Chapter 8

Honeypaw had been seeing Dragonpaw for a few moons now, and had already found out a lot about him and LightningClan. But she had a feeling that Dragonpaw was not telling her something.

Something important.

She gave herself a thorough grooming and padded into the main clearing.

Redcloud had had her kits a quarter-moon ago; Lavakit, Brokenkit, Stormkit, and Pheonixkit. All four of them were strong and healthy, and were already playing their games in the den next to the nursery.

It had rained the night before, and there were puddles littered around the camp. Honeypaw watched as Pheonixkit stuck her head out of the play den and edge closer to one of the puddles and peer into it. She then scampered away, looking frightened.

“Redcloud! There’s another cat in there!” she squeaked, pointing to the puddle with her tiny tail.

Stormcloud, who was sharing a squirrel with Redcloud, twitched his whiskers in amusement. “Did this cat have red fur?” he purred to his daughter.

“Yes.”

“And did this cat have orange eyes?”

“Yes!”

Redcloud gave a mrrow of laughter and mewed, “That was you, Pheonixkit. It was your reflection. Now go play with your littermates.”

The smell of freshly killed prey hit Honeypaw’s nose and she looked at the North tunnel. Stonesight’s hunting party had returned and Honeypaw could see Thistlepaw towards the back of the group, carrying two mice by their tails.

Honeypaw met him at the freshkill pile. “You are healed?” She asked him as he put the mice on the pile.

“Well, Coralfern said that I could test my leg outside the camp today and I ran into the hunting patrol. It was only Stonesight, Flameclaw, Sparknight and Gracepaw, and they needed help carrying what they had caught, so I helped out.” Thistlepaw explained. “And Gracepaw is turning into a fine hunter.” He padded into the medicine den.

Honeypaw watched him go, and she padded across the clearing to the play den.

“Do you want to play a game?” She asked the kits.

Their eyes sparkled. “Yeah!” They mewed in unison.

Honeypaw spun around and waved her tail on the soft moss-covered floor of the den. “Try to catch my tail.” She told the kits.

Lavakit and Stormkit immediately dove for her orange-and-white tail. But Honeypaw moved it just out of their reach, and the two kits landed in a fury of red and gray balls of fur.

Brokenkit grabbed Honeypaws tail when she looked away at Lavakit and Stormkit and she climbed up Honeypaw’s back. “I win! I win!” She squeaked happily.

Honeypaw giggled and let the light tabby slide down her back.

“Let’s play again!” Pheonixkit mewed.

“Okay.” Honeypaw replied.

Stormkit whispered something into his littermates’ ears and nodded as if in agreement.

What are they up to? Honeypaw thought.

She waved her tail on the ground again.

Pheonixkit was the first to go for Honeypaw’s tail. As soon as she leaped, Stormkit threw his gray tabby had back and yowled, “Get her!”

Lavakit and Brokenkit charged the apprentice, knocking her over. Pheonixkit launched herself at Honeypaw as soon as she landed her first leap.

Honeypaw was on her side, under all four kits in heartbeats.

“We all win!” Stormkit yowled. His sisters laughed with happiness.

They jumped off of Honeypaw and she got up. “Well, I have to go.” She told the kits.

“Okay. We had tons of fun, though.” Brokenkit mewed.

Honeypaw nodded to her and padded out of the play den.

Sparknight sat next to the entrance, licking his paw. He stopped when he saw her. “Who put you on kit duty?” He asked her, his whiskers quivering in amusement.

Honeypaw sat down, wrapping her tail around her paws. “Everyone could use a friend and playmate.” She meowed.

She looked back at the den as Pheonixkit poked her head out of the entrance. “Thanks, Honeypaw!” She squeaked and pulled her had inside the den.

“Your welcome!” Honeypaw called after her.

Sparknight’s mew made Honeypaw jump, “You are good with kits.” Was that a purr in his voice?

Silence seemed to grip the two. Honeypaw sent a silent thank you to StarClan when her sister trotted over.

“Angelwing and Icestar want to speak to you.” Tigerpaw told her. “They are in Icestar’s den.”

Honeypaw gave a nod to her sister and padded in the direction of Highrock. The leaders den was in a hole just to the side of Highrock. Well hidden. The whole rockface was covered in vines and ferns. Honeypaw stood in front of the entrance. “Icestar?”

“Come in, Honeypaw.” Came Icestar’s mew.

Honeypaw shouldered her way through the hanging vines and stepped into the den. “Hello, Honeypaw.” Icestar greeted her.

She dipped her head to her leader. Both Icestar and Angelwing were sitting towards the back of the den. “Angelwing tells me you haven’t seen the Starpool yet. Every apprentice makes their journey there before becoming a warrior.”

This sent a chill up Honeypaw’s spine, from the tip of her tail to her ears. Making the trip to the Starpool meant sharing dreams with StarClan. She was both excited and nervous.

“Angelwing will take you to Starpool tonight. Get some traveling herbs from Coralfern and Bluepaw before you leave.”

* * *

* * *

The sun was just beginning to sink when Honeypaw was sitting outside the apprentices den, grooming her fur. Tigerpaw sat next to her, sharing a mouse with Thistlepaw.

Angelwing appeared from the warriors den and waved her tail for Honeypaw to follow her into the medicine den.

Honeypaw obeyed. Coralfern and Bluepaw were waiting for them when they entered the den. Two bundles of herbs sitting in front of them.

Angelwing took a bundle and licked up the herbs inside. Honeypaw did the same.

The white warrior dipped her head to the medicine cats. “Thank you.” She mewed and exited the den.

Honeypaw dipped her head and followed her mentor.

“May StarClan guide your paws!” Coralfern called after them.

Angelwing led the way out of the South tunnel and followed the river north.

Honeypaw bounded alongside her. After a while of walking up-river, Honeypaw mewed, “So what’s the Starpool like?”

“You’ll see.” Her mentor replied. “But we have to hurry up if we want to get there by sunset. She looked up at the sun. It was just above the treetops.

* * *

* * *

The sun had set, and the moon had risen in the sky.

“Just over this hill.” Angelwing mewed.

The two she-cats padded up a hill. Honeypaw looked down and gasped at the sight. A small pool sat in the tiny valley, a waterfall tumbled over a rockface a few tail lengths high. The stars of Silverpelt had begun to appear in the night sky. They were reflected there in the pool.

“Welcome to the Starpool, Honeypaw.”

“It’s beautiful.” She breathed.

Angelwing padded down the slope towards Starpool. Honeypaw followed.

“Lay down here and drink a few mouthfuls of water. StarClan will send you dreams.” Angelwing instructed.

Honeypaw did as told. The water tasted cold and fresh. She layed down and closed her eyes.

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