I really hate my brain sometimes. When inspiration hits me, I can't get it out of my mind until I end up writing down the idea. And considering how many stories I already have started, I don't need any more stories going on at the same time. But, here's proof that what I want to do rarely matters. My brain decided to start this story, so I have to write it (whether or not I like it).
This story is inspired by a number of factors. First, I really like Disney's "Aladdin." The title should give that away. I'll likely be drawing some inspiration from there to fill in some details about genies that aren't covered on "Fairly OddParents." We have plenty of information about fairies and their various quirks from the show, but very little in comparison about genies. So, I'll be using "Aladdin" or my imagination for anything I need to fill in the gaps. Second, I found Norm to be an interesting character and thought it would be fun to see some more of him. Third, most stories on the site that deal with the idea of Norm gradually losing some of his bitterness and jerkiness towards everyone in the universe tends to involve him falling in love with some teenage or young twenty-something girl who ended up with his lamp. If we remember the fact that he has several thousand years on any mortal and this would be an extreme age difference for this hypothetical couple, I really don't feel like following that pattern. Romance is important and everything (Power of Love, True Love's Kiss, blah blah blah), but I think that Norm would rather date another genie rather than a human girl. But as important as romantic love is, there are other types of relationships that are equally important for a story. Look at Timmy and his fairy godparents and fairy god-brother: their family relationship is a big part of the entire show. And four, I wanted to create a kid with a worse life than Timmy (without crossing into physical abuse or anything that horribly dark) and still have an excuse for why they don't have fairies of their own. Someone with every right to be miserable, but doesn't seem to believe she does. Someone even a jerk like Norm couldn't help but feel a little sorry for. I like a challenge, apparently.
Timmy Turner and other familiar faces will eventually show up, but Norm will be the only canon character in the beginning. So be patient. The rest of the regular cast will be in the story later on.
I don't own "The Fairly OddParents" or any of the characters who inhabit that show. I'd be a lot richer and wouldn't be writing on fanfiction if I did. Anyone not familiar is likely the product of my demented mind, but I'm willing to share if someone asks to borrow them. And I hope you enjoy the story.
Never Had A Friend Like Me
You know, it was probably a good thing for him that Jorgen Von Strangle was both married and incredibly dense. He wasn't even certain if the guy even knew or remembered what the lamp really was by this point. If it wasn't for the Toothfairy deciding to do some remodeling, specifically the bathroom, and if the muscle-bound idiot had ever really noticed or mentioned the lava lamp's disappearance when she redecorated, he might still be stuck dealing with the smell. His lamp was not intended to deodorize anything.
Now, he was dealing with a series of trash cans and dumps. No one really touched the lamp for more than a second before poofing or tossing it somewhere else out of the way. At some point, he ended up back on Earth. He didn't really notice at what point this happened or how much time was passing, but it didn't really surprise him. Garbage always seemed to end up everywhere eventually and humanity was the best at making messes. Still, humans were the easiest chumps to trick, so he wasn't going to complain about ending back on the planet. Even if his lava lamp was currently resting next to a couple of old tires and a tin can that smelled like fish.
He could wait. Eventually, someone would find the lava lamp and rub it. It was only a matter of time until another petty, selfish idiot let him out. And he could plan his revenge while he waited.
The list of targets was growing rather long by now. Canada. He still needed to deal with the country. No one should have it that good for that long. It wasn't fair. He could also see about arranging another Mars trip for Crocker, if he managed to get out before Spazzy McCrazy died of old age. Granted, that would be for more entertainment than revenge, but that man's effect on his sanity during their short alliance was rather annoying and deserved further punishment.
Of course, there was also his main target for revenge. Timmy Turner. A ten year old, bucked-tooth kid should not keep beating him. He underestimated him when they first met, not expecting the boy to break away from the usual three wishes formula. Rather than stupid wish, big life changer wish, and reset wish, Timmy Turner actually asked for a lawyer. If he'd not been so stunned, he would have provided an incompetent one. He should have been more prepared for that since the kid had experience at wishing, but he hadn't been considering the boy as a threat at the time and simply treated him like any other stupid human. Every encounter ended with a similar result: some tiny overlooked detail or unexpected twist would give the child the victory.
