To summarize in one sentence, Never Had A Friend Like Me is the cliche "Norm gets a new master and actually likes this one" but without involving romance in the equation.Bookworm Gal noticed one day that, in most cases, fanfiction writers would redeem characters generally by pairing up a character with either a canon or an Original Character and have them instantly perform a Heel-Face Turn in order to get the girl/boy/whatever. And while no one can deny The Power of Love, romantic love is only one form of it. Familial love and friendship can be equally potent. Thus, this story was born.After the events of the Fairly Oddparents episode, Fairy Idol,Norm's lava lamp ends up in a second-hand store. Eventually it gets purchased as a cheap gift for the eight year-old girl, Amanda Adams. Thanks to her upbringing, she possesses to a combination of shyness, low self-esteem, and an unselfish nature. These traits mean she doesn't immediately use any of her three rule-free wishes when Norm is summoned. The genie immediately takes advantage of this by leaving to enjoy his freedom (more or less) and to investigate the possibilities of revenge against Timmy Turner. Deciding to postpone his plans after doing some research concerning the boy's more recent activities, the genie decides to simply enjoy himself until curiosity and mild boredom pulls him back towards the child. Finding her vaguely intriguing due to her behavior not matching those of his past human interactions, Norm continues to visit Amanda off and on for months in his free time until he begins to enjoy her company. Around this time, Amanda's father is transferred and the family moves to Dimmsdale and the girl encounters a certain boy with a pink hat...
Tropes present in this story includes:
Abusive Parents / Parental Neglect: Amanda's parents are never going to win a parenting award. They never wanted kids and don't want to waste time, energy, or money on the one they ended up with. They aren't physically abusive towards her. Emotionally and mentally, however...
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: During one of Norm's attacks against Canada, he caused the place to be struck by earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, plagues of locusts, lightning, fires, glaciers, tornadoes, rampaging moose, and... he made the hockey players unable to skate in a straight line without falling.
When listing some of the less moral people he's had as masters, Norm mentions dealing with "thieves, warriors, spies, murderers, psychopaths, and politicians."
Big Brother Instinct: Timmy develops this towards Amanda. He starts thinking of horrible things to do to her parents.
Big Damn Heroes: Norm rescues Amanda, Timmy and his godparents from the Anti-Fairies and Pixies before putting Anti-Cosmo and HP in their place.
Enemy Mine: The Pixies and the Anti-Fairies have mutually exclusive goals for the world. They have, however, teamed up together temporarily in order to remove an obstacle to both their plans: Timmy Turner.
Even Evil Has Standards: Norm is annoyed or hates just about every human on the planet, but even he thinks that Amanda's life is just not fair.
When asked why he saved Timmy from the Pixies and Anti-Fairies, Norm admits that while he still doesn't like Timmy, he doesn't have it in anymore him to want him dead. He even admits he was even going to save Timmy even if Amanda wasn't there, since he now recognizes that Timmy is good for Amanda.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Norm has trouble dealing with Amanda initially because he's never met an unselfish human who didn't immediately try to waste all three wishes.
Fist of Rage: Norm's initial reaction when he see's that Amanda is about to be dropped into a pit of lava along with Timmy.
Gambit Pileup: Crocker, in order to expose Timmy's fairy godparents, arranges a school dance for the older kids in the hopes that the boy would wish for the perfect date. Norm, as revenge against Timmy, makes Trixie fall temporarily in love with Sanjay and invite him as her date so that the boy wouldn't get to go with his crush to the dance and perhaps wouldn't be able to find a date at all. Unable to go with Trixie, not wanting to go with Tootie, and unable to think of anyone else to invite, Timmy asks Amanda to go with him as Just Friends. Which ruins Crocker's attempt and half-ruins Norm's vengence against the boy.
Gilligan Cut: After Anti-Cosmo states Timmy's parents wouldn't notice his absence, the scene cuts to his house where he's been replaced by a robot.
Glomp: Timmy, Cosmo, and Wanda did this to Amanda after she makes a wish to protect Poof from disappearing from existence whenever Timmy loses his fairies.
Grail in the Garbage: Norm's lava lamp ends up at a second-hand junk store and is sold for six dollars.
