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TRTL 11:
Heyy readers, here's your update and this time it's on time (hopefully?) I hope you enjoy xx


"I'm falling through the doors of the emergency room
Can anybody help me with these exit wounds
I don't know how much more love, this heart can lose"

-Exit Wounds, The Script.

(4th March, Saturday, Night)

There, on the wall, written in something that looked suspiciously like blood, were the words "Memento Mori."

Her fingers trembling, she touched her earpiece and Harry was with her in an instant.

"Did you reach home?"

"H-Harry. Are you busy?"

"What's going on?" Harry's voice sounded worried. "Are you alright?"

"I-I'm fine. Are you b-busy?" She couldn't seem to be able to tear her eyes away from the words.

"We're working on Courtney's body. What the hell is going on?"

"Is there anybody around who can make it here? I'm fine, Harry. I just need somebody here."

"There's Jason and Mark and Blaise and-"

"Blaise. G-get Blaise to come here right now. And then as soon as you're done, you come over too. But don't tell anybody else about this, alright? Keep Ron out of it as well."

"You're beginning to worry me, Hermione. What's happening? I'm coming over right now and-"

"If you drop everything and come, people will ask questions. We need to do this very silently, Harry. P-please trust me."

A pause and then- "Fine. I'm sending Blaise over right now." She changed her wards to allow Blaise and Harry through and in a few seconds that seemed to her like hours, she heard the pop or apparation.

"Hermione?" His voice boomed through the house.

"Over here." She choked out. He was beside her in an instant and the second he saw the wall, he swore.

"What the hell. Nobody's in the house right?"

"My wards aren't detecting anyone." She said, her voice robotic.

"We need to get you out of here. Let's-" He was unable to finish his sentence as the phone began ringing. She froze and turned to Blaise.

"Dont answer it." He said.

"I have to. It might give me an explanation." And without waiting to hear Blaise's response, she moved swiftly to the telephone in the living room and picked up the receiver. "Hello?"

"Adriana Malfoy, you say?"

Her throat went dry and she breathed deeply to calm herself. Just treat this like another mission.

Blaise came to stand beside her.

"This is?" She knew perfectly well who it was. "I think you have the wrong house."

"Do I, though? Did you think you were so smart, Adriana? Or should I say- Hermione?"

Her eyes fluttered shut and Blaise's hand found her's.

"What do you want, Ace?" She asked, dropping any act she had left.

"How's Courtney doing, by the way? They found her, didn't they?"

She tightened her grip on Blaise's hand. "What do you want, Washworth?"

"I quite liked the way my name sounded coming from your lips, darling." He purred. "I want the file."

She swallowed hard. "What file?"

"The file your partner made on me." He said and she mouthed the foulest curse she could think of.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Whose blood do you think it is on your wall, love?"

She froze. So it was blood, she had been right. But... Whose?

"Why don't you tell me that?" She replied, keeping her voice steady.

"It was nice meeting your partner. I was a bit surprised that he was a Malfoy though."

She froze and all the blood rushed out of her face. Her knees felt weak and she almost collapsed. Her hand flew to her mouth and an image of Draco's face and then the wall covered with blood flashed through her head. Blaise's arm went around her waist and held her tight. She leaned into him.

"What did you do with him?"

"Scared you right there, didn't I? The blood isn't his. But-" She could almost hear him smirk. "I think you should listen to this-"

She heard the phone being transferred from Ace's ear and then- "Hermione."

"No!" She wasn't able to keep it in. She forced the tears away and gripped Blaise tightly. "Draco?!"

"Draco indeed." It was Ace again. "So tell me- do you want the file or the partner? Don't try involving any Ministry department." And with that, the line went dead.

She dropped the receiver and wound her arms around Blaise's waist and just held on to him, refusing to allow herself to cry. She wouldn't cry. She had to be strong.

"What is going on?" A third voice spoke up and she turned her head to see Harry standing in the middle of the room, staring at them.

"Ace has Draco." She said and felt Blaise's arm tighten around her. "He probably got him when Draco followed him out. Oh, god."

Blaise led her over to the sofa and sat her down, still holding her. "What did he want?"

"He wants the file on him. He killed Courtney."

"We didn't think it was him initially because she was missing half her blood content and draining a victim of her blood is not his M.O." Harry said, sitting down on one of the couches.

"I know where her blood went." Hermione said faintly. He raised an eyebrow, questioningly and Blaise gestured to the kitchen. Harry moved there and cursed loudly.

"Shit. We need to call the Auror department." He said, returning to the living room.

Hermione shook her head immediately. "He told me not to contact any Ministry department. We need to listen to him."

"We can't do this by ourselves!"

"Yes we can and we will! He has Draco and we can't let anything happen to him." Hermione said firmly, sitting up straight. "We will tell nobody but our group and we will figure this out ourselves, understand?"

He stared at her before nodding. "Okay. If you think that's what we need to do."

"It is. Now what can we do about this?" Outside, she was calm and composed but inside it was an emotional turmoil.

"We need to unlock that file. We dont have Courtney's but you have the extra copy." Harry said.

"Courtney's is gone?" Hermione asked.