Well, that would soon change. He would not treat Turner as another idiot, but as a clever and dangerous opponent. Even if the kid did normally act like he barely had two brain cells to rub together, he refused to underestimate him again. Norm would win this time. Nothing would stop him from having his revenge this time. Turner would suffer.
…Just as soon as he got out of his lava lamp, that is.
She stepped out of her room, not certain whether or not to even bring it up. It wasn't a big deal, really. Her parents were busy and didn't need to be bothered. When you got down to it, today was just another day. Why should she say anything about it?
She tugged at her oversized teal turtleneck, practically hiding half her face behind the fabric. She knew Grandma would have insisted she remind her parents. Actually, the old woman would have scolded them for forgetting in the first place. But Grandma had been gone for almost four years, so she would have to do it.
The brunette child walked slowly into the living room. It was a clean and neat room, like out of a magazine. The white-walled, white-carpeted room with the expensive furniture was designed to be sleek and professional, a room for adults. Most of the house was like that. If someone looked around the place, they would never guess that the married couple had a daughter. They simply liked the lifestyle of the working professional; she understood that.
"Um… Mom. Dad," she began slowly, standing on the far side of the glass coffee table with the decorative statuette on it. She waited until both adults glanced in her direction from where they sat on the leather couch. Happily, it only took a few seconds for that confused and annoyed expression that always occurred when she bothered them to fade off of their faces this time. "I'm about to go to school, but I thought… I should remind you what today is." She tugged at the straps of her purple backpack nervously, "It's… my birthday."
"Oh… right," her mother muttered. She frowned slightly, apparently searching her memory. The brown-haired woman often needed to do that when dealing with her child. But she was a busy person and had lots to think about at work. "You're turning… five."
"Eight," the girl corrected quietly.
"Of course, Amanda," she continued, unfazed by the mistake.
Her father, sighing tiredly, asked, "And I suppose you would like a present and cake?"
"You… don't have to," the child answered the mustached man. "But it is kind of tradition."
Her father was even busier than her mother and he was in charge of the family's finances. She knew he would be less than thrilled with using their income on frivolous things. And the fancy furniture, fancy clothes, and fancy restaurants weren't frivolous. They worked hard all day and deserved a few rewards. It would be greedy of her to want her parents to waste their hard-earned money on presents and cake. She was only bringing it up because Grandma would want her to at least mention it.
"Do you know how much it would cost to get a cake? And it is nothing but sugar and empty calories," pointed out her mother, actually meeting her daughter's gaze.
Amanda knew what her parent saw. She knew what she looked like, standing there anxiously as she tugged her sleeves further down. Her oversized teal turtleneck swallowed most of her small form. Her plain jeans and white shoes made her seem more ordinary and bland. Her brown eyes always seemed to be drifting to the ground, giving the impression that she wanted to disappear. The only trait that didn't match the portrayal of someone wanting to hide was the big teal blue bow that tied back her straight brown hair. She knew what she looked like, but didn't know if her parents approved of the mouse-like child or would have rather had one more assertive.
"Perhaps we can pick up a small gift later if we find time," her father finally remarked. "But that is all."
A smile flickered across her face. They might really get her a present? She couldn't ask for anything more. Maybe they would even stay home and spend her birthday together…
No, that would be too much. But a gift would still be nice.
"Thank you," Amanda informed them both. "I'll see you after school."
Their attention was already off of her, the adults returned to the newspaper and business reports in front of them. She didn't mind. They were busy people, after all.
Things were improving slightly. His lamp was out of the dump. A rather dirty individual had scavenged it and a few other items from among the trash. Then he swiftly sold them to a second-hand junk store of some type, which was apparently a common money-making scheme of his if Norm had to judge from the conversation with the store owner. The genie knew that he stood a better chance of gaining a new chump of a master here than in the garbage, so he certainly was feeling more optimistic.
