|"StarClan wants SkyClan here. They sent a prophecy that led them back to us. Why would any cat think that a piece of territory was more important than the wishes of StarClan?"|
|— Alderheart in Darkest Night, chapter 2|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter two of Darkest Night. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 2 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 19-41
- Alderheart and Tinycloud are together outside the ThunderClan nursery. While running his paw over Tinycloud's belly, feeling her kits move inside, he notes that she is getting stronger along with her kits and that her and the rest of SkyClan had all thankfully gained weight during their stay with ThunderClan. Alderheart tells Tinycloud her kits should arrive soon. Beside him, Leafpool says she is thankful they waited until their mother was strong enough to give birth, and Tinycloud, eyes shining, says she hopes they can wait until SkyClan can land its own camp.
- Alderheart purrs, thankful that things are finally going well for once; RiverClan's camp is hopefully nearly rebuilt after they left three days prior; WindClan's borders are no longer closed; and SkyClan's warriors are gradually getting stronger again, now able to hunt and bring prey back. Still some ThunderClan cats complain about overcrowding, but SkyClan's strength returning means they should soon have their own territory. Glad that StarClan's prophecy is finally being fulfilled, Alderheart says that Tinycloud's kits will be the first SkyClan cats to be born around the lake. Leadpool gives him a warning look and tells him to come with her, as Jayfeather wanted help clearing out their herb store. Alderheart wonders if he has done something wrong, asking if they should discuss which of them will help when Tinycloud had her kits. Leafpool has already left, however, so he follows.
- Alderheart points out that since SkyClan does not yet have a medicine cat, one of them should be with Tinycloud, but Leafpool dismisses him by saying that they will decide when the time comes. Alderheart protests, asking what if they come while she is in their new camp, and further suggests he should go with them when they move until they have their own medicine cat. Leafpool tells him that he shouldn't have said her kits would be born beside the lake, and after inquiring as to why, she says they're not sure if SkyClan will actually stay. Her gaze sweeps around the ThunderClan camp as she points out the complaints of the cats. As she looks, Alderheart's attention is drawn to Molewhisker and Thornclaw comparing battle moves while Birchfall and Ivypool share a mouse with Fernsong, and Sparkpelt and Squirrelflight sit atop Highledge.
- Leafpool says that she wants SkyClan to make their home by the Lake, but many cats don't agree. Alderheart, confused, says that they only complain because they have to share a nest and their fresh-kill, but once SkyClan has their own camp they won't have to complain. Leafpool points out that if they don't want to share prey, they won't want to share territory, and if SkyClan stays beside the lake, the Clans will have to share their land. Alderheart refuses to accept this view, not wanting the other Clan's selfishness to influence how he feels. He references StarClan's prophecy about SkyClan, but Leafpool says some may find it hard to believe StarClan wants them to give up their land. Alderheart believes that this is not the case, but Leafpool looks back up at Sparkpelt and Squirrelflight. Leafpool does not comment on Squirrelflight's views on the matter but points out that though Sparkpelt went to find them, she may not want them to stay by the lake. Alderheart asks if she thinks Sparkpelt doesn't want them to stay, and Leafpool tells him to ask her himself.
- Jayfeather appears from the medicine den and tells them to hurry up, as leaf-fall is coming and tey need to start gathering before the cold weather spoils any herbs they need. Leafpool glances at Alderheart and remarks that her son seems to have forgotten she's been a medicine cat since before he was born. Alderheart barely hears her, glancing anxiously at Sparkpelt, wondering who actually believes SkyClan has the right to stay by the lake.
- Later, on their way to a Gathering Alderheart catches up with Sparkpelt, saying he hopes Twigpaw's assessment, which is tomorrow, goes well, since she seems nervous about it. He wonders if bringing up Twigpaw might make Sparkpelt reveal how she feels about SkyClan. Bramblestar and Squirrelflight lead the way, Leafpool following with Ivypool, while Molewhisker and Cherryfall bring up the rear. Thornclaw and Birchfall are ahead with Lilyheart, Honeyfur, and Twigpaw. SkyClan are also with them. Alderheart wants to ask Sparkpelt about what she thinks of SkyClan now, since he had been busy gathering herbs all day and this was the first opportunity he's had to speak to her alone, but now he struggles to find words. He wonders if he will offend her to ask, and she truly thought SkyClan didn't belong.
