Chapter 4: 2 Down, and Merlin-Knows How Many To Go

Disclaimer: the usua.

Last Time:

"Wotcher, Rem—Whooa there!"

Orchid stood stock still, staring at a tall young woman with short, pink hair. Both girls' jaws were scraping the pavement in their shock. The older one recovered first, and immedietely asked what had become a very familiar question to Orchid's ears today.

"Are you lost?"

Orchid sighed. She silently promised to always look like she knew exactly where she was going from then on.

"Does Remus Lupin live here?" She asked calmly.

A good-looking, middle-aged man came to the door, and poked his head over the pink-haired lady's shoulder.

"Yes. I am he." (The woman snorted at this) "Can I help you?"

As nervous as Orchid had been, and as much time stuck doing nothing as she'd had in the last 24 hours, Orchid had not actually thought out what she was going to say once she arrived. She'd figured Lily would just put the words in her mouth, so to speak. But Lily wasn't answering her silent pleas for help now. Orchid was going to have to muddle through this on her own. She squared her shoulders, stood up straight, and said,

"Yes. My name is Orchid Potter, my father was James Potter, and I believe that you are my godfather." (A/N: " killed my father, prepare to die!" hehe Inigo Montoya, my hero!)

Now it was the man's, Remus', turn to drop his jaw. The pink-haired lady, however, merely narrowed her eyes.

"Who are you really, and what the bloody hell do you want?" She hissed. "You're not gaining any access to the Order, so you may as well turn around now."

Orchid's eyes widened in fear. They though she was a spy! But what was this 'Order'? Lily had never mentioned it. Oh god, how was she going to prove her identity to them?

Misinterpreting her fear, the woman moved to close the door, but Orchid desperately shoved her foot in the doorway.

"No, please," she said. "I'm Orchid Potter. I was sent as a baby to the States, to be adopted. I've lived all my life in California. I don't know what this 'Order' is, but Lily, my mother, she came to me, and told me to come here. ...She said that you," Orchid turned towards Remus, "would remember me. You and Sirius were the only ones who knew...knew that I existed."

Remus's face softened slightly at the mention of Sirius, but he still looked undecided.

"Give us a minute, please." He said to Orchid, politely shutting the door between her and himself, with the other woman.

Orchid remained standing rigidly outside the door, afraid that if she sat down, her energy and courage would spill out of her.

(Meanwhile, inside 34 Tilloughby Grove)

"Is this true?" Tonks whispered to Remus. "Did James and Lily really have another child?"

Remus nodded.

"Crikey." She said. She looked through the little peep-hole in the door, and saw Orchid still standing there, then looked back at Remus. "Well, do you believe it's her, or do you think she's an imposter?"

Remus shook his head tiredly. "I just don't know. It's not like you can recognise a baby 16 years down the line. Of course, the resemblence to James is striking, but that can be coincidence, or even contrived. ...But then, how would anyone find out? She was right. Only Sirius and myself knew that Harry had a twin sister." Remus retreated into his thoughts.

Tonks looked out at the girl on the step again, and saw the exhaustion and fear on the young, innocent face, and her heart went out to her.

"She's not lying, not knowingly anyway." Tonks said. "I did some silent detection spells as she was talking."

"Wait a minute." Remus said. "How did she say that she found out who she was again?"

"She said Lily, her mother, came to her, and—oh!" Tonks exclaimed.

Remus nodded, and opened the door.

"You are aware," he said to Orchid gently, "that you're mother—and father—died nearly 15 years ago? And that Lily could hardly have come to you after all this time to tell you who your family was?"

Orchid nodded.

"Yes, I know. I didn't believe her at first—hell, I still have a hard time believing everything that's happened! But she told me the story, and then she told me to touch her, and I couldn't. My hand went right through! And..." Orchid was aware that she was rambling, but she couldn't see the harm in it. For once, she had nothing to hide, and it was liberating to unload everything that had happened to her onto someone else.

After awhile, Tonks, interrupted Orchid. "Alright, alright. This is getting a little ridiculous. You've been standing out here with your suitcase for nearly half an hour, you may as well come in for the time being."

Orchid flashed her a grateful smile, and she hoisted her suitcase up the steps into the narrow hallway inside.

"I'm Tonks, by the way," the woman said, offering a hand. Orchid took it, and they shook hands.

"Did you come straight from the airport?" Remus asked. Orchid nodded, her long journey catching up to her again. "Wow," Remus said, " You must be exhausted then...and hungry." Orchid nodded again, but with more energy at the promise of food.

Remus chuckled, and Tonks grinned. " A girl after my own heart," she said, leading the way down to the kitchen. Orchid sat down on a chair by a small tiled table, and Tonks sat across from her. Orchid looked cautiously from the man to the woman, wondering whom had said what in the conversation she'd overheard earlier.

"I'm afraid, I can't offer you much," Remus said. "But I'm sure a roast beef sandwich is ok—you're not a vegetarian, are you?" He laughed when he saw how the girl was eyeing the sandwich in his hand. "I take that as a no." He said, and placed the plate before her.

"I'll let you stay the night here, but in the morning, we're taking you up to Dumbledore. You'll have to explain yourself again." Remus said. He saw her blank look, and asked, "Albus Dumbledore? Headmaster of Hogwarts?...Oh, of course, I guess you wouldn't know."

Orchid blushed, she hated feeling so ignorant, but she figured it was a feeling she'd better get used to.

After eating, Remus led her upstairs to a small guest room with a bed and in the center, a bureau against the near wall, and a old wooden roll-top desk opposite the bed. The walls were painted a pleasant rusty color, and white cotton curtains fluttered over two windows that looked over the street below. Orchid changed into her large night shirt, and carefully set out some clothes for the next morning before climbing into bed. As she lay back into the soft pillow, Orchid pondered again over Tonks and Remus's conversation. She was not supposed to have overheard any of it, that was for sure. But which one of them was the werewolf? Were werewolves as dangerous in real life, in this magical world where everything was possible, as they were in stories? Orchid was dying to ask, but she figured it would take more time and tact to find out than a simple, direct question. She tried to make a plan, but her body's needs soon took over. She found herself sinking into a wonderfully cool stream of water that led her to a green meadow where a woman with flames for hair, a tall man hazel eyes, and a skinny teenage boy with messy, dark hair waited for her.

I know this is slow, but I really hope some ideas will start popping up. In the meantime, I would reallyreallyreally really appreciate criticisms and suggestions and encouragement alike! These long stories are hard, as most of you should know.

Much appreciation,