Why do I have one favorite and three follows but no reviews?! lol, just kidding. Just because I felt like it, I'm doubly updating! By the way, the prologue was only one moon after the battle.
4/17/2014: No what younger me stop. Spoiling. SPOILING I TELL YOU. Anyway...here's the edited first chapter!
The full moon gleamed as brightly as the water glittered, pooling down a silvery light over the cats of the Gathering, floating like a lone wolf in the depths of the navy blue, cloudless sky.
Dovewing sat contently beside her mate, Bumblestripe. Already, it had been six moons since the battle with the Dark Forest, and even though the Three never lost the power of the stars, she was still startled everytime she went to the leader's den, expecting a fiery-orange pelt and glimpsing instead a brown tabby one.
And she knew she had broken it off with Tigerheart. It was hard, forcing herself to pull away from him, stopping herself from letting her senses roam to the ShadowClan camp and hearing Tigerheart's mew.
Dovewing shook her head. He's from ShadowClan, she reminded herself. And I'm from ThunderClan. We're both loyal - it wouldn't ever work.
WindClan was late. Dovewing furrowed her brow for a moment, before concentrating and sending out her senses around the lake. The cats on the moor were just beginning to set off for the Gathering, running as fast as they could.
She sighed. It would take a while before WindClan got here. Putting that thought from her mind, she looked over the Gathering. Her eyes flew to young Seedpaw, only recently apprenticed to Jayfeather. The blind cat had a tongue sharper than a fox's claws, but he proved himself very good at mentoring. Right now, Willowshine was greeting her excitedly, telling her about the wonders of sharing tongues with StarClan and the beauty of the Moonpool. Her mentor was talking with a ThunderClan cat, Thornclaw, but Jayfeather seemed oddly distracted.
At the base of the Great Oak, Dovewing's sensitive ears heard Blackstar grumble of the lateness of WindClan, and how they should start the Gathering without them. She tensed.
"I agree that WindClan is late," Brambleclaw - Bramblestar - she was having a hard time remembering that he was leader - seemed to be choosing his words carefully. "But we've never started a Gathering without a Clan before, have we?"
Blackstar only snorted in annoyance. "We might!" was his irritated reply.
Almost as if on cue, the lean, muscled shapes of WindClan cats burst into the clearing. Ashfoot was at the front, her breaths coming raggedly, as well as all the cats behind them. What took them so long?
"About time!" Blackstar seemed to voice what Dovewing was thinking, but Ashfoot either didn't hear him, or ignored him, as she jumped on the Great Oak. Bumblestripe shifted in slight surprise.
"Wasn't Onestar the leader of WindClan?" he murmured in her ear.
Dovewing shrugged. "Maybe something happened," she replied.
Ashfoot, steadying herself, let out a loud yowl, silencing the mutters in the clearing. "Let the Gathering begin," she declared. Silence ensued that, and she took it as a prompt to begin. "WindClan brings grave news," she said. "Onestar has lost his final life. He hunts now, with StarClan. I am now Ashstar, leader of WindClan."
"Ashstar! Ashstar!" Dovewing chanted with the cats in the clearing.
Ashstar waved her tail, signaling that there was more to come. "The new deputy is Crowfeather," she announced.
As the cats chanted the name of the lean black tom, Dovewing felt a prickle of discomfort as she noticed how Leafpool was cheering especially loudly.
It was abruptly cut off as Ashstar finished. "That is all the news WindClan has to report." She stepped back on her branch, signaling to the other leaders to continue.
"ShadowClan brings good news," Blackstar began. "Dawnpelt has given us three new kits; Flamekit, Flowerkit and Pinekit. We also have two new apprentices; Marshpaw and Heavypaw."
"ShadowClan is thriving," Blackstar finished. "And we are growing strong in skill, and number." He finished on that note, his eyes glittering over to the cats of the other Clans, as if telling them not to challenge ShadowClan, or else they were going to regret it.
Dovewing almost groaned out loud. After the battle with the Dark Forest, Blackstar had clearly reverted to his old self.
