Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. I'm gently using them without proper permission and I am not gaining any form of income doing this.

I know this is a little belated, but the idea for this story had only been born in my skull a few days before X-mas.

Some warnings to start off with… Sorry to disappoint possibly more than half of the people who click over this, but this Fan fic will eventually lead into a Vlad/Danny fic. It won't be until later chapters though.

Chapter 1

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Danny Fenton was late as always. It was like a part of his natural order in life to always be a little bit tardy. Whether it's getting up in the morning, or if it's finishing up work at the last minute- they were always something about him that was late. Some have even questioned if there was ever a time that he wasn't late, but then again, no one has ever really noticed Danny when he's punctual. To everyone, Danny was just always late.

Take his height for example. Going on to the age of sixteen; and so far his closest friends- including Sam- were gaining more elevation than him. It was already enough to feel snubbed by some of their grades, but Danny couldn't bare the idea that more of the girls his age had to look down to gain eye contact with him.

We're straying off topic… Danny had other concerns other than his height. Late bloomer or not- Danny was once again behind something, and that something was Christmas shopping.

"I can't believe you haven't even started yet." He heard Sam mildly impressed voice in his right ear. To his left, he could hear Tucker punching keys into his trusty PDA. Danny exhaled a sigh.

He hadn't meant to push aside his chore to finding presents for his family- it had just happened, like most things do. Now he was bruising past the crowds in the mall with his two best friends in search for gifts to buy, and there were only six more days till Christmas.

"Living a second life as a ghost doesn't exactly give me time to browse the shops- or gain any income for that matter…" Danny said, pouting irritably to himself. It wasn't a good excuse, but it was the only reason why he actually did put off his Christmas shopping- that and still harboring a small dislike for the holidays. He didn't try to keep his voice down since the hassle of shoppers made anything that Danny said sound completely and utterly unimportant- except to those that he was speaking too. Sam gave her dearest friend an incredulous look.

"No one has ever said you have to-"

"Don't start that again." Danny interrupted quickly, giving her a challenging look. Sam's purple lips twitched up into a crooked grin. Two years as a super hero ghost side kick taught both Sam and Tucker not to argue about why Danny saves Amity Park selflessly every day from horrible ghosts. Danny did what he could- because he could, it was as simple as that.

"Well it's not like you could haven't gotten some change here and there," said Sam suggestively as she walked along side Danny through Amity Park's mall.

"All right, all right… It doesn't matter now any ways… What's done is done… I have to make do with what I have, yadda-yadda-yah." Danny directed his gaze to his surroundings after hearing a short chuckle from his friendly goth. He was looking for the right place to find his parents a gift. Amity Park's mall was bustling with frantic last minute buyers, and nearly everything worth-while was being bought.

Naturally, Danny felt the urge to flee because of Yule-tide spirit was suffocating everyone's minds with preparations. It made his stomach churn from time to time when his eyes would accidentally fall on someone carrying obviously too much Christmas crap. And Danny was sure that he might be able to swim in the anxiety if he stepped into the nearest popular clothes store.

Sam appeared to be doing the same as Danny- searching for a likely place to find a suitable gift for Maddie or Jack Fenton. She and Tucker had willingly taken the time from their schedule to help Danny carouse the mall for gifts. Why, if it weren't for Tucker's sharp eye, Danny would have missed buying Jazz's perfect gift.

Sam seemed to have no luck in finding anything, the same went for Danny. As for Tucker, he was still presently sending his virtual Christmas cards over his PDA. The urban goth blew out a short sigh.

"Well at least you managed to grab that copy of 'Deakin's book of psychology'. They were a best selling book choice for non-fiction."

Danny made a meek laugh after taking a glance down at his Chapters store bag. In it sat a brand new book that he had bought for Jazz for her Christmas.

"Yeah… Someone returned the book… Lucky." Danny said, sounding anything but fortunate. At that moment, Tucker seemed to drag his attention up from his PDA enough to notice that both of his friends had briefly given up their search to look disappointed or concerned. Tucker cast his eyes over the crowds of shoppers, giving his shot to finding an appropriate store.

