15 years on after the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone - the landmark novel which was rejected by publishers, but loved by hundreds of millions of children worldwide - and the boy wizard has, to put it mildly, become something of a household name.
But we're guessing that when Harry Potter first "strolled on into" J.K Rowling's head during a train delay all those years ago, she couldn't have predicted exactly how things were going to pan out.
She probably wouldn't have seen queues of pointy-hatted fans around the block at midnight, waiting for her next book, or foresee commanding Coca-Cola to donate millions to a reading charity, or know that she would one day be responsible for a new tourist attraction in Watford.
But all that came true - as did a film franchise worth billions of dollars, a few religious book-burnings and a legal fraud dispute.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the birth of Potter, we've compiled 15 things he's responsible for - some of which, even if you're a Potter fan, might come as a bit of a surprise...
Last year, Rowling set tongues a-wagging with news of Pottermore, the vague online publishing concept to whet the appetite of Potter fans everywhere. As yet, we're still not entirely sure what it will do.
Platform 9 3/4
For many tourists, Kings Cross station in London is a scaffolding-clad hub of angry commuters and clueless out-of-towners, occasionally frequented by pigeons. However, for Harry Potter fans, Kings Cross is the location of the elusive Platform 9 ¾, gateway to Hogwarts. And, maybe we just have magic powers, but there is a sign to demonstrate quite where this is has definitely appeared in the last 15 years. IMAGE: Wikimedia
More Tourists In Watford
Warner Bros' Harry Potter Studio Tour may claim to be in London. But it's actually in surrounding Hertfordshire suburb Watford. Given that Watford's previous <a href="http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/watford/local-guide/tourist-attractions" target="_hplink">tourist attractions included a shopping center</a> and something called a <a href="http://www.pumphouse.info/cgi-bin/pumphouse/site.pl" target="_hplink">Pump House</a>, we can only surmise that this has been a boost for their visitor numbers. IMAGE: Sandra Wosky/DPA/Press Association Images
An Increase In Broomstick-Mounting
Even the most unsporty of readers have, we imagine, aspired to mount a broomstick and whizz off to take their school house (Gryffindor, natch) to victory. Some may even have quietly wished their own to work in a corner of the kitchen. We're not here to judge. Mattel clearly had similar thinking, and created a battery-operated Nimbus 2000, which, erm, vibrated. Needless to say, it was discontinued, despite providing fun for all the family. IMAGE: Mattel
Fantasy Fiction Getting A Facelift
Harry Potter and his wizardly antics brought another niche genre into the mainstream: fantasy. What was once before the domain of cult readers, suddenly spells, witchcraft and magic were topping the bestseller lists.<a href="http://www.stevecarper.com/sf/bull173.htm" target="_hplink"> Jean Feiwel, who used to work at American Potter Publishers Scholastic, says</a>: "Before Harry started, there was tried and true fantasy, but it wasn't a category that was being published with any kind of frequency or velocity. That's totally changed. Sometimes it feels like nothing but fantasy is being published!" IMAGE: Flickr.com/debcll
Success For Indie Publishing Houses
For aspiring authors, the J. K. Rowling story is one of hope. Rejected repeatedly by publishers, indie publishing house Bloomsbury then picked her up on the demands of the chairman's daughter. It could be said, that for indie publishing houses, the J. K Rowling story is also one of hope, as her blockbuster Harry Potter series transformed the company, <a href="http://www.economist.com/node/15108711" target="_hplink">whose profits increased from £11m to over £100m in decade. </a> IMAGE: Flickr.com/bibicall
More Kids Saying Stuff In Latin
Okay, so it might just be kids running around shouting "Wingardium Leviosa!" and expecting them to levitate (one day it might, you never know...), but it's fair to say that, for the first time since it ceased to be taught formally, Latin is being read, learned and repeated by young readers. IMAGE: Flickr.com/octoberTrick
Owls Becoming Cool
