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THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE HUNTED.

Malik Hussein is a protagonist in The Hunted, and also a minor character in The Dead. He is a heavily disfigured 15 year old from Rowhurst School, who was friends with Ed.

Before the Outbreak

Malik attended Rowhurst Boarding School alongside Ed, Jack, Bam and the others. He was raised in Slough and had 3 younger sisters, named Ameena, Nadia and Zahra. His family were Muslim, and he experienced some discrimination at school due to his background and religion. However he was generally happy. He was also an outcast

During the Sickness

After taking on the farm after the death of Roy, Malik lived alone tending to the chickens and traps, hunting grown-ups and collecting their heads to stack in the farmhouse. He never spoke during this time.

During The Dead

Malik is first seen in the school chapel with Matt, having almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning. After recuperating, he makes the decision with Ed and several others to split up from the others and head to the countryside to start a better life. However, the group is ambushed by sickos and Malik is among the first casualities, pulled into a laminating factory and mauled. He is assumed dead by Ed and the others, until the events of The Hunted.

Between The Dead and The Hunted

Despite Ed's assumptions, Malik in fact survived the attack in the factory, although barely. He was rescued by kids from Brockridge Park, and given to a hospital surgery where the adults had yet to become sick. Although his recovery was slow, Malik eventually grew stronger under the care of Dr Chris Catell and his assistants Janey and Mel. However, he was left severely disfigured and completely unrecognisable. During the course of his healing, the two assistants gave in to the sickness and were killed - as well as 4 of the other kids in there with him. The final kid to die, Tommy, was smothered by Malik when he was discovered to have been being eaten alive by Dr Catell. Malik managed to take care of Dr Catell, and he and the remaining girl Abby escaped to Brockridge Park, under the leadership of Rav.

At Brockridge, Malik befriended three outcast kids: Andy, a boy with cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair, Susannah, a girl with thick glasses and a runny nose, and Henry, a boy with learning disabilities. However the three of them became unpopular and were eventually kicked out due to a lack of food, as they were the least able to contribute to the scavenging (Malik's injuries were still healing).

The three of them stole a car and decided to visit Slough, Malik's hometown, in hopes of finding his younger sisters. However Susannah is killed on the way, when their car is ambushed at a petrol station, and Andy is killed later on at Slough due to a wound in his side, caused when Henry placed him in a car during a fight with some sickos, who had overrun Malik's home. Malik buried Andy and his three sisters, and one day Henry left the house and disappeared. Malik was left alone to fight off a serious illness, which left him unable to speak for several weeks.

After recovering partly, Malik headed into town and followed a group of kids whom he hoped could give him food and water. However due to his scarring and inability to talk, they treated him like an animal. Their leader, Tyler Keene and his girlfriend Josa, kept Malik on a leash and tormented him, whipping him and using him as live bait for the grown-ups. Malik fell into severe depression, and made the decision to never speak again, viewing himself as more like a dog than human. Luckily for Malik however, a war between the factions of kids in Slough led to Tyler letting go of the leash, and Malik escaped. He remained in Slough, tormenting Tyler, until Tyler's death - at which point he fled to the country.

He finally found a group of five men living on a farm, named Brian, Waggers, Mike, Roy and Tomasz. They accepted Malik despite his muteness and appearance and taught him how to hunt, ride and survive, until one by one they fell prey to the disease and were killed off by one of the group. The last to go was Roy, who gradually grew weaker and weaker until Malik was forced to kill him. At this point Malik went insane, creating some satanic shrine around Roy's disembodied head. When he came to, he was horrified to the point of burning down the farmhouse - however he then continued to collect the heads of the grownups he hunted, which became the focus of the remainder of his time there. However, he grew gradually more and more depressed, to the point at which he contemplated taking his own life by the river. It was Ella and her predicament which saved Malik from this, thankfully.

During The Hunted

Ella, the sister of Sam (protagonist in The Enemy and The Sacrifice) had been on a journey to the countryside in hopes of starting anew with Robbie, Maeve and Monkey-Boy when they were ambushed by grownups in the nighttime. Malik, nearby at the time, rescued her although was unable to save her friends. As he would not speak to her, Ella named him Scarface (and later Face-ache), thinking him to be an adult. Malik took Ella back the farm and helped her through a period of illness, after which she stayed with him for several days/weeks, going on sicko hunts and helping out on the farm, the two growing gradually closer (HAPPY BABIES).

At one point, Malik and Ella (who had been growing stronger and more capable) see a group of children. Ella yearns to follow them, longing for someone her own age to talk to and laugh with, but Scarface/Malik holds her back. Ella realises that he would be killed by the kids if seen, and stays by his side, although still wishing to stay with them. The kids are seen again soon, however, running from Malik's pack of wild dogs and a massive hoard of grownups. Running back to the farm, Malik and Ella are forced to take the kids into the farm in order to save them from the traps, where they attempt to hold back the oncoming zombies.

The attempt fails, and two of the five new children die in the night that follows, despite Malik's best attempts to keep them alive (such as keeping Ella in the chemical toilet to mask her scent, and giving Harry his shotgun, which was very strange as they had been extremely rude to Malik). Malik is overrun and knocked unconscious/severely injured in the night, and wakes up the next morning only to be hit over the head by Sonia and Louisa who ransack his body for the keys.

At this point Malik is once again close to death, and considering giving up entirely, knowing Ella is safe and assuming she will be happier without her. However, her pleas for him to wake up, calling him "my Face-ache", convince him to stay alive and uses his voice for the first time in over a year. Ella takes Malik to a safe place in the woods, where Malik tells her his name and his story, as the two hold hands in the dark (sibling tp). He eventually is strong enough to move with a limp, and the two of them set off to find a group of kids together, but are caught in a sicko stampede and caught in nets by Windsor's Golden Twins, in preparation for the Ascot Races.

Malik is presumed dead, having been hit in the stampede. The next we see of him, he's in the grownup cages in preparation for the next round of Gladiator fights in the Races, under the control of Maidenhead. The kids presumed that he was a grownup given his appearance, and Malik's stubborn nature meant that he didn't speak out against this. He starts to wonder if he'd be more at home amongst the zombies than the kids, although he begins to question this later. He lives off rotten scraps until he's released into the arena, where he decides to "show them how to fight", possibly in order to enact revenge of some sort on the kids who treated him so terribly.

Malik fights against the champions of each division of kids (who are on horseback), drawing the attention of the audience because of his skill. While he doesn't want to kill anybody, he at one point leaves a girl from Slough to the mercy of the grownups, and finally takes Golden Boy's horse. The leader of the races, Arno, is prepared to kill him to ensure that a sicko doesn't win the races. But Malik recognises Ascot's champion as Henry, his lost friend from Brockridge, and the two shake hands. Ella, having recognised Malik, begs Arno not to kill Malik and Ed, Lewis and Ebenezer, themselves recognising Ella, demand that Arno listen to what she has to say, going down into the arena next to Malik. Malik realises who Ed is, grabs him and breaks down in tears. Ed finally realises who Malik, his old friend, is, and himself cries for the first time since Jack's death. Malik tells the crowd his real identity, and ends up winning the Races for Ascot, accepting his own appearance and humanity in the process.

In the closing chapters, Ed and Malik catch up, and the group go to The Beeches to learn about Sam's possible death (NOPE). The book ends on a massive cliffhanger, but at least Malik is alive and happy.

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