|"It's not a question Darkstripe. Fireheart is Clan deputy, he succeeds Bluestar. That's all there is to it."|
|— Whitestorm supporting Fireheart against Darkstripe in The Darkest Hour, page 25|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter two of The Darkest Hour. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 2 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 20-33
- Speckletail and Frostfur are outraged that Stonefur and Mistyfoot are in ThunderClan's camp, thinking that they are mauling Bluestar's body. Fireheart tells the two queens that they're not, and they have a right to be here. Darkstripe questions the ginger tom, asking why he brought enemy cats into the camp. Fireheart looks at him, and his mistrusts of the tabby in return. He recalls when Darkstripe had tried to slip out of camp with Tigerstar's children, Bramblepaw and Tawnypaw. He remembers that the dark tabby tom swore that he did not know anything about Tigerstar's plan about the dog pack to kill all of ThunderClan's cats, but Fireheart does not believe him. The ginger tom reminds him that Mistyfoot and Stonefur helped pull Bluestar out of the river, but Darkstripe refuses to accept it, questioning how they know he's telling the truth. He asks why RiverClan cats should help ThunderClan, and Fireheart tells him that they've helped them in the past, saying that they would've died in the fire that blazed through the forest if RiverClan hadn't given them shelter.
- Mousefur comments that it is indeed true, but adds that it is no excuse to leave them alone with Bluestar's body. Stonefur tells Mousefur that they are giving her honor, and the brown she-cat asks why. Mistyfoot tells her that Bluestar was their mother. Fireheart starts to feel sick, and Sandstorm seems dismayed at this revelation. Speckletail growls, saying that their deceased leader would never have her kits be raised in another Clan. Stonefur retorts that it's true, whether she believes it or not. Fireheart warns Stonefur to be silent, and says that he will take care of it, dismissing the two RiverClan warriors. The ginger tom believes that it is best for the Clan to hear it from him now instead of Tigerstar at the Gathering. He knows that as Clan leader, he must face this task, no matter if he likes it or not. Fireheart leaps on the Highrock, preparing himself to tell the Clan about Bluestar's children. He meets Darkstripe's gaze, wondering how much the dark-furred warrior will say to Tigerstar at the Gathering. He guesses that his old enemy would be pleased to hear about ThunderClan's difficulties, and knows that Tigerstar will twist their problems in a way to retrieve his offspring from ThunderClan, and to put vengeance against Fireheart and his warriors. The new leader tells the Clan that Bluestar had given her kits to Oakheart, her mate at the time, in order to become deputy of the Clan. Frostfur snarls, asking how Fireheart knows this, stating that Bluestar would never do this, and if the RiverClan cats had said that was the true story, they were lying. He tells the she-cat that Bluestar had told him this herself. Frostfur hisses, asking if Bluestar was a traitor. Whitestorm speaks up, commenting that Bluestar was always loyal to her Clan. Darkstripe contradicts him, asking if the blue-gray she-cat was so loyal, why did she let a cat from another Clan father her kits?
- The flame-colored warrior finds it hard to answer that question, remembering how Graystripe had taken a mate from RiverClan, and now was letting his kits grow up there. Although Graystripe had returned, Fireheart is aware that some of the ThunderClan warriors still question his loyalty, no matter how hard the gray tom tries to prove it. Fireheart replies that things happen, but Bluestar would've raised them to be loyal warriors if she had the chance. The tom tries to continue, but Smallear interrupts, saying that he remembers those kits. He explains that they disappeared from the nursery, and, at the time, the Clan had assumed a fox or badger had taken them, recalling how distraught Bluestar was. The elder asks Fireheart if that was all a lie. Fireheart tells the old tom that Bluestar was distraught at the loss of her kits, but she had to give them up in order to become Clan deputy. Dustpelt queries if the she-cat's ambition meant more than her family, seeming more puzzled than angry. Fireheart debunks his thoughts, claiming that she put the Clan first as always.
- Fireheart finds himself relieved that no other cats are raising any further questions. He is glad that Whitestorm and Smallear approve of his words. Tawnypaw asks the ginger tom if he will become Clan leader, but Darkstripe interrupts by retorting that accepting a kittypet as Clan leader is a foolish idea. Whitestorm replies by stating that it isn't a question, and that Fireheart is Clan deputy, and that is that. Fireheart feels his fur bristling at Darkstripe, but relieved at Whitestorm's support. He begins to doubt that he is the right cat to lead ThunderClan due to his late ceremony.
- Darkstripe continues to complain about the fact that Fireheart had been a kittypet. Goldenflower stands up for the deputy, affirming that no Clan-born cat could have done more than him. The flame-colored tom is relieved that the queen is corroborating him, but remarks to himself that he didn't trust her and Tigerstar's son, Bramblepaw. Brackenfur, Mousefur, and Graystripe begin to praise Fireheart and counter Darkstripe's arguments. The green-eyed tom promises that he will strive to become the leader that ThunderClan deserves. He notices Sandstorm and is filled with warmth as he realizes how proud she is for him.
