Please note that the canon events after Darkest Night do not apply to this fan-fiction. The story picks up shortly after Tigerheart(star) returns and claims his rightful place as leader of ShadowClan.
The allegiances can be found here.
The prodding of tiny paws woke Ivypool. The queen blinked her eyes open, taking in the sight of the nursery. She noticed Rosepetal in her nest, still asleep, her tiny daughter Sweetkit asleep at her stomach. Cinderheart was also in her nest, her two nearly-apprenticed-aged kits asleep as well. Daisy, who permanently lived in the nursery keeping it clean and helping queens, was also asleep in her nest.
Ivypool looked down to see her only son, Bushkit, prodding her. "Mama, can I go watch the dawn patrol leave?" The silver and brown tabby asked, blinking up at her with messy fur and bright blue eyes.
"Yes Bushkit but be quiet and don't disturb them." Ivypool replied. As she did, Fernsong quietly padded into the nursery.
"Squirrelflight wanted to see if you'd like to go on the dawn patrol. I didn't want to wake you but I see someone already has." The ginger tom spoke, purring at his son.
"I'd love to. Are you okay to sleep with the kits?" She asked her mate.
Acornkit and Goldenkit still slept, and the two she-kits were generally heavy sleepers. Fernsong nodded, purring at the sight of his sleeping daughters.
Ivypool slowly got up, careful to not disturb her sleeping kits. Bushkit looked up at his mother once more. "Can I go and sit outside still?" He asked.
"Yes, but remember what I told you." Ivypool replied, motioning with her tail for her son to follow.
The kits were only two moons old, but they were as lively as ever, especially Bushkit.
Ivypool left Bushkit sitting outside the nursery and padded up to the dawn patrol. Berrynose and his apprentice Finpaw sat waiting. Stormcloud, Twigshade, and Whitewing also waited to leave.
Squirrelflight purred as Ivypool padded up to the group. "I see you've decided to join us. I thought you might like to stretch your legs."
Ivypool gave a nodd of appreciation. "Well, lets get to it." She meowed to the group.
"Would you like to lead?" Whitewing offered her daughter.
"Sure. Let's go to the SkyClan border first." Ivypool replied.
Ivypool noticed Finpaw and Twigshade exchange glances. The pair were obviously wary of their former Clan.
"It will be fine." She reassured her former apprentice.
Ivypool led the group out of camp, heading toward the border.
The patrol reached the river that divided the two Clans, to find a SkyClan patrol also marking the border. Leafstar, the SkyClan leader, led the patrol. Mintfur, Reedclaw, a newly named warrior, Rabbitleap, and his apprentice Nectarpaw followed the leader. A sixth cat, Molewhisker, brought up the rear. The ThunderClan cats all cast glances at Molewhisker. He'd recently left ThunderClan, announcing a SkyClan cat, Blossomheart, was expecting his kits. Most of ThunderClan considered him a traitor, and things were still awkward between the tom and his former Clan. Ivypool gave an acknowledging nod to Leafstar as the SkyClan patrol left.
Ivypool noticed Twigshade visibly searching for her sister Violetshine, and then looking away disappointed when she noticed she was not on the patrol. Meanwhile, Finpaw wouldn't make eye contact with his sister, Reedclaw. Finpaw had left SkyClan with Twigshade, the two deciding ThunderClan was the best place for them. Ivypool watched, sympathetic for the young cats. Ivypool remembered her personal struggle with the Dark Forest and struggling to feel like she belonged.
Ivypool ignored the thought and focused her attention back to the patrol. As the group split up to mark the border, Ivypool watched Twigshade and Finpaw go together, laughing and enjoying themselves. She nearly said something to the pair, but decided to let them be. They'll only be young for so long. Ivypool thought to herself. Great, now I sound like Brightheart. Ivypool thought, thinking of her grandmother, who was now an elder.
With the group spread out, the border was quickly marked. “Let’s go down by the lake and then over to the WindClan border.” Ivypool instructed the patrol. The other cats nodded in agreement and followed the silver-and-white tabby queen down to the lake.
The patrol padded along the lake shore uneventfully, and eventually reached the corner where the lake shore and the WindClan border met. There was no patrol to greet them, and the border was quickly marked. The patrol circled back around to camp, doing a quick sweep of the territory. Finpaw found a stale badger scent, but the trail was a few days old.
“We can report it to Bramblestar when we get back to camp. I’m sure it was just passing through.” Ivypool informed the apprentice.
By the time the patrol returned, the camp was in full swing. Squirrelflight was organizing hunting patrols, the kits were all now playing in the clearing as Rosepetal and Fernsong watched them. Cinderheart had seemingly left her kits to join a hunting patrol with her mate, Lionblaze, and his apprentice Stempaw. The trio passed Ivypool and her patrol as they padded through camp. Ivypool saw Bramblestar, looking out over camp from the Highledge.
