|Author(s):||Jane Rucker a.k.a. Obsidia Greaves|
|Date(s):||18 July - 15 September 2003|
|Length:||11 chapters / 47,710 words|
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Author's summary from Checkmated: "Something strange is lurking in the Forbidden Forest, and it needs Hermione... and the consequences of refusal and betrayal are deadly. Set during Seventh Year. Rating for violence and sexual situations."
Lotharius was taken offline with Jane's other stories in early January 2006. Because Jane requested that her stories not be saved or shared among fans, requests for copies of the story are generally unsuccessful.
The story was posted serially at Checkmated starting on July 18, 2003, about a month after the publication of Order of the Phoenix. It was also posted serially at FictionAlley (where Jane went by the penname "Obsidia Greaves", also the name of one of Jane's OCs), and at FanFiction.Net.
The story's title (and the name of the eponymous creature) comes from Nicholas Rowe's The Fair Penitent, which features a character named Lothario, a name which has come to mean "a man who seduces women."
Lotharius features an original character, DADA professor Obsidia Greaves, who had previously appeared in Jane's Dr. Hammond universe, and also mentions one of Greaves's inventions from that universe, the "Book Burner." However, Jane specifies in an author's note that Lotharius is not set in that same universe.
For centuries, a pair of ancient beings called Lotharian Faeries have been hibernating in the Forbidden Forest. These blue, humanoid creatures feed by having sex with a human virgin of the opposite gender, and would typically hunt for a human mate once every five years, though wards placed around Hogwarts had prevented the pair that live in the Forbidden Forest from doing so. However, the recent Voldemort-related Dark Magic activity around Hogwarts wore down the wards, and, in Harry, Ron, and Hermione's seventh year, awakened the Lotharian Faeries who could now enter the grounds.
When the male Lotharian Faery, the Lotharius, is spotted on the Hogwarts grounds, the Hogwarts staff realizes that it has begun hunting a student. The students are warned, and female students are urged to come forward if they experience any of the signs of being hunted, such as sexually explicit dreams that leave them feeling exhausted. It turns out that the Lotharius is hunting Hermione, and has been disguising himself in her dreams as Ron, the object of her sexual desires.
Despite Harry, Ron, and the Hogwarts staff's attempts to protect her, the Lotharius continues the process of hunting Hermione. It manifests itself physically in Hermione's private Head Girl bedroom and molests her as Harry and Ron watch helplessly, trapped by an invisible barrier. It later attempts to kidnap her but is caught and delayed by the Hogwarts staff; however, it soon is able to successfully kidnap Hermione and bring her back to his lair.
Meanwhile, Ravenclaw Head Boy Randall Grimes (an original character) reveals that he is one-quarter Lotharian Faery, and is thus able to locate the faeries' lair. Randall had been friendly with Hermione, making Ron jealous, but in fact is gay and in love with Ron himself. He and Ron go together to find the lair and plead with the Lotharius's mate, the Lotharia, to help save Hermione's life. The Lotharia lusts for Ron but is unable to mate with him because he is not a virgin, so she agrees to kill the Lotharius only if she can watch Randall be sexually intimate with Ron in her stead. Ron and Randall agree, and while they are naked and kissing, the Lotharius shows up with Hermione. The Lotharius tries to kill Ron but the Lotharia stops him, and the faeries fight until they are both incapacitated. Randall finishes them off while Ron and Hermione escape.
Table of Contents
- Prologue: Need
- Chapter One: Wicked
- Chapter Two: Sleepless
- Chapter Three: Courtship
- Chapter Four: Caught
- Chapter Five: Decision
- Chapter Six: Familiar
- Chapter Seven: Watch
- Chapter Eight: Display
- Chapter Nine: Disintegration
- Epilogue: Bittersweet
On February 6, 2004, Jane posted an 1800-word "sort of" sequel to Lotharius called Clock, about OC Randall Grimes's unrequited feelings for Ron. It is Jane's only slash story, and is rated R for sexual imagery.
The story follows from Lotharius's epilogue, set several months later. Though the epilogue states that Randall's feelings for Ron eventually disappear, Clock establishes that Randall had suppressed his feelings out of guilt and respect for Ron and Hermione, but still sometimes lusts for Ron. The story starts with Randall angsting over his experience with the Lotharian Faeries and his feelings for Ron while doing Head Boy rounds. He returns to his private bedroom and falls asleep thinking about Ron. He dreams that he is in bed with Ron, and that his hands are bound as Ron teases him. Randall's alarm clock wakes him up just before he can climax.
