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25 August 2003 @ 08:45 am
Harry and Cho in OotP  
There are a lot of people that were annoyed by Cho's behaviour when around Harry in OotP.

However, I think Harry was much more annoying and Cho's reactions were much more understandable.

Let's take a look at Cho's situation at the beginning of OotP: She is a sixth-year, in Ravenclaw and on the Quidditch team. She had one boyfriend that we know of, Cedric, the Hufflepuff Kepper and one of the Triwizard Champions. Even before the end of OotP she seems to at least like Harry, she was never anything but nice to him.

Now Harry returns from the graveyard with her boyfriend's dead body at the end of the Triwizard Tournament - which was supposed to be as safe as possible. Dumbledore and Harry say Voldemort killed Cedric and Cho believes it. However, she does not hear a word from him over the holidays. Cho maybe reads the Daily Prophet which says Harry has lost his mind.

However, she doesn't believe them. When we meet her at the beginning of OotP, she is nice to Harry, supports him, just seems very confused by her feelings.

Her confusion is understandable. Here is the boy that saw her boyfriend die, the one that claims something noone else seems to believe and especially the ones for which she thinks she is developing feelings for; for which she might have had feelings even before Cedric died. This also causes guilt, as she thinks she is dishonouring Cedric.

I won't even bother here with Ron's attack on her chosen Quidditch team here, by the way. That was clearly out of line, but that was Ron's fault.

Dumbledore's Army is formed. And then comes the infamous last lesson before the Christmas break (OotP, p. 402 f., British children's edition). Harry stays behind a bit to get a 'Merry Christmas' from her. Only fair. Cho begins to cry. Somehow, she begins to think about Cedric, which is normal for someone who lost someone; you can't control when the memories come back.

By the next paragraph, we can already assume that Harry doesn't like this situation and wants to get out. He ought to have known. She wanted to talk about Cedric. He says there was no chance to survive for him and she answers that he survived. Also fair enough. But instead of saying that his mother saved him, which sho might have understood, he shrugs it off.

And he turns to go.

I think it's time for a 'What the fuck?' He supposedly loves this girl, she stands there crying and he wants to leave. The only thing I can blame her for in this situation is that she kisses him instead of slapping him. If she had wanted to be alone, she would have hid her crying.

And then this sentence: He'd have been so pleased with just a 'Merry Christmas'. Not one for taking the good and the bad in a relationship - arguments that he is still young don't apply, I think. He should know that a bit of comforting should be in order. Well, at least he feels heartless about saying he wants to forget and not talk about how Cedric died.

Cho realises his awkwardness and tries to change the topic. Harry responds mono-syllabic and really wants to get out. Then she points out the mistletoe and later they kiss. Not horribly un-romantic, IMHO. I think it did help her.

Common room. Ron says "What sort of person cries while someone is kising them." Harry's reply? "Yeah, who does?"

Excuse me. If that isn't one of the most insensitive things I have ever read this boy saying I don't know what is. And even as Hermione explains it to him, he doesn't really realise what he's been doing wrong.

Next scene in question: Valentine's Day (page 493 ff.). He doesn't get her a card or something, but well, they don't yet have a real relationship.

The date starts alright, they talk about Quidditch and so on.

Then the catastrophe begins. Harry says that he is meeting Hermione soon and whether she wants to tag along. And that it wouldn't matter to Hermione if Cho came along. Oh, how nice..., but shouldn't this be the other way around? What happened to asking your date whether it would matter to them if you met someone else with them? Okay, Harry isn't experienced with dating. Still, tact is not exactly his strength. Cho of course leashes out with sarcasm at that. Can anyone really blame her? But Harry somehow still doesn't get it.

So she tries to get him to do something. Granted, trying to make him jealous was not the best course of action.

Why she tells about Cedric next could have various reasons. It could just be that she is reminded of him because he took her there last Valentine's Day and wants to talk to someone about him. It could be because she knows Harry doesn't want to talk about him. And it could be because she was looking for something to talk about with him and that's the first thing that comes to her mind.

