Snowpaw and the flames

Hey! So I was on this role playing site, kugyay and there was a fire and it was really fun, I was role playing as my character Snowpaw and it gave me the idea to write this, it's the same cats as the ones in my other story 'there will be four' so you won't recognise them if you haven't read that! But that's ok, it introduces them pretty much anyway. This will be a one shot unless I get an overwhelming response to write more than I will!

Note: if you've read my other story this comes before it and so there is no prophecy yet! Oh and quite a big difference Snowpaw is a she-cat and she has an older sister called Nightfall! If I do write anymore chapters I was thinking of doing different natural disasters or fights from the point of view of a random cat in each clan so yeah! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own warrior cats

The heat bore down on Thunderclan camp, the ground was dry and cracked underneath aching pads and throats were even drier after the thin stream that wound through the territory dried up. As well as the border and hunting patrols, water patrols where to be fitted in, fetching water from the Stepping stones crossing the still raging river, separating Thunderclan territory from riverclan, in wads of moss for the elders and kits. The lack of water and extra patrols was certainly taking a toll on the warriors of the clan, once night fell and temperatures finally dropped, the weary felines, too tired to talk or complain they simply dragged themselves into their dens to sleep until the sun crept into the cave, as good an alarm as any, forcing them to rise to their paws once again, barely any more rested than they were when they had went to sleep.

The clan leader, Silverstar was working tirelessly, first to rise and last to sleep he was a source of encouragement, a well of strength for the fatigued clan as he went out on as many patrols as was possible, never eating until every cat had first, from the youngest kit to the eldest elder. This was a hard time for Thunderclan, he knew that but he also knew Thunderclan were strong, they would survive even if he had to lose a life to ensure that. But the heat was taking its toll, after suffering from heat stroke, the deputy; Flamepelt was confined in the medicine cats den under the careful care of Doveswing along with Cherrypaw and Owlwhisker. Despite Flamepelts weak condition, the fiery red she-cat was a less than willing patient, desperate to be working patrols, to lessen the load on the rest of the clan, and Cherrypaw was much the same.

Apprentices and warriors worked side by side, almost all training had stopped under the weight of the patrols and the weariness of the cats that ran them, but the apprentices, in their opinions were receiving tedious lessons in endurance. Even the prey was hiding from the heat, and the fresh kill pile was pitiful, filled with only a few scrawny mice and voles on a good day, adding insult to injury on the cats trying desperately to fill it. Anyone entering the clan, who had heard of the turmoil of drought, would be surprised to see the cats there, yes they were thin, almost painfully so but they were lean and well-muscled and certainly capable of chasing off invaders or rival clans. But starclan pray they didn't need to add that to their list of things to do, the elders were suffering the most from the heat but even they, usually the ones who complained about everything were silent, they knew that the clan was stretched to its limits and every cat was trying their hardest. Even the kits tried their best, creating a rain dance to try and bring the rain it didn't seem to work, the sky remained as empty as ever, not a single cloud to be seen across the endless expanse of blue.

Snowpaw padded into camp, a ball of dripping moss in her jaws and her snowy coat covered in sweat, after running the dawn patrol followed by a hunting patrol and after a quick rest she was back on her paws and off on a water patrol. Shaking out her pelt she made her way over to the nursery and dropped the moss for Swiftflight and Swallowfall to squeeze the water out of when suddenly a cream paw shot out batting the ball into the air, spinning precious water in all directions. Snowpaws jaw dropped as she watched Fernkit toss the wad of moss to her brother Birdkit while the quieter Mintkit watches with a paw over one of her eyes as though in embarrassment. Swiftflight sighs wearily

"Now kits, Snowpaw kindly brought that so we could have a drink and now you've wasted all the water, what do you say?" both kits look sullenly at their mum before turning to Snowpaw and each murmuring their apologise. "I'm terribly sorry, Could you possibly get us some more?" the queen requested pleadingly, Snowpaw let out a steadying breath and nodded, she was supposed to be resting now and instead she has to go all the way to the stream again because some kits had used their water as a play toy. The she-cat let out a frustrated hiss as she padded out of the nursery, picking up the now dry ball of moss as she went, she padded out of camp her cracked pads stung slightly with every step she took, once in the forest grass took over, although yellow and brittle it was a relief to escape from the hard dirt surrounding the camp. Entering the slight shade of the trees she picked up the pace, streaking through the trees, weaving through the undergrowth, one thing was certain about the young apprentice was that she shared her older sisters love of running, she loved the comforting feel as the wind whipped up her fur as she ran. She skidded to a stop at the edge of the river, a strong smell of riverclan wafted over to her, she scowled slightly, they had it so easy. She dipped the moss into the river allowing it to absorb the water for a second before pulling it back out and returning to camp careful to spill as little water as possible. This time as she entered the nursery she made sure to warn the kits not to play with it before she carefully placed it down on the ground and with that she turned tail and left too collapse in the shade of the apprentice den with a low sigh of relief.