- He asks what the Clans will decide and clarifies that he means SkyClan when she asks. She says they simply hope they do the right thing: which is, in her opinion, to let the "real Clans" live how they always have—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, RiverClan, and WindClan, since this isn't SkyClan's home and never has been. She rather coldly says SkyClan should go back where they came from, and Alderheart cannot believe his ears. Sparkpelt goes on to say that Darktail has left the gorge so they can go home, not listening to Alderheart's attempt to bring up the prophecy, asking if they ever said anything about SkyClan moving to the lake permanently. He remembers that they never clearly said that, but believes that StarClan wants them to keep SkyClan close. Sparkpelt asks how it will help, saying that nothing good comes of strange cats moving to their territory.
- Alderheart is insulted by her comparison of SkyClan to Darktail's rogues because they are warriors like them and share ancestors. Sparkpelt asks which Clan will give up territory for them, and if he really thinks another border around the lake will really bring peace before she quickens her pace to catch up with Cherryfall and Molewhisker. Alderheart, dumbfounded wonders if everything he has worked for means nothing now that it seems like the Clans might force SkyClan out anyway. He wishes to StarClan that the Clans will have a different opinion to his sister. Leafpool stops when she finds him waiting by the tree-bridge, asking if he is okay. He tells her what Sparkpelt said about SkyClan. She touches his ear with her nose and says while Sparkpelt does not speak for every cat, if the Clans decide that SkyClan can't stay, he must simply accept it. Alderheart, frustrated, says he cannot accept it, but Leafpool tells him he has no choice as they must trust StarClan to guide their leaders.
- Alderheart jumps up onto the bridge to cross so he cannot see SkyClan, as they all look hopeful that they will stay. All the Clans have gathered, but all cats are very quiet while keeping to their respective Clan. Alderheart is worried by this, as he expected them to be happier since Darktail and his group had been killed or otherwise chased out. He wonders if he is the only one happy about this. He goes over to meet the other medicine cats when Leafpool beckons him. He is surprised by how few ShadowClan cats appear to be the Gathering while WindClan sits apart from everyone else. Alderheart reminisces about his first Gathering, where all the apprentices say together and exchanged stories and battle moves as he notices how quiet they all seem to be. He also notes that the only elders present are Graystripe and Millie, which is unusual as they usually enjoy meeting to gossip. The SkyClan cats now filter into the clearing, the Clans hushing as Leafstar and Hawkwing appear with their entire Clan, sans Tinycloud who is too close to kitting.
- Leafstar allows her cats to file past her. Hawkwing scans the other Clans with narrowed eyes before sitting beside ThunderClan with Plumwillow, Blossomheart, Dewpaw, Reedpaw, and Finpaw. They all seem surprised to see so many cats in one place. Violetpaw looks nervous, looking at Hawkwing and then at her Clanmmates in ShadowClan. Alderheart wonders where she will sit, before she whispers something to her father and then hurries over to Twigpaw and Lionblaze.
- Bramblestar steps forward and dips his head to Harestar, Rowanstar, and Mistystar. One at a time they all leap up onto the leader's branch of the Great Oak. Alderheart looks at Leafstar and wonders if she will join her, but feels disappointed when she simply joins her Clanmates beneath the tree. The Clan deputies all gather at the roots of the tree while Hawkwing remains beside Leafstar.
- Cats glance hostilely at Rowanstar, Icewing bolding yowling to question if he should be there. Lakeshine agrees, asking if ShadowClan even really counts as a Clan anymore. Podlight snarls that they chose rogues as campmates, but Rowanstar proclaims that it was not him. Podlight holds his gaze, saying his Clan believed Darktail would make a better leader. Crowfeather asks what sort of leader would lose the faith of their Clan. Another cat says that if the other Clans have lost cats, their blood is on Rowanstar's paws. Alderheart realizes it is Molewhisker, and he freezes. Rowanstar spits back that ShadowClan also suffered losses, and Alderheart looks over, noting again how few of them were there; they still look intimidating with their chests puffed and pelts prickling, however, and Alderheart wonders if they hold Rowanstar responsible for the deaths of their Clanmates. He notes Tigerheart's unreadable gaze and the pity in Tawnypelt's eyes, and he knows they won't judge their family, but ponders the other cat's feelings.
- ShadowClan shuffles uneasily and Alderheart can feel their shame over choosing to follow a rogue instead of Rowanstar and nearly destroying their Clan. He wonders, though, if Rowanstar had simply been a bad leader and if he had not, if they would have followed the same path. Bramblestar interrupts to say there is no use blaming; they need to remember how they came together to drive out the rogues and they that are strong together. He goes on to say that they came to remember the dead and plan a way forward; he glances at Leafstar encouragingly, even moving to allow her space. She does not join the leaders though, and Alderheart understands when he notices the other cats' bristling pelts. Bramblestar apologizes for ShadowClan's lost Clanmates and Rowanstar blinks gratefully, and says that many cats have simply disappeared and they're unaware of what has happened.
