Christmas morning was Lucy’s favorite morning of the year besides when it was her birthday. But she loved waking up to all the shiny Christmas wrapping and bows and of course, her letter from Santa. Everything about Christmas morning made Lucy happy, so when she woke up she stretched her limbs and lunged forward to begin to open her presents. And right on the tippy top of all of them was the letter from Santa.
You’ve been very good this year and your mum and dad are so proud of you. They’re happy that you’re doing well in school, Quidditch, and dancing. And they’re also very proud that you’ve been responsible enough to take care of a cat all on your own. I’m very flattered that you named your kitty after me!
I hope you have a really wonderful Christmas this year and that you enjoy all your presents. I made sure the elves paid special attention to the ones they made for you so that you would get the best gifts of all.
I also wanted you to know that I’ve enjoyed every single one of your letters this year! It seems every year you find more and more to say to me, even when i think there can’t possibly be anything left. But I’m glad you’ve never stopped believing in me like some other people have. Just remember that no matter what other people say, I will always be real.
Don’t ever stop believing and don’t forget to be good this year!
Your friend Santa Claus
Lucy smiled with joy and held the letter against her heart. The letters got better and better every single year, even though she didn’t know that was possible at all. She looked at all her presents at the foot of her bed and decided she would open them all later. For now, she just wanted to be with Charlie. But she still grabbed her one special present from Santa - the one that was bigger than the rest from him - so she could bring it with her and also the present she had gotten for Charlie.
“Where are you going, Lucy?” one of her roommates asked. Lucy turned around and smiled brightly. It was something she didn’t normally do around her roommates because she didn’t like them much but it was a special day so her happiness was through the roof and she couldn’t help but smile.
“I’m taking my big present from Santa to Charlie’s room so I can open it with him,” she said.
The other girl rolled her eyes at Lucy and sighed in exasperation. Little did Lucy know, everyone in her room was sick and tired of hearing about “Santa” and his existence. “Santa’s not real, Lucy,” she said. “It’s your parents. They buy you the presents and give them to you and everyone knows that by now. You find out when you’re like 10 but apparently you were too stupid to comprehend that conversation.”
Lucy’s bottom lip trembled and she clutched her specially wrapped Santa gift in her arms. He wasn’t fake. There was no way! He had to be real. He just had to be. “That’s not true,” Lucy said coldly. Her insides felt like they were splitting apart but she was trying to keep herself as composed as possible on the outside.
“Oh yeah? If that’s not true, then why is Santa’s handwriting the same as your parents? And how do you possibly think that he gets all those presents to every single child in one night?” another one of her roommates piped up.
Lucy glared at all of them and stormed out of the room, not wanting to hear another word. Kitty Claus traveled closely behind at her feet. She stomped down the stairs and up some stairs to get to Charlie’s room. Unlike her, all of his roommates had gone home for Christmas. Probably to get away from him. But it was nice because it meant they could privately share Christmas in bed together and not have to go to the North Tower to celebrate.
When Lucy entered Charlie’s room, she noticed he was still asleep. Even though she really wanted to wake him up and talk to him about what had just happened, she knew that she couldn’t because he’d be mad at her. So she placed her gift and her letter at the end of the bed with his presents and crawled into his bed with him. The second she placed her head down on the pillow, she lost every bit of her resolve completely and burst into silent tears.
After a few minutes of crying, she felt the bed shift slightly as Charlie rolled over. He had a sleepy smile on his face which Lucy knew meant he was about to become very, very affectionate and sweet which was exactly what she needed at that moment.
“Merry Christmas, Lu,” he said and kissed her forehead. He wrapped his arms around her and then looked at her face. His happiness seemed to disappear and he sat straight up in bed, pulling her with him. He held her face in his hands and looked closely at her. “What happened?” With the pads of his thumbs, he wiped away her tears for her.
Lucy sniffled and shook her head to signal that she needed a moment to gather herself before talking about it. “I…a few of my roommates said Santa’s not real,” she said sadly. She looked down at her hands and then back up at Charlie again. “Is that true, Charlie? Is he not real? Am I just too stupid to know the difference?”
Charlie could feel the anger rising within him. He couldn’t believe someone had ruined Santa like this for Lucy. Especially because it was Christmas morning. He took a few deep breaths and looked in her eyes. He was going to fix this. He was going to make sure that she still believed in Santa and there wasn’t a doubt in her mind. “What else did they say?”
