Disclaimer: I own nothing in this.


A/N: Credit to DylanTheDemon who is serving as co-author on this story (along with working in the backroom for ANP).

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or
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NOTE:
"[…]" = speech translated by the trait, Comprehension.

"…" = speech in Cregan's first language. (Currently, English since he hasn't learnt the Common Tongue)

'...' = thoughts by Cregan that are voiced as sentences. Usually when he's complaining about something.


As the door to my room creaked open, I looked up from the simple wooden toys in front of me (which I was using to help improve the motor skills of my new body). Myra, as had become the custom, was sitting in a chair nearby keeping an eye on me while doing some needlework on a dress.

About a moon or so after I'd learnt that Lyanna was pregnant with Jon I'd finally reached my goal of fifty steps unaided, and now, about a moon before my first nameday (the local term for a birthday) I'd passed one hundred steps.

The day that I'd learnt about the conception of Jon Snow was also the day I'd entered the Godswood of Starfall, and I'd breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered there was no weirwood tree present, just the leftover stump of one under a massive oak tree that dominated the place. As mother had sat with me under that oak tree, she'd explained that while most houses of Old Men blood still had a weirwood tree in their Godswood, the Daynes had been forced to remove theirs by Princess Nymeria of the Rhoynar when House Nymeros Martell had united Dorne under her banner.

While I wanted to see a weirwood tree for real, there not being one did make me feel safer as I was unsure if the Three-Eyed Raven could see into Starfall without one. (Yes, in the show he'd shown Bran the Tower of Joy, but something about that never sat right with me as if his powers came from the Children of the Forest or the Old Gods, how could he have seen into Dorne?). Then again, meeting (or at least being viewed by the Three-Eyed-Raven might've given me a hint if I had any magical potential, as in the first book Bran had dreamt of flying and I felt that was the moment his magic awakened.

Since then, I'd been to the Godswood at least once a month as I found it relaxing to sit or play under the trees. And it had been there that I'd begun to play with things by myself. Just as when I'd started trying to walk, I'd pushed back or ignored others when they tried to stop me (or get me to do other things) and mother had quickly cottoned on that I was once more showing signs of wanting to do something on my own. I still had a minder with me at all times, hence why Myra was in the room, but I was generally left to my own devices outside of mealtimes. Which was a good thing as Wylla had left the castle not long after I'd learnt about Jon's conception (which fitted into the story Eddard had told Robert about Jon's mother being someone with the same name), thus I only had to deal with the mental issues of breastfeeding from my mother instead of a family servant as well.

About the only person in the castle who seemed angered by my rapid development with my youngest aunt, Allyria. She was about five years older than me (and had the same hair and eye colouring as my mother) but was unhappy with my rapid growth as it was showing her up. I'd tried to play with her, but she'd kept her distance and glared when we'd been in the same room.

My older aunt, Adrya, was far friendlier. She often came by to play or hold me (which wasn't something I particularly enjoyed as I felt like a new toy for her to play with) and while her eyes were much lighter than mothers – verging on a light purple/blue mix – it was easy to see the signs that she'd be a beauty once she matured (she was eleven currently).

"[And how is my little wolf today?]" Mother asked as she walked through the open doorway, a smile on her face though I saw that it didn't reach her eyes, which had been a common event over the last few moons. The war, with her brothers and father off somewhere and little hint as to what they were doing, was placing a strain on her and grandmother.

From what little I'd been able to overhear and deduce, Robert had been doing well until he'd been beaten by a Reach host and driven into the Riverlands. While that should mean the loyalist forces had the advantage, from what I knew of geography, that wouldn't hold as Robert would be able to meet up with Ned, Jon Arryn (and provided the double marriage had taken place) the Tullys.