The lava lamp now sat in a cardboard box with a few old records, a can opener, and a pair of fuzzy dice. It rather reminded him of Mr. Birkenbake's garage sale where he first met Turner. Happily, there was a definite lack of Smoof vacuums lying around the store. That kept the déjà vu from being too annoyingly great.
Norm was just about to start getting comfortable when a woman walked into the store. He liked to think that he was a fairly good judge when it came to women, though his preferences tended to fall a few thousand years older than this particular individual. And he could tell she didn't belong here. She had plenty of money; her business suit and sleek cell phone told him that. There was no reason why she should need to come to a junk store like this one.
"I know that the business dinner is tonight," the brunette woman remarked to whoever was on the phone. "My husband and I won't be late. I just have to take care of a few things first." She paused a moment as the other person spoke before explaining, "I have to pick up a gift. A waste of time and money, but it's expected."
She glanced around the store and seemed to randomly select something out of the various boxes of junk. By a stroke of chance, her manicured nails wrapped around his lava lamp.
"No, not until Friday," she continued her conversation, absently handing the store owner a small handful of dollar bills and took the change. Really, his lamp was being sold for six dollars? That was just pathetic. The woman kept speaking, her conversation over some strange topic did not even pause as she completed the transaction, "But they won't be late. I promise."
Norm could already feel a smirk forming. He might be out and messing with a new master before nightfall. And, if he played his cards right, he might even be able to check on what Turner was up to.
Another day at Shadowville Elementary School was over. Happily, none of the usual bullies notice her today. On the other hand, no one noticed her. Not that she wasn't used to such treatment from her peers, but she would have liked to have a friend. She tried talking to people in the past, but no one really seemed to like her company. Now, it was easier to stay in the background and leave them alone. They didn't want to be friends with someone like her anyway, so she shouldn't nag and bother them. The other kids had their own friends and didn't need her bugging them.
As she reached home, a quick glance in the garage at the shiny car proved that her parents were still home. Maybe they hadn't forgotten about her birthday. She allowed herself to hope, but she didn't quite get excited yet. There would be no reason to get upset if they didn't remember or couldn't stay. They were busy people with busy lives. Them actually being home to meet her was a good sign, but she shouldn't be disappointed about anything that might happen.
Amanda slipped inside the house, quiet as a mouse. Her parents were already dressed to go out. Her father was wearing his suit with his mustache freshly trimmed and her mother was wearing her red dress. She knew they had plans, but at least they were home for a few minutes.
"I'm home," she mumbled unnecessarily.
"We'll be out late. There's food in the kitchen. Don't make a mess," her mother remarked, checking her hair in the mirror. She paused briefly and picked up something from the coffee table. "It isn't wrapped, but we bought you a birthday present."
Amanda smiled as her parent handed her a neat squishy lamp from the seventies. The gloopy stuff inside was purple, her second favorite color. But the best thing was that it was from her parents. They took time out of their busy lives to get her the lava lamp. She couldn't ask for anything better.
"Thank…" she began, but both adults were already heading out to the car.
Well, she could thank them later. She would just have to wait until they weren't busy. Maybe tomorrow or the next day.
Carrying her new lamp, which was not nearly as heavy as she expected, Amanda headed towards her room. Unlike the rest of the house, it didn't look like it was professionally decorated. But it did look a bit beige. The walls and carpet were that boring brown color that houses tended to be when they were first built. It wasn't a bad thing; they used the money to redecorate the rest of the house in areas the entire family used. Beside more colorful walls would probably clash with her plain furniture and basic purple bedspread. Beside her bed was a small nightstand with an alarm clock. On her dresser were a hairbrush and a picture frame from when she and Grandma were at the park when she was three. The small collection of books, a couple of board games, and a handful of stuffed animals finished up the room.
