He's my father, Jon wanted to say, but he knew that Mormont would not want to hear it. His throat was dry. He made himself take another sip of wine.
Your duty is here now, the Lord Commander reminded him. "Your old life ended when you took the black." His bird made a raucous echo. "Black." Mormont took no notice. "Whatever they do in King's Landing is none of our concern." When Jon did not answer, the old man finished his wine and said, "You're free to go. I'll have no further need of you today. On the morrow you can help me write that letter."
Jon did not remember standing or leaving the solar. The next he knew, he was descending the tower steps, thinking, This is my father, my sisters, how can it be none of my concern?
Outside, one of the guards looked at him and said, "Be strong, boy. The gods are cruel."
They know, Jon realized. "My father is no traitor," he said hoarsely. Even the words stuck in his throat, as if to choke him. The wind was rising, and it seemed colder in the yard than it had when he'd gone in. Spirit summer was drawing to an end.
The rest of the afternoon passed as if in a dream. Jon could not have said where he walked, what he did, who he spoke with. Ghost was with him, he knew that much.