I'm wondering if one could remove their memory and store it, if it would completely remove the emotion that one felt regarding it?? With the Horcrux one removes part of their soul, usually through a violent act in order to store it within an object. With the Pensive one removes their memory and stores it within an object. That way, one can visit the memory if ever in need. If that's the case is a Pensive a dangerous tool? Could it be an explanation as to Dumbledore's general indifference?

  • 2
    I'm confused about the title of the question. The whole point of a Horcrux is to prevent dying, but a Pensieve obviously doesn't do that. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 16:22

4 Answers 4


What goes in, comes out. What you put in a Pensieve are memories and you can recover the memories from there. What you put in Horcruxes are parts of a soul and they can help rebuild the life of the person. So a Horcrux is much more advanced storage device than Pensieves (USB flash drive - as gelolopez says).

  • The thing about Horcruxes though is that you cannot possibly get the soul from it after you destroy it. A fragment of soul just ceases to exist after the Horcrux is destroyed. Nor would it be possible, i think, for the maker to retrieve his soul back after he made the Horcrux. This would imply that a fragmented soul is fragmented forever.
    – gelolopez
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:07

Point 1:

Memory: Helps you remember. Once memory is washed away by some magic (memory charm for example) the person is still alive.

Soul: Soul Keeps you alive. As we can see when dementors suck away the soul, they leave their victims in a permanent vegetative state with no life.

So if Soul is destroyed, it will have a much adverse effect.

However if memory is destroyed the person still has his life, he just won't remember things.

Which brings me to

Point 2:

First of all Pensieve is used to see the memories not remove them. Secondly, the memory that is put into Pensieve is not removed from the person but in fact it serves like a persistent copy of the original memory. The original memory may fade inside the person but the extracted memory retains everything from the event (of which the original memory was).

So, an extracted memory (not Pensieve) may be used to restore the original memory like horcrux can be used to restore the person but it is not as dangerous.

DISCLOSURE: No authoritative references, but carefully evaluated speculation.

  • "First of all Pensieve is used to see the memories not remove them. Secondly, the memory that is put into Pensieve is not removed from the person but in fact it serves like a persistent copy of the original memory." I'd be interested in hearing the reasons you came to that conclusion, because I got the opposite impression entirely. For instance, Snape uses the Pensieve to remove memories he doesn't wish Harry to potentially see during their Occlumency lessons; if they were still inside his head there'd be no point in him doing that. Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 10:30
  • I doubt that is the reason for Snape using the Pensive. Remember Snape is very good at occlumency so he can just block those "memories" or "thoughts" from Harry as what Snape does with Voldemort.
    – gelolopez
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 14:10
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    @Anthony: As said by Gelolopez, Snape did not put the memories in pensieve so that HP couldn't see them. He was a very powerful Occlumens and even Voldemort couldn't break into his memories. I think the reason that he put the memories in pensieve was to revisit his memories. I suspect that those memories had Lilly Potter in them and before HP could get to those memories, he was pulled out of the Pensieve. Snape's anger to Harry's action is more justified if we think on these lines, as if HP had seen Lilly in his memories all the plans that he and Dumbledore made, would have been in vain
    – kmdhrm
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 6:40
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    @gelolopez Except Harry does exactly what you said he can't do; he ends up viewing a part of one of Snape's memories, after casting the Shield charm if I recall correctly. Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 9:01
  • IS it not because he is a Horcrux and a part of Voldemort's power in Legilimency is within him? This is a wild speculation, though: Is it possible that Voldemort's legilimens' inability to get into Snape's occulumens is because the part of Voldy's soul with a very powerful legilines was transferred to Harry? And by that, Harry was able to breach Snape's occulumens in HBP (although Harry did not intentionally do it). I cna start another thread :)
    – gelolopez
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 4:54

Horcrux and the Pensive work different ways. In order to make a Horcrux, you have to damage your soul in order to separate the soul fragment from the rest of your soul. It is only after separating that soul fragment will you able to put the soul to an object making it a Horcrux.

Pensive on the other hand works for memories and not for soul. Dumbledore uses Pensive in order to store memory so that it won't fade. While we have the impression that Dumbledore is so intelligent it is most impossible for him to forget a memory (unless otherwise after being casted a Memory Charm), he is wise to store a piece of his memory on an outer storage device in order to keep a clear and exact idea of what the memory is. Think of Pensive as a USB flash drive.


A pensive is merely a recording device. Something that holds a memory for viewing from a third person view. A horcrux is a much more deep and sinister device. It holds a part of a person's soul. Not just memory, not just thoughts. A part of a soul would mean that person's entire persona, thoughts, memories, feelings. It is much more than just a memory. A pensive will simply display the memory that was stored. A horcrux has the ability to restore an entire persona. Also, creating a horcrux requires much more effort, the murder of a person and even possible dark magic. A pensive does not rely any of those to be recorded OR viewed.

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