"LILY"

A response to Pinky Greens 'Pick a phobia' challenge. A friend emailed me about the challenge when she read someone else's phobia story. I might not have got the details to the challenge right since I couldn't find info on it anywhere, but…oh well. Love it or hate it, please review and tell me what you think!

Love you all!

"LILY"

The shout broke the silence in the dimly lit corridor. The teen in question spun around, only to be almost bowled over by a black haired, blue eyed boy clutching a map in his hands.

"Sirius, what's the matter?"

Sirius straightened up, slightly breathless from the long run he'd made.

"It's James – we don't know what's wrong with him."

"Why, what's he done this time?" she sighed, wondering what mischief her boyfriend had got up to now.

Sirius tugged at her arm impatiently, dragging her along the corridor.

"Sirius-" She protested as he pulled her up the stair case.

"Come on, we need to get to the common room"

That was enough. With a concerted effort, the slight young woman pulled her arm out of Sirius grasp and stood still. The wizard carried on another metre before he realized that she was no longer with him.

"Lily, we need to get to the hospital wing. Pomfrey said to bring you"

"Sirius, calm down and tell me what happened from the beginning."

Sirius took a deep breath. "I don't know. Remus went up to the dorms earlier to get changed because he had plant sap all over his robes – very amusing story behind that by the way – and he found James in the wardrobe." Here he paused, possible for effect.

"And-?" Lily questioned, unimpressed

"Well…apparently he was rocking back and forth, muttering 'it's out there...it can see me…I'll never get away' clutching his wand."

"He's not still there, right?" Lily asked him, slightly concerned that the Marauders had left him there in favour of coming to get her.

"No, no" Sirius denied. "Remus took him straight to Pomfrey – he's in the Hospital wing now. She said to come and get you, to see if you know anything about it."

Indignity flared in the red haired girl. "No I flipping well don't. I may enjoy the odd prank, but nothing that would leave him hiding in a cupboard. That sounds more like something you would do" She glared suspiciously at Sirius.

He held his hands up defensively. "It wasn't me – well, not this time anyway."

Lily sighed. "Okay, let's go to the Hospital wing."

"Finally!" Sirius exclaimed, and grabbed her arm again.

About two minutes later, Lily was panting heavily, having been tugged halfway across the castle and up three flights of stairs, leaving an angry Filch and a startled Mrs Norris with a stepped-on-tail in her wake.

Pushing open the door to the Hospital wing, she was met with darkness. Turning to the guy that was virtually shoving her through the doors, she said "Sirius, are you sure he's here? It looks like its empty."

Before Sirius could speak, another voice spoke. "Ah, there you are Miss Evans. Sorry about the darkness, but Mr Potter seems calmer with the windows blocked and the lights out."

"Madam Pomfrey?" Lily recognized the speaker as a figure stepped out of the shadows.

"He's under one of the beds" the healer confirmed the unasked questions. "We'll leave you to it, Miss Evans. If you can't get a response out of him, we'll be sending him to St Mungo's."

With that, Lily was pushed into the dark room and the door was closed firmly behind her.

The room was so dark that she couldn't see her hand in front of her eyes – she tried. In the quietness, she could hear a faint "Its coming…it's out there…I can't get away"

"James?"

Nothing. It was like she hadn't spoken at all. She carefully moved forward a few paces, towards the sound.

Thud

"OWW! Oh for Merlin's sake, this is ridiculous! Lumos Maxima!"

A white light illuminated the room, revealing the bed screen that she had just walked into. Rubbing her forehead – which would probably have a large bruise in the near future – she looked around the room for her brown eyed boyfriend.

A moving red object caught her attention under one of the beds in the far corner. Walking closer, she realised it was James' red sweater, the one she had brought his for Christmas.

"James, are you alright?"

She crouched down besides the bed and reached out, brushing a strand of messy black hair from his forehead. There was a blank look in his eyes.

"James, what's happened?"

"Quack"

Surely she hadn't heard that right. He hadn't quacked at her, right?

A few moments later there was another one.

"Ducks?"

James flinched violently.

A theory was forming in Lily's mind, helped along by the occasional "It's watching me" that the Quidditch captain was muttering.

Pointing her wand towards the top of Madam Pomfreys' healing cupboard, she cast a silent spell.

"James, what's that on top of the cupboard?" She said softly, pointing toward the object she had just conjured.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHH! IT'S HERE! IT'S HE-"

Mutli-coloured lights flew in the direction of the cupboard. Several smashes could be heard from within, and the wooden cupboard grew pink fur and blue monkey ears.

A red light cut off his screams and the teen collapsed on the floor, unconscious.

Lily levitated him onto the bed and kissed his forehead gently.

Summoning the conjured toy, she walked towards the door, intent on sharing her idea with the Medi-witch. Stepping outside, she was startled to find not only Sirius and Madam Pomfrey, but also Remus and Peter.

Before she could ask when they had arrived, Sirius pounced on her with a stream of questions.

"Is he okay? What was the scream? Why was he like that? Will he be fine to play Quidditch in the match against Slytherin tomorrow-?"

He paused as Lily held up the bright yellow object in her hand triumphantly.

"Lily-flower, why to you have a rubber duck?"

"This, my annoying friend, is what was wrong with James."

"A rubber duck?"

Peter chimed in, doubtfully.

"Well, not quite. It appears that James has anatidaephobia."

"Which is?"

Remus burst out laughing, causing the rest of the marauder s (well, the conscious ones, at least) to look at him.

"Remus?"

"The – the – the fear that some how, somewhere, a duck is watching you!"

The werewolf managed to get out between bursts of laughter.

"I had to stun him, but, he should be okay when he comes round." Lily informed them. "I read a book on weird fears over the summer, and some of it must have stayed with me. James will be perfectly fine in a few hours."

However, it was unlikely that she was heard above the sound of hysterical laughter coming from the three marauders and the Medi-witch.

Anatidaephobia - The fear, that some time, somewhere, some how, a duck is watching you...