Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Lavender Brown
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
Lavender Brown is first mentioned as the first student of the year to be Sorted into Gryffindor.
As they go down to the Hallowe'en Feast, Harry and Ron overhear Parvati telling Lavender that Hermione was crying in the girls' toilet and wanted to be left alone. Ron, who had made harsh comments about her following Charms class, seems to feel a bit awkward about this revelation.
While we see Lavender in passing in some of Harry's classes, she does not play any particularly significant role in this book.
While we see Lavender in passing in some of Harry's classes, she does not play any particularly significant role in this book.
Lavender, along with Parvati Patil, is particularly intrigued by Divination class, and almost starts worshiping Professor Trelawney when she correctly predicts that Neville will break some of her teacups. At the first Divination class, Professor Trelawney tells Lavender, "That thing you are dreading? It will happen on October 16th." On October 16, Lavender receives word that her pet bunny had been killed, and we see that Lavender has reshaped the prediction retroactively in her own mind so that it refers to this event: while she admits that she had not been dreading Binky's death, and that it had not actually happened on the 16th, she still resents Hermione's questioning of whether the prediction that Trelawney had made had actually come to pass.
Another thing that Trelawney had predicted was that "near Easter time, one of our number will leave us forever." Immediately after Easter break, as they are starting crystal balls, Trelawney claims to see the Grim in Harry's crystal ball. This angers Hermione, and she and Trelawney exchange words, as a result of which Hermione drops Divination. Lavender and Parvati immediately accept this as fulfillment of Trelawney's earlier prediction.
It is mentioned that Lavender and Parvati seem to spend almost all of their free time up in Trelawney's tower after that.
While we see Lavender in passing in some of Harry's other classes, she still does not play any particularly significant role in this book.
Lavender's role in this book is once again relatively minor.
After Hagrid returns from his self-imposed suspension, he chooses to prove that he can teach Care of Magical Creatures at least as well as Professor Grubbly-Plank. He chooses to teach about Unicorns, and has captured a foal which he has secured under the eaves of the Forbidden Forest. Lavender and Parvati are absolutely entranced by it.
Lavender Brown is talking with Parvati Patil when Harry arrives in the Great Hall at the start of the school year. They greet Harry with a light, airy unconcern that tells Harry that they had been discussing him before he arrived. Hermione mentions the following morning that Lavender is skeptical of Harry's story that Lord Voldemort has returned. Apparently this is fairly common in the school, largely because the Daily Prophet has been systematically belittling Harry and Dumbledore over the summer.
On the second day of classes, when Professor Grubbly-Plank asks if anyone can identify the creatures she has in front of her, Hermione puts her hand up, and Draco imitates her. Pansy shrieks with laughter, then screams as the little bundles of twigs on the table jump up. Lavender and Parvati let out little sighs of amazement, which annoy Harry: it is not like Hagrid had not been showing them fantastic creatures all along.
As Harry enters the greenhouse for Herbology on the second day of classes, Luna Lovegood says that she believes Harry. Parvati and Lavender laugh at Luna and her earrings that appear to be orange radishes, but become much more sober when Ernie Macmillan loudly states that he believes Harry's report of the return of Voldemort.
After receiving her evaluation from Umbridge, Professor Trelawney seems distraught. Parvati and Lavender ask her what is wrong, and catch a lot of the resulting diatribe against "the establishment".
Parvati and Lavender are noted as being two of the students who are somewhat dismayed to see that Hagrid is back, when he returns from the mission Dumbledore had assigned him.
Lavender and Parvati Patil are seen hugging each other and crying quietly as Professor Trelawney is sacked by a cheerfully sarcastic Umbridge.
The following day, Lavender and Parvati suggest that Hermione should now be sorry that she had given up Divination, as the new teacher is Firenze. Hermione says that she was not terribly fond of horses, and Lavender, indignant, says that he isn't a horse, he's a Centaur. Hermione dismisses this, saying he still has four legs. Lavender says also that she and Parvati had gone to see Professor Trelawney and had found that she was distraught, still, and was saying that she would prefer to leave the school.
