Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Major Events/Cho Chang
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Major Event|
|Cho Chang relationship|
|Time Period||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to the end of the series|
|Important Characters||Cho Chang, Cedric Diggory, Harry Potter, Michael Corner|
Cho Chang is a pretty Ravenclaw student who is a year ahead of Harry Potter. She becomes his first serious crush, and although she also appears attracted to him, she has already begun dating Cedric Diggory, a student in Hufflepuff, by the time Harry asks her out. That relationship tragically ends with Cedric's death at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
In the next book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix she begins a tentative relationship with Harry, although she is still grieving Cedric's death and is emotionally fragile. Their relationship endures several upsets, but finally ends after a dispute about Cho's friend, Marietta Edgecombe, who betrayed Dumbledore's Army. At the end of the book, Ginny reveals that Cho is now dating Michael Corner, Ginny Weasley's former boyfriend.
Harry becomes interested in Cho, who is a year older, when he sees her playing as Seeker for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.
Cho seems to reciprocate Harry's interest and patiently waits for him to make the first move. Harry finally works up the nerve to ask her to the Yule Ball, but she has already accepted an invitation from Cedric Diggory, although she seems to genuinely regret having to refuse Harry's invitation. Cho and Cedric are a couple for the remainder of the book, although occasionally, Cho may wistfully wonder what might have been with Harry. Cho and Cedric's relationship ends when he is murdered during the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament by Wormtail at Voldemort's command. She shows a great amount of bereavement at Cedric's death as she silently cries during Dumbledore's speech at the end of the year feast.
Cho tries to connect with Harry several times, possibly to ask about Cedric's final minutes. The first time, on the Hogwarts Express, she is thwarted by Neville's Mimbulus Mimbletonia, which has just coated Harry's compartment with stinksap. The second time, she is driven away by Ron, who accuses her of supporting a particular Quidditch team only because it is trendy. Finally, the two meet in the Owlery, when Harry is sending a message to Sirius. Harry is heartened when she supports him over an unjust accusation by Filch.
When Hermione convinces Harry to secretly teach real Defence Against the Dark Arts to students, as opposed to the nonsense Professor Umbridge is offering, Harry is stunned by how many want to study with him, but is heartened, and chooses to continue the group, largely because it includes Cho. After the initial meeting of the group, later called Dumbledore's Army, in the Hog's Head, Cho seems to want to stay and have a word with Harry, but her friend is impatient to leave. Hermione then comments that Cho could scarcely take her eyes off Harry all the time she was there, and Harry suddenly realizes just how beautiful Hogsmeade is.
During Harry's classes in the Room of Requirement, Cho gets rather flustered whenever Harry is around, messing up a simple Disarming jinx three times in a row. In the last lesson before Christmas break, Harry finds that Dobby has decorated the room with streamers, bobbles, and mistletoe. He manages to get the more embarrassing decorations removed, but there are still streamers and some mistletoe up when class starts. After class, Cho remains behind to have a few words about Cedric; she manages to maneuver herself and Harry under the mistletoe, and they kiss. Harry, later, in conversation with Ron and Hermione, says that it was very wet, because she had been crying; Hermione says Cho does that often, and inquires about how Harry behaved. Harry's attempts to comfort Cho receives lukewarm approval from Hermione.
When there is a Hogsmeade weekend on 14 February, Cho drops a few hints. Harry finally clues in and invites her to go to Hogsmeade with him. She accepts, and suggests Madam Puddifoot's tea shop as a good place to spend some time. Harry takes Cho to Madam Puddifoot's, but then is extremely disconcerted to find that it is full of snogging couples, deeply entangled in each other, and particularly dismayed to find that the only open table is adjacent to one occupied by Roger Davies, a handsome Ravenclaw student cut from the same mold as Cedric. Harry's dismay and confusion is increased by Cho's revelation that Roger had earlier asked Cho out; we believe that Cho had mentioned this either to make Harry jealous, or to try to let Harry know that she felt he was better than Roger somehow, but it has the wrong effect, making Harry feel even more inadequate in the face of the competition he is getting for Cho's favours. In the face of this discomfort, and Cho's insistence that Harry tell her more about how Cedric died, Harry is less than tactful when he has to excuse himself for a promised meeting with Hermione. Cho, incensed, storms off.
Cho, hurt, then does not pay any attention to Harry at dinner, or over the next few days. Hermione tells Harry that he was a bit tactless, making it sound as if he was going from Cho to another girl. Harry wonders at this, and Hermione explains that he should have made it sound as though he was reluctant to go see Hermione, but he had promised, and he would really like Cho to come too... Harry doesn't understand why he has to insult Hermione to compliment Cho.
However, when the interview with Harry appears in The Quibbler, an apparently repentant Cho comes up to Harry in the hall as he leaves Transfiguration, tells him that the interview was a really brave thing for him to do, and kisses him on the cheek before hurrying away again.