Harry gets annoyed with her. And he does the worst thing he could do - again tring to completly change the subject instead of comforting her. She begins to cry. Considering how she must be feeling not too surprising.

And again he does the worst: Mention Hermione. And then laughing in her face (it must look like that to her).

Cho runs out and so ends their first and last date.

And the next time we see Harry and Cho, Cho tells him she would have never though her friend would sell them out. He doesn't respond, so she tries to defend her friend. And Harry screams at her. Then she makes what I admit is a mistake: blaming Hermione.

Next time we see Cho she is dating Roger Davies.

All in all, I say Harry acts very selfish when it comes to Cho. He wants to be with her, but isn't prepared to deal with the fact that she might need someone that helps her a bit. He gives her reason to believe he likes Hermione much more than her and that he doesn't want to be with her when she is sad. So I am much more annoyed with him than with her.

Comments?
 
 
 
verstehen on August 25th, 2003 12:12 am (UTC)
I'm getting the impression that the only reason you dislike Harry's actions here comes from either a bias against Harry himself, or that Harry is far more concerned about Harry than Cho.

Um, bear in mind that his only experience with females really comes from Hermione, Ginny, Aunt Petunia and more recently Luna. He's completely out of his depth when dealing with a normal relationship, without all the baggage that Cho brings.

Add to that the way that sometimes it feels as if Cho is projecting Cedric onto Harry (hero to hero) and his behaviour isn't all that unreasonable. He isn't a mind-reader. He's fifteen and speaks to outside of a student-teacher relationship a total of about five women on a semi-regular basis. He's not the bastard here, just as Cho isn't the bitch. They're both working under wrong assumptions. That's a fairly human condition.
Eilaneilanhp on August 25th, 2003 12:32 am (UTC)
Busted *g* Yes, I am biased against Harry in the way that I dislike him to begin with. However, I think that even someone who has had this few experiences socially could have reacted better.

For instance, I don't think the way he behavesis the worst, but that even when Hermione explains it to him (twice, once in the common room and again after Valentine's Day), he doesn't seem to want to understand her. No, he's not a bastard. But he's also not genuinly interested in any kind of relationship if there are problems.

What really gets me is the fact that fandom seems to demonize Cho because she cries a lot. Why shouldn't she? I don't get it...
verstehen on August 25th, 2003 12:43 am (UTC)
I think it really fits the pattern though. In all of those relationships with women, they're making the effort. Hermione reaches out to him, Ginny reaches out to him, etc. So when Cho reaches out to him and then seemingly expects Harry to immediately understand and know what to do with her grief, she lets him carry the ball. He's never had to do that.

Also the different ways of dealing with grief comes into play. Harry is very fatalistic about death. He's always been surrounded by it. So he's able to move on, Cho isn't. I don't think it's that he doesn't want to understand, I think it is that he can't. Especially since he didn't have the connection to Cedric that Cho did.

His reaction isn't all that uncommon either. Go to a funeral. Watch the spouses or boy/girlfriends there for "moral support." People don't know how to react to others while grieving. It makes people uncomfortable. I don't think you can fault him for that.

Nor do I think you can fault Cho for grieving. It just seems like making a mountain out of a molehill here with Harry in particular.
Eilan: Hogwartseilanhp on August 25th, 2003 02:07 am (UTC)
"Also the different ways of dealing with grief comes into play. Harry is very fatalistic about death. He's always been surrounded by it. So he's able to move on, Cho isn't."

I don't think you can say that. When Sirius dies, he isn't able to move on.

"People don't know how to react to others while grieving. It makes people uncomfortable. I don't think you can fault him for that. "

The thing I really fault him for is that on the one hand he wants to be with her and on the otehr hand he doesn't want to deal with the issues she had and then itsuddenly is Cho's fault. It isn't. They are very dffernt personalities and for Cho it was logical to react as she did (not saying it is logical for everyone- but for a person wit these feelings it is).

"It just seems like making a mountain out of a molehill here with Harry in particular."

