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Hufflepuff's Cup

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"Remember the cup's small and gold, it's got a badger engraved on it, two handles —"
Harry Potter describing the cup[src]

Helga Hufflepuff's Cup was a magical item created by Helga Hufflepuff, one of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was a small golden cup with two finely-wrought handles with a badger engraved on the side and a few jewels. The badger is the symbol of Hufflepuff House. The cup also has the dubious distinction of being the only object known to have been stolen from a vault (specifically the vault of the Lestrange family) at Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

History

Creation

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Helga Hufflepuff with her cup

The cup was a creation of Helga Hufflepuff, the celebrated Founder of Hufflepuff House. It was described as a shining golden cup with two finely wrought handles on either side and a badger engraved on its surface.The cup was said to possess many magical powers, though the exact nature of those powers is not known. Hufflepuff was brilliant with food-related charms and with house-elves, so the cup may have been the very first dining utensil at Hogwarts to assist in the magical transportation of food from the House-Elf Kitchens. The cup remained with Hufflepuff until the time of her death.

Horcrux transformation

"She opened the lid. Harry edged forward a little to get a better view and saw what looked like a small golden cup with two finely wrought handles. "
—Hepzibah Smith shows Tom Riddle Hufflepuff's Cup[src]
Riddle Hepzibah

Hepzibah Smith showin Tom Riddle the cup and Slytherin's locket

The cup was passed down through the Hufflepuff family, and through the centuries made its way to Hepzibah Smith, a descendant who kept the cup as a priceless heirloom. In 1946, Smith showed the cup to Tom Marvolo Riddle, who was at that time employed at Borgin and Burkes. She dazzled Riddle with the cup and fondly stated she could never part with it. Along with the cup, Smith possessed Salazar Slytherin's locket. She kept them well hidden even from her family members.

Smith was found dead two days later. Her elderly house-elf, Hokey, recalled mistakenly putting poison in Smith's cocoa, however, Riddle had embedded a false memory in Hokey as he himself had murdered Smith for the artefacts. Riddle fled with the cup and the locket. Smith's family realised the cup and the locket were missing shortly after her death, but by that time Riddle had resigned his post at Borgin and Burkes. Riddle was neither seen nor heard of for a decade.

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Bellatrix places the cup in her vault at Gringotts

Riddle, or Lord Voldemort as he called himself at that point, transformed the cup into his fourth Horcrux, using Smith's murder as the tool. Many years later he left it in the care of his trusted Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange. Although she did not know that the cup was a Horcrux, Lestrange treated the object with extreme priority, storing it in her family vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, considered to be impossible to plunder. In addition to the bank's extensive security measures, it was protected there by a spell which would cause any object to multiply exponentially if touched by anyone other than the vault's owners. In addition to this, a further protective curse was placed on the vault to cause the objects to glow hot as fire and burn the flesh of anyone trying to remove them without authorization.

Search to reclaim the cup

"Harry's wandlight passed over shields and goblin-made helmets set on shelves rising to the ceiling; higher and higher he raised the beam, until suddenly it found an object that made his heart skip and his hand tremble."
—Harry Potter spots the cup among the other treasures in the Lestrange vault[src]
Bellatrix Lestrange's vault

Harry Potter reaching out for Helga Hufflepuff's Cup using Godric Gryffindor's sword inside the Lestrange vault

Years later, Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter theorised that Lord Voldemort had chosen Hufflepuff's Cup as an object for one of his Horcruxes. They did not, however, know where it might be located.

During the hunt for the Horcruxes, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were captured by Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor, where Bellatrix Lestrange panicked at the sight of Godric Gryffindor's Sword — which she had believed to be in her vault as well — in their possession. She interrogated and tortured Hermione with the Cruciatus Curse demanding to know what else they had taken. This made Harry suspect that Hufflepuff's Cup might be the other item in her vault.

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The trio escape Gringotts on the back of a half-blind Ukrainian Ironbelly

Later, Harry, Hermione and Ron infiltrated Gringotts with the assistance of the goblin Griphook and the use of Polyjuice Potion. As they searched the vault, Harry felt a jolt in his heart when his wand light passed over Helga Hufflepuff's cup, which was kept on a higher level. They managed to narrowly bypass the vault's securities before Griphook betrayed the trio and claimed Godric Gryffindor's Sword, as well as alerting the other goblins to their presence. The trio was forced to fleeing Gringotts on one of the bank's dragons.

Destruction

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Hermione and Ron destroying the cup in the Chamber of Secrets

The trio returned to Hogwarts Castle to find a possibly Ravenclaw-related Horcrux, and the Death Eaters and Voldemort launched an attack known as the Battle of Hogwarts. During the battle, Ron and Hermione ventured down into the Chamber of Secrets (with Ron doing a passable imitation of Harry's Parseltongue to enter) and retrieved several Basilisk fangs. Hermione used one of the fangs to destroy the Cup inside the Chamber, as Basilisk venom is one of the substances capable of destroying a Horcrux.

Behind the scenes

  • Hufflepuff's Cup is neither seen nor mentioned in film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Similarly, the hypothetical Horcruxes of Nagini and an unknown artefact of Ravenclaw's or Gryffindor's are never suggested to Harry by Dumbledore prior to his death. This leaves Harry in a significantly more challenging predicament at the end of the sixth film than in the book, as he has only one lead to follow entering the final film: the original pilfered locket from the Horcrux cave. The clue he received in the film was from Bellatrix, who was in a frantic frenzy when she thought her vault was broken into. He is ultimately able to identify the cup as a Horcrux because of his ability to hear the piece of Voldemort's soul contained within them, an ability which is not present in the books.
  • In the film, Harry finds the Horcrux by sensing it due to his status as a proto-Horcrux. He is also able to find the diadem this way.
  • In the film the cup is never named; it is only called "The Horcrux" or "The Cup", and its backstory of Helga Hufflepuff owning it goes unmentioned, although there is a picture of a badger on the side.
  • In the film, when the cup is destroyed, its destruction causes a tsunami to form in the nearby water, and Voldemort's face to appear in the tsunami as the fragment of his soul is released and destroyed.
  • The Cup is now available for purchase from the Noble Collection.
  • In early plans, the Hufflepuff Horcrux was her cauldron.[1]

Appearances

Notes and references

See also

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