|"There was a time when Firestar was a young warrior just like you. He often wondered if he was making the right decisions. Oh yes, he's a hero now, he saved the forest, but to begin with, his task looked as impossible as yours- whatever it might be. His prophecy has been fulfilled, maybe it's your turn now. Remember that StarClan don't like to make things obvious. They send prophecies, but they never tell us exactly what we should do. They expect us to show courage and loyalty to achieve what has to be done, just as Firestar did."|
|— Ravenpaw to Brambleclaw in Midnight, page 95|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter six of Midnight (book). If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 6 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 81-95
- Leafpaw's dreams are disturbed. They consist of how it seems like she is following a scent trail to Fourtrees and the next moment she feels tense, like she is confronting an enemy. The danger suddenly fades to coldness. Leafpaw jerks awake to her den covered in rain. The apprentice dashes to Cinderpelt's den. The gray medicine cat is sleeping soundly and does not rouse even when Leafpaw runs in, shaking water out of her pelt.
- Leafpaw rejoices that the long dry spell is at it's end with the current downpour but a part of her is also worried about her dreams. She wonders if they are an omen from StarClan or if they are Squirrelpaw's thoughts from the night before. The light brown tabby notes this is not the first time she caught Squirrelpaw doing something she wasn't told to do, if the latter is the reason. Leafpaw sighs, settling on the speculation that Squirrelpaw had sneaked out for a nighttime hunt. The medicine cat apprentice wonders what Firestar will do if he finds out.
- Noticing the rain is easing away, Leafpaw sneaks out of the medicine den so she can find Squirrelpaw and assist her in hiding whatever mischief she was up to. But Squirrelpaw isn't in the camp, but instead the other apprentices are there, drinking up a puddle eagerly. Ferncloud's kits peer out of the nursery, stunned at the puddles around the camp. Ferncloud watches her kits proudly as they get excited and start playing with the water. Leafpaw watches them a moment before she hears sound at the camp entrance, wondering if it's Squirrelpaw. But the scent of the new cat is not of ThunderClan's and the tabby she-cat opens her mouth to shout a warning to her Clan until she recognizes the cat, Ravenpaw.
- The black tom walks over and greets her. He comments on the rainstorm and how strong it was and Leafpaw nods a greeting, about to ask him if he saw Squirrelpaw on his way when Whitepaw, Shrewpaw, and Ferncloud's kits rush over to meet the newcomer. The biggest kit sniffs Ravenpaw and growls that this is a new cat. Ravenpaw dips his head in greeting, looking amused. Shrewpaw introduces Hollykit to Ravenpaw, explaining who the loner is. Hollykit is impressed when Shrewpaw mentions that Ravenpaw hunts mice everyday. Birchkit remarks that he wants to visit the the farm and Ferncloud replies he can when he's older. She greets Ravenpaw but cuts herself off when she notices Hollykit and Larchkit playing with Ravenpaw's tail. The black tom scolds them gently and Ferncloud apologizes on the kits' behalf. Ravenpaw tells the queen it's okay, drawing his tail out of the way and Ferncloud tells her kits to say goodbye to Ravenpaw and leave and the kits do so.
- Whitepaw asks Ravenpaw if there is anything he wants to eat and the latter politely declines, meowing he already had something. He asks if Firestar is around and Shrewpaw offers to take him to the leader's den but Leafpaw says that she can. At the same time, Thornclaw yowls for Shrewpaw and the apprentice leaves to train. Whitepaw also leaves and finds Brackenfur. Suddenly, the camp entrance rustles and Squirrelpaw enters with a rabbit in her jaws and Leafpaw starts walking over to confront her sister until she remembers her offer. Ravenpaw assures her he can find his way on his own, allowing Leafpaw to speak with her sister.
- Squirrelpaw waits for Leafpaw to catch up with her and says the rabbit is for the latter and Cinderpelt. Leafpaw demands to know where the ginger apprentice was, saying she was worried sick. Squirrelpaw, hurt, explains that she had went out when the rain had started to ease off. She adds that the tabby might as well say thank you. Squirrelpaw leaves to put the rabbit in front of Cinderpelt's den.