“They said that Santa is really my parents and it’s true that he has the same handwriting as my dad,” Lucy said. She crawled to the edge of the bed and got her letter and handed it to Charlie. “See? That’s how my dad writes, too.”
Charlie read the letter over and couldn’t help but smile. The way her parents flawlessly played along with her belief was amazing. Even if he himself had never been a big fan of families, Lucy’s was perfect for her. He looked up from the letter and his eyes wandered towards the end of his bed where a couple small boxes were and a letter on top. The letter was one he had written to himself from Santa but he knew that Lucy could recognize his handwriting and he quickly thought of a way to explain the situation. “Well, you see, Santa has special handwriting,” Charlie said and looked back at Lucy. He pulled her into his lap and held her close to him while he kept going. “He makes his handwriting different for each person or family so that it matches their writing. It’s to make it more familiar, you know?”
Lucy sniffled and wiped at the bottom of her slightly pink nose. “How do you know?” she asked.
“He told me once when I was little and I wrote him a letter asking that question,” Charlie said and pushed some hair behind her ear. “Wanna check if he left me anything?”
Lucy nodded and Charlie helped get her to stand. He walked to the foot of his bed and looked down. There was the letter, staring up at him. “Come here, Lu, come look!” he said. His voice was overly excited, like he was talking to a little kid. Which he sort of was. He held out his hand and Lucy took it. She stepped over to him and looked down. When she saw the letter, she gasped.
“Charlie!” she said and picked it up. “Charlie, he gave you a letter, too!”
Charlie smiled and kissed her cheek. He walked around behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Why don’t you read it to me,” he suggested and Lucy nodded enthusiastically. He was being extraordinarily sweet and affectionate and Lucy knew it was only because it was Christmas and she was upset and he didn’t want her to be upset but she wasn’t complaining. As long as he was being good.
Lucy slowly unfolded the letter and prepared herself to read it to him. In all honesty, she was a little nervous about what she was going to find in the letter. What if Santa told Charlie he had been really bad and couldn’t have any gifts again? She knew Charlie wouldn’t really care, but it would bother her forever. She turned her head slightly to look at Charlie and he kissed her.
“Go ahead, Lu,” he said softly. “Just read it.”
Lucy nodded again and looked down at the letter. She took a deep breath and started.
For many years, you have been on the naughty list. You’ve hurt a lot of people without caring and that is not in the spirit of Christmas. I had been planning to give you only coal this year, but someone who I care about a lot wrote me a letter trying to help your case. Lucy is the most special girl that I deliver presents to every year and I trust her judge of character most of all. That’s why I decided to not give you any coal.
I hope you have a wonderful and merry Christmas.
Lucy looked up from the letter and turned around fully so she could get a better look at Charlie. Her whole face was lit up and her eyes were shining with excitement. Charlie smiled and pressed his lips gently against hers. “Thank you for making sure I don’t get any coal,” he said once he pulled away.
“It wasn’t me, it was Santa!” she said excitedly. “He loves you, too, now! And…I have a special present for you.” Lucy reached behind her and picked up the wrapped box to give to Charlie.
Charlie sat back down on his bed and held the gift in his lap while he waited for her to sit next to him. She crawled onto the bed and sat up on her knees to watch him. After a moment, she impatiently nudged him to open it.
“Lucy,” he said, his tone warning. She stopped immediately and sat still. “Better.” Once he was sure she was settled and he felt he had tortured her enough with not opening her gift, he hooked his fingers through the paper and ripped it off the neatly wrapped box. He lifted the top off the box and looked down to find a Santa hat with his name on it. He opened his mouth to say something but Lucy stopped him before he could.
“It’s special,” she said quietly. “I asked Santa to use his special powers on it so that it’ll protect you from coal and the naughty list, no matter what you do. So you can still continue to be you and do the things you like to do and hurt people if you want and you won’t have to worry about not getting presents on Christmas because the hat will protect you.”
The way she looked at him when she was finished, with her big blue eyes that so clearly believed in everything she had just told him, made him melt. It was obvious that the only thing Lucy really wanted for Christmas was for her two favorite people - Santa and Charlie - to get along and love each other and this was her way of trying to do that. Charlie didn’t know what exactly the feeling that was bursting through him was because it was so unfamiliar and unlike anything he’d ever felt or experienced and all he knew was that in that moment, he wanted to kiss her and never let her go. He kissed her with everything in him and she wrapped her arms around his neck to kiss him back. They stood like that for a while until finally Lucy was the one to break it.
