All right, duckies! Here is a vintage selection of Harry Potter fanfic. It's a short list but there's many, many more where these recs are coming from. If you have a pairing or a trope that you are interested in, let me know in the comments and I'll do my very best to hook you up. And don't forget, if you don't want to post as your regular GT name, use stealth mode! Just don't ask me for anything starring Ron Weasley.
The format for this post is Title with URL - word count - Author's blurb. [main pairing] My thoughts on the fic.
The Twenty - 349k - Hermione and an unlikely Pansy form an elite group of witches, and possess one unusual commonality. Facing their most carnal desires, they will harness a power not seen in an age, to save themselves and protect Hogwarts. Can it stay a secret? [HGSS] This is my all-time favorite story in this pairing. It has a diverse cast and while Hermione is a little Mary Sueish - seriously, she's skilled at everything - it will yank you around by all the feels and is narratively a very strong story. And it has Slytherin protagonists that don't just suddenly wake up one day in chapter 1 and go "Gee, I want to be on the Light Side."
When A Lioness Fights - 416k - Hermione Granger, master spy, and Severus Snape, spymaster to the Order. An unlikely partnership, forged to defeat the Dark Lord on his own ground. But to do so, they must confront their own darkness within. Spying, torture, angst and love. AU after fifth [HGSS] I love this story for many reasons. Yes, Hermione is again quite the skilled little Mary Sue, but hellooo this is fanfiction and she's the most awesome character in the entire HP verse so IDGAF if it stretches credulity a bit. The story is super well-told and the angst is gripping. And it has the most lovable Harry and Draco subplot if that's your thing. Since that is definitely my thing, I love this fic. It goes to some pretty dark places but I don't rec stories that don't end happily ever after.
The Language of Flowers - 140k - A polite romance and comedy of manners based loosely on the WIKTT "Regency Challenge". This is intelligent fluff, or so I would like to think. This is very AU and a little OOC. [HPSS] This is Regency at its most meticulously accurate. At least, that's what I recall. The author spends a few thousand words before the fic with detailed explanations of Regency cant, peerage hierarchy and nomenclature, and other delicious factoids. There is also an extensive dramatis personae. IIRC, this fic is also where I learned lots of dirty words used during Regency era that we don't use anymore. :D Seriously, if you don't feel like reading the fic but want to brush up on your Regency knowledge, just read the author's extensive preface.
A Normal, Healthy Relationship - 3k - Hermione tries to convince herself that her relationship with Pansy is flawed. [HGPP]
Big Name Death Eater - 51k - Have you ever wondered what really happened at the Death Eater meetings? [HGSS] This fic is hilarious! It's semi-serious, semi-spoof, with witty moments all throughout.
The Mirror Of Maybe - [HPSS] This story is incomplete and unlikely to be completed but it's still worth reading. SERIOUSLY it is one of my favorites.
No Way Back - 77k - At the end of fifth year, Harry falls into a mirror and is forever changed by the experience. [HPSS] With permission from the author of The Mirror of Maybe, a fan used the same concept as a premise and this fic is COMPLETE. It doesn't count for me as "vintage" but it pairs well with its abandoned insipration.
The Activist- 16k - Hermione is not happy about the Ministry's latest laws. She decides to take matters into her own hands. Marriage Law challenge response. [HGSS] This fic is pretty entertaining. I'm reccing it here because Hermione is this indignant feminist woman in a world that, to quote from the fic, "According to popular opinion, marriage was nothing more than a legal contract for breeding in captivity." And she's angry about it. The fic is humourous but in that almost-too-close-to-the-truth-to-be-funny kind of way. I haven't reread it in years so it's possible my tastes have changed but I did like it once and it was still on my list of Ashwinder faves. Also, it's a breeze to read at 16k words.
Faith - 375k - What if the wizarding world turned its back on Harry? Who will stay true? Who can he turn to? What will he do? [HPDM] This fic has some serious editing issues. The first time I read it, I copied it into Word and edited it as I read. Sadly that was about three computers ago, so I no longer have that doc. Still, I would be very remiss to exclude it from the list, because if you can ignore the poor editing, it tells a gorgeous story. It's serious whump and possibly hasn't aged well, but once upon a time it was one that I enjoyed greatly. It seriously bashes the Gryffindors and Dumbledore, and overtly turns the Slytherins into protagonists. It delves deeply into Welsh mythology.
Give me your recs in the comments, or post a request for a specific trope, pairing, or fic length.
ETA: Due to conversation with commenters I have remembered two other HGSS fics that I once loved very deeply. I attach them below.
Grasping at Normality - this is SSHG and the original fic appears to have been stripped from the internet. I've emailed an archive which has a copy available upon request, requesting a copy of the fic. It's an amazing story.
Ordinary People - How do ordinary people cope with their extraordinary circumstances? A SS/HG romance that strives for realism. For everyone that is tired of SuddenlyBeautiful!Hermione and SexGod!Severus...
Inell was once one of my favourite authors for her prolific output and for how she catered to my favorite pairings, namely Hermione/Bill and Hermione/Pansy. Her livejournal is no longer functional but you can still find some of her fics (not all of them, I remember when the noble lady had hundreds of fics posted) on the login-protected site Granger Enchanted. I'm able to access them but you'll need a GE login to do so. If you can't manage to get a login - no idea if it's still active - but want her Hermione/Bill stories, comment with a burner email address. The link with her name should go to an unprotected HGBW story.
ALSO, on the one-in-a-million chance that any above fanfic writers are reading this, thank you thank you for what you have given me and us over the years. It's a true privilege to have read and cherished your great works.