“There’s a spelling error in your plan,” Nagini pointed out, “there’s no O in ‘killing curse’.”
“I know there isn’t and I didn’t write it with an – ” Lord Voldemort broke off. “Why, there’s actually an O… Wherever did that come from?” Erasing the O with an irritated wand wave, he wrote on.
A moment later he had already forgotten about the little mistake because the plan they were making was too important to be distracted from it.
It would have been wiser to pay closer attention to it.
Later the same day the O appeared again, more carefully hidden this time. It appeared in ‘Own’ and ‘mOrning’, in ‘Owl’ and twice in ‘ObliviOus’, and even in ‘camOuflage’, which it was rather proud of because obviously that was a brilliantly funny idea.
Once or twice Lord Voldemort wondered why on earth he would capitalize a letter in the middle of a word but after correcting the mistake, he’d soon forget about it.
With each correction made, the O moved on to a new place inside a note, a letter or even a book.
It knew that the solution was to be found inside the books, and soon it focused on permeating through them rather than risking being noticed by Voldemort again.
The O knew what it had to do but it had yet to figure out the exact means of achieving its ends. Therefore it kept wandering through books full of spells, charms and curses to find an incantation that would help it.
The sun was already setting outside when the O finally found the spell in a very old and very dusty book in a corner of the huge bookshelf. The O thanked its creator that it had been endowed with the ability to perform magic wandless and without a spoken word, because it couldn’t actually say or do anything. Yet.
The spell was long and complicated and had to be performed in several steps but the O didn’t make even a single mistake.
Night had embraced the world, and Lord Voldemort was still working on his plans with Nagini peering over his shoulder, making suggestions and pointing out flaws.
“And besides, if we enter by this way, they’ll – ,” Nagini started criticizing.
“Oh stop it,” Lord Voldemort cut her short. “I’ve had enough of this confounded operation. Whenever we fix one weak spot, you find two new ones.”
“That’s either because this plan is lousy or because I’m such a brilliant snake,” Nagini hissed back.
Nagini slithered off the table. “I suggest you go to bed and we look at this plan again tomorrow.”
“Just what I was about to do,” Voldemort replied. “What about you?”
“I’ll be outside looking for toads hatching chicken eggs.”
“You’re joking,” Voldemort stated.
“I’m a loyal pet, I don’t joke,” Nagini answered.
Voldemort shook his head in amusement, then went to his bedroom.
After the lights had gone out, the study lay silent for a few moments, only dimly lit by a few moon rays. And then, a shadow dropped from a bookshelf onto the floor with only the lightest sound. The shadow didn’t look quite like any human or animal but more like a giant doughnut. Or perhaps like an O.
The O crept through the door and sneaked on into Voldemort’s bedroom.
Voldemort was almost asleep when he felt a sudden pressure on his neck.
“That’s not funny, Nagini,” he mumbled. “If you feel like strangling someone, go and find yourself a Muggle.”
But he got no reply and the attacker’s seize didn’t loosen. Neither did it feel quite snakelike at all, but cold, colder than a living being was supposed to be.
Voldemort panicked and started struggling against the loop around his neck, and shot curses at it.
But to no avail; the Dark Lord didn’t have a chance. He never even knew what had killed him that night, and that was probably a good thing; who would like to admit that a letter, even though a capital one, ended one’s life?
“Well done, O.”
“Thank you, oh you who created me,” the O bowed deeply.
“And now… The world is ours.”
The O admired its Master’s cold laugh.
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