Gate City Septembers were rarely a picturesque affair. While the movies would have one believe Autumn is filled with leaves crunching underfoot and the warm glow of the sun on a breezy day, it was rarely like that. Instead, the most a person got were rain-sodden leaves sticking to the soles of their shoes, light drizzle whipping them in the face on a cloudy, windy day, all while the temperature never went above ten degrees Celsius. But, it was like that in many places, and complaining didn’t help. Not that that stopped anyone complaining, but it was worth mentioning. John Taylor looked from his window seat, surveying the scene outside the school gates. A typical Autumn, one he had seen many a time before, each one something he was not particularly fond of. He strained his cobalt eyes, but only slightly – his rectangular-framed glasses weren’t doing their job properly, so it seemed. He had considered going to the optician’s, but as of late, he had little time to do so. However, his mess of oak-brown locks was a different matter entirely – that was just his hair being too stubborn to budge at all. Yawning, he slumped over his desk, awaiting the beginning of the school day. Not actions befitting the year’s finest, but he was tired, and felt sore all over. He felt he deserved to be cut some slack. “All right class, settle down,” the form tutor called out, having the students settle into their places, “We’ve got a new student arriving today. Please treat them kindly – I know what happened to Terry wasn’t the fault of anyone here, but please, it’s worth keeping in mind.” This development caught John off-guard, slightly. He hadn’t expected a new student, but then again, nobody had. He regarded the announcement with some vague form of interest or other, eventually regaining his composure once he realised he had a reputation to maintain. He was supposed to be the enigmatic, eccentric genius of the year – he couldn’t slip up now.