|"It didn’t matter that Leafpool felt as if her Clan didn’t need her anymore. Her destiny lay elsewhere, far beyond this territory, with Crowfeather beside her."|
|— Leafpool about leaving her home in Twilight, page 250|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter seventeen of Twilight. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 17 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 241-253
- Leafpool walks through the undergrowth to meet Crowfeather, wary of being followed, due to the fact that her sister, Squirrelflight, had followed her to a prior meeting. She thinks about what her Clan would think of her if they were to find out what was doing, and a voice inside her tells her that they will find out sooner or later. As she continues to walk, her fight with Squirrelflight continues to haunt her, as the two never fought. Leafpool reflects on the fact that without the closeness of her sister, she feels alone in the Clan, while Crowfeather is the only cat she is able to vent to.
- Due to her bottled up feelings about Crowfeather, Leafpool had wanted to tell Cinderpelt about their meetings. However, Leafpool thinks back to how Cinderpelt seems obsessed with stocking their supplies. She also frets that Cinderpelt may have already guessed her secret, as she seemed to show her disapproval in an uncharacteristic quickness of temper. She misses the times back in the forest, when they had been able to talk while sorting leaves. Now, the brown medicine cat believes that her mentor is less than a friend than she had been.
- Desperation had already climbed over Leafpool, as she was genuinely considering telling her mother, Sandstorm. But when she had tried to, she had been busy talking with Dustpelt, only briefly acknowledging her daughter. Another cat that Leafpool had also considered was her best friend, Sorreltail, but she was so close to having kits that she spent all her time in the nursery, with Daisy and Ferncloud.
- Leafpool pauses when she hears a twig snap, thinking that it may be someone following her. To her relief, it is only a squirrel, and she continues on. As she walks, she looks up at the waning moon, knowing that it would be some time before the medicine cats could visit the Moonpool to talk to StarClan, even though Leafpool wishes she could talk to them already. She worries that, due to her breaking of the medicine cat code, StarClan could refuse to talk to her. She quietly whispers that she hopes Spottedleaf could tell her what to do.
- Her head spins with weariness, as meeting with Crowfeather every few nights has left her deprived of sleep, and she is rather restless when she is away from him. She once more tells herself that she cannot go on like this, and she thinks back to when Crowfeather had said the same thing. In this flashback, Crowfeather had also urged her to think about leaving her Clan, as they could not be together if they continued to live in their separate Clans. Leafpool had been shocked by this idea, but agreed to think about it. However, she is afraid to give up her family, her friends, and her life as a medicine cat. She knows that whatever decision she makes, she could not survive the losses.
- In the present, Leafpool sees Crowfeather on the border. The two run over to each other, with Crowfeather wreathing around her. Leafpool asks Crowfeather if he had trouble getting away from his camp, but before he can answer, the two hear rustling in the undergrowth. Thinking it is Squirrelflight, Leafpool snaps at her to come out. But the cat who steps out of the bracken is not Squirrelflight – it is Cinderpelt. Leafpool stammers out a question, asking her what she is doing there. Cinderpelt replies that she is here to tell Leafpool that this has to stop, 'this' referring to her meetings with Crowfeather. Leafpool, desperately looking for an excuse, tells her that she does not know what she means. Cinderpelt tells her not to lie to her, especially with Crowfeather standing there on their territory.
- Leafpool notes that there is no anger in Cinderpelt's eyes, just concern. Leafpool mutters that Squirrelflight must've told Cinderpelt to follow her, and Cinderpelt refutes that statement, saying that she was collecting herbs when she picked up Leafpool's scent and a WindClan warrior's scent near by. She tells Leafpool that she had been suspecting that the young medicine cat was sneaking out at night, and Leafpool, terrified, accuses her of spying on her. Cinderpelt tells her that she didn't need to, commenting that she is so exhausted she cannot do her job properly. Cinderpelt brings up an instance from yesterday, reminding Leafpool that she had tried to give Sootfur borage leaves instead of watermint. Commenting on Crowfeather, she says she is not surprised, asking if she thinks that she did not notice the two at Gatherings.
- Crowfeather steps forward to defend Leafpool, telling Cinderpelt that Leafpool is not betraying her Clan. Cinderpelt says that she never imagined she would, but she should not be here with him, and that he knows that as well as Cinderpelt does. Crowfeather bristles, leaving Leafpool to worry that he will attack Cinderpelt. She tells him to go back to camp, and Crowfeather is hesitant, not wanting to leave Leafpool to 'get her ears clawed'. Leafpool tells her that Cinderpelt would not do that, and once more, pleads for Crowfeather to go. Crowfeather obeys, disappearing into WindClan territory.
- The two medicine cats are left alone. Leafpool tries to defend herself to Cinderpelt, saying that they are not doing any harm. Cinderpelt's tone hardens as she tells Leafpool that Crowfeather belongs to a different Clan, and that she cannot fall in love, not with any cat, adding that she already knew that. Leafpool exclaims that she has feelings like any other cat. Cinderpelt agrees with this, but tells her that she must control her feelings for the good of the Clan, saying that the path they follow has its own rewards. She says that she has never been cheated by the destiny StarClan has sent her, and Leafpool snaps back at her that she could not possibly understand, as she has never been in love.
