Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the holidays at home, being nice and cozy.

Chapter eight of A Study In Magic, the Application is up! You can read it here or on FFNET. Now some closing thoughts and notes…

What Species of Snake is Nagini?

I recall JKR saying in an interview Nagini is the Boa Constrictor Harry set loose in year one. The films used a Ground Boa. Harry in A Study In Magic met and had a conversation with a Burmese Python when Sherlock and John took him to the London Zoo (you can read about it here).

I started researching about Boa Constrictors and Pythons, and it turns out they don’t have venom or fangs. This produces a plot hole, as Nagini provided the snake venom that created Voldemort’s rudimentary body both in Canon!HP and in ASIM chapter 68 (BOC headdesks). I thought about turning Nagini into a Black Mamba or a King Cobra, particularly the latter since the London Zoo has a specimen. Both are extremely poisonous, and I can see Voldemort liking them for their deadly reputation. In the end, I decided to go for a Burmese Python that got transfigured into having Black Mamba venom and Cobra fangs. My reasons were:

  1. Pythons are big enough to swallow humans
  2. Black Mambas are the most venomous of snakes
  3. Cobra fangs… why not?

I can’t believe I just wrote that.

A Secure Wiki for the Voldemort War, Part 2

Using computers and the Internet is a high enough of a barrier to keep a wiki page secure from most magic-raised witches and wizards. But in case Lord Voldemort decides to put a tech-savvy Muggle under the Imperius Curse, a password protected wiki site is needed. But this only secures the site against Magic people. In A Study In Magic Universe, team Sherlock-John-Harry has to worry about Mycroft Holmes.

Mycroft would find it far too easy to break into a wiki that only has username name and password protection, even if you use a passphrase that expires every thirty days and is a minimum 15 characters long. At the very least, you would have to use two-factor authentication. Three, if Sherlock has his way, but then he’d run up against ordinary human laziness and inability to remember complicated things. So what are some unique things SJH can use to secure their wiki page from even the likes of Mycroft Holmes?

First, they must not put on the regular Internet. The mere presence on the public Internet makes it vulnerable to Denial of Service attacks (DoS attacks). A private wiki installed on a standalone machine, unconnected to any network, inside a physically secured location, preferably with magical wards, would do the trick. This does mean to read the wiki, SJH needs to enter the secure location. In the muggle world, that would’ve been extremely cumbersome. But in the magic world, instant teleportation is an option, so the Baker Street Trio need not worry too much about travel. This leaves us with the Authentication Challenge.

All Authentication are based on these three factors:

  1. What you have (like keycards, fobs)
  2. What you know (pin number and passwords)
  3. Who you are (retina scan, fingerprints)

Rowling mostly used passwords, except in Chamber of Secrets, where one is required to use Parseltongue to enter the secret entrance to said Chamber. Parseltongue falls into both What You Know and Who You Are, depending on how you view it. Anyway, here is how I would set it up…

  1. Portkey rigged to only work for SJH and Order of Pheonix members, which takes you to the designated secure location OR to the Room of Requirement
  2. Username and password to log into the computer
  3. A PIV card and PIN to login to the Wiki
    • Different levels of access depending on your user rights

I foresee Harry using the Wiki as infrequently as possible due to the sheer difficulty of access.