Yeah, I know I sound extreme when it comes to Harry. But between my dislike for him and my sympathy for Cho I can't help but defend her to death.
verstehen on August 25th, 2003 02:20 am (UTC)
You're making the situation about 'I'm right, you're wrong' as if one or the other deserves a prize for winning. They're both human, both reactions are logical and neither are bastardly. I think you're letting an unreasonable bias get in the way from seeing both sides. Harry isn't being a bastard here. Nor is Cho being a bitch. You can't take that tack when both reactions are valid and perfectly human.

As for fatalism, he is. He moves on after Cedric quite easily (though it serves as a catalyst), in CoS as he's dying, he accepts it and finds it peaceful. As for Sirius, we don't see enough of him to really say. I suspect he'll move on, though Sirius's death provides, again, a catalyst and further growth for Harry. (There's also the little matter of Sirius only being 'half-dead' at this point.)
Eilaneilanhp on August 25th, 2003 02:58 am (UTC)
I am not making this about 'Cho is right and Harry is wrong', but about 'Cho is right in her own way, so why do people make her seem like a total bitch'.

Yes, Iam harsh with Harry. I am annoyed by his bahaviour since book four and the first chapter of OotP make me really dislike him.

What I think is wrong is fandom's reaction to Cho. 70-80% seem to think she is a bitch. But IMHO, she just reacts as anyone with that background and personality type would.

"He moves on after Cedric quite easily "

Cedric was neither one of his good friends, nor his godfather, so I don't think one can say that this is an example of him 'getting over it' quickly.

He accepted his own death, yes, but the death of someone else who one was very close to is something else entirely.
Natt: Christian Balenattish on August 25th, 2003 01:29 am (UTC)
I must say I don’t understand the premise of this essay. Proving Harry’s selfishness? All right, perfectly fine with me. I don't find it matters much, mainly because it's a minor part of the story and it's over with, but that doesn't mean I don't have a lengthy opinion. :)

He supposedly loves this girl, she stands there crying and he wants to leave.

Harry never states that he loves anyone. That is quite a leap from the mere crush he has on her. But more to the point--of course Harry wants to leave. She’s suddenly crying all over him, he has no experience with girls or comforting another person. He was uncomfortable himself. (Also, may I point out that what he wants is not as important as what he enacts. And he did not leave her there crying.)

He should know that a bit of comforting should be in order.

Should he? I really don’t think he has faulted here, because, basically, Harry’s a guy. Girls and boys are different, generally, and there is no way around that. Simply because Cho “needs” something does not mean that if she doesn’t receive it then Harry’s a jerk. More importantly, Harry is Harry. He’s not as emotional as she is. (Or at least, he’s not emotional in the same way.) He’s not wired the same way she is. He doesn’t know how to comfort and he certainly should not have to make himself uncomfortable for someone else if he is not able to.

Excuse me. If that isn't one of the most insensitive things I have ever read this boy saying I don't know what is. And even as Hermione explains it to him, he doesn't really realise what he's been doing wrong.

This, my dear, is one of the most disgusting things I find concerning “boy/girl” matters. The girl, so very much of the time, thinks if the boy does not do something to her liking, to her comfort, then it is wrong and it should be changed, or else he’s not worth it, or he’s a jerk, insensitive, a pig, a prick, and the list goes on. Because women (generally, once again), Cho in this case, take everything so personally. –Blow up every casual remark so that the man actually feels that if he wants to keep the girl, he needs to change himself to suit her whims. Cho might as well get a girlfriend if she wants that.

I’m getting off the subject, but do you see where I am going here?

The main reason I feel that Cho is the annoying one is that A) she makes a great big deal out of silly things and B) she expects Harry to talk about things that she should realize make him uncomfortable.

(Continued)
Natt: Christian Balenattish on August 25th, 2003 01:30 am (UTC)
(Continued)

Examples:

A.1 Harry wanting to meet Hermione after their date: What is the big deal? If she actually has feelings enough to want to get to know him, to date him, should she not notice enough about him to draw the conclusion that he and Hermione are just friends? (What infuriates me more is that Hermione actually tries to correct Harry, telling him what he did “wrong,” though I don’t suppose she, Hermione, can help it.) He made a prior engagement. He is right to offer to let her come along. It’s not as though they are seriously involved with one another, either, so I have no clue where Cho gets off being so angry. I’ll take a leap, since she is in Ravenclaw, and say she’s at least moderately intelligent—so why would she not know Harry’s relationship to Hermione and why should she not understand that Harry is not trying to insult her by inviting her along? I don’t know, but I am convinced that she, not Harry, was the insensitive one in this situation.

