Apprentice and Pregnant

Chapter 1: Sneaking Into Shadowclan

Hollypaw yawned, stretching her legs and body into a high arch. Blinking open her eyes, she was happy to see that it was another sunny day. Leaf bare has been put on hold for another day, she thought cheerfully. She pushed her way out of the apprentices den and into the open clearing.

Cats were already awake, some eating quietly in groups and some walking around enjoying the morning air. Hollypaw saw the other apprentices out of the corner of her eye, and she started to walk towards them.

Hollypaw was one of the newest apprentices in Thunderclan, with her sister Leafpaw being the same age. Hollypaw was a dark blue, thin boned cat with a bright smile and pleasant blue eyes. She wondered briefly where her mentor Grayclaw was, and what training he had planned for her today.

"Look who finally woke up!" Leafpaw crowed in happiness, pleased to have the attention of the rest of the apprentices. "Hollypaw, we thought you were taking a dirt nap."

"Dirt nap?" Hollypaw repeated, confused. "What's that?"

"A permanent nap," an older apprentice, Swallowpaw explained. "We're just kidding," he said after looking at Hollypaws horror struck face. "You were just sleeping for a long time."

"Oh," Hollypaw brushed it off. "So what are you guys doing?"

"Laying low until our mentors decide to take us out," Leafpaw giggled. "We were gonna go for an adventure in the forest. Want to join?"

"Uh, yeah," Hollypaws pelt bristled with excitement and nerves. "Are we gonna get in trouble?"

"Who cares," Tigerpaw mumbled, narrowing his eyes at Hollypaw. "No one told us we couldn't."

No one told us we could, either. But Hollypaw didn't voice her fears. "Let's go," she said.

Leafpaw led them out of the camp, Tigerpaw close beside her. Hollypaw walked beside Swallowpaw, looking around. No one seemed to notice they were leaving. She swallowed her anxiety and followed them out of the camp, heart thumping.

"Why are you so nervous?" Swallowpaws hot breath hit her ear uncomfortably. Hollypaw stepped a bit farther away and looked at the young tom. Swallowpaw was a dirty white cat, with dark beady black eyes and mud spotted paws. His breath smelled of the bird he had eaten yesterday.

"I can smell your fear scent," Swallowpaw continued when she didn't reply. "It's quite obvious."

"I just hope our mentors don't get angry," Hollypaw said back after realizing she didn't have a good lie. "We were probably not supposed to leave."

"How old are you, six moons?" Swallowpaw snapped. "Come on, Hollypaw. We're apprentices. We are plenty old enough to do as we please."

"Snowpaw and Rainpaw don't," Hollypaw couldn't help mumbling, thinking of the other two apprentices who never talked to Hollypaws group. Snowpaw and Rainpaw were twin she cats, annoyingly identical except for the dark patch behind Rainpaws ear. Cats would always try to subtly look behind her ear when talking to her to make sure she was the right cat.

"Snowpaw and Rainpaw are too damn serious," Swallowpaw declared. "They spend all their time focused on training and hunting. Never have any fun. We're supposed to have fun right now because we won't have much time to do it when we're warriors."

"I just worry they'll become apprentices before me, even though they're younger," Hollypaw blurted out her concerns before she could stop them, and braced herself for Swallowpaws scorn. To her surprise, his voice was kind, and not jeering.

"They can't make them warriors before us," he said, shaking his head. "That wouldn't be fair. We're older."

"Yeah, but they're so focused on their training," Hollypaw sighed, trudging her paws against the ground. "I just worry the older cats will notice."

"Hey, losers!" Leafstar called over her shoulder. "Hurry up!"

Hollypaw was startled to find how much she and Swallowpaw had fallen behind. She ran to keep up, not bothering to wait for Swallowpaw.

"Where are we going?" Hollypaw asked once she had caught up. Tigerpaws greasy head turned around to face her, and his black lips turned up into a weird smile. "We're sneaking into Shadowclan," he replied. Hollypaws jaw dropped noticeably, and Leafpaw snickered.

"Why?" Hollypaw whispered. She thought of Snowpaw and Rainpaw hunting with their mentors and wished that's what she was doing.

"Everyones always saying how dark and scary it is," Tigerpaw rolled his eyes. "I don't believe them. Why would cats attack another just because they walked over their precious scent markers?"

Hollypaw couldn't stop herself from hearing her mentors voice in her head. Scent markers are a very important part of a border patrol, Grayclaw said sternly. We do not cross them. We do not venture into their territory. They do not cross our borders, and they do not come into our territory. It's a matter of respect, Hollypaw. Keep that in mind at all times.

"What?" Leafpaw asked, voice sharp. Hollypaw jumped in surprise, and Grayclaw vanished from her mind.

"What's wrong?" Leafpaw asked again. "Are you scared?"

"No," Hollypaw mumbled. "I just don't think this is a very good idea."

"Oh my god, get the stick out of your ass," Tigerpaw put in.

"Yeah, I didn't think you'd be such a buzz kill," Leafpaw shooed her rudely with a paw. "You might as well go home them if you're gonna be like that."

Another image of Snowpaw and Rainpaw hunting with their mentors pushed its way into Hollypaws mind, but at the same time an image of herself with no friends did too.

"Let's just go," Hollypaw hissed, pushing past her sister and Tigerpaw. She lead the way over the border, and at once the smell changed.

