Jon was used to going unseen. Being the Bastard of Winterfell had that one advantage at least, but he had always felt bitter when people would purposefully avoid him. But now, as he snuck into the kitchen as Winterfell’s cooks prepared the castle’s evening meal, he was glad for it. His brother Robb had concocted an evil plan, one which required a fair amount of flour. Jon heard a servant stomping his way and he quickly moved behind a small alcove, the effort making his breath ragged. He slowed his breathing as best he could as the servant passed. The smell of food that lingered was intoxicating, causing Jon’s mouth to water. But he had a mission, and he needed to focus. He pushed out from the alcove, crouching to keep from being spotted by the cooks. He jumped at the sound of a cleaver slicing through bone, nearly falling flat on his face, but caught himself. After a few more terrifying moments, he found himself in front of the kitchens’ storage room. Jon pushed open the door and snatched a sack of flour. Half walking, half sprinting, Jon made his way to Robb’s chambers. They had agreed earlier that day to four knocks, with a break between the first and last two knocks.
Robb’s door swung open and Jon hurriedly stepped in.
“Do you have it? Please tell me you have it.” Robb said, slightly pleadingly.
“Of course I have it, I am a master of stealth. No one saw me.” Robb visibly eased as Jon held up the sack of flour proudly.
“So, what’s the plan now Robb? How do you expect to get Arya, Bran, and Sansa to come down to the crypts?”
“I have my ways brother. Just be ready in ten minutes, It’s not long now!” Robb said excitedly, patting him on the shoulder and leaving to find their brother and sisters.
Jon sighed as he left his brothers chambers, not exactly looking forward to dousing himself in flour. He was also a little apprehensive of going into the crypts alone. He had only gone their once before, with his father and with Robb. Lord Stark had wanted them to see the history of their family. Jon had felt uncomfortable from the moment they had descended into the crypts. He was a Snow, not a Stark. He had no place there. His father had walked them through all of the dead members of House Stark, ending with his sister, Lyanna. Jon could tell that his father was uncomfortable when they stood in front of her statue, though Jon supposed it was just memories that had caused the sweat on his brow to form.
He left the door to the crypts open, sprinkling a line of flour behind him as he started down the stairs. He decided to stop at his aunt’s statue, her hand outstretched as if beckoning him. Jon stepped behind her statue and dumped the rest of the flour over his head, sneezing once or twice as he tried not to breathe in the airborne flour.
Jon had been standing behind Lyanna’s statue for a good fifteen minutes if he had to guess. He started to wonder in this was some cruel trick that his siblings were playing on him. But he knew Robb enough to know that he considered Jon a true brother, no matter his status. As did Arya, and Bran as far as he could tell. Sansa on the other hand was always at her mother’s side. Ever the proper lady, she avoided him as much as she could, and was always cold to him when they did speak, which was a rare occurrence. Rickon was too young to understand what he was, but Jon was sure he would end up like his brothers. Just as Jon thought to leave and clean himself up he heard the echoing of footsteps coming down the stairs.
“Look there Arya. Don’t you see it? I’m not kidding, I saw a ghost. I know it.” Jon had to suppress a laugh at that. The footsteps came closer.
“There’s no such thing as ghosts you know?” Came Sansa’s voice, with an almost undetectable hint of uncertainty.
“I saw what I saw, I swear it.” Robb retorted.
“What did it look like Robb?” Bran asked, fear in his voice.
“It looked real, like you and me. Only it was completely white.” Robb explained. The footsteps stopped right in front of him.
“The trail stops here. What now?” Arya said, her adventurous nature trumping any fear she might have.
“Wait here and stay quiet. It’ll be back, I know it.” Robb said softly.
After a few tense moments Sansa scoffed, breaking the silence.
“See I told you ghosts didn’t exist.” She said confidently.
