|"Fight loyally, and with courage. That is all your Clan asks of you."|
|— Ivypool to Applefur in The Last Hope, page 291|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty five of The Last Hope. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 25 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 284-296
- Ivypool crouches at the tunnel to the dirtplace, listening to Firestar order out patrols. Yowls echo from above the hollow, as the Dark Forest is in the woods. She bristles with frustration, for Dovewing had woken her too soon. The tabby had tried to reach Blossomfall and Birchfall before the battle started, but now it's too late. She pricks her ears, as Firestar issues out the final order, before racing from the camp. She waits, and wonders where Brokenstar will send the ThunderClan recruits. Ivypool creeps through the brambles, skirting the dirtplace, before heading through some ferns, and into the forest. The woods around her smells dank, and darkness swallows it, as wind roars above.
- Brambleclaw's voice takes her by surprise, and he questions why she isn't with Firestar. Ivypool turns to see the deputy standing beneath a rowan tree. She knows her Clanmate is aware of her Dark Forest training, and wonders if he thinks she'll betray ThunderClan. Ivypool stammers that she needs to find Blossomfall, Birchfall, and Mousewhisker, and the deputy pads closer. Brambleclaw asks her if she knows of their location, and her voice trails off as she replies. The dark tabby narrows his eyes, questioning if they'll betray their Clan, and she protests. Ivypool tells her Clanmate Brokenstar threatened to kill them if they didn't fight beside him, and Brambleclaw leans forward, touching his muzzle to her head.
- He meows for her to go find them, and, bursting with relief, Ivypool spins around and runs off. She heads for the WindClan border, and hears screeches ringing out from the moorland. However, she sees no pelts, and runs faster, paws slipping on the grass as she nears the stream. The ThunderClan cat hears a growl, and amber eyes shine in the darkness beyond the ditch. Ivypool unsheathes her claws, demanding to know who it was, and Tigerheart slides from the bracken. She jumps the stream, asking where he was heading, but wanting to keep her distance from him, and informs him of the battle raging on. The dark tom glances over his shoulder, saying that Hawkfrost told him to meet him here. Ivypool shifts her paws, asking him if he's on Hawkfrost's patrol, causing suspicion to spark in Tigerheart's amber eyes.
- The tabby she-cat isn't sure, for she hasn't gotten orders yet. Inwardly, her head is spinning with the thoughts of Tigerheart's allegiance, and who he'll fight for. He tells Ivypool that Hawkfrost will say who to fight when he arrives, but she turns, and thrusts her way through the bracken. Tigerheart demands to know where she's heading, and Ivypool responds that she doesn't have any time, for the battle has begun. When the dark tom says she doesn't know who to fight, frustration rages through her, and she turns on him. The tabby she-cat declares that she'll fight any Dark Forest cat they meet, and glares at him, adding any Clan warrior who sides with them. Menace is now in Tigerheart's voices, and he takes a step toward her, stating that the Dark Forest was her Clanmates. She shakes her head, saying that she'll die before fighting alongside Brokenstar or Hawkfrost, since she knows now who deserves her loyalty.
- The ShadowClan warrior bares his teeth, recalling what Brokenstar said he'll do to the traitors. Anger now surges beneath her fur, and she spits that she doesn't care, and Tigerheart retorts she sounds like Dovewing. Ivypool frowns, asking why the gray she-cat was important, and he tells the ThunderClan cat that her sister put her Clan ahead of their relationship. She scolds him, and Tigerheart's gaze darkens, but when she asks if he forgot the warrior code, he bares his fangs at her. Suddenly, the bracken behind Ivypool rustles, and she whirls around, heart lurching. Hawkfrost emerges from the undergrowth, and his ice-cold eyes flash at her, as he questions where she's been. She stammers, telling him she was looking for Birchfall and Blossomfall. He stretches his muzzle forward, hissing at her, ordering her to find them, and then head to WindClan's camp, since Ivypool is going to attack with him. She nods, and races away, then glances over her shoulder to see Tigerheart leaning into Hawkfrost's ears. Terror scores her stomach, knowing that she'll be dead if Tigerheart tells him her true motives.
- Her heart pounding hard, the tabby warrior ducks into some heather and flees. She yowls her father's and Blossomfall's names, and a voice answers her. She skids to a halt, and spots Birchfall crouching in a wind-blown gorse, his pelt glowing in the darkness. Blossomfall and Mousewhisker are crouching with the tabby; their eyes glitter with fear. Suddenly, there is an explosion of shrieking, and two WindClan cats race past. Dark Forest warriors are hard on their tails, and farther up the slope, more cats clash, their yowls raising above the wind. Blossomfall whispers they can't attack the Clans, and Ivypool lifts her muzzle, declaring they must defend the Clans instead. Birchfall stares at his daughter, and asks her if she knew all along, and she confesses. Ivypool tells him she didn't know who to trust, so she decided to let them work it out. Her father steps forward, informing Blossomfall and Mousewhisker they should've known earlier, and Mousewhisker glances over his shoulder, asking what they're doing now. Ivypool meows that they'll join the battle, but fight for the Clans.
