[A/N: If you know anything about me, you'll know that I love to write about art in its many varied forms. That's what this chapter will be about; the artistic talents of Lavender Brown and the Patil Twins as well as Astoria Greengrass and Luna Lovegood.]

Chapter 39: What Happens Next – Part 6: The Artists

Lavender and Parvati interned with Twilfit and Tattings in Diagon Alley after they both completed their OWLs during the summer between fifth and sixth years. The owners of the clothier shop were impressed by the raw talent of both girls and encouraged them to experiment during the slow points of the workday using mannequins in the rear of the shop. When they graduated from Hogwarts, they, along with Padma, put their heads together to decide what they wanted to do both in the short and long term. While her sister and Lavender were planning and checking out the information packets they'd picked up from the Department of Education and the Muggle Liaison Office, Padma happened across a fashion trade magazine with an article on a school in Southern California called the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

"Hey, check this out," Padma dropped the magazine on the table in front of them.

Lavender turned it so she could read it out loud, "The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) is a private for-profit college with multiple campuses in California. It offers degree programs in majors including fashion, entertainment, beauty, interior design, and graphic design."

Parvati's eyes grew wide, "Whoa! I wonder what that would be like? Ooh, Padma they even offer a degree in business administration," she exclaimed, pointing a finger at the listings.

"But do we have the qualifications to go to this school? It's muggle, right?"

So after consulting with Minerva and subsequently the Ministry, the trio worked their hardest to learn muggle terminology, culture, educational requirements and a host of other things to pass themselves off as British educational exchange students. Whenever Lavender or Parvati got stressed, Padma reminded both that there would always be some things that could just be passed off as something from their home country and culture that just didn't translate well to American life.

In the fall of September 2000, Lavender Brown and the Patil Twins boarded a flight on British Airways accompanied by a Muggle Liaison Officer to help with Customs and flew to Los Angeles International Airport where they were met by the American counterpart for the MLO. From there, they were shown around the school and registered into the residential building they'd be living in until they graduated.

Financially, they didn't have to worry because all three girls impressed their parents with their collective determination and drive to see this venture completed successfully. As such, both sets of parents funded their college education with the proviso that they lived frugally and stay out of trouble. Seeing as how busy they were in class, neither one of the trio believed that staying out of trouble would be a problem.

Their days were spent in class and on the occasional field trip learning the various intricacies of the fashion industry. Lavender remarked once that the two of them only thought they knew what they were doing when sketching out and making their own clothes and it really drove the point home that what they learned back home was nothing in comparison to the muggle world. Topics in their classes included but weren't limited to: Studying the fashion trends and anticipate designs that would appeal to consumers, deciding on a theme for a collection, using computer-aided design (CAD) programs to create designs (that was a tough one for both of them since they were used to working by hand), visiting manufacturers or trade shows to get samples of fabric (they loved the trade shows. Many a squealing was heard), selecting fabrics, embellishments, colors, or a style for each garment or accessory (Padma had to go with them to make sure they completed their trips on time otherwise they'd be like a Ravenclaw in a library or bookstore and spend longer than necessary), working with other designers or team members to create prototype designs, presenting design ideas to creative directors or showcase their ideas in fashion or trade shows, marketing designs to clothing retailers or to consumers, and overseeing the final production of their designs (Padma took pictures of the looks on their faces when their first production piece 'rolled off the assembly line' for posterity, or blackmail though she refused to admit it.)

The trio were sitting around the dining table eating their dinner of roasted chicken and mixed vegetables. Lavender was perusing a trade magazine; Parvati was reading her notes while Padma was staring out the window. All in all, it was a tranquil scene broken only by the minute sounds of cutlery tapping on the dishes.

"We got some free time coming up this weekend," Padma idly commented, "Either of you want to go sightseeing?"

Lavender pushed away the magazine and nodded thoughtfully, "It would be nice to get away from the dorms and see what this new land has to offer. Any suggestions?"

"How about the beach? When was the last time that we could go to the beach and wear what we wanted and not what our society deemed 'appropriate?" Parvati queried.

