Leafpool: light brown tabby she-cat (medicine cat)
Brambleclaw: dark brown tabby tom (deputy of ThunderClan)
Cloudtail: long-haired white tom
Berrypaw: cream-colored tom (Brambleclaw’s apprentice)
Crowfeather: dark gray tom
Onestar: brown tabby tom (leader of WindClan)
Tornear: tabby tom
Harepaw: light brown tom (Tornear’s apprentice)
The narrow, overgrown stream that runs through the woods at the edge of the moor, which marks the border between ThunderClan and WindClan.
Early leaf-fall, two moons after the death of Hawkfrost on ThunderClan territory in mysterious circumstances.
Leafpool is waiting for Crowfeather in the shelter of a houx bush. As he walks along the border on the other side of the stream, she pops out. He has no idea she’s there.
LEAFPOOL: Crowfeather, wait!
CROWFEATHER: What?! Leafpool, what are toi doing here?
LEAFPOOL: I…I wanted to see you.
CROWFEATHER (wary, glancing around him to check no one’s watching): Why?
LEAFPOOL (surprised): Because it’s moons since I spoke to you! And…and there’s something I think toi should know.
CROWFEATHER (bitter): No, there isn’t, Leafpool. toi don’t have to tell me anything any more. We belong to different Clans, remember?
LEAFPOOL: Why are toi being like this? It was hard for me too, toi know. But ThunderClan needs me to be their medicine cat. I don’t have any choice.
CROWFEATHER: toi did have a choice, and toi chose to stay with them! Look, I shouldn’t even be talking to you. What if someone sees us? My Clanmates have only just begun to trust me again, and that’s mostly thanks to Nightcloud.
LEAFPOOL: Nightcloud? Why? 1
CROWFEATHER (looking uncomfortable): She…she had my kits last moon. Onestar’s going to announce it at the suivant Gathering.
LEAFPOOL (stunned, in a small voice): Oh. I didn’t know.
CROWFEATHER: Well, what did toi think I’d do? Let my Clanmates go on thinking I was plus loyal to ThunderClan? Nightcloud’s a great cat, and a good mother.
LEAFPOOL (cutting him off): toi were right, Crowfeather. We don’t have anything to say to each other now. Goodbye.
Before Leafpool can leave, three ThunderClan chats appear: Brambleclaw, Cloudtail, and Berrypaw.
BRAMBLECLAW: Leafpool! Are toi okay?
LEAFPOOL: Yes, I’m fine.
CLOUDTAIL (to Crowfeather): What are toi doing here? Doesn’t WindClan have enough warriors to send out proper patrols?
CROWFEATHER: Of course we do.
BERRYPAW (curious): What are toi doing out here on your own?
CROWFEATHER: Onestar doesn’t keep us prisoner in the camp!
LEAFPOOL (wearily): Just go, Crowfeather.
CLOUDTAIL (looking suspiciously from Leafpool to Crowfeather): So toi two just happened to meet here, did you?
CROWFEATHER: That’s right.
BERRYPAW: I remember you! toi went away with Leafpool just before the blaireau attack. But then toi came back…
BRAMBLECLAW: That was a long time ago, Berrypaw. We don’t need to talk about it now.
LEAFPOOL (quietly): No. We don’t need to talk about anything.
CLOUDTAIL (protectively): Has Crowfeather been bothering you?
LEAFPOOL: No, it’s nothing like that.
CROWFEATHER: At least your Clanmates trust you.
Three WindClan chats appear: Onestar, the leader; Tornear, one of his senior warriors, and Tornear’s apprentice Harepaw.
ONESTAR: Greetings, Brambleclaw. Is there a problem? 2
BRAMBLECLAW: One of your warriors has been trying to talk to Leafpool.
CROWFEATHER: Oh for StarClan’s sake!
TORNEAR (hostile): I see one of our warriors and two of yours, plus an apprentice. Do toi call that a fair fight?
CLOUDTAIL: There was no talk of fighting until toi turned up, Tornear, but if that’s what toi want…
BERRYPAW (eagerly): Yeah! I may only be an apprentice but I can fight as well as any ThunderClan warrior.
HAREPAW (scornfully): Well, if toi only fight as well as a ThunderClan cat, you’re nothing to be scared of.
BERRYPAW: Come here and say that! I’ll scratch your ears off, toi piece of fox-dung!
BRAMBLECLAW (sharply): There’s no need to fight, Berrypaw. Can’t toi see they’re just mocking you?
TORNEAR: What’s the matter, Brambleclaw? Worried my apprentice would shred the fourrure off yours? ou do toi think we wouldn’t actually fight? WindClan aren’t your cosy allies any more, not now Tallstar is dead. We’re as strong as any of the Clans now, and I think it’s time toi found that out for yourselves.
CLOUDTAIL: Every cat knows that the only reason WindClan chats run so fast is because they keep running away!
ONESTAR: Brambleclaw, it looks as if your Clanmates are desperate for a fight. Aren’t toi going to control them?
BRAMBLECLAW: I don’t see why I should, if toi let your warriors insult them.
HAREPAW: I’d easily beat that dumb apprentice over there. Every cat knows he’s half-kittypet!
BERRYPAW: My mother came from the horseplace. That doesn’t make her a kittypet! We’re loyal to ThunderClan now. I’m glad she didn’t come to toi for help first!
TORNEAR: ThunderClan has quite a history of taking in stray kittypets, doesn’t it? Not quite so welcoming to other Clan cats, though. Like Hawkfrost.
CLOUDTAIL (growling): He came onto our territory to kill Firestar! What did toi think we’d do? Take him to our camp and let him have first pick of the fresh-kill pile?
TORNEAR: toi didn’t get a chance to do that, did you? Seeing as he managed to stab himself with a piece of wood and rolled into the lake to die? 3
BRAMBLECLAW: Hawkfrost’s death has nothing to do with you. He was a traitor to the warrior code and RiverClan are well rid of him.
CROWFEATHER (looking at Leafpool): Oh yes, ThunderClan chats always do what the warrior code tells them to.
LEAFPOOL: That’s not fair, Crowfeather.
ONESTAR: Come on. ThunderClan chats might be able to waste time, but we have a patrol to finish. Brambleclaw, I suggest toi tell your Clanmates to stay away from WindClan’s territory – and their warriors. There is only peace at the full moon, remember, and my chats will fight to protect what’s theirs.
BRAMBLECLAW: Your chats have nothing that ThunderClan wants! Come on, Cloudtail, Berrypaw. And you, Leafpool.
LEAFPOOL (icily): Thank you, Brambleclaw, but I can make my own way back.
HAREPAW: Bye, kittypet! I’ll be ready for toi suivant time!
BERRYPAW: Ready to be beaten, do toi mean? Because that’s what’ll happen.
LEAFPOOL (quietly, to herself): Goodbye, Crowfeather. I hope we don’t regret that we didn’t speak today.