"Hey- have you tried out that store? Looks like its one of those one-month shops." Tucker had turned his red capped head to study a segment in the mall near to the exit. Danny frowned and swung his careless gaze over to the store that Tucker had so elegantly pointed out.

It appeared to look hastily set out. There were miscellaneous items and trinkets that looked slightly worn around their corners. Danny wasn't sure if that was done artificially or not, yet it still had an interesting number of things to sell. But as he studied it further, it occurred to him that there weren't a lot of people browsing in there.

"Danny doesn't want to look there, Tuck. That's a second hand store!" Sam said, having taken a look to the sign hanging over the shop rather than looking into it.

'Monty's Used Second Hand'. Under that, the initials of the store read out 'M.U.S.H'. Danny felt one side of his lip twitch with humor.

"What's wrong with second hand? And besides, these stores only stay until someone else rents out their slice of the mall." Tucker looked indignantly over at Sam, who appeared skeptical about the entire idea of buying presents that were slightly used.

"I say we take a look." Tucker said, directing his statement more to Danny than Sam.

"Half of the stuff there is broken- which is probably why they're being sold. Do you really think that Danny's parents would like something broken as a Christmas present?" Sam said, casting a slight glare towards Tucker.

"Not everything is broken, and maybe if something in there is broken- Danny's Dad would probably have some fun trying to fix it…"

"Oh-Yeah, right before he turns it into an ecto-blasting instrument with automatic self destruct…"

Sam normally found Tucker's tendency of being cheap somewhat annoying. But she rarely does complain about it since her family isn't lacking much in the money department. This was one of those rare moments. Speaking of which… Danny dipped his hand into his back pocket to pull out his wallet while Sam and Tucker duked-out their polar opposites with each other. Danny wedged his thumb between the pleather folds of his wallet to get a better look in it.

That book of psychology certainly did cost a lot. And with the remote amount of money that Danny had left, he knew he couldn't possibly buy something vaguely good in an average store. Danny looked at the thrift-shop one more time and then blew out a sign.

"I'm telling you, everything in there is probably worthless junk!"

"One man's trash is another man's treasure."

"What are you trying to insinuate-"

"Uh-hum… As much as I like you guys coming to help me find something for my parents… I think it would easier to at least look rather than argue all day." Sam froze stiffly- and Tucker soon followed as he looked over at Danny's warm smile. Instantly, their moods settled. It was always good to have three people around. Two to fight and the other one to break them up. Usually it's Sam who does the breaking up, but this time it was Danny- who looked slightly proud of that. But he knew that wasn't going to last with the next thing that he was going to say.

"I'm going to check out that store…I think my Dad might like to find something to clean up… and if he does make something radioactive, I'm sure we'll be able to get out of it unscathed." Danny said jokingly while quietly hushing the small voice in the back of his mind that was serious.

Sam looked disappointed and ready to object, but Danny merely cast his blue eyes at her, making her hold back her objections for now.

"I'm only taking a look anyways… Maybe I won't find anything there for my dad." Danny said, smiling.

"Sure…" Sam said, shrugging her shoulders and sliding aside the feelings of defeat with an equally bright smile. "Well let's get going! Christmas isn't going to wait for you."

With that, the three friends made their way into the shop. Sam distantly loomed around the front, taking a look at the number of used clothes that were hung on a rack. Tucker departed from Danny's side midway into the store as soon as he detected a used electronics part of the shop. Danny, on the other hand, went to the uncategorized items deep into the back of the store. Many of the items there appeared to be made of metal or wood, or gently used furniture.

Most of what Sam had said was indeed true. While he scrounged through a series of items Danny could only find damaged things that really weren't worth repairing. And the things that did look interesting or worth buying didn't suit either Jack or Maddie. There was a chandelier that was missing two candle holders… metal key hooks with some of the hooks missing… a sturdy hawk headed-cane with cracks running down the wood… a wobbly black night stand… rusted bust of a roman emperor… Actually Danny considered the idea of getting the bust for his Dad, but he soon concluded that his Dad wouldn't like it unless it looked like him.

Rows upon rows of junk that could only be considered worthwhile if you had an artistic eye were scattered through the back. Danny was sure he didn't have an artistic eye, because he sure as hell didn't find anything that sparked his interest there.