Lavender turned her big brown eyes onto her friend with a sly smile forming on her lips, "Oh? And is there a specific outfit you were hoping to wear to the beach, Miss Patil?" Parvati blushed deeply and giggled.

"Yeah, I made it a couple of nights ago. Compared to what we're used to, it's positively scandalous!"

"I've got to see this, go put it on," Lavender urged so Parvati jumped up and scampered from the room.

She came back a few moments later wearing what could generously be called a 'bathing suit.' It had enough fabric to cover what was necessary but left a lot on display… at least to their conservatively-raised eyes. Both Padma and Lavender's jaws were scraping the floor.


Parvati was grinning from ear to ear, "I know, right? It's a heck of a lot more daring than what you'd find back home but still not even close to what the other girls would consider risqué."

Padma's eyes were practically bugging out, "What do you mean, not risqué? You left your arms, legs and midriff open to the elements. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that you were just wearing your knickers."

Parvati went back to her room and retrieved a book on historical swimwear then opened it up to a bookmarked page, "I wanted to test the waters, so to speak so I started with the 1960s era which was the start of the bikini style swimwear. Granted, compared to what some of our house mates here wear to the pool, it's actually rather tame but for us; it would allow us to get used to the idea of stepping out of our comfort zones, you know?"

Lavender fingered the material as she nodded her approval, "I like it. It allows for a wide range of movement, it's still stylish even though it's dated. After all, not everyone would be willing to wear those pitiful scraps that could generously be called 'swimwear.'"

When they got the time, the trio apparated to a secure spot near the world famous Santa Monica beach and spent the day lazing on the beach soaking up the sun, checking out the boys and watching to see what everyone was wearing. Afterwards, they donned some shorts, a light shirt and sandals to go walk along the boardwalk and pier. Before heading back, Lavender suggested they pick up something to eat from one of the take-away places since they'd be too tired to cook when they got home. As they walked around the beachfront, each of them took mental notes as to what everyone was wearing, the condition in which they appeared to be and all the other little factors that they'd learned about in school. It amazed each of them separately just how much information could be gleaned just from observation.

"Now, I think I'm starting to understand the Slytherin mindset of blending into the background to watch and learn," Parvati mentioned later as they were heading back to the apparition point.

After they got home and dropped off their stuff in their respective rooms, Lavender got into the shower first to scrub off the day's grime and sweat. She heard the bathroom door open but didn't think anything of it. She heard a bit of giggling then the shower curtain slid aside to permit her to see an equally naked and smugly grinning Parvati standing before her.

"Um, Parv? This shower is occupied, you're gonna have to wait your turn."

Parvati shook her head and held a finger up to her lips, "Let's save water by showering together like we did back in Hogwarts." She grabbed the washcloth and soap and began soaping up Lavender's back and bum. Lavender's eyes slowly closed and she moaned lightly at the feeling of being washed.

"Oh, damn girl, why do you…"

"Shhh… don't let Padma hear you."

Lavender turned and leveled her gaze upon her best friend, "You do know that I'm straight?"

Parvati was unconcerned, "You do realize that we've been best friends for years and frankly I don't care? I'm not suggesting that we try to get married or some such thing but we should at least enjoy each other." With that said, Parvati closed the distance between the two and planted a steamy kiss on her best friend's lips.

When the pair finally got out of the shower, they found out just how much Padma had overheard. "You two are gross."

The pair were in their Adobe Illustration Software class when Lavender's ears picked up the sound of one of her classmates struggling to get her tablet to work right, "You're having a problem?"

Her classmate grumbled, "Yeah, stupid thing has a glitch somewhere."

"Which computer are you using?"

Her classmate glanced around furtively, "It's um…called a Potioneer's Assistant."

Lavender beamed, "Oh, that's no problem! I've got one too. Here, let me see what I can do. Show me where you've been having problems." The computer was slid over and the glitch demonstrated. Lavender nodded and explained that Adobe sometimes had this problem, especially with the early models of the PA and that there was a patch online that updated the driver. She popped online, downloaded the fix and used an administrator password that she remembered from Harry and installed it easy-peasy.

