It snowed in Haishi that year. The snowflakes fell all over the city, but as soon as they touched the ground, they melted into water.
Cheng Chu's flight was just a few days away. Now that winter break had started, she and Gu Miao were practically glued to each other every day.
For a couple about to be separated, every second together was precious.
After dinner one evening, the two of them walked hand in hand on the streets of Haishi. The cold wind blew, turning the melted snowflakes into dampness that seeped into their bones.
There was a private cinema at a street corner with dim lights. Cheng Chu said, "Let's go watch a movie."
Gu Miao took her hand and nodded obediently.
The private cinema had individual small rooms where you could choose the movie you wanted to watch. Gu Miao opened the door to their room a crack and walked in with popcorn and two cups of cola.
Cheng Chu still held the remote control in her hand and asked, "What do you want to watch?"
The young man put down what he was holding and said, "Anything is fine."
Cheng Chu didn't expect him to answer anything specific, so she said, "Okay, let me choose."
The light from the screen reflected in the girl's eyes, and she frowned as she pondered, seeming to have a difficult time making a decision.
Gu Miao handed her a glass of Coke and said, "Take your time, it's okay."
Cheng Chu took a sip and suddenly relaxed her furrowed brows. "They even have Harry Potter here, which I loved watching when I was a kid, especially the third one. I've watched it several times."
She turned her head, full of excitement. "Shall we watch Harry Potter?"
"Sure," Gu Miao nodded gently.
"But," Cheng Chu's voice gradually lowered, muttering softly, "they don't have the first and second ones."
The theater was dimly lit, and the surroundings were quiet.
"You like the third one, right? Why don't we just start from there?" Gu Miao suggested.
Cheng Chu turned her head, her lips moist from just finishing her cola.
"Have you seen Harry Potter? I'm afraid you won't understand if you start from the third one," she said.
Gu Miao's heart skipped a beat, and a smile spread across his usually cold features.
"I have seen it," he lied.
The girl's eyes lit up with excitement. "Great, then let's start with the third one!"
The screen suddenly went dark, and the room was pitch black. Their breathing intertwined like vines outside the window.
Gu Miao felt the warmth of the girl's body gradually spreading to his heart through their touching arms.
It was a kind of warmth that made him addicted and at peace. His fingers trembled slightly, and finally he slowly raised his arm and embraced the girl in his arms.
The screen lit up with a faint light, and the movie began.
Gu Miao watched absentmindedly, but the girl in his arms was watching very seriously.
The third part of Harry Potter was the turning point where the fairy tale was buried in darkness.
Although Cheng Chu had watched it several times, her memories were already distant, and the ups and downs of the plot still made her heart hang and then fall.
When they came out of the cinema, it was not very late, and a few lonely stars were scattered in the sky.
Cheng Chu turned around and whispered, "Miao Ge."
"Yeah?" His voice was very gentle.
The girl looked up and asked, "What do you think your guardian is?"
He was taken aback for a moment, and it took him a few seconds to realize that the girl was talking about the plot of Harry Potter.
The Dementor is a creature in the wizarding world that sucks out your happy memories.
However, everyone has their own guardian, and the only way to dispel a Dementor is to summon your guardian with a Patronus charm.
The warm yellow street lamps were faintly visible, as if they were putting on a warm winter coat for the cold street.
Gu Miao lowered her head, her black eyes seemed to fall into the twinkling stars, shining brightly on the cold winter night.
His cold and stern expression softened, his gaze tender and affectionate.
"You are my guardian, Chuchu," he said.
In this lonely life, you are all the colorful colors, all the light and warmth, all the joy and happiness.
The winter night was very cold, and the howling cold wind blew the girl's hair. Gu Miao reached out and gently tucked her hair behind her ear.
The girl looked up, and the dim lights suddenly seemed brighter in her eyes.
"I think your guardian is a little rabbit, always shy with red ears," she chuckled softly, her earlobes tinged with a faint red from the streetlights.
"I'm not shy," he retorted stubbornly.
Cheng Chu placed her hands behind her back, tiptoed to lightly touch his lips, then skipped a few steps forward and turned back to laugh, "You are, touch your own ears now, are they hot?"
The soft touch of her lips slowly seeped into his heart, melting into his rushing blood. Before he could even feel the strange heartbeat, he obediently reached up to touch his ears.
On this winter night, his hands were a bit cold, making his earlobes even hotter.
"How is it? Is it hot?" The girl's clear eyes were filled with a mischievous glint as she looked at him with a smile.
The heat seemed to spread from his ears to his face, and Gu Miao quickly changed the subject. "So, what do you think your guardian spirit is?"
The girl chuckled, her crisp voice ringing out in the night breeze of the seaside city.
"If your guardian spirit is a rabbit, then I must be just like you."
Gu Miao looked up.
The girl was wearing a big cotton coat with a circle of fine fluff around the edge of her hat. With each breath, a little white mist rose up, causing the fluff to sway slightly.
