Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling. Also, Charles Dickens' classic tale of 'A Christmas Carol' is not mine, I am merely borrowing it for a spell.
Notes: Thank you SO much to my readers! Reviews are very much appreciated, as well:) Now, this chapter is where it gets a little crazy…remember how Scrooge acts at the end of A Christmas Carol, and you'll understand why. Hope you all enjoy this last instalment of Voldie's tale. And to everyone, a very Merry Christmas!
With an awesome sense of relief, Voldemort saw his own bedpost, his own bed, his own room. Nagini was curled up, safe and sound. What was more, the deathly Spirit was completely gone! He had time now, his own life, and he was free to change his course as he wished.
Voldemort jumped to his feet from the floor and raised his arms in triumph. 'I remember it all! I am a changed man!' He hopped over to Nagini, petting her tenderly, causing the great snake to hiss in contentment. 'Yes, dear Nagini, your master is a new person this Christmas. I will keep the Spirit of Christmas within me, as long as I live! Oh, thank you, Antonin Dolohov, for bringing to me these valuable lessons. I am overcome!'
The white face of Voldemort was now flushed with happiness, his face wet with tears from his pleadings with the last deathly spirit.
With a sense of purpose, Voldemort pulled out his best black dress robes from his wardrobe, and immediately transfigured them to a festive red and green plaid. He had a terrific time putting little shiny gold buttons on them, his white hands flashing in happy industry. Finishing the robes, Voldemort leapt up and danced around the room.
'I don't know what to do with myself!' the Dark Lord laughed, hysterically, emotionally. 'I am giddy as a school-boy, jolly as a green giant, happy as a clam!'
Nagini stared at him, unsure what to make of all of it.
'A Merry Christmas to you, Nagini! A Merry Christmas to all! And a Happy New Year,' Voldemort declared, 'to all the world, a happy holiday!' He collapsed in his armchair, exhausted but not finished yet. With a flick of his wand, his heavy curtains flew open, revealing a sunny, cold, brilliant Christmas Day.
Inspired, Voldemort dashed over and opened his window. 'Merry Christmas!' he shouted, at no one in particular. Of course, the headquarters of the Dark Lord was well isolated from Muggles and wizards alike. But he did not notice; instead, he laughed again, a great, hearty laugh, clear and happy.
'Must get ready,' Voldemort nodded to himself. 'Ready for this glorious, wonderful day!'
In a house in Little Whinging, Surrey, Harry Potter was having a devil of a time with his scar, which looked to be dancing a little jig right on his forehead.
Voldemort dressed in his new garish Christmas robes. He rather hoped that Bellatrix would throw him a compliment, when she saw them.
He Apparated to Diagon Alley, this time without his invisibility cloak. People all around gasped and drew back from him, but Voldemort didn't mind. Instead, he grinned at everyone he saw, shouting out holiday greetings, his red eyes glowing wildly like Christmas tree ornaments gone amuck.
When he started skipping, people started running. Several cameras flashed as reporters from the Daily Prophet got wind of the new change in the Dark Lord's mood. Stopping, breathless, in front of a shop window, Voldemort pointed to a great turkey on display, and grabbed a young boy who was passing by.
'You, boy! Merry Christmas!' Voldemort grinned.
The boy looked like he was going to pass out from fear.
'Say,' Voldemort continued. 'If I give you twenty Galleons, will you make sure to buy this turkey and have it delivered it to Mr. Arthur Weasley, at the Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole, right away?' To prove himself, Voldemort grabbed the coins and held them out to the boy.
'Uh, uh, I suppose so, sir,' the boy stammered.
'That's a good fellow! Now, here you are, and keep the rest of the Galleons for yourself.'
The boy took the money with a white face and a frantic nod.
'Don't let down the Dark Lord, now.' Voldemort shook his finger at the kid. 'If you do, I'll know about it.'
The boy whimpered and dashed into the shop.
'It's sent to the Weasleys', and they'll have no idea who sent it!' Voldemort whispered to himself, rubbing hands together with glee. 'Oh, what fun!'
He dashed to Gringotts Bank, where he demanded to see Grum and Lart, the goblins of the charity division.
'See here, Grum,' Voldemort said, and spoke with an undertone to Grum's ear.
'I say, my Lord! Are you quite serious?' Grum's goblin face was transformed into a little ball of happiness.
'Indeed, I am! Think nothing of it! And not a Knut less than that, mind you.'
'My dear sir, I don't know what to say…' Grum looked baffled and ecstatic all at once. He wrote a number on his stack of parchment and showed it to Lart, who fainted.
'Just promise you both will say your greetings to me, when I visit the bank. Do you promise?' Voldemort asked.
'Of course, my Lord! Indeed, we will.' And it was clear that Grum meant every word of it.
With joyful purpose, Voldemort then went across the street to Eylops Owl Emporium, picked out their best owl, and scrawled a note to Arthur Weasley, instructing: For the girl's medical expenses. He left the note unsigned but attached a large bag of Galleons, enough, he was certain, for the necessary treatment at St. Mungo's to heal Ginny Weasley.
Sending the owl off, Voldemort realised he had one more errand to run that day. With a pop, he Apparated to the same bleak Muggle street he had seen the night before. He strode along, bald head shining in the sunlight, plaid robes festive and clashing…and stopped at Number Four, Privet Drive.
Brandishing his wand, Voldemort opened the door and stepped inside the nondescript house. He was quite certain that magical alarms were going off for Dumbledore and the Aurors, but it mattered not. This would only take a moment.