Her classmate watched in awe, "How did you get into the administrator page?"

Lavender grinned, "I know the guy who invented the PA. I went to a private boarding school with him back in Scotland."

The girl's widened greatly as she whispered, "You went to Hogwarts?"

Now it was Lavender's turn for raised eyebrows, "You know?"

"I have a cousin who went there. Her name's Penelope Clearwater."

Lavender's mouth dropped open in stupefied surprise.

The trio were hosting their respective parents for the week after their graduation and the topic of where they wanted their shop to be located inevitably came up for discussion. Since neither set of adults knew very much about the muggle world let alone Southern California, questions were raised about moving back to Magical Britain.

"Mum, that's not a feasible idea. We might as well cast an Obliviation charm on ourselves for all the good that would do. Magical Britain is just so far out of touch with modern fashion and clothing manufacturing that it would be easier for us to flap our arms and fly to the moon," Padma gently explained.

"Really? I had no idea, things seem so cozy after all."

"Well, therein lays the problem. Magical Britain is just too small to hold anything larger in terms of industry. I mean, the biggest industry there is Ogden's Firewhiskey or Abermerta's Butterbeer and combined they wouldn't even fill up a medium-sized warehouse here. Nearly all clothing is handmade or imported from the muggle world. We'd rather just bypass 'the middleman' as they say and just work here, wherever here may be."

Sanjeep Patil was observing things out the window, "What about opening a shop here on this street? It's a busy location, easy access to suppliers, the weather is wonderful."

"And incredibly expensive for a brand-new shop to open in."

In the end, they figured that they'd have to start somewhere less than ideal (Parvati really wanted to open on Rodéo Drive) then hopefully move up in the world. After a bit of scouting, Padma being the most frugal and conscientious of the group, found and alerted the other two to a moderate-sized fashion shopping center in the town of Northridge just north of the railroad tracks between the north/south streets of Tampa and Corbin Avenue and the east/west streets of Plummer Street and Nordhoff Boulevard. The center had reasonable rental rates, the neighborhood was growing, and there were a couple of schools nearby and the weather as always in Southern California was perfect.

In the early days of August 2004, the moderately high-end fashion boutique called, 'Provoke Couture' opened for business. Their motto, "If your clothes aren't becoming to you, then you should be coming to us." They had split the shop into two sections with the special section in the back warded off and space-expanded for those magically-inclined clients to get a special and personal fitting. The clothes were locally manufactured, reasonably priced and never gave the impression of being 'slutty or risqué.' Lavender and Parvati were proud to say that their clothing line was the perfect outfit to wear around town, meet your friends and not be embarrassed to be seen wearing by your grandparents. You never had to tug your hemlines up or down if you moved and yet were stylish to turn heads.

In April of 2005, they received an email from Headmistress McGonagall requesting their help in redesigning the school uniforms and immediately leapt at the chance. Minerva sent over the budget and design constraints and said that everything else was open for discussion. They immediately put their education to use and came up the uniforms. The basic thin cable knit, knee length tunic top was the same basic style with the exception of the cut for the male and female forms. There was a fifteen and a quarter centimeter long high/low hemline to give the hint of the dress robes of old for the girls and a straight hemline for the boys. It had long sleeves with ribbed, elastic cuffs; a cowl neckline with two closure buttons in pearl and a detachable hood for inclement weather and was made from locally sourced Scottish wool.

The center panel was separated from the cowl with a six millimeter wide black border and the only difference in design in that the wool was dyed the color of the House it was destined for and had two zippered pockets on the left and right hand side as well. There were a standard three pocket trousers for both genders and an optional two pocket, pleated calf-length skirts for girls. The school shirts were made from a cotton/polyester blend and had an upright button point collar, a single left breast pocket over which the House emblem was affixed. Because Hogwarts was in Scotland, Lavender jokingly suggested that they design a kilt for special occasions too. Unsurprisingly, Minerva thought that was a wonderful idea and heartily approved it so they included that into the packet.