That was, at least, until he had retired back into the cushions of a worn out plaid comfort chair that Danny felt something jabbing into his thigh from under the cushion.

"Owe." Danny winced and lifted himself up to see what exactly had irritated him. He looked down and noticed an odd angle in the cushion.

"That can't be a spring…" Danny said, squinting down at it. No wonder no one wanted be buy this chair. It looked ugly and it hurt. Another thought occurred to Danny and reached down to remove the cushion from the chair. There he found something that looked like it had been lost since the seventies.

It was a purple stainless steel lava lamp.

Frowning for the sake of being curious and contemplative, Danny picked up the lamp to get a better look at it while indifferently pushing the cushion back in place on the chair. The Lamp had itself a tint of purple that swirled inside of it. The goop that would normally float about in it had settled to the bottom- with a little at the top- looking morbid and uninteresting. Danny knew the lamp had to be heated before the goop could start moving. As of now, it just looked like an unused lava lamp, waiting to be plugged in. But there was no connection cord.

Further investigation lead Danny to think that the lava lamp was self powered, and maybe by sunlight due to its reflective cover. Surely that was the answer- especially seeing that there were no on or off switch on the foundation of it. Before Danny could try seeing what kind of light bulbs that the lamp used, he felt a hand land on his shoulder.

"Are you planning to get that for your Dad?" Danny heard Tucker speak up. Danny nimbly shrugged his shoulder where Tucker's hand lingered while quietly letting his nerves settle from their short surprise. For a moment there, he thought someone like the shop owner was checking on him to see if he wasn't trying to pocket any of this junk.

Danny let his ridged shoulders relax before he put his attention back to the purple lava lamp. Tucker's words brought back the memories of seeing his mother and father dressed up in their old school-hip clothing. Danny shuddered. The lamp almost looked like something that his Dad would lug around when trying to relish his old fashion statement before the orange jumpsuit came into style.

"Yeah… I guess so. And if my dad doesn't like it, I can keep it." Danny said, shrugging his shoulders. Hey, it was neat… in an out-of-date kind of way. And it was only going to cost him maybe three bucks.

It actually came up to four dollars when Danny bought it, but it was a small price to pay seeing that the Lava lamp did indeed look brand new- save for the dust that collected on it.

As Danny and Tucker made their way out of the shop, lava lamp placed aside in a grocery bag next to Jazz's gift, Danny noticed Sam was patiently waiting for them, with a new shopping bags that appeared to be carrying a number of used clothing. Sam paused and noticed the looks on both Danny and Tucker's faces and scowled briefly.

"What? They have their uses…"

----

Upon departure from the mall, Sam and Tucker began to quarrel over the uses of used clothing and the difference between second hand and new. But it didn't last long when Tucker's cell phone rang with his father on the other end, insisting that he should be home in ten minutes to help with the last traditional Christmas decorations.

Tucker took his direction home and parted from both Sam and Danny, leaving the two to continue on their way home before Sam soon divided from Danny to head to her house. They exchanged wishes of good luck and waved good bye and went to go their alternative ways. It was at that point while Danny quietly walked down the sidewalk past Amity Park's suburban recreational area that he noticed an odd purple glow emitting from his shopping bag.

"Huh..?"

Danny furrowed his brows and looked down into his bags to see that the lava lamp was turned on. Danny picked up the lamp while placing his grocery bag down at his feet to take a good look at it. Fortunately, there was no one around on this cold December day to witness him observing the strange lava lamp.

"Hm…I must have been right… solar power." Danny said, looking at the lamp and then to the sun that glared down at Amity Park- failing to keep it warm. In the light of the outdoors, Danny had a better look at the lamp, and noticed there were signs of wear in the form of faint scratches on the surface of the lamp. If he squinted his eyes, he would notice the highlights of word around the rim, but he couldn't make it out. Danny brought his hand up to the side of the lamp and rubbed his fingers over the lamp to check if they were just marks.

Nope, they were scratches… But that wasn't the only thing that Danny discovered the moment he had ran his digits over the simple object. As soon as he retracted his hand, the lamp twitched and a spurt of eerie soft purple smoke erupted from the top of the lamp.