The Dornish host had only recently left Dorne but was not going to reinforce the Reach host. Instead, it was heading to King's Landing. While, on the surface, that showed the Dornish support for the crown, I felt it was only half-hearted at best. Even if Prince Doran had received the raven from grandmother about Rhaegar, Lyanna and Elia (and I suspected Elia had already told her brother the plan anyway), the directing of the army away from the fighting, and towards King's Landing (where Elia and her children were) hinted there was more going on than I knew about. Which had me once more cursing myself for not reading all the books and browsing the wiki.

"[H-horse]" I managed to say as I held up a small wooden knight on a horse. Having to learn an entirely new language from the perspective of a baby was… frustrating (to put it mildly). However, I accepted that I had to go through this, even if I was dreading the lessons on the written language that would come in a few years.

The strange trait I'd gotten on… my birthday (Comprehension) only worked for languages spoken by others, thus I had to push through learning the language verbally. Yes, it was a pain, but having the trait (even I was still confused as fuck as to why I had it) made things easier and let me listen in on conversations people didn't think I could follow.

Mother's smile grew and now reached her eyes. "[Yes, that's a horse. But with the man on the horse like that, we call it a knight. Knight.]" She explained as she knelt beside me.

"[Nogh.]" I tried. 'Fucking stupid child's mouth.' This was the only downside of having to learn any language, but it was one I'd dealt with in my previous life (though I couldn't remember doing so as a baby, thank fuck. My old life memories only went back to when I was around five or so).

"[It's alright Cregan.]" Mother said, which meant my annoyance at getting the word wrong must've shown (again) and a few of her fingers brushed back a lock of my hair from my forehead. "[Take your time. Try again. Knight.]"

While getting treated like a babe was… well, annoying as fuck didn't quite cover it, I had slowly learnt to accept it; and bury my fury about having to experience life as a babe again. All I could hope was that once I turned five, and that strange objective I'd seen was completed, that things would begin to make sense. And it had better, or by the Gods, Old and New (even if I didn't care for either group) I was going to kill someone (likely a few someones) to satiate my fury.

"[Knoght.]"

"[Almost. Kn-i-ght]"

"[Knight.]" 'Thank fuck!'

Mother's smile broke into a wide grin, and she picked me up and spun me around. "[Yes, that's it! That's my little wolf!]"

I felt a smile creep onto my face at once more seeing how happy my learning speed made mother as it was hard to not get caught up in her joy (though I still was going to fucking kill whoever made someone so beautiful my mother).

"[Cregan is… unusually clever, my lady.]" Myra said. That made my mother stopped spinning me around and she turned to face my minder. Sadly, I couldn't see either of their faces as mother had placed me over her shoulder. "[It… It is almost unnatural.]" Myra finished weakly, and if I had to guess, I'd say she was looking down at the floor as mother glowered at her.

"[He is the child of two ancient houses, Myra. Both carrying the blood of the First Men.]" Mother replied, her tone carrying a clear warning. "[He is clever yes, incredibly so, but that is simply a blessing of the Old Gods.]"

"[Yes, my lady. I meant no disrespect.]"

Mother sighed and I felt her pat my back (which was so fucking degrading). "[I do hope so Myra.]"

Any further discussion was cut off by a knock and the door, though again due to my humiliating position, I couldn't see who had entered.

"[Lady Ashara, your mother has received some… troubling news.]" Maester Cordin began, letting me know who had entered my room. "[She… well, it would be best if you and your sisters met with her in your father's solar.]"

I felt mother tense at Cordin's words, which wasn't surprising. With the war going on and the way that things seemed to be heading (from what I'd heard, Robert had joined up with Eddard and the others and beaten a large loyalist host) the chances of any news being good for House Dayne were slim at best.

"[Very well.]" Mother replied with a sigh and began to walk towards the door.

"[My lady, I do not believe the babe should be present.]" Cordin offered slowly. I wanted to glare at him for trying to deny me the chance to learn more about what was going on, but with mother had placed me over her shoulder so I couldn't see him. "[Your mother was most… disquieted by the news.]"

