Alright, so Lavender could be a bit silly. After all, she spent the vast majority of the Harry Potter series giggling at various things, gossiping about Hogwarts peers, swooning over centaurs and somehow trying to legitimise the famously ‘woolly’ subject of Divination. This might make Lavender seem a bit irksome (and her relationship with Ron did nothing to help this), but come on, at the end of the day, she was a teenage girl doing teenage things.
Lavender joined Dumbledore’s Army under no other pretext than wanting to learn Defence Against the Dark Arts from Harry, showing she was so much more than just a giggling girl at the back of class. Although she was initially sceptical of Harry and his story about Voldemort’s return at the beginning of their fifth year, she clearly wanted to learn how to defend herself properly, and wasn’t one of the judgemental members to quiz Harry while forming the club. She was there to learn how to truly defend herself in the dark days of Lord Voldemort – not to mention Professor Umbridge.
Poor Lavender didn’t stand a chance when she was unwittingly caught in the middle of Ron and Hermione’s blossoming relationship. If you think about it from her perspective, all she knew was that she liked Ron and that, for a time, the feeling was mutual. While Hermione was upset about the new relationship, it was Ron, not Lavender, that had repeatedly hurt Hermione, such as their bust-up at the Yule Ball or any of their other many rows that hindered them starting a relationship first.
Sure, Lavender was a bit tactless when it came to Hermione, such as laughing along when Ron made fun of her, but perhaps we can put this down to being young and immature.
Speaking of young and immature, Lavender and Ron’s relationship was hideously saccharine. We’re not going to make up any excuses for the giant golden necklace or the constant PDAs, but we will say this: from what we can gather, Ron was her first-ever boyfriend (after going to the Yule Ball with Seamus, where it didn’t look like much blossomed), so she might have been too swept up in the romance of it all to realise she was grossing out her friends. Also, where did Ron stand in this? He knew he was meant to be going with Hermione to Slughorn’s party, and then was suddenly snogging Lavender. Again, not Lavender’s fault.
What Lavender absolutely did not deserve was for her new boyfriend to pretend to be in a coma when she dutifully went to visit him every day, so he wouldn’t have to do the courageous Gryffindor thing of breaking it off with her gently. Of course she’d be upset and angry! But while she was presented as somewhat hysterical, Ron got away scot-free with a couple of funny quips. Someone send him a Howler on behalf of badly treated girlfriends everywhere.
‘Why don’t you ditch her if you want to finish it?’ asked Harry.
‘You haven’t ever chucked anyone, have you?’ said Ron. ‘You and Cho just –’
‘Sort of fell apart, yeah,’ said Harry.
‘Wish that would happen with me and Lavender,’ said Ron gloomily, watching Hermione silently tapping each of his misspelled words with the end of her wand, so that they corrected themselves on the page. ‘But the more I hint I want to finish it, the tighter she holds on. It’s like going out with the Giant Squid.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Lavender was among those to hide out in the Room of Requirement and fight at the Battle of Hogwarts – which was, if you recall, a diversion so that Harry, Ron and Hermione could find that last Horcrux and destroy Voldemort once and for all. That’s right: despite everything, Lavender fought for her ex-boyfriend, who frankly treated her appallingly, not to mention his mates. And she might have even lost her life! Another disservice to Lavender was that, even though we’d known her since she became the first-ever Gryffindor from Harry’s year, we never even found out if she recovered from Fenrir Greyback’s attack, but instead were simply left with this:
‘NO!’ shrieked Hermione, and with a deafening blast from her wand Fenrir Greyback was thrown backwards from the feebly stirring body of Lavender Brown.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Lavender and Parvati were such staunch supporters of Professor Trelawney, despite a lot of evidence pointing to Sybill being a bit of a fraudster (aside from one or two legitimate prophecies). Nonetheless, the girls hung onto her every word and comforted her when she was fired from her position, even bringing her flowers (not honking ones; nice ones). Bearing all of this in mind, wasn’t Trelawney sort of like Lavender and Parvati’s Hagrid? They supported her although they probably realised she was being a little silly, and paid the most attention in her classes while their peers were rolling their eyes. Essentially, they were good students and friends to their professor, no matter what the rest of us make of her.
So there you have it. Even though she liked to snog Ron, discuss horoscopes during Defence Against the Dark Art lessons and harboured a crush on a centaur, Lavender Brown was a true Gryffindor hero through and through.