The new uniforms were introduced at the start of the year in January 2006 to great acclaim. The new tunics were warm and cozy. Everyone wore them with pride knowing that they'd been designed by three beloved and artistic alumni: Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil of Gryffindor House and Padma Patil of Ravenclaw.

[A/N: Next up in the artist's lineup is Astoria Greengrass and Luna Lovegood. If you remember they're the two leading members of the school rock band known as 'Unicorn Armada.' Funny story, I looked online to see if maybe there really was a band with the same name. Well, there's not but there is a Hasbro Transformer toy with a similar sounding name. Funny what you can find when doing research, eh?]

Luna Lovegood graduated from Hogwarts in June of 1999 with Astoria Greengrass a year later. During that year apart, Luna worked for her father as a reporter covering the music beat of Magical and Non-magical Britain. She visited a lot of the smaller pubs during open-mic night interviewing the bands and their managers under the guise of writing an article for an upcoming newspaper article. While partially true, she was also scouting locations for the band that she was the lead guitarist in, Unicorn Armada.

When Astoria finally graduated, they reformed the band when their original drummer suddenly decided that she didn't want to travel so much. Now armed with a new drummer and a renewed drive for bringing quality music to the starved masses; they hit many of the same pubs that Luna had scouted the year previously. They stuck with playing muggle cover songs whenever they swung into non-magical Britain with the occasional magically titled rock ballads. The best received was 'Odo the Hero' strangely enough. They did hit a rough patch for several months as audience tastes changed and they had to start playing at the seedier pubs just to make ends meet. As a last ditch gig, they took an open spot to play at an Indie Rock charity concert at Wembley Stadium where they were scouted by EMI Records who liked their style and music.

"It's an unusual blend of rock with something I've never heard before. It's fresh and different and exactly what we're looking for," the scout explained as he handed over a couple of beers to each of them.

Astoria glanced over at Luna who had her eyes partially lidded, "Lu? What do you See?"

Luna stayed silent for a few more minutes before subtly nodded her acceptance of the scout's offer. "Sir, you have a deal. What's the next step?"

The next step involved hiring a solicitor who had experience working with musical contracts. Luna suggested that they get in contact with their Goblin manager first to see if they had any ideas. Unfortunately, music was one of a few areas the Goblins had no experience with. "I mean, we could look over the contract but any of the industry specifics would just pass right over our heads as well as yours."

On the suggestion of Astoria's older sister Daphne, they got in contact with the manager for the Weird Sisters to solicit his help in finding a lawyer who could help negotiate a viable contract. As a favor to the newest graduates of their old alma mater, he agreed to look over the contract in exchange for a minor allowance of 1 Galleon to satisfy the Rules of Bargaining. Luna, being the consummate negotiator, talked him down to 28 Sickles. The manager stared at her before laughingly agreed. Their bassist leaned in and asked why that was so funny. "Because she was so innocent looking trying to knock off one Sickle below a Galleon." The others glanced at the girl who smirked and shrugged, "I negotiated. No one said I had to be successful or ruthless."

Regardless, the contract was hammered out and signed. From that inauspicious beginning, Unicorn Armada began their meteoric superstardom rise to the top playing in larger and heavily promoted venues. Their sweet, light-hearted voices and catchy cover songs were a big hit amongst the 9-15 year old tween/young teen girl ranges. They were proud of the fact that not one of the songs they played ever had any swear words or referenced violence, drugs or alcohol.

Their first release, "My Heart Dances" debuted at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the issue dated July 26, 2002 and peaked at number 13. The song also reached the top ten of the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 charts, peaking at numbers 9 and 5 respectively. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 4, 2002 and passed the one million sales mark later on in the same month. As of December 2002, it had sold over 1.1 million copies in the United States alone. "My Heart Dances" also peaked at number 6 on the Australian singles chart and was certified double platinum in the country.