"Ugh, Shadowclan stinks!" Swallowpaw cried, shaking his head with a disgusted look on his face. "The cats must roll around in poo."

Hollypaw bit her tongue, thinking of her mentor again. And I'm not telling you to go into enemy territory, but sometimes the medicine cat or leader might have to deliver a message. They go as quietly as possible, to not alarm their patrols.

"Stinky cats!" Leafpaw called out. Hollypaw was starting to feel terribly nervous. She kept looking around into the hostile territory, every snap and crack made her jump in alarm.

"So what are we going to do in here?" Swallowpaw asked.

"I dunno. Look around and leave, I guess," Leafpaw shrugged. Hollypaw looked at her sister, and wished they got along. Leafpaw was the opposite of Hollypaw, with big bones and a square face. When they were kits Leafpaw loved to push Hollypaw around because she was so much stronger.

"Tag! You're it!" Leafpaw slapped Tigerstars leg with her tail, and streaked through the trees. Tigerpaw laughed and ran after her, crunching over bracken and screaming. Hollypaw didn't understand how two cats could make so much noise. She shrunk on her paws, trying to take up as less space as she could.

"Come on," Swallowpaw nudged her with a paw. "We can't just sit here. And they're going to expect us to follow."

"We're gonna get in trouble," Hollypaw stood up on shaking legs, tears brimming in her eyes. She wanted to run out of here, and never come back. This was the worst idea in the whole world. Swallowpaw led the way, while Hollypaw sludged behind. They caught up to them after a few minutes of walking, and found Tigerpaw and Leafpaw wrestling on the leaves.

"Hey! Let's go!" Swallowpaw called at them, jerking his head to the north where Thunderclan was. "We need to get out of here, right now."

Hollypaw was grateful for Swallowpaw being on her side, and she nodded in agreement.

"We're not done," Leafpaw said rudely back to Swallowpaw, and gave Tigerpaw another bat with her paw. "We're playing."

"What is this?"

Hollypaws blood went cold and she turned around, not before seeing the horror stuck faces on her sister and Tigerpaw.

A Shadowclan patrol was standing there, and they were huge. Hollypaw had to stretch her neck to look at the first cats face, and he glared down on her with a terrible hatred. Hollypaws legs threatened to collapse but she forced herself to keep standing.

"Thunderclan apprentices," the leader growled, sniffing Hollypaws head. His stiff nose hurt her head but she didn't complain. "And young ones, if that. I can still smell the nursery on them."

"Where are your mentors?" a big yellow tom cat asked Hollypaw directly, making her shiver. His eyes were big and gray, and his body was three times the size of hers.

Hollypaw didn't know how to talk.

"We were just looking around," Tigerpaw made the mistake of saying. "We meant no harm."

"No harm?" a female cat stepped up, giant and silver. Her voice sounded like Hollypaws did when she got a cold. Hoarse, scratchy and unpleasant.

"You've caused more harm than you can imagine," the female spoke again, slow and quiet. "I don't think you realize the damage you've done."

And then they attacked, Hollypaw screamed as the yellow tom leaped on top of her. She could hear the shrieks of her friends as they were jumped too, and Hollypaw battered at the huge cat with her hind legs.

"I didn't even want to come here!" Hollypaw bawled, trying to push the cat away but failing. "Get off me, please!"

The yellow cat didn't, just kept pressing her down, making her lose her breath. She rolled her head on the ground and was confused on what she saw. The female cat who attacked Leafpaw was simply holding her down and giving her nips on the neck. It couldn't have hurt that badly, the cat must have been going easy on her due to her tiny size and age. The leader of the Shadowclan patrol had Tigerpaw, and he was going a bit harder because he was a tom. Tigerpaw squealed and covered his face with his paws as the cat clawed his side. Swallowpaw was being battered by both the other cats on the patrol, but Hollypaw could see they weren't doing it too hard.

But the cat on Hollypaw pressed down on her full force.

She didn't understand why he was hurting her so badly while the others went easy on the young cats.

"What's your name?" the yellow cat hissed in her ear, while moving his body against hers.

"H-Hollypaw," Hollypaw stuttered, seeing no way out of answering the question. "Please let me go. I'm sorry!"

"My name is Longtail," Longtail murmured. "I like you a lot, Hollypaw. So little and young."

Hollypaw was starting to feel a strange feeling, one she had never felt before. She didn't like it one bit, it make her feel worthless and nasty.

But then he released her, and Hollypaw was free. She got to her paws, gasping. She ran to her friends, who were also released.

"So did you learn a lesson today?" the female cat asked, her voice holding less of the terror it held before. "If that was a real attack, that would have been much, much worse."

"We went easy on you," another tom put it. "To give you another chance due to your small size and age."

"We are so, so sorry," Leafpaw walked up slowly and bowed her head to the Shadowclan cats. "It will never happen again."

The other apprentices bowed their heads too, and the patrol nodded. "See that you don't," the leader growled. And then the patrol ran away through the trees.

Hollypaw was still shaking, and she turned wide eyed to her friends.

"Let's go home," Leafpaw said, defeated. Her eyes no longer held invincibly, but fear. The cats trudged away, on the trail back to Thunderclan.

"Did he hurt you?" Hollypaw asked Tigerpaw.

"Only a bit," Tigerpaw mumbled. "He only scratched me with the bare tips of his claws.

"Oh," Hollypaw lowered her head, feeling very dirty and used.

Why did that tom do that to me