Right, that suggested that something had happened to my grandfather, one of my uncles or perhaps even all of them. Which did hint that the battle of the Trident had already taken place, but until I learnt what the message was about, I couldn't be sure.

Mother stopped and I offered a quick prayer to any god who would listen to not have her take Cordin's words to heart. "[Perhaps you are right, Cordin.]"

At my mother's words, I frowned, and as she turned around to hand me to Myra, I glared at Cordin. While I couldn't do anything to him now, the fact he'd done this a few times (cut me off from overhearing something useful) and was there to birth me, meant he was high on my list of people to make their lives miserable. Now, I didn't hate him enough to want to kill him (though I couldn't deny the idea had some appeal) but I was getting sick of his interference.

I needed to know what had happened between Robert and Rhaegar. There was always a chance that the world I'd been... reborn into wasn't a copy of either the books or the show. For example, there was a chance that my being reborn had somehow altered things so that Rhaegar won on the Trident. If that came to pass, then it would mean the death of Robert, and likely Ned and Jon Arryn as well. That would prevent the births of the rest of the Stark children along with the royal bastards.

The thought that my presence would change things dramatically had resulted in a month of concern and worrying. Almost all my meta knowledge would be useless, and I'd be working from a weak position to prepare for what was to come. A weakened North was the biggest issue as that would make the first line of defence (and the most likely kingdom to accept that the White Walkers had returned) far weaker than in canon.

Yet, if the North (and other kingdoms) was weakened by Rhaegar winning, the counterpoint would be that the kingdoms would likely be more united and if I was able to convince Rhaegar and his wives (provided Lyanna survived birthing Jon) of the threat north of The Wall, it was more likely the Seven Kingdoms as a whole could prepare for what was to come.

And it would mean that Joffrey would never be born, which would be a relief. While he wasn't the biggest mortal threat (that was likely a toss-up between Littlefinger and Varys) not having to worry about that insanity would be a blessing. Then again, I'd still have to find a way to neuter or kill (more than likely the latter) Ramsey Snow.

As my mind once more drifted to possible scenarios, Myra placed me back on the ground, next to the wooden knight. Before I picked it up and returned to working on my motor skills, I cursed myself for the thousandth time for not reading all five books or at least deep diving the wiki.

Something told me that the knowledge from the books was going to be far, far more useful to me in this version of Westeros.

… …


… …

NOTE: From here on in, Common Tongue will be displayed in "…" marks.

English and all other languages will be in "[…]".

This signifies that the Common Tongue is now his main language, and he understands it enough to use it as a first language.

… …


"A..Ae…gon, Ageon… and… hip."

"His." Maester Cordin corrected, from above and behind me. He tapped the word I'd mispronounced with an annoying fucking pointer and repeated the word. "His."

"His… sis ter, sister… wi…ves., wives." I finished, once more cursing the downside of being able to speak reasonably clearly before I was eighteen months (though here eighteen was called eight and ten). Because I'd shown an advanced ability to speak, mother had convinced Cordin to begin tutoring me in learning to read, and it was clear that Cordin wasn't happy about it as he had chosen a large, old book that detailed the Targaryen conquest of the Seven Kingdoms as my source material.

While I didn't enjoy having to learn yet another language, I knew it was something that I'd need to do. In my old life, I'd picked up the very basics of a handful of languages when my unit had been deployed for an extended period in a foreign country. Though the only language bar English that I was even halfway comfortable speaking was French; and that was only because I could recall every single class I'd had in secondary school.

What was making the Common Tongue so difficult was that the characters were nothing like any earth-based script I'd ever come across, so there was no point of origin for me to use as a base. Hence the need to learn the old-fashioned way of trying to string together the letters into phonics blocks.

"Well done my boy, very well done." Maester Cordin said as he lifted the stick from the line that he'd asked me to read. "In all my time, I've never seen a child so easily learn the common tongue, nor one so young."

