owl and Snowy Owl. She was also carrying a parcel and looked really satisfied with herself. She gave Nightpaw's ear a friendly pinch with her beak as he removed her burden, then she flew across the room to join Dodo.
But Nightpaw didn't recognize the third owl, a handsome tawny Tropical Screech Owl, but he knew where it had come from. In addition to a third package, it was carrying a letter bearing the crest of the Forest. When Nightpaw relieved this owl of its burden, it ruffled its feathers highly, stretched its wings, and took off through the window into the night.
Nightpaw sat down on his bed and grabbed Dodo's package, ripped off the paper, and discovered a present wrapped in gold and his first birthday card he had ever gotten in his life. Paws quaking slightly, he unsheathed one claw and opened the envelope.
Two pieces of paper fell out: a letter and a paper excerpt.
The excerpt had clearly come out of the warrior newspaper, the Daily Prophet, because the cats in the black-and-white picture were moving. Nightpaw picked up the excerpt, smoothed it out, and read:
GOVERNMENT OF WARRIORISM WORKER SCOOPS GRAND PRIZE
Weaseltail Weasley, Head of the Mistreatment of Twoleg Relic Office at the Government of Warriorism, has won the annual Daily Warrior Grand Prize Galleon Draw.
A delighted Weasley told the Daily Warrior, "We will be spending the gold on a vacation in Japan for greenleaf, where our eldest son, Birdstorm, works as a curse breaker for Liverpool Warrior Bank."
The Weasley family will be spending a moon in Japan, returning for the start of the new school year at Forest, which five of the Weasley children currently go to.
Nightpaw scanned the moving photo, and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the Weasley cats waving at him, standing in front of a large Shaolin temple. These were the Weasley cats: plump Hollywhisker and graying Weaseltail with six sons and one daughter, all (though the black-and-white picture didn't show) with flaming-red fur. Right in the middle of the picture was Redpaw, tall and lanky, with his pet mouse, Scrapper, on his shoulder and his foreleg around his little sister, Leafpaw. And standing behind them was their hippie Twoleg owner, Samantha.
The black cat couldn't think of anyone who deserved to win a large pile of gold more than the Weasleys. Despite being very poor, they were very nice cats, more nice than the Dursley cats would ever be.
So Nightpaw picked up Redpaw's letter and unfolded it.
Happy birthday! And sorry about that phone call. I hope the kittypets didn't give you a hard time about it. I asked Dad about it, and he thinks I shouldn't have yowled.
It's awesome here in Japan. Birdstorm's taken us around all the temples and you wouldn't believe the curses those old Japanese warriors put on them. Mom wouldn't let Leafpaw come in the last one. There were pictures of these Japanese samurai in there, of Twolegs who broke in and grew extra heads and stuff.
I couldn't believe it when Dad won the Daily Warrior Draw. Seven hundred galleons; that was amazing! Most of it is gone on this trip, but they're going to buy me a new tail-wand for next school year.
Nightpaw remembered too well the occasion when Redpaw's old tail-wand had snapped. It had happened when the truck the two of them were flying to the Forest had crashed into a tree on the school grounds. The tree was called the Rampaging Rowan.
We'll be back about a quarter-moon before the school year starts and we'll be going up to Juneau to get my tail-wand and our new books. Could we meet you there?
Don't let the kittypets keep you down! They can't keep a good cat down!
Try and come to Juneau soon.
Your friend, Redpaw
P.S. Sandthorn's now Head Cat. He got the letter last quarter-moon.
P.S.S. I got my warrior name from my last letter from the Forest. So from now on, call me Redstone! See you later!
Nightpaw grinned down at the last part, happy that his friend finally got his warrior name. Then he glanced back at the picture. Sandthorn, who was in his seventh and final year at the Forest, was looking very superior indeed. He had pinned his Head Cat badge to the helmet perched gaily on top of his neat head, his curly fur flashing in the Japanese sun.
