A.N: This is an alternate history series taking place in the same universe as my other story on FFN, A Dynasty's Destiny. Unlike the WIP fanfiction, the explicit references to the Anastasia movie characters have been omitted. This takes place long after the fanfiction's current point, so I'll give some background information on my alternate history to clear things up.
1. Alexei was stillborn, forcing Nicholas II to revoke the Pauline Laws. Rasputin is no longer needed by the Romanov family because Alexei is gone, so he is removed. Olga Nikolaevna Romanova becomes Tsarina after Nicholas and Alexandra are murdered in a raid on the Livadia Palace. The raiders still failed to kill the Grand Duchesses, as they had to escape from the guards. The raiders are caught and executed within a year by decree of the new Tsarina.
2. During her reign, Olga achieves a few things such as defusing the Austro-Serbian Incident (the Serbian and Austrian tensions from the assassination of the Archduke of Austro-Hungary).
3. During 1914, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich returns to the Alexander Palace as a possible match for the headstrong, intelligent Tsarina. Their courtship in 1916 leads to a marriage three years later. They eventually fall in love and honeymoon in Great Britain. As they say, opposites attract!
4. Olga does not approve of Anastasia's love fling with a palace servant and friend, and the two fall out of touch. Maria follows her younger sister to Denmark. The splitting of the Romanov family causes some of her relatives to criticize her.
5. In 1920, Grand Duchess Ekaterina is born. Her brother Sergei is born in 1922.
Other notes: I read a study on the Romanovs' bones sometime ago. It turns out that none of the Big Pair sisters actually carried the type-B hemophilia gene, so Olga would likely bear healthy children. Sadly, Anastasia carried the hemophilia gene. AAAS Article: "Case Closed: Famous Royals Suffered from Hemophilia".
Livadia, Russian Empire
June 25, 1928
A slender woman with dark blonde hair sat on a beach chair beside her husband, a tall man with an athletic figure. The woman was dressed in a simple white dress with a long, flowing skirt. The man was dressed in a white suit with yellow sleeve cuffs. Medals of honor glistened under the Crimean sun. They watched their two children laugh and splash each other with the salty sea water of the Crimean Sea. Everything seemed so right, as if a small piece of lost paradise descended to earth. Her husband turned to face her with a wide smile, and her blue eyes shone with happiness. With his cornflower blue eyes hooded, the man leaned over to kiss his love. She complied, placing her arm on his back to hold him closer. The kiss started as a chaste peck, but it soon became more passionate as desire swept through them. They joined lips again in a tight coupling, humming in appreciation and satisfaction, wrapping their arms around each other. Only the need for air separated the enamoured couple: Olga I and Dmitri I of Russia.
"Oh, Olya... you are so exquisite. My only regret is that there are no words to adequately express my feelings," the man said, holding the hand of his love.
"Mitya... I never thought before that we would fall in love, as we were so different. Now, I can hardly envision a life without you. Sometimes, I wonder what my father would have thought," Olga said, looking toward the horizon of the sea.
"I believe that his soul is smiling down as us from heaven itself. He must be happy that his little Tsarina has found her Tsar. Or, would you prefer me... untamed?"
Olga blushed. "Of course, but now is not an appropriate time. Our children are nearby."
"Yes, our two little joys. I can see that they are attempting to build a sand castle, why not join them?"
"We should take a picture once they finish."
Dmitri and Olga looked into the distance, savoring the gentle rhythm of the crashing waves and crying seagulls. They watched the peaceful scene play like a filler scene from a romance play. Handsome naval officers chattered and laughed, drinking aged Spanish wine from shining glasses. The servants also laughed and spoke with each other, enjoying their leisure under the white and blue colored marquees. One of them, a tall blonde woman with graying hair, glanced at the royal couple. Her lips curled in a gentle smile while she recalled how once she had taken care of a headstrong, intelligent Grand Duchess twenty years ago. Her friend, an aging Eugene Botkin, placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Are you alright, Nyuta?" a suited man with a graying beard said.
"Oh... I am fine, Mister Botkin," the tall blonde woman said.
"That is good to hear."
"I know... Oh, look at the tsarevitch and tsarevna play! They remind me of the Little Pair."
"They do. But now the Little Pair is not so little anymore, and removed from Russia. How sad," Eugene Botkin said, sighing.