A.2 Cho being angry at Harry for being angry at Marietta: I’ll admit, they are equally annoying here. Cho is making excuses for a friend who sold them all out, having nearly gotten them expelled, was it? And Harry is getting angry at Cho for trying to be optimistic about the situation. They are both being silly, though I think Cho is being sillier, and it is an argument that could have been prevented (if they are serious about one another, which they are not).

B.1 Conversation: During their “romantic” moments throughout the book, Cho always steers conversation to Cedric. It is not at all irrational to think that Harry may feel awkward and angry talking about Cho’s ex-boyfriend. No matter the fact that he’s dead (which was a very good reason to stay away from the subject, considering how prone she is to spouting tears), he was still her boyfriend. Would Harry not have been jealous? Obviously. But she is focused on herself and what she wants to discuss. She might show a little sensitivity herself to realize that. (No, this does not mean I think she should abide by all his needs, but their short time together is rather one-sided. Harry and his interests exist, too.)

I think Cho did not want a boyfriend in Harry—she wanted a cry buddy, which she should have found in one of her giggly friends. Basically, she was selfish, in my opinion.
Eilaneilanhp on August 25th, 2003 02:03 am (UTC)
"What is the big deal?"

The phrasing. 'It won't matter to Hermione if you come along'. As Hermione said, not a very good way of putting it.

"It’s not as though they are seriously involved"

He has, however, asked her to spend the day with him. Cho thus expects him to actually spend it with her.

Jealousy is something that comes very easy to most girls. Cho sees Hermione as her rival. She could also think he is trying to make her jealous.

"why should she not understand that Harry is not trying to insult her by inviting her along?"

One could say the same about Harry. Why should he not understand Cho wants him to actually talk with her. They sit in silence for minutes.

"They are both being silly, though I think Cho is being sillier, and it is an argument that could have been prevented (if they are serious about one another, which they are not)."

No disagreement there.

Re: B1: See, I think that for Cho as a very emotional girl it is only logical to think that Harry would also like to talk about what happened. No, he doesn't want it. But she can't read minds.

"I think Cho did not want a boyfriend in Harry—she wanted a cry buddy, which she should have found in one of her giggly friends. Basically, she was selfish, in my opinion."

IMHO, not more selfish than Harry.
Natt: Christian Balenattish on August 25th, 2003 02:24 am (UTC)
The phrasing. 'It won't matter to Hermione if you come along'. As Hermione said, not a very good way of putting it.

Ah. He didn’t say it correctly…. I will not comment much on this. We will not end up agreeing or probably liking each other very much in the end. *snigger*

He has, however, asked her to spend the day with him. Cho thus expects him to actually spend it with her.

Hmm, it is more along the lines of “Hey, Cho, want to go to Hogsmeade with me on Valentines?” I don’t think that implies them staying all day together, then again, I don’t know how Cho’s mind works.

One could say the same about Harry. Why should he not understand Cho wants him to actually talk with her. They sit in silence for minutes.

I don’t know what to say to this. I disagree, still, but I am unsure how to phrase why…. It’s just that, eh, there is a difference between being nervous or feeling too awkward to say anything, and blowing something out of proportion, though I don’t see what these events have to do with selfishness or the amount of annoyance one character has. It’s both Harry and Cho’s job to keep the conversation going, but it’s Cho’s reaction to Harry’s statement that makes her storm out of the building. (And it’s natural for there to be long pauses—they don’t know one another.)
Eilaneilanhp on August 25th, 2003 01:48 am (UTC)
"I must say I don’t understand the premise of this essay. Proving Harry’s selfishness? "

Actually, it was proving that Cho didn't act like a total bitch and that for her it was logical to react as she did.

"Harry never states that he loves anyone."

