A Christmas Wish

By Loralee

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling not me.

Summary: AU, no spoilers, no pairing, Harry writes to Father Christmas with surprising results

They had spent the last day of school before the Christmas holiday talking about Father Christmas and how he was known all over the world by different names and writing letters for their parents to mail.

Aunt Petunia picked them up from school and gushed over Dudley's letter promising to put a stamp on it and take it to the post box. When offered Harry's letter she glared at him and told him that little boys who couldn't behave didn't get presents and then she threw his envelope in the dust bin in front of the school where the children waited to cross the street and dragged him away by his collar.

The crossing guard, Mrs. Willis, shook her head at the nasty woman and retrieved the letter from the bin to see just what the poor boy had asked for.

Dear Nicholas

My teacher says you visit good boys; I have tried very hard to be good. I would like a new family, one that would like me and tell me about my Mum and Dad. I don't think that you can give me that so a warm blanket would be good too. Please leave it in my cupboard so Dudley will not take it. I think if you brought me anything before he must have kept it.

Harry Potter

#4 Privet Drive

Mrs. Willis decided she would report the matter but one of her charges slipped on the ice and the letter flew out of her hand and swirled away on the snow laden wind. She never noticed the bird that flew down and grabbed the letter and by the time she sorted out the child the matter had slipped her mind.

On Christmas Eve it was a bruised and battered Harry Potter who lay in his cupboard sad and alone. He had been in trouble nearly the whole holiday and had been punished when Dudley had eaten half the cooling Christmas biscuits and blamed him.

From his cupboard he'd heard Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon putting out all the gaily wrapped presents for Dudley and realized the there wasn't a Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas just Mums and Dads who loved their children but not little orphan boys.

Harry was startled from his sleep when his cupboard door opened and a man peered inside.

"Who are you?" asked Harry.

The man smiled and said, "I'm Nicholas and you are Harry Potter, I've brought you a present, Harry. Will you come out of there?"

Harry stood up and walked out of his cupboard. He looked carefully at Nicholas. The man was old and round and had a long beard, which Harry almost reached out to touch.

"Do you really have a present for me? I didn't think you were real," said Harry shyly.

"Yes I do," said Nicholas kneeling down and pulling out a small box that grew in his hand.

Harry tore off the shiny paper and opened the box to find and brightly colored, fuzzy blanket.

Eyes shining Harry smiled at the man, "Oh thank you, thank you," he said clutching the blanket to him.

Nicholas smiled back and responded, "You are very welcome young Harry, now I must ask you about your other request. Do you truly wish a new family? Would you leave with me now, never to return?"

Harry's eyes grew bigger and he nodded frantically, "Oh yes, please," he begged.

Nicholas pulled the blanket from Harry's arms and wrapped it around the boy's small, shivering frame and pulled him close.

"Do not fear Harry Potter I will not hurt you but it would not do for you to just disappear."

Harry watched as he raised his hand and it glowed for a second and then in the cupboard under the stairs there appeared another Harry Potter lying in Harry's place.

"They will be mean to him," whispered Harry.

Nicholas looked at him and ran a finger across the dark bruise on Harry's face and said, "Don't worry, it is a golem, it looks like you down to blood and bone but it isn't alive."

Harry considered this and asked, "They'll think I'm dead?"

"Yes, will they be sad?" said Nicholas.

"No, they'll be happy," stated Harry.

Nicholas hugged the small body closer to him. "Now for the wards and we'll leave," said Nicholas.

He raised his hand and it began to glow. The house began to glow then and the glow swirled around the two of them and turned two different colors the blue glow of the blood wards settled into Harry, while the silver glow of the ward designed to prevent muggle from noticing Harry or anything odd about him crackled and disappeared into nothing.

Nicholas lifted the slight child into his arms as he stood and the too thin arms wrapped about his neck.

His phoenix fluttered from the mantle and settled on his shoulder. 'Home,' he thought to the phoenix, 'Perenelle will be wondering where we are.'

The End

Merry Christmas Everyone