“So…you like it?” she asked.
Charlie laughed and placed a kiss on the tip of her nose which caused her to giggle. “I love it. It’s the most amazing gift anyone’s ever given me.” Lucy smiled brightly and hugged him as tight as she could. He hugged her back for a moment but then gently pushed her away. “I have to give you your present now.”
Lucy’s face lit up even more and she jumped on top of Charlie’s bed. He chuckled and picked up the tiny wrapped box. Without waiting for him to give it to her, Lucy practically ripped it out of his hands and tore into the paper. She held the box in her hands and then looked up at Charlie for affirmation that it was okay to open it. Charlie nodded and the top of the box was ripped off and flung to the floor. Inside sat a beautiful necklace with the most lovely gem in the middle and Lucy gently ran her fingers along the outline. “It’s beautiful, Charlie,” she said and smiled up at him.
Charlie joined her on the bed and took the necklace out of the box to put it on her. “Just like your present for me, this one’s magical too,” he told her. He held up his hand and for the first time Lucy noticed the ring on there that she had never seen before. It matched her necklace. She reached out to touch the ring with a childishly curious look on her face then looked back at Charlie.
“What’s magic about them?” she asked.
“Well,” he started. “I enchanted them so that your necklace will tell you where I am and my ring will tell me where you are. Want to try?”
Lucy’s head bobbed up and down very quickly and Charlie smiled. Without another word he left the room and went into the common room. Lucy sat and watched her necklace and suddenly gold lettering swam in the center of the gem telling her exactly where Charlie was. She ran down the stairs and found him standing there waiting for her. There were other people in the common room that were celebrating with their friends but they had all gone quiet at the arrival of Charlie and went completely silent when they saw Lucy. Her face broke into a huge smile and she hardly noticed that anyone was watching them. She ran through the room and jumped up on Charlie, wrapping her legs around his waist.
“I love it! I absolutely love it!” she said.
Charlie smirked at her and for a minute her heart sank because it wasn’t a smile and she loved so much when he smiled but she realized it more than likely had something to do with all the people watching them. Charlie didn’t smile in front of anyone but her and she knew that.
“Can we go back upstairs? I don’t like all these people watching us,” she said. Charlie looked around the room and pulled out his wand.
“I’ll take care of that,” he said and sent a few hexes carelessly around the room. A couple of things exploded and everyone screamed and scattered back up the stairs. Lucy giggled as she watched them leave and looked back at Charlie with a huge smile on her face. She hopped back down to the ground and touched her necklace.
“You know, now that you gave this to me, I’m going to be able to find you no matter where you are,” she said. “And you’ll have to see me all the time because I like to be with you and now I’ll always know where you are.”
Charlie held her face between his hands and nodded his head. “I know,” he said. “I want you to find me.”
Lucy leaned up on her toes and kissed Charlie. She had never felt so important to someone before in her life. And the best part of all was that Charlie didn’t like anyone like he liked her. Nobody else got the privilege of seeing him smile or making him laugh or cuddling with him early in the morning. No one in the world knew the Charlie that she knew and now he wanted her to find him all the time. When she pulled away, she couldn’t stop herself from saying the words that came out of her mouth.
“I love you,” she whispered. It was the first time she had ever said it in the way that she meant it with him. Her mouth formed a tiny “o” shape of shock and she tried to backtrack and take it all back. “I mean…I um love…Jews?” Her voice was tiny and squeaky and her face was turning as red as her hair.
Charlie’s true smile returned and that made her feel a little better, but still not fully. She felt so embarrassed that she had said something so stupid that he couldn’t even respond with the same thing back to and she buried her face in his chest. He laughed and pulled her away gently.
“Don’t hide, Lu,” he said and kissed her. Lucy sighed in content against his lips and rested her forehead against his.
“I didn’t mean to say that,” she said softly.
“I already knew,” he said. He pushed her hair away from her face and stared in her eyes for a moment. If anyone was going to be in love with him, he was glad it was Lucy. He almost felt a little guilty that he couldn’t feel the same way back. It just didn’t seem fair, really. But there was nothing he could do and he wasn’t going to dwell on it too much. He took her hand and started going up the stairs back to his room.
“Where are we going?” Lucy asked.
Charlie turned to look at her over his shoulder. His smirk was back. “We’re going to go celebrate Christmas the adult way.”