As wonderful owl video, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1PFLuTrgM" target="_hplink">Lovely Owl</a>, would attest, owls are not just pets to the residents of Hogwarts. Ian Toothill, of North Wales Owl Sanctuary, has stated that the Harry Potter <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-18142411" target="_hplink">caused the owl market to "probably double or triple overnight"</a>. In sadder owl news, this has meant a lot of feathered friends being abandoned, as they make for stinky pets who are likely to nip. IMAGE: Flickr.com/jennicatpink
Emma Watson: Style Icon
Emma Watson's fashion credentials are ironic, given the, *ahem* relaxed attitude to grooming her fictional character Hermoine Granger sported in the novels. Aside from the Ball incident in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, when Granger smoothed her hair and worked some magical orthodontics, she's always been known for her frizz and turning herself into a cat in second year. Despite this, Watson has become somewhat of a style icon, appearing on the covers of <em>Vogue</em> and <em>Tatler</em>, and wearing Macs professionally for Burberry. IMAGE: Kin Cheung/AP/Press Association Images
Harry Potter Related-Illnesses
Nope, not real-life incidents of bone eradication, magically-induced scarring or splicing, but instead the "Hogwards headache", coined by a doctor in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. He described it as a mild condition, a tension headache possibly accompanied by neck or wrist pains, caused by unhealthily long reading sessions of Harry Potter. The "symptoms" resolve themselves within days of finishing the book. The cure? Taking reading breaks, which apparently did not go down well. IMAGE: Flickr.com/TromboneKenny
The Rise of Young Adult Fiction
Granted, Young Adult (or YA) fiction's no stranger to literature - Judy Blume's efforts, Nick Hornby's <em>Slam</em> and <em>Lord of The Flies</em> are some of the more old school - but Harry Potter's success has seen the genre achieve more recognition, namely in the form of the <em>Twilight Saga</em> and <em>The Hunger Games</em>. Whether you love them or loathe them, wallowing in teen angst has never been so addictive. IMAGE: Flickr.com/AngryJulieMonday
Harry And The Potters
Yes, this is a real band, yes, they do play gigs, and yes, HuffPost Culture UK, has, when a teenager, witnessed them live. Their top hit includes the catchy refrain of, "We gotta save Ginny Weasley from the Basilisk" and they continue to tour America. IMAGE: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harry_and_the_Potters_HM.JPG" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>
Children Reading Things!
There have been numerous studies into the impact of J. K. Rowling's novels on children's reading habits, but one thing's for sure: reading was made the talk of the playground by them. <a href="http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/waterstones-booksellers-ltd--harry-potter-improves-childrens-reading-154055255.html" target="_hplink">One piece of research </a>found 41% of children saying that the books had "made reading cool again", while 66% claimed their friends had read the books. Rowling has also actively encouraged reading schemes, insisting that Coca-Cola donate $18 million to the American Reading Is Fundamental campaign encouraging children to read following a product tie in with the first book. IMAGE: David Cheskin/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Where there are fans of fiction, there is fanfiction. <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/fanfictionsites" target="_hplink">This list of top fanfiction</a> shows that Harry Potter spin-off sites dominate, including a special site dedicated just to Hermoine Granger. That Harry Potter should ignite such a passion in budding Rowlings is hardly surprising, given the potential for more magical adventures and character hook-ups - and the author herself is a fan of it. That's a lot of fanship going on. IMAGE: Screengrab from Mugglenet
An Entire Generation Sharing Their Adolescence With Harry Potter
For some people, including parts of HuffPost UK Culture, vast amounts of adolescence was echoed in Harry Potter's fictional birthdays. WIth one book being produced roughly per year, hardened fans will argue that they grew up alongside Harry Potter, but without any talking fireplace apparitions to give them sound advice. For younger generations of readers, the affect is still clearly felt, as this YouTube Harry Potter songstress will concede.