His hands burned from where they had hit the carpet, trying to soften his fall. Turning them over, he could see how red his palms were before he slowly picked himself up and muttered an apology for his actions. Already, his father was making his way down the stairs and with all of them standing in the same room, Matthew found himself holding his breath in the presence of his parents. The moment called for silence as he stood in between the two, wondering which of them was going to act first. He could feel their eyes lingering on him, leaving him to feel terribly small as if he were the prey about to be attacked by a pack of wild animals. 

"I was just telling Matthew here that it's Christmas and we're going to have a nice dinner," his father called out before herding them towards the dinner table. 


Seated in the middle of his parents, little Matthew Dabney stared down at the plate that was placed before him, however, he didn't dare raise his hand to grab one of the utensils set out. Like most children his age, Matthew had an issue with vegetables and rather than a slice of a roast or anything else, his entire plate was full of vegetables. All the ones that he couldn't stand the taste of, paired with mashed potatoes that he couldn't stomach even if he did like the taste of them.

He shivered slightly in his chair as he noticed no one else was eating around him. His father had a plate full of some sort of red meat, his mother only had wine in front of her and that's when he realised they were waiting for him to start eating. 

When he finally peered up, Matthew saw his parents looking directly at him, their faces bearing no smiles, despite the fact that the dinner was supposed to take place in the name of the "Christmas Spirit." It meant that he was going to start eating and as he reached for the fork, his hand was trembling terribly. Just the smell of the food around him was leaving him to feel sick to his stomach and the sad fact of the matter was, his parents knew exactly what they were doing. They had done such an act before and Matthew knew exactly what was to come if he didn't start to eat right away.

Quickly, he pushed his fork into the thick potatoes and attempted to hide his grimace before he lifted up the forkful towards his mouth. He closed his eyes and held his breath in order to take the bite, but it didn't save him. It didn't save him as he tried to pass it over his tongue, but just a clump reached his taste buds and instantly, he knew he was going to fail. The mashed potatoes hit the back of his throat and he couldn't bring himself to swallow as much as he tried. He tried to suppress the gagging noise, but the lack of breath was leaving him weak and red in the face. His parents didn't do anything but watch him for the time being until Matthew finally couldn't stop himself and spit up the food back onto his plate. 

Before the fork clattered against the dinner plate, Matthew already had tears burning at his eyes as he tried to breathe properly. Suddenly, he heard one of the chairs push back from the table and instantly, he started to panic. He tried to stand up and leave, the plan of running to his bedroom and locking the door, but he had been too slow when it came to enacting his escape place, leaving him to be caught by the back of his shirt.

His father yanked him back, forcing him down into the seat. "Eat, Matthew," he ordered in a cold voice, making Matthew wish he was braving the cold weather outside instead. 

Matthew peered down at where he had spit the food back onto the plate and just the thought of having to try and eat it, left him wanting to empty all the contents of his stomach. However, his father had a firm grip on his neck, holding him in place. 

Metamorphic || Nymphadora TonksWhere stories live. Discover now