Their reconciliation does not last long, however. The next meeting of Dumbledore's Army is rudely interrupted by Dobby, with news that Umbridge has been told about the DA and is sending the Inquisitorial Squad to capture its members. It turns out that Dumbledore's Army was betrayed by Marietta Edgecombe, Cho's friend. After Dumbledore's departure, the next time Harry and Cho meet, Cho attempts to defend Marietta's actions, and says that Hermione's placing a jinx on that piece of parchment they had signed was really sneaky; Harry responds that it was not sneaky, it was brilliant. Cho and Harry stalk off in their separate directions, and do not speak again in this book.
On the Hogwarts Express headed back to London, Ginny tells Harry that Cho was now going out with Michael Corner. Ron is amazed at this, as he had thought Ginny was going out with Michael. Ginny says that he was upset that Gryffindor had won the final Quidditch match over Ravenclaw, and got all sulky, so Ginny had ditched him and he had run off to comfort Cho. Harry finds that he is not at all upset by this revelation.
Cho's character does not play a significant part in this book. We see her in passing a few times, usually fleeing from Harry's presence as quickly as possible, but Harry is no longer interested in her; he has become interested in someone else.
Cho returns to Hogwarts for the final battle against Voldemort after receiving a message from Neville Longbottom via the fake galleons Hermione charmed for Dumbledore's Army communications. She offers to take Harry to Ravenclaw Tower to show him a replica of Ravenclaw's lost diadem (a possible Horcrux) but is thwarted by Ginny Weasley, who volunteers Luna Lovegood in Cho's stead. Cho seems mildly disappointed by this.
Harry's relationship with Cho is his first real exploration of this sort of relationship, and features his first kiss, which no doubt will remain special to him despite being flavoured heavily with Cho's tears for Cedric. Luckily for him, it seems to have no lasting negative effect; Harry does not mourn his loss when she moves on.
Cho and Harry's relationship seems to show only that Harry is not yet really ready for a relationship, especially not one as demanding as this. However, it is preparation for his later relationships. For details on that, see Harry's Relationship article.
We are given no information whatsoever on Cho's relationship with Michael Corner. Our information shows Michael is either in Ginny Weasley's year, or more likely in Harry's year, so is two years, or more likely one year, younger than Cho. Whether this would indicate a general preference for younger boys on Cho's part is unknown.
Cho's relationship with Cedric is quite normal, as far as we can tell; the two of them are going out together, enjoying each other's company, though Cho seems to be somewhat wistful on occasion that she had not chosen Harry. We should recall here that Harry, though not yet being portrayed as The Chosen One, has not yet fallen on the bad side of the Ministry; he is The Boy Who Lived, and additionally he has somehow been chosen as the second Hogwarts Champion in the Triwizard Tournament, making him something of a catch. It is a little curious that Cho feels about him romantically, given that he is a year younger than her; girls do mature more quickly than boys at that stage, so we would expect Cho to be interested in boys older than herself.
Her eventual relationship with Harry, though, is not a healthy one. She is not prepared to move on from Cedric's death, and throughout the year, she continues to mourn him. As late as Christmas, Hermione tells us Cho is always weeping. It seems that what she wants from Harry is more of Cedric. She keeps asking Harry about Cedric, about how he died; she seems to see Harry as a source of more information about Cedric, almost as a surrogate Cedric. Harry does not want to deal with this; he feels that he at least partially caused Cedric's death, and going over the circumstances surrounding that only make him feel that guilt more sharply. What Cho needs at this point is someone who will be able to help her move on past Cedric; and Harry is not able to do that for her. The breakup in early March comes as more of a relief to him than anything else.
Why bring Cho into the story at all? The fact is that, as we enter the fourth book, Harry is maturing; he is getting to be of an age where boys start noticing girls (and vice versa). As such, it is important for him to have a love interest, but possibly it is too early for him to be connecting with Ginny, who is the girl he will eventually marry. At the risk of seeming coarse, the girl that Harry needs at this point, to keep our story moving ahead properly, is one who will put him off the whole idea of romance for a while, so that he will not get too distracted from his quest in the next few books. With the death of Cedric in Harry's presence, we have a ready-made candidate in Cedric's girlfriend. It is certain that at the age of sixteen, Cho will be unready to move on after Cedric's death; she will idolize her dead hero, and will want to try to keep his memory alive. Hermione very accurately limns the feelings Cho is having, after the Christmas meeting of Dumbledore's Army. Among other things, she still feels as though she might be disloyal to Cedric because she is going out with Harry. One thing Hermione does not mention, because Harry has not mentioned it to her, is Cho's continual pestering of Harry for details about Cedric. We can see that this is an attempt by Cho to stay close to Cedric, to learn more about him, perhaps as a way to offset the guilt she feels about going out with his competitor. Of course, Harry is deeply disturbed by this concentration on Cedric, in part because of his role in Cedric's death, and in part because he has always felt inadequate compared to Cedric. Cho's dwelling on Cedric and his abilities deems to be pointing up Harry's shortcomings, and the suggestion that there is still competition for Cho's affections, in the form of Roger Davies, disquiets Harry still further. Cho is thus ideally placed to be set aside after one final climactic spat, and Harry can move on with no regrets.
It is a point of interest to the student that Cho is being set up for this role as early as the middle of book 3. The author has clearly planned out the details of the plot line sufficiently by the middle of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to know that for narrative reasons, Harry will need a temporary love interest two years later, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and expends the effort to create the necessary ground work for that love interest.