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DISCLAIMER: The characters you see are the property of the great J. K. Rowling. I DO NOT OWN THEM. The song is Gary Allan's "Man to Man."

Ron paced the floor of Harry’s flat nervously. It had been 3 weeks since Hermione’d left him. He’d sold the house, gave her half the money, and moved in with Harry. He couldn’t bear being alone, and Harry was the person that he trusted the most. Harry was the one who was helping him with his plan. His very crazy, very illegal, plan.

He knew that Hermione would never fall in love with Malfoy willingly, and Ron was willing to bet that the Ferret had used a potion on his dear Hermione. And Ron was going to get her back.

Harry had agreed to get Malfoy’s current whereabouts while he was at the Ministry today. Ron fingered the small vial in his robes nervously. Today, he would get his answers. Today, he would get his revenge on Draco Malfoy.

Draco sat in his room at the Leaky Cauldron. He’d seen the look on the Weasel’s face after Hermione’d left, and he knew what it meant.

The Weasel knew.

Despite Hermione’s assurances otherwise, the blasted Weasel knew. And he was coming after Draco. Most likely with Saint Potter at his side. Honestly, the way they always were together, you’d think they were lovers. Draco shuddered at the images that flooded his head at the thought.

He sat on his bed and braced himself for the interrogation that was sure to come.

Harry Apparated into the room where Ron had been pacing and looked at him. The redhead nodded, and Harry said two words.

“Leaky Cauldron.”

With that, the two of them Disapparated.

They reappeared in front of the wizard tavern. They walked inside and over to Tom.

“’Ello, ‘Arry. Wha’ can I do fo’ ye?” The tavern keeper asked.

“Hello, Tom. I was just looking for a Mr. Malfoy. Do you know what room he’s in?”

“Tha' would be Room 13, Mr. Potter. Should I let 'im know tha' you’re 'ere?”

“No, thank you, Tom, we’ll be heading up now.”

Harry headed for the stairs, and Ron stayed close behind him. He noticed that Malfoy’s room was dangerously close to Hermione’s room. Ron had a sneaky suspicion that it wasn’t a coincidence. His grip tightened on the vial in his pocket. That sneaky little bastard…

Harry stopped in front of a large wooden door with ‘13’ emblazoned on it. He pounded his fist on the door. They heard footsteps, and Malfoy opened the door.

“What are you doing here?” he sneered. “I don’t believe you were invited.”

“Shove off, Malfoy. You know why we’re here,” Harry said as calmly as he could. Ron fought back the urge to jump on Malfoy and beat the living tar out of him.

“Oh, do I? Care to enlighten me?”

“What have you done to Hermione?!” Ron growled.

Draco’s expression changed from blatant anger to amused and insulted. “What would I want with your Mudblood wife?” Draco winced in his mind at the word, but kept a straight face in front of his enemies. He couldn’t let them know how much Hermione truly meant to him.

Harry punched Draco. The blond man took the hit stoically. He was doing this for Hermione…so she could be happy…

“Malfoy, this is the last time I’m going to ask you. What have you done to Hermione?” Harry’s voice had a dangerous undertone. Draco knew that if he lied again, that Harry would not hesitate to kill him. And he was not about to die. Not when Hermione was so close…

~Forgive me, my love…~

“Fine, Potter. Come in,” Draco said resignedly. He stepped aside to let a dumb-founded Harry and Ron into his room, then he shut the door. Crossing the room, he sat at his desk. “What do you want to know?”

You're throwin' around a lot of serious accusations
Ain't too hard to tell what you're insinuatin'

“Why were you in Ron’s house the other day?” Harry inquired.

Draco sighed. “I was going to talk to Hermione.”

“About what?” Ron asked suspiciously.

Draco refused to meet the redhead’s eyes. “I was going to tell her how I felt about her.”

“What are you talking about? You hate Hermione!” Harry exclaimed.

Draco laughed coldly and shook his head. “No, I don’t hate her…far from it. I used to, I’ll admit, but that changed a while ago.”

“What happened?”

“I saw her…in Diagon Alley…I didn’t even recognize her. She was stunningly beautiful…then I saw Weasley,” he spat. “And when I saw them kiss, I knew that I had no chance.”

“You had no chance with her, anyway, Malfoy!” Ron was furious. “She’d never fall for you!”

Draco’s eyes narrowed. “Why not, Weasley? Do you honestly think that you know her that well?”

“I’ve known her a lot longer than you have, Malfoy! And I know for a fact that she would never willingly go to the likes of you!!”

You think I'm the one who stole her away
And if not for me she'd still be yours today

“What are you playing at, Weasley?”

“Come off it, Draco! We know that you used a potion or something on her. We want her back,” Harry answered before Ron lost his temper completely and killed the little Ferret.

Draco looked shocked, but not surprised. Of course they would think that he’d done something to Hermione to make her fall for him against her will. And, of course, both would forget that no potion or spell could make her do something completely opposite of her true beliefs. That if she truly hated him, that no spell or potion would make her fall for him. Her will would break through it like a Bludger through wet tissues.

We're both men here so why play games
Why don't we call a spade a spade?

“Weasley, why don’t you tell us what you did to drive her away?” Draco asked softly.

Man to man
Tell me the truth, tell me
Were you ever there when she needed you?

“What?!” Ron was speechless. How dare that little Ferret accuse him of such a thing!! He loved Hermione more than his own life! He would do anything for her! “What are you playing at?”

Man to man
Look me in the eye, tell me
If you really loved her
Why'd you make her cry?

“Weasley, you can’t possibly believe that she would leave you if there wasn’t a good reason,” Draco said calmly.

Harry’s eyes narrowed. “How did you know that Hermione left Ron?”

