J.K. Rowling Wrote Letter as Dumbledore to Girl Who Lost Her Entire Family — UPDATE
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." It's one of Harry Potter's most famous and oft-quoted lines, said by Dumbledore in the series' third film, and in July, it was used by a teenage girl at the memorial service of her murdered family. After her parents and four siblings were killed by her uncle in a horrific shooting, Cassidy Stay, 15, used the words of Potter to help her cope — and now, it's been confirmed that none other than J.K. Rowling has taken notice.
According to The Telegraph, the Potter author heard Stay's tragic story, including the Dumbledore quote she used during her speech, and was driven to reach out. So she sent the teen a personalized care package, complete with a wand, a Hogwarts acceptance letter, a signed book (the third one, fitting the quote) and, most touching of all, a hand-written letter from "Dumbledore" himself.
“This afternoon, I talked to a friend of Cassidy’s who confirmed that J.K. Rowling did, in fact, write her a personalized letter from ‘Dumbledore’ (hand-written with purple ink),” the manager of a Facebook page set up to arrange contact between Stay and Rowling, wrote on Monday. "I’m so excited and ecstatic that we were all able to make a difference! How wonderful.”
The manager told Hypable that they'd received this information from a friend of the Stay family, and several other websites are reporting the news. As for the content of the letter, that's between Rowling and Stay; one can imagine, though, that it's as wise and comforting as anything Dumbledore told Harry during the teen's most difficult times.
As for an actual meeting between the two, as suggested by the Facebook page, it's unknown if Rowling has plans to visit Stay in Texas, or if she even has already; knowing the author, it's entirely possible that she wouldn't want such matters to become public, and has expressed her condolences to the teen without the media's awareness. No matter what, though, a letter from Dumbledore, along with the knowledge that J.K. Rowling is wishing her well, should hopefully bring at least some comfort to Stay in her grief.
And, like the protagonist of her beloved series, Stay is not alone to deal with her tragedies; she is credited for saving the lives of her grandparents, there's a memorial fund set up for her family, and, at the service, she sat alongside dozens of family members, friends, and neighbors. "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love," Dumbledore famously said in the final Potter book, and it's clear that Stay, despite her tremendous loss, is surrounded by those who love her dearly.