Green-Eyed Monster: Tootie gets temporarily jealous when she sees Amanda around Timmy, but they quickly work things out when Amanda assures her that she and Timmy are Just Friends
Grey and Gray Morality: How Norm sees the genies vs. fairies arrangement. Norm has declared many times that he gets a kick out of tormenting masters by screwing them over, but he at least he doesn't pretend to be a saint. And while fairies do enjoy having godchildren and try to fill the gap their parents can't, he thinks the fact that fairies eventually terminate their relationships with their godchildren, not to mention their memories of time together is also pretty cruel. Granted he may have a point, considering Amanda herself is pretty horrified by the concept. Even Jorgen knows that it isn't pleasant for those involved, but considers it the lesser of the two evils.
Heroic Self-Deprecation: Amanda has a near pathological belief that nobody would ever willingly invest any time and effort into her and that the best thing she could do was stay in the background and not do anything to bother anyone. Considering that she had no friends and her parents have pretty much spent years saying this to her face, it's understandable why this belief has been ingrained into her. Norm helps overcome this somewhat. See You Are Better Than You Think You Are below.
Hidden Depths: Trixie's interest in comics and other boy-associated activities is brought back up.
I Just Want To Be Free: One of Norm's big motivations, especially in the beginning. And he eventually turns it down when Amanda offers.
Jerkass Has a Point: Norm has proven and is a proud to be a jerk, but he does make an interesting point: fairies can be wonderful parental figures, but no matter what happens, a child will be taken away from their godparents and lose memories of them, even if someone happens to discover their godparents through no fault of their own. It goes to show that Amanda herself is horrified by the idea, and it's what motivates her to make the wish that will prevent her causing a child's godparents from being separated from her own actions.
As it turns out, Jorgen considers this Dirty Business: Fairies grow to outlive their godchildren, so to Jorgen separating them at a young age will prevent the pain that would endure if fairies were to watch their godchildren grow old and die.
Jorgen also refers to Amanda as "Adams", suggesting that his tendency to call Timmy by his last name has less to do with animosity and more to deal with the fact he's almost a type of military person.
Loophole Abuse: Norm, being a master of twisting wishes, does this a lot, except to Amanda, whom he's grown fond of. When the Pixies and Anti-Fairies nearly kill Amanda while trying to kill Timmy, he is able to use a "threat to his well-being" clause to save them, since Amanda's death would have resulted in him being sucked back into the lamp. He admits he even found a loophole that would allowed him just to save Turner.
Mama Bear: Wanda towards her godchild, Timmy, and her son, Poof. She's also developing it towards Amanda, even before they formally meet.
Misfortune Cookie: Norm and Amanda have Chinese takeout a couple of times. The first time, they end up with rather ordinary-sounding fortune cookies. The second time, however, Norm ends up with a more foreboding fortune cookie.
Morality Chain: Her presence was originally the sole thing that prevented Norm from exacting a horrible (and permanent) revenge against Timmy Turner since he's recognised that he's actually good for her. Likewise it's only for Amanda's sake that he's willing to put up with Timmy in a truce since he's come to value Amanda's happiness and wellbeing over his vengeance.
The Nicknamer: Norm always has a (usually insulting) nickname for people. He'll devise new ones on the spur of the moment and will generally only use a person's actual name when absolutely necessary.
Noodle Incident: What exactly happened between Timmy and Norm in the time between the genie's second and third appearance in the show? They went from sharing a pizza while watching Crocker suffer to Timmy (rightfully) fearing that Norm wanted revenge against him. Some references have been dropped in the story, but nothing definitive.
Not Me This Time: In a rare hero to hero version, Jorgen thinks Timmy caused the magical chaos that led to disappearance of the anti-fairies and pixies.
Oh Smoof: After trying his best to avoid running into the boy, Norm ends up being summoned by Amanda right in front of Timmy and his fairies.
HP and Anti-Cosmo when they realize they have provoked Norm'sanger by nearly killing Amanda, and in the process, rendering the contract that would have protected them from Norm's wrath null and void.
Timmy gets one when Jorgen shows up, and Norm's reaction when Jorgen threatens to destroy his lamp.
Papa Wolf: Norm definitely in regards to Amanda. The anti-fairies and pixies learn this lesson the hard way...
Pay Evil unto Evil: After growing closer to Amanda, Norm finds himself ever less tolerant of her parents and their continued abuse and neglect and eagerly desires to send them to Mars, but realizes Amanda wouldn't like that. After Amanda's parents coldly reject her Christmas present and make her cry, he gives them a terrible flu.