In 2005, they were invited to perform live at the Coachella Music Festival in the Coachella Valley, Indio County, California. The weather was clear and promised to be another scorcher for the festival attendees.

"Thank you everyone for attending this years Coachella Music Festival!" Astoria cheered through the microphone, "Are you ready to rock?" The crowd cheered and roared back, "Well, let's see what you make of our new song, 'One, Two, Three, Go!'"

The drummer started the beat. Luna picked up with her guitar as her fingers flashed across the strings. It was fast and upbeat. The song described a boy and a girl who both desire to be noticed in a style that would be repeated later by Echosmith's 'Cool Kids' and Taylor Smith's 'Shake it off.' Astoria bounced and cheerfully danced as she spun the tale:

"Just tell me everything you feel, I want you to try!"

(The band sang the chorus together) "One, Two, Three, Go!"

"Don't lie to me, tell me and be true. You know what I want,"

"One, Two, Three, Go!"

The following year, Unicorn Armada released their second hit 'Destination Unknown.' It was their first foray into a different genre than their fans were normally used to. It blended hip-hop with electronic house music. It entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 18 on 18 March 2007 on downloads alone and eventually peaked at No. 4. It also reached No. 1 on the UK Dance Chart, No. 3 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, and No. 2 on the Irish Singles Chart.

Luna and Astoria quietly announced their relationship to each other and the musical world reacted by collectively saying, "Meh…" which kind of surprised the girls as well as their bandmates. For someone who was raised in the conservative Victorian-era morality, it was a revelation that their fans and industry could be so open-minded. They moved in together and things were rock-solid for a long time. They continued to write music and they never fell for the 'party like a rockstar' lifestyle. By 2015, the other band members were starting to make noise about moving on, saying that their fanbase had grown up and that it was getting difficult to come up with relevant topics. After a heartfelt sitdown conversation, it was decided that an amicable split was the way to go.

In 2009, Astoria and Luna had made headlines when they adopted a baby girl and named her Ariel after Luna conned Astoria into watching the 1989 Disney movie 'The Little Mermaid.' (Astoria had been trying to come up with the title for their upcoming song release.) They brought her home and gave their new daughter a life of light, song and love. When Ariel turned two, they inadvertently discovered that their little love was a witch when the tot magically caused her favorite stuffed pig to float into her tiny arms.

"Well, that just happened," Astoria blithely commented as she watched her daughter start singing to her pig.

"Yeah, it does answer a few things like when the last party we went to and the vegetables suddenly turned into pudding," Luna replied and giggled at the memory.

After the band broke up in 2015, Luna went on to become a special correspondent writer for Billboard Music Magazine while Astoria managed their finances and merchandising. They both shared in the duties of raising Ariel. After living on the move while in the band, both women decided it was time to lay down roots and establish a permanent home for their daughter. When they were deciding on where they wanted to live, Luna pulled out their 'Book of Everything Notable.'

"I think we should go somewhere other than London; everyone goes to London," Luna commented as she flipped slowly through the listings, "How about Aigburgh in Liverpool?"

Astoria made an interested noise, "Possible. It would be nice to live in the same city that produced The Beatles. What does the Book say?"

"Ahem, Aigburth: Considered to be one of the best places to live in the UK in general, Aigburth can be classified as a more villagey, boho type of area. This is where people can enjoy craft markets, birds chirping in the parks and overall peaceful life, while still being well connected to the rest of the region. There is a station that goes to Liverpool Moorfields every 10/15 minutes and many other bus lines that you can use, as well. There are a couple of good schools, as well, so if you are a family person, you shouldn't worry about your kids' education."

"Well, that's good. Keep going."

"Due to the high demand in recent years, a lot of grand Victorian houses have been turned into flats in order to fit more people but there are still plenty of properties that you can buy. An average 3 bedroom semi-detached house is around £325,000."

"Well, we can easily afford that thanks to our savings and the royalties we're still getting from merchandise and record sales," Astoria replied, tapping her finger to her chin. Ariel came bouncing into the room wearing one of their oversized hot yellow band shirts. "Please tell me you're wearing something underneath that, Ariel."