- He lists them; Alderheart is shocked by the sheer number of missing cats, realising this is why so few ShadowClan cats have attended. Rowanstar wonders where they may be. Lakeshine snaps that they probably all joined the rogues; Rowanstar, infuriated, tells her she is wrong. He says that some of his warriors did join Darktail, including Sleekwhisker, Yarrowleaf, and Spiketail, and that they will never forgive them; the missing cats were trying to escape when they were lost. Snowbird cries out that this is true as she persuaded Berryheart and Beenose to go to ThunderClan but they never arrived. Puddleshine calls out that Birchbark and Lioneye has planned to leave the rogue camp and had never returned. Violetpaw adds that Needletail died standing up to Darktail, saving her Clanmates. Rowanstar proclaims that though they judge, they will never understand how much they suffered, and if they made a mistake they have paid with their own blood.
- Mistystar' tail lashes and says they gave their blood as well as ShadowClan chose its path and they were all forced to suffer for it. She lists the names of some fallen RiverClan warriors. Rowanstar meows that he knows and hopes StarClan will forgive them but does not expect the Clans to. Icewing yowls that they will never forgive, and many cats agree. Alderheart feels fear as the Clans shout that Rowanstar has no right to be leader. Harestar calls for silence, proclaiming that while they blame Rowanstar, it was Onestar's rejection of his son that brought about Darktail's vengeance. However, he asserts that Darktail chse his own path. He chose murder and cruelty, and then Onestar died to put an end to it. He also calls for them to listen to Bramblestar; do not blame, and let them remember the dead and missing and honour Onestar's sacrifice to kill his own son. The clearing calms suddenly. Alderheart realises that he is shaking, but feels hope within him as he remembers Leafpool's comment about trusting StarClan to guide the leaders.
- Mistystar praises Harestar for his wise words, saying WindClan has chosen well in naming their new leader and is glad StarClan blessed him with his nine lives. She wishes the Clans well and announces this will be the last gathering RiverClan will attend for a while so they can rebuild what the rogues destroyed of their territory. Alderheart is somewhat shocked by this. Mistystar continues by saying everyone needs time to heal and says she will be closing her Clan's borders for now as she leaps down from the branch and signals for her cats to follow. Bramblestar yells that they must decide what will happen to SkyClan; Mistustar leaves the decision to the other Clans, but warns that they must be careful about allowing more strange cats to remain with them. Rowanstar calls that they must not close their borders after what happened with WindClan. Mistystar simply says that they are not WindClan, and if they are needed they may send a patrol, but for now RiverClan will follow its own path.
- The Clan then leaves. Alderheart says they can't, but Leafpool says it may be for the best. Alderheart asks how she could say that; she does not answer. The cats in the clearing are clearly very confused and anxious. Leafpool announces that this makes sense, as they need the peace and time to heal and rebuild. Bramblestar thanks her and encourages the Clans to work together, adding that it is fortunate an old ally has returned and motions for Leafstar to join him. Crowfeather yowls that they do not belong and that they have no idea who they are. Scorchfur calls that they only found out about them when ThunderClan told them. He asks why Firestar and then Bramblestar hid their existence for so long. Strikestone hisses that this is typical of ThunderClan. Alderheart glances at Sparkpelt and notices her excited gaze and wonders if she will join the outcry against SkyClan.
- Bramblestar says that StarClan were the ones that told ThunderClan to bring them back. Scorchfur argues that StarClan only said to find them, and that they are not one of the Clans. Bramblestar protests to this, but Crowfeather snaps that they only have his word for that. Alderheart wants to shout that they have StarClan's word as well, but chooses not to speak. Rowanstar and Harestar agree that it would be foolish to ignore StarClan's prophecy and that another Clan would make them stronger. Crowfeather angrily says that they are strong without them. Bramblestar encourages Leafstar to join the other leaders as he says that their home is with the other Clans. She says that SkyClan only wants to live peacefully with them says that Darktail was also their enemy as he killed their Clanmates too. Juniperclaw demands how as they only joined in their last battle and had never said anything about their own dying. Leafstar explains that Darktail invaded the gorge and eventually drove them out, explaining that he lived among them for a while, and SkyClan did not realise how evil he was until it was too late.