When the Pixies and Anti-Fairies nearly kill Amanda, which not only angers him, but could have also caused Norm's re-imprisonment within the lamp, he gives a Worldof Cardboard Speech, and threatens them with unimaginable tortures...but instead leaves their fate to Amanda's whim, since he can only use his full magical potential when granting a wish. Norm then twists that wish so that the Pixies and Anti-Fairies are forever stuck in a pocket dimension, and can only be let out with the help of another, so they can understand what it is like to be trapped.
Social Services Does Not Exist: Amanda is stuck with parents that don't want her and make no secret of their feelings on the matter. In an ideal world, she would be moved out of an emotionally and mentally troubling home like this. On the other hand, this is a world where Vicky is allowed to babysit. So, yeah...
Theme Naming: Following the pattern from the show with the towns of Dimmsdale and Brightburg, Amanda's original hometown is called Shadowville
Those Two Guys: Sanjay and Elmer, just like in the show. Except Trixie is unintentionally creating a rift...
Tranquil Fury: Norm develops this after The Pixies and the Anti-Fairies decided to murder Amanda out of pure spite. His face is expressionless, and he talks in the same sarcastic tone, but underneath it, is a great magic ready to be unleashed. Even Timmy, who isn't even Norm's target, is terrified.
Three Wishes: Because she has Norm's lava lamp, Amanda gets these. However, she didn't immediately start wasting them like every other master he's had.
Trauma Swing: After learning about Norm's past from Timmy, Amanda runs off and ends up sitting on a swing at the school playground.
Troubled Child: Amanda. She has a depressing life, but her self-confidence is so low that she doesn't think she has the right to be upset by it. And because she doesn't think she has that right, she's not detected as miserable enough for a fairy godparent.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Amanda often cleans the house while her parents are away and can prepare basic meals for herself despite only being 8. She also figures out that Timmy has Fairy Godparents after less than two days of knowing him (though to be fair, she had the advantage of actually knowing that Fairies do exist) and has the self-restraint and responsibility not to make a wish for two months when most adults immediately start recklessly making wishes as well as recognising that magic is not a cure-all solution (pointing out that she doesn't want friends who only put with her because she used magic). Norm even remarks that Amanda is smarter and more mature then most adults he's met. This is something of a deconstruction however as the reason she's so responsible is because of the severe neglect her parents treat her with, meaning she had to grow up early to cope with her family life.
"World of Cardboard" Speech: After Norm saves Timmy, Amanda, and Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof from the Pixies and Anti-Fairies, he banishes them, except for HP and Anti-Cosmo, whom he restrains, and delivers an awesome one to them, detailing how being a genie grants him powers beyond comprehension, and how after performing wishes for all kinds of masters has removed any moral restraint he would otherwise have. The two can only quiver in fear. :
Norm: "That's an understatement. Maybe you and your buddies are starting to think your little magic tricks make you invincible. Maybe you think you're actually powerful enough to withstand any obstacle. I think you're just a bunch of idiots who've forgotten exactly who you're dealing with. There is a reason why genies spend most of the time locked up. We're famous for being tricky to deal with, but that because you don't want to deal with us when we're done playing around. We have no rules or real limitations on what wish we can grant. Do you have any idea what that means? Anything we want to do is possible as long as someone wishes for it. Da Rules, bad luck, and trying to achieve perfect order limits what you can do. Not a genie. And we have the raw magic power to back up that sort of limitless potential. I want you to imagine for a moment exactly what that means about the kind of wishes I've dealt with in the past. Not every master I've had was a saint. I've dealt with thieves, warriors, spies, murderers, psychopaths, and politicians. I've heard every warped idea they've ever considered to the point where I find any wish practically predictable. Even with the amount of twisting I can do to a wish, I have to grant some rather distasteful desires at times. I can honestly say that I've granted some wishes that would give you nightmares. Me and morality parted ways a long time ago. I need you to consider what this all means for you. I need you to consider exactly what it truly means when you've manage to make a genie, someone with enough magic to make you look like a second-rate stage magician and a history of granting wishes regardless of how unthinkable they might be ethically, completely furious with you."
You, Amanda, are different. You're smarter than most people would give you credit for, you are thoughtful about your actions so that you don't make spontaneous decisions that cause trouble for you or others, and you care way too much about other people even when you're ignoring how unfair your life is. Honestly, you should have either been awarded a fairy godparent years ago or made a saint. Those morons you call parents don't even realize what they have right in front of them.
Any other human who stumbled onto the lava lamp would have wasted all the wishes a long time ago. You're not like them. You're better than that.