|"She knew she'd done the right thing, but she hadn't expected Lionpaw to react so angrily, as if he believed he'd done nothing wrong. Would he ever forgive her?"|
|— Hollypaw after she finds Lionpaw and Heatherpaw meeting in secret in Dark River, page 44|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter two of Dark River. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 2 (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 26-44
- Hollypaw is dreaming that she is charging through the forest as rain pounds down, chasing after Willowpaw. The RiverClan medicine cat apprentice is always a few steps ahead, and Hollypaw can't catch up. She calls through the pounding rain, asking Willowpaw if there is something wrong with RiverClan. Willowpaw claims she can't hear over the rain, and the rain pelts down harder. Willowpaw disappears and Hollypaw is left alone in the drenched forest. She blinks open her eyes to rain battering the den roof, finding it's way in and dripping into the nests. Hollypaw shivers, snuggling deeper into her nest, but Lionpaw's wet pelt is pressing against her. She shoves him away, but he rolls back against her. She scrambles to her paws, staring at her brother. Dawn light filters through the branches, showing her Lionpaw's drenched pelt, as though he spent the night running through the forest.
- Cinderpaw lifts her head and blinks open her eyes, asking if the rain woke her. Hollypaw shakes her head, telling her friend about Lionpaw. The two leave the den to see if there's any fresh-kill on the pile yet. They dart out of the den into the heavy rain and muddy clearing. Stormfur and Brook are crouched below Highledge, sharing a soggy robin. Stormfur greets them, saying the weather is too wet for even a RiverClan cat. Cinderpaw scoots past her, and Brook urges Hollypaw to find some shelter. The black she-cat hurries after Cinderpaw, skidding to a halt by the fresh-kill pile. Only a few sodden pieces of prey lay plastered in the mud. She picks up a sorry-looking mouse and carries it to the shelter of brambles beside the medicine den. Cinderpaw sits beside her with a wren. Leafpool hurries out of the medicine den, heading for the nursery, a bundle of herbs in her jaws.
- Hollypaw mews she hopes Foxkit and Icekit are okay. Cinderpaw tells her Daisy was sneezing last night, she thinks she has a cold. Hollypaw peers through the brambles at the gray sky, murmuring they'll all have colds if the rain doesn't stop, or webbed feet. The rest of the camp is beginning to stir when Hollypaw swallows the last mouthful of her prey. Brackenfur emerges from the warriors den, stretching. He calls to Hollypaw, peering toward her with narrowed eyes. Hollypaw pads from the shelter, telling him she was eating with Cinderpaw.
- Brackenfur mews she can come hunting with him. Cinderpaw cannot join because Cloudtail asked her to clean out the elders bedding, so Hollypaw promises to catch a warm mouse for her friend. Outside camp, the forest is soaked, the dead leaves slimy and rotten underpaw. Hollypaw begins to warm up as she chases after Brackenfur. The rain is beginning to ease for the first time this morning and she opens her eyes wide. They edge near ShadowClan territory and Hollypaw thinks of the new kits - her kin. She calls to Brackenfur, and her mentor skids to a halt, asking if she smelled prey. Hollypaw shakes her head, having trouble finding the words to explain. She finally asks if the new kits in ShadowClan are her kin, does she still have to fight them in battle. Brackenfur turns away, padding through the forest once more, mewing yes, if they threaten the Clan.
- Hollypaw hurries to keep up, continuing with what if her Clan threatens them and she thinks it's unfair. Brackenfur asks why they would do that, while dropping into a hunting crouch. Hollypaw continues on with the question, but a leaf trembles nearby and Brackenfur loses the prey he was stalking. He sits up and stares crossly at his apprentice, asking why she doesn't stop thinking about the warrior code and start following it, the Clan is hungry and she should concentrate on feeding them. Hollypaw's tail drops and she knows he's right and apologizes.
