|"Fireheart, whatever happens, Cinderpaw will never be a warrior now."|
|— Yellowfang to Fireheart in Fire and Ice, page 183|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter seventeen of Fire and Ice. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 17 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 177-185
- Fireheart stares in horror at Cinderpaw's body, and slowly forces himself to go nearer. Ahead of him, Tigerclaw reaches the limp body and stands over it, his massive shoulders rigid with shock. Fireheart touches his apprentice's flank, and notes that she smelled of the Thunderpath, and her one of her legs was badly twisted and glistening with blood. He trembles so much he can hardly stand, then realizes that Cinderpaw still breathing when he spots her flank slightly moving. Speechless with relief, the ginger warrior looks up at Tigerclaw, who growls that she's still alive. The deputy fixes his amber stare on Fireheart, and queries what she was doing here. Fireheart whispers that she came to find him, and Tigerclaw asks if he meant she was sent here. The ginger warrior recoils in surprise, and wonders if Tigerclaw thought he was really stupid. Fireheart protests that he told her to stay in camp, and states that she came by herself. He silently realizes with dismay that she only came because he couldn't make her listen to him.
- Tigerclaw snorts, and meows that they must get her home as quickly as possible. The deputy reaches down with his mouth open, reaching for the small, crumpled body. Fireheart dips his head and grabs Cinderpaw's scruff before Tigerclaw can touch her, and starts to drag Cinderpaw into the woods as gently as he can, her body dangling limply from his jaws. Darkstripe bounds up them, and comments that he's checked Snakerocks again, reporting that no ShadowClan scent was found. He breaks off when he sees Cinderpaw dangling from Fireheart's mouth, and asks what happened. The ginger warrior doesn't wait for Tigerclaw's answer, and stumbles through the trees with his precious burden. He thinks that he could've prevented this accident, if he'd been a better mentor by making her listen to him. Fireheart glances down at her, damaged and bleeding as she hung from his jaws. He notes sadly that her hind paws scored a shallow trail though the leaves as Fireheart carries her to camp.
- Yellowfang isn't in her clearing, and he sees the two kits with greencough curled up in their shelter asleep. Fireheart lays Cinderpaw on the cold ground, then makes a nest for her in the bracken by curling around and around. When he was finished, he slowly pulls her in the nest, waiting for the medicine cat to arrive. Soon after, Yellowfang meows a greeting to Fireheart and he hops out of the nest. He thinks that Tigerclaw must have told her about Cinderpaw, and feels weak with relief as he croaks that she's in there. She orders to let her look, and she brushes past Fireheart, climbing in to examine Cinderpaw. Fireheart waits, and at last the medicine cat hops out with a grave face. Yellowfang's eyes darken with concern as she says the apprentice is hurt very badly, but she may be able to save her. It was a tiny hope, and the ginger warrior feels it glisten for a moment before Yellowfang continues, meowing she can't promise anything. She looks deep into Fireheart's eyes, and murmurs that Bluestar is very sick and she can do no more for her. Yellowfang whispers that her fate is in StarClan's paws, and Fireheart's eyes cloud with emotion. He can't see the medicine cat in the dim light, but her voice is gentle when she tells him to go sit with Bluestar. Yellowfang says that she was asking for him earlier, and that she will take care of Cinderpaw.
- Fireheart nods blindly, and turns away to leaves to go watch over his leader. He thinks that she was his mentor, and even more-so, there had been a bond between them since their first meeting. Fireheart is reluctant to leave Cinderpaw, but his attention is attracted by a looming shadow at the end of the fern tunnel. He sees Tigerclaw sitting at the entrance to Yellowfang's den, head held high as usual. Fireheart's shoulders stiffen with anger, and he wonders why the great warrior couldn't show some sign of sorrow, because the apprentice had gone looking for him. He thinks that there wasn't any evidence of ShadowClan fresh-kill that he'd noticed anywhere nearby. Fireheart walks past the deputy in silence, and heads across the clearing to Bluestar's den.
- Longtail sits guard outside the ThunderClan leader's den, but only glances sideways at Fireheart as he pushes his way through the lichen in the entrance. Goldenflower was inside, and he can see her eyes shining in the gloom with Bluestar's pale fur next to her. The queen gently leans forward to lick Bluestar's head, just like a mother would do to cool their kit down. Fireheart's heart aches as he thinks of Cinderpaw, and wonders if her mother Frostfur would be by her side. Goldenflower murmurs that Yellowfang has already given her catmint and feverfew, so all they can do is wait. She gets to her paws, and asks if Fireheart will be okay to sit with her. Fireheart nods, and the queen pads softly out of the den, touching him with her muzzle as she passes.
- Fireheart lowers himself onto his belly, stretching his paws in front of him so they just reach his leader's face. He lay very still, his eyes intently fixed on Bluestar's limp body as he sadly thinks that Bluestar doesn't even have the strength to cough now. Fireheart hears to her shallow, rasping breaths in the darkness, listening to it falter while the night slowly passed. Her breathing stops just before dawn, and Fireheart almost dozes off when he realizes the cave was silent. He notes that there was no noise from the camp either, as if they the whole Clan were holding their breath. Bluestar is completely still, and Fireheart knows she is with StarClan preparing for her final life. He had watched Bluestar lose a life before, and feels his fur pickle at the eerie silence. Fireheart knows there's nothing he can do, so he waits for his leader to awake. Suddenly, Bluestar gasps and with a croaky voice asks if Fireheart is there; he replies that he is.
