Ned had often wondered during his time in King's Landing, when he had a moment for such things, why Stannis had not returned to take his seat on the council but it often had taken a backseat to trying to save Robert from the schemes of the Lannisters. It was a cause for concern that he was the late King's most trusted adviser when family surrounded him. This game of thrones was not meant for Starks, who cared little for the folly of politics and more for their people. They would leave this meeting with one thing absolutely clear: The North would be free and there would be no battle fought for the land. He felt honor bound to put the rightful heir on the throne, meaning Stannis, but that was where his duty to the Seven Kingdoms ended.
As they walked, Ned knew that Robb was considering the same things if the hand on his sword was any indication. They were led to a room that was far too bare to be a war room of sorts and he wasn't the least bit surprised at the distinct lack of anything useful, anything that could hint at the bigger picture or plan of attack. He did note that their escorts had addressed the man as King, which was more than appropriate given what Stannis was presenting. He was slightly annoyed that the greeting given to Robb was so casual and much more akin to a child than a King himself. Ned's eyes hardened slightly and said nothing, only nodding his own greeting in reply.
Robb was King and Ned's presence was only in support of his son. While perhaps he'd taken the lead in his conversation with Stannis over the journals, this one would be handled by his son and that was that. If Stannis didn't like it, well he'd lose himself the North and perhaps Daenerys would have her ally across the Narrow Sea like she wanted. That wasn't to say, of course, that he thought the last known Targaryen was the rightful heir to the throne. No, but he did believe that if anyone led a rebellion against the Baratheons or Lannisters, it would be the Mother of Dragons.