"I know where my loyalties lie. I'll prove that someday."
Bramblepaw to Firestar about ThunderClan in The Darkest Hour, chapter 7

Below contains in-depth information for chapter seven of The Darkest Hour. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 7 (of 30)
Page Numbers: 79-86

Chapter description

Firestar heads through Tallpines, the dampening cold seeping through his fur. He notes that this is where the forest had taken the worst of the fire damage. The new leader reflects that this is the day after his announcement to the Clan, and he'd left Graystripe in charge of camp. Firestar has wanted some time alone, and thinks that he's excited to be leader now, but knows it won't be easy. His heart aches with the loss of Bluestar, and is worried about what Tigerstar might do next.
Firestar walks up to Princess' Twoleg nest, but doesn't see his sister. He walks further along the fence, coming across where he once lived as a kittypet. Overcome by curiosity, the ginger tom jumps over the fence, and looks down. He sees a stretch of grass, recalling playing there as a kit, and also gathering catmint for Bluestar when she was ill. Firestar sees one of his old Twolegs pass by a window, and wonders how they felt when he left for the forest. He hopes that they didn't worry about him too much, and wishes he could tell them how he is now.
Firestar bunches his muscles, beginning to jump back onto the forest floor. Before he does, the tom spots his old friend Smudge, and decides to say hello. However, he pauses upon seeing a brown tabby kittypet, who he deciphers is the new kittypet of his former owners. Once the she-cat leaves, he reflects on what her life will be like as a house cat, not ever needing anything, but lacking the satisfaction of being a warrior. Firestar thinks that if he could relive his life, he wouldn't change a thing.
A flash of brown catches his eye, and he finds himself face to face with Bramblepaw. Firestar asks why he's here, and the apprentice answers that he's followed him from camp, to practice his tracking skills. The mentor comments that his skills must be good, if he's followed him this far. He isn't sure whether to be angry, knowing that Bramblepaw's father, Tigerstar, had once spied on him here as well. Firestar reflects that the apprentice could be a good warrior, if he can escape his heritage. He asks if he can trust Bramblepaw, and the brown tabby repeats the question in return. Firestar is offended at first, but admires that the apprentice had the courage to ask.
Firestar promises that he can be trusted, and explains that he is ThunderClan now, but still sometimes comes here to see his sister, and wonder what it would have been like if he'd stayed. Bramblepaw nods, adding that he knows what it feels like to have one's loyalty questioned. Guilt stabs Firestar, and he asks the apprentice how he gets along with his peers. Bramblepaw replies that they're okay, but that some cats in the Clan don't like him because of his father, Tigerstar. Firestar thinks that they are alike in many ways, constantly having to prove themselves. The mentor asks the younger tom if he can cope with this, and Bramblepaw mews simply that he knows where his loyalties lie, and he'll prove it someday. Firestar is satisfied with the answer, and is at peace with trusting Bramblepaw's word.
Firestar asks if Tawnypaw feels the same way, but the apprentice comments that his sister can be difficult at times, but is a loyal cat. The leader agrees, but silently notes that he'll make sure to keep an eye on her and help support the she-cat. Firestar then invites his apprentice to finish patrolling the border with him, and the young tom readily accepts. The leader jumps off the fence, and they two walk into the forest. They walk past the Thunderpath, and Firestar stares into ShadowClan territory, wondering what Tigerstar will do next.
Suddenly, it begins to snow, and Firestar glances up at the sky. He hears a surprised squeak from Bramblepaw, and turns to find the apprentice licking a snowflake off his nose. The young tom doesn't know what they are, so Firestar explains that it's snowing. The snow begins to come down harder, and the leader reflects on the problems that leaf-bare will bring to the Clans, such as it being harder to hunt. Bramblepaw is leaping and batting at the air, excited to be playing with snow. Firestar feels a rush of affection, and wonders if Tigerstar ever played like this, or when he stopped. He knows that whatever the past held, there's no going back, and eventually the two leaders would have to meet in battle to decide who will stay in the forest.





Notes and references

  1. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 79
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, chapter 7

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