"I do not know what to say, but we must trust that Olga knows what is best for Russia. Of course you recall the uproar and scandal that the affair between Anastasia and her commoner friend caused," Anna Demidova whispered.
"Nevertheless, Olga has been a very competent ruler for Russia, despite her temper. She is not perfect, but she is setting an exemplary example for her daughter. Our Tsarina has done many great deeds for not just Russia, but the world as well," she added.
Both Anna and Eugene took a filled glass of wine. They faced each other with mild smiles, and they clinked their glasses together.
"To Russia's everlasting peace and prosperity," they both said before drinking.
An hour passed. Some distance from the marquees, Dmitri and Olga got up from their chairs to play with their children. As they approached their two children, the boy noticed their presence. He got up, brushing the sand from his black and gold sailor suit. His blue eyes shone with happiness as he waved at his parents and pointed at the sand castle. His dark blonde hair seemed to glow golden under the sunlight like the hair of her mother. As the Tsarevitch, Sergei Pavlovich Romanov had lived a comfortable life under the supervision of his parents. He had been raised with strict discipline by his father, a former military student and Grand Duke before his co-reign as Tsar. Still, his playfulness and yearning for freedom had never waned.
His sister, Ekaterina Pavlovna Romanova, was less playful. However, she was stubborn and sensible like her mother. The round face and high cheekbones came from her mother, but her long, thin nose and light brown hair came from her father. As the named successor to Olga I of Russia, she would become the next Tsarina. Such a thing was off of her mind. It was summer time, and the eight year old Grand Duchess Ekaterina wanted to have fun like any other child would.
"Look, Papa, Mama! We built a sand castle. What do we name it?" the young Tsarevitch called out.
"Perhaps the Summer Palace?" Dmitri said, squatting beside his son.
Olga shook her head. "I think that Livadia Keep would make a better name. What do you think, Ekaterina?"
"Sorry, Mama, but I like Papa's idea more. It sounds like Winter Palace, and it is summer now," Ekaterina said.
"Looks like your daughter has a point, Your Majesty," Dmitri teased, smirking at his wife.
Olga rolled her eyes. "I still think that Livadia Keep is a better idea. A castle is not a palace, dear."
The royal couple enjoyed their time with their children, playing and talking with them. Olga thought of the previous times she had been to Livadia during her younger years. The experience almost made her feel as if she were like her late mother watching over her children. The thought made her feel happy yet melancholic, a strange cocktail of feelings brewing inside her heart. She wiped her eyes when they watered. An officer and suited man arrived near the royal family, holding a 1924 Kodak accordion camera and tripod stand.
"Your Majesties, do you both agree for a picture?" the suited man said.
"Absolutely, Mister Yuri," Olga said, and Dmitri nodded.
The royal family positioned for the photograph. Olga and her husband sat together, and their two children squatted in front of them. Beside them, the sand castle was visible. A bright flash emanated from the camera, and it took a few moments for the picture to develop. The picture was removed from the camera with the careful hands of the photographer.
"Here is the picture. I hope it is to your liking, Your Majesties," the photographer said, handing the photograph to the royal couple.
"This will make the people love us," Dmitri spoke.
"Certainly, but now I believe that we should find shade before we get a sunburn," Olga said, rubbing her now reddening arm with one of her hands.
The royal couple made their way to the marquees. Not far behind, the royal children and the photographer followed.
Olga sighed in relief as she felt the coolness of the shade on her skin. She had been out in the sun for some time, and her skin already felt dry and hot. She noticed that her former handmaiden, Anna, sat on a chair nearby. Olga then approached her former caretaker.
"A good afternoon to you, Nyuta," Olga greeted, sitting on a chair next to the handmaiden.
The handmaiden smiled. "Good afternoon, your Majesty. I must admit something."
"Go on, you are free to express yourself. "
Anna smiled, and tears escaped the confines of her eyes. "You make me proud of you, Olya. If your parents were here, they would be proud of you too."
"Yes, they would... God bless their souls."
Dmitri shrugged. He led Ekaterina and Sergei to the refreshment table, where he poured cups of water for them. As he gave the cups to his two beloved children, he chuckled. He could still hardly believe that everything has somehow gone right for himself, his first removed cousin Olga, and Russia. Yet it was love for the people that changed his country for the better, and it was love that overrode the differences between him and his wife. With love, the world would continue towards a greater future.