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Title: Lavender Observes
Author: Vegablack62
Word Count: 388
Rating: G
Summary: An alternative point of view of a trio moment
Author's notes: This started as a 300 word drabble on sq_drabblers . Prompt: hair 

Lavender came down to breakfast after everyone else had started eating. She was often late because unlike Parvati, Lavender had to work at looking good. Just this morning she'd had to redo her hair three times before she was satisfied. No one was allowed to see Lavender Brown with limp flat hair. She had pride unlike some girls. She looked across the table at Hair-like-a-bush Hermione who sat studying a newspaper like her OWLS depended on it. Lavender didn't think Hermione cared what she looked like. Why else would that girl come to breakfast, sit in front of the entire school with her frizzy hair sticking out from her head like a triangle, when with a little time and a little care she could be pretty?

The witch had started haranguing Ron and Potter. Lavender decided that Hermione could smooth her hair with a whole bottle of Sleekeazy's Hair Potion and it would still frizz from all the energy leaking out of her brain. At first the boys seemed irritated, but somehow she convinced them to pay attention and soon they were studying the paper too. Lavender had no idea how she managed it, but Ron and Potter always did whatever that girl wanted. While they read her newspaper, Hermione scanned the room like McGonagall in a snit, as if every student was a personal disappointment.

Lavender concentrated on her toast. Yesterday, McGonagall had lectured her after class, telling her that she could easily get six solid OWLS if she would spend as much time on her studies as she did on her hair. The professor said strong OWLS would be more important to her life than the nonsense she worried about now. Did McGonagall expect her to be Hermione? Lavender knew she wasn't.


Ron pushed himself away from the paper to listen to Potter talk. He glanced at Lavender and she was glad she'd spent so much time on her hair that morning, whatever McGonagall thought. She flashed him a smile, but he didn't notice. Ron stayed deep in conversation with Hermione and Potter, until Hermione snatched the paper off the table and rushed out of the Great Hall with both boys trailing her. Lavender watched them go waiting for a glance from Ron, a chance to say good by. He didn't look back.


 


Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
oddnari
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
I know I told you this before, but I'd like to mention it here as well that I just LOVE how delicately you leave open Lavender’s state of mind... as readers, we try to pre-empt your writing and wonder, does Lav want to belong to the Trio? Is there a latent envy of Hermione? Does Lav wish she could be appreciated for things other than looks – which she has to work so hard towards building up? Does she wish Ron hearkened to her as easily as he did to Hermione’s imperious commands?

I find it so interesting that this fic is more about Hermione (and Ron) than about Lavender - even in her sub-conscious, her interior monologue, she is an obvious second to Hermione and Ron, both.

I love this vignette for that reason and also the fact you don’t say anything – it’s like a report of the first 15 minutes of Lav’s breakfast on such-and-such day in such-and-such year - you leave everything for the readers to imagine/think/work out.
vegablack62
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
I forgot to thank you for being my beta in my post. I am incredibly grateful.

The answer to all your questions is yes. I have a very strong vision of Lavender. I see her as a Romantic, and a girl who takes on roles plays parts because she doesn't really know who she is. When she is dating Ron she is playing the part of the girl with a boyfriend. That explains the ridiculous pendant, the making out in public, even the jealousy. Her interest in divination is part of this Romantic view of the world and this role playing. The key to her to me is her statement when Ron was poisoned that he had just become interesting. The role of noble girl wiping her boyfriend's fevered brow by his hospital bedside would have pleased her tremendously.

Hermione knows exactly who she is, that is one of her strengths.

Lavender senses that and envies it. She also knows that Hermione's relationship with Harry and even Ron is based on more than her looks. At this stage in her life Lavender doesn't understand how that can be or how to achieve that.

I think Lavender jumped into the DA with both feet. She is actually very brave in the books and underground resistance fighter would be a role that would appeal to her. I think the reality of the situation would cook away all her illusions, but her courage and force of will would allow her to acquit herself well.


Seventh year and the period of her recovery from the Greyback attack would be very interesting period where she'd gain a sense of identity. More people should write about it.

oddnari
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, not at all, I was only to happy to be given a chance to beta-read some thing so full of sub-texts.

Yes, Lav does have a strong sense of a self-image, which sadly is not HER self-image. Interesting, I thought much the same as you - she creates notions and ideals FOR herself and loves the idea of conforming to that image that she's created. Her self-delusion, while strong, remains harmless, and hence her inability to be like Hermione who is pretty chilled out about being herself.

And just because you raised this point, I AM writing about Lavender in a back-to-eighth-year fic. The only problem - and for some it would be a problem - is that it's essentially a Harry/Draco ship-fic.
vegablack62
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
I think we both caught JKR's vision of the character, a girl who is trying on identities.

Post your story, I want to read it even if I'm normally not a Harry/Draco person.
thanfiction
Nov. 4th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
Not one of my favorites of yours, I will admit...I think that Lavender came off as a bit shallow and it played a little too strongly into the stereotype of her as a bimbo, but it was well-executed nonetheless and your writing itself only gets stronger and stronger with every piece.
vegablack62
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Well Lavender is only fifteen when this story is set, and she is not yet very clear about who she is. A lot of girls are like that at fifteen. The story I'm about to post shows her in a stronger light though it takes place only moments after this one. I think this story reflects who Lavender is in book five and six and reflects her crush on Ron and general lack of understanding of her own identity. At this point in her life she wants to get her identity from her looks and boys. I intend in later stories to show how she matures and learns who she is. These kids are still very young and growing so I don't judge them too harshly.

I understand your feelings though. I don't show Lavender at her best.

I'm glad that you see me as improving even in a story that you don't like.

phil_urich
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC)
I liked this piece a lot. You did a good job of showing some of Lavender’s short comings and strengths without spelling them out and also gave her a strong voice. I still feel a little bad knowing the way Ron and Lavender’s relationship ended, this piece makes me feel just a little worse.)
vegablack62
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Well if it's any comfort to you, I think Lavender moved on from Ron to be a very strong young woman in her own right. She just needed to learn who she was. I'm glad you thought I captured Lavender herself and gave her her own voice. I like Lavender a lot and hope to writer her more in the future.
suzanne78
Mar. 5th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
I know this has been up for a while, but I'm trying to go through pieces of my FList's fanfics and commenting on them.

Well, I love Lavender. And I actually really like what you did with her here. Full-on fifteen year old girl, someone whom I would've identified with at that age, I must say. Where it was all about looks and boys. But I loved the reference that McGonagall's a smart girl, she only needs to apply herself.

And she's extraordinarily observant, too. Very teenagery. Even if slightly "Mean Girls" like.

And the look at Ron . . . lovely!
vegablack62
Mar. 5th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm very fond of Lavender and plan on bringing her from this place to a more mature outlook seventh year. I think she is very much a fifteen year old at this time. Lavender has a little bit of an edge to her but I think she is very brave at the same time. (If you want to see a different look at Lavender read Repetitions and Revelations for the Naive and Oblivious she appears there in a little different light.)

Thanks for reading this as part of checking your flists fanfiction.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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