A/N: This has taken a while to get written and for that I am sorry. I got some bad news about my health at the end of March and I've been brooding ever since. Luckily, it's not as bad as we first thought but meh, it still isn't good. I also said this chapter would be longer and I didn't quite turn out the way I had intended. However, excuses aside I would like to personally thank:
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I could feel someone's eyes watching me and I was fighting Pyp, who is still trying to use his sword as a dagger, rather than for its primary purpose. It was an odd feeling as if they shouldn't be there.
When I finished with Pyp, Sam wandered over and said, "d-did you see?"
"Sam, I was training with Pyp, that's all I had time to see." I replied, sheathing my sword.
"Oh, you didn't see the people who came in… they had a wolf with them… like yours."
As we started to climb the stairs towards our rooms I looked over my shoulder to look at Sam carefully. He'd been training earlier in the day and had a bruise on his cheek but his eyes were filled with excitement and, possibly, wonder.
"It was probably just a wolf Sam, Ghost's a direwolf. You know that," I replied.
"Yeah Sam, there's only Stark's who walk around with dirty great direwolves on their heels." Pyp said with a laugh, catching my eye deliberately.
Sam nodded in reply; obviously uncertain in his ideas, but choosing to remains quiet all the same.
"He's right about the wolf." A voice said with a small amount of amusement in it.
The three of us turned to see Tyrion Lannister, sat on a box, his legs dangling, looking smug. Very smug.
"What are you talking about, Lannister?" I asked snappily.
"Quite simply that the beast with that woman, whoever she is, is a direwolf, without doubt. No other wolves are that large." He answered, jumping from his perch and walking towards us deliberately.
"You know bastard," he continued causing me to clench my fists slightly, "You should listen to your friend, he might be useless with a sword, but he makes up for it in other ways, aside from his appetite."
I scowled after the dwarf as he walked away, probably with a self-satisfied grin on his face. Once he was out of sight, I turned to Sam, seeing him staring at the ground, feeling awkward and unsure what to do, when he'd been proven right.
"I'm sorry, Sam." I said, simply for myself and for the Lannister.
"It's all right, Jon." He replied meeting my eyes, with a slight blush on his cheeks.
I nodded in reply, there's nothing you can say when Sam does things like that. I moved towards the wooden railings and leant on them, looking out over the training yard.
"Who do you think she is?" Pyp asked, coming to stand next to me.
I shook my head, "I don't know, but if she has got a direwolf, it would be logical to assume she has Stark connections of some kind, given that it's their houses sigil is a direwolf."
"Do they all have direwolves?" Sam asked warily, standing on my other side.
"The children do. Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon all have a direwolf in their charge." I replied, starting to feel slightly mournful of the distance between myself and them.
"Well whoever she is, her men are sat in the corner near the stables, maybe we'd find out more from them?" suggested Pyp with a mischievous glint in his eye.
I met his eye and grinned slightly, "Well we're not doing anything else. Come one Sam."
The men sat around had taken their hoods down but their faces were covered by cowls, keeping nothing but their eyes open to scrutiny. They weren't speaking in the common tongue either. They spoke a language I did not know. I stopped a little way from them, taking them in. They were all young, but certainly older than myself, in their twenties most certainly. They all had dark hair- either brown or black, except one, the youngest and smallest, who was a dirty blond which sadly revealed that it hadn't been washed for a while. Three of the men carried bows, arrows and small swords, which were obviously a back up in case of close combat. Two wore large swords and carried shields painted black, bearing no insignia of any kind and the last, who looked to be the oldest and leader of the bunch in front of me, carried a bastard sword upon his back in a black sheath. All the men were dressed in light leather armour, in browns, greens and dark blues, colours that were obviously meant to camouflage their presence while travelling up the King's Road.
After a while one of the blond bowmen caught sight of the three of us and muttered something which caused the others to turn and watch us, two even started to drawn knives previous concealed in their boots.
Surprisingly Sam spoke, "We…we…we are not here to attack you. We wanted to… to…to…see if you needed anything…"
I turned to look at him, his round face flushed with embarrassment and fear. Pyp was obviously just as startled as I was, as he too was staring at Sam incredulously.
The young blond bowman asked a question, in a foreign language, looking around to his companions for an answer before an older bowman gave him and answer, without moving his gaze from upon, Sam, Pyp and I.
The owner of the bastard sword stood up and looked over me carefully, his eyes raking over my jaw line, shoulders and settling on my eyes. "You will have to forgive Weath, he does not speak the Westeros tongue well. He wished to know what you had said."
Pyp nodded and answered, "It is fine, we were just curious as to who you are and why you're at the wall. It's not often visitors come to Castle Black."
I had held the man's gaze, which had not been broken, even by Pyp's interjection. He had dark eyes, greying hair and was quite obviously the oldest of the group.
"We've come with our leader, Lady Rhaenyra. She has business with your Lord Commander, First Ranger and the Maester here. We know nothing of this business just that we are to protect her." He said, his voice level and with a cold edge to it, as if we're pressing him.
I nodded, "Well, we shall leave you to wait. Should you need anything please do not hesitate to ask."
I took two steeps backwards, keeping my eye on the men, before turning and walking across the training ground to the Smithy. I could hear Pyp and Sam following, and as soon as we entered the door they started questioning me,
"Jon what's wrong?"
"Why did we leave?"
I looked between them and answered, "Nothing's wrong Sam, I just felt that it was time for us to leave. It would not be wise to press those men for information, not yet. They do not trust us, however, we did learn something. Their leader has no house, despite her title of Lady, or she does not wish us to know her allegiance, which could make her dangerous or useful."
Sam furrowed his brow, "So we wait?"
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