- The ginger tom faces Darkstripe and tells him to leave if he doesn't want a kittypet as leader. He says nothing and walks off into the warriors' den. Fireheart continues, saying tonight they will hold the mourning ritual for Bluestar, Cloudtail responds that they should attack ShadowClan first since they led the dogs to ThunderClan and slaughtered Brindleface. Fireheart signals with his tail for silence and answers Cloudtail with a no. The white cat asks why and, he responds that it wasn't ShadowClan who did it, but Tigerstar. Cloudtail lets out a snort of contempt, and the tabby fixes his former apprentice with a hard stare, not wanting to argue about this now. He knows about what happened in the moons old enmity between him and Tigerstar, who would be pleased to wipe out ThunderClan's territory and take it for his own. But that was not the reason for him to bring the dogs into their territory, it was to destroy Fireheart. Only then would he have his revenge for the time when Fireheart had revealed his plot. The ginger tabby knows that sooner or later, he will come face-to-face with Tigerstar in a final confrontation, and he prays to StarClan he will have the power to defeat him. He tells the Clan to believe him, that Tigerstar will pay, but ThunderClan has no quarrel with ShadowClan. Cloudtail sits down again, but his eyes still are blazing with anger, and he mutters something to Lostface. Goldenflower is crouching down with her tail around Bramblepaw and Tawnypaw, as if they were still kits. She had made Fireheart tell them about their father and she was always afraid that the Clan would judge them harshly. As Fireheart gives his decision not to attack, she relaxes, and the two apprentices ease away from her, Bramblepaw flashes him a look, and Fireheart wonders if he saw hostility.
- He pushes Bramblepaw to the back of his mind and looks over the cats. He realizes that the Clan has to make its last farewells to Bluestar. Fireheart says that they have to pay their respects to the leader, then he asks Cinderpelt if she's ready. The medicine cat nods, and Fireheart asks Graystripe and Sandstorm to bring Bluestar's body to the clearing to share tongues. They enter Bluestar's den and reappear with their leader's body. They carry her to the center of the camp and gently lay her down. Fireheart orders Sandstorm to round up a hunting patrol after they've said goodbye to Bluestar. He then asks Mousefur to lead a patrol up to Snakerocks and the ShadowClan border to make sure that the dogs are gone and no ShadowClan cats are on their territory. Fireheart tells the two she-cats to be careful and not take risks. Mousefur obeys and asks Goldenflower and Longtail to come and they join her, and they move to the center to share tongues with Bluestar for the last time. Sandstorm, Dustpelt, and Cloudtail do the same. Cinderpelt stands near the leader, gazing into the sky where the first stars are appearing. Fireheart thinks about how, according to the old traditions of the Clans, each star is a warrior's spirit, and wonders if there was another star for Bluestar.
- Cinderpelt's eyes shine as she talks about how Bluestar was a noble leader. She thanks StarClan for her life, and says that she dedicated her life to her Clan, and she will never fade from their memory. She commends her spirit to StarClan. The medicine cat says Bluestar will watch over her Clan in death, just as she did in life. As Cinderpelt finishes her speech, the Clan begins to softly murmur. The warriors that were going for patrol come to Bluestar's side and begin to groom her fur and press their noses to her flank. After a few moments, they retreat and others take their place, mourning their leader, until everyone had shared tongues with her. The patrols leave, and cats go into their dens while Fireheart stays at the base of the Highrock.
- As Brackenfur moves away, Fireheart catches his attention and asks him to keep an eye on Darkstripe, telling Brackenfur that if the dark tabby even looks over to the ShadowClan border, he wants to know about it. The warrior stares at the new leader, alarm and loyalty battling in his eyes, but he tells him that he'll do it, but Darkstripe won't like it. Fireheart tells him not to make it too obvious, so that the tom won't know about it. He adds for him to have Mousefur and Frostfur also watch over him. Brackenfur still seems doubtful about it, so Fireheart continues, telling him that they can't trust Darkstripe because he knew that Tigerstar was planning something. Brackenfur understands, but says that they can't watch him forever. Fireheart tells him that they would stop watching him when he proved where his loyalties are. Brackenfur nods, heading to the warriors' den.
- Fireheart approaches to Bluestar to mourn. Cinderpelt is still near her along with Whitestorm, who has his head bowed in grief. Fireheart respectfully dips his head to the medicine cat and sits down near the dead she-cat. He looks at her, looking for the leader that he loved. Bluestar's eyes are closed, no longer burning with the fire that demanded respect. Her spirit had gone to StarClan and now watches over the forest. Fireheart feels her fur, making him feel secure, almost like a kit, close to his mother. He feels as if he could forget about her death and his new responsibilities. He prays to StarClan to receive Bluestar honorably and help him keep her Clan safe, while he presses into her fur with closed eyes.
- ThunderClan finds out that Mistyfoot and Stonefur are Bluestar's kits. They are also informed that Bluestar had a mate from another Clan.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 20
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 21
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 23
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 24
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 25
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 26
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 28
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 29
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 30
- ↑ Revealed in The Darkest Hour, pages 21-23
|The Darkest Hour 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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