It was raining outside; not simply rain, but waves cascading down in a ceaseless deluge. Wall-like sheets of the stuff were the only thing visible out the window, casting a watery grey light into the Burnwood common room - which, as only a few daring souls had ventured out of doors, was rather more densely populated than usual. And as a direct result, substantially louder.
Off in a (relatively) quiet corner of the room in a kidnapped armchair sat - sprawled, rather - Theodore Gainsfeld, a tall dark-haired older boy, maybe sixteen, thoroughly absorbed in a book. Also in the corner were Mallory Waters-Kingston, a tousle-haired boy with an insouciant smile, and Justice Babbet (full name Justice Abides, which his schoolmates treated predictably), a younger freckled boy with curly brown hair and a permanent air of resignation.
Mallory, being the older of the two, had claimed the also-kidnapped ottoman belonging with the armchair, relegating Justice to the floor as the two did their best to talk over the general chaos. “How d’you like Smythe so far?”