Nightpaw now turned to his present and unwrapped it. Inside was what looked like a small glass spinning top. There was another note from Redstone beneath it.
P.S.S.S. To let you know, Nightpaw, this is a Pocket Sneak Scope. If there's someone dishonest around, it's supposed to light up and spin. Birdstorm says it's just fox-dung sold for warrior travelers and isn't reliable, because it kept lighting up at dinner last night. But he didn't realize this: Berrytail and Cherrynose had put earthworms in his sushi.
See you soon! Your friend, Redstone
Nightpaw put the Pocket Sneak Scope on his bedside table. There, it stood quite still, balanced on its point, reflecting the glowing hands of his clock. He looked at it happily for a few seconds, and then he picked up the parcel Katara had brought him.
Inside this, too, there was a wrapped present, a card, and a letter. This time, the letter was from Fawnpaw.
Redstone wrote to me and told me about his phone call to your Uncle Bristle. I hope you're okay.
I'm on vacation in Puerto Rico at the moment and I didn't know how I was going to send this to you. I was thinking 'What if they'd opened it at customs?' But as soon as I thought that, Katara turned up! I think she wanted me to get you something for your birthday for a change.
I bought your present by owl-order; there was an ad in the Daily Warrior (I've been getting it delivered; it's good to keep up with what's going on in the warrior world). Did you see that picture of Redstone and his family a quarter-moon ago? I bet he's learning lots of stuff! I'm so jealous right now! I heard from him that the ancient Japanese warriors were awesome.
There's some interesting local history of wildcat activity here too. I rewrote my whole History of Warriorism essay to include some of the things I've found out. I hope it's not too long; it's two rolls of scrolls more than Professor Franklin asked for.
Redstone told me he's going to be in Juneau before greenleaf vacation ends. Can you make it? Will your relatives or your owner let you come? I really hope you can. If not, I'll see you on the Forest Train on September first!
Love from, Fawnpaw
P.S. Redstone says Sandthorn's Head Cat. I'll bet Sandthorn's really happy. Redstone doesn't seem happy about it.
P.S.S. I also got my warrior name like Redstone. My new name is Fawnwillow, and I'm proud of it! See you soon!
Nightpaw laughed as he put Fawnwillow's letter aside and picked up her present for him. It was very heavy. Knowing the Angora mix, he was sure it would be a large book full of very difficult spells, but it wasn't. His heart gave a huge leap of joy as he ripped back the paper and saw a sleek black leather case, with silver words stamped across it. The words read Wing Servicing Kit.
"Wow, Fawnwillow!" the black cat whispered, unzipping the case to look inside. "You're so awesome, you know that?"
There was a large jar of Fleetwood's High-Finish Feather Polish, a pair of shiny silver Feather Clippers, a tiny brass compass to clip on your wings for long journeys, and a Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Wing-Care.
Apart from his friends, the thing Nightpaw missed most about the Forest was, the most popular sport in the warrior. It was highly dangerous, but it was exciting, and it was played on wings. Nightpaw happened to be a very good AirBall player; he was the youngest cat in a century to be picked for one of the Forest Clan teams. One of Nightpaw's most prized possessions was his Icarus Three Thousand set of racing wings.
Nightpaw put the leather case aside and picked up his last package. He knew the untidy scrawl on the brown paper at once: this was from Badgerstripe Hagrid, gamekeeper of the Forest. He tore off the top layer of paper with one claw and saw something green and leathery, but before he could open it properly, the parcel gave a strange quiver. And whatever was inside it snapped loudly, as if it had jaws.
The Maine Coon mix froze in place, unable to move. He knew Badgerstripe wouldn't send him anything dangerous with intent, but then again, he didn't have a normal cat's view of what was dangerous. Badgerstripe was known to help giant ants, buy vicious three-headed dragons from cats in bars, and sneak illegal griffin eggs into his hut.
Nightpaw poked the parcel tensely with his white paw. It snapped loudly again. Then Nightpaw leaped onto the nightstand, unsheathed his claws, and leaped back onto his nest, ready to strike. Then he seized the rest of the wrapping paper in his claws and pulled.