Clock was posted to Jane's LiveJournal, which was deleted in mid- to late 2004, and to her FanFiction.Net account, where her fics were deleted around the same time. It was not published at Checkmated because the story focused on a pairing that contradicted Ron/Hermione and thus was against archive policy.
At Checkmated, an almost entirely het archive, the story received some backlash for including slash content in an otherwise het fic. The author's note of chapter in which the (AMTDI-type) male/male sexual content occurred contained the warning: "There are some vivid sexual descriptions and a small bit of Almost BoySlash. If you don’t like that, then don’t read this and miss out on a huge chunk of the story."
Some reviewers were outright homophobic; others said the Ron/Randall scene "disturbed" them or "grossed [them] out", but acknowledged that it worked well with the plot. Others said that they were usually not fond of slash, but thought it was handled well in the story or appreciated the humourous aspects of the scene. One reviewer wrote that they "normally would never read a slash story", but found the slash content "acceptable" because Jane "managed to write about [touchy matters] without offending anyone or filling it with [her] own views". Another reviewer wrote:
- "Slash is certainly not my cup of tea (this is actually the closest I have come to reading a slash story) but I think you did it well and the epilogue was exceptionally believable. I appreciate that you did your best to make the audience comfortable with it in a primarily heterosexual story. Thank you."
Other reviewers liked the end of the story despite its perceived change of focus. Many praised Randell's characterization and expressed pity for his unrequited feelings for Ron.
Recs & Reviews
So I was reading Lotharius by Jane this morning, and I saw a quote that struck my fancy - and so while reading the story, each time I came across a quote that made me laugh, I pasted it into a word doc. When I finished and looked at my document, it was 7 pages long. So here are the choice ones.
Just a little reminder: this story isn't meant to be a comedy. Its [sic] really dark and creepy and awesome, but its got these moments during the dark and creepy and awesome that are just pee-your-pants funny
[...]Normally, I don't like FC [fanon characters?] at all - I don't usually read fics with a main FC, just because they turn into a MS, or just a character that doesn't go with canon. Not with this story though. Professor Greaves and Randall Grimes are two outstanding FC - I didn't even realized that they were FCs until half way through the story, and I was going "wow- this is an amazing fic"
While I did adore the Dr. Hammond series, [Jane's] Lotharius is by far the fic that I recommend over and over and over again to all my friends that do not ship R/Hr. And each and every one of them has adored your story. And that coming from those who usually do not sail the ship of R/Hr. See it simply goes back to my original thoughts regarding fanon. Its [sic] not the story, its not the pairing, its simply the writing.
Jane, I have to admit that I avoided this story for a long time. It just seemed so dark. I don't even know what made me read it except that I was visiting my favorite authors and found it on your list. The only one I hadn't read.
I should have known. I should have trusted that in your hands it would be something more. Something excellent.
I had no idea what to expect or where the story was going. The creatures were original and well developed with an understanding that they were acting instinctively and not with malice. There was a great build up and flow that managed to convey the desperation of Hermione's situation and the sense that your resolution was the absolute only way for it to end; that Ron had to do what he did for Hermione, to save her life. I very much appreciate also that you had Ron's body responding naturally to the stimulous even if it freaked him out a bit. Completely natural reaction.
My heart was breaking for Randall. To have his heart's desire played out in such a heinous way, to have the beautiful boy he'd wanted for so long in his arms for this terribly wrong reason was just so wrenching. Randall's remorse about the situation (including the creatures' destruction) and breakdown by the lake was handled perfectly. Having Ron comforting him as much as Ron is capable was lovely and maybe healing for both of them.Through all the dark and dire circumstances you managed to inject your trademark humor. You are a truly an amazing author. I can only hope that your seeming absence from this site is due to your work on more fics or better yet, an original novel.
- Word count as listed on FanFiction.Net. Archived copies are not linked here per Jane's wishes.
- Genres as listed on FF.net. The genres listed on Checkmated were action/adventure, romance, and angst.
- For example, it is included in anehan's list of classics of Harry Potter fanfiction (24 March 2003, accessed 24 October 2013). Also included in RonandHermione.net's Post-OotP fic recs (archived 04 April 2005 by the Wayback Machine).
- Lotharius had 568 reviews on Checkmated as of December 27, 2005, making it the 6th most-reviewed non-NC-17 story on the site. In February 2004, it was determined to be the archive's most-reviewed "mid-length" fic (see ambergreene at Checkmated Forums: Fan Fiction Recommendations: post #70, 05 February 2004).
