I Believe in Santa Claus by MellarkandArt
Summary: If nothing else, Harry had always received a gift from Santa. When his first Christmas at Hogwarts lacks a visit from Old Saint Nick, Harry's dour Potions Professor to provide some insight on the matter and inadvertently, himself.
Categories: Teacher Snape > Unofficially teaching Snape, Teacher Snape > Professor Snape Main Characters: .Snape and Harry (required), Hermione, Ron
Snape Flavour: Snape is Kind
Genres: Fluff, Hurt/Comfort
Media Type: None
Tags: None
Takes Place: 1st Year
Warnings: Emotional Abuse, Neglect
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 2119 Read: 1113 Published: 13 Dec 2022 Updated: 13 Dec 2022
I Believe in Santa Claus by MellarkandArt
Author's Notes:
I believe in Santa Claus, I'll tell you why I do
'Cause I believe that dreams and plans and wishes can come true
I believe in miracles, I believe in magic too
Oh I believe in Santa Claus and I believe in you
- I Believe in Santa Claus, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

Bad Things Happen Bingo - Trying Not to Cry
Through the passing days and changing seasons, it seemed that the sole thing that Dudley Dursley was not allowed at #4 Privet Drive was the belief in Santa Claus.

“We simply don’t condone lying to our child,” Aunt Petunia would say to anyone who dared to ask why they didn’t allow him the joy of imagination at Christmas that most other children experienced.

“You let them believe in one thing like that, next thing you know they’ll be getting all sorts of dangerous ideas,” Uncle Vernon would back her up.

Honestly, though, this firm rule in the Dursley household did not affect Dudley at all. He’d barely known who Santa Claus even was before starting primary school, and most of the children there didn’t believe in him anymore anyways. One year, Piers Polkiss told the class that he’d caught his mother and father putting presents under the tree themselves and that had pretty much killed the belief for them all. Besides, Dudley got more presents from his parents than all the other children in his class combined, so it wasn’t as though he was missing out on the most important aspect of Christmas by Santa Claus not being in the picture.

For Harry, however, the belief in Santa Claus was just one more thing he had to hide from his relatives. He hadn’t much reason to, it wasn’t as though he received a mound of presents every year as his cousin did, but every year on Christmas day he would awake due to Dudley running down the stairs to open his presents and find a gift of his own in his cupboard. He knew that it wasn’t from the Dursleys, for he knew by now that they were unlikely to purchase a gift for him, nor would they ever sign it “from Santa.”

He took a lot of ridicule at school for it, being called baby names by the other students and tattled on by his cousin to his relatives, who were not pleased to hear about yet another one of Harry’s freakish differences. Still, Santa never failed to live up to Harry’s expectations, and so Harry never wavered in his belief.

Which was exactly what he was trying to convince his new best friend, Ron Weasley.

“Everyone knows by now that Santa is our parents,” said Ron. “They wait till we’re asleep to put the presents out every year, I saw them doing it last year!”

“See, but that’s how I know that he’s real,” Harry told him, upset with his friend. “My relatives would never do that, not for me, and we weren’t allowed to believe in him, anyway, so it just doesn’t make any sense for them to pretend.”

Now Ron seemed upset. “Your relatives don’t ever get you anything for Christmas?”

“Perhaps they don’t celebrate Christmas,” Hermione pointed out from behind her book. “Are your relatives Jewish, Harry?”

Harry refrained from rolling his eyes at her. “No, Hermione, the Dursleys aren’t Jewish or anything like that. They always had a huge Christmas tree and plenty of presents for Dudley, just not any for me.”

Hermione lowered her book, frowning. “Well that is odd then, isn’t it?”

Harry shrugged in indifference. “I don’t care, Santa always brought me something to make up for it, anyway.”

Hermione gave him a pitying look while Ron took the opportunity to argue again. ‘But he’s not real, mate, there’s just no proof of it!”

“I’m telling you the proof!” Harry shouted, standing up. “It’s not my fault if you don’t believe it!” He spun on his heel and stormed to the boy’s dormitory, leaving behind two very stunned and sorrowful friends in the common room.

The days passed and Harry’s friends went home for Christmas, leaving Harry in the castle alone. He hardly cared though, (perhaps he was still slightly upset with them) for it was soon Christmas. Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts was almost perfect, except for one thing that was missing. His gift from Santa.

Harry didn’t know how to feel. On one hand, he had gotten multiple presents for the first time from multiple people, signaling that he now had multiple people in his life who cared about him. On the other, Santa had never neglected him before, and the idea was more than a little disappointing.

Perhaps… Perhaps he had been wrong? Maybe Ron and Dursleys and all the kids in primary school had been right, and there was no such thing as Santa Claus?

For the first time ever, Harry had been remembered on Christmas by someone other than Santa Claus himself. But despite that, for the first time ever on Christmas, Harry had to fight back tears.

***

Severus Snape woke on Christmas day in a slightly better mood than usual. He didn’t go about spreading Christmas cheer as it really didn’t fit his foul disposition, but really, Christmas was one of his favorite holidays by far. The castle was clear of almost all the horrid children it usually inhabited, and he got a good two weeks to spend all by himself, doing whatever he pleased.

Not to mention, Santa Claus never forgot about him.

He should perhaps be offended by it, as he was likely one of the few adults that the old wizard still paid any mind to, but his visits were appreciated nonetheless. Severus turned in his bed to look at the small tree he kept on his nightstand, spotting a golden pocket watch underneath it.

