An overall awkward boy, skittish and uncomfortable, his predominant state is "stressed". Due to his achromatopsia, Russell dreads overhead lighting, constantly fidgeting and easily startled when approached. He isn't entirely at ease in his own skin and it's obvious in the tense-but-slouching way he carries himself. He avoids going outside at peak sun because he knows that's when he's at his worst; noon is when the sun's glare blinds him from seeing items in his path, so tripping and stumbling isn't unusual at that time, and he hates feeling like a fool. He struggles a bit with reading and writing but likes learning from vocal instruction. Russell's best friend is his pet mouse, a tiny black critter named Jaws for its eating habits. He has a couple casual friends at home with whom he hangs out in evenings and has some fun with, but he's a bit of a loner. Or at least, that's what he's convinced himself, despite craving interaction.
Russell has a lean, underweight structure, with knobbly shoulder blades, a thin sharp nose, slightly sunken green eyes, and prominent cheekbones that meld into a pointed chin. Taking after his dad, he hit puberty early and was sporting facial scruff by the age of twelve. His hair is light brown, about shoulder length, and when not in its usual bun, it usually appears uncared-for; he washes it occasionally, but never bothers brushing out the tangles. Fittingly, he's also a lazy dresser; a plain tee over a pair of cargo shorts (with Jaws in the pocket, of course) is his idea of an appropriate daily outfit. He has a pinkish complexion but is generally more white than pink (due to long hours indoors) or alternatively, bright red (as he sunburns easily). Regardless of the climate or time of day, he always wears sunglasses, indoors and outdoors alike.
Russell is the only child of Shaun and Heather Drew. An older couple, their careers and simpler lifestyle have moved them into a rather affluent status; Shaun is a legal partner at a software engineering company and Heather is sous-chef at a luxury hotel restaurant. They live in the suburbs of Sacramento, California.
Russell was born with total achromatopsia (i.e. rod monochromatism). His parents have heavily invested in making his life easier, going so far as to renovate the entire basement to accommodate his physical needs and enrol him in an elite private school. They later hired a tutor to educate him in wizardry. He performed remarkably well in this setting, performing well beyond the expected learning curve, but updated advice from his physician and therapist encouraged that Russell start attending a more public school. He was still exhibiting stress, but his anxiety attacks had decreased significantly in recent years, and the shared sentiment had been for him to interact with more youth his own age.
The Drews were recommended to look into RMI because of its smaller student population and strong academic focus, which is why Russell's parents ultimately decided to apply for him to transfer in for his fourth year. Russell himself was pretty skeptical about this change. The different environment sounded appealing, but he really liked the familiarity of his private Muggle school and his one-on-one tutored lessons in magic, and was worried about how well he would be able to perform here. So far, so good, however.
He's not really sure right now. He just wants to take it a day at a time, and hopes to eventually find some place and people that he feels really comfortable with.