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 holly 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 you 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 you should know.
CROWFEATHER (bitter): No, there isn’t, Leafpool. You don’t have to tell me anything any more. We belong to different Clans, remember?
LEAFPOOL: Why are you being like this? It was hard for me too, you know. But ThunderClan needs me to be their medicine cat. I don’t have any choice.
CROWFEATHER: You did have a choice, and you 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 next Gathering.
LEAFPOOL (stunned, in a small voice): Oh. I didn’t know.
CROWFEATHER: Well, what did you think I’d do? Let my Clanmates go on thinking I was more loyal to ThunderClan? Nightcloud’s a great cat, and a good mother.
LEAFPOOL (cutting him off): You were right, Crowfeather. We don’t have anything to say to each other now. Goodbye.
Before Leafpool can leave, three ThunderClan cats appear: Brambleclaw, Cloudtail, and Berrypaw.
BRAMBLECLAW: Leafpool! Are you okay?
LEAFPOOL: Yes, I’m fine.
CLOUDTAIL (to Crowfeather): What are you doing here? Doesn’t WindClan have enough warriors to send out proper patrols?
CROWFEATHER: Of course we do.
BERRYPAW (curious): What are you 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 you two just happened to meet here, did you?
CROWFEATHER: That’s right.
BERRYPAW: I remember you! You went away with Leafpool just before the badger attack. But then you 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 cats 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 you call that a fair fight?
CLOUDTAIL: There was no talk of fighting until you turned up, Tornear, but if that’s what you want…
BERRYPAW (eagerly): Yeah! I may only be an apprentice but I can fight as well as any ThunderClan warrior.
HAREPAW (scornfully): Well, if you 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, you piece of fox-dung!
BRAMBLECLAW (sharply): There’s no need to fight, Berrypaw. Can’t you see they’re just mocking you?
TORNEAR: What’s the matter, Brambleclaw? Worried my apprentice would shred the fur off yours? Or do you 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 you found that out for yourselves.
CLOUDTAIL: Every cat knows that the only reason WindClan cats run so fast is because they keep running away!
ONESTAR: Brambleclaw, it looks as if your Clanmates are desperate for a fight. Aren’t you going to control them?
BRAMBLECLAW: I don’t see why I should, if you 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 you 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 you think we’d do? Take him to our camp and let him have first pick of the fresh-kill pile?
TORNEAR: You 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 cats always do what the warrior code tells them to.
LEAFPOOL: That’s not fair, Crowfeather.
ONESTAR: Come on. ThunderClan cats might be able to waste time, but we have a patrol to finish. Brambleclaw, I suggest you tell your Clanmates to stay away from WindClan’s territory – and their warriors. There is only peace at the full moon, remember, and my cats will fight to protect what’s theirs.
BRAMBLECLAW: Your cats 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 you next time!
BERRYPAW: Ready to be beaten, do you 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.