"Hey Snowpaw" Willowpaw mewed from her nest, her voice thick with sleep "I've just been to see Cherrypaw, she said she's feeling much better" the brown tabby added. Cherrypaw and Willowpaw where the best of friends, they did everything together from playing, to eating, to hunting they were practically joint at the hip, they were as close as sisters could be. Willowpaw had been in hysterics when her sister had collapsed in front of her, Doveswing had to give her poppy seeds to calm her down. "Flamepelts in their as well can you believe it and Owlwhisker" she continued shaking her head incredulously, her yellow eyes clouded with worry.

"Starclan pray the rain comes soon" Snowpaw frowned deeply as she stretched out her spine and then each of her legs in turn, giving a yawn she shook out her soft pelt and after turning in place to get comfortable sat down to begin grooming , starting with the fluffy white fur on her chest. A few minutes later Willowpaw rose to her paws, shaking loose moss out of her long fur before trotting out of the apprentice den, her tail hanging low with lack of sleep, for the sundown patrol. Snowpaw opened one bright blue eye to watch as she went past, and with a quick mew of goodbye she was gone. Snowpaw yawned again, rolling over in his nest feeling very sorry for Willowpaw she had sounded already dead on her paws when she had left the den, she struggled more than most because her legs were very short, running alongside her mentor, Shadowfang it takes three of her tiny strides to match the scarred tom's long, loping gait. Not long after Snowpaw drifted off, light snores filled the apprentice den. She dreamt she was creeping along after a mouse, the grass was long, green and soft under paw and she moved easily without cracked pads or weariness slowing her down. She leapt into the air, claws un-sheathed but landed clumsily and tripped, the mouse slipped out of her grasp and she streaked after it but suddenly she tumbled into a bush of nettles. Her fur snagged everywhere she yowled desperately, pulling away but she was hooked, the more she struggled the more it hurt, her throat was stinging and her sharp blue eyes leaked salty tears as nettles stung them. Suddenly she was gasping for breath, she couldn't breathe, she was choking, darkness filled her vision and she fell to the floor.

"Snowpaw get up, get up right now" Came a shrill yowl, breaking through her dream and tearing her into consciousness as her eyes swam into focus she spotted Redtail standing over her, his dark ginger fur fluffed up and his amber eyes wide in terror. Snowpaw frantically scrambled to her paws finally noticing the thick black smoke already filling the den and threatening to engulf her and her mentor. Redtail shuddered as a cough racked his whole body and the white she-cat gave a mrow of fear for her mentor and for herself. Together the apprentice and her mentor streaked out of the den. Snowpaws eyes widened in horror as she saw flames rising menacingly above the camp, devouring the trees surrounding it. As she looked around she spotted Doveswing, a vicious burn on her flank, guiding Owlwhisker to safety, up the embankment while Flamepelt dragged Cherrypaw, seemingly unconscious, by the scruff of her neck.

Her head snapped round as Shadowfang scrambled past her closely followed by a flash of tortoiseshell fur as Goldenheart bolted forward, both carrying wailing kits in their jaws. She heard cats yowling in terror, screaming for mates and family members and in agony. She snapped her head around as she felt Redtail leave her side and watched paralysed with fear as her mentor rushed over to help Thunderstrike as the elder struggled up the embankment, paws slipping over the loose stones. Snowpaw tried to stagger forward but her heart was constricting with terror and smoke was engulfing her, she searched desperately for her sister, wishing for her comforting presence to tell her it was going to be all right and to help her out. Nightfall, as black as Snowpaw was white was fast and smart she would have escaped, survived, surely. She imagined her sister's body crushed beneath a falling tree, or cornered by vicious flames, eyes clouded with despair the thought made her throat choke up with grief. One cry sounded out above all others a mother's heart wrenching cry for her kits. She saw Ravenwing dragging Swallowfall back as she screamed and struggled clawing at the black tom but he refused to let go, tears soaked the tabby's fur as she thrashed in his grasp but the warrior was stronger.

