Oxford, England, a brilliant American historian and reluctant witch, Professor Diana Bishop, returns to take up a post at Oxford University. While researching in the Bodleian Library, she unwittingly calls up a magical ancient manuscript, Ashmole 782. Also teaching at Oxford University is acclaimed biochemist and vampire, Matthew Clairmont, who has been looking for this mysterious book, and its explosive secrets for centuries. The appearance of the Ashmole manuscript also comes to the attention of The Congregation's Head Witch, Peter Knox, who is determined to get his hands on it before the vampires do. Frustrated, Matthew confronts Diana to ask her why she is hiding the book and living in denial of her powers. Diana inadvertently triggers Matthew's vampiric instincts and he struggles to control them, leaving Diana mesmerised and terrified in equal measure.