Fireheart gets mad and says that if Darkstripe wants to find out, he should have asked him himself. Ashpaw apologizes, and adds that he is curious, too. When Fireheart tells him, Ashpaw becomes very frantic and upset.
Ashpaw's foster brother, Cloudpaw becomes a warrior named Cloudtail, despite Ashpaw and the other apprentices being older.
Bluestar refuses to make the other apprentices warriors, due to her recent paranoia and war with StarClan. She only chooses Cloudtail because he had revealed his lack of belief in StarClan. Ashpaw and the other apprentices are angry with Bluestar because of this.
Disgruntled with her reluctance to trust him, and refusal to make him a warrior, Swiftpaw, a ThunderClan apprentice, tells the other apprentices that they should all try to find out what was stealing ThunderClan's prey at the time; then Bluestar would have to make them warriors.
After uncovering the trail of rabbits, Fireheart and Cloudtail discover that Ashpaw's mother, Brindleface, had been killed by Tigerstar, who wanted to give a pack of fierce dogs a taste for cat blood.
Ashpaw, Fernpaw, and Cloudtail carry out her burial. Furious and grieving, Ashpaw and Fernpaw ask Fireheart if they can help lead the dogs to the gorge because they want revenge on behalf of their mother.
Fireheart agrees after being persuaded by Whitestorm and the two young apprentices lead the dogs to the next cat in line, Sandstorm.
When Fireheart gets back from the Gathering, he is tired and shocked. He struggles to find the patrols, but Dustpelt kindly takes over, saying that he and Ashpaw will lead the dawn patrol. As leaf-bare comes, he is seen with his mentor, Dustpelt rebuilding the camp entrance.
When Firestar comes back with his nine lives and leader name from StarClan, Ashpaw is the first cat to welcome him back. During Thornpaw and Lostface's warrior ceremony, Firestar mentions to him and Fernpaw that they will join them soon.
After Brambleclaw's warrior vigil, Ashfur pads over to tell him his vigil is over. He leads Brambleclaw back toward the warriors' den, and offers to help him find a place to sleep.
When Smudge comes to visit Firestar and to warn him of Twolegs, Ashfur and Brambleclaw attack him to keep him from coming into the camp. Ashfur bites down hard on Smudge's tail, causing the kittypet to cry out in alarm. Firestar appears soon, demanding them to stop.
Ashfur reluctantly stops fighting, and calls Smudge a kittypet intruder. He is shocked when Firestar is welcoming to Smudge and doesn't want to leave the two alone together. However, he leaves to go on patrol with Brambleclaw, Dustpelt, and Mousefur.
After they are attacked by a badger, Ashfur helps fight it. Ashfur lunges at it from the side, but the badger is too fast and leaves a gash on his shoulder. The badger then knocks him aside, winding him.
Willowpelt is also killed in the attack. After it leaves, Ashfur limps heavily from his shoulder wound. He helps Firestar carry Willowpelt's body for burial, and later, Cinderpelt gives him some poppy seeds for the cut.