When Hermione had been brought into the hospital wing, she had still been able to talk, sort of. Most of what she said was nonsense and half-formed sentences and, frankly, most of it was not suitable for the youngest students to hear. But her words had subsided when the Headmaster arrived. Now, she lay in a bed in a private room, tossing and turning, as if in pain. No one knew what kind of hex had been put on her. She kept moaning. While this was quite normal for the students who usually lay in the hospital beds at Hogwarts, whether it was because they had fallen off their brooms in a game of Quidditch, or had been careless with a spell or potion in class, the moans coming from the young Miss Granger did not resemble the usual sounds of pain heard in this room. They were the reason she had been placed in this private room, so that the other patients would not have to listen to them. Madam Pomfrey, who was the only one in the room with her now, could still not help blushing. The sounds made by the young girl in the bed were of a most sexual character. Her friends Harry and Ron, who had brought her to the hospital wing, had left, because they had felt too uncomfortable. It had felt like they were invading their friend's privacy.

Madam Pomfrey rushed over to Dumbledore as soon as he entered the room. "Headmaster! Oh, it's awful! The poor child hasn't been able to rest since she was brought here, and I have no idea how to help her."

The old wizard took her hand and said calmly, "Easy now, Madam Pomfrey. First, I want you to tell me, when was she brought here, and how has her condition been?"

He began walking towards the bed. His progress was slowed down by Madam Pomfrey. She seemed to be most reluctant to go near the writhing girl and clung to Dumbledore's velvet-clad arm.

"Well, she was brought here by her two friends, Potter and Weasley. She couldn't stand by herself, so they supported her. They had to hold her hands, otherwise she ... ehrm ... tried to grab them. When they lifted her onto the bed, she clung to Mr Weasley's jacket and said all sorts of things. I dare not repeat them! I never thought I should hear such things here at Hogwarts! And from that sweet, young girl." She paused. "Something truly terrible must have happened to her!"

The pair now stood at the foot of the bed. Hermione kept moving slowly and tensely, as if all her muscles had a cramp. Her breathing was very heavy, and her chest rose and fell quickly. Dumbledore didn't seem to be embarrassed by the girl's obviously aroused state, as everyone else had been.

"Something terrible indeed, Madam Pomfrey. I'm afraid I have to ask you to tell me exactly what Miss Granger said when she was brought here."

Madam Pomfrey flushed. "But, Headmaster, I can't! I won't repeat those ... inappropriate words! She would never have said them had she not been bewitched!"

"Poppy," Dumbledore said calmly. "I have a slight suspicion about what has happened to Miss Granger, but I must know what she may have said about her own condition before I can be sure. Then I can try to help her. So please, let's have a little professionalism now."

Insulted by the slur on her professionalism, Madam Pomfrey puffed her chest up and answered, "Very well. She mostly muttered single words. She couldn't put a whole sentence together because of her constant, breathless panting. She only addressed the two young men who carried her here. She asked them to remove her clothes, to touch her and several times she begged them to talk to her. She wanted to know what they would like to do to her body. She said that she needed them to help her, and that she had to feel them. She said she would do anything they asked. When they laid her on the bed she held Mr Weasley, for a moment, by his collar. She said that she was burning hot and ... ehm ... soaking wet, and that he had to help her. She got hold of Mr Weasley's hand for a second and placed it on her breast. When the boys left she cried out, and she begged them to stay with her."

Dumbledore pondered this for a few minutes. He looked over the brim of his spectacles, his eyes twitching slightly. "Call the staff together," he said resolutely.

Fifteen minutes later every employee of the school, including Mr Filch and ProfessorHagrid, stood in a half-circle around Hermione's bed. Most of them were looking at anything other than the moaning, writhing girl in front of them. Most of the female teachers were blushing. Professor Snape and Mr Filch seemed to be the only ones unaffected. Each had a sour grimace on his face, and they concentrated on their Headmaster. Dumbledore stood with his back to the bed and addressed his staff.

"I apologize for demanding your presence here in your free hours and on such short notice, but we have an emergency on our hands. Miss Granger has been hit with a very powerful and horrible curse. It could lead to the loss of her mind, and, in the worst case, her death. The only reason this curse is not an Unforgivable, is that it was believed to have been lost and so unknown to the magical world anymore. I know this, because I was the last person known to have been cursed by it." A gasp was heard from Professor McGonagall, who looked at her Headmaster with concern. Dumbledore continued, "It is known as the Amplexus Himeri: The Embrace of Desire. However pleasant it may sound, it leaves its victim in a mind-shattering haze of unfulfilled lust and desire that increases until they go mad and, eventually, die of exhaustion. Miss Granger is already so far gone, that she can't speak or control her movements anymore. However, there is a cure. As you can see, I'm still alive today, but only because the cure was performed on me before it was too late."

