Harold looked up from his pint mug. "Oh, well, yes, you're right of course. The library is, well, actually was one of the reasons I came to Hogwarts - whatever had happened to my wife, I had assumed I would find something related, because I couldn't possibly be the first. But as you know from our tea sharing in the library, I found myself rather quite at home amongst the books. It's the smell of them. The look - of course, but the smell. You can smell the knowledge in them."
He paused, debating getting another drink. "Yes, you're quite right, I should make use of the library just as the students do. And I suppose you're right about the peace offering, though... it is almost the season of good will to all men and all that, but I... well, yes." Of course Sid was right. There was a certain practicality of his wisdom that Harold admired; he'd been in the lab too long, away from people. Sort of like having his nose in books, but for even longer.
"Before we talk about how my search is going, can I get you a drink in? I'm just about to pop for a refill. Though," Harold paused, looking at Sid's still-steaming pottery mug, "you don't quite seem in need of a refill just yet - next round will be on me."
It gave Harold a moment to pause, to reflect, visit the bathroom and collect another pint before seating himself.
"So... my wife. At the ball, no-one seemed surprised that my wife wasn't there, even people I had worked with. Well, at the time I was rather pre-occupied but now that I come to think about it... it is, actually, rather odd, wouldn't you say? There were people that I had worked with, people who most certainly had known my wife, who were supremely unsurprised that I was with another woman in a very social function."
Harold took a sip of his beer. It was oddly comforting. "When she had first disappeared I had, of course, made discreet inquiries with all of the obvious places - St Mungo's had given me a simple perfunctory response, as to be expected, but the Ministry had given me a much more vague answer. At the time I simply assumed this was because I was in, well, something of rather a state and that they were simply performing the 'Unspeaking' part of 'Unspeakables'."
A small gulp of beer, a slight loosening of his tie, readjustment of his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Well, after the ball, I made a few more discreet inquiries, and I was still receiving the same brush-off, perhaps even more obviously so, if you could imagine that. It was as though someone had known what had happened and no-one was prepared to speak to me about it."
A deep breath, a larger gulp of beer. "I have to confess... teaching has been productive in that department. Instead of having interminable amounts of time to brood on the subject, I rather found I didn't have the time to think about the thing so deeply, and of course, I was teaching my class the merits of Ockham's Razor and its applicability to scientific endeavour. I really wonder if there is a simpler explanation than the one I had preferred to accept at the time."
He stared into his beer, looking for answers in its misty, swirly depths, hoping for an answer - or at the very least, some kind of salve, like a mother's kiss on a first broken heart.
He still wasn't sure about divination though, it crossed some lines in his mind, but if his friend was offering... maybe he would have an answer. Did he want one though? He wasn't sure.