Brennan finds himself alone in the village, now that his two friends have left. Merrah has gone to the city with her Aunt to learn to be a proper lady. Pietr has disappeared, his parents are frantic with worry with news of the increasing war in the east. Gathering herbs in the forest for his grandmothers cure, he spies a young girl bathing in a pond. Drawn to her, he soon falls under her spell and she agrees to teach him what his grandmother has said is forbidden.