A suburban Texas teen who survived the massacre of her entire family found a sliver of joy in her mailbox, a letter of support from Professor Albus Dumbledore, the beloved icon of wisdom and magic from the fictional world of Harry Potter.
Cassidy Stay, 15, of Spring, Texas, was the lone survivor of a deadly attack in July in which a gunman killed her parents and four younger siblings. Police have credited her with saving lives because she was able to warn police of his intent to attack more of her family members that night.
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, faces capital murder charges after police said he entered the house searching for his former wife, the sister of Cassidy's mother. He instead shot her two parents and her four younger siblings.
During the memorial in the Houston suburb a few days later, the teen calmly delivered words of strength that had no doubt often inspired millions of Potter fans her age.
"In 'The Prisoner of Azkaban,'" she said, "Dumbledore says: 'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.'"
Her words caught the attention of J.K. Rowling, author of the wildly popular Harry Potter book series.
Rowling penned the letter in purple ink and sent it to Stay, according to an Aug. 4 post on a Facebook group set up after the tragedy to help Stay meet Rowling.
The letter arrived with a magic wand, a signed copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban, a list of school supplies and an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, the place where Potter and his friends studied the art of wizardry, the Facebook page administrator said, citing confirmation by a friend of Cassidy's.
The contents of the letter have not been released.
Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was the school's headmaster and founder of an order intent of defeating Potter's sworn enemy, Lord Voldemort.
"I still really want JK Rowling to actually meet her," reads the post on the Facebook group. "We might just have to keep this page going until that actually happens."
A request by Reuters for comment from Rowling's public relations team was not answered on Thursday.