This story looks like it could use a bit of love, which is amazing considering the review count for some of your other stories. Brilliant challenge, by the way, my favorite prompt of the staff challenges so far.
I have to confess that the Marauders era is my least favorite, and I've never read a Sirus/Lily I liked. I considered disallowing Marauders stories from my review thread, but stories like this one are the reason I decided against it in the end. Lily and Sirius were such people in this story. They were fully human, solidly relatable, and developed people, not just characters doing dumb stuff every five minutes. What's more, I was rooting for them being together! 'Bout time, indeed!
The pacing of this story was good. I liked how you gradually revealed more information, and you never lapsed into what I refer to as list-like description. There was no annoying poor-me stuff; the emotions of the characters felt genuine and not at all contrived. What impresses me most is that you included the war, the 800-lb gorilla in the room, in a respectful and serious way, without shying away from it, in what culminated as a more romantic piece. I don't often see seriousness and romance mixed so adeptly and maturely (if at all) in HP fanfiction.
My favorite sentence is the second one, where Lily is fumbling with the locks. For some reason, that keeps running through my mind. Knowing the rest of the story now, it's as if, how can she escape from a place that previously felt safe to her? Also, those few words, which focus on a small detail in a non-obtrusive way, make the scene seem more alive and real.
I have only wonderful things to say about this story. Lovely work.
Author's Response: It's a little orphan, isn't it? Sad little review count that it has :( I took a long break from fanfic and, since my return, it's been difficult to get reviewers back (just to explain the differing counts). Makes me pretty sad, if truth be told.
I'm glad you mentioned that the locks line stayed with you. Interestingly, that's the line that started the entire fic in my head. In reading Steph's story, a vision of Lily fighting the locks in an attempt to get away from the responsibility of telling the boy played like a movie in my head. That part went well...the rest I struggled to write. I wanted to maintain some semblance of the original story but, unfortunately, only the barest threads still remain. But I did have fun with the challenge anyway.
Thanks for the thoughtful review, especially since you don't normally read Marauders. I'm glad you gave it a chance and ended up liking it. Thanks for the review and the kind words that helped make my day a bit brighter. :)