Jon took that as his cue and pushed against the wall, feeling it slightly give under the force, but he paid it no mind. Jon jumped from the statues base, landing at the groups side, and gave his best shriek. Arya immediately jumped back screaming, Sansa’s face turned a deathly pale, and Bran squealed and hid behind Robb’s legs. Robb could not contain himself as he started laughing so hard it bounced off of the walls. Jon chanced a look at Arya and saw her eyes roving over him, clearly trying to decide if he was a ghost or not. He turned back to Sansa. She was so pale he thought she would faint. Jon couldn’t keep in his laughter anymore and joined in with Robb.
“Jon?!” Arya asked, bewildered. Jon nodded and she walked over to him and gave him one solid punch to his arm. He started laughing even harder as her punch knocked him off balance and he used the wall to steady himself.
“Seven hells Jon, that’s not funny!” Arya exclaimed.
“Arya!” Sansa chastised her sister, blood returning to her face.
“Jon… Jon… That was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Robb said in between laughs.
Sansa huffed at that, turned and left with Bran following closely behind. Arya started laughing as well, obviously taking the prank better than her sister and little brother.
“You know I was really hoping to see a ghost Robb.” Arya said as their laughter died down.
“I know,” Robb took a deep breath and spoke again. “I guess I should make sure we didn’t scare them too bad. That was bloody fantastic Jon.”
Robb left with a grin on his face, leaving Jon and Arya standing in front of their Aunt Lyanna’s statue.
“You should go too Arya. I’ll be a minute trying to get this flour off me.” Jon said humorously. Arya gave him a wide smile and left.
Jon brushed as much of the flour out of his hair as he could, and swiped down the front of his tunic. He looked back at Lyanna, and saw something that sparked his curiosity. The wall that he had pushed behind her statue was slightly shifted. He moved back to the wall and pushed against it again, the hundreds of hours spent sparring and training paying off as it shifted again. He gave it one final shove and the wall gave, spinning to expose a small space behind it. Jon’s breath caught in his throat at the sight before him. He didn’t need to be a maester to know that he was standing in front of a dragon egg. He kneeled down to look at it closer. The shell was grey, nearly Stark grey, with specks of crimson around the bottom. He was stunned, he felt unable to move so he stared at it, mouth agape. Jon finally mustered the courage and reached out and touched it. It was cold in the crypts, near freezing even in the summertime, yet the egg felt warm against his palm. He picked it up in his hands, touching each scale with care. Jon told himself that he should put it back and leave, just completely forget that he had ever found it, but he couldn’t do it. It was as if it would pain him to be parted from it. He decided to smuggle the egg to his room. Jon picked up the flour sack and squeezed the egg inside of it. He put the wall back into place and cleared the area, making sure no trace of his presence was left behind. After he had swept away most of the flour he started back towards the castle.
Jon had purposefully taken the long way back to his room, hoping to miss most of the castle’s residents. Luckily, he ran into no one on the way back. He hurriedly opened his chamber door and carefully placed the sack on his bed. There was really nowhere he could hide it in his room, he could put it under his bed, but what idiot hides a dragon egg under their bed? Suddenly struck with a thought, Jon grabbed his sword and stuck it in between a couple of boards and tried to pry them open. Another advantage of being a bastard -well maybe not an advantage so to speak- was his chambers. Though a little cramped, his chambers were perfect for hiding something. Servants were rarely sent to his chambers, so there would be no one to accidentally stumble upon it. Also, the floor was positively ancient. The boards popped up with ease, revealing a small space just large enough for the egg to fit in. Jon placed the egg, flour sack and all down into the space. He placed the boards back over the hollow and hammered the nails lightly back into place with the pommel of his sword, leaving it just loose enough to be lifted up by hand. He then threw a fur over it for good measure.
Jon felt near exhausted the time he was done. He thought about making an appearance at dinner but thought different of it, instead opting to lay down and get some sleep. He spared a final glance to the spot at the foot of his bed and shut his eyes.