This is a rough idea of how I pictured a young Olivia in my Tudor era fanfic, where she is a lady in waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first true and loyal wife.
The story itself at the moment is a rough draft, with working title. It can be viewed as a James Bond/The Tudors crossover, with a twist. I wanted to try something different this time around, and this was an idea that the muse came up with, and it’s something that I do not regret in the slightest. The story is also part of a series called; Whispers of the Past.
A little snippet of the fic can be read under the cut below, which takes place when Olivia hears Henry blaming Catherine for the deaths of their stillborn children.
Whispers of the Past : Restoration Of The Crown
“Yes, your majesty?”
“Sit, there is something I have been wanting to ask you.” Catherine gave her a faint smile.
Olivia took a seat across from the Queen wondering what it was she wanted to speak to her about.
“What is your relationship with the Duke of Northumberland?” Catherine asked with a knowing glint in her eye.
“I admire him, but to be frank, I think he is a tad egotistical and a womanizer. Forgive me for being blunt your majesty, but why do you ask?”
“You have been in my service for a short amount of time Olivia, you seem like someone I can trust. I hope you can be the same with me.”
“I’m humbly grateful for your majesty’s trust in me.”
“I fear there is going to be dark times ahead, Lady Olivia,” Catherine told her sadly, looking down at the rosary’s she held in her hands. “The king still wishes for an annulment, and with each day, I feel like my time as Queen is limited.”
“You mustn’t give up, the King will come around…”
Catherine looked up at her sadly, “I hope and I pray that he does. Not only for me, but also for our daughter, Mary.”
“If your majesty wishes I can ask James, I mean the Duke of Northumberland if he can speak to the king.”
“I fear he will fail. The King is determined to make his new mistress Anne, Queen in my stead.”
“I do not trust the Boleyn’s. Especially Lord Rochford.” Olivia said looking away from the Queen and into the fire. “He is ambitious and I feel he will try any means to ensure his daughter succeeds you to the throne.”
Olivia looked back over at Catherine. “You need to be careful your majesty. For yourself and for Mary. If the King is smitten with Anne, she will no doubt try and poison his mind with false promises.”
“What have you heard?” Catherine asked narrowing her eyes.
“I’m not sure if it’s true, but there are rumours that Henry is planning a split from Rome. He wishes to make himself the head of the Church of England.” Olivia told her calmly seeing her grip tighten on her rosary.
“Then my fears are worse than I originally thought.”
“I shall try and keep you informed of any whispers I may hear. Try not to worry your majesty, as I say, they may just be rumours.”
“Thank you,” Catherine told her in gratitude.
Olivia gave her a small smile and made to stand when there was a knock on Catherine’s door before Lady Margery ran into the room.
“Your majesty, the king is here,” She told Catherine slightly out of breath.
Catherine stood with Olivia following her stead. “Very well, show him in.”
Olivia looked at Catherine trying to figure out what she was thinking; when she heard the hard footsteps of the king start to come closer.
“Does your majesty wish me to stay?”
“No, you are dismissed, Lady Olivia.”
Olivia gave a bow to Catherine and turned to see the king in the doorway.
“Lady Olivia,” He replied looking over at her.
Olivia didn’t want to leave Catherine alone, but she had little choice on the matter. Closing the door behind her, she decided to take a seat in the shadows of the main chamber, should she need to intervene if necessary.
She could hear the raised voices coming from within the room and felt her heart sink a little at the abuse the king was currently throwing at Catherine, blaming her for the deaths of their stillborn children. It made her wonder what poisonous words Anne and her family had been feeding him.
When she heard him threatened Mary’s legitimacy, she shook her head wondering what on earth had gotten into him. From the stories Catherine had told them, he had loved her. She was his sweetheart and him her Sir Loyal Heart. Now it seemed that he had forgotten all about his love for Catherine and was more focused on ensuring Anne became Queen and that he had a son.
She could only imagine the heartache that Catherine must be feeling with each spiteful word he threw at her. She would need to talk with James and see if he could make the King see some sense. He was going to tear this country apart if someone didn’t put a stop to him.
She came out of her thoughts when Catherine’s chamber doors were thrown open and she saw the king walk out his face containing fury as he marched out of the room slamming the door behind him.
Giving him one last look of disgust she made her way back into Catherine’s room, to see her crouched on the floor, her body overtook with heartbreaking sobs. Olivia slowly walked over to her and kneeled down.
“Is your majesty all right?”
Catherine didn’t answer for a few moments, before she started to sit upright, and dried the tears from her eyes, only to be replaced with more.
“He is still going through with the annulment. And he is sending my daughter away from me.”
Olivia didn’t know what to say, she knew Henry was smitten with Anne but sending Catherine’s daughter away from her was the worst thing he could have done. He was taking the last piece of happiness away from her, just so he could marry that harlot.