"Thanks to your tiaching, Cordin." I replied as I turned to look up at him. The mistake in my word was intentional as I'd noticed several of the family servants (and grandmother) giving me odd looks as I slowly walked or talked with mother. While the intentional mistakes I was placing in my speech wouldn't deflect much of the attention (concern or fear possibly) that I'd gained, anything that might mitigate the risk that I wouldn't make my fifth nameday was something I knew that I had to do. Hopefully, once the strange objective I had was completed I'd learn just how and why I was here and who or what had brought me to this dimension.

"'Teaching' Cregan." Cordin corrected with a gentle smile as he reached over me and closed the book that I'd been reading, though not before placing a loose scroll of paper to mark the page we'd been at. "While I would like to take credit for your frankly miraculous learning speed, I cannot. You are blessed, by both the Old and New Gods, with a drive that very few children ever show. Indeed, I foresee you becoming more learned than some Maesters if you so desire."

I kept my face as calm as I could even as I internally cringed. Religion had never been a big part of my old life (particularly once I'd started taking part in combat operations with the Royal Marines and SBS). Seeing the suffering and chaos that was inflicted on others (often because of operations carried out by myself and the teams I served in) had further removed my belief in a god. Then, when you throw in the… pushiness of certain people who claim to be speaking for God (in any form) and often wanted to start fights/riots/wars over what they felt was the correct interpretation of religious doctrine and well, I was very much an agnostic by the time I died.

There were far too many hints and subtle nudges about that being the way many followers of the Seve-who-are-One behaved that I honestly felt the less I had to do with that pantheon the better. Septa Railey, the leader of Starfall's Sept, was a great example of this.

The non-too subtle glares she sent my way and the comments about the heathens in the North not recognising the divine right of the King to rule over them, had her quickly ascend to the upper echelons of a kill list I had developed in my head. If I had to listen to one more self-indulgent screech from that bitch about why the Old Gods were heretics and sinners, then I'd likely commit my first murder before I learnt why I was in Westeros.

"Now, I think that is enough reading for today. Time for the banners." Cordin continued as he picked up the book I'd been reading from and then placed an even larger book in front of me.

I groaned at having to do this again as, thanks to the same reason that I remembered my old life clearly (well, everything after I turned 5 anyway) I knew the sigils, words and current lords of every house in Dorne already. One unexpected thing I'd discovered once I'd started learning the details about the various houses of Dorne (after mother felt that since I could speak, I could learn the banners) was that my grandmother had been born into House Blackmont.

However, the sigil and words that dominated my thoughts were those of House Dayne. I already knew the sigil/banner as it was plastered all over the castle, but the words had stuck with me ever since mother had first told them to me.

Night falls, we rise.

To most those sounded like nothing more than a link to a long-forgotten time, but to me, they signalled that House Dayne had played a role in the Long Night; and may well do so again when the Others (I'd discovered that here no-one called them White Walkers, which hinted that I was in the book-verse; or one very close to it at least) returned.

Sadly, however, Cordin and mother had decided that I wasn't allowed to read any books detailing the Long Night. Though mother had hinted that there were family legends that stated that the Daynes had fought alongside the Starks during the Long Night, which was where the house words came from.

Just as Cordin opened the book of banners (Not what it was called but what I referred to it as) to the Dornish pages, a knock came from the door.

I turned as best I could, though since I was in a fucking baby high-chair (or what passed for one here) I couldn't turn enough to see who had entered. Still, mother had promised me that once I turned two, I wouldn't have to put up with these types of chairs, so I was willing to overlook how degrading these things were until that happened.

"Begging your pardon Maester Cordin, but Lady Ashara wants the boy in the Lord's solar." One of the servant boys (Jarden if I recalled the name correctly) said a moment after the door opened.

Cordin turned to face me and with a smile, closed the book of banners. "It seems the banners will have to wait. Are you comfortable going with Jarden or would you prefer I take you?"

