A/N: Kind of interested in this fic – but I have been wrestling between leaving him on DS 9 or putting him on Voyager when that happens. It's a year out or more on the time line, but it might be an interesting idea.

Part 22: The Path of Prophecy

Harry was making real progress on his studies. What he really wanted was to get a license to pilot larger ships. Possibly even Federation Starships. That would make his skill sets quite valuable and allow him to work outside of his current listed specialties of Security, Diplomatic, and Agricultural. However, he was being given temporary license to pilot ships at impulse.

He immediately put in for being put in the rotation for trips between Bajor and the station.

As a result, he was on his first trip to Bajor as the pilot of record. His co-pilot was actually supervising him to ensure that he didn't make any major mistakes.

He grinned as he pushed a button. "Horran to DS9 Ops."

"Go ahead, Horran," Major Kira's voice came through.

"Bajoran Transport Horran, asking for clearance from Docking Platform 3."

There was a pause. "Horran, you have clearance. Begin launch sequence."

"Roger." He grinned at the co-pilot, a Bajoran named Cyril, and pushed the button which would depressurize the landing bay and open it, allowing him to fly off the platform – there were no bay shields like there were on starships. After a moment, he tapped the button, "This is Horran. Pad open. Requesting designated vector."

"Horran, this is Ops. Vector 80 mark 306. Once you are 5 kilometers from the station, you are clear to proceed to your designated approach to local Bajoran space."

"Thank you, DS9 Ops. Horran Out."

Harry entered the vector in the computer and pushed the button, keeping an eye on the monitors to ensure there were no unexpected obstacles. As the transport had been parked sideways compared to the station rotation position, the exit vector called for him to turn almost perpendicular (80 degrees) and to fly off for a hundred meters or so. Once he was fully clear, he would fly what seemed to be "down" – 54 degrees down (306 degrees up) from the station plane. Once he was far enough away that there was no risk of collision from other ships (there weren't any at the moment) he could then go from thrusters to impulse and make his way to Bajor.

He knew that in these circumstances, most pilots were cleared and could make their own way (as long as there weren't other ships) but he was still new and so he was obligated to get both computer and verbal authorization. Usually, the connection to Ops would be computerized and DS9 would just send the approach or exit vectors electronically.

He honestly thought it made the pilots look more bad-ass for not visually needing any cues, but he knew that was an illusion. Experienced pilots did make it look easy.

The trip to Bajoran orbit was quick. Once they were in medium orbit, he cut to thrusters only and linked into local orbital control for his assigned approach lane.

He glanced over and noted that Cyril seemed satisfied – he wasn't the type to say anything other than to order corrections if needed. Harry was trying to make the whole trip without him saying a single word.

His console beeped giving him clearance and the precise coordinates for landing. There were readouts for current position and altitude relative to his destination as well as relative to the equator and lines of longitude with the Bajoran capital city designated as 0 degrees longitude.

He pushed a few buttons and the transport's thrusters pushed him down at the appropriate angle to balance re-entry friction and minimal fuel usage. Once he passed the 90 kilometer mark, he would be considered fully inserted and could then move to the correct elevation which he had been assigned, 50 km. He would travel fifty kilometers and then begin descent. His approach would be at 30 degrees.

Once the transport was 15 kilometers out, he would link in with the spaceport's control tower and ensure that he had clearance and that he had a designated landing pad.

Honestly, the pre-designated nature of a scheduled transport left little room for pilot skill, but it was a necessary step in his education. He reflected that airplane pilots on Earth from his time and universe had similar experiences navigating from place to place.

If asked, he would admit to looking forward to having the requisite license to pick his own flight plans, landing spots and approach vectors.

Still, the whole operation was pretty straightforward and he soon found himself sitting at the spaceport's commissary, having a meal, thinking about what he would do before the planned return trip.

Considering that the transport was Bajoran and just visited the station, he had a longish wait – 2 days. He had taken the place of the normal co-pilot, who was visiting a friend on the station, thankful for the chance. The normal pilot was acting as co-pilot and supervisor. And he had two days to do just about nothing.

He would be sleeping at the Federation Embassy. Normally, random Starfleet personnel had a barracks which they used if they were on-planet for a short time, but Harry was technically a VIP. As a result, he had use of a room normally reserved for visiting diplomatic attachés or experts that the Federation might bring in.