And out fell...a book.
The British Shorthair mix got time to register its handsome green cover, adorned with the golden title The Monster Book of Monsters. But then, the book spun onto its edge and scuttled sideways along the bed like some weird crab.
"Oh shit," he muttered.
The book toppled off the nest with a loud clunk and shuffled rapidly across the room; Nightpaw followed it silently. The book was hiding in the dark space under his desk. Praying to StarClan that the Dursley cats were still fast asleep, Nightpaw crouched low to the floor and reached his black left paw toward it.
The book snapped shut on his paw and flapped past him, still scuttling on its covers. Nightpaw scrambled around as if he was trying to catch a beached fish, pounced forward, and managed to pin it to the floor. Uncle Bristle gave a loud sleepy grunt in the room next door.
Katara and Dodo watched with interest as Nightpaw clamped the struggling book tightly in his jaws. He hurried to his chest of drawers and pulled out an old collar, which he buckled tightly around it; Nightpaw had gotten a new blue collar since his old red one snapped long ago. The Monster Book shuddered angrily, but it could no longer flap and snap. Nightpaw threw it down on the nest and reached for Badgerstripe's card.
Think you might find this useful for next year.
Won't say no more here. Tell you when I see you.
Hope the kittypets you right.
All the best,Badgerstripe
It struck Nightpaw strange if Badgerstripe thought a biting book would come in useful, but he decided to find out later. So he put Badgerstripe's card up next to Redstone's and Fawnwillow's, smiling more broadly. Now there was only the letter from the Forest left.
Noticing that it was rather thicker than usual, Nightpaw slit the envelope open with his claws. Then he pulled out the first page of scroll from within and read:
Dear Mr. Potter,
Please note that the new school year will begin on September the first. The Forest Train will leave from King's Cross station, platform seven and a half, at eleven A.M.
Third year cats are permitted to visit the Village on certain weekends. Please give the enclosed permission form to your parent or guardian to sign.
And since you are becoming a third year warrior cat, it is time for you to have your warrior name. From now on, your name will be not Nightpaw, but Nightfang. StarClan honors your bravery and determination, and we hope you continue your good work as a warrior.
A list of books for next year is enclosed.
Thistleheart McGonagall, Deputy of the Forest
The newly-named Nightfang pulled out the Village permission form and looked at it, no longer smiling. It would be great to visit the Village on weekends; he knew it was an entire warrior cat village, and he had never set paw there. But how in StarClan's name was he going to persuade Uncle Bristle or Aunt Tulip to sign the form?
He looked over at the alarm clock. It was now two A.M. in the morning.
Deciding to worry about the form when he woke up, Nightfang leaped back onto his nest and reached up to cross off another day on the chart he made for himself. This chart was for counting down the days left until he returned to the Forest. Then he burrowed beneath the covers and curled himself up into a ball; eyes still open, he looked at his three birthday cards.
Even though he was an odd cat, for now, Nightfang Potter felt just like everyone else. For the first time in his life, he was happy it was his birthday.
To be continued...
AvatarCat11: There! The first chapter to the new story is done! And I hoped everyone likes the new names of the Golden Trio!
Harry: I did. And I'll send an owl to Ron and Hermione to see what they think of it.
AvatarCat11: All right then. And who would like to say the review?
Harry: I will. (To the readers) Anyone who reviews this new story will receive virtual Jolly Rancher candy canes, M&Ms, or sugar frosted cookies. Flames will be used to roast chestnuts on the open fire. And constructive criticism is allowed as long as it's not harsh.
AvatarCat11: Chestnuts? I, and Garfield, prefer corndogs roasting on the open fire! But as we were saying, folks, I hope you like the new names! If you'd like, you can give name ideas for each third-year cat. I already picked out Toadpaw's name, but the others are free for the choosing.
AvatarCat11 and Harry: See ya next time! And Merry early Christmas!