- Hollypaw ends up hunting harder than usual and returns to camp with three mice. They drop the prey on the fresh-kill pile and Brackenfur congratulates her that she did well, then advises her to get dry in her den, he'll take food to Mousefur and Longtail. Hollypaw pads into the apprentices' den. All the nests are empty except Lionpaw's. She irritably asks him if Ashfur has any jobs for him. Lionpaw's head shoots up from sleep and he stares at her, wondering if it's dawn already. Hollypaw meows it's halfway to sunhigh. Lionpaw leaps to his paws, eyes round with guilt, asking if Ashfur has been looking for him. Hollypaw pointedly answers she doesn't know, she's been hunting. She tugs at the damp bedding closet to her, asking why he's so tired. Lionpaw replies he didn't sleep well. Hollypaw glances at him, but he's staring at the ground, and she asks if something is wrong. He quickly answers no.
- He stalks out of the den, and she wonders if Jaypaw will know why Lionpaw is acting so weird, so she heads to the medicine den, finding Jaypaw sorting herbs, telling her he's busy, Leafpool wants him to see what herbs they need before she returns from the nursery. Hollypaw anxiously asks if the kits are okay, and Jaypaw replies that Daisy has a cold, nothing serious. Holypaw meows that she wanted to talk to him about Lionpaw. Jaypaw asks if he is ill, and Hollypaw sits down, mewing no, but he's been very tired and grumpy lately.
- Jaypaw isn't helpful, so Hollypaw decides to ask instead if he spoke to Willowpaw at the Gathering. He murmurs not much, and Hollypaw meows she thinks Willowpaw is worried he doesn't like her. Jaypaw ask why he has to like every cat he meets, and Hollypaw defends her friend, saying she's really nice and he doesn't have to go out of his way to make her feel uncomfortable. Jaypaw replies he doesn't make her feel anything, she feels what she wants to feel. Hollypaw decides to press on, asking if he thinks she was feeling anxious at the Gathering, didn't he think RiverClan was acting strangely. Jaypaw turns from his herbs, answering perhaps, his ears pricked as if she had finally said something that caught his interest. Hollypaw wonders if it wasn't just her imagining there's trouble in RiverClan. Jaypaw leans toward her, asking if she thinks there is trouble. Hollypaw murmurs she doesn't know, then asks if he does. Jaypaw mews he couldn't tell, and Hollypaw feels a wave of frustration. He goes on that he might be able to find out at the Moonpool. Hollypaw asks if there is anything wrong with Willowpaw, would he tell her. Jaypaw narrows his eyes, mewing sure, he thinks he knows how to find out.
- Hollypaw's felt pricks with unease and she meows she's not asking him to spy or anyting, just let her know if she is right to worry. Jaypaw agrees with a shrug and begins to paw another pile of herbs. Brackenfur calls Hollypaw out of the medicine den. Cloudtail is taking Cinderpaw out to explore and they join them. Birchfall also joins, and they check the old fox den to make sure the fox cubs haven't returned. As they approach the glade, Hollypaw smells fox. Cinderpaw mews that it's a young female, stale scent. Hollypaw asks how she can be sure, since she'd never met a fox before. Cinderpaw shrugs, meowing she just knows. Hollypaw wonders how Cinderpaw could know this much, and thinks about how she seems to be three steps ahead of herself. Cloudtail is obviously wondering the same and asks if she's been with another patrol. Cinderpaw shakes her head, mewing this is the first time. Brakcenfur and Cloudtail exchange glances and Hollypaw guesses they're as puzzled as she is.
- Hollypaw wakes in her nest at the sound of a screeching owl. She stretches her forepaws, searching for Lionpaw's warmth but his nest is empty. She calls his name, looking around for him. Poppypaw yawns that he left the den a while ago. Hollypaw sits up, heart racing. Poppypaw asks if something is wrong, and Hollypaw, not wanting to arouse suspicion among her denmates, answers no. Cinderpaw helps cover it up, mewing it was he was probably in the dirtplace again, he had eaten an old thrush Hollypaw creeps out of the den to look for him. His scent leads to the entrance, following the same route and she prays he'll be in there. She freezes when she hears pawsteps behind her and glances over her shoulder to find Cinderpaw. Her friend says she thought Hollypaw might want some company. Hollypaw thanks her and they squeeze through the tunnel. Cinderpaw whispers he isn't here and asks what Hollypaw thinks he's up to.