Her slightly upturned peach blossom eyes sparkled with a brilliant light.
Warmth flowed through his heart like spring water, but he didn't actually understand the girl's hidden confession.
In the night sky, the stars twinkled faintly.
Harry Potter once said that when you deeply love someone, your patronus will take on the same form as theirs.
On the day before Cheng Chu was set to leave, the snow stopped falling.
The evening in the seaside city was beautiful, with a crimson sunset that seemed to offer a last bit of warmth to this cold winter.
Cheng Chu came to say goodbye to Gu Miao at his apartment.
The place was still neat and tidy, with Gu Miao's half-written graduation thesis on the computer desk.
Despite being only a junior, he had already completed four years' worth of coursework and would be able to graduate in June.
But with the girl leaving tomorrow, he couldn't muster up any motivation to write even two lines in the morning.
When he saw her arrive, Gu Miao's melancholic heart gradually lightened.
"Let's go out to eat tonight," he suggested, not feeling up to cooking.
Cheng Chu nodded.
The two of them went to a hotpot restaurant they had visited during their senior year of high school.
The young man from before had grown up, with a determined look in his handsome eyes and a straighter back.
Holding the girl's hand, he walked into the place that had once filled him with fear and shame many years ago.
But this time, it was easy and natural.
It was as if it was fate that brought them back to the same private room they had been in three years ago, with even the same manager greeting them.
After finishing their hotpot, the girl went to the restroom and Gu Miao naturally got up to pay.
The walls outside the private room were covered in lanterns, all bright red and glowing like a warm fire on a winter night.
Gu Miao's footsteps involuntarily stopped.
A nearby server said, "This is an activity our restaurant has been doing for several years now. Write your wishes on a slip of paper and put it in a small lantern to hang up, praying for your heart's desires to come true in the coming year."
As Gu Miao's dark and stern eyes caught glimpses of flickering lights, he suddenly remembered three years ago when he devoutly placed a wish in a small lantern - to always be with her. It seemed that heaven had finally granted him that wish.
The restaurant was comfortably heated, neither too cold nor too hot, and as he looked up at the wall filled with red lanterns, his lonely eyes softened with a deep tenderness.
The lights were bright and dazzling. A waiter approached him and asked in a hushed voice, "Sir, would you like to participate in our wish-making activity?"
The cold and stern man shook his head and replied warmly, "No need. All my wishes have already come true."
As he stepped out of the hotpot restaurant, a bright full moon hung high in the sky. Not far from home, the two strolled in the night, leaning on each other as they walked back home. The night wind blew, but they didn't feel the cold.
Upon arriving home, Gu Miao led Cheng Chu by the hand into the bedroom.
A few strands of cold wind blew in, and there was a small box in the corner.
Gu Miao squatted down, opened the box, and whispered, "I've prepared something for you."
He turned his back to Cheng Chu, his figure tall and resolute, but his voice was extremely gentle.
"This is a converter plug. The voltage in foreign countries is different from that in China. Remember to change it when you charge your phone."
"These are a few bottles of mixed rice sauce that I made. You're already very thin, don't diet anymore."
"And these snacks are all your favorites. You probably can't buy them overseas, so I bought some for you. Let me know when you finish them, and I'll send you more."
He had always been as deep as the boundless night of the sea, cold, gloomy, and calm.
But now, the night seemed to be infused with light, becoming lively and vibrant.
The moonlight tonight was very gentle, gently falling on Gu Miao's body.
He was still talking incessantly, his meticulous and gentle tone swaying in the cold wind, bringing warmth that was absent from the winter night.
The sadness of parting lingered between the two of them, scattered by the warm air in the room.
Cheng Chu's eyes gradually filled with warmth, and she stepped forward, suddenly embracing Gu Miao's thin waist.
"Miao Ge, don't say anything." Tears unconsciously slid down her eyes, dripping onto her shirt and gradually spreading.
The girl's tears rolled down like fire, dropping onto Gu Miao's shaky heart, chiseling out small holes.
He gritted his teeth in pain, but still suppressed his voice and said in a difficult tone, "Chuchu, don't cry."
"I also can't bear to leave you."
The girl sobbed and lifted her head, her crystal tears hanging on her butterfly-like long eyelashes.
"Miao Ge, you have to call me every day."
"Okay." He agreed, his heart melting like water.
The moon hung in the distant sky.
Gu Miao lowered his eyes and said softly, "Two years, it will pass quickly."
It was enough time for him to grow up, shed his youthfulness, and become someone worthy of her.
The room was very quiet, and the girl had already left for a long time.
Gu Miao stood by the window, looking at the desolate and cold night of the city by the sea. After a long time, he turned around and took out a dark blue velvet box from the drawer.
He opened it silently.
The room was a bit dim, and the exquisite and delicate diamonds lay in the box, shining brightly.
He carefully touched it, but pursed his lips and closed the box.
Gu Miao: When I have more money, I'll buy a bigger one. This one is too small and doesn't match her.
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.