|"I suppose you can stay until the fire is out and your Twolegs come back. But not a heartbeat longer."|
|— Bramblestar to Velvet and Fuzzball in River of Fire, page 157|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twelve of River of Fire. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 12 (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 145-163
- As the sun sets, Alderheart walks out of the medicine cats' den and into camp. He thanks StarClan that Leafpool is recovering from the sickness, as well as Whitewing. The medicine cat thinks that Squirrelflight is getting better as well, even though Molewhisker and Hollytuft have fallen ill. Alderheart thinks that Jayfeather has to be the worst patient ever, and he droops with exhaustion. A chilly breeze starts to blow, and a crack of lightning comes down from the sky. The medicine cat is shocked at how close it is, and moments later, it begins to pour.
- Alderheart yowls to the other cats in camp to take cover, and he dives behind the bramble screen. He wonders what he needs to do for the sick cats, and thinks of the system in place for evacuating that was made after the Great Storm. Alderheart asks Leafpool if cats should be moved to the tunnels, but she replies that Bramblestar will decide if it gets bad enough. She adds that they might want to move Briarlight now, because she'll be the hardest to evacuate.
- Alderheart agrees and exits the den, worrying that this storm is a result of the Clans not listening to the prophecy. He dashes out into the storm, and enters the warriors' den. The medicine cat tells them to wake up, as he needs two cats to help him move Briarlight. Sorrelstripe and Ambermoon volunteer, so the trio race across to the nursery. Twigpaw crouches near the entrance, and she asks Alderheart if he's worried. He says maybe with a sharp tone, remembering it's only been half a moon since she went over to SkyClan trying to rebuild ShadowClan. He isn't happy, and thinks the apprentice overstepped.
- Twigpaw then asks if anything new was revealed at half-moon, and he say that Yarrowleaf has had her two kits, but no cat had a message about ShadowClan. Twigpaw is disappointed, and he feels guilty. Ambermoon and Sorrelstripe come carrying Briarlight, and he instructs them to carry her to the tunnel where ThunderClan stayed during the Great Storm. He turns to follow, but a yowl of alarm alerts him that a section of the nursery roof has flapped away into the storm. Alderheart dives back in the den, and sees every cat huddled against the far wall. He says they can go to the elders' den, so the queens gather up their kits and move.
- Alderheart returns to the medicine den, and Jayfeather complains that he needs more watermint, and to get out of here before he gets washed away. The younger tom assures that that won't happen, and that the watermint will have to wait, because it's somewhere where it will stay safely dry. He leaves the den and heads to the tunnels, where Sorrelstripe, Ambermoon, and Briarlight wait. After assuring himself they're okay, he promises to come fetch them once it's safe. By now it's almost dark, and Alderheart stumbles back to camp, trying not to lose his balance on the slippery grass.
- Alderheart jumps when he hears a very loud crack of lightning, and notices that a fire has started in the direction of SkyClan territory. He runs back to camp, slipping and skidding in his hurry. Alderheart yowls for Bramblestar, telling him a fire has started. The ThunderClan leader sends Leafshade and Stormcloud to check it out, and when they return, they come with two kittypets. Alderheart notices that one is a fuzzy ginger tabby tom, while the other is a gray she-cat, who's limping a little. He thinks that she's pretty, and sees that she's holding something in her jaws. Bramblestar demands to know what's going on, and Leafshade explains that the newcomers are kittypets they ran into while investigating the fire, and were trying to escape it since it's in the Twolegplace. Fuzzball introduces himself, and then tells the Clan cats that Velvet is his friend who got burned, so they're here to ask for help.
- Alderheart asks how he knows about the Clans, and the ginger tom begins to talk excitedly about all he's heard about forest cats. Velvet interrupts her friend, and drops her scrap of fur. She explains that Fuzzball has nothing but dreams about Clan cats, and is very excited to be here. Bramblestar says this is all very flattering, but that they'll have to leave because kittypets aren't in the forest for a reason. Their eyes fill with disappointment, and Alderheart turns to Bramblestar, telling him to look at the pair. He elaborates that both are covered in soot, tired, and have traveled a long way to ask for help. Alderheart asks Bramblestar if he can at least treat Velvet's burn wound before sending them back to their Twolegs.
