I just spent the last hour trying to write a post about Harry Potter, chronicling my experience over the past ten years and sharing just why oh why it was so special to me. But the post didn’t work. It fell flat. It was so utterly personal that there was no possible way I could fit in all the details and make it matter to anyone else—not by a long shot. Upon munching on my chicken breast, peppers, and zucchini (cooked, raw, and raw—and actually sort of enjoyable together), I realized something special:

My Harry Potter experience was my own.

Anyone who has read the books and experienced the movies in tandem over the past decade can say the same thing. The story meant different things to different people—sometimes in ways that were life changing, other times in ways that were nothing more than afterthoughts. But one thing is certain:

This story did change the world, and we were lucky to be around when it did.

Not only did it speak to the hearts of millions of people from all different walks of life, but it also became a pillar of unity on a planet so often torn apart by difference. Perhaps even more important is that it tackled this key human dilemma head on and gave us heroes who stood up for what was right, just, and true.

Harry Potter was powerful enough to inspire human-to-human conversations in crowded airport security queues, bring strangers together for insane midnight book release parties, and inspire collective cheers from fans around the world who watched it together on the big screen—either literally or in spirit. It helped countless people feel like—and be—part of something truly magical.

To J.K. Rowling and all the agents, editors, lawyers, marketers, film producers, Warner Brothers executives, directors, cinematographers, set designers, actors, film editors, sound editors, sound designers, composers, and everyone else in between:

THANK YOU.