Brambleclaw - dammit no, Bramblestar cut off her thoughts. "ThunderClan is coping well," he said. "We have two new warriors; Cherryfoot and Molewhisker." before the cats could chant, he added, "We also have two new apprentices - Snowpaw and Dewpaw."
Dovewing closed her eyes, feeling a wave of grief wash over her. There should've been three names there - Snowpaw, Dewpaw and Amberpaw, but Amberkit had died during her first leaf-bare with a case of greencough. The little kit hunted with StarClan now.
"Squirrelflight has stepped down as deputy, because she is nursing kits. Graystripe has replaced her." Though this meant that Graystripe had his old position of deputy back, Dovewing couldn't help but think how elderly the frail, gray tom looked on the roots of the Great Oak, surrounded by the lean-muscled deupties of the other Clans.
She tuned out RiverClan's report about a few Twolegs doing Twoleg stuff, and her eyes skimmed over the cats. She tensed, and her pelt fluffed up, as her eyes landed on a certain tabby pelt, amongst other ShadowClan warriors.
Dovewing tried to surpress the spark of warmth and security when her eyes landed on him, then almost immediately guilt washed over her as she thought about Bumblestripe, loyally standing beside her as she thought of another tom.
Bumblestripe nudged her, breaking her out of her turmoil of emotions. "Come on," he mewed. "The Gathering's over."
Was it? She was so distracted that she hadn't noticed.
As Dovewing leaped onto the trunk of the mossy, fallen tree, she wondered if she was disloyal for still having feelings for Tigerheart, as her mate lead the way in front of her.
The moment he arrived back from the Gathering, Lionblaze dumped himself in the soft, mossy goodness that was his nest. It felt so warm...so nice and soft..
He twitched, knowing he needed to get up and acknowledge whichever cat had called him, but tiredness won over and he sank deeper into the springy moss, sleep overtaking him again...
A prod in his side made his head jerk up, a scrap of moss still hanging from one ear. "I'm coming for the patrol, Cloudtail, don't claw my ears off," he mumbled sleepily out of habit for always oversleeping on the white warrior during dawn patrols.
A noise of amusement brought himself out of his sleepiness, and he realized that the cat standing before him was Cinderheart, not Cloudtail. A wave of embarrassment washed over him. "...oh."
A purr rumbled in her throat. "Well, according to Lionblaze, my fur has changed white and my eyes are now blue," she said, laughter in her eyes. As Lionblaze opened his jaws to reply, she continued. "Well, Brightheart was going hunting, and...in our territory..she found something interesting."
Lionblaze shook himself awake, crushing all drowsiness to the back of his mind. "What did she find?" he asked, with a hint of anxiety in his tone. The last thing they needed were a couple of badgers on their territory.
Cinderheart hesitated. "Brightheart came back to get her mate to help her carry it back," she said. "Lionblaze...she found two kits."
Lionblaze blinked, surprise clear on his features. "Did they bring the kits back?" he asked, hesitantly.
A nod was enough to send him barrelling out the warriors' den and out into the clearing of the hollow. A crowd had formed around where what Lionblaze assumed were the kits. His paws pushed himself forward to get a glimpse of them.
They were older than he imagined. Five moons, maybe. At first glance, he could tell they were polar opposites. They were both she-kits, siblings, probably, but were different in both appearance and personality. One she-kit was a glowing golden-brown, with tabby stripes and amber eyes. The small cat was standing protectively around her sister, her lips pulled back in the beginnings of a snarl, her claws unsheathed and her fur fluffed up to cover almost half her size. The other looked a little older, with pure white fur, and brilliant, emerald green eyes, who was lying calmly behind her sister.
They were both small, probably having been seperated from their mother early, and both soaked to the bone, and though the golden-brown she-kit's fur was still fluffed up, Lionblaze could clearly see that their ribs stood out, and they were unnaturally skinny.
"These kits were drowning in the lake," Brightheart was explaining to Bramblestar. "I couldn't leave them. They're awfully skinny," she added. "I think their mother abandoned them, maybe."
Bramblestar looked at them, and the golden-brown kit seemed to be faltering, her hunger and tiredness getting the better of her. She stumbled around her sister, her paws faltering.