A brief glance passed between some of the teachers as if to say, "But not before it got to his brain," but none of them uttered a sound.

"Her energy and the curse must be released by her deepest, most sincere desire. This is why I have called you here. In order to find out what Miss Granger's most burning desire is, I have to perform Legilimency on her. I wish to follow the official restrictions for this procedure, to the letter of the law. As you all know, Legilimency is only legal if both people willingly participate. If this is not possible, as in this case, we have to have several witnesses to confirm that I had no other option, and that I did not stay in her mind longer than necessary. Can you all consent to this?"

The staff members all nodded. The Heads of all four Houses and Hagrid muttered, "Yes, sir." Most of them still looked slightly unnerved to be standing so close to one of their students, who was in such an undisguised state of sexual arousal. Dumbledore turned towards the bed, rested his hands on the rail at the foot of the bed and looked at Hermione's face.

"All right, here we go," he said softly.

His blue eyes focused on hers, and his whole body seemed to freeze. No one dared make a sound, so that they did not break his concentration. The only sounds in the room were the heavy breathing and strangled moans coming from Hermione. Suddenly, her body jerked and she gasped violently.

"Oh dear!" Dumbledore gasped. He took a step back, as if he had hurried out of Hermione's mind. He narrowed his eyes, and watched her face as he caught his breath. He tilted his head and muttered to himself, "Who would have thought…?" Then he straightened up, looked around the circle of nervous faces around him and said, "It appears Miss Granger's greatest passion is the sound of voices and ..." Dumbledore paused for a second. "The voice that brings her most pleasure, is that of Professor Snape."

A gasp went through the crowd and all faces turned towards Snape. He stood frozen in a manner most unusual for him. His arms were dropped down by his sides and his jaw was open in shock.

"I want the rest of you out of here now. Leave Severus and me alone," Dumbledore said. When they were alone Dumbledore walked up to the stunned Snape. He placed a firm hand on his arm and said, "Severus, do you understand what I want you to do?"

"Yes, Headmaster, but ... but I can't! She's a student! I can't possibly ..."

He was interrupted by an exceptionally loud moan from Hermione. Her head was rolling restlessly on the pillow. "Please," she said, the word barely a whisper on her fevered lips.

"Severus, you must! It is the only way to save this poor girl. You will not have to touch her, or in any other way do something inappropriate. Just talk to her."

Snape looked at the floor. "I ..." He turned his dark eyes to Dumbledore's deep blue ones. "Are you sure that this is what you saw in her mind? How could it be that I ..." He looked at the floor again.

"Yes, I am sure, Severus. Of all things in the world, it is your voice that lights the fire in her the most. I even saw a memory of one of your classes where she realised this. She was as shocked as you are now. But, Severus, you must act now!"

Snape seemed to become more determined by this direct order.He straightened to his full height, as if readying himself. His voice betrayed his calm appearance however, when it shook as he asked, "What should I say, Sir?"

"It doesn't matter, I'm afraid. I think she is too far gone to understand words anymore."

Dumbledore let go of Snape's arm and looked at Hermione. Then, with that overwhelming trust only he could have in people, he stared into Snape's almost black eyes.

"You are the only one who can save this poor girl's mind, Severus."

Dumbledore left the room and locked the door. Snape took a chair and sat down beside Hermione, his back rigid. She rolled her head and twisted her body. Her breathing was quick and shallow.

"Miss Granger…"Snape said, testily.

Hermione uttered a long "Mmmh" sound and arched her back off the mattress.

"Miss Granger, it is your Potions Master, Severus Snape."

Her head rolled towards him, and for a second her unfocused eyes looked at him and she whispered, "Please!"

This plea startled Snape, mostly because of the way her gaze had seemed to burn his skin, and the chill her sultry voice had caused to run down his spine. Her eyes glazed over, and she turned her head to stare upwards again.

Snape leaned forward,enthralled by the massive energy that beamed from Hermione's petite form. Her fingers twisted nonstop, as if clutching at something that wasn't there. Her shirt was pulled tight across her breasts, and her nipples were clearly outlined through the fabric. Snape could not stop his eyes from roaming over this young woman's writhing body. He had rarely seen a woman in such a state, in his secluded lifetime. Need and unfulfilled desire radiated from her in waves. He thought he could smell her arousal, and it made his head swim. His mind was cleared by the rush of guilt he felt at the realization that his cock had sprung, very much, to life and was now painfully straining against his trousers.

Shaking his head to clear it, his black hair fell forward, covering the slight flushing of his face. Quickly he snuck a hand inside his trousers and adjusted himself. The feel of his warm hand wrapped around his shaft sent a wave of pleasure through him, and a moaning sigh escaped him. This was instantly answered by another loud moan from Hermione. Snape stared in astonishment at her face. Tentatively, he moaned again, this time with a little less sigh and a little more intensity. Hermione's eyes widened, and she gasped. She arched her back off the bed, shut her eyes tight and groaned through gritted teeth. The pained expression on her face set Snape's mind to fulfil his task.