"They can't have made it, the tree collapsed right on the nursery, we have to leave, their in the paws of starclan now" Ravenwing reasoned, his own voice filled with raw grief, as though being so close to Swallowfall had infected him with her own pain. Hot blood dripped down the toms face from where the she-cats claws had scored across his cheek. The black warrior was winning though as he pulled her back into the treeline she let out a final desperate scream.

"No, there my kits, I'd rather die, let me go" the distraught queen wailed, chocking as her sobs finally overcame her, wracking her body, Snowpaw felt her own eyes cloud with grief for the queen as she felt her agony burn fiercer than any flame. The white she-cat bolted up the hill after them, but paused as she heard a soft cough over the furious beating of her own heart. Smoke filled her throat so when she called out it was only with a harsh rasp

"Hello, is anyone there, do you need help?" her instincts screamed at her to run, get herself to safety but her heart demanded she stayed to help whoever was in need, "you have to speak to me, tell me where you are." She listened desperately, trying to force herself to be calm but her light frame shook with terror, her pelt was fluffed up and her tail was wedged firmly between her legs. But she stayed where she was, remembering Redtail, guiding the elder out of harm's way, Doveswing receiving agonising burns as she desperately pushed Owlwhisker forward and perhaps the bravest of all, Ravenwing allowing claws to scar his cheeks to save a mother from her own destructive grief.

"Please…please help me" a small voice pleaded, Snowpaw realised at once where the voice was coming from, perched on the brink of safety, the wind rushing through her fur she leapt back into the flames. The heat exploded around her, and her eyes flashed painfully as they tried to adjust to the sudden light blinding her, she staggered forward giving a yowl of pain as the flames reach out, stroking her pelt with an agonising embrace. Blinking the ash out of her eyes, above the deafening roar of the raging inferno came quiet sobs, bounding forward she spotted a black kit bent low over another small bundle, suddenly the kit looked round towards her and the apprentice recognised Mintkit's bright green orbs, her white pelt obscured by dust. "Snowpaw, help me please" the kit howled "Lionkit's not breathing, we have to get him to Doveswing"

Hot, salty tears escaped over the brim of the young cats eyes as she realised, "I… I can only carry one of you" she gasped almost retching "Lionkits dead, we have to leave" she murmured her voice aching with misery, if this kit was alive; she was condemning it to death. Her every paw steps would be shadowed by an all-consuming guilt.

"NO" Mintkit screamed, before she was cut off, heaving as she vomited on the ground, "no" she continued her voice now just a hoarse whisper "he's not dead, don't you dare say that I won't come with you without him." The usually sweet, friendly kit was beyond furious how dare the apprentice, tell her she had to leave her brother to die alone and trapped in flames, her eyes flashed with hatred as she dug her soft claws into the earth showing that she would not be budged.

Snowpaw gasped, she couldn't leave the kits to die "I can try" she hissed and attempted to pick Mintkit up by the scruff but the kit pulled away with a snarl, demanding that Lionkit be picked up first. Painfully aware of the flames creeping closer the apprentice complied, picking the sandy coloured tom up by his scruff, he made no complaints, he didn't even move, he was dead weight. Then she picked up Mintkit who this time remained still for her. The white she-cat staggered forward, falling painfully onto her knees many times as she tried to pull her load up the hill, she sighed slightly with relief as she reached the top but she stumbled onwards. Weariness filled her paws with lead as she carried on desperately tracing the scent of her clan mates, she was tiring fast, every paw step sent another wave of agony rippling through her, Snowpaw knew she couldn't keep this up for much longer. Suddenly the trail ended at the edge of the river, the brave she-cat wanted nothing more than too sink into its cool depths and lay there forever but she carried on, her clan must be staying in riverclan she assumed. Her blue eyes locked desperately on the stepping stones and a dull weight of hopelessness settled in her, she couldn't jump carrying the two kits; she could barely jump with one. She lowered herself down onto her haunches lowering her two bundles gently onto the ground.

