1. Her name was supposed to have been Victoria.
Norman and Elizabeth Brown were not the sort of people who liked pretentious or trendy names for their children, but they did have a sense of humor. Their son was named Robert, but they called him Bobby, something that was entirely missed in the wizarding world, although the Muggle-Borns and Half-Bloods (like Mr. Brown himself) generally got it. Their daughter was to have been named Victoria, a play on the venerated Queen's nickname, but the moment the baby opened her unusual, shockingly purple eyes, that changed. Lavender liked it, but what she liked most was when her father sang to her at night, something she never realized he'd not completely made up for her.
"Lavender Brown, dilly-dilly,
When you are down, dilly-dilly,
I will be here…"
2. She had a terrible weakness for freckles.
The first boy she'd ever had crush on had been Charlie Weasley when she was six and her parents took her to Hogwarts to watch Bobby's first Quidditch championship. They got to meet the whole team, and Lavender was so enamored of the charming, laughing, impossibly grown up Keeper that she spent the entire time peeking shyly from behind her mother's robes. It had turned into an elaborate several-year game of pretend with Parvati, in which they were very famous and glamorous (why, exactly, changed weekly) and married, respectively, to Charlie Weasley and Sanjay Dutt. They did grow out of it before they got to school, though she could never quite look at a freckled boy without getting a bit weak-kneed, and she was grateful only Parvati knew about that during sixth year. The whole thing with Ron was fiasco enough on its own.
3. She and Parvati knew Lockhart was hiding something.
The first time they saw Lockhart's huge, glossy poster hanging in the front window of Flourish and Blott's, Parvati had roundly declared him to be a poof. Her salient point at the time had been that he was clearly sporting more hair care potions than the two girls combined, and Lavender had agreed with a flaming read-aloud of the introduction to "Magical Me" that had nearly caused her friend to choke to death laughing. From then on, it became a running game between them, although as the year went on, they were more and more certain that the joke of finding subtext and innuendo in every self-aggrandizing word and flamboyant gesture was perhaps accurate. He was definitely hiding something. Whether it had anything to do with the petal-pink robes edged in lilac lace that had brought them to tears in their third lesson…well, they'd never know.
4. She was an excellent mimic.
Her family discovered this, much to their embarrassment, when she was less than two years old. She answered "what does a dragon say?" and "what does a kitty say?" just fine, but "what does Mummy say?" was supposed to have been "I love you," not "Fuck! Oops, I mean, drat!" Though she had a better idea of what she was saying later, her talent for voices and accents only grew. Mostly, it was just amusing, but on several occasions, the D.A. found her spot-on imitation of Alecto Carrow – good enough to fool simple Voice-Recognition Spells and particularly adept for 'official' announcements – to be extremely useful.
5. She kept a diary every day since she was eight years old.
She had one for every year. They were locked in every way she knew, because in them, she held nothing back. Hopes, fears, random musings, even a phase of truly wretched poetry, she showed them to absolutely no one, even her mother or Parvati. After she was older, there were some parts of ages twelve to fourteen she almost destroyed, but she was glad she didn't, because even if they were at times humiliating, they were still a record of who she was and who she had been. Sometimes, in her seventh year, she would look back on old entries and scarcely recognize herself. Had she once honestly considered suicide because Michael Corner had laughed at her for mis-pronouncing a spell in third year, just because he was cute? But then again, she sort of missed that ridiculous drama. It was easier not to think about what it would be like to look back on the entry for the first time she saw someone Cruciated. Or the first time she was.
6. She had a matchmaker streak a mile wide.
It was nosy, it was gossipy, it got her in trouble over and over again for putting her nose in where it didn't belong, and she honestly hated being caught in the middle when things went pear-shaped, but she couldn't help it. She wasn't so much a romantic as she really liked seeing people happy, and she constantly found herself analyzing her classmates and deciding who really should be with who. And that lead all too often to trying to set them up. Which lead all too often to discovering that she really hadn't known them that well to begin with. Sure, they were just darling together, but how had she missed that Dean was gay when he'd been first so hesitant, then so oddly eager to try going with Ginny? And it was really just best not to think about Vicky and Jimmy. It had taken them months to start speaking to one another again, and they never really forgave her.