When Harry arrived at the "Embassy", he noted that it was little more than a house with a set of barracks and a couple of rooms. Thinking about it, he realized that the vast majority of the Federation's presence was on Deep Space 9.

Still, if the Federation were truly serious about solidifying their relationship with the recovering world, they should have put more resources in-system.

Considering that, Harry considered buying up some land and making an Earth Embassy. That would stick in the craw of the Federation Council, but that might not be a bad thing.

The next day, Harry decided that he would get more familiar with Bajor and its people. On his previous visits, he had always had a destination and a purpose. He had never just casually visited the planet.

He found that, for the most part, they were you average, every-day sort of people. However, he also noted that there were far too many who seemed fixed into the deceptive attitude of a people under occupation; or an over-wariness very similar to what he had seen after the fall of Voldemort.

Although Bajor was no longer occupied, there was still an ugly undercurrent. Maybe, he considered, the Federation hadn't been completely callous in how it was progressing with its relationship with the planet and its people.

It was something to think about.

Harry was meandering around the marketplace, idly visiting various stalls, when an unexpected event occurred. Two men in robes walked up to him and stood nearby. He looked over at them, a question on his face.

"Sir Harry?" the man asked with a certain intensity.

Harry nodded. "I am Sir Harry, Harry James Potter, Head of House Potter, Former Head of House Black, member of the Royal Household of Great Britain, Earth." He had, after all, named Teddy to take over the Black family in his former dimension.

The man nodded respectfully. "If you would? Your presence has been requested." The man motioned toward a path leading away from the bazaar. "The Prophets await."

Harry narrowed his eyes. Still, he wasn't worried. He nodded graciously and began moving forward. One of the men moved to lead him. The other moved to follow him. There was no hostility – Harry was an expert in recognizing that. These two seemed almost serene.

The group proceeded to a transport which flew what seemed a decent flight. Looking out, Harry saw evidence of both wear and rebuilding. The Bajorans seemed to be trying to erase the damage that the occupation had caused. They landed at a small parking area and Harry was invited once again to follow.

The odd procession walked for a short time. Harry noted that they were walking directly toward a particular lot with a structure on it. It didn't seem much different than others around it, but it did somehow seem important – or at least it felt that way.

When they reached the entrance to the grounds, the two men moved to stand next to the entrance. The one who had invited him nodded respectfully and motioned toward the house. "Be welcome and safe here, Sir Harry. Your host awaits." They made no move to enter the grounds themselves.

Harry paused and then nodded. "I accept the offer of hospitality and sanctuary you have proffered in the name of your host."

Something passed between the two men and they both then nodded respectfully in acknowledgement to Harry and stood back.

Harry took a breath and walked forward down the path leading to the structure he could see from the road.

Confidently, he approached. He saw another older man waiting for him. When he got up to the man, he only bowed his head and motioned toward the inside. It was all very mysterious.

Harry walked into the structure. In the room was a woman facing a window looking out toward some fields.

She was very short, and fairly stout. He hadn't ever actually seen another Bajoran who quite looked like her. He stopped a few feet inside the room.

Before he could act or speak she spoke. "Following the will of the Prophets can be a harsh duty." Harry was taken aback immediately. The woman then turned and gave him an assessing look. After a moment she walked over to him and stood close. Carefully, she reached out her hand and put it against the side of his face and then, grasping his ear, she closed her eyes.

Harry's eyes widened slightly. Sensitive to magic as well as legilimency, he was surprised to feel a questing sensation. Remarkably, it wasn't a mental probe. And it wasn't a magical scan. In fact, if asked, he could only call it metaphysical.

"Breathe," the woman said sharply.

Harry understood immediately and relaxed himself, taking a deep breath.

The woman, he realized, was Kai Opaka. She had been described to him before.

Opaka asked, "What do you know of pagh?"

Harry considered the question briefly. "Pagh, from my understanding, is how the Bajorans understand the life force, the essence of what is life."

The Kai opened her eyes and withdrew her hand. Her eyes, Harry noted, seemed to full of wisdom – and showed an indomitable will. "A Bajoran draws his strength and courage from his pagh. All beings have a pagh, a spiritual essence. How do you renew your pagh?"