- The leader says she has lost another life, but relief makes Fireheart want to like her between the ears as Goldenflower had done. She cuts into his thoughts, and mews that when she loses the next one she will not be able to return. Fireheart swallows hard at the thought of the Clan losing its great leader, but is even more pained to think about losing his mentor and friend. He questions how she feels, and offers to go get Yellowfang for her. Bluestar shakes her head slowly, and meows that she's fine now that the fever has gone, and only needs rest. Fireheart nods, but his head swims from his wakeful night as light starts to filter through the lichen. Bluestar says that he must be tired, and tells him to get some rest. He obliges, and heaves himself up on stiff paws. Fireheart asks if there's anything she wants, and she answers that there isn't except to tell Yellowfang what has happened. Bluestar thanks the ginger warrior for sitting with her, and he tries to purr but it catches in his throat. He thinks that there'll be more time for words later, and pushes his way out of the den.
- The next morning, ThunderClan awakes to find everything covered in a layer of snow. Fireheart's eyes blink as he realizes it had snowed in the night, and he stares in amazement. He has never seen snow before, because his Twolegs had always kept him locked in whenever it cold. Fireheart recalls the elders talking about it, and nods to Darkstripe, who now replaced Longtail guarding Bluestar's den. He steps into the strange powder, and notes it was wet and cold, crunching loudly beneath his paws. Fireheart sees Tigerclaw standing in the center of the clearing, the falling snow settling slowly on his thick tabby pelt. He could hear the deputy giving orders for the nursery wall to be padded with leaves to keep out the cold. Tigerclaw instructs for there to be a prey hole, lined with snow on the sides and on top, so they can make use of the snow while it's here. Warriors scurry about the clearing, following his fast-incoming orders. Tigerclaw yowls to Mousefur and Longtail to make hunting patrols, so the Clan can gather fresh-kill before it goes to its burrows for the winter. The deputy spots Fireheart, but quickly decided he'll be of no use on a hunting patrol because he's tired.
- Fireheart says he's going to check on Cinderpaw first, and Tigerclaw holds his gaze, questioning how Bluestar is. Mistrust ruffles his fur like a cold breeze, as he'd heard Bluestar lie about how many lives she had left to the tabby before. He answers that he's no medicine cat, so he can't say. Tigerclaw snorts impatiently, and goes back to giving orders in the bustling camp.
- Fireheart walks across the clearing to Yellowfang's den, relieved to escape the frenetic bustle of camp. His heart pounds as he wonders how she is, and calls for the medicine cat outside the den. Yellowfang hops out of the apprentice's bracken nest, and tells the ginger warrior to hush. She meows that Cinderpaw is sleeping at last, and had a hard night because she couldn't give her poppy seeds to ease the pain until she'd recovered from the shock. Fireheart's legs feel wobbly with relief, and queries hopefully if she's going to live. The medicine cat replies that she won't be sure for a few days because she's hurt on the inside, and her hind leg is badly broken. Fireheart pleads desperately that it must mend, so she can be training again by newleaf.
- Yellowfang shakes her head, and sympathetically comments that she'll never be a warrior now. Fireheart's head spins, because he was dizzy with lack of sleep and this devastating news sucked the last of his energy. He thinks that Cinderpaw was entrusted to him for training, and memories of the naming ceremony pricked him like cruel thorns. Fireheart feels hollow and remembers Frostfur's motherly pride so asks Yellowfang if she knows yet. Yellowfang replies that she does, and was here until dawn but returned to the nursery because there were other kits to care for. The medicine cats says she'll ask one of the elders to sit with the apprentice, because she needs to be kept warm. Fireheart meows that he can do that, and pads over to where she was sleeping. He looks inside and sees her squirming as her blood smeared sides heaved as though she were fighting a battle as she slept. Yellowfang nudges the ginger warrior, and tells him to leave Cinderpaw to her so he can get some rest.
- Fireheart bursts out that Bluestar lost another life, and the medicine cat blinks, lifting her head to StarClan. She doesn't say anything, but Fireheart can see the anguish in her eyes and asks her if she knows how many lives she has left. Yellowfang lowers her chin and gazes at him, replying that medicine cats know these things. Fireheart thinks of Tigerclaw, and queries if the rest of the Clan will be able to tell. The medicine cat narrows her eyes and says that they won't, because she will be no weaker in this life than in any other. Fireheart blinks gratefully at her, and she questions if he wants some poppy seeds to help him sleep. He shook his head, even though part of him wanted to slip into the easy abyss of sleep they would bring. Fireheart doesn't want to risk Tigerclaw being right about ShadowClan getting ready to attack, he didn't want to dull his senses.
- Grief stricken, Fireheart leaves to confront Graystripe about his forbidden meetings with Silverstream. He does not speak to the warrior; his rage at finding him missing the night before still lingering like a dull bruise. Fireheart pads silently to his nest, circles once, and settles down to wash. Graystripe looks up, and comments that he's back with an edgy tone, as if he wanted to say more. Fireheart stops licking his paw, and stares at Graystripe as his gray friend hisses that he tried to scare off Silverstream. Willowpelt, who was dozing on the other side of the den, glances at them then closes her eyes. Graystripe lowers his voice, and spits to Fireheart for him to stay out of it, because he's going to keep seeing her whatever he does or says. Fireheart snorts, and flashes a resentful glance at his friend because his chat with Silverstream seemed so long ago, he'd almost forgotten it. He hasn't forgotten though, that Graystripe was missing when he'd needed help finding Cinderpaw so he angrily lays his head on his muddy forepaws. Fireheart thinks that as far as he's concerned, Graystripe could do whatever he wished because Cinderpaw was battling for her life and Bluestar was on her ninth life.
- Yellowfang is mistakenly referred to as a tom.
- Bluestar loses her eighth life.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 177
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 178
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 179
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 180
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 185
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 182
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 183
- ↑ Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 184
|Fire and Ice 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 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30|
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