Grief at home

Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Lord Paramount and Warden of the North,thus the North's sovereign twice over,was all his power,all the search parties being sent out, there had been not a whisper of his son's whereabouts. He seemed to have vanished into thin air, despite the search commencing immediately after Jory had informed him of his son's Stark children were in no better a state.

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However, the household of Winterfell at large were torn between feeling elated and being grief-stricken. Jon's valyrian face had garnered him both scorn and admiring looks. Womenfolk in Wintertime gossiped over how beautiful the bastard of Winterfell was , with many believing he would become one of the most handsome men in Westeros. Many of the men, on the other hand, had hated Jon, filled with jealousy over a bastard being so comely. His sullen and brooding nature had not done him any favours either. Ned had shuddered every time someone praised Jon's looks , his mind rife with panic and worry that someone would soon make clear the secret of his true father.

He had always spread the rumour that Jon's mother was a Lyseni whore, despite the stain of his own honour, always remembering his sister's last words as she handed Jon to him.

Promise me,Ned.

He had strived the rest of his life to give Jon a safe home. He had failed in that regard. A bastard's life was all Jon had known, full of the knowledge that he would never be a true member of House Stark. Even the Greyjoy heir, Theon, despite being Ironborn, member of a people reviled and feared as a scourge in many parts of Westeros was treated better than Jon by his wife, Catelyn, formerly of House Tully. She had always disliked the boy, viewing him as a living symbol of his infidelity to her.

Being a worshipper of the Seven, whose religion condemned bastards as evil and untrustworthy, attributed to their origins, with most being born in the throes of lust, she had seemed glad to see the bastard finally gone, and was overheard remarking so to their eldest son, Robb, of how his birthright would now be secure with the bastard hopefully lying dead in some icy ditch in the North. Ned's restraint, which had characterized his moniker of the 'Quiet Wolf', had snapped then. He had had his lady wife confined to her chambers until further notice.

The household and his children had tiptoed around him with careful feet for the next sennight, wary of arousing his ire. Only Sansa,and Robb, had continued greeting him with the same question come the morn; Had any tidings been had of their missing brother? Arya and Bran were too young to take notice of their brother's absence, with Arya being only two namedays old, and only a year separating her and Bran. But there were more pressing concerns. Ravens had been sent to the Riverlands, conveying Jon's disappearance and requesting aid forthwith in finding him. Despite his longing to not leave a single stone uprooted in his search, he dared not request Robert's help. He feared what would happen if his old friend laid his gaze,so hateful towards those of Targaryen blood, on Jon.

Granted, Jon resembled the Valyrians of pure pedigree , but he did not wish to chance it in any circumstance. That had always puzzled him, Jon being seemingly more valyrian than his own father. He had quietly made sure that there was a cache of gold set aside in a old,unused chamber in Winterfell, within a stone's throw from Jon's. He had hoped that his son would discover it but hopefully attribute it's finding to great fortune granted by the gods, all so that, the Old Gods forbid, in the event that should Jon's true lineage be uncovered, he would possess a small store of coin to safeguard him, for a time at least, inasmuch as gold discs could, if Ned was unable to do so in his stead.

A/N: Alright,so I've got some reviews from people saying that Jon was too young to have carried Ice,never mind successfully steal it. Also, questions about his seeming maturity and 's my answer: 16 is considered 'maturity' in ASOIAF... the average male is not done maturing physically OR mentally by 16. There are many instances of impossible feats accomplished by CHILDREN in the books.

Some examples-

The Hound killed a guy when he was 12. That's one bad ass 12 year old! Come on, no man is going to lose a physical struggle to a 12 year old.

Jaime Lannister makes Kingsguard at 16. This is probably the most far fetched thing in the series in terms of age. Not to mention that he hasn't reached physical maturity, at 15 he has only had maximum 3 or 4 years of serious sword training (ie when he was strong enough to use an actual sword). Even a knight of average talent in his late 20s would easily defeat a 15 year old simply due to the fact that he 10yrs+ experience on him. The disparity is akin to turning on the television and watching NFL football and then watching high school football.

Loras Tyrell is 17. 17 at least is a little more plausible than 15, but still ridiculous. Jon Snow joins the Night's Watch at 14 and is almost the best swordsman there at the time, among some veterans who are at least 40 years old. Bottom line, I'm just sticking with the trend. Also, think about it .Most of us here come from good homes with financial stability and love. Jon's been plagued with magical nightmares from the time he could walk , in addition to dealing with the stigma of being a bastard. A person can't live through that sort of thing without toughening up. Also, the Ice question. Come on,it's valyrian steel! It's damn light to the location of Ice in Ned's solar is not a secret in Winterfell. It's the same kind of trustworthy nonsense that gets the Starks knows his father's day-to-day hard is it gonna be to sneak in and out,even if there's a guard tailing you? (Hint:Warg abilities). Now, on with the story!