I pulled up everything I knew about Jarden. The boy was older than me, around nine or so, and while I hadn't had any real interaction with him, I had seen him talking often with aunt Adrya. Though what concerned me is the fact I'd seen him come and go several times from the Sept when mother took me to the Godswood so she could relax under the trees. While his attending service in the Sept likely didn't mean anything, when combined with my lack of personal connection to the boy, I was reluctant to go with him.

"With you Cordin." I replied once I'd made up my mind.

Cordin nodded, and with a glance dismissed Jarden. As I heard the boy's footsteps recede, Cordin reached down and lifted me out of the highchair.

While I could (probably) make the walk by myself, it would take me an hour at least. (Yes, I'd walked from my room to the great hall – which was roughly where the Lord's solar was – a few times and it was not easy) Thus, I was willing to put up with the degrading nature of being carried for the speed it would get me there. Though being carried was far, far, far less degrading than the issues with my sanitary needs. Getting my arse washed after shitting with one of the most (if not the most) degrading things to have ever happened to me. In either life.

Fucking stupid arsed baby's body.

By the time we reached the Lord's solar, my annoyance at being carried had long since dissipated, being replaced by curiosity as to why I'd been summoned. The solar was now no longer the residence of my grandfather as, from what I'd learnt, he and uncle Alebert had died on the Trident. Uncle Aldric was the new Lord Dayne, but he hadn't returned to Starfall. Likely, that was because he was being held as a prisoner by Robert and Ned's forces, but that was just speculation on my part.

The death of my grandfather and one of my uncles left me conflicted as, while I was glad that the timeline was still in place (and Ned was still Lord Stark as I wanted nothing to do with that title) I was also disappointed they died. I hadn't interacted much with uncle Alebert, but grandfather had seemed to genuinely like having me around in the short time I'd known him before he'd ridden off to war.

Still, having my knowledge of what was to come (even if that meant about fifteen years of Robert being a shit king and then being replaced by Joffrey with all that ensued) still be accurate and useful was going to be a blessing. Though that didn't mean I wouldn't contemplate shifts that could alter future events (beyond my very existence) and dismantle what I thought was going to happen. More that I could now discount an entire timeline that was drastically different from what I'd expected.

Truthfully, having these years to consider, develop and enhance plans, counter plans, and contingencies for what was to come was probably the only good thing about being reborn as a mother-fucking babe. Hopefully, my actions in the future would help prevent the Others from killing all life on the planet (and arrange things so I'd had a comfortable life) but until I was old enough to begin my plans, I would just spend the time creating and developing them. Though if things here ended up even half as fucked up as the final seasons of the show, then it would have all been for nothing.

Outside the solar there were four guards instead of the usual two, which made me frown. Why would there need to be extra guards here? This was one of the most secure locations in the castle, so it didn't make much sense. Unless someone inside was a potential threat to mother and grandmother.

Cordin knocked on the door, and an instant later Grandmother called out. "Enter."

The Maester pushed open the door, as it opened, I saw mother sitting on the far side of the table near grandmother. That confirmed that there were visitors in the room, yet from my position, I couldn't see who it was.

"My Lady." Cordin said as I was handed to my mother. As she turned me and placed me on her knee, allowing me to see that there were two other people in the room.

A short, scraggly man was standing at the rear, holding something in his arms, but my focus was instantly on the front of the pair.

This man wasn't overly tall (though next to his companion he certainly appeared to be) and was wearing loose mail and leather armour, with a dark brown overcoat. My eyes were drawn to the brooch holding the surcoat in place, particularly the emblem upon the brooch. I gasped a little as I realised what it was, and who this man was.

That was direwolf, which meant this was Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and my uncle. A second later I realised that the man behind him was likely Howland Reed, and the bundle he was holding was the young Jon Snow.

"I…" Eddard began, and my eyes snapped from the bundle (where I was all but certain Jon Snow was), to my uncle. He gulped as our eyes met, and then shifted his gaze to mother. "Who is the father?"