“Why else would you be here?” the blonde boy pointed out. He turned back to Ron. “I’ll ask again--what did you do to her?”

Man to man
Who cheated who?
You're the one to blame
Tell me it ain't true
Man to man
Man to man

“I didn’t do anything!!” Ron roared. He turned to Harry for support. “Harry, you’ve seen us! I’d do anything for ‘Mione, you know that! Everyone knows that!”

The raven-haired boy sat in silence. He was looking straight at Malfoy. Though he hated to admit it, the other boy did have a point. True, he couldn’t deny that Ron loved ‘Mione, but he never really showed it. Harry had noticed that every Sunday, when he’d come to the house to hang out for the day, that Ron tended to ignore his wife and concentrate on Harry. And Hermione had accepted it stoically, without a single word of complaint. But Harry could see it in her eyes. They didn’t shine like they had in the old days in Hogwarts. She didn’t smile as much as she used to, either. Realization hit Harry like a brick wall. Hermione was not the cheerful, loving, outspoken, trying-to-scold-them-but-actually-approved-of their-pranks kind of person that she had been. She had become a quiet, withdrawn, I-don’t-have-the-energy-or-the-will-to-argue-anymore-but-I-want-to-make-you-happy kind of person. She was a shell of her former self.

And Ron was the one that had made her that way.

Well you think all your anger is justified
Me, I think, it's just your wounded pride

“What have you done, Ron?” Harry asked hoarsely. Ron looked at him in shock and disbelief. Harry was siding with Malfoy? No, no, no, that would never happen. Harry hated Draco as much as Ron did.

“What are you talking about, Harry?” Ron whispered.

“Isn’t it obvious, Weasley?” Draco sighed. “He knows that I’m right.”

What did you really think she was gonna do?
She's a real woman, not a doormat for you

“I didn’t do anything!” Ron insisted.

“That’s your problem, Ron,” Harry looked up, “You didn’t do anything. I’ve never heard you tell her that you loved her--“

“She knows I love her!” Ron protested. “She knows that I think she’s beautiful, that she’s wonderful, that I can’t live with out her--“

“Sometimes you need to say it, Ron,” Harry said gently, “Sometimes, a woman needs told that she’s beautiful, that she’s wonderful, that she’s needed and loved. You can’t take it for granted that she knows, because she might not.”

You want her back, but it's too late
Why don't we just cut to the chase?

Ron sat, completely stunned. Harry thought that it was his fault that Hermione left him? But, how? Why? What had he done? True, he didn’t tell her that he loved her every day when he came home from work, but he was usually tired from work all day. Hermione understood that, surely she did. Didn’t she?

Man to man
Tell me the truth, tell me
Were you ever there when she needed you?
Man to man
Look me in the eye, tell me
If you really loved her
Why'd you make her cry?
Man to man
Who cheated who?
You're the one to blame
Tell me it ain't true
Man to man

Ron sat there for what seemed like years, then he took a deep breath and looked up. Harry and Draco were staring at him intentionally. He knew now that he’d shut the love of his life out, and now he had gotten what he’d deserved. He also knew what he had to do.

If Hermione loved Draco, and he loved her in return, then he, Ron, would not stand in their way.

There was just one thing left to do.

Man to man
Tell me the truth, tell me
Were you ever there when she needed you?
Man to man
Look me in the eye, tell me
If you really loved her
Why'd you make her cry?

Ron stood up and took the small vial out of his pocket. Draco recognized its contents immediately--Veritaserum. But what did Weasley need Veritaserum for? The redhead crossed the room and stood before Draco.

“You say you love her,” he began.

“And I do, “ Draco interrupted.

“Then prove it.” Ron held out the Veritaserum. “Take a drink and prove to us that she’ll be in good hands.”

Harry looked at Ron in disbelief, and Draco looked at him in disbelief and suspicion. There’s no way that Weasley would be willing to let her go that easily if she meant that much to him.

But what did he have to lose?

Draco took the vial and drank the contents in a single gulp. Immediately, he felt queasy, but he fought back the nausea. After a moment, it passed.

“What is your name?” Ron asked to test the Potion.

“Draco Ignatius Malfoy.”

“Do you love Hermione Granger?”

“With all my heart and soul.” Draco’s voice was filled with conviction.

“Would you die for her?”

“Yes. She is worth more to me than my life.”

“Would you face your father for her?”

Without a moment’s hesitation, he answered, “If Hermione promised to be mine, I would face my father, I would face a million Dementors, I would face Voldemort himself. I don’t care what happens, as long as I know that she’d be by my side.”

Ron stood up. “We’re done here.” Harry also stood up. They both looked at Draco one last time, then turned to leave. Ron’s heart was heavy, but he knew now that Hermione would be well taken care of. That’s what really mattered to him.

Man to man
Who cheated who?
You're the one to blame
Tell me it ain't true
Man to man
Man to man
Man to man...

Out in the hall, Hermione fought back tears. She’d come to see Draco, and she’d heard voices shouting inside. She’d cracked the door open and had listened to the whole conversation. Including Draco’s last comments. She assumed that Ron had given him Veritaserum, and she knew that Draco really, truly loved her. Like she loved him. She heard the guys stand up, and hurried back to her room. The brunette knew that it had taken a lot for Ron to finally let her go, and she also knew that it would be a while before he came to terms with himself. One thought ran through her mind as she closed the door behind her.

Draco loved her. And now they could be together.

She would finally be happy.

A/N: for those of you that are ready to kill me, I am NOT making Ron into a thoughtless git. That's Percy. Ron DOES love Hermione, he just kind of assumes that she knows it. he takes her for granted because she's been there for him for so long.

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