- A familiar scent finds her nose, and she recognizes it as Applefur. She calls her name warily, asking herself if the ShadowClan cat had the courage to oppose the Dark Forest cats. As Applefur slips from some heather, Breezepelt, a WindClan tom, barges past the mottled warrior. Ivypool's fur rises as she spots Snowtuft and Thistleclaw right behind him, but Breezepelt's eyes shine. He informs the tabby cat that they'll be launching an attack on WindClan's camp, and Ivypool argues back, mentioning Hawkfrost and his orders. Thistleclaw growls at her, as Hawkfrost will be attacking from the other side of the hollow, and Ivypool agrees with him. Desperately, she glances at her Clanmates, then charges after Breezepelt's patrol as they run for WindClan. Heather brushes her pelt, but its flowery scent is hidden by the stench of decay, and the peaty earth is turning slimy beneath her paws. She realizes the moor is turning into the Dark Forest, but she refuses to allow it, pushing the thought away.
- Mousewhisker races past the ThunderClan she-cat, exclaiming for her to hurry. Lungs burning, Ivypool scrabbles between the bushes, following Birchfall and Blossomfall. From the slope's peak, she gazes around the WindClan camp. The clearing seems full of fighting cats; she spots Emberfoot rearing up over a Dark Forest cat, and the cat lunges for the gray tom's legs. A warrior slaps Crowfeather down, and begins thrashing him around with its claws, and Ivypool recognizes Berrynose, Whitewing, and Hazeltail among the tussling cats. Mallownose from RiverClan and Shrewfoot from ShadowClan fight alongside the ThunderClan warriors, but a Dark Forest cat knocks Mallownose away. A tom claws at Hazeltail's stomach, and another warriors rips lumps of fur from Whitewing's side.
- The Clan cats are greatly outnumbered, and fighting for their lives. Breezepelt paces on the slope, his tail lashing, while Thistleclaw gazes down into the camp. Applefur sounds scared as she asks when they'll attack, and Thistleclaw responds when the first wave weakens them. Blossomfall shuffles her paws, and Ivypool is able to sense her frustration as she asks the dark tom a question. Thistleclaw orders her to wait, lifting his amber gaze over to where Hawkfrost sits. His patrol mills behind him impatiently; Ivypool can spot Tigerstar's tabby pelt among them. A yowl catches her attention, and the she-cat watches as a queen rears to defend a shivering kit, who's backed against the camp wall. Fighting to keep her paws still, Ivypool wills Hawkfrost to hurry, just as the white-bellied tom lifts his tail. Lashing it down, Thistleclaw lets out a battle cry, charging down the slope and into the camp, while Blossomfall and Snowtuft race after him.
- Before Applefur can move, Ivypool darts forward, blocking her way. She asks the mottled cat if she'll fight with them, and Applefur's eyes grow wild with fear. She protests that she has to, and Ivypool fiercely tells her that death was better than being led by Brokenstar. The ShadowClan warrior blinks, giving Ivypool the chance to remind her of the warrior code, for her Clanmates need her now. Applefur's voices drop to a whisper, saying her life is a small price to pay. Ivypool tells the mottled she-cat not to feel guilty now, and to fight with courage, and loyalty. The ShadowClan she-cat springs away, heading for the camp, and Ivypool races after her. Needing to find Breezepelt, she watches as Applefur lands, skidding over the peaty earth, as cats grapple and shriek on every side. Finally, she spots Breezepelt; the black tom is chasing after Thistleclaw through the mass. Jumping down, Ivypool snakes after them, and is able to knock Breezepelt away just as he's about to attack his Clanmate.
- She yowls that he can't fight for the Dark Forest, and Breezepelt asks if she's crazy. Ivypool protests he can't believe in them, just as claws rake her cheek. Staggering aside, she sees Thistleclaw looming over her, teeth bared, as he calls her a traitor. The she-cat hisses that she's never a traitor, as she only came for her Clan. Her heart freezes as Hawkfrost appears beside Thistleclaw, with Snowtuft landing beside her, his blue eyes dark with hate. Birchfall's voice rings out, as he throws himself for a Dark Forest tom, and Applefur yowls that she fights for the Clans, lunging at a ragged tom. Rage flares in Hawkfrost's gaze, and he snarls angrily.
- Ivypool braces herself, and fur flashes beside her. Claws pierce her side, and she spins around, but the weight of Snowtuft sends her sprawling. Jumping up, she hurls herself for the white warrior, sinking her claws into his shoulders. As Snowtuft twists his head to bite her throat, she dodges, then crashes in a dark tabby flank. Ivypool is able to recognize Tigerheart, and challenges if she'll fight him too, but the tabby kicks out, knocking Thistleclaw away. He states this is Clan territory, so Dark Forest cats don't belong here. Hope growing inside her, Ivypool flings Snowtuft away, his fur ripping in her claws, and calls to Tigerheart.