7. She loved Muggle movies.
Parvati had introduced her to them as a means of explaining the tortured gorgeousness that was Sanjay Dutt, and even if the subtitles were a bit awkward, she loved the swirling costumes and vivid colors, the melodramatic music and dances that anchored a hundred sleepovers. It wasn't until the summer of fifth year that they discovered horror movies together, but those quickly became her favorite. She loved a good scare, they loved daring each other to watch the gory parts without closing their eyes or peeping between fingers, but just as much fun as the clutching and screaming was trying to outdo one another with smart-aleck comments about the laughable way Muggles portrayed creatures like werewolves, ghosts, and vampires.
8. She loved to flirt with anything that moved.
Lavender knew perfectly well that she was definitely one of the prettiest, if not arguably the prettiest girl in her year, and it struck her as a lot more ridiculous to pretend otherwise in some kind of false modesty. Besides, it was, if she would admit it, quite the power trip to be able to make the boys – and even some of the girls – forget their own names, drop books, and even walk into walls by just putting your leg up on the chair like so to adjust your sock, by running a hand through your hair that way, or doing that to the end of your quill like you didn't even know it. And when they flirted back, it was even better, a silent give-and-take of smiles and looks that was its own form of banter that could be so much wittier than most people gave credit for.
9. She only dated three boys.
Seamus Finnigan took her to the Yule Ball, then she dated Justin Finch-Fletchley for a few months in fifth year, but although she'd long stopped caring that she was called all sorts of names for just being a flirt, she didn't like it when galleondigger was added to that list, even if she pointed out to several people that she was seeing entirely the wrong member of the Hufflepuff Trio for that. Then there was The Ron Mess, and a few weeks with Seamus again, but still, if you believed rumor, there wasn't a boy, girl, ghost, or house-elf she hadn't at least heartily snogged. She'd never thought she'd be grateful for that, but thankfully, some people were stupid enough to believe rumor when she warned them that she was carrying absolutely everything and that their pricks would turn purple and rot off horribly within minutes. She was very grateful, actually. It was bad enough without that.
10. She was a vegetarian.
It had started in fourth year, when they had to try and feed live chickens to the rapidly growing Skrewts. The results were absolutely horrible, and when Nott had cruelly pointed out that the bloody spectacle wasn't too far off of what had to be done to provide their own dinners, she had sworn off meat entirely. That lasted a few months, but by then, she discovered that not only did she not miss it, but that she'd rather lost her taste for it. Besides, she decided she felt healthier without the heavy roasts and sausages, meat pies and gravy-drenched cutlets that made up so much of the Hogwarts fare. There had been a bit of chicken for politeness' sake at her Aunt's third wedding, and she had some fish now and then, but otherwise, she never ate meat again.
11. She had a real talent for Divination.
By fifth year, she understood that most – well, all, really – of what Trelawney did was carefully vague phrasing, leading statements, and theatrics, but she respected that the Professor was very good at those things, which were skills themselves. The thing was, she knew that she actually did possess "the sight" to some extent; half the time she didn't have to even look up what things were supposed to mean because she just knew, and her dreams and instincts had always been prophetic to a creepy degree. Of course, it wasn't exact and it wasn't every time, and if you pushed it, like she knew she did in pairing up her friends, it vanished as if you were trying to grab your reflection in a pool of water.
12. She made her own clothes.
It was something her mother taught her, and something her mother had taught her. In the beginning, she loathed having to sit and pretend to care about seam easements and darts, lining fabrics and Seaming Spells, but the first time she actually had a finished product that looked like anything, she was hooked. Lavender was proud that no one could tell her Hogwarts robes weren't bought at Madame Malkins, just that they fit her with ridiculous perfection and seemed much more flattering than everyone else's, and she enjoyed following the fashion magazines to stay six months ahead of what the other girls wore, but always with her own twist. That little streak of Seer gave her great instincts for knowing what trends would catch on and what never would, and after seeing the success of the Weasley Twins, she had decided to make a go of her own line of robes after school. The wizarding world really needed somewhere that a young witch could shop without worrying about her robes showing up one one of her mother's friends.
13. She once tried to go blonde.
The less said about this the better.
14. She loved babies…as long as they were someone else's.
They were sweet and soft and smelled like nothing else in the world. She loved the way they laughed when you blew bubblies on their little tums, she loved playing peek-a-boo, she loved pulling faces and cooing and squealing and marveling over every teeny little finger and toe. But then there was the part where they cried and smelled like other things and became toddlers and children, not to mention the entire pregnancy and birth business before. Maybe someday, maybe, but Lavender really felt she'd be a much better Auntie than mother, because it just didn't appeal to her at all. Maybe someday, she conceded when pressed, but inwardly, she always added how unlikely that was, and that even then she'd probably adopt an older child if she really must raise something.
