Scholastic; AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano
Fifteen years and the magic is still there.
It's hard to believe that way back in the dark ages—that would be 1998—a book about a precocious boy wizard written by a struggling author named J.K. Rowling first hit store shelves in the U.S.
But 15 years later, Harry Potter has become a literary and pop culture touchstone, bequeathing a seven-volume book series that collectively sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and spawned a blockbuster eight-part movie saga that grossed a colossal $7.7 billion.
To celebrate this momentous decade-and-a-half milestone, Rowling, 48, reminisces about the series in a video for publisher Scholastic Books, which was revealed Tuesday on Good Morning America.
In the clip, Rowling—whose Potter windfall has made her the biggest-selling author in history—looks back fondly at the characters that have remained closest to her heart.
At the top of her list? Nope, not Harry Potter.
That would be wise professor Dumbledore.
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.
"He was the character that was hardest to leave for me," she admits.
When asked whom she thinks she'd love to introduce to Dumbledore, if given the chance, Rowling happily cast all modesty to the wind.
"I've considered world leaders who may benefit from some of his calm wisdom, but finally decided there's really only one person who should meet Dumbledore and I think that's me," the author copped. "Because, above all of the other characters in the Harry Potter series, he's the one I miss the most."
Although Rowling has remained firm—for now—that she has no plans to revisit Harry in any future books, she has been creating many new characters outside of the world of Hogwarts.
Last fall, she published her first post-Potter follow-up, The Casual Vacancy. And earlier this summer, Rowling was revealed to be the secret author behind the crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling, which she had written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Although she was none too pleased with having her cover blown, the controversy has certainly swelled her coffers: Rowling made Forbes' list of biggest-selling authors of 2013, with earnings of $13 million.
It's enough to make you go cuckoo, all right.