- Leafpaw feels as if Squirrelpaw is lying as her dreams told her that the latter was doing a lot more than hunting. The medicine cat apprentice follows her sister into the den and Squirrelpaw says Leafpaw might as well say she did well to catch it. Leafpaw exclaims she did, sounding proud and adds especially because Squirrelpaw seemed to have such a disturbed night. Squirrelpaw freezes, shocked. But she asks why Leafpaw thinks she had a disturbed night. Leafpaw says she just knows that she was awake all night and Squirrelpaw argues, saying she had eaten a bad frog at night which left her with a stomachache. Leafpaw unsheathes her claws, upset that her sister's lying to her. She quietly asks why Squirrelpaw didn't ask for herbs. Leafpaw notes Squirrelpaw's guilty expression as the latter says she's fine now and it was nothing to fuss over. Cinderpelt appears, complimenting Squirrelpaw on the rabbit and the ginger apprentice licks her own shoulder, proudly. But she still refuses to meet her sister's gaze.
- Cinderpelt gives Leafpaw a leaf packet consisting of a poppy seed. The gray she-cat asks her apprentice to take the seed to Dappletail to help her sleep through her toothache. Leafpaw strolls away with the herb, glancing back at her sister once, disappointment engulfing her when Squirrelpaw still refuses to meet her gaze. She wonders what happened between her and Squirrelpaw to keep them this distant.
- Brambleclaw yowls to swim, but chokes as salty water fills his mouth, which drags at his fur. It ultimately pulls him under the surface; the brown tom tries in vain to swim, churning his paws. He stretches his neck, straining as he looks for the reeds that mark the bank's other side. He expected the reeds, but only sees endless blue-green waves. On the horizon, the dark tabby tom catches a glimpse of the sun as it sinks into the waves, the rays leafing a path of blood. It stretches toward him, but just then, Brambleclaw goes under yet again, more water flooding his mouth.
- He manages to get his head from under the water, and a strong current swirls around him, hind legs dangling helplessly. Gasping for air, the big tom finds himself staring up at a sheer wall of sand-colored rocks. He wonders briefly if he's in the gorge, but then realizes those cliffs are shorter. At the base, the waves suck at a dark hole, which is edged by rocks, giving it the appearance of jaws with teeth. Brambleclaw feels his terror strengthen as he realizes how the water is bringing him toward it. He thrashes, but gets weaker and weaker, his soaked pelt dragging at him.
- The waves drive him forward, slamming into rocks, with the gaping mouth now looming overhead. Just then, his eyes fly open, and above, leaves hang, instead of the cliffs. Brambleclaw is supported by soft moss instead of sinking into cold waters, then recalls where he is: his nest, safely, in the warriors' den. The roaring waves become the wind in the branches, while water trickles through the den roof. He knows rain must have arrived, and is relieved, since his throat is sore, mouth parched, like he swallowed river water.
- Brambleclaw sits up, but Dustpelt lifts his head, asking why he cannot stay quiet. The young tom apologizes, beginning to clean himself off, yet his heart still beats fast. Even in reality, he feels exhausted, like he really was trying to save his life from drowning. Gradually, the sun's light strengthens, flowing into the den, so he heaves himself up, then leaves the den. The brown tabby glances around, searching for a puddle in order to quench his biting thirst. A breeze drives the clouds away, and in front of the ThunderClan cat, the clearing sits in pale yellow light, reflecting off small puddles. Water droplets hang on branches of every kind, and off of ferns.
- Even the forest drinks the water, their dusty leaves rising to catch the much-needed water. Mousefur, one of the elders, appears, exiting her den. The dusky she-cat remarks about the water's taste, halting beside Brambleclaw. The dark tom doesn't reply, and staggers across the clearing to a puddle, and bends down to drink. He hopes to wash out the salt taste; sometimes, he'd taste it in prey, or lick it off rocks, but the dream salt leaves a bitter taste in his mouth.
- Finally, he manages to wash the sticky feeling from his throat, and he raises his head, enjoying the cool rain shower. Just then, he spots Firestar, emerging from his den, before turning to talk with another cat, Ravenpaw, which surprises Brambleclaw. Once the pair comes into earshot, he hears his leader and the former Clan cat discussing the monster issue. Ravenpaw exclaims about the bright yellow monsters, and the strange behavior of the Twolegs; Brambleclaw can hear faint impatience in Firestar's tone as he replies.
