None of the characters belong to me.
It was December 1986 and, with Christmas fast approaching, all of the children in the first grade at Little Winging Primary School were writing letters to Santa Claus. A boy named Harry Potter was having a hard time writing his. He knew that he was not allowed to have toys and even though he had always done his best to be good, Santa had never left him anything. So, what was he going to write?
I am not allowed to ask for toys or books. Aunt Petunia says they are for good boys like Dudley. What I really want is to have a family that loves me. Even if it is only for one day. Or if I can't have that, can you make it so that I can have a merry Christmas like the other kids?
Folding up his letter he 'posted' it in the special mailbox that was on the teachers desk.
Christmas Eve arrived and Harry had forgotten about the letter he had written. He was listening to his uncle give him orders.
"Here are the chores that you have to finish while we are at Midnight Mass. If they are not done properly then you get the belt and no food for a month. Understand?"
"Good. Be in the cupboard by the time we get home. You will stay in there and be silent until I let you out tomorrow. We don't want you spoiling anything for our Dudley. Go!"
Harry finished his chores quickly and sat in front of the decorated tree, quietly admiring the twinkly lights.
Suddenly a clattering was could be heard on the roof. 'No. It can't be. It's just my imagination' Harry thought. 'Reindeer can't fly'
A rustling came from the blocked up chimney. 'A bird must have fallen in again. People can't climb down chimneys'
"Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas Harry Potter!"
Harry could not believe his eyes. 'This must be a dream!' Harry thought, amazed that THE Santa Claus was standing in the living room.
"No, I am not a dream. Not this time, Harry. Now," Said Santa, sitting on the couch and pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket. "I want to discuss your letter."
Harry thought back and remembered the letter he had written in class. 'He is going to tell me he can't help. Just like everyone else' Harry thought sadly.
"Do you still want a new family?" Santa asked gently.
"You… you can really do that? You can get me a new family?"
"And I have a family in mind. They asked me for a child for them to love and look after because they cannot have any of their own. They are nice people who would treat you well and are ready to love you. Would you like to meet them?"
"Yes please!" Harry almost shouted.
"Well, we better get going then." Santa said, standing up and walking to the fireplace.
Harry walked over to Santa and suddenly the pair were on the roof. Standing there was a sleigh filled with toys and nine reindeer were harnessed to it, waiting for the command to go.
"Climb in Harry. Would you like to drive the team? Call them all by name and they will go. Ready?"
"Dasher, Prancer, Dancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen, Cupid, Comet and Rudolph! Um… next house please." Harry called nervously.
"Well done! Not many people can remember all the names." Said Santa proudly. "How about a few trips before we go to your new family?"
"Yes please!" Harry was thrilled. He never thought that he would ever do anything like this. It was every child's dream come true.
Several hours, and many present stops, later they landed on the road outside a nice house in Crawly.
"Here we are. This will be your new home, Harry. I need you to go to the door and tell the person who answers it that I have granted their Christmas Wish. Oh, and give them this letter. Merry Christmas Harry Potter."
Harry threw himself at Santa and hugged him hard.
"Thank you Santa! Merry Christmas!" Harry called as he climbed out of the sleigh. He patted each reindeer and thanked them for their hard work. With a final wave of his hand he went up to the door and rang the bell.
"Yes? What are you doing out so late, little one? Where are your parents?" Michael Porter asked when he answered the door.
"Merry Christmas." Harry said nervously. "Santa brought me here and said that your wish was granted. Oh, and I have to give you this." Harry finished handing over the letter.
As the new family went to sleep they all heard a voice calling "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
At the Dursley house it was not such a pleasant night. Upon arriving back with a sleeping Dudley being carried by his father, a large lump of coal was discovered covering the dining table. The stockings were filled with more coal and the floor was littered with even more. It was obvious that someone was not happy with them.
Twenty years later Harry was sitting by the fire after sending his children to bed. Suddenly he heard a noise on the roof.
"Merry Christmas, Santa!" Harry said calmly to the figure that appeared by his fireplace.
"And a Merry Christmas to you Harry. A much better one than last time we met."
"And a much better life than I would have had otherwise. Thank you."
"You are most welcome. So tell me, what happened?"
Harry conjured some hot chocolate for them both and started his tale. "Michael and Maureen were, and still are, wonderful parents to me. They are coming for Christmas dinner tomorrow actually. I was treated like I was their own child and none of us have ever looked back. The Dursley's only recently got out of prison for the abuse they put me through and I heard that Dudley had been in foster care and is making a name for himself as a child psychologist."
"Good. I was a bit concerned with that boy. He could have gone either way. And what about you?"
"I met my wife shortly after that night. She lived next door and we quickly became close friends. We went to Hogwarts together, by the way, did you know that Michael and Maureen are magical when you sent me to them?"
"Yes, I thought that they would understand you better than a non-magical family."
"They were the ones to realise that Hermione is a muggle-born witch. That helped everyone. Hermione and I married about a month after we left school and, as you know, we have had three children of our own." Harry paused to sip his drink.
"I am glad that life turned out well for you. I do have a gift for you." Santa said as he handed a package to Harry.
"Santa, you already gave me more than enough, but thank you."
Harry opened the present and saw a frame. Turning it over he saw the letter he had written all those years ago under a photograph of him with his adopted parents.
"Thank you. That seems so inadequate."
"You are welcome. I do have a request. I have a boy who wrote a letter much like yours…"
"Bring him here. Potter Place is a home where everyone is welcome and loved."
Many years later the framed letter that Santa had given Harry was joined on the wall by many others. They belonged to the Christmas Children. They were children that Santa had brought to Potter Place each year, who would go on to tell the tale of how Santa read their letters and brought them to a new home. A place where there was always understanding, acceptance and, most importantly, love.