The man smiled, reaching out to finger the item. Exactly what he’d needed, as his old one had stopped ticking several Reparos ago. He rose from the bed, in likely what would be one of his best moods of the year. He dressed for the day, ready to patrol the halls to see what misdeeds the little miscreants would be up to today.

Not many who had stayed for the holiday were out of their dorms just yet, the few that were were split between the breakfast feast and attempting to freeze themselves to death under the premise of a snowball fight out in the courtyard. Though there was one raven hair boy sitting on the edge of a window seal, staring out at the ones playing outside and looking as downtrodden as can be.

“What’s the matter, Potter?” Severus sneered at the boy, his good mood wavering at the sight of him. “Didn’t get everything on your list?”

Potter shook his head which Severus took as a confirmation of his accusation until the boy spoke. “No, I got lots of stuff this year. Candy from Hermione, a flute from Hagrid, even a- er, Ron’s mum even made me a sweater.”

That didn’t exactly sound like lots, and there hadn’t been any mention of a gift from his family, but still, nothing to feel down about. “Why the gloom and doom, then?”

“Well…” Potter shifted his feet. “It’s just that it’s the first year I didn’t get anything from Santa, and that’s fine, he doesn’t have to get me anything, but I just… Now I wonder if everyone was right, and maybe Santa Claus doesn’t really exist after all.”

Severus frowned at the boy, considering. Not many children his age still believed in the old man, and with good reason, for not many children had genuinely received gifts from him. There had been a time, long ago, when everyone received a visit from Old Saint Nick, but as more and more parents took credit for his good deeds and fewer children believed in him, his priorities had shifted. What many people didn’t realize was that Santa Claus did in fact exist, but he tended to only give gifts to those who wouldn’t otherwise receive any.

But that didn’t make any sense in this case, because surely pampered prince Potter would receive more gifts than any other wizard child since his own spoiled father. “Tell me, Potter, has it ever occurred to you that perhaps it was your relatives posing as Santa Claus all these years, and they’ve decided to forgo the fairytale this year?”

Potter shook his head adamantly. “No, sir. The Dursleys only got my cousin gifts for Christmas, and we weren’t allowed to believe that Santa Claus could’ve brought them, anyway. But he always brought me something every year, and I knew they were from him because of that. Or well, at least I thought I knew,” the boy sighed, staring down at his feet. “Maybe I was wrong, no one else seems to believe in him, anyway. Maybe it was all in my imagination, Uncle Vernon always said that believing in Santa Claus was a dangerous idea.”

Well, if that wasn’t the most pitiful thing he’d ever heard. He hesitated, but after a moment Severus sat down beside the boy. “Has anyone ever properly told you the tale of Old Saint Nick, Mr. Potter?”

“Um, I guess I’ve heard about it,” Potter responded. “He lives in the North Pole with the elves who make gifts for him to give to all the boys and girls on the nice list…” Potter trailed off, looking startled. “Oh, what if I were on the naughty list this year? I hadn’t considered it because I’ve been bad plenty of times, but he’s never left me off the nice list because of it!”

Severus was tempted to smile. As it was, he simply shook his head. “The naughty and nice list is fictitious. It’s simply a threat that parents use to keep their little demon spawn from misbehaving. Saint Nick doesn’t neglect those who’ve done wrong, because if he did, then no one would receive any gifts, for no one is all good, just as no one is all bad.

“As for the rest, you’re not all wrong. It is said that Saint Nick lives at the North Pole, and that the elves make all the toys. However, these gifts aren’t just delivered to boys and girls on some noble list, but instead are handed out to those who would otherwise receive nothing for Christmas. Would you say that this was the case for you, Mr. Potter?”

Potter seemed to think about it before he nodded. “Yes sir, that does make sense. But the Dursleys still didn’t get me anything this year, so what makes it different now?”

“What is it you told me earlier? Your friends, Weasley and Granger, even Hagrid, did not forget about you, nor did the sender of whatever mysterious gift you wish to keep secret. It seems the difference this year is that there are people who care for you, which is the only Christmas wish Saint Nick has ever had for himself.”

“Oh,” Potter said, seeming surprised by this revelation. “I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way. I was mostly upset at the idea that Santa doesn’t exist, as I’ve never known anyone else who believes in him. In fact, you may be the first.”

“It can be seen as both a blessing and a curse,” Severus replied, staring out the window now himself. “It seems only the desperate know it to be true, for only the desperate cling to the hope.”

Severus shook his head out of the clouds, looking back at the boy whose belief had been restored. There were still many questions he had regarding this interaction that needed to be answered, but for now, the child should simply enjoy the day. “There’s no reason to sit up here watching the others have all the fun, you should go outside and join them before it gets too late.”

Potter pushed himself off the window seal, though he didn’t leave right away. “Professor Snape?”

“Yes, Potter?”

“... Did you receive a present from Santa Claus this year?”

Severus could’ve been offended by the question, but he chose to take it at face value. “Yes, Potter.”

Potter looked sad at this pronouncement, but he still offered him a smile and a “Happy Christmas, Professor,” before bouncing away.

“Happy Christmas, Potter,” Severus muttered, staring down at his new pocket watch as the boy left the corridor.

As it turned out, that was the last year Severus Snape received a visit from Old Saint Nick, for from then on, Harry Potter ensured that the professor would be among the forgotten no more.
The End.
End Notes:
just a quick little Christmas fic, nothing special. hope you enjoyed it though! Merry Christmas, and if Taylor Swift happens to be reading this, then happy birthday as well :P


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