- An easy silence falls over the clearing; Alderheart can feel his Clanmate's distrust. He prays to StarClan to make them understand. Sparkpelt then gets to her paws. Alderheart braces himself. Her voice shaky, but determined, Sparkpelt says that she knows SkyClan have suffered and lost much, but she asks why they simply can't go home to their old home now that Darktail and his rogues are gone. Now that their home is safe again, they should be able to happily return. She also asks who will give up territory to allow them to stay. Alderheart swallows anxiously, aware that she echoes the thoughts of many cats; he wonders why the Clans simply don't understand that there is more to life than territory. Tigerheart asks to speak, and when he is allowed he begins to speak of the suffering the Clans at Darktail's paws. He says that he believes there was a reason why StarClan urged them to find SkyClan. He believes that with an extra Clan they will find a new strength they need.
- Crowfeather demands to know who will give up their territory. Tigerheart says that ShadowClan could as there are so few of them now; it would make sense to trade some land for a new ally. Rowanstar looks thoughtful, asking Leafstar if SkyClan will be ShadowClan's ally. Leafstar tells him yes, it would be an honour and they would be grateful for any territory given to them. Alderheart holds his breath, waiting for the reactions of the other Clans. Molewhisker asks if they will be allies to everyone and not just ShadowClan, and Leafstar says yes, and they want to live among the Clans their ancestors hunted beside countless moons ago. She hopefully asks Rowanstar if he will give up land for them. Rowanstar offers them some of the land along their border with ThunderClan. Scorchfur is outraged, but Rowanstar and Tigerheart silence him. Leafstar, filled with joy, thanks him. Bramblestar says that they can stay with ThunderClan for the night and then mark their territory tomorrow. Alderheart is beyond relieved, grateful that SkyClan would be allowed to stay. The Clans separate, the Gathering now over. Violetpaw and Twigpaw bounce towards their father, glad that he will be staying. Leafpool, also relieved, says that they can trust StarClan to guide them.
- The next morning, Alderheart crawls out from his den into the mist, wondering how Twigpaw's assessment went as he stretches. Squirrelflight is organising patrols while Graystripe heads to the elder den with a mouse. Brackenfur, Cinderheart, and Lionblaze all relish in the sun's warmth. SkyClan is gathered at the edge of the clearing, clearly very excited about their new territory. Violetpaw paces around Hawkwing, waiting for Ivypool and Twigpaw to return; Violetpaw exclaims excitedly when they do. Alderheart watches hopefully as Ivypool appears; she announces that Twigpaw passed her assessment. Violetpaw jumps excitedly around her sister while Alderheart hurries to congratulate her. She seems oddly somber, though. They go to see their father and Alderheart asks how she did, wondering if Ivypool knows why she seems subdued. Ivypool says she did brilliantly and that she deserves her warrior name. Alderheart frowns, watching Twigpaw, Violetpaw, and Hawkwing talk. He reasons that Twigpaw must simply be tired or nervous that she is becoming a warrior alone.
- SkyClan crowds around the entrance of the camp excitedly, all prepared to leave for their new territory. Fallowfern and Plumwillow protectively flank Tinycloud while Harrybrook and Rabbitleap wait beside them. Macgyver nervously says it will be a long walk, but Sandynose reminds him they're simply crossing the border. Tinycloud seems to be exhausted already though. Macgyver hopes the kits can wait a bit longer, and Sparrowpelt meows proudly that they've waited this long, a few more days should be fine. Alderheart reminds everyone that should Tinycloud's kitting star, someone should come and fetch him or Leafpool, still worried about SkyClan's lack of a medicine cat. Sparrowpelt promises that they will.
- Leafstar asks her Clan if they are ready to leave. Everyone nods. Bramblestar calls out good luck and tells them a ShadowClan patrol will be waiting. He offers to send an escort with them, but she says they can manage. Alderheart looks at Twigpaw, thinking it will be hard to say goodbye to her sister and father, but finds that she seems more relieved than anything. She says she has something to say to Bramblestar. Alderheart suddenly knows what she is about to do, and his heart suddenly aches. Twigpaw thanks ThunderClan for raising her, but says she does not want to be a warrior of ThunderClan—she wants to be with SkyClan. Hawkwing looks emotional as Twigpaw adds that she wants to be with her kin.
- While on their way to the Gathering, Alderheart notes that Cherryfall and Molewhisker are at the rear of the patrol. Later, however, Leafpool is said to be running up to meet them.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.70 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 Revealed in Darkest Night, chapter 2
|Darkest Night 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 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Bonus Scene|
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