Forgiven

Blackberry was distant on the way back from Redstone. Bigwig and Hazel couldn't get it out of her what had happened between her and Campion, all they could get out of her was that it hadn't gone well. At times she'd almost tense and look around as if she'd seen Campion there, but she would always pull her head back to the ground and carry on, shoulder's heaving with emotion.

At last, they reached the hill. Blackberry simply disappeared down into her burrow before anyone could stop her. Bigwig made to go after her, but Hazel put a paw on his shoulder.

"Let her go. You can't force her to talk, she's had a big shock." Bigwig nodded and reluctantly made for the main burrow, where Primrose, Fiver and Pipkin were waiting for him.

"We've got her back home, but she will not tell us anything about what happened between her and Campion."

Bigwig interjected with a stern reminder " So no one, on any account, is to mention Campion to her. Understood?" Everyone nodded. "Then I think it's time we all went to sleep. Goodnight." As everyone said goodnight and parted, Pipkin stayed still for a moment, lost in how much he hated himself for what he had done.

….

Blackberry managed to hide her worries and sadness about Campion by throwing herself into enlarging the warren. While she was still cheerful to all the helpers she had, Primrose would often walk in to her crying in her burrows. Blackberry was determined to get through this, and she refused to let her grief get to her.

Pipkin had been avoiding her, and she wanted to know why. So one night, she waited in the darkest area of the Honeycomb and as the other rabbits left, she saw Pipkin slowly make his way towards his burrow. She stepped out in front of him and said, gently but firmly "Come outside with me Pipkin, it's time we had a talk."

As the two of them went outside, into the coolness of the night, she reflected on how far he had come. She had been with him to defend him against bullies back at Sandleford, and now, he was leading the Junior Owlsa. She turned around and looked him straight in his nervous eye. "What's going on Pipkin? You've been avoiding me since I saw Campion again." Pipkin looked down and then burst out.

"Because I broke my promise to Campion and I didn't tell you he's been alive and I've so wanted to but I thought that he'd come to terms with what happened to him and I'm so, so sorry!" He was trying his best not to burst into tears, but it was a hopeless struggle as he let himself sob. The next thing her knew was that he was being hugged tightly by Blackberry's soft arms. As he straightened up in surprise, she spoke gently.

"Oh Pipkin. I would have preferred it if you had told me earlier, but your loyalty to Campion deserves praise. I'm going to find Camion, whether it takes me forever. And besides, I never hated you. I'm always going to like you, even if you do the stupidest things, and this is not one of them." Pipkin looked grateful. Blackberry smiled and hugged him again. "You're forgiven. Now let's get back inside, I'm exhausted." The two of them hopped into their warren, with hope for the future.

"