His eyes softened.
"Alright," he agreed. "They can join the Clan." He nosed the white kit, who was blinking drowsily.
"This one will be named Halfkit," he announced. "And her sister will be named Amberkit."
Halfkit and Amberkit. Two new kits in addition the Clan.
"Welcome to ThunderClan," Lionblaze murmured, staring at the golden-brown she-kit, who had finally given in, and slumped, next to her sister, defeated.
After all, what harm could two kits do?
Lionblaze was about to find out.
Jayfeather had felt it.
Even if he hadn't mentioned it to the other medicine cats, he noticed small things that were amiss while sharing tongues with StarClan. The dreams were meaningless. Some were faded, or scratchy, or sometimes he didn't even get dreams.
And when he used his power to feel their emotions, Jayfeather caught nothing but fear, worry, anxiety and tiredness from his warrior ancestors. There was a problem going on - he just knew it.
So when he was pulled into a dream while sleeping the night during the Gathering, after Amberkit and Halfkit had been escorted to the nursery, Jayfeather was hardly surprised.
Though he was surprised at what he had seen.
Yellowed, dying grass crunched under his paws, the rank scent of death in the air. He wrinkled his nose. Silverpelt only glittered weakly in the sky, making him frown, and look around. Was this dying place even StarClan?
Before him, stood Bluestar and Yellowfang, and his mouth twisted in grim realization. "This is StarClan?"
"Yes," Yellowfang answered, her eyes darkened. "We're here...to give you a prophecy."
Those words sent Jayfeather's mood plummeting. "Another?! We've just finished battling the Dark Forest! Can't we rest for once?"
Chips of ice, firing daggers, met his defiant gaze.
"We don't have the time!" Bluestar snapped. "Look at us! Look at StarClan!" she gestured with her tail to the StarClan warriors. Jayfeather felt a jolt of surprise.
He knew that after many, many moons of a cat's death, their spirit would start fading, but even then it was slowly, one at a time, but Firestar, who had died only six moons ago, was half-faded already, and Rainwhisker, a warrior who had died when Jayfeather was only a kit, looked like he had lived many lifetimes before.
His eyes went back to Bluestar and Yellowfang. He noticed how the she-cats were both transparent, the navy azure of the night sky showing clearly through them, the yellowish-brown grass seen through their paws.
"Yes," Bluestar said tiredly, looking at Jayfeather as he realized what was happening. "StarClan is disappearing, no cat knows why or when it started, but it's happening, and we need to stop it."
For the first time in a while, Jayfeather felt almost...lost. StarClan had always guided the Clans, even during the battle of the Dark Forest, in which they only needed help from living cats because the Dark Forest also recruited some. He had always thought them as something of guidance that would always be there.
But now, before his very (blind) eyes, they were disappearing.
"Seven of Lightning's Strike will hold the power of the stars in their paws and destroy the blood of the tainted ones," Yellowfang recited quietly. Jayfeather looked over to her in surprise.
"There are seven, huh," he muttered, almost to himself. "What does the rest mean?" he asked Yellowfang.
The gray she-cat shook her head. "We don't know," she explained. "It was Rock's prophecy, from the Tribe of Rushing Water. And Rock hadn't forseen it; he had recieved it."
"The Three are part of the seven cats, right?" Jayfeather asked. The power of the stars was a familiar line to him.
"Yes." Bluestar nodded. "Though...we have found one more cat."
Jayfeather blinked, looking at her with rapt attention. "The fourth cat? Who is it? What's their name? Which Clan are they from?"
"Bluestar!" Yellowfang snapped irritably, glaring at the blue she-cat, who retured her gaze.
"He'll find out soon enough," she replied simply.
"What happened? Who's the cat?" Jayfeather pressed on, looking expectantly between one she-cat to the other.
There was a pause, and Yellowfang and Bluestar seemed to silently agree to tell him the name of the fourth cat.
"You know her quite well," Bluestar said quietly.
"Her name is Half Moon."
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4/18/2014: Holy crap guys, I wrote this to 1 am. I love you guys wayyyyyyy too much.