Amid laughing fountains, Arwen told him of her choice.
He sat long in the haven of Imladris after she left, turning Vilya around his finger, pondering choices.
I could make a choice: To cast Vilya aside, to silence the horrid laughter of these fountains. To languish, imperishable, in a place of ice and death and blessed silence, where I need not be mocked by the joy of water in a place that has known something far warmer and less capricious.
But he would not cast it aside. He had made his choice, more than an age ago. That everyone whom he loved made a divergent choice …
About that, he would not be bitter.
He turned Vilya on his finger and listened to the chatter of the fountains, recalling times when they had been answered by the pattering footsteps of his children, giggling, as they hid from their mother. But she always found them and carried them to bed, and her lullabies meandered like ribbons on the wind while Elrond sat in his study, his stern hands flat upon endless parchments, quill forgotten, and a smile upon his lips.
Now, though, he was serenaded by the mocking, empty joy of fountains.