Harry's Letter to Father Christmas

December 21st

It was a cold day in Little Whinging, and Harry was sitting in his cupboard, huddled under his blanket, feverishly writing on a piece of paper in his best handwriting. With a hopeful smile on his lips the eight-year-old finished his letter to Father Christmas. 'Well, probably it will be the same as every year and he won't listen to me since I'm not a good boy anyway,' he thought sadly as he once more read over his letter.

'Dear Father Christmas,
This year, I really tried to be a good boy, and I hope so much that I succeeded. Can you help me? I can't see well. At school, I can only read what is written on the blackboard, if I sit in the first row. I also have difficulties to breathe in my cupboard. Can you please make me see and breathe better? I hope so much that you can help me.
Harry
'

After carefully folding the letter twice and writing 'To Father Christmas' on the back, Harry took his letter to his aunt, who was reading a garden magazine in the kitchen.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Aunt Petunia, but I wrote a letter to Father Christmas. Where can I put my letter, so that he'll find it?" he asked hesitantly, causing the woman to glare at him in exasperation.

"How often do I have to tell you that Father Christmas doesn't bring presents to freaks like you?" she hissed, tearing the letter into pieces, before she threw everything into the rubbish bin.

Totally in shock at his aunt's reaction, Harry grabbed the pieces out of the bin, pressing them firmly against his chest, and ran out of the house, feverishly trying to keep his tears back until he reached the playground.

Unaware of how cold the dry December air was, Harry sat down on the ground and tried to catch his breath, placing the pieces of the letter in front of him. He absentmindedly arranged them back to a letter like a jigsaw puzzle, while the tears poured freely down from his large green eyes.

'I have to try to get some more paper at school tomorrow, so that I can write my letter once more. But how can I send it to Father Christmas?' he mused, devastated. 'Perhaps I should ask the teacher, but Mrs. Jones probably won't help me, because I happened to dye her hair blue the other day, although I've no idea how that could happen.'

He carefully straightened the pieces of paper in front of himself and proceeded to once more read his letter, unaware of the fact that all the pieces began to stick together as he read. Only when he finished reading did he notice that his letter wasn't torn anymore and looked as if he had just finished writing it.

'My letter is in one piece again,' he thought in complete amazement as a violent shiver shook his small body, before he let out a series of small sneezes.

Suddenly, Harry realized how cold it was and that he had left the Dursleys' home only wearing Dudley's old jumper. Softly stroking the flawless letter, he frantically searched his mind for a solution to his problem of how to get the letter to Father Christmas.

'I'll ask Mrs. Figg,' he finally decided. 'She is strange with all her cats, but she is much nicer than Aunt Petunia, and she'll help me if she can. Maybe she has an idea, and at least I can warm up a bit at her place before returning to my cupboard. It's already evening, so she won't make me watch her photo albums of all her cats at this time of the day.' Harry carefully folded his letter again and ran out of the park to the old lady's house, hesitantly ringing the bell.

It took a few minutes, before Mrs. Figg opened the door, surrounded by half a dozen cats that strode around her feet, curiously eying the child.

"Harry!" Mrs. Figg said in surprise at the sight of the small boy, who stood in front of her with a tear-stricken face, shivering violently. "Come in and tell me what's wrong, sweetie," she said gently, ushering the child into the house.

Sitting down on the sofa in front of the fireplace, Harry began to speak in a hardly audible voice. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Figg, for disturbing you at this time of the day. Um... I wrote a letter to Father Christmas. I know that he'll probably ignore it anyway, because I'm not a good boy but a freak, but nevertheless I want to try. I asked my aunt to send it to Father Christmas, but she just threw it into the bin. Fortunately, she did that in front of my eyes, so that I could save my letter. Could you perhaps help me to send it to Father Christmas, please?"

He tried hard to bite back the tears that tried to escape from his eyes once more but couldn't prevent a few tears to escape and run over his cheeks.

Mrs. Figg sighed. "I'm sorry, Harry, for your aunt's behaviour. I'm sure that you're a very good boy. You definitely are not a freak, and I'm sure that you earn to get a Christmas present just like everyone else. Unfortunately, I can't tell your aunt what I think of her; otherwise, she wouldn't let you come to me anymore. Now listen, child, I can't promise you anything, but if you leave your letter with me, I'll try to give it to Father Christmas. Come here again after school tomorrow and I can tell you if I managed to hand over your letter," she suggested in a soothing voice.

Harry's eyes lit in hopeful delight. "Thank you so much, Mrs. Figg," he said happily, rising from the sofa.

"No Harry, sit down and have a cup of hot cocoa to warm up a bit before you go home," the old lady told him, placing a cup in front of him.

Harry hesitantly took a small sip from the cup, craving the taste of the warm liquid. "This tastes so good," he told her in absolute amazement. "I don't think I ever had something so tasty before."

Mrs. Figg, sighed, glancing at the excited child. "Harry," she began hesitantly, "I'm not supposed to tell you that, but please believe me that it's only a question of time until you'll be able to get away from the Dursleys. In a little less than three years, you'll know more, and you'll meet other people, who are like you, people, whom the Dursleys would call freaks." Letting out another long sigh, she added firmly, "Harry, please don't speak to anyone about this; otherwise I'd be in trouble."

"I promise," Harry replied, throwing the old lady a hopeful look. "Can you tell me more, Mrs. Figg? Are you really sure about that?"

"No, I can't tell you more, and yes, I'm sure," Mrs. Figg assured him, motioning the boy to take a biscuit.

'I have to return to the Dursleys. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon will be so angry that I didn't make dinner yet,' Harry suddenly remembered and quickly rose from the sofa. "Thank you so much for your help and for the cocoa and biscuits, Mrs. Figg," he said politely. "I should go back now. I hope it won't be too late to make dinner."

"Shall I accompany you, Harry?" the old lady asked gently, standing up as well.

"No thank you. I'll run, because it's so cold," Harry replied urgently, getting more and more anxious at his relatives' reaction to his tardiness.

"All right, Harry, oh look, it has begun to snow. Maybe we'll have a white Christmas this year," Mrs. Figg told him, causing a small fake smile to appear on Harry's face.

'I won't have any snow for Christmas. I'll only have the dust in my cupboard,' he thought sadly, before he said "Good bye" and began to run in the direction of the Dursleys' home.

The house lay completely in the dark, and when he pushed the bell nobody opened. 'Oh no! They've gone out for dinner,' Harry realized, shivering violently in the heavily falling snow. He went around the house, hoping that maybe his aunt had left the kitchen door open for him, only to find it closed like the front door. 'What am I going to do?' he began to panic, while his teeth started to chatter and he felt himself getting wet from the snow. 'The garden shed,' he suddenly remembered and ran over to the small shed, squeezing himself inside, where he sat down on the floor, resting his head on the lawn mower.

'I hope Father Christmas will read my letter and help me,' was his last thought, before he drifted off in an exhausted sleep filled with dreams of himself running all over the north pole in search for Father Christmas, while his aunt was coming after him with a wooden spoon, trying to take his letter from him.


tbc...

A very happy Christmas time to all of you!

I'm not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes or help me to correct them.
All recognizable characters belong to Mrs. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.