"Uh-huh." She lifted the hem to show off her favorite pair of flaming pink Hawaiian print drawstring shorts.

Luna giggled at their fashion challenged daughter, "What are you looking for, munchkin?"

"I'm hungry."

Astoria plucked a banana out of the bowl on the counter, "Here, munch on this. Dinner will be in a couple of hours."

Ariel grumbled her okay and ran back out of the kitchen. The pair glanced at each other and snorted their amusement at their child's reaction, "Oh, she's going to be so much fun when she turns eleven."

"How so? When she reaches that age, we'll just ship her off to Hogwarts and let them deal with her."

Astoria maintained a healthy and loving relationship with Daphne and her family so when Ariel was 8, the Lovegood-Greengrass family got on a plane and flew out to Maui to spend the Christmas holidays with their cousins. After a short amount of hesitation Ariel's part (triplets were a new concept for her), she was quickly integrated into the Longbottoms Triplet dynamic and led down to the beach for some sand and surf. Nelly was the one to teach Ariel how to boogie board then later Lia showed off her favorite plants. Charlie brought out her guitar and practically dragged Aunt Luna away to show off how much she'd been practicing by copying their songsheets.

Astoria laughed at the sight of Luna being led by the hand of a determined 8 year old Charlie while Daphne yelled at her to behave herself.

"Who are you telling to behave themselves, Luna or Charlie?"

Daphne shrugged, "Either. Both. Doesn't matter, I fulfilled my motherly duties. So how's life?"

It was a sunny April morning in 2020 when an owl arrived on the windowsill of their kitchen and tapped on the glass. Luna opened it and took the letter from the bird, "There's fresh water and treats in the tray there." She was curious as to what had been sent, knowing that the wards had been sent to redirect any owls from fans to their manager and only letting ones from friends and family through. The Hogwarts seal on the flap told her everything, "Oh, dear…"

Ariel's screaming in joy and celebration could be heard all the way down the street.

Tuesday 1 September 2020, Platform 9 ¾ Hogwarts Express

"Oi, Lovegood!" Luna turned with an amused smirk on her face as Harry came striding up, "How's it going, Lu?"

She waved her hand in Ariel's direction. The stubborn girl was adamant that she could load her own trunk, thank you very much!

"Pretty much sums up my morning, too." Harry chuckled in shared commiseration, "I don't remember being that stubborn at their age."

"Oh, the things we forget as we age, how are you Harry? Hermione?" Hermione had just walked up with Remi in tow.

"Hello, Luna. Where's Astoria?"

"She got mobbed by a couple of fans a little ways back. I wanted to make sure that Ariel got on board then I'll go rescue my wife." She eyed the fact that there were more than the usual amount of Potters on hand, "Did you have more children or am I just miscounting?"

Harry laughed lightly, "No, Dobby wanted to make the trip like any other first year." Dobby lifted the brim of his cap and proudly beamed at her. Luna cocked her head questioningly. "After I obtained my lordship, I fulfilled my promise to make all of my elves family members. Dobby the house-elf is now Dobby Potter as is Goofy Potter, Jelly Potter et al."

"Wow, that's quite an accomplishment. Congratulations, Dobby Potter."

Dobby bowed, "Thank you, Mrs. Lovegood-Greengrass."

Luna's eyes perked up again, "And you no longer speak in the old way?"

Hermione held up a finger, "It's part of the MSPECW education program to help elves integrate into the society. In the program they're taught how to speak in modern English plus reading, writing, mathematics and have the option of learning a new trade or go onto Hogwarts if they so desire. Dobby wanted to go to Hogwarts."

Luna beamed happily at Dobby, "Then I wish you luck with your quest for knowledge, Dobby Potter."

After giving her farewells to the Potters, Luna went in search of and found Astoria still signing autographs and chatting with some of the parents as they loaded their sprogs onto the train, "Hey, hon. You ready?"

Astoria finished up and gave Luna a kiss, "Yeah, let's go home."