Nothing is better to brighten your day than a Harry Potter fan theory.
This one is no exception! I know we were all heartbroken when Hedwig died, she had been with us since the start and the frisky owl was one of the few things that got Harry through the summer holidays. When she was killed by a Death Eater it was a hard bullet to bite, and I still haven't forgiven J.K. Rowling for it.
But perhaps her death meant more than we initially thought. According to Tumblr-user jomariewalker, the Death Eater who killed Hedwig wasn't just a random person. It was Snape. And he did it to protect Harry.
As you probably remember, Hedwig was killed during the Battle of the Seven Potters, where six other people had taken Polyjuice Potion to look like Harry. They did this to confuse the Death Eaters, who wouldn't know who the real one was. But of course they would know if they saw Hedwig. So according to the theory, Snape realized this and decided to kill the owl to prevent this from happening in an attempt to protect Harry.
It does make perfect sense, but it doesn't make it any less heartbreaking! At times like this, it's important to remember Sirius's words of wisdom:
If you want to torture yourself and re-watch Hedwig's death scene after reading this theory, here's a clip for you!