Is he saying he doesn’t like the playful attitude? Or is he cynically referring to part of the joke?
I’m reading a Harry Potter book and found ‘I don’t care …’ in a scene. For the moment, I have three interpretations for that.
I don’t care for your joke. I don’t like your attitude. Don’t make fun of me when I’m worrying seriously.
I don’t care if you are attacked by a dragon or whatever. (He is replying by a little cynical comment.)
(Either is possible. Only the speaker knows the truth.)
Would you read the following citation and tell me what it means? (It’d be nice if you could also tell me how you knew that; it’ll help me a lot when I read other books.)
“Now listen …” He looked particularly hard at Harry. “I don’t want you lot sneaking out of school to see me, all right? Just send notes to me here. I still want to hear about anything odd. But you’re not to go leaving Hogwarts without permission; it would be an ideal opportunity for someone to attack you.”
”No one’s tried to attack me so far, except a dragon and a couple of grindylows,” Harry said, but Sirius scowled at him.
"I don’t care … I’ll breathe freely again when this tournament’s over, and that’s not until June. And don’t forget, if you’re talking about me among yourselves, call me Snuffles, okay? (Harry Potter 4 [US Version]: p.41)[Bold font is mine]
N.B.: Sirius is Harry’s godfather, a wanted person for a crime he didn’t commit, seriously worrying that villains could attack Harry any moment. Harry is a little annoyed with his parental affection as teenagers often do. So he is trying to turn Sirius’s earnest words into ridicule, by referring to a dragon and grindylows, which Harry has already gotten over through the wizard tournament.