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The Night of the Golden Moon

Author: Leopardclaw
Rating: Safe
Status: Complete
Succeeding: None



As Newleaf draws near, WindClan sighs with relief. The prophecy of Leopardclaw's apprenticeship has been finally completed. Peace has come, though at a terrible cost to Leopardclaw. She has suffered losses and grief unimaginable, but now StarClan forsee another loss that may well tip her over the edge. How many losses are worth something beatiful? How many losses are worth this?


Prologue

In the grassy moors of StarClan, the ancestors of WindClan were gathered in a meeting. The three most recent leaders and two most recent medicine cats, Tallstar, Heatherstar and Swiftstar, and Barkface and Hawkheart led the meeting.

"What shall we give back? My fellow Clanmates, I ask this. We have taken so much, yet she has bore it. So I, we, believe that we should give one thing back. So, this is our proposal." Tallstar stepped back and a large image blurred into focus on the big rock.

Almost instantly every cat roared approval.

Barkface whispered to a cat in the crowd. "This is what we shall give back."

Chapter 1

Newleaf was coming. Leopardclaw could sense it as she padded along the hard earth. She could smell the new growth in the air. But then another scent mingled in the air. No. Not already! She raced down, the slope, screeching to a halt, lying low to the ground.

She raced back to camp, the land blurring aroud her. All the time she was thinking, No! Not now! Not today! We aren't ready!

When she returned to camp, the Clan were in a long meeting. She stepped up to speak, but was old to wait a moment. No! This will not wait! So she stood up and slowly, angrily, steadily stalked to where Webstar was stood.

"My Clan, I know this is not my place to speak. But I must. I have seen a terrible deed. I know that you will all be angry and shocked. But ThunderClan are invading the territory. And there is the whole Clan there."

The Clan was turned into turmoil.

Far in the distance, a battle cry sounded.

Chapter 2

The sound of battle could be heard. The sound of marching paws coming up the hill. The sound of heavy breathing, from the cats of WindClan. Webstar looked on, his fur glowing for a moment.

Then came his battle cry. A long, howling sound. Then silence.

The cats from the two Clans rushed at each other, clashing with viciousness and loyalty to their own Clans. ThunderClan fighting for power, thunder angering their pawsteps.WindClan fighting for their own protection, fleet footed yet strong like the wind.

Claws met flesh, teeth bit bone, blood flew, staining fur. As claws slashed, cats were flung left and right, a mass of cats, slicing, slashing, snarling with every move.

Leopardclaw was taking on two ThunderClan cats at once. A grey tom, a sandy she-cat. They fought together like they had always been fighting partners. Perhaps they have. Leopardclaw looked away for a second, to see Webstar take a blow to Firestar, sending him flying to the floor. Then Leopardclaw sensed herself fly through the air, and then nothing.


Leopardclaw awoke. She knew she was in the medicine den as soon as she awoke.

"Welcome back." Bravesoul headed over. "I treated your wounds whilst you were knocked out. We won the battle. And, there is something you need to see. Leopardclaw's heart dropped. She almost knew what she would see.

What she saw was so much worse.

Chapter 3

She entered the clearing. A limp body lay on the floor. She gasped, and tears filled her eyes.

A cat came over to her, and whispered her sorrows. "Oh, Leopardclaw. I know how much they meant to you."

Leopardclaw was too griefstricken to speak, just bury her head in her friend's shoulder. Then Leopardclaw straightened herself up. She slowly walked to the body. Her friends pressed in around her, offering their sympathy.

Flashes of the battle came to her.

Claws scraped along Brambeclaw's side, large bleeding gashes in his side.

A cat leapt up to aid his leader, before being flung to the side, limp.

His leader carried his limp body to camp, sorrow for what his daughter would suffer.

Leopardclaw let out a yowl, a sorrowful wail, full of terrible grief. She then fell to the floor, burying her head in the stone cold fur. She looked over the body, seeing the cuts, and noticing the lump in the neck, showing a broken neck. That was the cause of death.

Oh, Eagletalon, my father, how can I bear this any longer? Why have you left me?

Chapter 4

Every cat was waiting. The deputy had been slaughtered. Who would be the new deputy? Who would replace one of the most loved and respected cats in the Clan? Every cat was in mourning, but none more than Leopardclaw. She had lost her father. Now her only comforts were her friends and mother.

As Leopardclaw wept, she fell into sleep. Into a dream. Leopardclaw, the winds whispered, We have something. Then four starry images blurred into vision.

"Leopardclaw." Leopardclaw ran the cat who spoke first.

"Oh, Eagletalon! Why have you died? Why?" The StarClan cats were quiet though.

"Leopardclaw, you have lost so much. We have altered history by doing this. Only Bravesoul and Webstar know we are doing this." Eagetalon was explaining something, so Leopardclaw sat and listened. "We are to give you something, in return, to make your losses bearable."

Eagletalon whispered something in her ear. Then said "Sleep well, my precious daughter. It will be awaiting you when you awake." Leopardclaw yowled her goodbyes, but it was too late.

She slept, until moonrise, when she could sleep with her grief no more.

Chapter 5

"Leopardclaw?" As she awoke, glowing green eyes were shing with worry. "Are you alright?" The ginger tom looked so sorrowful that Leopardclaw, for a second wondered who he was. Then she remembered the word her father had whispered to her.

"Scarheart. Yes, I am." This was Bravesoul's second brother. StarClan had dipped back into the past, creating a new cat, creating a duplicate of Cross-scar but one that Leopardclaw could fall in love with without having to suffer the loss of it being forbidden.

"All cats who may catch their own prey, gather for a Clan meeting." Webstar called together the grieving Clan, and was going to name the new deputy.

"My Clanmates, I know you greive the loss of our Clanmate, our deputy. But as Clan law depicts, I must choose the new deputy. Many cats in this Clan could serve the role, serve well. But I have chosen, chosen the cat I feel that will help us all through this time of great greif.

"I say these words before StarClan, and Eagletalon's spirit so that they may approve my choice." A cat in the crowd mewed

"Look at the moon!" Webstar then completed the ceremony.

"Upon the night of the golden moon, I declare the new deputy to be Leopardclaw."

In her dreams that night, the moon glowed a bright gold, and a cat who she was forbidden to see whispered in her ears.

"Be happy, for one day I'll see you again, Leopardclaw, among the stars where we can be together for the rest of days. Until then, sleep well. You are my angel." Leopardclaw knew that a new life was awaiting her.

Epilogue

On the night of the golden moon, Leopardclaw became the deputy of WindClan. StarClan approved, and she would lead the Clan for many more seasons to come. Although she had lost much, her friends, her family, her love, she found peace and leadership. A new life was to unfold before her, one of love, and one with no more losses, or none that had been sent as part of the due course. Upon the night of the golden moon, the prophecy finally was completed for what it was.

Clouds and Claws did come, and the Ancient laws were set down, peaceful again


And thus concludes The Rise Series.

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