Harry is being rebellious: it's midnight and he's up...writing an essay for his History of Magic class?
This really is rebellious, though, since Harry's Muggle relatives, the Dursleys, don't approve of magic and won't let Harry have access to his school books during the summer.
Harry actually had to sneak his magic books up to his room so he can do his homework.
Summers are a real bummer for Harry since he doesn't get to see or talk to his friends.
His friend Ron tried to call, but Ron didn't know how to use a telephone and ended up just shouting at Uncle Vernon.
It's Harry's thirteenth birthday and it's shaping up to be yet another bummer.
"Yet another unusual thing about Harry was how little he looked forward to his birthdays. He had never received a birthday card in his life" (1.26).
But then Harry's owl Hedwig comes bearing gifts.
Harry gets a letter and a birthday gift from his three closest friends: Ron, Hermione, and Hagrid.
Ron's family won a drawing and took a vacation to Egypt – he sends Harry a picture of the Weasley clan that appeared in TheDaily Prophet.
Ron sends Harry a Sneakoscope, which goes off like an alarm if something untrustworthy or shifty is going on in the vicinity.
Hermione sends Harry a Broomstick Servicing Kit and Hagrid gives Harry a monster of a book – literally. It's the Monster Book of Monsters and it tries to eat Harry's arm before he restrains it with a belt.
We'll never complain about our heavy textbooks again.
Harry also gets a letter from Professor McGonagall, though it's not about his birthday. Professor McGonagall just writes to give him his list of books for the new school year and a permission slip that a guardian needs to sign so that Harry can visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade this year.
Harry goes to bed happy on his birthday for the first time.