"She was probably carrying it when he got to her." Harry nodded.

"That must mean Ace has it." Hermione said. "He wants the second one so that he can destroy the information obviously. There's no way we can know the charms unless Draco tells us and if Draco DOES tell us, Ace will know too since he's with him and if Ace knows, he can open his copy of the file and erase all the information and therefore, our information because the two files are directly linked."

"So basically there's no way for Draco to tell us the charms without Ace knowing. We've to figure it out ourselves." Harry concluded.

"Which is near impossible." Blaise said.

"We could always try and get Draco to send us a message the next time Ace calls." Hermione said.

"That is, if he does call." Harry said. "Nothing's for certain right now."

"We can't just sit around and wait while Draco's probably being tortured somewhere. What if we just give him the file? We can start our mission from scratch." Hermione said but knew it was a terrible plan. "But he'll know we're on to him and that just won't work. Our only choice is to get unlock the charms and then see where Draco's being held and get him out. There's simply no other choice."

"This is insane." Blaise shook his head. "Can't we inform Crane about it? He may be able to help."

"I was told not to inform the Ministry and Im sticking to that, Blaise. Im not risking Draco's life- I refuse to." She said firmly.

"Hermione, Blaise- you both know Draco the best. You need to try unlocking the file." Harry said. "We'll gather Pansy and Ron and see if they can help. I'll contact Ginny and make sure she remains safe at all times. Blaise, you need to tell Irene to take care and same goes for Theo. If Ace managed to get into this apartment for long enough to paint the walls with- with blood then he probably knows us and our schedules better than we think he does. He's done his research. He's careful and organized and extremely intelligent. He's been two steps ahead of us all this time. We can't let it happen again."

"Im going to go back to the office and begin working on the file." Hermione said, standing up. "Blaise- go for Irene and Theo. Harry- go for Gin and then update Ron and Pansy. Nothing can happen to them. Hayley's in Italy so she should be safe."

The men nodded and stood up, ready to apparate.

"I'll drop Hermione to her office and then go for Ginny. Blaise, take care." Harry said. Blaise nodded and left and Harry put his hand in Hermione's before apparating away.

* * *

The phone rang, making Blaise and Hermione freeze and look up. Pansy looked at the other two and realized what was going on and her eyes flew to the phone.

"Blaise." Hermione said.

"On it." He hurried out of the room and Hermione and Pansy waited, Hermione's hand on the receiver. He returned with Harry and Ron, who were working in Harry's office on possible locations. It had been six hours since Hermione had found the message on her wall and for the past six hours, they had been working on possible charms and anything related to the case that would help. They were yet to hit something useful.

Harry shut the door behind him and Hermione answer the phone, hitting speaker.

"Hermione, how may you be doing?" Ace's voice rang out through the room. "I see that you figured out how I knew where you were."

"You have eyes on us in my house and outside my office." Hermione answered. They had done a thorough check for bugs and devices and realized that they were being watched by little devices but nothing they did could destroy them.

"Smart." He said. "Have you made your decision then? Will you keep the file or the partner?"

"We'd like to speak to Draco. Just to make sure he's actually there." She said.

"As you wish, m'lady." Ace said and the phone was moved around. "You have four words, Malfoy."

Scrambling and then- "Potter, you did this!" And the phone was obviously snatched away from him.

"I'll be calling back soon." And the line went dead.

"What in hell." Hermione said, unable to wrap her head around what had just happened.

" 'Potter, you did this' ." Blaise said and then hit the table with his fist. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?!"

"Calm down, Blaise." Harry said, rubbing his face tiredly with his hands. "He would've chosen his words carefully. They must mean something valuable. We just have to think."

"He could only have been giving us a clue about the file. Im sure of it. He wouldn't waste words on anything else." Hermione said. She conjured two chairs for Harry and Ron and gestured for them to sit. "Now think. "Potter, you did this." He didn't sound like he was accusing Harry- it was more of a matter-of-fact voice he used."

"What has Harry done though?" Ron asked. "I mean, what has Harry done that could be possibly related to a charm Malfoy would use?"

"A charm in this case could be anything." Hermione said, taking out a fresh piece of parchment. "Any word. It could be a spell, a place, a name- anything. This is close to impossible."

"If Draco thought it would help- I'm sure it will." Blaise said. "We just have to think."

The next three hours was spent on that exactly. Thinking.

* * *

(5th March, Sunday)

"I got it." Everybody's tired eyes snapped up to see Harry, whose eyes were wide and quill paused halfway across his parchment. "I know what he meant." Everyone waited. "Sectumsempra."

The others, save for Pansy who was asleep in her chair, processed the information and then looked back at him.

"You may be right, Harry!" Hermione exclaimed. "It makes sense! Draco was stating a fact- you cursed him with Sectumsempra and that's why he said "Potter" and not "Harry" because he wanted to tell you it was a time he hated you."

"And it would make sense to use a spell that only a handful of people know because it's Snape's original." Blaise added, nodding. "You're right, Harry." He threw his quill and parchment onto Hermione's desk and leaned back.

"How do we know for sure?" Ron asked.

