Chapter 31

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Cheers of joy erupted from the clearing. Skypaw found it surprising when she saw even some ShadowClan cats were cheering, including WindClan and RiverClan. Of course, however, the most cries of victory came from the ThunderClan cats themselves.

"ThunderClan, we're leaving!" Sunstar hissed. Skypaw could see the humiliation in his eyes. When she glanced up at the sky, the stars were twinkling a little more, and the moon was shining just a little brighter. StarClan had wanted Willowleaf to return.

Skypaw thought about how fortunate they had been. Despite the two battles that had struck ThunderClan within four moons, none had occured without Willowleaf. Unless Splashstar had continued with her threat, that is. There was no need, now.

ThunderClan cats rose to their paws, their heads and tails held high with purrs escaping their throats. She was about to follow her Clanmates right to the fallen tree with pride, but she remembered she hadn't said goodbye to a certain cat.

Hawkspirit!

Whipping around, she saw a confused glance aimed her way from Jaysoul. Shrugging him off, she bolted back to the medicine cats. Being polite, the first thing she said came out as a purr, "Thank you!"

The cats of healing purred back at her, their eyes shining. "StarClan never wanted Willowleaf to leave, it was just our job to get her back." Sageleaf meowed.

Skypaw touched noses in goodbye with Silverpaw, promising to talk to her the next gathering. Exchanging a few kind words with Sageleaf and Aquamist, she turned to the ShadowClan cats.

Clear surprise erupted from Skypaw as she saw Hawkspirit was already staring at her. He hadn't been chatting with the other cats that had followed the same path as him, but instead, his gaze seemed to be stuck on her fur. Embarrassment sparked from her pelt. What if she had ruffled fur? Or a muddy tail?

"Uh," Hawkspirit finally stuttered. "Skypaw, can I..talk to you?" He asked, tearing his gaze from Skypaw and aiming it at his paws.

"Of course," Skypaw replied. She could visably see the relief when Hawkspirit sighed and relaxed his shoulders.

Padding a few steps away, Hawkspirit looked at her and asked, "C-could we maybe meet here tomorrow?" When Skypaw didn't reply, Hawkspirit quickly added on, "You know, to talk with you about the prophecy and such."

Skypaw's ears burned with embarrassment, an emotion she was not too fond of. He knew about the prophecy! Would he not be her friend anymore? Would he stay away from her?

I can't let that happen!

Skypaw took a few more moments to reply. Seeing the ShadowClan medicine cat apprentice get more and more uneasy as each of the moments went by, she saw no other choice than to agree. "Sure," She meowed. Hawkspirit's eyes brightened.

"Very well," He meowed, touching noses with her in a friendly gesture. "Make sure no cat knows you're coming here. I don't know how our Clans would react. I'll be here at moonhigh."

Skypaw nodded. She had met up with cats at the Gathering island at night before, why would this time be any different?

"Skypaw!" Skypaw turned and saw Bramblefrost waiting at the fallen tree. He was the only ThunderClan cat there, and the WindClan cats looked irritated as they waited for Bramblefrost to get out of the way.

Panicking, she quickly meowed, "I got to go, see you tomorrow." to Hawkspirit before bolting up to her father. Bramblefrost's ice blue eyes were narrowed in disapproval of getting carried away with chatting. He had to hold up a whole Clan because of her!

Skypaw muttered an apology to Kestrelstar. However, unlike the rest of his Clan, his eyes sparkled with amusement. "Don't worry about it. It's no problem, Bramblefrost," The WindClan leader added when he saw Bramblefrost start to protest.

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