Setting the lamp down on her night stand, the girl opened her backpack and pulled out her stuffed toy bear. Teddy was a gift from Grandma on her fourth birthday. She took it everywhere with her. One of the teachers had once referred to it as being a comfort item for her. She generally tried to not let people know she carried it around since her classmates would make fun of her for keeping her Teddy with her all the time. But regardless, she kept it.
She placed the stuffed animal on her pillow where it belonged. Now satisfied that Teddy was properly positioned, Amanda turned her attention back to her gift. The lava lamp was rather neat, but it was also kind of dirty. There was an ugly black smear across the glass surface that looked a little like grease. Well, that was easy to fix.
The girl reached over and started rubbing at the unwanted mark in an attempt to remove it. She barely started her task before a teal blue smoke began to spew out of the lava lamp. Amanda's jaw dropped as she scurried away from the source of the disturbance. It didn't take more than a few moments to see a solid figure in the middle of the chaos.
The entity was clearly male, close to an adult in size, and human-ish. Only "human-ish" because from the waist down was a teal blue smoky tail-thing instead of legs. The rest of him looked more normal. He wore a red sash around the waist and a teal blue vest over a white shirt with a red bow tie. His sleeveless arms had a few golden bracelets on his wrists and biceps. He had a dark hair and a goatee. He wore a pair of sunglasses, an earring, and his long hair was pulled back with a gold little something. Overall, he was rather strange and definitely not human.
"Hello, insert human's name here," he greeted, reading off a tiny card. "My name is Norm." The strange being used his tail to briefly write out his name. "And I'm your very own magical genie."
He then took a moment to create a large pink sign with glowing writing that read "Norm: Magical Genie" out of thin air with by snapping his fingers. The sign remained in place for a few moments before the letter "M" in his name flickered out and swung loose from its bolted position. He left it there for only a couple of more seconds before it vanished in another teal cloud of smoke.
Finishing off of what was clearly a planned speech, he explained, "Which means you get three wishes."
He was waiting for a reaction. The kid was just staring at him after his standard greeting. Normally, his newest master would either be making the stupid first wish or at least asking questions. This time, there was just some staring.
"Uh, hello? Is there anyone actually inside that giant sweater or am I talking to myself here?" he asked, trying to prod a response from the child.
"Oh, sorry," she muttered, tugging at the neck of her oversized shirt so that even less of her face was visible. He wasn't that enthusiastic about working for another kid. His last two encounters ended badly: Timmy humiliated him and Chester prevented his revenge against the bucked-toothed idiot. This child couldn't possibly be worse, however. She seemed to be having trouble even meeting his gaze as she mumbled, "It is very nice to meet you, Norm. My name is Amanda Adams."
"Alliteration. How adorable," he remarked dryly, rolling his eyes. "So what do you want, kid? Wait, let me guess. A giant sandwich?"
She shook her head, "No, thank you. There's some macaroni and cheese I can make in the kitchen. Would you like some?"
The genie raised an eyebrow at the offer. Did the kid not get it? He was a magical genie bound to grant any wish she might make. Okay, he would naturally find a way to twist the request into a manner that would be of the greatest suffering for the human and the greatest entertainment for himself. That was his right as the jerk genie in the arrangement. But he needed a selfish, short-sighted human to make the wish first before he could twist it horribly. She was supposed to make a wish, not offer him dinner.
"Okay, how about asking to be queen of the planet. A boy you have a crush on falling for you? A normal sized turtleneck?" he suggested. "Come on. Three magic wishes, with no rules to limit your desires, are yours to use however you like. You just have to ask."
"But I don't need that stuff," she answered. She picked up her teddy bear off of the bed and hugged it tightly. "I can't think of anything to ask for. But thank you anyway, Norm."
There was something seriously wrong with this little girl. He was a fifty thousand year old genie with untold numbers of masters on his resume. He would like to believe that he had a firm grasp on human nature by this point. Almost all of them would always follow the same pattern of wishing and he could usually predict how any situation with humanity involved would turn out. But this kid was refusing to follow his expectations. Where was the impulsive, self-centered, greedy wishing?