Danny leapt backwards and released the lamp. Instead of expecting it to fall onto the ground as Danny had suspected, it remained suspended in the air while the purple mist began to change color as it continued to flow rapidly out from the lamp. Soon it was pale baby blue.

Danny's eyes grew wide, but he held his ground. Hey, being a ghost hunter has taught Danny not to flee- especially seeing as whatever that was coming out of that lamp was possibly something related to a ghost. Come to think of it- hadn't he seen this happen before?

Before Danny could question the strange phenomenon any further, the spectral gas took a shape.

"Oh man, two years, one hundred and-eighty-some butts later, and I'm greeted with cold weather… What a country." Danny looked up to see a shivering looking ghost, clad in a blue sleeveless tux down to his waist were a gold band securely wrapped around his hips. His head was bowed close to his chest to preserve what little warmth he had. His crown was covered with raven curls- some of which that were pulled back into another gold band that matched the one on his waist. His teeth were chattering slightly and just around his chin there was a growth of well groomed facial hair in the form of a goatee. He wore a pair of shades that slid down on the bridge of his nose and let his eyes peek out over them. Below his waist was a spectral tail- similar to that of Danny Phantom's, and even a few other ghosts that he has seen. Danny brows knitted together.

This guy was definitely a ghost.

"I'm going ghost!" Danny said, and as he did so, two rings appeared around his waist. The next moment, Danny's hair was a startling white and his winter clothing had disappeared- only to be replaced by his black and white jumpsuit. The ghost raised a brow curiously as he witnessed this.

"Whoa… You might want to do something about that hair… It might start falling out next."

Danny frowned, but didn't bother to respond as he jumped into action. He darted forward at the ghost, attempting to land a blow with an out-stretched leg to the ghost's jaw.

The ghost dodged it by ducking, looking more surprised than irritated.

"Hey now! Is this how you usually greet people?" The ghost said, just in the process of avoiding another well aimed swing.

Danny smirked challengingly. "Only the ones I don't like." Danny said and attempted another swing with his leg as he flew up into the air. But before it could connect, he felt his small foot get caught by a tanned hand.

"Two words for you, kid…. Social skills." The ghost said with a smarmy grin. Danny hanged upside down by one leg and scowled darkly.

"Let go!" He said, and before the ghost could answer, he shot an ecto-blast at the being's waist. The nameless ghost released Danny quickly enough while his agile tail swirled to the left to dodge the attack. Danny flew backwards out of grasp, his hands radiating with spectral energy.

"And I thought your hair was bad… Are you going to do something about those hands? Oh-oh, I know!… You also have anger issues… Your mom forgot the day of your birthday?" The ghost jibbed with a grin. Danny felt one of his eyebrows twitch. Normally he was the one tossing out witty quips at his opponents. Now he decided that he didn't really like it. Danny raised his hands and tossed a series of ecto-blasts in the ghost's directions. The ghost dodged them, and each time he made a comment.

"Zing!"

"Oh, so close!"

"Are you sure you're trying to hit me?"

"Ever think of glasses?"

"No really, shorty- is there a target I'm not seeing?"

At the last one, Danny's temper had reached his ears- which had turned a shade of red as he glared at the ghost. Besides dodging all of his attacks so far, this ghost had even managed to criticize his height and call him a 'kid' at the same time. "I don't know who you are, but I want you out of here." Danny said finally, and flew at the ghost with the intent of slamming into him, elbow and shoulder first- but just before he was going to collide to the ghost, he saw the spectral being snap his fingers and Danny struck something hard, cold, and made of iron bars.

Making a sound of aggravation, Danny flew backwards to recover from what just happened, and thus smacked the back of his head against another set of iron bars. Quickly, Danny registered that he was now floating within a large domed shaped cage.

"What the-?" Danny said, looking amazed for a moment while trying to think exactly where the cage had come from. In the mean time, the tanned ghost appeared to be finding more interest in this nails. Danny's lips curled into a defiant grin.

"Nice try…" Danny's said while his body turned intangible. "But I can-"

Smack.

Danny's head hit the top of the large bird cage. His intangibility failed and one of his gloved hands quickly rose to his head to rub at his sore skull.

"Oh tell me! Were you about to say 'phase through solid objects'?"

