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"Snape pulled out his wand from an inside pocket of his robes and Harry tensed in his chair, but Snape merely raised the wand to his temple and placed its tip into the greasy roots of his hair. When he withdrew it, some silvery substance came away, stretching from temple to wand like a thick gossamer strand, which broke as he pulled the wand away from it and fell gracefully into the Pensieve, where it swirled silvery-white, neither gas nor liquid."
— Severus Snape casting this spell[src]

This unidentified spell (incantation unknown) was used to remove single, specific memories from one's own mind and place them in a pensieve or a flask for storage or if they wish to see the memory again.[1][2]


When witches and wizards who have memories that they either wish to see more than once or memories that they cannot stand to think about again they remove it by placing the tip of their wand to their temple, then they slowly pull the tip away and bringing a long, silver strand with it. The witch or wizard would then take the removed memory and store it in a flask for storage (or for easy reach to put into a pensieve) or they would store it in a pensieve to revisit the memory.[1][2]

In the 1920s, MACUSA executioners would use the spell and cast the condemned prisoner's happiest memories in the death potion in the Death Cell to keep the inmate docile as they were lowered into the potion. When used on Porpentina Goldstein, it made her become entranced until her memories were cast into the potion, which caused her to become gleefully mesmerised and susceptible to suggestion, allowing the executioner to handle her without any struggle or resistance.[4]

Known practitioners

Behind the scenes

  • This spell has so far never been identified in the series despite having been used several times. It is also most likely a charm given its effects and usage.
  • As seen in the film adaptions, the extraction of memories can be painful at times as this was shown by Professors Dumbledore and Slughorn who both at least once had facial expressions as if they were having head pain when they extracted a memory.


Notes and references