"Look, I don't know if you're just particularly dense or something, but you rubbed the lamp. You let me out. And then you make all of your wishes. I grant them and then get forcibly sucked back into the lava lamp when we're done with this little arrangement," he explained slowly. "Do you get it now? You rub, I show up, you wish, I grant, and then I go back in the lamp until the next barely-evolved ape comes along. That's how the world works."
When she didn't immediately react, he snatched his shades off and stared at her with an expression of exasperation. Why didn't she do anything a normal person would? Wish for money, power, love, something. Little kids especially weren't supposed to have self-control. He didn't like it when someone didn't fit with the pattern. Turner messed with his pattern by sucking him into a Smoof vacuum, forcing him to turn over another three wishes, and asking for a lawyer. No dumb kid asked for a lawyer. It didn't fit the pattern. Moral of the story: when someone didn't follow the traditional three wishes pattern, bad things happened to him. It was frustrating to deal with and he didn't want this turtleneck-engulfed girl to turn out to be the next Turner.
"I… I don't think… What about if…," she stuttered uneasily, staring at the floor. "I'm sorry, Norm. I can't… I don't need anything, really. I shouldn't have bothered you. I'm sorry."
Losing patience with her, he slammed his hand across his face and groaned, "Look, apparently this entire situation is too much for your tiny five year old brain to handle."
"Eight," she corrected quietly.
"Whatever," the genie continued. If she wasn't going to make a wish immediately, he might as well make use of the opportunity to spend some time out of the lamp. He would have to leave the lava lamp here, but that wasn't much of a risk. Any type of genie container tended to be durable; it wouldn't break if the kid just dropped it. "How about this? Whenever you make up your mind about what kind of wish you want, just rub the lava lamp to let me know. Until then, I'll head out on an overdue vacation and you better not bug me until you're ready to start wishing. Got it, Shorty?"
She nodded and he gonged out of there. He didn't doubt that she would snap out of that stupid stunned state soon and summon him back to begin her wishing. So he intended to make the most of his short break. Time to visit Canada.
He snapped his fingers and disappeared with an odd gong sound. Actually, she remembered that noise when he first arrived, but the smoke had been too distracting at the time. Amanda felt the whole thing had been a little overwhelming. Magic and genies were both real and one named Norm lived in her new lava lamp. He even offered her three wishes. But he was gone now, as if he'd never even existed.
She didn't really have any wishes she needed granting. She hadn't done anything worthy of such a thing. There were plenty of people who deserved wishes; she should give the lava lamp to one of them instead. And yet, she couldn't do that either. What if they asked Norm to do something bad? It would be her fault. Amanda couldn't let just anyone have the lamp since she couldn't be certain what they might wish for.
Besides, it didn't really seem fair to pass Norm's home around like that. He should be able to go on a vacation or decide who had his lava lamp if he wanted. It wasn't really her place to tell him what to do.
Still, it would have been nice to have someone to talk to. Or maybe even play board games with. Maybe if he came back, she could ask him if he'd like to…
No. He wouldn't want to spend time with her. She shouldn't pester him with childish things. H was probably busy like her parents with his own concerns. Why would he want to bother with her if he didn't have to? She would probably never see him again. Which was perfectly fine since they barely knew each other and she had no excuse to grow attached to the strange being or even feel bad about him leaving. She had no excuse at all.
With only a final long look at the purple lava lamp on her night stand, the eight year old brunette wandered towards the kitchen with the intention of making dinner. She'd learned how to make herself some basic meals years ago.
Okay, Shadowville is my invention. With towns like Dimmsdale and Brightburg, I figured that Shadowville would fit in somewhat with the naming styles. It serves as a nice location away from the wish-caused chaos that surrounds Timmy.
I hope that I'm portraying Norm appropriately so far. I rather enjoy his snarky and sarcastic comments in the show, so I hope I've managed to do a decent job with him. Eventually, character development will set in and everything, but he's still that deadpan snarker right now who insults everyone he encounters.
I love feedback and would appreciate to know what you think of the story so far. So feel free to leave a review and I'll update when I can. Thanks.