Danny scrunched up his nose in disgust and floated in the confides of the cage, glaring out at his captor. How the hell could he make a ghost-proof cage materialize in mid air? The only ghost he knew that could make something like that possibly happen was Desiree. And that's if someone wished for it to happen- which usually turns out to be a really bad idea.

Seeing that the ghost boy was bitterly silent, the supposed ghost cleared his throat while he snapped his fingers. A matching blue winter jacket appeared over his broad shoulders, covering his built arms. He snapped his fingers again and a cup of hot coco materialized in one of his hands.

"Well now that I've stopped you from buzzing around, I'm going to tell you who I am." The ghost said, looking at Danny over his dark sun glasses, grinning from ear to ear.

"I…" He paused for a moment to gain suspense, "…Am Norm, the genie!" He raised one of his hands and snapped his thumb and index fingers together. A large neon light-animated sign appeared in a puff of smoke behind the genie and blared out the name 'NORM' which eventually turned to 'ORM' when the 'N' shorted out. Norm took a sip from his hot coco and grinned.

Danny stared blankly- looking unimpressed. Norm's grin faltered as he noticed Danny stand, floating in the air, with his arms folded in front of his chest.

"What? You need some kind of parade to go with this?" He said, slumping forward and snapping his fingers again to make the large sign with his name vanish. "Common! I'm a Geeenie, you know what that is, right?"

"Big deal," Danny said as he shrugged his shoulders, "You grant wishes to anyone." Danny was beginning to figure that 'Norm' was just another ghost like Desiree. In other words, Danny was already figuring out that Norm was nothing but a big load of trouble.

"Uh… well… Technically-"

"And all of your wishes have this weird ghost thing to do with them and cause all sorts of trouble." Danny said, glaring out at Norm from his cage. Danny smirked slowly as he noticed Norm's surprised look on his face. But Danny smirk didn't last when he saw Norm burst out laughing seconds later.

"Oh you're rich, kid! Really- I haven't laughed like this since-oh… let's see… Ever!" He held his side and continued to chuckle while he calmed himself down, wiping a tear from his eye, and grinned.

Danny stared and one of his eyebrows slowly began to rise.

"You're mistaking me for some other genie that is DEAD." He snickered. Danny blinked and squinted unsurely at the ghost while trying to figure out what the difference was between a dead genie and a living one. He couldn't find an answer, so he asked, reluctantly.

"Well, what's the difference between a dead Genie and one living then?" He asked. Norm looked at Danny inquisitively while he went to take another sip from his mug of coco.

"Good question. Possibly the brightest thing I've heard from you yet. Maybe you'll surprise me with something else later…" Danny glared, and Norm smirked, then continued. "Besides not actually being- you know- dead and all, I'm alive… and the differences between a dead genie and me is 1. I don't grant wishes to every one I see… I'm not a wish-whore…not like a certain other genie." That last bit of his sentences was uttered more to himself, but Danny picked up on it and stared at him curiously. He carried on.

"Number 2. Anything you wish for does not- keyword: 'not'- turn into a screwed up ghost experiment… That has something to do with being, oh, dead! And thirdly, I only grant three wishes only to the person who rubbed my lamp. Ergo, you." At that, Norm pointed accusingly towards Danny while he took another idle drink from his cooling hot coco.

"I am, in other words, under your complete control, unlike a dead one, which is… obviously, not." Norm said, with a hint of boredom.

"Okay…" Danny said slowly, trying to let this all sink in. It seemed to become apparent that Danny wasn't planning to attack again, and Norm snapped his fingers and the bird cage disappeared while he finished his drink. Danny sank to the ground, giving the genie a distrusting look.

Danny didn't trust this Norm guy at all. Besides noticing the skeptical looks that he constantly throws at him, Norm was a genie and that was something definitely outside the 'normal' boundaries for Danny. Anything that crossed those boundaries weren't to be trusted. Two years of dealing with things outside of the 'normal' boundaries has taught Daniel enough about the strange and unknown to not take lightly of any of them… except maybe the box ghost.

But Norm did say that he was under Danny's complete control… The ghost boy thought about this while he took his human form once his feet were planted firmly on the sidewalk.

