An Imperial Match: Anne Boleyn marries Charles V

But she's not an open reformer, though ?
No... But she's point blank showing such things to her VERY NOT-Reformer husband... XD

I've been unable to put pen to paper and tell how was Henrique's arrival in Rome. It's a far too important scene to skip as well.
That's fair. I totally understand. I run into the same issue some times with my own stories (for another website).
If you need someone to just talk it out with, I'm more than happy to assist as much as I can.
 
That's fair. I totally understand. I run into the same issue some times with my own stories (for another website).
If you need someone to just talk it out with, I'm more than happy to assist as much as I can.
Honestly, I don't think anyone can help me in this regard, save for writing the chapter for me, which is not something I ask everyone.
 
6th of June, 1530. New
Rome, Papal States. 6th of June, 1530.

Henrique felt uncomfortable as his litter moved through the streets, observing the ruins left by the Imperial armies when they last sacked the religious city. He could see the people moving about their days, with downcast faces and shadows under their eyes. Guards passed by, holding tightly to their staff, but none met their eyes. It was clear that the city still bore the scars of what his cousin had done, years previously.

He settled back against his cushioned seat, feeling as if he was mocking the people who had suffered. Who had lost husbands and wives, sons and daughters for the men of his cousin. He himself had nothing to do with it, and neither did his king, but Henrique couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of it being his fault. After all, his mother and Charles’ mother were sisters once. Whatever sins his kin had committed, so did he.

Maybe that was why Jorge de Coimbra was stirring up so much trouble. As a punishment. Henrique wondered if the Lord would ever cause such a thing, while silencing all voices of rebellion in the neighbouring realm to Portugal.

Castile was at peace, Henrique had heard, because the Empress and Queen was finally being accepted by the nobles and the common people. Her victory at Algiers certainly won her many hearts. Henrique wondered if Leonor would have done such a thing, gone against his brother's wishes and waged war for the glory of Portugal and the Christian faith.

For some reason, Henrique didn’t think so, even if Leonor was not beloved by their people. His sister-in-law had no need to conquer the hearts of the court, when she came as a high-ranking archduchess whose marriage was the result of a long and drawn-out negotiation between two rich and powerful countries.

His litter continued to move, the men carrying him moving through the empty streets. They turned as they got closer to the papal palaces, his heart racing inside of his chest as a crowd came to their way. Henrique was nervous, of course he was. He had been trusted with an important task by his brother, the first time he was leaving Portugal and now, it was the culmination of all his duties. A meeting with the Pope, to ensure papal loyalty to the true King of Portugal.

He hoped to arrange alliances with the ambassadors present. João gave him the authority to arrange marriages for his children, if that was what it took. Afonso, Joana and Manuela were either already betrothed or ear-marked to be betrothed, in the case of Manu. That left Filipe and any other child born to the Queen in the coming months to be included in the negotiations.

His attention was drawn away from his thoughts by the sounds of his guards shouting, shoving at the people on their way. “Make way!” they said. “Make way for Infante Henrique, make way for the son of Dom Manuel!”

An old man fell and the crowd gasped, parting out and Henrique was able to see him hobbling on his cane, struggling to get up. One of his guards moved to shove him out of the way and he almost stood up, ready to intervene when a tall woman in a nun's habit ran to help. He did not see her face as she wrapped an arm around the old man, assisting him, her own body struggling with his weight.

“Make way, Sister!” said one of the guards, voice in a low tone as he spoke to a woman of the faith. “Make way for an Infante of Portugal.”

The nun turned her head sharply and Henrique was able to see her face, her young and clear face. He was sitting far from her, but he could see her soft features, her dark eyes and eyebrows.

“Does the Infante of Portugal care so little about our elders?” she asked in barking Italian. Henrique considered his own grasp of the language to be good, but she spoke so quickly and so full of emotion, that he had to fill in many gaps between her words based on the context. “Does His Grace order his men to injure those underneath him?”

Her gaze moved to him and he held his breath. She was young, he could see it, fifteen at the most, but her eyes held enough maturity for all of Rome.

The nun turned away, back to the old man and another woman came to help them both. The man was hobbling on his knobby knees, holding tightly to a makeshift cane as they got out of his way. Henrique wanted to put a hand to his purse and throw out some coins to him, to help, but he felt ashamed. She had seen his very soul, his cowardice and he could not move beyond leaning back against the cushioned back of his seat, cheeks flushed.

The litter continued to move without his order, but his mind stayed behind.

--

Alcochete, Portugal. 10th of June, 1530.

Leonor read the papers before her with a careful eye, tapping her fingers lightly against her lips. The woman and man before her seemed nervous, faces pale, but she did not let their anxiety distract her as she read her children’s schooling papers.

She tilted her gaze up, looking at the two tutors and returned Joana and Afonso’s reports about the history of the Aviz family, which was not written in Portuguese, but rather, in French, so they could practice the language. “Joana’s grammar is lacking, clearly,” she murmured and the woman nodded with a slight twist to her pressed lips. She was Joana’s governess. “I want another French tutor. Monsieur Dubois clearly does not encourage her enough and I want him fired by the end of the week. The next tutor should be found immediately as well, even if we have to send for one in the French court to do so.”

The governess, one of the younger daughters of the Duke of Braganza named Eugénia, nodded, though she felt the freedom to say, “My lady, the Infanta feels much pressure from her language studies and has requested me to ask you for a reprieve. Latin, Portuguese, French, Castilian and Greek. It is too much for a girl of her age.”

Leonor looked at her, face serious. Eugénia, the Marchioness of Ferreira, looked down at her feet, mouth shut. “The Empress speaks French perfectly,” she murmured, “And my daughter is betrothed to the Prince of Asturias. She may be only ten, but the sooner she masters French, the better. Certainly, Her Majesty will expect my daughter to converse in the language easily whenever she is sent to Castile.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Eugénia responded with a curtsy. “Of course, Your Majesty.”

“And Afonso has gotten his kings mixed,” Leonor continued, looking at the history tutor, who had been picked by the Prince’s guardian, Afonso de Albuquerque the Duke of Goa. “Let his guardian know that he is to have another hour of history lessons until he outgrows his mistake.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” said the tutor.

Leonor dismissed them both, bringing a goblet of watered-down wine to her mouth. She was with child again and everyone said a drunk mother gives birth to a drunk child. She had not yet told anyone, at least not until the child quickened and João was told. He had to be the first to know, of course, as the father. Why else would he not know first? She didn’t know if she had conceived the last night she had with her husband, a month prior, probably not, but Leonor liked to think so. It was romantic.

She hoped it was another boy. Filipe was the sole spare heir to his father’s throne, without considering his uncles, and she hoped to have another son to take the pressure off of him. He was a sensitive boy. The kingship, if Afonso was taken from him like his brother Miguel, would not suit him.

If it was a boy, Leonor would name him Fernando, after her grandfather. João would like that, and if it was a girl, Isabel, after her sister-in-law. Either way, Isabella would be the godmother. João would like that.

She hoped he would live to see this baby. She prayed to God he would live.
 
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