That depends on the definition of love a 15-year-old has. He wants to be with her, he wants to date her and he wasn't exactly sad about kissing her, either.

"Also, may I point out that what he wants is not as important as what he enacts. "

See, for me that is the point. I think his motives are very important.

"Simply because Cho “needs” something does not mean that if she doesn’t receive it then Harry’s a jerk. "

It doesn't mean Harry is a jerk, but that Cho would be right in feeling totally disappointed in him.

"He’s not as emotional as she is. (Or at least, he’s not emotional in the same way.) "

Okay, we can agree on that. Harry is much more prone to show anger than sadness when faced with that kind of situation.

"Because women (generally, once again), Cho in this case, take everything so personally. "

Actually, Harry and most boys in general, are the same. During the whole book, Harry takes everything that happens so personally it's not even funny any more. His friends do not write him enough, so he screams at them etc.

"Blow up every casual remark so that the man actually feels that if he wants to keep the girl, he needs to change himself to suit her whims."

Over-interpreting a bit, maybe? He doesn't need to change, he just needs to make an effort.

"B) she expects Harry to talk about things that she should realize make him uncomfortable."

While Harry wants to talk about things that don't matter to Cho. They clearly aren't suited to each othr.

IMHO, JKR is trying to show too much that Harry is a teenager and trying to fit him into the 'doesn't understand girls' cliché to make him appear 'normal'.
Natt: Christian Balenattish on August 25th, 2003 02:11 am (UTC)
See, for me that is the point. I think his motives are very important.

I was referring mainly to statement “she stands there crying and he wants to leave.” –That he may want to leave her there, but he doesn’t actually do it, which is respectable of him. A moment of selflessness. (Unless you knew that…in which case I’ll not mention it and accept that’s your opinion. :D)

It doesn't mean Harry is a jerk, but that Cho would be right in feeling totally disappointed in him.

I don't necessarily agree that she is right in being disappointed, but that she’s entitled to feel anyway she does about him.

Over-interpreting a bit, maybe? He doesn't need to change, he just needs to make an effort.

Nah, not over-interpreting, but going a little too far off topic. I started to delve into everyday life rather than the book when I mentioned catering to Cho’s whims.

While Harry wants to talk about things that don't matter to Cho. They clearly aren't suited to each other.

We agree there!
Eilaneilanhp on August 25th, 2003 02:14 am (UTC)
Down with Harry/Cho! ;)

"A moment of selflessness. (Unless you knew that…in which case I’ll not mention it and accept that’s your opinion. :D)"

Hm... never thought about it that way. Of course I could now argue that if he had left, she never would have looked at him again, but I suppose it is nice of him.


Saeva: Ginger. Snaps. - EIsaeva on August 25th, 2003 01:59 am (UTC)
This actually has nothing to do with this topic/post, but I noticed you friended me and I checked out your journal (and friended you back) and I was curious if you have AIM? My AIM name is Loupsdeguerre. I'd love to talk to you.

- Andrea.
Nattnattish on August 25th, 2003 02:30 am (UTC)
Hi! I noticed just a few moments ago, actually. *points to self* Natt. *shakes hand*

Sorry, no, I don't have AIM. Only Yahoo (juju_askew), which I don't use much, as I am not much of a talker or a chatter.
Oktober_Ghostoktober_ghost on August 25th, 2003 05:10 am (UTC)
Harry isn't my favorite character and does plenty to annoy me, but aren't you being a bit hard on the young man? (I believe that if you knew me in RL, you'd probably very well hate me on certain days. I'm far older than Harry in OotP, but I still have to make a concerted effort to be empathetic and to touch base with my feelings. That just doesn't come naturally to me, but I suspect that it's something that Harry might overcome in time. I know I've improved. Somewhat.)

His awkwardness with the opposite sex and his inability to comfort and grieve all seem to be in character. In OotP, he's at an awkward enough age as it is. There are children that indulge in worse behaviors at that age, and with Harry's background, he could easily be one of them.

At least the relationship bits should get easier for him. He's inexperienced, and it shows.

