Harold arrived back in his office after an excursion out of the seventh floor in search of further quills and ink, to find the small red envelope smoldering away in his absence.
"Well, uh, that's a little unexpected." No-one heard him, of course, but that was on some level the point. How else would one communicate their inner monologue in a meaningful fashion to themselves? But to hand, the envelope began to smolder a little more angrily.
Gingerly, delicately, he reached for the envelope and opened it ever so carefully, facing the leaf of the envelope away from him so it wouldn't yell entirely into his face. The majority of the castle was empty - he'd seen no-one pottering around the seventh floor so he reasoned to himself he was probably safe except for whichever house elves might happen to be passing.
The voice rang out, not quite a shriek or a scream but definitely amplified by magic in the way that howlers do, and he was a little surprised to recognise the voice as the librarian - Miss... Humberton? No, Miss Pemberton, ah yes. The message delivered, and Harold was quite relieved as it stopped shrieking at him, as he perched on the edge of his desk to think about the message, pushing his glasses back up his nose, where they had otherwise slipped ever so slightly.
Half finished tea cups? No, he didn't think he'd left any of those, particularly not in the library - well, yes, he had been in the library and yes, he probably had drunk a cup of tea or two poring over some of the very old tomes that he was leafing through, trying to find ancient wisdom to contemporary problems - or contemporary interpretations of ancient problems that might somehow work their way into becoming a solution. What was old oftentimes became new again, he pondered.
He was just about to reach for his cup of tea that he'd... oh, wait. There was the problem, he'd left his tea cup in the -- oh. He could have sworn he hadn't, but the book he was reading and, apparently, had tucked under his arm thoughtlessly as he'd left the library in search of writing implements... but the life of a research professor was a complicated and arduous one.
"Right, er, yes, well, um." Rarely had such a sentence been so profound whilst saying so little. And doubly so when said to no-one in particular.
"Right then." He gathered up the book he had tucked under his arm, plus another from the library he had on his desk that he had finished with, in the hopes of it being a peace offering, before making his way down towards the library.
The journey down toward the library was one of much contemplation for Harold, trying to frame his message to the librarian he had apparently so deeply offended - and he honestly hadn't meant to. He'd remembered her from a recent dinner and realised he must have somehow come off as rude, but he had been very concerned about the experiment he had been running in the lab - he'd found a rock that was exhibiting an unusual periodic decay of chroniton particles, quite fascinating really as it suggested a history for the rock it should... well, that was another story. But he'd left it in the lab in an experiment and was somewhat eager to get back to it before something went awry with it, and well, perhaps he may have come across as rude. Hopefully the prompt return of one library book and the unexpected faux pas of an undeclared theft-but-return... no, that wouldn't do, that would only be more problematic!
He ran his fingers through the hair on the back of his head, while taking off his glasses with his other hand and rubbing his eyes. He'd been doing so many experiments lately to study some of the materials locally that were much more dense in arcanium residue, far beyond anything he'd seen in the lab in the Ministry. Part of him wanted to be honest with Rose and tell her everything but he knew that wasn't a thing he could currently do.
"Nothing for it, I suppose." He sighed to himself as he returned to the original plan of the returned library books, the appeals for the return of his mugs, and perhaps to gently suggest that his name was "Prendergast" rather than "Pendergrast", but he didn't want to come across as snooty about it.