Voldemort strode into the living room where, as he predicted, the Dursleys were having their Christmas morning. Petunia Dursley shrieked and dropped her cup of tea, the ceramic shattering on the floor. Vernon was speechless, his great mouth flapping and stuttering. Dudley looked to have a bit of a stain on the front of his trousers.
'Where's Potter?' Voldemort ordered in his most intimidating, cold, voice.
The tubby uncle, Vernon, pointed around Voldemort's tall figure toward the cupboard beneath the stairs.
'Alohamora,' Voldemort thought in his head. The door broke apart, and Harry Potter emerged, ashen-faced, as he beheld his worst enemy, in kitschy Christmas robes, standing in the front hall.
'Potter,' Voldemort said. He smiled, causing Harry's face to turn completely grey. 'Get your things,' he instructed.
Harry did not move.
'Go on, then! Oh, and Merry Christmas!' Voldemort said.
With a look of complete disbelief on his face, Harry scrambled up the stairs. In the awkward silence, Voldemort looked back into the sitting room toward the Dursleys, who were huddled together, terrified. Voldemort rocked on his heels casually, whistling a little tune, waiting for Harry to reappear.
With a thud and a crash, Harry Potter came back down the stairs, his wand pointed straight at Voldemort's heart.
'What is the meaning of this?' Harry asked, trying to sound strong.
'Now, Potter. You know as well as I do that our wands cannot do battle against one another; they share the same core. I honestly don't know what you're so worried about. Now, fetch your trunk; I'm taking you away from these Muggles.'
Harry did not move.
'Just trust me, Potter! I'm a changed man today! It's Christmas; we have a truce on Christmas.'
His green eyes confused, Harry looked like he was trying to decide if Voldemort was tricking him or had simply gone bonkers. He decided upon the latter, and levitated his trunk down the stairs.
Voldemort grabbed the boy's elbow, and with one last look at the Dursleys, they Apparated onto the country lane leading to the Burrow.
Harry looked about, mistrustful, befuddled. Voldemort gestured with his white hand toward the Weasley home.
'This is where you wanted to be, isn't it?' Voldemort asked.
'Yes,' Harry said.
'Well, go on, then. And a Happy New Year to you!' Voldemort bobbed his head up and down, pleased that the Potter boy was away from those dreadful Muggles.
'Uh, thanks?' Harry looked unsure of himself.
'Think nothing of it! Just one wizard helping out another, on Christmas!'
'Um, Merry Christmas, then.' Harry forced a smile on his face.
'Bye-bye!' Voldemort raised his fingers in a gesture of salute, and Disapparated.
And for all that Christmas Day, Voldemort went about wizarding Britain, doing good deeds, trying to rectify his past mistakes. He dropped in on many of his Death Eaters personally, to wish them happy holidays, and although most drew back cringing at the sight of their master (it normally meant a 'Crucio' or two) they soon saw the Dark Lord's high spirits and Voldemort spent a good day indeed chatting over tea and brandy.
When night fell, Voldemort embarked on his last visit of that fine day, that day of rebirth, rejoicing, and holiday tartan. With a spring in his step, Voldemort walked up to the great carved door of Malfoy Manor. He rang the bell, hands together in anticipation, his heart singing.
It was Bellatrix who opened the door, Bellatrix who screamed, 'Master!' and threw herself at his feet, hugging his robes.
'Happy Christmas, Bella!' Voldemort said.
She looked up at him, wild dark eyes shining with fealty. 'And to you, my Lord! And I love your robes!'
'Why, thank you!' Voldemort felt so full of good cheer he was fit to burst. 'Rodolphus, my good man! A merry holiday to you!' he called out to Bellatrix's husband, who had appeared, and also flung himself down before Voldemort.
Sweeping into the hall, Voldemort bowed to Narcissa, who came in from the parlour. Her blue eyes went wide with surprise, and her hand fluttered to her heart, when Voldemort gave his greetings.
'My- my Lord Voldemort! Why, bless my soul! You have come here for Christmas? Can it be true? Lucius, come and see!' Narcissa called with delight.
It was a merry, happy time indeed, and Voldemort felt wholly at home amongst his Death Eaters, his true family. Games were played, the feast was fit for kings, and Voldemort had the heartiest, most satisfactory good time he could remember. He even fondly patted the house-elves on their heads, so full was he of good will toward all creatures. He proved his spirit that Christmas, and all the Christmases thereafter.
Voldemort was better than his word to the last grim Spirit. He gave generously to many causes (especially that of the orphans, such as himself) and although his politics did not change, he did give Harry Potter a break now and then. Even to the wizarding community at large, Voldemort became a benefactor, and gained many followers by changing his ways to strictly legal Ministry politics. To Ginny Weasley, who did not die, Voldemort made amends for trying to kill her when she was eleven, and even tutored her in Defence Against the Dark Arts. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to set the girl up with Draco Malfoy (Potter had been rather upset with him for that) and Voldemort had concluded with a jovial shrug that matchmaking was probably not his forte. Some people laughed at the idea of a Dark Lord turning to such good hearted ways, but their laughter did not bother Voldemort in the slightest.
He had no further contact with the spirits of Christmas, but from then on lived on the principals of good cheer toward wizards all around. The Dark Lord had laughter and happiness in his heart, and for the first time kept the meaning of Christmas, as indeed should be rightly said of all of us! And so, as Tiny Ginny observed, God Bless Us, Every One!