"Your brother Brandon." Mother replied slowly and I felt her grip on me tighten fractionally. "While I enjoyed our time at Harrenhal, Brandon was more…" Her words trailed off and as she breathed deeply, Eddard chuckled nervously.

"Aye, he was." Eddard said slowly. He glanced behind him at Howland, who gave his liege lord an almost imperceivable nod, before he returned his focus to us.

Since neither mother nor grandmother were reacting to the babe in Howland's arms (I'd seen the bundle move twice since I'd arrived so there was no doubt in my mind it was baby Jon) it seemed as though they were unaware of the babe's parentage. While there was a chance Jon had been revealed before I'd arrived, I thought that was unlikely. Even if they thought the babe was Eddard's bastard, they'd have likely still made some gesture towards it; fetching a servant to get some milk or something.

Eddard licked his lips then ran a hand through his hair. "Were…were you and my brother…"

"No. Cregan was born out of wedlock." Mother replied tensely as her grip on me again tightened. "He is not a threat to your claim as Lord of Winterfell."

And thank fuck for that. I really, really didn't want to be the Lord of the North. While that would put me in a position to prepare the best for the Others, the shite I'd have to deal with as the Warden of the North would outweigh any advantages gained from being Lord Stark.

"That… Gods. This… this isn't… I never expected things to go this way." Eddard got out, his thoughts likely all over the place at the reveal of my parentage. He sighed once more then gave me a weak smile. "I came to Dorne to find my sister," Mother again tensed at that, "only to lose her but gain an unexpected nephew." He finished, again giving me a weak smile.

I was barely able to keep a frown from my face until I realised this meant he was already claiming Jon was his bastard and not the child of Lyanna and Rhaegar. Smart man.

"We are sorry for your loss, Lord Eddard." Grandmother offered, though to me, it seemed that her words lacked most of the warmth or support such a statement would normally have.

"And I for yours, Lady Helenys." Eddard offered back. He paused for a moment as if gathering his thoughts. "I am unsure if you are aware, but House Dayne lost its Lord and Heir on the Trident."

"Aye, we received a raven telling us this and demanding a ransom for Aldric from your fellow traitors!" Grandmother snapped back; her tone having lost any hint of civility.

"Mother!" My own called out, and I had to assume mother was concerned that Eddard would report the feelings of my grandmother to King Robert. Though, given what I heavily suspected had happened in the Red Keep after the city fell, I felt there was only a small chance that Eddard would do so.

"I understand your anger, my lady." Eddard began slowly. "And, in different circumstances, I would likely agree with you. However, they are not. Though rest assured, King Robert will not hear of your opinions from me."

Eddard paused and his eyes seemed to glass over for a moment as he likely relived the events in Kings' Landing. "We… There…" He paused once more and sighed, his free hand running along his chin as he stroked his beard. "Something happened there that should not. Robert should not have condoned it while I could not accept it, and I left to find my sister left before we came to blows over it."

There was confirmation that what I suspected had happened in King's Landing did indeed happen. Which was both a sad (as it meant Elia and her children had died horrifically) and a good (because it further cemented that my knowledge was valid) thing.

One thing that it did do was place the Mountain very close to the top of my kill list. Higher than even Joffrey, though that was only because the boy had not been born yet, so there was still a chance he wouldn't be a fucking arse.

"W-we have heard rumours." Grandmother began slowly as I felt mother's breath hitch. "About Princess Elia and her children."

My brow creased at hearing that rumours about what had happened had already reached Dorne. In the place of Robert, Jon Arryn, and Tywin, I'd have done my best to limit who knew the fate of the princess and her children. Now, I could only imagine the fury that was brewing in Sunspear at those rumours, and I had to wonder how the Martells were prevented from going to war with Robert over what happened to Elia.

Eddard glanced at my mother and grandmother before nodding. "They are true." That gesture, and the words that accompanied it, seemed to age him by over a decade, and I heard my grandmother inhale sharply as my mother's fingers dug painfully into my sides. "And I must now give you more terrible news."

