"Are you planning to eat or sleep at all this year, Hermione?"
-- Harry Potter
Harry enjoys his new-found freedom, purchases his school supplies, and meets with Hermione and Ron. Hermione buys Crookshanks after the cat takes after Ron’s Scabbers. Back at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry overhears Mr and Mrs Weasley talking about the danger he is in.
Calendar and Dates
Using the actual calendar for 1993 as a guide, we can date the events of this chapter as happening between August 7, when Harry arrives in Diagon Alley, and August 31st, when Harry meets Ron and Hermione there and Hermione buys Crookshanks.
Friday 6 August - Harry blows up his Aunt and runs away
Saturday 7 August - just after midnight, Harry arrives at the Leaky Cauldron
Week of August 15 - The new Firebolt goes on display in Quality Quidditch Supplies
Wednesday 25 August - The Weasleys return from their trip to Egypt
Tuesday 31 August - Harry meets Hermione and Ron in Diagon Alley. Hermione buys Crookshanks.
Wednesday 1 September - Hogwarts Express at 11 am.
Interesting facts and notes
Harry's life takes an abrupt change here. From the horrible oppression of the Dursleys and Aunt Marge to almost complete freedom in one go. These are perhaps the happiest days of Harry's life. He doesn't have the understanding of the horrors of his past or the awareness of the darkness of his future to bother him. He will learn so much of this in the coming months. This is the last time we will see Harry as a carefree little boy.
Exceptional character moments
According to the sign describing The Firebolt, this broom "incorporates an unbreakable braking charm." Too bad the same charm was not on Harry's Nimbus 2000.
The Irish International Quidditch Team ordered seven Firebolts for the up-coming World Cup. The Irish are favourites for the World Cup with these brooms, and they later win.
Ron's new wand is 14 inches long, willow, containing one tail-hair from a unicorn. The same as Cedric Diggory's wand. Could this be foreshadowing Ron's untimely death - only time will tell? Ron receives nearly all of his possessions second-hand, but his new wand is brand-new.
Knowing the secret of Scabbers, how and when did Percy first receive Scabbers as his pet before Ron acquired him?
According to Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Crookshanks is part Kneazle. A Kneazle is "a small catlike creature with flecked speckled, or spotted fur, outsize ears, and a tail like a lion's, the Kneazle is intelligent, independent, and occasionally aggressive, though if it takes a liking to a witch or wizard, it makes an excellent pet. The Kneazle has an uncanny ability to detect unsavory or suspicious characters and can be relied upon to guide its owner safely home if they are lost." Does this suggest that in the future Crookshanks will save someone who is lost?
When Harry overhears Mr. and Mrs. Weasley discussing Sirius Black, they are heard to say regarding Ron and Harry that "--they've ended up in the Forbidden Forest twice!" This is a mistake. Harry, Hermione, Draco, and Neville had a detention in the Forbidden Forest in PS. Ron did not go into the Forbidden Forest until his second year at Hogwarts when Harry and he went looking for Aragog. So, Ron has only been in the Forbidden Forest once at this point in the series.
"It can't have been a death omen. I was panicking when I saw that thing in Magnolia Crescent. . . .It was probably just a stray dog. . . ." Harry
"Brand-new wand. Fourteen inches, willow, containing one unicorn tail-hair" Ron describing his new wand
"Are you planning to eat or sleep at all this year, Hermione?" Harry referring to Hermione's number of classes
If Black can break out of Azkaban, he can break into Hogwarts." Arthur Weasley
"...The safest place on earth was wherever Albus Dumbledore happened to be."
"What to do when you know the worst is coming..."
"I'm not going to be murdered." Harry