Harry considered that question. "I imagine I renew my life force the same way that most sentient peoples do, by their connection to those around them, by the relationship to others and a sense of connection to the greater universe. Many among my people, at least the people of my world, worship God or gods in order to connect with that which is greater than themselves alone. I myself – I know that I am connected with the greater universe. I would not be able to renew my magic without that connection."

Kai Opaka considered that answer. She finally said, "For a Bajoran, the pagh is renewed by his or her connection to the Prophets in their Celestial Temple." Harry nodded in acknowledgement of that. The woman narrowed her eyes. "You are a child of Prophecy. And in the furtherance of Prophecy, you felt unduly burdened – you felt your life was unfairly manipulated."

Harry nodded slowly to that. "It certainly seemed to have caused me much grief."

Opaka nodded. "Will you listen to what I see?" Harry nodded guardedly. "While the Prophecy which so defined your early life was harsh, you must realize that the Prophecy was not created by the seer who spoke it. She only voiced what was given to her to voice, to help define the path for those who could understand; such utterances can help us to understand the path that we are to take. But that it was spoken or that it was heard does not change the fact that she was only saying what was and what was to be. Your dislike for her should be released – she was only the messenger."

Harry considered that. Finally he sighed. "Shooting the messenger does not change the message," he said in a resigned tone.

The Kai nodded in acknowledgement and then added, "Did not her words give you a path to explore? A path which led to the victory which you achieved for your people?"

"It did. But I did not think the interference which moved the world toward it was done with the proper care or consideration. She, as you say, was innocent. It was others who tried to follow that Prophecy which so beleaguered my early life."

She nodded in acknowledgement. "Those who understand imperfectly will take imperfect steps." She paused and looked at him for a moment. "I will tell you a secret." Harry waited. "We are all Children of Prophecy. You were not the only one to suffer because of Prophecy, even the Prophecy which was given to help you. Do you know why you were asked here?"

"No," Harry said curiously.

"I wished to meet you. I, too, am on the path of Prophecy. And it is a dark road that I must travel. Before I begin that journey, I wanted to give you my personal thanks for what you have caused to be for my people. I have heard of the work to help bring back that which was thought lost. My world will be renewed through what you have created."

Harry nodded in acknowledgement. "It seemed the right thing to do. I understand devastation and loss. I saw a would I thought I could help cure, or at least relieve, and I did so."

The Kai nodded. "I also have a request."


Kai Opaka's face took on a more intense look. "There are things coming which must be. The path Bajorans and all sentients will follow must be decided by those who remain. You have the power, the pagh, to influence the world around you greatly. I only ask that you consider carefully before acting. I understand the desire to act immediately when something around you causes you outrage or discomfort." She gave an amused smile, "Gryffindors charge ahead, and all that."

Harry was startled. How in the hell had she heard about Gryffindor?

"But a balance between courage, cunning, knowledge, and loyalty must be achieved if things are to move forward on the appropriate path."

Harry nodded gravely in response. "I will try to remember your words when the urge to act without consideration comes to me."

Opaka gave him a warm smile. "Good. Thank you for taking the time to come and see me. I am reassured for the future. I can now move forward with more certainty."

"You are most welcome." Harry paused. "Is there anything I can do for you, Kai Opaka?"

She sighed. "No, but thank you. Tomorrow I will be on the transport which you will be piloting back to the Emissary's presence. The likelihood of my return is small, and if I do return it will be far into the future. I wish to take the time before my departure to look at Bajor and what the Prophets have given us. It will strengthen me on the path I must take in furtherance of the Prophets' will."

Harry could feel the melancholy in her words. She was to leave toward a darkness but it was what was required and she would move resolutely. Harry then remembered something. He gave her a comforting smile. "You say you wish to see Bajor before you leave with me?" She nodded. "Would you like to see more of Bajor than what you can see out your window here?"

She looked at him with interest, seeming receptive. Harry grinned as he opened the small moleskin pouch which he took with him, even as the elves looked after the main one. Out of it he pulled an item which was far larger than what the bag should be able to hold if one just looked at it. Opaka's face looked fascinated.

"Let me introduce you to the Firebolt."

The next day, Harry greeted the Kai warmly as she came onto the ship. His supervisor and co-pilot was surprised by the fact that these two seemed to know each other.

And when the Kai did not return from the Gamma Quadrant with the others, he sent his best wishes to her as he looked toward the entrance of the Celestial Temple which she had traveled through to follow the path which she felt the Prophets had put her upon.