Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. Cassidy Stay quoting Dumbledore at her parents and siblings’ funeral. Photo: Facebook
Cassidy Stay’s struggle through her first few months without her family received a boost she’ll never forget when a hand-written letter from Professor Dumbledore turned up in her mailbox.
Given Dumbledore is a fictional character who is also deceased, the letter was penned by JK Rowling, the author behind the smash hit book series Harry Potter.
Cassidy, 15, captured the hearts of millions when she read out quote by the Hogwarts’ headmaster at the funeral for her parents, two sisters and two brothers who were shot in their Texas home in July this year.
“In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore says: ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light’,” said Cassidy, quoting from the third installment book in the series.
“I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca, and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day. Stay Strong.”
Within hours of her address streaming across news channels, a Facebook group campaigning for the survivor and world-famous author to meet emerged and attracted more than 6500 followers.
A post on the page by one of the group coordinators said Cassidy had also received a copy of the third book, a wand, and an acceptance letter to Hogwarts complete with a school supply list.
According to news site LDS.net, the letter included “several paragraphs from the point of view of Albus Dumbledore, telling Cassidy what the headmaster would have told her if he could have”.
A spokesman for Rowling said confirmed the 49-year-old author had sent the letter, but declined to confirm if there was a plan for the pair to meet.
“We can confirm that JK Rowling was in touch with Cassidy Stay, however, the contents of the letter remain private,” the spokesman told The Telegraph. “Cassidy’s is a remarkable story.”
Cassidy’s parents, Stephen and Katie, were killed on July 9, along with her four siblings: Bryan, 14; Emily, nine; Rebecca, seven; and Zach, four. Cassidy suffered a skull fracture and lost part of her finger during the shooting.
She told police she “played dead” until the alleged shooter, Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, had left the home. She then called the police and later identified Haskell, who is her uncle by marriage.
He was dressed as a Fed Ex delivery man at the time and had been trying to locate Cassidy’s grandparents and his former wife, Katie Stay’s sister. Cassidy had attempted to close the door on him before he kicked it in.
During the ceremony, Cassidy’s grandfather Roger Lyon said her quick actions had saved the lives of many family members.
“We continue to be in awe of how she was able to save us,” Mr Lyon said. “Without her courage and quick thinking, we might be mourning the death of 20 … people today.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.