Willow and Tara are on the bed in Willow's dorm room, with Tara reading spell books and Willow under the covers. Willow asks for a story and Tara tells her about a kitten. Willow tells Tara she is tired but Tara asks if she can keep the light on to study spells, telling Willow she just wants to catch up to her level. Willow convinces her to come to bed and the two snuggle.
Buffy tells Giles that Dawn is the key that Glory is hell-bent on finding. They decide to protect Dawn without telling others about it. Buffy moves back to her house with the help of her friends. Willow reminds the group about Tara's upcoming birthday party.
At the hospital, Ben enters the locker room. A moment later, Glory is there and captures a Lei-Ach demon, who tells her that Buffy is the Slayer. Glory sends it and its friends to kill her.
While researching Glory in the magic shop, Buffy and Xander admit that they do not really know Tara, though they both agree that she is definitely "very nice." They wonder what kind of a present to get for Tara. Meanwhile, in his crypt Spike fantasizes about fighting with Buffy while having sex with Harmony (assuring her that he was only thinking of her). Xander explains that he doesn't know what to get Tara; the only thing he knows that she likes is Willow, and "she already has one of those." Giles enters their conversation, asking how they could sit in a magic shop and not have a clue what to get a witch for her birthday, finally concluding that they are "profoundly stupid." A young man comes into the Magic Box and disparages magic. He reveals himself as Tara's big brother, who has come to town with Tara's father and a cousin for Tara's birthday. While Tara is clearly not thrilled at their presence, she agrees to have dinner with her family that evening.
Tara returns to her room to find her father there. He expresses disappointment that she has not quit magic and berates her for being out of reach for months. He tells her she is going home before her friends find out about her evil self. After he leaves, Willow returns and wants to repeat the demon location spell that Tara had secretly sabotaged before. Tara fakes fatigue, so Willow returns to the magic shop. Tara secretly follows her and, from hiding, casts a spell to prevent her friends from seeing demonic manifestations of evil.
Meanwhile, Riley is drinking heavily in Willy's old demon bar after another argument with Buffy. Sandy hits on him, but he recognizes her as a vampire. Harmony returns to the crypt and tells Spike that the Lei-Ach demons have been summoned to kill Buffy. Spike leaves, saying he wants to catch a decent seat.
Tara's cousin finds her on campus. When Tara refuses to go home, her cousin derides her for being "selfish", leaving her father and brother to "do for themselves", and revealing that Tara is expected to return home and essentially play the servant to her father and brother. Beth also realizes that Tara has cast a spell on her friends. She smugly tells Tara to tell her friends before she does,and Beth then leaves to find Tara's father to inform him what his daughter has done.
Thanks to Tara's magic, the Lei-Ach enter the Magic Shop unseen. They search for the Slayer and attack everyone in their path. Giles hides Dawn under a desk. Only Buffy manages to put up a decent fight. Spike gets there and defends her, too. Since he was not present when the spell was cast, he was unaffected and can see all the demons (although, being demon himself, Buffy is unable to see his efforts).
Tara reaches the shop and quickly ends the spell. The demons are beaten. Tara's family arrives, claiming that, because of demonic heritage, all of the women in their family turn evil when they become adults. Willow is visibly hurt, thinking their love had been fake but Tara insists that it was true. When Tara's family insists on taking her away against her wishes, all her friends make it clear they will fight to defend her, declaring that while the Maclays may be her kin, her friends are her real family.
Beth then says, in pure spite, that she hopes that they all will be happy living with a Demon. At this Anya asks the Maclays what kind of Demon Tara is, to which they say they don't know but that evil is still evil. Anya continues to ask, showing that she doubts the Maclays story. Spike catches on to what Anya means and, while making sure to clarify that he doesn't care about Tara, punches her in the nose. Spike himself is hurt as the computer chip in his brain causes pain only when he hurts a human being. Spike concludes that the legend of the Maclay women assuming their demonic heritages upon adulthood is just an old family myth maintained by the Maclay males to keep their women frightened and subordinate to them. Bolstered by the knowledge that she is fully human, Tara declares she will stay with her new family. Tara's father tries one last time to convince Tara to come with him, but Tara asks him to just leave. Her relatives leave. Her cousin scornfully asks if Tara is happy. She smiles in reply.
Riley arrives at the birthday party and kisses Buffy. Willow saves Tara from Anya by asking her to dance. Tara asks how Willow can always make her feel special, and Willow tells her: Magic. They embrace on the dance floor and begin to levitate.