- Information such as the summary and chapter titles are included here as they were listed on Checkmated, where the story was archived from July 2003 to January 2006. Archived copies are not linked here per Jane's wishes.
- For example, see HELP! I'm looking for... at missing_fics. Posted 06 April 2006. (Accessed 22 October 2013.)
- Jane at Checkmated Forums. Shameless Plugs: Lotharius. 18 July 2003. (Accessed 15 October 2013 via Google's cache.)
- FictionAlley's ChapterOwls at Yahoo! Groups. What's new at TheDarkArts for 2-Aug-2003. 01 August 2003. (Accessed 15 October 2013.) [Webcite].
- Posted to FanFiction.Net under the penname "Jane6". See Angelfeather's 29 October 2003 post and Hello's 08 February 2004 post at FictionAlley Park. (Accessed 22 October 2013.) As of September 29, 2004, Lotharius had 235 reviews at FF.net.
- See The Fair Penitent at Wikipedia (accessed 15 October 2013). In Chapter One of Lotharius, it is said that Rowe had knowledge of the wizarding world and named his character after the magical creatures.
- Author's note for Lotharius, Chapter One: Wicked. Posted July 2003.
- Jane wrote on her LiveJournal that the sequel "may be posted at CM pending Council approval" ("Sequel to Lotharius," 06 February 2004), but later replied to a request to post "Clock" on Checkmated: "Sorry... Clocks violates the terms of service for this site." (Reply to MissJulie's 20 July 2005 Lotharius review on Checkmated; archived link).
- Review by Kate16 at Checkmated: "SUCKY , the start of it was good , but why did it get so gay literally it wasnt even a hermione Ron fic . I have nothing against gays , but there was no warning it just suddenly happened now I have no way of getting the image of Ron with some naked boy out of my head :(". 23 October 2004 (archived 30 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite). Jane replied: "Whining about it and being homophobic certainly won't help. Or make my story any less 'sucky'. Please."
- Review by hpkt5221 at Checkmated: "ron/randall slashy-thing kind of disturbed me but it fit in with the story so well that it was ok." 08 March 2005. (Archived 29 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by sk8tergirl17 at Checkmated: "When Ron and Randall had to kiss at first I was little grossed out , but remembered it was important so they could save Hermione." 21 February 2005. (Archived 29 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by jodicbowen on Ch. 9 at Checkmated: "I was not fond of the whole boy on boy action until I started laughing. Here I am reading Ron's thoughts, then he and Randall start arguing as they are making out. How did you come up with that scenario? It was brilliant, thank-you for not going all the way." 25 March 2005. (Archived 29 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by hbprincess on Ch. 9 at Checkmated: "your story contained some touchy matters but you managed to write about them without offending anyone or filling it with your own views!I normally would never read a slash story, but i was too intrigued and i found that you made it acceptable!" 01 December 2004. (Archived 30 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by MandyCroyance on Ch. 11 at Checkmated. 16 October 2004. (Archived 30 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by tragicblood at Checkmated: "I loved the story up to the point when Hermione didn't have sex with Ron to rid the creatures. I thought it was a marvelous story, but it seemed more of a Randell/Ron shipper. You are, however, a extrodinary writer." 12 June 2005. (Archived 04 December 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by redsand656 on Ch. 11 at Checkmated: "Wow your story was really good! But i thought that towards the end it kind of seemed like Ron was turning gay. and losing his love for Hermione. Which was kinda creepy. I thought that Ron and Hermione's perfect moment would happen in the end of the story. :(". 12 March 2005. (Archived 29 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- Review by dilly on Ch. 11 at Checkmated: "the last chapter totally chaged [sic] sort of what the whole rest of the story was somehow.....It was cool!! I felt soooo bad for Randall at the end....I mean how does ANYONE meet Ron w/out falling in love with him!!??". 28 February 2005. (Archived 29 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine; WebCite.)
- randijeanw at Checkmated Forums. Fic Quotes: post #126. 07 September 2004. (Accessed 14 October 2013 via Google's cache.)
- Sue (seakays) at Checkmated Forums. To The Writers Of Checkmated...:post #26. 20 November 2003. (Accessed 15 October 2013 via Google's cache.)
- jadzialove's Lotharius review on Checkmated. 22 October 2004. (Archived 30 November 2005 by the Wayback Machine.)