Hello again. This was yet another solid story, very tidy, very sweet.
You accurately portrayed a lot of the bits and pieces that were involved in James and Lily's relationship at that time: the scene at the lake, James's improving attitude, Lily's home life, Sirius staying with James, all of those had a role here. There are a lot of those types of things floating around in the Marauders era, and you did a nice job with them.
There were a few things that did catch my eye as I read, however. Two of them are small: James made a comment about "that Vernon bloke," or something similar, though Lily hadn't mentioned the boyfriend's name to him at all during the conversation. So I wasn't sure how he could have known that. Also, I thought his "pushing one hundred" comment about his parents didn't sit quite right. Coming from James, I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not. Plus, even if wizards do live longer than Muggles, that doesn't necessarily mean they can still reproduce longer... Menopause and such would still limit them. It felt like too big an idea to pass off so casually. "My parents had me quite late" would have sufficed, in my opinion.
The only other thing that I felt you could have done better concerns the predictability of the story. You don't have a ton of wiggle room if you're keeping it canon, as you've done here: we all know the timeline of Lily and James, we know when he starts to shape up and she starts to fall for him. I knew what was going to happen as soon as James made an appearance. I would've liked to see something fresher than that, something either to make me wonder about the ending or to shed some light on one of the characters. It was a nicely done story, as it is, it just didn't leave me with any particular feelings at the end (as opposed to the last story of yours I read, with Daphne and Astoria).
So you've got a well written story here, as always, don't get me wrong. You've got none of that awkward phrasing or pacing that I see plenty of other places, you've got a grasp on your details, and can set a scene. Well done.
Author's Response: I actually summarised Lily's telling James about the problem, rather than spell it out with dialogue (When sheâd finished outlining exactly what the problem was...) - it didn't seem necessary, and I felt like it would just slow the story down unnecessarily. She mentioned Vernon's name then.
I do see what you mean about James's parents - I actually do subscribe to the idea that they had him that late (I have them both at about 80 when he was born), for a few reasons. First, JKR has said that his parents died of natural causes. Since witches and wizards seem to live much longer than Muggles, even having children late by Muggle standards (say, 50) would have them die fairly young by Wizarding standards. I tend to think that things like childbearing years are extended, though his parents were quite abnormal in just how late they had him. YMMV; it is probably unnecessary in this story, though, since it's just a side mention, so I'll change it. :)
I do know what you mean about predictability, but I'm not quite sure what I could do differently - as you said, canon is a bit limiting in terms of the timeframe, and I want to show a gradual mellowing, since I see them as getting together early on in their seventh year. Hmm.
Thank you so much for the review, and again, I'm very sorry that it's taken me so long to answer it.