“Fight him. You and I both know that Anne’s hold on him won’t last long. He will get bored with her, just like all the others.”
“How am I supposed to do that? He won’t dine or come into my chambers when I ask him. The most we see of each other is when he comes to me, asking me to accept that our marriage is null and void and is a sin against God.
“Which we both know isn’t. You’re stronger than this. Don’t let one woman take away everything you hold dear.”
Catherine gave a sigh, “What do you suggest I do, Lady Olivia?”
“We need to have Henry focus his attention back on you. Anne wears French dresses, with low cut corsets, so I suggest we show the king exactly what he has been missing in his pursuit for Anne. The court is about seduction and lust, you’re still a beautiful woman your majesty and you are not short on admirers. Trust me.”
Catherine gave her a thoughtful look, “Do you honestly think that will work?”
Olivia gave her a smile, “I believe it will, but there is only one way to find out your majesty.”
“I’ll think about your suggestion, Lady Olivia. But for now, I think I will retire.”
Olivia helped Catherine from the floor and removed her robe as she climbed into her bed.
“Sleep well your majesty.” Olivia curtseyed.
“Good night, Lady Olivia. Give the Duke of Northumberland my well wishes.”
“I’m sure he will appreciate them, your majesty.”
Olivia blew out the candles and left Catherine’s bedchamber. By passing her own room, she walked along the hallway leading to James’ rooms and knocked on the door. She hated visiting him at this hour, knowing he would probably have other ideas about her visit.
Once the door had opened, Olivia pushed passed him and into his rooms.
“Do come in Lady Olivia.” He smirked and closed the door behind him. “so, what do I owe the pleasure.” He turned around to face her, his smirk slowly fading.
“We have a situation, James.”
“What sort of situation?”
“Is it safe to speak?” Olivia looked around the room.
“Yes, now tell me what has happened?”
“The Queen had a visit from the king tonight. He is threatening to send away her daughter.”
James gave a weary sigh, “I know.” He took a seat in front of the still burning fire.
“Wait, you already knew? Why didn’t you bloody say anything?” Olivia demanded.
“Boleyn has spies everywhere Olivia, it was too risky to tell you. It would not only put my own life in danger but yourself and the Queens as well.”
“So, he is determined to make the Queen go through the heartache of losing her daughter, and her throne just so he can get a damn divorce?”
“In his eyes Olivia, he sees his marriage…”
“As a sin against God, yes I know. The Queen told me. Yet, that didn’t stop him marrying her after Arthur died, did it?”
“He needs a male heir, and he believes Anne can provide him with one.”
“He needs bloody common sense thumped into him, that’s what he needs.” Olivia paced James’ room, her hands resting on her hips.
“He is the king Olivia, to go against him would be treason.”
“Yes, I know.” She fumed. “What about the Boleyn’s. Have you heard anything else from them about what their next plan is?”
“Nothing as of yet. Boleyn is slippery; he can pay off anyone to have him on his side. I can only do so much. It’s a miracle I’m still in the king’s favour. But if Boleyn has his way, I would be out of the picture long before now.”
Olivia stopped in her tracks and turned to look at him. “He’s threatened you?”
“Not in so many words, but the implication was there.”
“He wouldn’t try anything. It would be too risky.”
“I’m not worried for myself. I’m worried about what he could do to you.”
“He has spies within the Queen’s handmaidens Olivia, supporters of Anne. They have been reporting to him about your relationship with the Queen.” He stood up and walked over to her. “You need to watch what you say and how you act around Catherine. You are being watched, if Boleyn thinks you are a threat he will do everything in his power to ensure you are out of the picture.”
“He will have a hard time, James. I’m not stupid, I had a feeling there would be spies around the Queen.”
“I never said you where… I just need you to be careful. Promise me.”
Olivia looked up into his eyes seeing the worry reflect on his face.
“I promise, James.”
“That’s all I ask.” He reached up and tenderly caressed the side of Olivia’s face.
Relaxing into the soft touch, she reached up her own hand and covered his own.
“I’ve spoken with Charles Brandon, he is on our side. You can trust him, Olivia. When I’m not here, and you think your life’s in danger you go straight to him.”
“I can look after myself, James,” she told him in annoyance.
“I know, but it would ease my mind knowing you are safe.”
“Does the Queen know Charles Branson is on her side?”
James shook his head, “Not yet. I’ll leave that up to you. Let her know she has more support than what she realises.”
“Speaking of which James, she gives you her good wishes.” Olivia gave a small smile. “Not only that, she seems to think there is more between us.”
“And what did you tell her?” He softly asked.
“I avoided the question.”
“She’ll find out eventually.”
“I know, but I’m not ready to share that piece of information yet, these are dangerous times, James. We need to be careful.”
“And we will be. I would never put your life at risk Olivia. If anything happened to you, I would never forgive myself.”