Lavender tells Ron that Firenze will be teaching in Classroom Eleven, on the ground floor, as he cannot manage the ladders that lead up to the tower. Reaching the classroom, everyone is surprised to see that it has been turned into a replica of a clearing in the Forbidden Forest. Although Lavender is likely as upset by Firenze's abrupt dismissal of all Trelawney's teachings as Parvati, she says nothing.
In the final meeting of Dumbledore's Army in April, the class is working on Patronuses. Several people in the class are having trouble; Lavender and Neville, in particular, can only produce little bits of white vapour.
Lavender Brown becomes a more important character in this book, as she begins the year openly flirting with Ron Weasley. On his way to breakfast on his first day as a Prefect, Ron confiscates a Fanged Frisbee from a first-year student, then remarks that he'd always wanted one of them himself. Lavender, who is passing, laughs particularly loudly.
At breakfast, Professor McGonagall is handing out timetables. Lavender asks who is teaching Divination; told that Professor Trelawney is teaching the sixth-year students, Lavender and Parvati seem somewhat discouraged.
After a particularly terrible Quidditch match, Ron and his sister Ginny have a row after he and Harry accidentally walk in on her snogging Dean Thomas in a Hogwarts hallway. They have a screaming match in which Ginny accuses Ron of having absolutely no experience with girls. Since Ron is still smarting from watching Hermione being singled out by Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and their ongoing pen-pal relationship, he starts responding to Lavender's advances. Their relationship is publicly and intensely physical – Harry at one point compares it to a vertical wrestling match, and at another point wonders which of several hands he can see belongs to whom. This causes a huge rift between Hermione and Ron that lasts several months during their 6th year.
Lavender Brown is something of a scatterbrain, however, and has absolutely no idea what Ron is thinking when they are apart. For example, at Christmas, Lavender sends Ron a gold necklace with letters spelling out "My Sweetheart"; Ron is repulsed by it. Ron eventually realizes that he needs more from a relationship than just snogging.
On his birthday, Ron eats some chocolate cauldrons which have been spiked with love potion by Romilda Vane, who intended them for Harry. While Harry is taking him to Professor Slughorn to get the potion effects reversed, they meet Lavender; Ron roughly pushes her aside, saying that Harry has promised to introduce him to Romilda. After receiving the antidote, Ron is nearly killed by some poison intended for another victim, possibly Dumbledore. Lavender does visit Ron in the hospital wing, but complains to Harry that he always seems to be sleeping when she visits. Harry asks Ron about this, and Ron admits that he is feigning sleep, because he doesn't want to deal with Lavender at the moment. Lavender is outraged when she discovers that Ron has been released from the hospital wing, but she has not been told; and further, that Hermione evidently knew before Lavender did.
Ron's relationship with Lavender seems to continue after his recovery, though it has suffered a major blow. At one point, when Hermione is correcting one of Ron's essays, in apparent gratitude he says "Thank you Hermione, I love you." Hermione replies that he shouldn't let Lavender hear that, and Ron says that maybe he should; he hasn't yet found any other way to break up with her.
Harry now determines that he must use Felix Felicis potion to get a memory from Professor Slughorn. Under the influence of this potion, he decides to don his Invisibility Cloak and go visit Hagrid. As he, Ron, and Hermione descend from the boy's dormitory, they run into Lavender; she of course can't see Harry, and starts berating Ron for being up in his dormitory "alone with her" (Hermione). This is basically the lever Ron needs to end his relationship with her. Ron almost immediately takes up with Hermione, and Lavender has very little further role except looking saddened by Ron and Hermione's closeness.
In contrast to her relatively large supporting role in Half-Blood Prince, we see even less of her in this book than usual, as she returns to Hogwarts to finish her seventh year there. She is one of the members of Dumbledore's Army who are found to be living in the Room of Requirement when Harry gets back to Hogwarts.
As Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape the castle on their way to the Shrieking Shack, they see Lavender, who has just fallen from a balcony in the Entry Hall, attacked by a grey blur that Harry at first takes for an animal. Hermione jinxes the blur, which Harry now recognizes as Fenrir Greyback. Fenrir is then knocked unconscious by a flying crystal ball, sent his way by Sybill Trelawney.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Lavender seems to be intensely committed to her relationships, and fiercely loyal to friends and, apparently, lovers.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Lavender talks a lot and doesn't usually let anyone else get their message across. Somewhat gullible, she seems completely taken in by Professor Trelawney.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Throughout the series, Lavender is best friends with Parvati Patil.
Taken in by Professor Trelawney's "Divination," Lavender is seen to be almost hero-worshiping Trelawney starting from the first few Divination classes. She seems to transfer some of her affections to Firenze when he takes over teaching Divination.
In her relationship with Ron, she seems to be more attached to an image of him than to him; she has no idea what he would actually like for Christmas, for instance. This relationship, which is intensely physical, is also marked by jealousy on Lavender's part. It seems that she is in love with the idea of having a boyfriend who is a prefect, rather than with Ron himself.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
Lavender is very much a minor character, playing at best a supporting role in the story; it is to the author's credit that she is so well written as a character. There is little need, if any, in the story line, to have her express so much interest in Divination, or to so clearly have become best friends with Parvati Patil. In the overall scheme of things, the entire affair between Ron and Lavender is unnecessary to the main plot line of the story. The author, however, has chosen to write the story against a fully believable backdrop of what happens to teenagers as they mature, and of course the sort of romantic entanglements we see with Ron and Lavender are a large part of that maturation. The additional details allow the reader to mentally flesh out the character, so that while Lavender may be dismissed to some extent as minimally important to the story, the reader still cares about her as a person, and is concerned about her survival and possible injuries in the final battle.
Hermione comments at one point that Ron has "the emotional depth of a teaspoon." It is perhaps for this reason that Lavender is portrayed, at least in her relationship with Ron, to be almost equally shallow. Perhaps this is a necessary stage in Ron's maturation, as it causes him to recognize the value of Hermione's more mature outlook. It is possible that, just as the author felt there had to be a major event, such as a mountain troll, to knock Hermione out of her "grind" character in the first book, equally Lavender is the major relationship event that awakens some emotional awareness in Ron.
Questions[edit | edit source]
- Is Lavender Brown now a werewolf? It seemed that she was bitten by Fenrir Greyback near the end of book seven, and he may have been transformed into his werewolf form at the time.
Greater Picture[edit | edit source]
It is interesting that in a clever twist by the author, it is Hermione who saves Lavender from being mauled by Greyback, in spite of Lavender being in direct competition with Hermione for Ron's affections throughout the course of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
There is significant debate as to whether Greyback was in his Werewolf shape or not when Lavender was attacked; much of the debate appears on the talk page for that chapter. One major factor arguing against his being Transformed is the author's habit of never naming characters Harry has not been introduced to, and he has never seen Greyback transformed. He has seen Greyback in his human form, and had him named, in the previous book, so the immediate identification of Greyback would imply strongly that Greyback is in his human shape. Against this, there is the description of Greyback as a "grey blur", and the fact that little in the text rules out Fenrir (and Lupin) being transformed. While it is true that the given date for the battle of Hogwarts, May 2nd, 1998, according to the lunar calendar is not a full moon, we must discount this as evidence due to earlier lack of correlation between the Hogwarts lunar cycle and ours, as mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Finally, however, it is mentioned elsewhere that Lupin met his death while dueling with Dolohov, which would not be a description of what he was doing were he transformed. As we see in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, however, Lupin does not transform until the light of the full moon actually hits him; despite the moon being fully up, he does not transform in the Shrieking Shack, only when he emerges from the tunnel, so it is just possible that he has somehow managed to battle the Death Eaters without ever being exposed to moonlight.