"Severus, you're making a mistake," said Lupin urgently. "You haven't heard everything -- I can explain -- Sirius is not here to kill Harry --"

"Two more for Azkaban tonight," said Snape, his eyes now gleaming fanatically. "I shall be interested to see how Dumbledore takes this.... He was quite convinced you were harmless, you know, Lupin... a tame werewolf --"

"You fool," said Lupin softly. "Is a schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back inside Azkaban?"

BANG! Thin, snakelike cords burst from the end of Snape's wand and twisted themselves around Lupin's mouth, wrists, and ankles; he overbalanced and fell to the floor, unable to move. With a roar of rage, Black started toward Snape, but Snape pointed his wand straight between Black's eyes.

"Give me a reason," he whispered. "Give me a reason to do it, and I swear I will."

Black stopped dead. It would have been impossible to say which face showed more hatred.

Harry stood there, paralyzed, not knowing what to do or whom to believe. ...

I don't understand, in this context, who actually said "Give me a reason, ..." (Snape or Black?), give a reason to do what and I swear I will do what?

  • 2
    A clue: Black stops dead in response to those words which are spoken as Snape is aiming his wand "straight between Black's eyes". The wand is being brandished as as a weapon. Think of an old cowboy movie. Who would be saying those words, the man with the weapon, or the man the weapon is being pointed at? What could "do it" refer to?
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 12:15
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Hmmm, still not clear about to give a reason to do what? So, you are saying Snape said those words?
    – dan
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 12:23
  • Yes, Snape is threatening Black.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


Well, it's not crystal clear but I think that is Snape the one that said "Give me a reason".

Notice the sequence:

  • Black started toward Snape
  • Snape pointed his wand
  • Snape threated Black [Give me a reason ...]
  • Black stopped dead

It's the typical action movie scene. Replace the wand by a gun pointed to the head. The actual threat is not explicitly stated, what he is going to do. He's going to "shot" a spell if Black moves. It's something like "Give me a reason to blow your brains out with a deadly spell, I swear I will".

                  Give me a reason, punk
                                          Give me a reason, punk

  • 1
    +2. "Blow your brains out" is the phrase. Too bad Clint Eastwood wasn't in any of the Harry Potter movies.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 12:55
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo I've edited, thanks! I thought that Clint said something like that at some point but I've found no quote for "give me a reason" in a quick search.
    – RubioRic
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 13:05

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