Norm presently was waiting for Danny to react.

Unlike everything else that was outside Danny's 'normal' boundaries, Norm was a controlled variable… And it's only three wishes. Surely after that, Danny wouldn't have to see Norm ever again.

"You know… as much as I like being out and about- isn't there some place you would more rather be right now?" Norm asked as he stared down at Danny.

Danny frowned. "Why don't you just leave, then?" he said as he found the genie's comments less than necessary.

"I wouldn't be talking to you right now if I could." Norm stated bluntly as he folded his arms before his chest.

"Fine…" Danny growled. "How can I get rid of you?"

"Oh, this is the good part! You see, once you've made your three wishes, the nearest magical force gets sucked into the lamp… which is me!" He said- acting out a series of gestures while he smirked. Danny could tell his enthusiasm was really sarcasm.

Danny took a moment to look at the lamp which had presently resided on the sidewalk at his feet. He stooped down and picked up the old lava lamp and noticed the warmth of its glow against his fingers. Purple liquid swished about in the lamp calmly. Danny bit his lower lip as he looked from the lamp to the genie that had resided within it.

"I make three simple wishes, and you'll be stuck in the lamp again?" Danny asked while trying to think of the best thing he could do to get rid of this genie.

"Do you have hearing problems? Three wishes; and then I'm gone." He snapped his fingers and disappeared in a puff of smoke. Danny heard another snapping sound, and Norm appeared again only a few feet away from where he was. "Just like that."

Danny knew there was one problem with this. He didn't trust this genie- just as he would have never trusted Desiree with granting one of his wishes. It would just explode in his face. But the only way for him to get rid of Norm was to make three wishes… And what if he was lying? If Danny tried wishing for something, he might have to spend the rest of the day cleaning up the mess.

Wish for something easy.

"All right…" Danny said, giving the genie an odd look. "I wish…" Norm eyes flickered with anticipation from behind his dark shades. Danny looked unsure, but then smiled. This wish couldn't possibly hurt asking. "…to have the perfect gift for my mom for Christmas."

Norm snapped his fingers.

The next thing, Danny saw darkness.

"What the-?!" Danny attempted to move, but found his feet were tied together. He could hear his voice, but it sounded as though it was muffled and he could feel the warmth of his breath close to his cheek. But it was still cold around him. Danny tried to move, but instead, he seemed to loose balance and fall backwards. He felt himself land onto the surface of the sidewalk. He heard the sound of paper crinkle close to ears while he landed onto his side and shoulder. Beneath the sound of paper crinkling, he could hear Norm laughing loudly.

"Wow, and I thought you were strange. Does your mom have control issues?" He could hear Norm say. Danny struggled furiously to sit up- while he did, he was able to gain some vision. Whatever was covering his eyes had moved enough in his efforts so that he could see Norm, curled into himself, chuckling.

Before Danny could understand why, he looked down and opened his mouth in surprise. He went to take a breath of air- but found Christmas wrapping pressed against his mouth. Danny was wrapped up with red and green wrapping paper and his feet were tied together with a large red ribbon.

Norm was still stifling his snickers while Danny pulled his arms free and began to rip away the wrapping from his face, chest and legs. As he did so, he realized that his hands were gloved in white- and as soon as he removed the wrapping from his face, he saw strands of white ghostly pale hair fleck down over his vision.

He was in his ghost form.

"Oh, I guess I should have warned you… be careful what you wish for, shorty." Norm said, grinning down at Danny as he pulled the ribbon around his ankles apart and reverted to his human form again.

"I didn't wish for me to be wrapped up like a present!" Danny exclaimed while he bundled the paper up in his hands.

"You should be more specific. I had no clue what your mother would like Christmas." Norm grinned. "That was your fault."

Danny glared up at Norm bitterly. But as he did, it slowly came to him that the most perfect gift that Danny could ever give his mother was the notorious ghost boy of Amity Park, Danny Phantom.

"I'll keep that in mind next time…" Danny said with a hint of a growl as he looked around himself after freeing himself off the Christmas wrapping. The lava lamp was sitting once again next to his feet, along with his shopping bag with Jazz's gift sitting in it. Danny pulled himself up onto his feet, picked up the lamp and shoved it into the shopping bag. "But that won't be until I know what to wish for." He said reluctantly. Norm seemed to deflate a little.