"I can't… I can't jump, not carrying both of you" she breathed her whiskers drooping in despair but Mintkit on the other hand seemed unperturbed and even cheerful, certain that her brother was safely out of the reach of the flames she smiled

"That's ok I can jump" and without giving Snowpaw the slightest chance to respond the kit leapt onto the first stone and then onto the second, filled with new energy seeing the kit leap from rock to rock. Picking up Lionkit, the weary apprentice followed more slowly, the added weight making it difficult for her to judge distance and more than once she tilted dangerously on the edge of plunging in before balancing herself and continuing. Finally she reached the opposite shore and the scent of riverclan overpowered her she made a face as she continued along the scent trail lain by the rest of her clan.

"Happen to know where riverclan camp is?" She asked the kit that was now bounding excitedly around her paws, her eyes flashing around, taking in the rival clan's territory. A small smile played around Snowpaw's lips imagining being a kit and after never leaving the camp before being taken through not only her own clan's territory but another clans as well. Suddenly a pounding of paws announced the presence of more cats; the white she-cat paused sniffing the air nervously as the sound got ever closer. Three cats padded calmly into view, their gaze challenging until they saw that it was only, an injured, shaking, worn out apprentice and two small kits. Dipping her head in respect but keeping a watchful blue eye on the riverclan patrol she mewed "I'm Snowpaw and this is Lionkit and Min" she paused as she spotted a black stubby tail disappearing into the trees "Mintkit get back here" she called desperately. Mintkit trotted back to her side and sat down on a gnarled tree stump as one ginger tom of the patrol stepped forward with a calm nod of greeting.

"Hello, I'm Fishtail, follow us and we'll take you back to camp, your clan are there" as though following by example another cat padded up to the three thunderclaners.

"Hi I'm Sharpclaw" a menacing looking Silver tom greeted, his friendly voice contrasting with his scarred appearance, he turned with a smile to Mintkit as the tiny white kit gave a sleepy yawn from where she sat on a small tree stump. "Would you like me to carry you little one? I daresay you've been through a lot." Mintkit looked stricken and bounded off the stump to hide behind her rescuers paws, peeking out she hissed

"No, Snowpaw will carry me, won't you Snowpaw?" she turned to look hopefully up at the exhausted thunderclan cat who with a throaty sigh nodded in resignation, Sharpclaw gave a small smile as Snowpaw picked up her bundles once again. Once she had the two kits safely in her jaws she nodded to the patrol, which began moving at once, at first they bolted ahead and Snowpaw made no attempt to catch up, simply staggering along at her own broken pace. Until Sharpclaw padded back to her side with a murmur of apology and led her at a much slower pace, suddenly the scent of a whole lot of cats overpowered her. A thick smoky smell clung to the coats of the thunderclan cats hiding their woody scent, and the strong reek of fish made her want to retch. As they entered the camp there was a riot of noise and colour, he spotted the white form of Doveswing, a harassed look about her as she rushed around trying to help where she could. She saw a grey tom, who she assumed must be the riverclan medicine cat going through the crowd handing out herbs with calm confidence. A golden she-cat padded into camp at the head of a patrol with three other cats, each with a jaw full of fish, followed not long after by two apprentices each looking proud, and carrying water voles. Silverstar could be seen in deep conversation with a huge brown tom beside the great stump, she'd heard that that was where the riverclan leader stood to make his announcements since there was nothing like the high rock in sight. Suddenly she heard a mew of pure elation as a tabby she-cat bolted towards her, Swallowfall let out a throaty purr and Snowpaw beamed with pride as she slowly placed the two kits on the ground. Swallowfall was on them in a second licking them and rubbing her nose through their fur, Snowpaw stepped away with a nod of her head, leaving the relieved mother to be with her kit, also she thought with guilt to not be around when the overjoyed mother realised that one of her kits was dead. But as the apprentice edged away she heard the distraught call.

