25th December 1996:
The Christmas at the Malfoy Manor was rather dreary without Father. While he wasn’t very enthusiastic about Christmas, it being a Muggle festival, he certainly added some joy to it. He always help Mother put up the lights and the tree and decorated the whole Manor (with the assistance of Linnie, of course). This time, as Father wasn’t here, it felt as if we were missing a huge part.
Aunt Bellatrix, too, wasn’t very keen about Christmas for the same reason as Father. But I think Mother must have given her a thorough talking-to, because she was way livelier about Christmas than she ever had been. She helped Mother in the kitchen, but she talked very, very rudely to Linnie. I wanted her to stop behaving like that, but I didn’t dare to. I had once told her to stop being mean to Dobby, our old house-elf, when I was about 7 years old and she didn’t talk to me for about a week.
I’d asked Mother what I’d done wrong about defending our house-elf and she’d said, “Everything in society has a place. Nothing should be brought up or taken down.” I found that, and still do, very wrong, but I always remained shut up about it. I did my part by being kind to both our elves. Mother later told me I took after uncle Regulus, who defended the house-elf, or any house-elf, in Grimmauld Place called Kreacher just as I did for ours.
Even I’d tried to be as normal as possible, but I said earlier, it seemed that a large chunk was missing.
I was called down. I saw my surroundings. Mother tried to make it as normal as possible. She put up the lights and the tree just as Father used to. She made my favourite dishes.
We all sat down and ate and talked. Aunt and I were careful not to bring up Father. It was harder on Mother than anyone. I knew because I’d seen Mother at morning today. Her face was tear-streaked when I saw her going to the washroom.
We’d received letters from the Parkinson, Zabini, Greengrass, Nott, Bulstrode, Crabbe, Goyle, Flint families. They were as dull as ever. A stupid ribbon border with stupid bells. I threw them into the fire. Nobody cared about these anymore. They were just a ruddy formality.
I can’t do this anymore. I just wished for the day to pass quickly, and luckily for me, it did. Nobody was in the mood to celebrate Christmas. We want Father back home.