He paused once again and turned to Howland. The shorter man handed the bundle that contained Jon to Eddard, and after a nod to his liege lord then my grandmother, he departed the room.

"After relieving the siege of Storm's end, I received news of where my Lyanna was being held; at a place known as the Tower of Joy." Eddard continued slowly, as I felt a dread creep into the room. Yeah, this was not going to be a fun reveal.

"There, I, Howland, and six other of my bannermen found my sister guarded by three members of the Kingsguard. Lord Commander Gerold Hightower, Ser Oswell Whent and Ser Arthur Dayne."

Mother's breath hitched at the mention of her brother (and my uncle), and I heard what sounded like nails scrape over the large table that grandmother sat behind.

"M-my son?" Grandmother asked in a voice barely above a whisper and if I could've, I'd have moved to support her for what was about to come.

Eddard sighed and looked down at the ground. "He, along with everyone bar Howland and myself fell that day. My sister died soon after." His voice was barely above a whisper, but in the silence of the room, it carried to everyone easily.

The room fell into silence as my family digested the news Eddard had just given them. My focus, however, was on the bundle Eddard was clutching close to his chest; both his hands were holding the babe tight. It was almost as if he was afraid of what revealing the babe would result in. Yet, if he was concerned about Jon being here, then why was he so adamant about coming to Starfall?

"Who that?" I asked, breaking the silence by raising my hand and pointing at the bundle.

Eddard's face exploded in shock, and he almost lost his grip on the bundle. A cry erupted from it, which broke the spell that had fallen over the room.

"My son asks a good question, Lord Eddard." Mother stated, and I to look up at her, receiving a smile for my curiosity. And again, I had to curse whoever decided that she would be my mother. Her smile was better than any I had seen in my former life, and her beauty rivalled the most attractive females on Earth.

"H-he speaks?!" Eddard asked. I turned back to face him and saw he was looking at me through almost freakishly wide eyes.

"Can walk too." I replied and stuck out my tongue. Childish I knew, but fun to do as well. Plus, I hoped it would help to alleviate some of the sour mood that was filling the room.

Mother chuckled at my comment, which was as I'd hoped, and a small smile crept onto Eddard's face. Though it dropped as the bundle again cried and he looked down at the babe within.

"The babe is your bastard?" Mother asked, a hardness in her tone. Ned visibly flinched at that and pulled the bundle closer to his chest.

He opened his mouth to say something, only to stop then sigh and take a moment.

"After… the battle outside the tower, I headed up to find Lyanna. She…" He paused and closed his eyes, likely reliving the moment. "She had just given birth to a child, and with her final breath gave it to me to… protect."

My eyes shot open at this as Eddard, in a move that made no logical sense, had just revealed that the babe he was carrying with the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna. Maybe he wasn't as good at playing the game as I'd thought when he'd claimed to all (well most it seemed) that Jon was his bastard or maybe the revelation about me had distracted him enough to make him change his plans regarding what he'd tell the Daynes. Either way, this was an unexpected event that would likely have ramifications in the years to come.

"The child wasn't stillborn?" Grandmother asked slowly, and I suspected she was putting two and two together in her head as to who, or more importantly what, Jon really was. The heir to the Targaryen dynasty. "It lived?"

Eddard's eyes had narrowed a fraction at my grandmother's words. Which made sense as she'd just unintentionally revealed that she knew Lyanna had been with child. Thankfully, however, he let the slip go (though I suspected he'd bring it up at a later date) and pulled the cloth back to reveal young Jon's head.

"Yes, my lady." Eddard replied and he took a step forward, letting us all see the babe in the bundle. "This is her daughter, Alysanne Snow."

.

..

As my grandmother stood and began to move around the table, my eyes locked on those of my cousin. My female cousin. And one thought dominated my mind.

"The fuck?"

… …


… …

A/N: So a major change to canon based on Cregan's existence. Wonder what else will be different about the world going forward?