FRAGMENTS OF A DYNASTY
Summary: Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward consider the mothers they know and their new one Katherine Parr.
Pairings: implied Henry/all six wives, and implied Mary/Philip of Bavaria
Mary sighs when she hears the news and she cannot stop the thought, good god not another one, when the messenger announces His Royal Highness King Henry is to be married to Katherine Parr.
She thinks about all of her 'mothers' and she uses that word loosely because to her the only mother there was, was Katherine of Aragon. Her very own mother who brought her into the world. Her mother had been pious, loving, sensible, and classically beautiful despite her age, wise, intelligent, witty, tender, strong, determined, and a true princess of the blood. Everything a mother, wife, and Queen should be.
Her first stepmother, that harlot Anne Boleyn, was nothing in comparison of her mother. She may have a mind but it was filled with vile ambition, she may be pretty to men but she was nothing in the eyes of a woman, she had no true religious values, and was cruel beyond belief. She was not the mothering type, merely the type to lavish presents on her own child and barely touch said child. The second stepmother was an improvement but was more of a friend than a mother. Jane Seymour was sweet, polite, and friendly but that was all Mary could really say about her. She was dull in comparison of Anne who could at least keep Mary properly informed of politics and new opinions if she had wished to. Anne of Cleves, the third stepmother, was warm and civilised. If it had not been for the hurried divorce, her Luther beliefs, and the heartbreak Mary suffered during that time, then Mary may have grown to see her as another mother. Katherine Howard was no stepmother and Mary dare not even think of her without revulsion.
She watches this new wife of her father and she can like this one. Katherine Parr in many ways was similar to her own mother. She could finally have a mother once more...if only Katherine Parr did not support the Lutheran cause.
Elizabeth has seen Katherine Parr as a loving, charming, and caring towards her. The woman who arranged her lessons with Edward, who spoke to her as if she was an adult, and held her when she cried over something her father, had said. She was the mother Elizabeth had craved.
She did not know Katherine of Aragon but Mary had insisted she is a good woman and would have cared for Elizabeth (Elizabeth did not believe that because it had been her own mother that took Father away from Katherine of Aragon). Her own mother was a vague memory of perfume, silk, and beauty. Jane Seymour had only been a smiling face to her. Aunt Anne was never a mother simply a kind relative who wrote regularly, sent gifts, offered invitations, and gave the much needed hug then and there. Katherine Howard was far too young, giggly, and silly to be a mother and the only impact she had on Elizabeth was the oath to never marry.
So Katherine Parr was really the only mother Elizabeth has known.
(but then from the corner of her eye she sees Kat standing against the back wall in the Queens rooms and Kat had always been constant in her affections, had always tended to Elizabeth's needs, had always cared for her...and she wonders if it is really Kat who was the mother she wanted.)
Edward does not know his father's first three wives including his own mother. He had always imagined his mother to be the kindest, fairest, prettiest lady in all of England. He heard that his father had once been married to Aunt Anne but he could not remember that time and always thought Aunt Anne as a caring relative. She always sent him little treats and encouragements. He had heard about Katherine Howard and remembered meeting her but he had never thought about her. She was vacant and non-existent to him.
But his father's new wife Katherine Parr was the mother he had always thought about. She was the kindest, fairest, prettiest lady in all of England. She was often visiting him with his father and offering encouragement and praise. She was often listening to him, watching him, holding him as if he was her son. She the epitome of motherhood and he adored her.
So in no more than a year after his father died he wept when he heard of Katherine Parr's death.
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