- The ginger tom reminds his friend he hasn't seen any inside ThunderClan's borders, but nudges the skinny cat's shoulder affectionately, assuring Ravenpaw he'll tell his cats to keep a look out. The skinny black tom admits that it's all Firestar may be able to do, and the ThunderClan leader suggests he stops to see Tallstar and let him know of what's happening. Ravenpaw agrees, but then Firestar tells him that he'll accompany the loner halfway, and goes to fetch Sandstorm and Graystripe. When he departs for the warriors' den, Ravenpaw catches sight of Brambleclaw and asks how the prey is running.
- Brambleclaw replies that it's been fine, aware that his voice is shaky still, and isn't surprised when the former ThunderClan apprentice looks closer. He says Brambleclaw looks like badgers chased him all night, questioning if he's alright. The brown tabby shifts his paws, admitting that he had a dream; Ravenpaw's eyes are sympathetic as he asks if the warrior wishes to share what he dreamed of. Brambleclaw murmurs that it's nonsense, but then remembers the waves crashing and the bellowing noises that followed, and ends up telling Ravenpaw everything.
- He says that it cannot be a true place, and he doesn't know why it's in his mind. Much to Brambleclaw's surprise, the skinny loner doesn't agree with him so quickly, and instead stays silent, green eyes thoughtful. He murmurs about the saltwater, and the cliffs, before declaring it is a true place, as he's heard of it, but never seen it. Brambleclaw stammers, staring at Ravenpaw, fur standing on end, and the loner goes on to talk about how some rogues arrive at his barn, telling stories of a place where the sun sets. He states that those cats have told him and Barley of a place with lots of water, and every night, the sun is swallowed by the river, bleeding into the waves before disappearing.
- Brambleclaw finds it uncomfortable to hear the detail so vividly, and asks if he knows about a cave with teeth; Ravenpaw doesn't, yet he points out that StarClan might show him the way. The dark tabby feels his stomach flip over, repeating their ancestors' name, and Ravenpaw asks why he would dream of such a place without StarClan's help. He says that perhaps they're trying to tell him he needs to go there, and Ravenpaw is surprised, asking why they'd want that. Brambleclaw admits that he had another dream, where he thought he'd met Bluestar, and the old she-cat told him of great trouble yet to come to the forest, and he was chosen by StarClan.
- However, the muscular tabby tom doesn't talk about the other cats StarClan mentioned, since he knows Ravenpaw won't approve of meeting them. He questions why he is chosen, and not Firestar, since the ThunderClan leader might know what to do. The sleek loner gazes at Brambleclaw solemnly, mentioning the prophecy involving Firestar, and how he was once the fire meant to save the Clans; despite that, the ginger tom never fully understood until Bluestar told him as she lay dying. Brambleclaw meets Ravenpaw's green eyes, but can't find anything to say, for he too heard of Firestar's prophecy, but never let it occur to him how confused his leader was as he is now.
- The black tom goes on, saying that Firestar once was as young as Brambleclaw, and how often he wondered if his decisions were right. Ravenpaw tells the brown tabby warrior how impossible his task seemed at first, like Brambleclaw's, whatever it may be. He tells the young warrior to believe that StarClan isn't one to be straightforward, and to keep being loyal, like they expect of the Clans. Brambleclaw is puzzled at first, wondering why Ravenpaw is talking about StarClan when he doesn't reside in a Clan, but the stray tells the tabby tom that he doesn't reject the warrior code, wherever he lives, and will defend it like any warrior.
- He gives Brambleclaw a friendly nod when Firestar returns, and pads off to join them, then leaves the camp with his old friends. The brown tom thinks of how his dreams, if true, have laid a huge task out for him, and he has no idea how he'll find the salt water. Brambleclaw knows, however, that it is far, far from the forest; Ravenpaw's words echo in his mind. He wonders if the other cats dreamed of the sun-drown-place too, before asking himself what he should do next.
Notes and references
|Midnight (book) 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 • Epilogue|
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