- Bramblestar is still undecided, but Stormcloud adds in that ThunderClan took in kittypets during the Great Storm, and that didn't turn out badly. The leader meows that he knew he might say that, and sighs heavily. Velvet begs the dark tabby for help, saying that her leg hurts badly. She recounts that a huge bolt of fire came from the sky, and it caught a tree on fire, which then fell on her housefolk's den. Velvet meows that all the other dens around it caught fire too, and she only just managed to escape with Fuzzball.
- She continues that they'd go home if they could, but that their housefolk fled, and a huge monster came with loud wailing noises. The medicine cat adds that it'd be cruel to turn them away, since they're wet and tired from their journey. Bramblestar isn't happy, but agrees they can stay until the fire is gone and their housefolk are back, but not any longer. Fuzzball lets out an excited screech, and Velvet quietly says thanks, and that they won't be any trouble. Bramblestar grunts, replying that they should try and stay out of every cat's paws.
- Alderheart directs the two kittypets to come with him, explaining that he's a medicine cat and they can stay in his den while he checks them over. They pad across the clearing, with Velvet and Fuzzball looking around with wondering eyes. Upon entering the medicine den, Alderheart introduces the pair to Leafpool and Jayfeather. Fuzzball greets them excitedly, while Velvet dips her head politely. Jayfeather glares at the pair, not returning their greetings. The blind tom complains about his nest having thorns, and so Alderheart, with relish, assigns Fuzzball to help. The ginger tabby kittypet pounces on Jayfeather's nest, and starts asking excitedly why he's blind, and how it happened. He groans and looks at Alderheart, stating that he's going to kill him when he gets better. The younger medicine cat and Velvet watch in amusement, their whiskers twitching.
- Alderheart says that they have enough moss here to make a nest for her, so then she can sleep. Velvet sets down her toy, saying that she can rest later, when he doesn't have as much to do. The she-cat insists she can help, and explains she lived as a stray for a few seasons, and took care of herself. Velvet meows that she learned some things about herbs and healing, so she'd like to be useful. Alderheart is surprised, and tells her that she can help after he treats her wound. Velvet agrees, so Alderheart leaves and fetches some budrock root. He explains that she can chew it up, but not swallow, so it can be used as a poultice for her burn. The kittypet sniffs the root, commenting that it's bitter. Alderheart offers to do it instead, but she declines, saying she'd like to learn something new.
- He watches as she chews the root, and asks if she's always been a kittypet. Velvet spits out the pulp, replying no. She continues that her first housefolk went away and left her behind, so she had to live as stray for a few seasons. Velvet meows that when the weather got cold, she found new Twolegs. Alderheart begins to pat the poultice on the she-cat's burn, and asks how she managed to do that. Velvet mrrows with laughter, saying that she sat outside the Twoleg's den and meowed, then looked sad when they came out. She imitates this expression, putting on a pathetic expression and stretching her eyes wide. Alderheart thinks that that was a smart plan, as he can't imagine a Twoleg resisting such a pretty cat. He thinks that talking to her is really nice, but that he'd better get back to work.
- Alderheart tells her to keep still, and adds that he's going to get some cobweb to hold the poultice in place. Velvet lets out a sigh of relief and says it feels better already, and that he must be a great medicine cat. Jayfeather snorts at that, but the other medicine cat ignores him. He binds up Velvet's leg, and then goes outside the den to help the other cats waiting for him. Velvet follows, and Alderheart asks her if she can take out a thorn. She says yes, and asks Birchfall if he minds. The warrior is surprised, but sits and says he'll deal with a badger just to get it out of his paw. After making sure Velvet knows what she's doing, Alderheart turns away to help Cherryfall.
- Moments after, it starts raining again without warning. Alderheart yowls for every cat to get inside the den just as a claw of lighting crashes down, leaving the medicine cat half blinded. As his vision clears, he alerts everyone that there's fire, but a different one than in Velvet's Twolegplace.
- Spotkit (Unnamed)
- Flykit (Unnamed)
- Snapkit (Unnamed)
- Shellkit (Unnamed)
- Plumkit (Unnamed)
Notes and references
|River of Fire 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 • Bonus Scene|
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