They fell silent. "We don't." Hermione said. "We can if it's the first charm placed- in that case we would feel it being unlocked. But if it's the second charm, we won't feel a thing unless the first charm has been used to unlock it first."

"This is insane." Ron said, leaning forward and putting his head in his hands. "You think he's going to go after someone else tonight?"

"I don't see why he has a reason to stop." Hermione said. "He's the type who tries to show people that nothing will stop him. That he's smarter than us. He'll go out tonight as well."

"We need to plant someone." Harry said. They looked at him.

"Are you insane, Harry?!" Hermione exclaimed. "We cannot risk another of our people!"

"No, listen. That's what Ace is going to think too. He's going to think that since one of our people are already... In a situation- we won't risk anymore. He's going to think that we're so busy with trying to get Draco back that we won't have time to get someone in so quickly. If not the latter, the former for sure." Harry said, leaning forward.

"Ace is bloody intelligent." Blaise said. "He's going to have tabs on our department."

"Then we get someone whose not a part of our department." Harry said.

"Even getting someone from the Ministry is risky, Harry." Hermione shook her head. "And he probably has tabs on our group here along with Irene."

"Then we get someone whose not here. Who he most definitely doesn't have tabs on." Harry said, having a strong feeling that his plan would work.

"Hayley's in Italy- do you think she'd agree to be in on this?" Ron asked. "He probably doesn't know she exists."

"It's a good idea." Hermione said. "But do we really want to risk it? Say he takes her to the third day. Then what?"

"It's the same plan minus the tracking devices. We make it look completely normal until the last day. On the last day- we use the plan we had prepared for you, Hermione."

"I don't think putting Hayley under so much risk is a good idea." Hermione shook her head. "This is a dangerous case dealing with a dangerous killer. Killer, Harry! This man has kidnapped and is probably torturing Draco! We cannot risk anybody else! I know we're all trying to get Ace but really! Maybe we should just aim on getting Draco back right now because he's-" She suddenly realized that she was panicking and she was close to tears so she kept quiet, took a deep breath and looked at the others.

"He's what?" Ron asked silently but he didn't look angry.

"He's our main priority. He's our friend." Hermione completed, her hands shaking beneath the table.

"Look, we're all on edge right now." Blaise said. "We're tired and we've worked through the night. Maybe we should head home. Make sure someone's with you at home. Get some sleep. We'll meet at lunch time, okay? We wont get anywhere this way."

She wanted to protest. Tell him that they had to keep working for Draco. They HAD to find him. But she knew he was right. Stress levels were too high and they wouldn't get anywhere without a little sleep. So she nodded and everybody stood up, Blaise waking Pansy up.

"Hermione, coming?" Ron asked from the doorway.

"Give me a few minutes please." She said, forcing a smile. She offered no further explanation. And he accepted that. Nodding, he shut the door behind him, leaving Hermione alone in the room.

She closed her eyes and her smile slipped right off her face. She covered her face with her hands and bent over in her seat, trying to steady her breathing.

They had fought. She had told him to leave her alone. She didn't know that it would actually happen... She didn't mean it. She didn't!

This was so wrong... So wrong. Tears pricked the back of her eyes and when she opened them, her vision was blurred.

"Hermione?" She could handle it no longer and the heart-wrenching sound that had been barred by her constricted throat broke loose and burst through her lips. hadn't even heard the door open. Nobody was supposed to see her like this. Nobody was supposed to know that she cared. That she always had. That she didn't think she would ever stop.

"Oh god, Hermione." Harry was by her side in an instant, kneeling on the floor with his arm awkwardly wrapped around her shoulder.

She leaned into him and ended up moving off the chair and on to the floor. He adjusted his hold on her and pulled her to him tightly.

"Sssshh, he'll be fine, 'Mione." Harry said, rubbing her back as she sobbed into his shoulder. Of course Harry knew what this was about. Actually, everybody probably knew. Harry was the only one who was doing something about it all.

"I told him to leave me alone." She cried, tears soaking his shirt. "We fought, Harry, we fought! I'll never forgive myself if something happens!"

"Nothing's going to happen." Harry said firmly. "Why did you fight?"

If there was one person she could be honest with, it was Harry. "He kissed me. He kissed me." She broke down once again, the taste and feel of his lips fresh in her memory once more.

Harry was silent for a moment before saying, "And?"

She didn't answer, choosing instead to just cry. "He has to be okay."

"He will. He's strong. Just like you are. He'll be fine and so will you." Harry said, hating to see his best friend in such a state. "We'll get him back. You'll get him back."

And for the next half an hour, she sat with him and he let her cry into his shoulder. He knew that she cared for Draco more than she was willing to admit. He knew that her feelings ran as deep as they did a few months back. And she knew that he knew.

But nobody said anything more. There was nothing to be said.

* * *
Nobody saw Draco being taken away for some reason in the previous chapter so well- surprise?! That was bloody intense to write to be honest. Like actually. I hope this update was perfect for you guys, thank you so much. I can't wait to bring in the next chapter and the ones that follow- trust me, there's so much in store for you all!
Do review please please pleaseeee. That little box down there hasn't had enough lately :/
Much Love,
FeltonLewis xx

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