I don't have OotP here with me, but I interpreted Cho's desire to have a relationship with Harry to be part of her grieving process. Since Harry is the only reasonable (I suppose that's questionable :) ) person present when Cedric died, she latches onto him for some sort of closure.

Her motives must be questioned as much as Harry's rather inadequate responses.

It's not as if Harry has had an easy time, either, and although he pushes his feeling under the surface and seems to adapt without much effort, I assure you that he has not worked through those feelings and that part of him is seething, as you can see in the first chapter.
Drifting Winddriftingwind on August 30th, 2003 06:37 am (UTC)
I agree with what you have written in most parts, and although I do not blame Harry (much) on the part where he acted like an idiot because he knew little about dating rituals and the hearts of girls, I do blame him for not trying to comfort Cho in the scene she cried.

It was very obvious that Cho was in pain when she cried, and instead of asking her what happened or giving her a pat on the back, Harry just get annoyed and left. I do not think it takes a lot of love for someone to just comfort her a little, if not for love, then for the friendship between them.

I agree to other posters that Cho had her share of responsibility for the failure of the relationship as well. She was confused and should not enter a relationship at that stage. It is understandable why she did that out of her grieve.

On the most part, I am not half as annoyed by Harry than by many people in the fandom who called Cho "bitch". I think both Harry and Cho have their share of faults in the relationship, and unlike some, I do not think any of them was out to exploit the other party.

However, it seems quite a lot of Harry fans considered Cho leading Harry on, and was utterly heartless. They conveniently ignored that Harry was the one who first expressed interest in Cho and he was equally (if not more) selfish as Cho in the relationship. I see it as a bias towards the main and beloved character of the story, and I really dislike the double standard shown here.
Dances With Vampires: Bewildered Harryyahtzee63 on September 3rd, 2003 01:44 pm (UTC)
I agree with your defense of Cho, though I do not share your annoyance with Harry. Basically, both Cho and Harry are being asked to deal with something -- Cedric's death -- that is completely beyond their emotional maturity and ability. Cho goes to one extreme, seeking extra reassurance, confirmation that the way she feels about Harry is okay, and not a betrayal of Cedric. Harry goes to the other extreme, trying not to acknowledge the tragedy as if not acknowledging it will make it go away.

Harry's cluelessness about how others might see his closeness to Hermione is a little more thickheaded -- but, OTOH, I think that on its own would not have upset Cho so much. It's their mixed signals about what happened to Cedric that makes her feel so insecure; Harry's connection to Hermione is just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Both Cho and Harry are guilty of a certain insensitivity toward one another, I think, but both their reactions are created not by an inherent disregard for another's feelings, but by their own extreme emotional reactions to what happened. Women older and wiser than Cho would know, after the first attempt at conversation, that Harry is just not ready to talk about what happened at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. Men older and wiser than Harry would know that, if Cho's weeping about Cedric, she needs comfort more than she needs a makeout partner. But they're not older and they're not wiser. They're kids out of their depth. I had a lot of sympathy for them both, throughout; the makings of a potentially good teenage romance (when they can relax and talk about Quidditch, they have a blast together) -- just went up in smoke.
A lack Of motionastraynotion on March 29th, 2004 06:05 pm (UTC)
Now this is a rather late post :g

Essentially I agree with yahtzee63 that the situation was simply beyond the level of maturity that they possessed, thus it is unfortunate, but hardly a situation for blame nor accusations of selfishness. Nor is it as simple a matter as the interaction between a boy and a girl following the death of said girl's boyfriend, it exists in the context of events that can only be add to the difficulty in dealing with the actual death of Cedric. Which is to say, that whilst to lose someone in accident is a horrible thing, having that person murdered certainly creates a somewhat different set of emotions to process.

It was interesting to note that Harrry also has very mixed emotions about Cedric. Whilst he appears to move on after Cedric's death, he was very stricken at the time and felt a great deal of responsibility. His feelings were that he effectively killed Cedric, with his suggestion that they both take the cup together. Subsequently it's hardly surprising that he is not able to deal with the topic with the mixture of jealousy, confusion, awkwardness and overriding sense of guilt that it is all still his fault.