- Cinderpelt gazes at her, but does not say anything. Leafpool goes on, bitterly saying that it was easy for her, and that she had never wanted anything else. Cinderpelt, getting more angrier, snarls and asks how she knows what she wants, if she knows what hopes she has given up to follow the path StarClan had laid down for her. Leafpool flinches, noting that she had never seen Cinderpelt this angry. Cinderpelt demands that she comes back to camp with her right now, and that she will stop meeting Crowfeather. She adds that it is for her own sake, and that it cannot be right for her to meet with him if she is lying and sneaking around in the shadows. She tells Leafpool that she has not trained her to be a good medicine cat just to throw it away, saying that her Clan needs her.
- Leafpool defies her order, saying that she won't come. She says that she will keep seeing Crowfeather whenever she wants, and that Cinderpelt cannot stop her. Cinderpelt, losing her temper, launches herself at Leafpool with her claws unsheathed. Leafpool turns around and runs away, knowing that she must escape the accusing glare and lashing claws. Exhaustion stops her from running, and she realizes she is halfway to the Moonpool. Relieved, she knows that she can be completely alone there, without Crowfeather pleading her to leave, or the fear that her secret could be discovered. She hopes that her ancestors will be able to tell her what to do.
- She reaches the Moonpool, lapping the water in the pool. She closes her eyes, and hears Spottedleaf's voice. Waking up, she turns around and sees the tortoiseshell cat. She exclaims that she missed her so much, thinking that she had abandoned her. Spottedleaf tells her to never think that, asking how she could leave her to struggle with her feelings alone. Leafpool asks her if she knows about Crowfeather, and Spottedleaf nods. Leafpool bursts out that she loves him so much, and she cannot be a medicine cat anymore. Spottedleaf presses her muzzle against Leafpool's shoulder, assuring her that she knows what it is like to love. She comments that if she had lived, she may be struggling with what Leafpool is right now.
- Leafpool begs for Spottedleaf to tell her what to do, as she cannot bear her feelings, and she does not feel like she belongs in ThunderClan anymore. She tells Spottedleaf that Cinderpelt does not want her, and Brightheart is there to help her. Spottedleaf informs Leafpool that Brightheart needs a purpose, and she has found it in helping Cinderpelt. Leafpool complains that Brightheart is always there, but knows she is being unreasonable. She goes on, saying that Brightheart is not the only reason – she has quarreled with Squirrelflight, and they never quarrel. Spottedleaf licks Leafpool's ear, reassuring her that her sister loves her, and one fight will not change that.
- Leafpool brings up Crowfeather, telling Spottedleaf that he wants to run away with her. Leafpool says that she loves him so much, but she does not know if she should leave her Clan for him. Spottedleaf says that no cat can make that choice for her, and she tells Leafpool that deep inside, she knows what is right, and she must follow her heart. Leafpool thinks that her feelings for Crowfeather came from her heart, and asks Spottedleaf if it is truly all right for her to love Crowfeather. She thanks her, and she wakes up, thinking that Spottedleaf had told her it was all right to run away with Crowfeather. She believes that it didn't matter that she was a medicine cat – Brightheart was helping out, and Cinderpelt would have time to train another apprentice.
- Thinking that her destiny lays elsewhere, far beyond her territory with Crowfeather next to her, Leafpool runs to look for him. At first, she is fearful that Crowfeather would be furious with her and would not want to speak with her, but she finds him near a gorse bush on the border. She tells Crowfeather that she had thought what he had said, about leaving the Clans with him, and she explains that she had been scared about leaving her Clan and her kin. She tells him that she had visited Spottedleaf, and Spottedleaf had told her to follow her heart. Crowfeather asks if her heart has laid with her being a medicine cat, and Leafpool says that it once was. She says that Cinderpelt is young and strong, and can train another apprentice, while Brightheart helps out with her medicine duties. Crowfeather asks her what she means, and Leafpool replies that she will come with him. She sees a blaze of happiness in Crowfeather's eyes, and she wonders if he really loves her that much.
- Crowfeather admits that he was scared too, as he did not want to leave his Clan or his friends, and had even thought of being leader one day. But he adds that he did not want to leave Leafpool, and that there was no way for them to stay together if they continued to live in their Clans. Leafpool presses against him, asking where they should go. Crowfeather decides that they should not go back towards the forest, as they would end up in the mountains, where there are too many Twolegs.
- He thinks that they should go towards the hills, which are beyond WindClan's territory. He promises Leafpool that he will take care of her, and his gaze drifts away from her, filled with memories. He repeats his promise to protect her, and asks her if she is ready. Leafpool is taken aback, asking if they were leaving right now. Crowfeather says that he thinks they should. Leafpool wants to say goodbye, but knows that is impossible, as saying goodbye to her friends and family would result in anger, pain, and confusion, and a possibility that their Clans may not let them leave. Leafpool says that he is right, and she is ready. Crowfeather touches his nose to her head, thanking her, saying that he promises he will do everything he can to make sure she will not regret her decision. The two turn their backs on the lake, and walk side by side up the hill, as they leave their Clans and everything they have known.
- Cinderpelt finds out about Leafpool's meetings with Crowfeather.
- Leafpool and Crowfeather leave their Clans.
Notes and references
|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|
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