- "While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn you house points, while any rule-breaking with lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honour."
- —Professor Minevra McGonagall explains the house point system and the House Cup.[src]
The House Cup is a yearly award at Hogwarts. It is given at the end of the school year to the House with the most House points. Points are given to Houses by teachers and prefects throughout the year for various things including answering questions correctly and doing good deeds. The winners of school Quidditch games also receive points. Points can be taken away for things such as misbehaving or rule-breaking.
Giant and enchanted hourglasses in the entrance hall keep track of the House Points. The hourglasses are filled with different jewels for each house - Gryffindor's are rubies, Ravenclaw's sapphires, Slytherin's emeralds and Hufflepuff's topaz.
- 1984-1985 - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw
- 1985-1986 - Slytherin
- 1986-1987 - Slytherin
- 1987-1988 - Slytherin
- 1988-1989 - Slytherin
- 1989-1990 - Slytherin
- 1990-1991 - Slytherin
- 1991-1992 - Gryffindor
- 1992-1993 - Gryffindor
- 1993-1994 - Gryffindor
- 1994-1995 - unknown
- 1995-1996 - unknown
- 1996-1997 - Gryffindor in the lead (unknown if the cup was presented)
- 1997-1998 - unknown
Behind the scenes
- Due to events that befall Hogwarts and its students in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and to the death of Headmaster Dumbledore near the end of the school year in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it cannot be said with certainty that the House Cup was awarded those years. The only film to make an issue of the House Cup was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
- The House Cup marks an important development of tone in the series. It is of considerable importance in the first book, with Harry feeling devastated to have put Gryffindor in last place after being caught out of bed. With each proceeding book, it is pushed further into the background (the winner not even being revealed after book 3), paralleling the main characters maturing and caring about more important issues.
- Only Gryffindor and Slytherin are ever mentioned in the books to have won the House Cup. While Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff almost certainly have won the Cup they have never been presented with it in the books. They may have won it while Harry was at school but during the years not presented. It also may be that Hufflepuff was presented the House Cup during Harry's 4th year in honour of their fallen housemate Cedric Diggory.
- The House Cup system was thrown into disarray in 1996, following the formation of the Inquisitorial Squad. The broad powers given to members of this group, consisting entirely of Slytherins, meant that points were docked en masse from other houses, Gryffindor in particular. Severus Snape noted at the end of school year that they had none left, prior to Minerva McGonagall adding a large number to the actions of Dumbledore's Army at the British Ministry of Magic. As the Inquisitorial Squad was disbanded following the removal of Dolores Umbridge before the end of the school year, it is entirely possible that the House Cup was simply not awarded out of fairness.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)