(So there's only so much we know about Biffy's past, artistic licence engaged! For anybody reading, this is set in the past and so should be safe to read whether you've read the books or not - and hopefully will be rather interesting)
Sixteen year old Sandalio was not having nearly as interesting a time as he had hoped to. It was three years since his (English) mother had insisted to his (Spanish) father that they relocate to England in order to find their son a nice English wife, and that they must do so with enough time that Sandalio could learn to be a proper English gentleman with a proper English accent (quite why she worried about this when she herself had married a Spaniard, he wasn't sure, but he didn't question his mother's motives).
This was the first time since arriving in England that he'd attended a public event, his accent - though still retaining the faintest hint of his Spanish origin - was deemed acceptable and his manners even more so, and thus he'd been allowed to finally attend a ball, just as he'd been begging to do for months.
He wished he hadn't been, because so far all that had happened was that he'd been accosted by several giggling young ladies, or worse, introduced to his father's fat, hairy old acquaintances and forced to stand in a cloud of cigar smoke while they talked about the future and other boring things.
So a mere hour into the party, Sandalio had escaped to a balcony for some fresh air and the chance to lament his sad fate.