"I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it's these things I'd believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Prologue: 1999

She awoke smiling and instinctively reached for the man lying next to her. She squeezed her eyes shut, resisting returning to full consciousness and just relished his crisp scent and the memories of the previous night.

His firm body pressing her into the mattress. Her name on his lips, like a prayer against her skin. His name cried out in ecstasy. Clever fingers cajoling, enticing, demanding. Full, so full of him, of sensation, of emotion. Never wanting it to stop, begging him not to. And later: teeth nipping her neck, waking her, asking to have her again. And again.


Her eyes flew open at the thought of that name. It was the wrong name. But, sure enough, the man in bed with her, holding her and cupping her naked breast had hair the color of white ash, not burnt copper. His pale skin was completely free of freckles. And her body ached for him in a way it never had for the man who should be beside her. He was not her best friend, her boyfriend. In fact, until recently he had been the enemy.

What had she done?

She looked around furtively. Onyx furnishings, deep green sheets; at least they were in his room. She slipped carefully from his embrace and gathered her clothing which was conveniently lying on the floor forming a trail leading away from the bed. She draped her school robes around herself, stuffed the rest in her bag and slipped out the door, and across the hall to her own room.

Once there she crawled into her own bed, hiding amongst the crimson sheets. But she couldn't hide from her own thoughts. She was officially a cheater.

There had been firewhisky, true, but that didn't excuse her behavior. And she couldn't pretend she had been in any way inhibited the second, or the third, or the fourth time. Sweet Merlin, she hadn't known her body was capable of that.

And that knowledge only made things worse. Now that she knew that kind of passion was possible, she realized that what was between herself and her boyfriend was simply not enough. She'd forever be comparing him to the one night spent with a wizard he hated above all others, and he would always come up lacking. It wouldn't be fair to either of them. So now, not only had she cheated, but she was going to break her best friend's heart.

'Oh Ron,' she thought, 'I'm so sorry.'

Author's Note: So, here's a little something new. No worries fans of AUM and ASL, while this is a decent length story (approximately 40k words) it is finished. I'm not going to commit to an update schedule because I will be editing as I post. However, I do promise to post the first full length chapter tomorrow because I know this is just a teaser, and in that chapter we get to the heart of the story and the law mentioned in the summary. Thanks for reading!