Behind him, Michael’s head twisted so sharply that it looked as though he were trying to break his own neck, but as he scraped his face against the wall, bloodying one high cheekbone, he managed to push the gag away. His voice was higher, thinner than Neville had ever heard it, the panic trembling sharply on the edges of open, unashamed, naked desperation. “NO…Oh, PLEASE, no…I’m SORRY…I’ll do ANYTHING, ANYTHING…just don’t…I don’t do pain, I’m not a hero, I never tried to be a hero, just PLEASE, CRUCIATE ME, KILL ME, ANYTHING…PLEASE!”

This couldn’t make me lose my respect for him: nothing could. All this does is make me cry. What Mike did was impossibly brave and good. He rescued an eleven year old from being whipped and starved; he shouldn’t be punished for that, and he shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of torture. It’s sick and awful and… yeah. It still makes me cry.