She admired the dark tabby tom from below, imagining the thoughts in the tom’s head. To lead the Clan. The privilege it must be. She thought to herself.
As a kit, she’d always wanted to be a leader. But what kit didn’t? And then when the Prophecy of the Three came, and included her sister and not her, Ivypool had felt abandoned. It led to her joining the Dark Forest, first as a trainee, and then as a spy. In the end, Ivypool arguably saved the Clans. But Ivypool still didn’t feel as if she’d truly served her purpose. Will I stand on that ledge one day? She began to think but stopped herself. Ambition was good, but it could destroy a cat, as she’d seen in Hawkfrost, Brokenstar, and many of the Dark Forest cats. All in due time. She kept telling herself. She still had nightmares of her time in the Dark Forest and could still picture the ruthlessness and hatred of the Dark Forest cats in her head. She often dreamt of Hawkfrost returning to kill her kits in revenge and fought the tom off in her dreams. He had been killed for good by Brambleclaw, but not before he’d nearly killed Ivypool.
“Mama!” Ivypool was brought back to the present by the tiny voice of Goldenkit, her youngest kit. “Mama, you’re back! Did you bring us back any prey?” The tiny golden tabby she-kit asked.
“It was a border patrol, Goldenkit, so I’m afraid not. Maybe this afternoon.” Ivypool replied, and then offered in solution.
“I want a mouse!” Bushkit announced, running over to his mother. Acornkit was right behind him, her tiny brown paws scrambling to keep up with her brother.
“Well, why don’t you go see if there’s something on the fresh-kill pile?” Ivypool offered. “No mama, I want a warm mouse that you or Fernsong killed!” Bushkit corrected himself.
“Well, you need to be patient, little one.” Fernsong shot back, flicking the tom-kit on the ear affectionately with his tail. “Be thankful for what prey we do have. Prey might be running strong now, but it won’t always be like this.” He continued.
Ivypool purred at her mate’s comments. He’d always been the more nurturing of the two and was often the one to take advantage of a moment to teach their kits. Ivypool was thankful for a mate who was willing to share “queen duties” so she could still continue the life of a warrior. It had taken quite amount of convincing for Ivypool to eventually want kits. Fernsong had convinced his mate he’d help raise their kits, even more so than the usual tom. Ivypool was thankful he’d kept his promise, often staying with their kits so she could join a patrol, or just have some time to her own. The Clan hadn’t taken so well to it at first, and there were many whispers about it. But as Fernsong did it more and more, they began to see what a great father he was and were grateful to still have Ivypool as a warrior.
Bushkit nodded at his father’s comments and bounded off to the freshkill pile to search for a decent piece of prey. Goldenkit was right behind him, with Acornkit bounding after her siblings.
Ivypool watched her kits scramble off, purring with amusement. She nuzzled her mate affectionately as he padded off. With Fernsong gone, Ivypool found a spot near the nursery to rest. Cinderheart joined her not long after, watching as her own two kits wrestled around. "They're getting so big. I hardly know what to do with them anymore." Cinderheart commented. Ivypool's attention was drawn to the two kits.
"They'll make fine warriors. Wolfkit is built much like his father. And Brackenkit, I love watching her with my own kits. She's kind. Much like her mother." Ivypool commented warmly.
"Well, I'm sure they'll fair just fine. It will be nice to hunt and patrol again. I'm quite fond of your own way of doing things." Cinderheart replied.
"Fernsong is very understanding." Ivypool simply responded, used to defending her decision.
"Oh no, I meant no ill meaning. You're a great warrior Ivypool. The Clan is lucky to have you." Cinderheart reassured the other queen.
Ivypool didn't reply, but instead sat quietly. A few moments passed by and Cinderheart began to speak once more.
"I understand how it feels." The gray queen began.
"Being a mother is great and..." Ivypool started to reply, and was then cut off.
"Oh no, I don't mean about being a queen. I've seen it in you Ivypool. You desire to be your own cat. Being Lionblaze's mate, I felt the same way you did before the Great Battle. And... I've always felt not in control of my own fate. Until the Great Battle passed, I didn't truly understand I could control it on my own. But I do now. And I pray to StarClan you feel that peace." Cinderheart finished speaking, looking with kindness in her eyes at Ivypool.
"I... Thank you Cinderheart. You're a good friend." Ivypool replied, unsure of what else to say.
Ivypool, however, knew exactly what the queen had meant. She’d finally began to feel like her own cat. No prophecy overshadowing her, her sister had her own mate and kits in another Clan, and the forest seemed to finally be at peace. Her kits, now two moons old, were getting to the age where they explored more, and relied on her less. Recently, she’d joined more patrols, and spent more time as warrior, not a queen. Was it possible she had a destiny of her own to fulfill? Did StarClan have some bigger role intended for Ivypool?