- Hollypaw doesn't dare reply, she can guess why he might have left camp under the cover of night. Cinderpaw points her nose up he lakeward slope, announcing his trail leads that way. Hollypaw's belly tightens. The trail leads over the ridge and then around onto WindClan territory. She hopes he's just exploring, but is suspicious he's meeting Heatherpaw. Cinderpaw asks if they're going to follow him, and Hollypaw replies feebly that maybe it's none of their business. Cinderpaw protests that he's their denmate, something could have happened to him. Hollypaw asks if she wants to follow him because she thinks he's in danger. Cinderpaw sits down, meowing no, she thinks he may be doing something he'll end up regretting.
- They set out in search for him. Hollypaw charges up the slope, sniffing twigs and brambles for his scent, Cinderpaw following. The ground slopes in front of them, down to the lakeshore. Hollypaw scans the distant moorland, half hoping to see Lionpaw, half hoping she wouldn't. There is no sign of movement in the shadowy heather. Hollypaw plunges down the slope, following an old rabbit track through the grass. Cinderpaw's hiss startles Hollypaw, asking if she heard that. A small hollow, ringed by heather, lies ahead, from it coming the sounds of voices. Hollypaw's tail bristles as she recognizes Lionpaw's mew. She creeps forward into a swath of heather that shields the hollow, wriggling in until she can peer over the top of the slope. Lionpaw is charging after a ball of moss, he dives as it lands, then swipes it back into the other direction. Hollypaw's heart sinks as Heatherpaw leaps from the grass to catch it.
- Cinderpaw is beside her now, meowing she doesn't look very surprised. Hollypaw shakes her head, saying she's not, before she wriggles out from the heather, calling her brother. Lionpaw and Heatherpaw freeze, staring at each other in alarm. Hollypaw demands what he's doing there. Slowly, Lionpaw tears his gaze away from Heatherpaw and faces his sister, eyes sparking with defiance, demanding what she's doing there. Hollypaw answers she was looking for him, and he snaps she was spying on him. Hollypaw flinches, glaring at Heatherpaw as she mews he shouldn't be playing with her. Lionpaw asks why, she's his friend. Hollypaw hisses she's from another Clan, and Lionpaw mews back that she's friends with Willowpaw, then Hollypaw snaps she doesn't sneak off to meet her every night. Lionpaw's mouth opens to object but no words come out. He turns to Heatherpaw, eyes shining with rage, mewing he better go. Heatherpaw dips her head, sighing she knows. Hollypaw clenches her teeth as Lionpaw brushes muzzles with the WindClan cat.
- Lionpaw pads up the slope and glares at Cinderpaw, asking Hollypaw if she told the whole Clan. Cinderpaw flicks her tail, explaining she just came to make sure Hollypaw was safe, no one else knows. Hollypaw adds they won't know, as long as Lionpaw stays away from Heatherpaw. Lionpaw glares at her, asking if that's a threat. Hollypaw backs away. She has never seen him so angry before. She insists that she will tell Brambleclaw if he keeps meeting her, and she goes on that there's a good reason why the warrior code doesn't allow cats from the other Clans to mix, how could someone be loyal to their Clan when their heart lies with another. Lionpaw flattens his ears, asking if she's accusing him of disloyalty. Hollypaw mews she knows he'd never be disloyal, but he's making it difficult for himself. A growl sounds from Lionpaw's throat and he barges past her and pads towards the trees. Cinderpaw's tail runs down Hollypaw's flank, smoothing her ruffled fur and she promises he'll get over it, and Hollypaw sighs she hopes so.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 26
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 27
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 40
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 28
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Revealed in Dark River, page 30
- ↑ Revealed in Dark River, page 39
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 34
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 37
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Revealed in Dark River, page 29
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Revealed in Dark River, page 33
|Dark River chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21|
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