15. She wanted to ride in a convertible.
It seemed, without a doubt, like the sexiest form of transportation anywhere. All the size, the power, the humming engine with it's impossible thousands of little barely-contained explosions, but the openness, the wind and the speed of a broomstick minus the slightly nauseating heights factor. If they lived, they had vowed to find a couple of (good-looking) Muggle boys with a cherry red Triumph and go driving as fast as they possibly could to it-wouldn't-matter-where. And they were witches, and there were Memory Charms, so if they wanted to actually stand up on the car and dance, they could.
16. She once posed nude.
When she first saw Colin snogging Demelza and realized he liked witches, she thought she was going to be sick. She'd only agreed to take off her clothes for a picture – any picture – because she'd believed him when he said he wasn't interested that way, that he just wanted a nude portrait for his portfolio to make it look more mature, and that she had beautiful lines. She'd even felt like it was something truly artistic and that they boy had real talent the way he'd done it…the dark room with the curtains parted just enough to let in the thinnest sliver of moonlight so that the final, motionless picture showed nothing but the opulent and almost abstract curves where it caught the very edge of her, everything else hidden completely in shadow. She was hurt, angry, betrayed, but then she thought back again, and her entire opinion of the boy – no, the young man – changed when she understood that he had actually been able to separate his art from his hormones. At sixteen.
17. She got her own revenge on Crabbe and Goyle.
She knew that she could never acknowledge what the men had done for her, and she didn't really want everyone knowing, but it still didn't feel right to just leave it. Her family was safe now, and she was truly grateful, and yet it somehow made her even more helpless than when she'd been choosing to remain silent about the abuse. She'd never imagined that Seamus would understand that as well as he did, much less that he wouldn't try to talk her out of it, but instead promised to help her find an opportunity. It was nothing drastic, just a gradual Shrinking Spell that would deduct one twentieth of an inch permanently every time the body parts in question were active, so to speak. But they were teenage boys, with their whole lives ahead of them, and she thus felt very satisfied indeed.
18. She was the best marksman in the D.A.
Maybe some of it, as Parvati had suggested, had to do with being able to subconsciously anticipate trajectory, or maybe she just had really fantastic eye-wand coordination, but she could hit the Snitch they often used for target practice nine out of ten times with her right hand and six out of ten with her left. And that was from all the way across the room. Before she started really training. By the time they were ready for battle, she simply didn't miss. When they got their assignments, she was furious not to have been given a tower post, but Terry, maddeningly logical as ever, pointed out that aim as an asset that was valuable anywhere, and that Gryffindors in general didn't do well in sideline positions. That she was willing to concede.
19. She wound up really falling for Seamus, but never told him.
The moment they got back together, she understood what the warning had really meant in third year, why it had so long ago struck her as such a terrible omen, even when Hermione had pointed out that it had nothing to do with Trelawney's prediction. Sometimes messages only came clear with time, but she heeded it all the same. The fox could still break her heart. He was so much more passionate than any other boy she'd ever known, not just physically, but emotionally. Lavender was accustomed to boys who were strong and silent, but there was just as much strength in the lyrical voice and the killer smile and the utter lack of any shame as he laughed and wept and spilled out every secret of his heart as if he couldn't imagine why not to. But that same openness also made it clear that he didn't love her back, and so she kept her mouth shut, because to tie him down would be to change him, and she didn't want to do that, ever, because she wouldn't ever want anyone doing it to her.
20. She was glad she died in the Battle of Hogwarts.
The first day Cecily moved, she laid her hand on Susan's stomach to feel it like every other girl in the Room of Requirement. But unlike any other girl, what passed beneath Lavender's fingers wasn't just the subtle flutter of an unborn child's movements. She was seized with a knowing in that moment that was stronger than any she'd ever had before, so strong and clear and absolute that she gasped aloud and yanked back. It was easy enough to pass off the reaction, and she was glad of that, because she didn't want to have to explain that it was beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would never meet that baby. It could only be one of two things: either she would die or Cecily would, either in a miscarriage or from Susan's own death. And when the teeth closed hot and sharp over her throat, there was one final knowing that came in wonderful relief: a little girl with her mother's smile and her father's eyes.