"Oh come on, this is fun! Try it again, really!"

Danny ignored Norm while he started his way to his home. Norm hanged over Danny for most of the way, quietly nagging him to make another wish to humor him; but Danny continued to ignore him. And to Danny's favor, Norm had snapped his fingered and disappeared.

Or at least, he thought he did. However, Danny could hear Norm's voice close to his ear in the form of a small voice. A short panicked jump later, Danny discovered that Norm had taken the form of a small blue mouse and was sitting on his shoulder.

"What?" Norm said, trying to hide the humor in his voice. "Can't have other people screaming 'ghost' like you did." Norm squeaked and chattered his large rodent teeth together. Danny grimaced, wishing quietly to himself that he had never found that lava lamp. Maybe he'll try wishing for that next… But for now, Danny didn't want to risk trying it.

Instead, Danny much preferred to get home for dinner and prepare for the last work day at school. Christmas Holidays have certainly become a lot shorter than they use to. Danny for one had two tests on the last day, which was tomorrow. Mr. Lancer had insisted that his students would forget what they learned over their Christmas break if they didn't have a test.

He was glad to see that Norm had some how figured that sitting on his shoulder was going to be a bad idea when Danny had reached his home, and slipped into the shopping bag quietly. First, Danny thought, he was going to put this irritating genie somewhere out of sight. And then he'll pretend that he never existed until tomorrow.

He had too many things on his mind to bother thinking about a genie that was- Danny guessed- typically harmless. He still had to find the right gift for his mother, and his father now. There was no way that Danny was ever going to hand Jack a genie in a lava lamp. Aside from it being possibly the most idiotic thing that he could do, Danny wanted to keep this genie from doing something deranged and stupid to an unsuspecting lamp-lover.

So as soon as he had gotten into his room, Danny placed the lamp under his bed. Norm appeared to find an objection with these arrangements, but Danny frankly didn't care and later retreated downstairs after wrapping his sisters present.

----

Norm sulked quietly to himself on the bed of his new master's room. He knew he didn't have to sulk, but it was the fact that he had to wait until the odd ghost boy thought up of another funny- and extraordinarily easy- wish. Time was everything to Norm.

Being stuck in a lamp all his immortal life had an effect on a genie. Now Norm knows of other genies. But the only ones he has known were ones stuck in other odd contraptions, similar to his own.

Oh, there was one regrettable encounter with that genie without a lamp. Norm hunched his shoulders up slightly at the thought. It wasn't a pleasant memory. He truly didn't like that genie. It wasn't just because he was jealous that she was free from her lamp- but she also was dead, and that made Norm very much afraid.

Even he didn't know exactly how to die. Genies just don't die. Not like a human. He could have his head severed and kick it around if he had the feet to do so. He could survive without air for goodness sake! Norm was immortal, and damn proud of it.

But it was the fact that Norm had actually seen a dead genie before that made his skin crawl. It was living- or dead- proof that he could actually die.

Nevertheless, Norm has never found out what exactly is it that kills a genie, and hopefully plans to never find out. He didn't even want to be reminded about the possibility of dieing… yet this ghost boy and his spectral tail knew about a dead genie.

Could it possibly be the same one? Norm shook his head. Surely not.

While he sat there, elbows on his make-shift knees and palms supporting his head, he observed the casual sway of his tail, wandering vaguely under his master's bed to the cursed lamp.

As Norm watched this, he patiently thought about his new master. A scrawny little teen boy with the powers of a ghost. What an odd find… Almost as rare as finding a genie under a second-hand chair. The kid was funny to poke humor at- but it was all the same to Norm. Once he's had his hellish three wishes, he'll be trapped inside that lamp for another decade.

He couldn't get free from his cursed purple lava lamp unless he found something else to replace him. But there was nothing around that he could see as a suitable replacement… No boring little pixies, or half baked fairies… Just a precautious little ghost boy.

A thought sprung inside of Norm's skull and his lips parted into a mischievous grin.

This new master could hold a bit more opportunity for Norm other than just a good laugh…

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To be continued…

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