- As he unbalances Thistleclaw, he tells her that he wanted to find out their plans. Thistleclaw rounds on him, hissing that he was Tigerstar's kin, to which the tabby retorts that he nearly destroyed ShadowClan once, and he won't allow it again. Hawkfrost roars and flings himself at Tigerheart, ordering Thistleclaw and Snowtuft onto Ivypool. Claws slice her shoulders, and her legs buckle, sending her sideways. Her attackers rear over her, side by side, and start driving her back through the camp wall with hard blows. Ivypool raises her forepaws, trying to fend them off, but her hind paws slip. Heather snags her tabby pelt and she trips, but finds her paws just in time to avoid Snowtuft's lunge. Looking up, she realizes the two warriors have driven her away from the other Clan cats. She spots Tigerheart, with Dark Forest cats all around him, then Applefur and Blossomfall, blood dripping from their whiskers, and Birchfall, defending a kit. She pleads for StarClan's help as Thistleclaw and Snowtuft rain stinging blows on her, forcing her back even more. The camp slides from view as they force her into heather, deeper and deeper, until Snowtuft drops onto all his fours and. His companion stands beside the white warrior, panting.
- Ivypool whips around, searching for an escape route, but gorse pushes at her from every side, and Thistleclaw and Snowtuft block the only escape. The dark gray and white tom calls to Hawkfrost, and the white-bellied warrior strides into the small clearing. He asks Ivypool if she expects to live, especially after her betrayal. Blue eyes shining, he growls for the two toms beside him to make her death slow. Hawkfrost lunges at Ivypool, knocking the breath from her lungs, and she gasps for air. Claws rake her spine, and Thistleclaw's pelt flashes beside her. Snowtuft grabs her from behind; teeth and claws rip her fur, and pain sears her body. The terror sends power rushing through her, and she rears up, throwing her attackers off. Hawkfrost lands neatly, telling her that he trained her well, gaze fixating on her throat.
- Ivypool backs away, and ducks and twists as he leaps. But he sinks his claws into her tail, stopping her, while Snowtuft and Thistleclaw slice her ears from opposite sides. Struggling free, the she-cat crashes into hard muscle, and realizes that Hawkfrost was behind her now. His claws stab into her shoulders, and his teeth flash close to her throat, but then a black pelt flashes forward. Paws land with a thump beside her, and Hollyleaf's yowl rings out. Ivypool's world spins as the black she-cat smashes into Hawkfrost, and the two fly backwards, and now Ivypool's free. She rounds on Snowtuft and Thistleclaw, and rears up, slashing with her forepaws swiftly. Remembering every moon of training, Hollyleaf appears beside her, matching blow for blow, as thought the black cat knew where she will strike. Blood sprays the ground as Ivypool's claws slice Snowtuft's muzzle, then tears Thistleclaw's nose.
- Spinning, she lashes out with her hind legs, knocking Thistleclaw backwards, then sinks her teeth into Snowtuft's throat. The white tom shrieks, ripping free from her grasp, and Ivypool can taste his blood as he speeds off. She meets Thistleclaw's gaze, and spits out the clump of bloody fur; the Dark Forest cat's gaze sparks with fear. She hisses that if he stays, he'll die next. Mouth open, Thistleclaw flees, disappearing through the gorse. A shriek explores from behind her, and she turns to see Hollyleaf swipe at Hawkfrost. The force of her blow sends him crashing away, where he lands with a thump, before scrambling to his paws. One eye is swollen shut, with blood dripping from his cheek. Taking a final glance at Hollyleaf, he tears off, disappearing.
- Ivypool stares at her Clanmate, but the black warrior staggers and collapses. She darts over to her side, seeing blood pulsing from a neck wound, and panic forms a lump in her stomach. Ivypool grasps Hollyleaf's scruff with her teeth, and drags her Clanmate away from the fighting, and to the ThunderClan border. Knowing that Jayfeather would help, she promises Hollyleaf that she'll get her home. A tabby pelt crashes through the gorse toward them, and Ivypool braces herself to fight. The tabby is Tigerheart, and he offers to help, shoving his nose beneath Hollyleaf's shoulder. Taking half the weight, he presses against Ivypool, and the two cats haul the injured she-cat away.
- Unnamed WindClan queen
- Unnamed WindClan kit
- Unnamed WindClan warrior
- Unnamed ragged tom
- Unnamed Dark Forest tabby
Notes and references
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 284
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 285
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 287
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 288
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 289
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 290
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 291
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 294
- Revealed in The Last Hope, page 286
|The Last Hope 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|