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A memory is a record of an event originating from a person's mind.


Extraction and external viewingEdit


Memories can be extracted from a person's mind and reviewed, from an outside point of view, in a Pensieve. These memories appear as silver, hair-like wisps, and can be stored in bottles. Extracted memories can be altered, as Horace Slughorn attempted to do to a memory he gave to Albus Dumbledore in the 1996–1997 school year, although such alterations leave noticeable flaws in the recollection — this particular memory left sudden clouds with a booming voice in place of the crucial scenes; Dumbledore noted it was crudely done so if done with more details and skills, a false memory may not be flawed. A fragment of Lord Voldemort's soul was able to show his memories through the power of his diary, rather than the need of extracting it and placing it into a Pensieve.

Once viewing the memory, the viewers cannot be seen or heard by anyone other than other viewers. The viewer is also intangible to all other physical matters and energies of the said memory, as Harry Potter was considered a phantom, invisible and intangible, to the rest of the past world he was viewing; a man shaking hands with Dumbledore went right through Harry's body, causing neither of them harm, and a later memory when Harry was phasing through many desks in the Great Hall while rushing to his past father's location, to which was described if done in the real world the desks would be sent flying.

Internal viewingEdit

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Memories can be read without the needs of extracting them, through the powers of Legilimency; however, those that were extracted and then deposited into a magical device like the Pensieve or a simple vial can no longer be viewed through this manner. Also, Veritaserum works based on the memories of the person, and if there are any alterations done to such memories, they would speak what they assume to be the truth, not the truth that has been suppressed. Occlumency, the art of suppressing such memories and thoughts, is a way to counter the two aforementioned methods. A master Occlumens such as Severus Snape can choose what memories to suppress instead of completely blocking out Legilimency, so as to prevent the opposition from knowing crucial information without knowing that they are blocking it out on purpose.

External interference and damageEdit


Memories can receive external interferences such as the Memory Charm or False Memory Charm, which can suppress certain memories or create fake ones, respectively. Such alterations may cause permanent memory damage if done at great intensity or incorrectly, as Gilderoy Lockhart and Bertha Jorkins both suffered severe amnesia that was irreversible. When Lord Voldemort forcibly broke through the Memory Charm on the latter, she remembered all of the things that were suppressed, but at the price of her body and mind suffered damage far beyond repair. Such alterations can also be bypassed such as when Dumbledore extracted a true memory over a false one in Morfin Gaunt, though he noted it to be a difficult task. In a related matter, one's memories may be improved through a Memory Potion, Baruffio's Brain Elixir and powdered dragon claw.

Known shared or stored memoriesEdit

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See alsoEdit

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