"Doveswing, please I need help now"

Before she could escape to lie down and rest her sister padded up to her, the two kin butted heads and after a quick reunion Nightfall left to help Swiftflight try and find Stormsurge. The white feline dragged herself out of the way of the camp to sit on the outskirts, lowering herself down Snowpaw lay on her side, her chest rising and falling in irregular intervals, coughing every few minutes, her throat still stinging from the thick smoke that had smothered her. She shuddered, reliving the terror as hungry flames surrounded her, as she heard the kits and elders crying out as they struggled to escape. Her throat was parched and stung dreadfully every time a cough racked her small frame. Hot blood trickled down her side, from a cut she had received as she had slipped on the embankment in her haste to escape and a burn on her ear stung agonisingly as though that ear was still trapped in the flames that will have surely by now burnt her home to the ground. Her pelt was covered with ash, hiding her beautiful snow white coat, making her look exactly like her sister apart from her icy blue eyes, now bloodshot and wide with uncertainty. As far as she was concerned she was in enemy territory, she didn't know where to put herself, she was restless yet her legs ached and her pads where cracked making, movement painful. Her sister was out comforting cats and helping them, she felt guilty that she couldn't do the same but she was so tired, she didn't even have the energy to clean herself so she lay, miserable, dirty and hungry.

Days past in a blur, Doveswing had given her some honey to soothe her burning throat and the clan was steadily getting back on their paws, that's when Silverstar made his announcement, he stood once again with the thick pelted brown tom, whom Snowpaw had learnt was Oakstar leader of riverclan.

"May all cats old enough to catch their own prey and old enough to swim gather around to hear my words" Silverstar yowled as cats of the river and cats of the forest began to emerge from dens and crowd around to hear the news. Snowpaw had never heard a clan leader use those words; she supposed the second part must have been added for the cats of Riverclan's benefit. "Thunderclan, wish to thank Riverclan's generosity, you have helped feed us and protect us while our home re-grows, for that we are in your debt" the silver tabby continues and Oakstar nods his head in acknowledgement with a light 'think nothing of it.' "Throughout our time here, friends have been made" he paused taking in the camp, at first there were dividers, thunderclan cats in one cluster and riverclan cats in another now the felines mingle freely. Snowpaw looked around as well; she spotted Willowpaw and Cherrypaw sitting happily with a golden, spotted riverclan she-cat sitting between them. Even as the leader made his announcement Birdkit tussled with a brown riverclan kit, Molekit while their mothers watched with equal smiles. "But so have losses" an eerie silence fell over the camp as he spoke these words "we lost more than just our home to the fire, let us sit vigil for two cats, cats who didn't deserve to die, cats that now watch us from starclan, let us sit vigil for the noble Lionkit so close to being apprenticed trapped by flames. Let us sit vigil for the brave Lilyclaw, an elder that deserved moons of rest, crushed by a falling tree as she attempted to return to camp to save the missing kits. Let us sit vigil and mourn the loss of our clan mates." He stopped letting this sink in, Snowpaw remembered being a kit and listening to Lilyclaw as she told the most amazing stories. All of the cats milling in the camp dipped their heads in respect and in grief before Silverstar continued in a powerful voice

"Despite this we have grown, our clan is strong and loyal, one cat in particular showed unwavering bravery in the face of flames, Snowpaw come forward, I Silverstar, leader of Thunderclan call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. He has trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend him to you as a warrior in his turn. Snowpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and protect and defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?"

Snowpaw stumbled to her paws surprise causing her jaws to fall agape "I… I do"

Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Snowpaw from this moment you will be known as Snowheart. StarClan honours your courage and your strength and resource to carry Mintkit and Lionkit to safety, and we welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."

Both clans took up the cheer "Snowheart, Snowheart" her sister, Swallowfall and Mintkit chanting louder than every other cat. Snowheart puffed out her chest in pride and she beamed, soaking up the applause "Snowheart, Snowheart" for a second she seemed to forget about the fire and the fact that she was in riverclan simply glowing with the fact that she was now a warrior at last. Finally when the cheering cats fell silent Silverstar finished. "Today we return to our camp, we do not wish to overstay our welcome" there were some groans from cats in both clans who had made friends and cheers from others who were glad to part from the rival clan. The white warrior didn't know what would remain of their camp but she knew one thing, she was a warrior, she could take on anything.

The end! So what did you think? It was really sad to write for me because I created the characters and their back stories and personalities and stuff and they're like my babies so it was so hard to kill them off! So review, tell me what you think! DON'T LET THEM HAVE DIED IN VAIN! Please review, let me know if you want me to keep writing, I have some ideas for the next few if you want them they are as follows;

(Shadowclan) Wolfclaw and the rouge

(Windclan) the kits and the dog

(Riverclan) Streampaw and the flood

So REVIEW!

Later haters

Chloe

xxx