He felt slightly honoured by the effect his voice had on the young woman, and an intoxicating sense of power washed over him. He, and he alone, was in control of her body and even her mind. The corner of his mouth curled and his right eyebrow shot up at this realisation, making him look rather devilish. Removing his hand from within his trousers, he moved his chair closer to her bed and leaned forward, his hands on his knees.

She was indeed a woman, wasn't she? Not just a girl, but a woman who wanted, even needed him to release her, to make her come. The thought made him feel almost dizzy. He had never been wanted before, and, oh gods, he was going to live up to the challenge now that he was!

He leaned closer to her head, his lips mere inches from the shell of her ear, and purred, "Hermione."

He was instantly rewarded when a gasp and a long moan erupted from her o-shaped mouth. He smiled wickedly, knowing that no one would ever see the unusual expression of satisfaction on his face. Almost playfully he said, "I do not believe that I have ever used your first name before, but I take it that you rather liked it ... Hermione?"

This time her eyes rolled back before closing, and every breath she took was exhaled in a shaking moan. Every few seconds she hissed between her gritted teeth and uttered something like, "Ngh!"

He talked about the first time he had noticed her intelligence and sharp mind in his class. He recited the speech he gave at every introduction to the Potions lessons. He noticed how the words, "bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses," particularly affected her. He had always been fond of that line himself, knowing perfectly well how his baritone voice wrapped around those words, like cool silk.

Every letter, in every word, was carefully and gracefully pronounced, and yet the sentences were not staccato. Although he managed to make every single letter he spoke sound independent and crystal clear, the words they formed flowed in a silky stream, as if they were all woven together, making the whole of his speech the gentlest legato. It was like a caressing hand that never paused, yet still managed to pay special attention to every place it touched.

Her constant movement had made her shirt and skirt climb up her body, exposing her stomach and thighs. Snape could not help but notice how smooth her skin looked, and the way her muscles flexed beneath it. Inspired by the intensity of the moment, but still aware of his position as an authority figure, he carefully placed his right hand on her belly. The hypnotic flow of his words never stopped. She instantly gripped his hand and held it tight. His eyes widened slightly at her firm grip, and at the feel of her skin that was indeed very smooth and incredibly hot.

Her moans were now so high-pitched that they almost hurt his eardrums. Drops of sweat were running down her forehead. He leaned closer, until his lips almost touched her ear. He whispered in his deep, velvet voice, "You are actually the student I loathe the least."

That tipped her over the edge. She screamed for a good five seconds, while shaking uncontrollably. Her grip almost crushed his hand. Startled by her violent reaction, he pulled back as far as his arm's length allowed and held her hand as tightly as he could. Her climax lasted for almost half a minute, and the spiralling down took her more than five. She gasped frantically, her body shuddering in aftershock every now and then.

Snape did not dare release her hand, in fact he was not able to as her hand was still squishing his. He simply sat there, holding her hand against her stomach, marvelling at the trembling body before him. He felt awed at the pure beauty of her orgasm, and at the bliss that had started to show in her face and came off her in waves.

Her eyelids relaxed and started to drop, her breathing slowly reached a normal tempo and her head rolled to the side. Her grip on Snape's hand relaxed. Was it over? Was she asleep? Had he released her soon enough for her mind to go unharmed? He closed his mouth, which he hadn't realised had been open in wonder, and pulled his hand away from her. Wanting to be sure, he leaned in close to her and softly whispered, "Hermione?"

She did not react. Her lips were slightly parted, her eyes closed and her breathing light. But as he started to pull away from her, he felt a gentle pressure against the back of his head. He looked to the side and saw her arm reaching around him, pulling him closer to her. When he looked back at her face her half-lidded eyes looked adoringly at him. Before he had time to react, she had pressed his lips to hers in the softest of kisses.

It was so warm and delicate that he could do nothing but close his eyes and let it happen. Her fingers were sliding into his hair, and he felt as if peace and gratitude were flowing through her lips into his mind. When her hand fell from his head and the kiss ended, he drew back, but only a fraction so as to be able to look at her face. Her eyes were, once more, closed and total bliss radiated from her. Her breath felt warm against his skin when she sighed more than whispered, "Thank you."

Snape felt a wave of affection and compassion wash over him. When he rose he took the time to gently pull the blanket, which she had pushed to the foot of the bed, over her. He stood watching her for a few seconds, dwelling on the content look on her face and letting the overwhelming feeling of intensity leave his body.

He wanted to kiss her forehead, but he did not. It was only an aftereffect of the emotions he had felt a moment ago. He straightened up, set his face into its usual scowl and left to tell Dumbledore that he had completed his task.